Archive for September, 2009

TEA Party Americans 2

On Saturday, I attended a TEA Party, 912West, in Los Angeles along with thousands of other Americans. Notice all the American flags and other symbols of America in these photos of the event. These people love America.

912West organizer Tony Katz at the podium

912West organizer Tony Katz at the podium

Thanks to my friend Scott McConnell for photos of me

Thanks to my friend Scott McConnell for photos of me

The speakers were mixed. For instance, one speaker exhorted the government not to cut Medicare benefits. When he said this, there was little support from the audience. Nor was there support when one speaker seemed to criticize all banks. But when speakers, such as Bill Whittle, spoke of individual rights, the audience was emphatic in support.

Too bad there are few if any elected officials, Republican or Democrat, who understand individual rights as well as many of these Americans do.

Republicans to the Rescue of Evil

On Thursday, September 10, 2009, on the morning after Obama addressed a joint session of Congress on his plan that would further socialize America’s health-care industry, US Representative Charles Boustany (R) for Louisiana’s 7th Congressional District, told Fox News, “Well, if you put tort reform in the bill, and you get the government-run plan out of this bill, then that’s, now we’ve got room for some compromise.” Boustany’s comment is significant because he is the man who delivered the Republican reply to Obama’s address.

On the evening before, Obama’s first specific statement about his plan was this:

Under this plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

At this point, every member of Congress should have shouted “Tyranny!”

It does not matter whether Obama’s health-care proposal contains what Boustany refers to as a “government-run plan.” (Obama refers to the “government-run plan” with the term “public option,” a dishonest euphemism for the use of the coercive power of government to finance and operate an insurance company.) Nor is the main issue that Obama is a brazen liar to claim that his government-run insurance company will have no unfair advantage over private insurance companies. (If Obama’s claim is not a lie, why don’t the government goons who will set up and run “the public option” just go and set up an insurance company privately, without the help of government?) Obama does not need the overt socialism of a “public option” to accelerate the socialization of the health-care industry. He can reach his goal just as well with his more insidious form of socialism: fascism. Socialist tyranny will not need a government-run insurance company when all the private insurance companies are forced to provide the only kind of “insurance” dictated by government.

Metaphysically, the idea behind insurance, and the whole basis for insurance premiums being affordable, is that the unfortunate events being insured against are rare. An insurance company sells insurance to an individual for a low premium because the company thinks it is very unlikely that an unfortunate event will befall that particular individual. Likewise, in order to obtain insurance for a low premium, an individual buys the insurance when an unfortunate event is very unlikely. He cannot expect to buy fire insurance once his house is already on fire from his smoking in bed, or flood insurance once the nearby dam has broken, or health insurance once his smoking has already led to lung cancer. In these cases, a house on fire, a broken dam, and lung cancer are “pre-existing conditions.” “Insurance” under such conditions would not be insurance at all; it would be charity provided by the insurer. Or, if such “insurance” is demanded by government, it is plunder.

Such plundering has been going on for decades. Alongside the overt socialism of Medicare and Medicaid has been the fascism of dictating to insurance companies (as well as to others in the health-care industry). As I have written before, my personal health-insurance premium in New York State in the 1990s increased six-fold in two years. The reason is that the State of New York made it illegal for insurance companies to require a physical exam or any health information at all, and required insurance companies to base their premiums solely on the community of residence of the customer. Thus I, who had always minded my health, was paying for all those with pre-existing conditions of drug and alcohol abuse, AIDS, obesity, smoking, and other things I am too healthy to know about. Now, Obama wants to expand New York State’s policy throughout America.

Under Obama’s plan, as Sally Pipes notes, it would make no sense for one to buy insurance at all until one got sick, since one could never be turned down for a pre-existing condition. Moreover, if the government requires everyone to buy health insurance, then people will buy the cheapest and worst plan—possibly the “public option”—while they are healthy, and then switch to a better plan—probably a private one—once they get sick. The lousy insurance company will make money, and the good insurance company will lose money.

The success of an insurance company depends on the skill of its actuaries and underwriters. The actuaries and underwriters are the scientists and engineers of the insurance industry. They are the ones who assess the risks facing prospective customers and who decide what premium must be asked of each customer in order for the insurance company to be financially sound and profitable. The essential way in which insurance companies innovate and compete is in terms of the ingenuity and skill of their actuaries and underwriters.

Under Obama, all of the judgments of insurance companies’ actuaries and underwriters will go out the window. Obama and his people will decide what an insurance policy must cover, who will get insurance—everybody will—and who will pay how much: people will pay, not on the basis of how healthy they have made themselves and how low-risk they are, but on the basis of how much money the government can squeeze out of them. All the options will be “public options,” even without a government-run insurance company. The only “competition” among private insurance companies will be in terms of how efficiently each company functions as a disburser of government-mandated welfare payments.

Ethically and politically, the idea of insurance rests on the right of liberty, which includes the right of individuals—such as insurers and their customers—to choose their associations by mutual consent. In contrast, Obama’s notion of “insurance” rests on this evil premise: If you have intercourse with some individuals, we can force you to have intercourse with all individuals.

Like the U.S. auto industry, the U.S. insurance industry had already been largely destroyed before Obama came to power. Undoubtedly, many of the most moral and able people in both these industries left long ago for freer industries. This trend, like the trend of higher costs, will only accelerate under Obama’s plan.

***

Last week, addressing America’s schoolchildren, Obama preached about “problem-solving” from his socialist perspective: “protect our environment”; “fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair [that is, egalitarian] and more free”; “build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.” He also preached the National Socialist notion of working hard, not primarily for oneself, but for one’s country. Some statements, if considered in isolation, were reasonable: “But whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.” “No one’s born being good at all things. You become good at things through hard work.”

Given his philosophy, though, Obama might have added the following: But if you don’t work hard, or if you don’t ever do a minute of work in your whole life, you will still get as much health care as the hardest worker in America gets. And if you choose to live a very unhealthful life style and get sick all the time, don’t worry. In order to make you healthy again, your country will spend far more on your health care than on the health care of others.

***

To all of this evil, the Republican alternative is to remove “the public option.” Not one Republican I have heard has opposed a ban on the consideration of pre-existing conditions. This morning on Fox News, US Sen. Bob Corker, R – Tennessee, said, “Issues like pre-existing conditions being dealt with … we have reached some common ground.”

Even worse, not one Republican I have heard has opposed the evil notion that health care is a right.

Last week, on Fox News Sunday, Republicans Newt Gingrich and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander for Tennessee were guests along with Democrats Howard Dean and John Podesta. Alexander expressed his support for a provision addressing pre-existing conditions. Here is what Alexander opposed:

These 1,000-page bills that try to change complex systems don’t work. … So I think we have to take these things step by step, and the president is the president. He should say, “I’m going to clear the deck. Health care is what we’re going to work on. I’m going to stay on it for as long as I need to to get it done, and here are the four or five things that we can get done, and we can do them in a bipartisan way.”

Gingrich chimed in,

I agree with Senator Alexander from this standpoint. Mrs. Clinton came to see us in 1993, and we gave her our best advice, which is don’t do a comprehensive bill. I said to her at the time, “Do one bill a year for eight years, assuming you get re-elected. After eight bills get through and signed, you’ll have significantly changed the system.” No one can write a single bill.

Thus, Republicans accept in principle Obama’s basic ideas of tyranny over the health-care industry. All they object to is the speed with which the ideas will be made into law.

When Medicare first passed, only 13 Republicans in the Senate voted for it. Today, no Republican opposes Medicare or Medicaid, or the FDA, or the licensing of doctors, or the regulation of the insurance industry. The Republicans too have become socialists in principle. It is the Republicans who lay in wait, if unwittingly, to rescue Obama’s evil health-care plan.

The freedom-loving Americans who attended this weekend’s TEA Parties will have to fight for freedom against Obama, the Democrats, and the Republican Party.

Keep Your Children Home From Public School

Many in the past week have suggested to parents that they keep their children home when Obama gives his speech to schoolchildren on September 8. The best statement I have seen is by my friend Alexandra York, and is presented here.

Resist! America’s “Young Pioneers” Are On the Way
By Alexandra York

Friday: September 4, 2009

8:00AM: I woke up an hour ago with this thought: Do not be one of Lenin’s (Obama’s) “useful idiots,” and let your child become the first of the American “Young Pioneers.” If your children’s’ school or classroom is airing President Obama’s speech on the first day of school this year, keep your children home. Do not help Obama and Company begin overt government intervention into the school system and direct indoctrination of your child. Note that his original speech called for lesson plans created by the administration to accompany the speech. The lesson plans, available online, recommended having students “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.” Help the president do what, may we ask? Ingest and promote his agenda? Indeed! In response to criticism, The White House has now revised those plans to say students could “write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals,” but note well the original plan.

The government already directly controls our economy through the banks via the various regulatory agencies, the numerous loan programs, and the Federal Reserve and has sent up trial balloons for more control with the recent bank bailouts. The government controls the largest company in the car industry, General Motors now being owned almost completely by government and the unions–read the latter as the proletariat–which puts into action the concept of direct control of business. This Administration is pushing hard for mandatory National government health care, by which the government will directly control our bodies. This Administration has openly advocated ignoring or avoiding the U.S. Constitution via Supreme Court rulings in order to activate social agendas, thereby depriving us of our legal rights and directly controlling our personal behavior. The government is trying, especially, to nullify the Second Amendment and take away our private arms, our last physical resort of defense against tyranny. The government is trying to regulate (further) the press, especially opposition talk shows, which eventually will lead to the destruction of the First Amendment, the last straw needed to break our brains, for if we lose free speech, we will have lost it all.

America has been creeping toward full Socialism-Fascism-Communism (call it what you will; it is all the same in practice) for many decades, but now, with Barack Hussein Obama, the Lenin of old has assumed new corporal form in this one “leader,” whose end goals are the same but who wishes to shackle us peacefully, with our consent. Look the full 360 degrees around you. Things are moving very quickly; the circling noose is tightening with increasing speed. Do not contribute your children to this clear and organized program to take away all of our freedom. Resist! Protest! Keep your children home if their school is allowing this speech in any classroom.

NOON: I have now learned from feedback and gathering news reports that some parents, school districts, and politicians here and there around the country have come to conclusions similar to mine and are concerned, some parents vowing to keep their children home from school on the day of Obama’s speech. Well, Bravo! Certain of my colleagues have suggested that, because of this spotty but vocal public skittishness along with plunging poll approvals, Obama’s anticipated Leftist-activist speech will probably be reduced to a simple “work hard to succeed” message in keeping with former presidents’ speeches, without the attendant propaganda by now expected from him at every utterance. Nevertheless, I urge you to keep your children home as a personal protest.

More importantly, beyond this one issue, I urge you to contemplate the further points offered above, for they are the fundamental ones: Connect the dots and resist in every way possible the full Collectivist force that is coming against us on all fronts at once. Not since WWII France has a country been as divided as ours; just look at the popular vote in the last two elections. Using that analogy, Obama and Company represent the Vichy. The Freedom-fighter citizens are the Resistance. Our crises, as Rahm Emanuel likes to say, are an opportunity for unprecedented action. Now, let the Freedom fighters reverse the “United we stand, divided we fall” phrase and say, “United under this President, we shall fall. Divided we may stand.”

Resist! Hold to your values! Speak your protest! Stick to your guns!

Perhaps more parents will decide to keep their children out of public (or “progressive”) school permanently. That would be a great thing. (See here and here.)