Love Thy Neighbor? How, Without Tolerance?

Category: Life, Society | Comments Off | 730 words | Print

There was a small discussion over on Facebook tonight, and I wanted to expand upon some of my thoughts here.

Someone posted about the hypocrisy being shown by the Muslim world about the church in Florida which plans to burn a copy of the Quran. They stated that the burning of the Quran shouldn’t anger the Muslim world any more than Bible or flag burning angers others.

That statement sparked a conversation between two people that quickly denigrated into name calling and finger pointing. One person said that everyone should act like adults and stop bashing others beliefs, while the other said that “everyone should grow up” had the stench of surrender to it.

One person invoked the name of Jesus, telling the second person that Jesus made the ultimate surrender and that he degraded it with revenge and wasn’t very “Christian”. From there it went downhill quickly as the first person also invoked the names of Timothy McVeigh, the Columbine teens, David Koresh, and Jim Jones. She insinuated that those who didn’t see things her way were violent and ignorant.

After an historical reference to 1938, a couple veiled comments about the incinerators at the concentration camps, and a couple more insults, the first person ended their side of the conversation with the over-used statement that “not every Muslim is a terrorist”.

After reading the entire conversation I could not contain myself. I felt I needed to write something about it, so this is what I wrote.

When an event occurs in the present (like the burning of the Quran), I think it does more damage invoking the name of radicals of the past. We all know we cannot move forward if we don’t learn from the mistakes in our past, but that doesn’t mean we need to dwell on that past either.

Burning the Quran may offend some, but they have the right to burn it, just as you or anyone else has the right to perform many similar acts, as protected by our freedom of speech as defined in the U.S. Constitution.

When you invoke the name of radicals to support your theory, your theory carries little to no weight of its own. Just like those who invoke the name of Hitler or the Nazis, you are no better for invoking the name of Timothy McVeigh, David Koresh, or any other half dozen radicals of our time.

While I support the statement that not all Muslims are terrorists, the Quran clearly promotes violence, and claiming otherwise is extremely ignorant.

I am not arguing, I am not preaching, I am simply telling it like it is. Throughout many parts of the world books and effigies are burnt in protest, religious leaders call for the destruction of America, women are stoned to death for the most insane reasons, and all the while we, here in America, are told to remain tolerant.

I see no tolerance in many of the statements above, in fact I see a lot of intolerance to our fellow citizens while espousing a reality that simply does not exist.

What is the difference between a Christian and a “Christian” anyway? As a Christian, I don’t feel it is my place to single out specific individuals as being more or less Christian than me, for I am no better than anyone else, for we are all sinners, aren’t we?

Although I don’t agree with the burning of the Quran (or any other book), it’s a far cry short of the “violence and ignorance” that you have claimed it is. I don’t need a teacher, religious zealots, two angst ridden teenagers hellbent on destruction, or anyone else to see that.

What do you think? Personally, I think a person does a disservice to themselves, and the debate they are trying to win, when they invoke the name of radicals (from either side) to attack the other side of the argument. Wouldn’t it be more prudent to make statements which actually support your side? Wouldn’t it be prudent to converse with your opponent rather than attack them by comparing them to some of the most dangerous radicals of our time?

Has anyone ever won a debate with you by calling you names? Has anyone ever convinced you that your beliefs were wrong by comparing you to religious zealots and radicals? I didn’t think so.

It’s Not Too Late To Kill The Bill!

Category: Politics | Comments Off | 130 words | Print

I will be doing a series of small posts today, leading up to the vote on the health care bill in the House of Representatives.

The House will be debating the resolution which includes the Senate version of the bill. If the House passes the bill, as it is introduced today, the measure will go to the President for his signature.

The House Rules committee released a list of proposed amendments to the bill, but those amendments will only apply if they are passed by both the House and the Senate, as the final bill will already be ready for the President’s signature.

A vote today in the House is a vote for the Senate version, plain and simple. Here’s a video to get you started today.

– Posted with Stuffr! –

Wheeling And Dealing In Washington

Category: Life, Our Nation, Politics | Comments Off | 5,258 words | Print

While Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi wheeled and dealed for health care votes today, we spent the afternoon at the 6th annual Rednation Pow-Wow.

IMG_0031

We spent our afternoon with friends and fellow camera club members, while Nancy Pelosi kept spinning her web in Washington, D.C. How confident are you with this health care bill? Remember now, Nancy Pelosi has been wheeling and dealing, offering political bribes for votes. She’ll do anything she can to get this bill passed. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has sold the souls of her grandchildren to the devil to ensure the bill’s passage.

For the past week we’ve heard, and I’ve wirtten about, the “deem and pass” proposal. This was also known as the Slaughter “rule” or the Slaughter solution. The proposed rule is unconstitutional by any interpretation of the law and today House leadership announced they will be abandoning the “deem and pass” rule.

The House appears set now to move toward an up-or-down vote on the Senate healthcare bill, as well as a separate, up-or-down vote on the series of changes to that bill. There will still be a vote on the rule, as there always is for a piece of legislation, though it will not package the two bills together.

So why did they abandon their “plan A”? Did people make enough noise that they finally heard the voice of the American people? Or do they have some other nefarious plan up their sleeves?

An estimated 30,000 – 50,000 people showed up in Washington today to voice their concerns about the bill. I wish I could have been there.

The House Committee on Rules released the summary of amendments for H.R. 4872 – the Reconciliation Act of 2010, which will modify the bill (if the Senate approves these amendments as well) once it is passed. The following is a list of those proposed amendments.

Read more

A Vote For This Bill Is Nuts!

Category: Opinions, Our Nation, Politics | Comments Off | 638 words | Print

I’ve got a lot planned this weekend, in addition to keeping an eye on the health care “debate” in Congress.

Today, House Republican Leader, John Boehner (R-OH) sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nanny State Nancy Pelosi, which stated,

March 19, 2010

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Office of the Speaker
H232 Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

It appears the House of Representatives will proceed with plans to vote this weekend on President Obama’s health care legislation, despite the well-documented objections of the American people to both the contents of the bill and the manner in which the Democratic leadership hopes to pass it.

This weekend’s votes will be among the most consequential votes we will ever cast as Members of Congress. As such, it is my belief that every Member should stand before the American people and announce his or her vote as the final decision is made.

With this in mind, I request that you use your discretion under the Rules of the House of Representatives, Clause 2 and 3 of House Rule XX, to conduct the record vote by call of the roll for both adoption of the Senate health care bill (i.e. the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3590, as passed on Christmas Eve this past year) and for the rule making that bill in order.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

John Boehner

How much do you want to bet she will not force members to a roll call vote, which would require them to verbally voice their support or opposition to the bill. None of those who support the measure want their opponents to have that sound bite on file come November.

Democrats are touting the CBO report on the bill, but today, the same CBO revealed some further information.

The Congressional Budget Office said Friday that rolling back a programmed cut in Medicare fees to doctors would cost $208 billion over 10 years. If added back to the health care overhaul bill, it would wipe out all the deficit reduction, leaving the legislation $59 billion in the red.

Does anyone really think this health care bill, let alone any government entitlement program ever saves money?

Vice-President and Gaffer-In-Chief, Joe Biden, sat down with ABC News for an interview, where he said,

You know we’re going to control the insurance companies.

Isn’t that what the entire health-care bill is about? Control? Control of the insurance companies, control of the hospitals, control of the doctors, control of your medical decisions. Control, control, control. It’s all about control. READ THE BILL!

Yesterday, I wrote for the third time that the Slaughter “rule” or solution as it is now being called, is unconstitutional. I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Many Democrats could claim they opposed the Senate bill while allowing it to pass. This would be an unprecedented violation of our democratic norms and procedures, established since the inception of the republic. Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution stipulates that for any bill to become a law, it must pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate. That is, not be “deemed” to have passed, but actually be voted on with the support of the required majority. The bill must contain the exact same language in both chambers – and in the version signed by the president – to be a legitimate law. This is why the House and Senate have a conference committee to iron out differences of competing versions. This is Civics 101.

Civics 101, a lesson ignored by more than 200 House Democrats.

Companies will go bankrupt if this health-care bill passes. Companies know it. We know it. The United States of America will go bankrupt if this bill passes. You know it. To think otherwise, is just nuts.

Do your part and Call Congress Now, before it’s too late!

– Posted with Stuffr! –

Taking the night to read more on the pending health care “debate” in the House. While I do my research, enjoy these topics you might find interesting.

If you want to read the latest release by the Democrats, which seems to be just a set of reconciliation instructions and a copy of the Senate bill, you can visit the House website (PDF). I highly recommend some protection though, as you never know what you might catch while you are there.

Offshore Drilling:

Our secretary of energy pushes bio-refineries and windmills to oil executives at an energy conference as the administration announces a three-year offshore drilling ban.

Isn’t nice to know he’s consistent. President Obama supports energy independence and offshore drilling in Brazil, but not here at home. Hypocrite.

Are you one of the few people out there who are still fooled by this whole health care debacle? If so, just remember that the system they want to put in place is the same type of system that is killing people in the United Kingdom.

Up to 20,000 people have died needlessly early after being denied cancer drugs on the NHS, it was revealed yesterday.

The rationing body NICE has failed to keep a promise to make more life-extending drugs available.

Treatments used widely in the U.S. and Europe have been rejected on grounds of cost-effectiveness, yet patients and their loved ones have seen the NHS waste astronomical sums.

Put that in your syringe and pump it. Wake up people.

More tomorrow.

– Posted with Stuffr! –

4.9 Trillion Reasons To Contact Your Senator

Category: Opinions, Our Nation | Comments Off | 1,175 words | Print

In the same fashion as the House version of health care reform, the Senate version eliminates lifetime and annual limits on the benefits for any participant or beneficiary, dependent coverage is extended until children turn 26 (although they are very much NOT children by this point), and it prohibits the discrimination of coverage based on salary.

I don’t really get that last one, because employers will be terminating their own health care plans because the government fines and fees for not providing coverage will be much lower than the cost of the plans themselves.

The Senate version provides for immediate access to insurance for those individuals with a pre-existing condition, sets up the “health benefit exchange”, and like the House version, creates so many layers of bureaucracy in health care that you’ll be lucky to make it through the red tape to see an actual doctor.

While reading the Senate’s “amendment in the nature of a substitute” to HR 3590, I realized that even though they worked on it behind closed doors and kept the whole process hush-hush, we’ve seen much of this bill before. Most of the provisions of the Senate version of the bill have been seen twice before, even three times, in the previous versions of the House bills as well as the first Senate bill that was “tossed out there” for all of us to see.

And just like the House version(s), this bill stinks, and it stinks bad. The Senate debated the bill all day today and they are scheduled to debate again all day tomorrow. You can watch the proceedings on CSPAN2, but make sure you contact your senators before you do anything else and tell them to vote against cloture on this bill. A vote for cloture (remember, they need 60 votes to proceed) is a vote for the bill (since they only need 51 votes to pass the bill).

Rather than go section by section (which would take me a couple days to post again) I thought I would cover some of the more pertinent and dangerous portions of the bill. If you read my posts on HR3200 or HR3962 then you are pretty much up to speed with this Senate bill, with a few exceptions.

The Senate bill weighs in at 2,074 pages (the largest one yet) and 20.8 pounds. The average staple weighs roughly 32 milligrams, average paper clip weighs 1 gram, and the average stethoscope weighs about 5 ounces. The Senate bill weighs more than 294,835 staples, 9,434 paper clips or 66 stethoscopes. That’s one heavy bill.

When Medicaid was created years ago, the original estimates put the cost of the bill at $238 million, yet the cost of Medicaid hit $1 billion and have been rising ever since, so let’s get real about the cost of this (or any) health care bill presented thus far by the Democrats.

James Capretta, the Ethics and Public Policy Center fellow for NRO, estimates the true cost of the bill (with the “doc fix” included) to be $4.9 trillion over 20 years with Democrats raising $2.2 in tax hikes and recovering more money by making cuts to Medicare coverage.

At a cost of $2.5 trillion, which is turning out to be a very conservative number itself, the Senate bill will cost us $1.2 billion per page, or $6.8 million per word.

The Senate bill includes provisions which will impose an additional taxes and fees which borderline on ridiculous. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said it best when he said,

If you have insurance, you get taxed. If you don’t have insurance, you get taxed. If you need a life-saving medical device, you get taxed. If you need prescription medicines, you get taxed

There is a new marriage penalty which will hit many couples right in the pocketbook, and will increase the federal deficit, which President Obama promised he would not support doing. Of course, when was the last time you heard an honest word come out of his mouth, seriously?

The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation released it’s own report which estimates how much revenue taxes in the bill are likely to generate. According to the JCT,

  • Tax on high-end health insurance plans: $149.1 billion
  • Capping flexible spending accounts at $2,500: $14.6 billion
  • Fees for drug makers: $22.2 billion
  • Fees for medical device makers: $19.3 billion
  • Fees for health insurance companies: $60.4 billion
  • Higher floor for deducting medical expenses: $15.2 billion
  • Higher payroll tax for top earners: $53.8 billion
  • Tax on cosmetic surgery: $5.8 billion

The report goes on to list all of the different taxes and fees, which total much more than this initial list which comes to $340.4 billion in new taxes paid by you and me. Notice that last one which reflects the new 5% excise tax on elective cosmetic surgery. Nancy Pelosi is not going to like that provision at all. How much you want to bet that entire paragraph gets stripped in conference if this bill passes the Senate?

One fee not mentioned, until now, is the monthly abortion fee that everyone under the government-run plan will be paying for. According to Section 1303 of the Senate bill, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will have the authority to determine when abortion will be allowed under the government run health plan, and all premiums paid under the government run plan will be paid into the U.S. Treasury account which will be used to pay for abortion services.

HR 3590, “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” will also allow the government to enter your home under “home visitation programs”. Section 2951 will allow the government to send officials into your home to check the “wellness” of your children, to make sure you are parenting your children properly and otherwise taking care of them at some standard which will be set by the government.

Those officials will be checking on low income families, women under the age of 21 who become pregnant, families with a history of substance abuse, families that have members who use tobacco products, families with children who have low student achievement, families with children who have learning disabilities or developmental delays, and families with individuals who are serving or have served in our armed forces.

Just think of the ramifications of section 2951 which is a clear example of invasion of privacy, and that section alone is enough reason not to support the passage of this bill.

There is no doubt that our health care system needs an adjustment, or even reform if you want to call it that, but this bill, as well as all of the other Democrat bills presented thus far is not what we need, or want. We cannot allow this bill to be forced upon us by Barack Obama, with help Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

Remember to take some time out of your day tomorrow to contact your senators and tell them to vote no on cloture. One vote could literally save our country from the downward spiral known as government run health care.

It’s Time To Pick Up The Phone

Category: Opinions, Our Nation | Comments Off | 264 words | Print

I’m afraid you’re going to have wait one more night before I start my review of the Senate health care bill. I had a busy day today, an image group meeting tonight, and I just haven’t had time to finish reading the bill. Did you get a chance to read it?

I should be far enough along in the bill by tomorrow to begin my review. Word has it that the vote to proceed, or cloture vote, will be held around 8pm on Saturday evening. It’s time to contact your senators and tell them that a vote for cloture is a vote for the bill, plain and simple.

It’s not difficult to see the difference between liberals and conservatives in the Senate, even on Twitter, take these two tweets for example:

While the rest of us debate health care reform, and most of us (yes the majority of Americans are against this version of health care reform) fight to make sure this bill is not passed into law, Democrats like Claire McCaskill (D-MO) seem to be obsessed with Sarah Palin.

It seems to me that Senate Democrats are using smoke screens and diversions in an attempt to keep you, yes you, and everyone else from learning what’s really in the bill, or even when the bill will be voted on.

Keep in mind that Harry Reid is already up to his old dirty tricks, and this newest version of the bill contains a required monthly fee to fund abortions to those who seek them.

That’s it for tonight, I have some reading to do.

Two Thousand Seventy Four Pages

Category: Opinions, Our Nation | Comments Off | 392 words | Print

Scary Harry Reid released the brand new Senate health care reform bill. I’ve added it to the source document list to the left, and I will begin reading it sometime tomorrow. According to early reports, the bill will cost $849 billion over 10 years, and will reduce the deficit by $127 billion over that same 10 years.

$127 billion dollars sounds like an awful lot, except it’s not. Not really. The federal deficit for October 2009 alone, was $176 billion. Think about it. The Senate version of health care reform will reduce the deficit by $1.058 billion per month for 10 years. If we have more months like October 2009, the deficit will still rise by more than $174 billion every month.

The next time you hear someone brag about this bill “reducing the deficit” just slap them in the face with the facts and watch the blood drain from their face.

The Senate health care bill is being introduced as an amendment, in the form of a substitution, for House Resolution 3590. HR 3590 had absolutely nothing to do with health care before this substitution.

Early reports indicate that this substitute HR3590 contains a 40% excise tax on health care plans which are in excess of $8,500, an additional 0.5% Medicare tax on wages in excess of $106,800, and additional fees for manufacturers of certain drugs and medical devices. The bill also raises taxes by $370 billion over 10 years, and it doesn’t stop there. The Senate health care reform bill allows for taxpayer-funded abortions through the public health insurance plan and the health insurance “exchange”.

In short, the Senate bill will raise premiums, raise taxes, and cut benefits. You can read the Congressional Budget Office score of the bill (PDF), for more information on the costs of this version of health care reform but remember one thing. The bill they scored for this report (HR 3590) will not be the same bill (therefore their score of the bill will no longer be valid) once it passes. It is sure to “evolve” before any final vote comes to the Senate floor.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I will begin my review of the substitute to HR3590 tomorrow evening. Until then, get reading. Don’t make me do it alone.

The Rebirth Of Restrospective Hypocrisy

Category: Our Nation | Comments Off | 791 words | Print

This may be old news to some people, but I thought it would be interested to point out something I find quite striking about Nanny State Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her minions running the U.S. House of Representatives.

Here we are, more than three years after Nancy Pelosi took control of the U.S. House of Representatives and she’s accomplished nothing, unless you count the fact that she has proven to the American people that she and the people who support her are nothing more than hypocrites with no intention of doing what’s right for America.

Let’s look at a report titled, Broken Promises: The Death of Deliberative Democracy (PDF).

Despite their vows to open up the rules process and restore deliberative democracy to the House chamber … they used closed and highly restrictive rules to prevent Members from offering amendments that would have provoked real debate and forced Members to go on the record on real issues.

We’ve all seen how Speaker Pelosi runs the House. There is no room for debate, discussions are usually conducted behind closed doors, legislation is voted on before it’s even printed, and Republicans are not allowed to offer amendments.

But wait. This report wasn’t written by House Republicans. It seems that Democrats had issues with Republican House leadership back in 2006, as stated in this “Congressional Report on the Unprecedented Erosion of the Democratic Process in the 108th Congress”.

Back in 2006 the Democrats were upset because they thought Republicans were using closed and restrictive rules to prevent members from offering amendments and participating in real debate. Ironic, isn’t it? Isn’t that one of the very complaints that has been made against Nanny State Nancy since she took control in 2006?

Do you remember November 16, 2006 when then Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi said,

This leadership team will create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history

I guess it all depends on what your definitions of honest, open, and ethical are, huh?

In that same report, Democrats had some recommendations for Republicans.

  • Open up the process by allowing debate and votes on more serious amendments.
  • Allow more bills to be considered under open rules.
  • Spend more time on major, substantive legislation and less time on suspension bills.
  • Bring back regular order…
  • Give Members three days to read conference reports.

Wow, they wrote the report and they made the recommendations, yet they are 0 for 5 when it comes to carrying out even one of those recommendations since they’ve been in control of the House. It’s been three years, you’d think they might have implemented at least one of their own recommendations before now.

According to their own report,

The purpose of the House Rules is to balance the majority’s right to pass legislation in a timely way with the minority’s right to offer amendments and to otherwise participate in the deliberative process.

But now that they are in control, I guess those silly House Rules really don’t matter to the Democrats do they? The more you read the report, the more hypocritical the Democratic House leaders appears to be. Although I didn’t think they could appear any more hypocritical that they already were.

The most basic measure of how a majority is managing the House is the percentage of special rules it approves for an open debate and amendment process versus the number of times it considers legislation under a closed process.

That one is especially ironic since they are currently negotiating one of the largest and life-changing bills in our nation’s history, yet Republicans are being locked out of that process and many others.

On the other hand, a majority interested in jamming legislation through the process with as little deliberation as possible uses highly restrictive and closed rules to make sure that Members with “conflicting opinions” have little or no opportunity to bring those opinions to the House floor for debate and votes.

After reading through the entire 147 page report I realized something. The report was not a critical report on the leadership under Republicans. It had nothing to do with the way Republicans were treating Democrats in the House, it had nothing to do with “making things right” for anyone.

That’s not how Nanny State Nancy and her minions operate. As long as they can point out one instance where Republicans might have “done it first” (even if it’s not entirely true), they feel their actions are justified and legitimized when their own honesty and ethics are questioned.

You could say that Nancy Pelosi is the national poster child for hypocrisy, but then again, it turns out that report was nothing more than the final draft of the “Democratic Playbook” for running the U.S. House of Representatives and they were just biding their time.

And They Call Me Crazy

Category: Our Nation | 1 Comment | 196 words | Print

Here’s a short post tonight while I work to finish up a project I’ve been working on for a week or two now.

Some people, including family members call me crazy because I happen to pay attention to all news outlets including FoxNews rather than bury my head in the sand and pretend reality doesn’t exist.

Well, welcome to reality.

I’m sure things are tough for some people. We all know that something needs to be done to catch those who fall through the cracks with our current health care system, but Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) is must be completely out of his mind.

How can anyone compare health care in America with the Holocaust? How can anyone compare the standard of living in America to the horror experienced by millions of Jews sixty years ago? How can anyone compare their definition of poor health care with the death of six million people?

That’s sick. That’s really sick.

Maybe I should just go hang out with my crazy right wing conservative friends and watch FoxNews? Is any other news channel covering this story? I wouldn’t know, because as you know, I am just crazy.

Next Page →