| 2010 Articles |
Sunday, 29 August 2010
On Friday, August 7, 2009, Sarah Palin wrote on her Facebook page: "The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but [it] will not...it will simply refuse to pay the cost. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's ?death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide...whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."
The response of Democrats and the media to Palin's assertion can only be described as outrage. Howard Dean went on ABC and called it "totally erroneous," concluding, "She just made that up." Even David Brooks, the closest thing to a conservative the New York Times can bring themselves to hire, proclaimed on Meet the Press, "That's crazy...the crazies are attacking the plan because it'll cut off granny, and that - that's simply not true. That simply is not going to happen."
And even last week, Newsweek magazine ranked the idea that there would be bureaucratic boards making life and death decisions for people as one of the, "Dumb Things Americans Believe."
The only problem for Dean, Brooks, Newsweek and the whole lot is that it now appears that under ObamaCare there are bureaucratic boards making life and death decisions for people.
Take the anti-cancer drug Avastin, which was fast-tracked by the FDA years ago. It is primarily used to treat colon cancer, but is also prescribed now to treat nearly 18,000 women a year who are fighting the late stages of breast cancer. While Avastin doesn't cure the disease, it can and does significantly lengthen and improve the quality of a victim's last months. Perhaps to be expected, Avastin is also very expensive, costing up to $100,000 a year.
But now suddenly, despite the stringent objections being made by both the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance on behalf of patients, the FDA is considering removing Avastin from its approved drug list for breast cancer. Such a move would mean ending its coverage by both Medicare and the government program for low income women.
ObamaCare proponents say this FDA action has nothing to do with the expensive nature of the drug, but rather about questions over its effectiveness. That's possible...but there is strong circumstantial evidence to suggest otherwise.
Consider that if the FDA continues to approve Avastin, it puts the ObamaCare system in a very difficult and awkward position: it could either subsidize the expensive drug for low income women, or refuse to subsidize it.
If it does the former, the government will be shelling out billions of taxpayer dollars a year for a drug that is increasingly popular, but doesn't cure the disease. That destroys the promise of ObamaCare to lower costs. But if it does the latter, thereby denying treatment to patients that they could have received prior to ObamaCare, they prove Sarah Palin and conservative critics of the plan totally correct on the issue of rationing.
So to avoid this uncomfortable dilemma, Obama's FDA simply pulls its recommendation of the drug altogether. This may allow ObamaCare's supporters the chance to temporarily dodge the political fallout of what they've foisted on the American people, but it also devastates the families of nearly 18,000 women who will suffer the deadly consequences.
Is this the vaunted "compassion" our President and his allies promised they were delivering to our healthcare system?
ObamaCare has already devolved into the nightmare we should have seen coming from the moment the President told Jane Strum in a town hall meeting that perhaps her 100 year old mother should have gotten a pain pill instead of a life-saving pacemaker.
The frightening reality is that this controversy over Avastin is only the beginning. This is what our healthcare system is on the verge of becoming under ObamaCare: battles with faceless bureaucracies who make decisions about treatments and drugs looking at financial records and cost-benefit analyses, not people.
Covering the Avastin story in the Washington Post, reporter Rob Stein begins, "Federal regulators are considering taking the highly unusual step of rescinding approval of a drug that patients with advanced breast cancer turn to as a last-ditch hope." Highly unusual...until now.
Welcome to Obama's brave new world where "perhaps you're better off with a pain pill." I dare say that for those of us with family members or friends who have bravely battled breast cancer, Sarah's not looking quite so crazy anymore.
Sunday, 22 August 2010
The presence of liberal bias and radical left-wing professors on America's college campuses is as predictable as the rising and setting of the sun. Whether it takes the form of inviting domestic terrorists to lecture on campus, requiring Marxist propaganda to be read for course completion, or offering the classic "Peace Studies" program, radical leftism flourishes in the land of academia. In fact, there are so many well documented cases of it that pointing out examples of such educational malpractice is like shooting fish in the proverbial barrel.
But every so often you find one that is so bizarre, so inexplicable (and yes, so maddening), that it warrants mention. And when it happens in your own backyard, it becomes particularly noteworthy.
About a month ago, I received an e-mail at my radio show from a student at Indiana University Kokomo, enrolled in Dr. Earl Wysong's Introduction to Sociology course. The student was frustrated because he had been marked down on a class assignment for identifying Nancy Pelosi as a liberal on a political spectrum test. Professor Wysong believed she was a moderate.
I had no reason to doubt the young man, but as an educator myself, I know it's important to not jump to conclusions based on the accusations of a single student. So I asked him if he could send me an electronic copy of the assignment. Within hours he had scanned the worksheet and sent me the image: Rush Limbaugh dutifully identified by the student as a far-right "ultra-conservative" with Dr. Wysong's approving checkmark beside it; but Nancy Pelosi, whom the young man labeled "liberal," was circled by the professor with a corrective arrow pointing to "middle of the road" (the incredible image is posted at here).
Now obviously, it isn't too difficult to understand Wysong's strategy. By ingraining in students' minds that the ideas and beliefs of a radical leftist like Pelosi are "middle of the road," their perspective of the entire political spectrum in the United States becomes skewed. Mainstream conservative beliefs become "ultra" or far-right, reactionary thought. Simultaneously, left-wing thought becomes "moderate and centrist," with radical socialism and communism receiving the much more palatable label of "liberal."
So yes, I understand the strategy. What I don't understand is why Dr. Wysong, and his superiors who allow this professional malfeasance to occur, think they can get away with it. There is not one respected, rational political scholar in the United States today who would seriously try to attach a moderate label to the positions or person of Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi has garnered 100% ratings from the National Abortion Rights Action League for her rabid support of child sacrifice, the NAACP for her support of reverse discrimination, the radical Human Rights Commission for her promotion of the homosexual agenda, Americans United for her commitment to eradicating religion from the public square, the National Education Association for her commitment to funneling more money into failed education policy, and the left-wing lobby group SANE for her anti-military voting record. She has received a 21% rating from the National Taxpayer Union for her consistent attempts to raise taxes, a 0% rating from the Federation for American Immigration Reform for her support of illegal immigration, an "F" rating from the NRA for her anti-2nd Amendment positions, and is rated by the online issues analysis organization "On The Issues" as a "Hard-Core Liberal."
That anyone then, particularly an esteemed college professor, could ludicrously consider Pelosi a moderate is as outrageous as it is telling. Such an incident teaches us far more about the political perspective of Dr. Earl Wysong - and IUK, should they continue to stand by him - than it does of Nancy Pelosi.
On behalf of the student, I called Dr. Wysong's office and e-mailed him three times in the last month seeking an explanation. And while he has ignored me, he has not ignored the incident. The student reports that shortly after I ran with the story, Dr. Wysong announced a policy change for his classroom. He is no longer returning student work for them to keep after he has graded it.
Upon learning this, I contacted IUK's Department of Social Sciences, Office of Academic Affairs, and the Office of the Chancellor seeking comment. No one has given the courtesy of a response. Given that IUK is an institution being financed with taxpayer dollars, they not only should rectify this situation, but they owe the public both an explanation and an assurance that such flagrant pedagogical misconduct won't continue.
Sunday, 15 August 2010
When George W. Bush spoke on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln back on May 1, 2003, he reminded Americans, "Our mission [in Iraq] continues...we do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide." No one remembers those words because the mainstream media chose to ignore them entirely. Instead, they focused on a banner hanging above Bush's head, emblazoned with the phrase, "Mission Accomplished."
Having sought from the first day of the Bush presidency to undermine it, the media and the left (but I repeat myself) finally had their iconic image, around which they could construct the narrative that Bush was an out-of-touch imbecile who lived in a White House bubble of delusion, all while reality told an entirely different story.
Fair or not - after all, Bush's message was the exact opposite of what it was portrayed to be - the imagery stuck. But rather than fighting to correct the record of an event that happened over seven years ago, we would be smarter to highlight what journalist Lachlan Markay has observed: Barack Obama has had his ?Mission Accomplished' moment...times ten.
On August 2, Obama dispatched his Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to write an op-ed piece for the New York Times entitled, "Welcome to the Recovery." This was to be an exclamation point to the White House's strategy of declaring the last few months, "Recovery Summer." Are they serious?
As Markay observes, just three days after Geithner's column, "the economy shed about 131,000 jobs. The administration and its left-wing media cheerleaders touted the 71,000 private sector jobs created, not mentioning of course that about double that number would need to materialize for the economy to keep pace with new entrants in the job market."
Still, "Team Recovery" continues whistling past the graveyard of lost jobs, assuming Americans are content with what Obama and Pelosi call a "jobless recovery." But Americans aren't idiots. They realize that without jobs, there is no recovery. Without jobs, home foreclosures spike, businesses collapse, retirement investments deteriorate and the real estate market is devastated.
And yet, while unemployment has stagnated for months between 9-10% (keeping in mind that doesn't even count those who have given up looking for work or those who have accepted temporary part-time work - with those factored in, the Obama unemployment rate is closer to 20%), there is President Obama standing aboard the USS Clueless, praising his failed policies in front of a banner that reads in bold letters, "Summer of Recovery."
But what makes this oblivious and dishonest rhetoric all the more galling is that President Obama is not the unfortunate recipient of economic conditions beyond his control. He is not merely putting on a brave face for the country. This is a mess that, after nearly two years of complete control of the White House and Congress, is largely of his own making.
The "smartest president we've ever had" and his crew of financial wizards have created the conditions that have brought us a perfect storm of economic turmoil. Take the ingenious idea of raising minimum wage in the midst of a recession. Small businesses took the largest hit from this and were forced to cut entry-level employees (young people and minorities). So when your kid graduates college and ends up on your couch, celebrate the "summer of recovery."
Or how about the Obama promise to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy. In economic terms, that means capital gains, dividends, and upper incomes will be punched in the gut right at the time we need them to robustly invest in job creation. Embrace the recovery!
Let's not forget the Democrats continued pursuit of a cap and trade energy scam that will cause, in the words of President Obama, "electricity rates to necessarily skyrocket." Since energy is somewhat important for any business to function, this massive additional cost to their budgets will certainly cause them to want to hire more employees, don't ya think?
And of course, who can forget ObamaCare? The job killing impact of that unconstitutional monstrosity has already been worse than forecasted, and promises to - when fully enacted - obliterate profit margins of virtually every business, large and small.
While the formula for economic growth and job creation is well known (tax cuts, reduced regulations, incentives for investment), this administration is pursuing the exact opposite: tax hikes, massive new regulations, mandates and rules, increased costs and undue burdens.
So live it up, America. This is as good as it gets with liberals. As long as they're in charge, welcome to your recovery.
Sunday, 08 August 2010
A little over a year ago, I wrote a column suggesting that due to the blatant hostility the National Education Association was expressing towards Christians, it was time for Christian teachers to withdraw their membership from the NEA. As it turns out, the focus of my call to abandon this radically left lobby group was a bit too narrow. As evidenced by its own website, the NEA is not merely anti-Christian, they are anti-American as well.
How else can you explain the plan that appeared on the NEA's "Diversity Calendar" instructing teachers to make October 1st a special recognition of the Communist revolution in China? The NEA recommended teachers celebrate how the world's most notorious butcher, Chairman Mao Zedong, proclaimed the "Chinese people have stood up," as he established the regime that would slaughter more innocent human beings than any other in world history.
As incredible as it may seem, such a proposal is completely consistent with other actions of the NEA. On their page highlighting recommended reading for teachers, the group touts the work of self-proclaimed Satanist (and Obama motivator) Saul Alinsky. In calling Alinsky, "an inspiration to anyone contemplating action in their community," the NEA encourages those charged with educating our children to immerse themselves in the tactics of progressive community organizing. They heartily endorse Alinsky's 1971 book, "Rules for Radicals" - a socialist how-to guide for gaining power and redistributing wealth.
As commentator Brannon Howse explains, "The NEA is a group of radicals who are opposed to parental authority, opposed to accountability, and they're not for traditional education...They are for a progressive, liberal, anti-American worldview." It's why the NEA applauds the work of communists like John Dewey and domestic terrorists like Bill Ayers, all the while publishing guides on how to defeat the "religious right."
Why conscientious, patriotic teachers continue sending their money to these Marxists is beyond comprehension. As I wrote last year:
"Sure, there are excuses we can use to justify our capitulation and spineless allegiance to causes we know to be wrong. We can accept the fear-mongering about how we'll all lose our jobs without the NEA. We can delude ourselves into believing that when we check the box stating our dues can't be used for political purposes that we aren't still contributing to the very executive councils, legal offices, and management that is publicly acknowledging their hatred towards everything we stand for. We can rationalize that it's impossible anymore to keep from spending our money on things we don't really support. But we shouldn't do it any longer. Our consciences shouldn't allow it."
Here's the truth: no teacher has to affiliate themselves with the NEA. There are two excellent alternative organizations - the Christian Educators Association International and the Association of American Educators - that provide sometimes double the amount of liability coverage to teachers for a fraction of the NEA's price for membership. They can do this because they, unlike the NEA, aren't using the dues of teachers to lobby for left-wing social and political causes.
And even in those states where the law requires membership, there are legal alternatives for opting out. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation offers assistance to any such teacher.
Moreover, besides just individuals, there is no reason that local associations should continue affiliating themselves under the leadership of such a backwards organization. A local association can willfully choose (in most states) to operate independently of the NEA's belligerently left-wing leadership. And those that do find they operate much more effectively.
The NEA and its state affiliates have proven themselves disinterested in the business of actually improving the quality of education for students. As the NEA's own summer convention demonstrated, they are preoccupied with using dues dollars to advocate: repeal of all right-to-work laws, federal funding of sexual orientation instruction, federal funding to educate illegal aliens, universal healthcare, and (of course) killing human children in the womb.
The NEA's support of these positions is not just symbolic. According to the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics, the NEA is the top spender in national and state politics, spending four times more than any other donor. And - surprise, surprise - 95% of that money went to the Democratic Party and leftist ballot initiatives.
Simply put, there is no excuse for any American teacher (Christian or not) who believes in the values and principles of Western civilization to remain associated with the NEA. They are a culturally Marxist organization that holds a flagrant antipathy towards this country and its traditions.
Fellow teachers, let's drain them of their dues.