August 9, 2009

Amidst the shouting, the left begins to shift the argument

Rumblings from the left grow louder challenging republicans, "Well, what are the you offering for health care reform?" In a sense, trying to shift the argument back to the GOP being "the party of NO" while at the same time slyly goading the right into a debate over not whether government involvement is necessary or constitutional but to what degree of government overhaul is required.

People want some improvement to the current health care coverage system. It is flawed. And republicans must respond while they still have the momentum or else run the risk of the democrats redirecting that momentum back against them. US Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ) has proposed a free market answer to the democrats challenge that improves the current system while avoiding private companies having to compete with the federal government:
"The Health Care Choice Act, which has forty co-sponsors, harnesses the power of the marketplace to allow Americans to compare insurance policies from across the country and pick one that best meets their needs. It would provide every American with more and better health insurance choices. The legislation would also reduce the number of Americans who have been unable to find affordable coverage. “Rather than going through fifty different regulatory processes, this bill will allow an insurance company to go through one process and sell to people in all fifty states. We can help people, not by setting up a massive new government bureaucracy, but by empowering individuals to make the best choice for themselves and their families.”
There is no doubt, in my opinion, that the current health care coverage system has problems. Costs are high, doctors should not be pressured or have to negotiate treatment for patients, people do lose coverage, payments are rejected, but on balance we have benefited from a system that has created a market for excellent general care and unmatched specialized care.

Nothing is ever perfect, in fact I would argue that nothing should ever BE perfect. But we can always attempt to make a good system better and we can do it without the federal government pricing out 16% of the US economy. This is the message republicans need to start marketing or else run the risk of losing the higher ground. Congress Shadegg's proposal is a start. Now let's try to sell it and similar messages through a hostile media.

Maybe a new and radical idea like tort reform will catch fire (hat-tip to dwarfmama at Red State).

Ah jeez, Mr. President. You must think I’m a total dummy

I totally misunderstood the purpose behind your email address. I apologize for the following content of my email.

I also apologize for my friends and family sending similar emails. We are just simple folk with whom your subtlety is lost upon. How were we supposed to know you didn’t want pictures of our favorite flags?

August 8, 2009

Sorry About the Noise Left...

...but we're new to this game.

I guess you could say that we're just learning how to play. For while, it was fun to watch your shenanigans and the occasional bench clearing brawl from the bleachers, not fully understanding what you were doing, who the players were, or what the rules are. The problem was that there was just one team playing; the game we were paying to watch was rigged.

Now, we're coming onto the ice. We're a little clumsy and we make a lot of noise, but we're very, very motivated. We're not as polished as you, we don't have a coach or the organizational structure you have, hell, we're not even paid like you are. There's still time enough in the game, we're quick learners and we want to play. Hope you're wearing your pads.

Fear and Intimidation in America

In the past, I would've chalked this whole thing up to typical party politics played by both sides: back and forth they go and little by little the principles of the Constitution are eroded by the tide of an expanding government and a more corrupt and incestuous party system.

But this is different. This is our own government enlisting it's union muscle (a convenient tool) to suppress and intimidate common citizens of this country. They reply that it's the "brownshirts" (typical liberal imagery of anyone not agreeing with them being nazis)who are intimidating elected officials and stifling dialogue. What dialogue? They don't want a discussion of two different positions. They seek only a debate as to what degree their agenda gets advanced. For that matter, isn't it better for the politician to be intimidated by the people rather the alternative...regardless of the "party"? These folks at the town halls are not singling out and attacking individuals, they are acting against a government. Well, Newton was right: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The government and it's actions against individuals have proven it.

HT to Caleb Howe for posting the above vid on Red State.

The saddest part of all this, and maybe this is what has me so concerned, is that these newly engaged (newly awakened) citizens are me, my friends, my mom and my dad. People who have done nothing their whole lives but do what is right (and in some aspects what they were told). People who have worked hard without complaint, without expecting anything in return. People who never once thought about not paying their taxes. People who served their country the best they could in the fashion they saw fit. People who only want to live their lives without somebody looking over their shoulder.

People who the government took for granted and never once dug in their heals and slammed and slammed down their fists and said "NO MORE. NOT ONE DAMN BIT MORE!"...until now.

I see the direction this is going. And I hope it changes because it is very, very ugly.

June 29, 2009


From the dot com bubble to Al Gore, the internet has caught a lot of shit over the years. For good or bad you cannot deny its impact on our daily lives. Now, a generation after its creation, this unstoppable force has set it's sights on the most stubborn of immovable objects: the main stream media. Once proud and nimble, traditional newscasting has taken on all the bad traits of it's supposed natural enemy, government. Lumbering, bloated, constricted, tired, anchored, and slow to change, traditional media outlets are finding themselves increasingly challenged by their upstart little internet brothers. Unfortunately for the MSM, it is a challenge it appears to be unable to meet, and the "problem" is accellerating. In what appears to be a "can't win 'em, join 'em" mentality, it's amazing to watch networks left to report not on the story, but on the way the story is disseminated.

Twitter, Facebook, blogs, text messaging, and other group and social sites are quickly rendering the MSM completely irrelevant (if it's one thing reporters hate, it's being irrelevant). Often by the time the networks have produced a segment, the story is so broadly distributed that the only thing left to do is report on how its being reported. Iran, Michael Jackson, Sanford, cap n trade, North Korea, the stimulus bill (did I just include Michael Jackson in that list?)...all broke by the written word and neither television nor radio can keep up. Who would've thought: the written word would kill the television? As I said before, like the government, the broadcast media has become so huge it cannot react, it's become bottlenecked, and it's choking itself to death.

Take the recent Iranian crisis and the roles of twitter, facebook, and the apply this to September 11, 2001. Remember how we all sat by our tvs waiting hours for just a few kernels of news to trickle in from CNN and FNC? What if twitter was around back then?
  • Tweets from the roof of Tower 2 as the building moaned and buckled;
  • I love yous broadcast from the airliners just seconds before slamming into Tower 1;
  • Reports from passengers on how low to the ground flight 77 was flying;
  • Tweets from passengers on other flights still in the air wondering why they haven't landed yet;
  • On the scene reporting from teachers in the school library as word of the attacks reached the President;
  • Descriptions of the hijackers and their language twittered for the defense department analysis and instruction;
  • Calls for action, vigilance, organization, demonstration and unity by we citizens (think Tea Party times 1,000,000) in the hours, days, weeks that followed.

How different would the past 8 years have played out? In a weird way, the indescribable, unreal atrocity of 9/11 would be crystal clear and oh so very real.

I guess that's what I'm trying to say. I'm not sure how it's going to play out but it feels like we are witnessing something special: the maturation of the internet into a near perfect form of mass communication and the obsolescence of the current dominant form of news distribution. By making the world (in its broader sense) more virtual, we are making it more real. We understand better not because the information is more polished but because it is unfiltered. We base our decisions not on someone's manipulation of images but on our ability to read, comprehend, and critically think. We are supported and inspired by those who believe as we do and are willing to act on those beliefs

That and there's a ton of awesome porn available.

March 29, 2009

Somewhere, the Spanish Flu Laughs at Us


Each year there are 36,000 flu-related deaths in the United States according to the CDC. That means, on average, 692 people died in the US last week from the normal flu! So, how many have succumbed to the swine flu? Surely, with all the attention, the numbers must be in the thousands. *sigh* So far 150 people have died of the 1,600 total cases in Mexico and ZERO deaths of the 40 cases in the United States.

It appears that, in another case of "inventing the news", the media has hyped this thing for the sole purpose of increasing ratings and readership. Quite frankly, they were probably getting bored with the whole "Economic Armageddon" as a lead. They needed something fresh. Please, save the sensationalism for when this strand is actually more dangerous than, oh I don't know, the flu?!

What's the harm in making people aware of the potential for pandemic (by the way, let's call it a "pandemic" when it's still barely an epidemic), you may ask? Why not ask that question of the airline industry, the meat export industry, the tourism industry. Thankfully, we have an economy that can absorb the potential job losses in these sectors.

The whole thing makes me sick...

..uh oh.

Update: yesterday in the United States one person died from H1N1. Meanwhile, 100 people died from normal flu.

Update 2: watched Sportcenter on ESPN this morning and they dropped "pandemic" 3 times in one report about the Mexican soccer team playing in Chicago. In the same report they said that stadium officials have made available hand sanitizer throughout the stadium. No joke, I'm not being sarcastic. It appears those officials believe that just because you're from Mexico, you are a carrier of a dreaded disease that may (or may not) give you a fever.

March 28, 2009

Wahh! They Started It!

Soft heads blaming this war on the "West's oppression of Muslims going back to the First Crusade." A tragic lie blindly repeated as fact and never challenged.

The truth of the matter is this war did not start with the First Crusade (1100 AD). It started when the Muslim Moors invaded Europe through Spain in the 700s. They were well on their way to conquering all of Europe when, in one of the most pivotal moments in history (think Thermopylae pivotal), the Moors were met and stopped by Charles "The Hammer" Martel at the Battle of Tours in central France. They retreated and eventually settled on controlling Spain. Eventually, they abandoned the continent entirely. It wasn't until 350 years after the invasion, a newly confident Europe began the first of its own crusades.
Charles the Hammer at the Battle of Tours
Charles the Hammer at the Battle of Tours

What caused the aggressive expansion of Islam? No, it was not a reaction to imperialistic Christianity. Nobody from Europe committed any sort of atrocity on an Islamic people or city. Nobody was conquered, no nation subjugated. Instead, an empire simply died. Nature abhors a vacuum. And the power vacuum left in Northern Africa by Rome was soon filled by the emerging Muslim religion. Unlike Christianity, which is a spiritual movement, early Islam was the perfect marriage of wealth, politics, and war all committed to the glory of Allah. And his glory set the world on fire.

Islamic "Empire" after the Battle of Tours
Islamic "Empire" after the Battle of Tours

Don't get me wrong, history has shown it was the Caliphates and the Moors that kept the flame of civilization lit during the dark centuries following the Roman Empire. While Europe toiled, medicine, astronomy, science, math, philosophy, exploration all flourished in the Muslim world. I find it ironic how the roles are now reversed.

There. That feels better.