Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Government and its child's Dirty Little Secret

From Congressmen Ron Paul's "Texas Striaght Talk"

Diagnosing our Health Care Woes

September 25, 2006

No one disputes the diagnosis: American health care is in lousy shape. As a practicing physician for more than 30 years, I find the pervasiveness of managed care very troubling.

The problems with our health care system are not the result of too little government intervention, but rather too much. Contrary to the claims of many advocates of increased government regulation of health care, rising costs and red tape do not represent market failure. Rather, they represent the failure of government policies that have destroyed the health care market.

It’s time to rethink the whole system of HMOs and managed care. This entire unnecessary level of corporatism rakes off profits and worsens the quality of care. But HMOs did not arise in the free market; they are creatures of government interference in health care dating to the 1970s. These non-market institutions have gained control over medical care through collusion between organized medicine, politicians, and drug companies, in an effort to move America toward “free” universal health care.

One big problem arises from the 1974 ERISA law, which grants tax benefits to employers for providing health care, while not allowing similar incentives for individuals. This results in the illogical coupling between employment and health insurance. As such, government removed the market incentive for health insurance companies to cater to the actual health-care consumer. As a greater amount of government and corporate money has been used to pay medical bills, costs have risen artificially out of the range of most individuals.

Only true competition assures that the consumer gets the best deal at the best price possible by putting pressure on the providers. Patients are better served by having options and choices, not new federal bureaucracies and limitations on legal remedies. Such choices and options will arrive only when we unravel the HMO web rooted in old laws, and change the tax code to allow individual Americans to fully deduct all healthcare costs from their taxes, as employers can.

As government bureaucracy continues to give preferences and protections to HMOs and trial lawyers, it will be the patients who lose, despite the glowing rhetoric from the special interests in Washington. Patients will pay ever rising prices and receive declining care while doctors continue to leave the profession in droves.

I can attest to this. I looked into getting a Health Savings Account, and High Deductible Health Insurance; the laws that hamper an individual in obtaining it are ludicrous. Could it be they don't want you to be able to take care of yourself? For your own good of course.

Why can't we get more people like Congressmen Paul to run?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Senator, are You Trying to Back Door Us?

While reading the October 2006 issue of Reason Magazine, I came across a quote from Sen. Hillary Clinton. Since I have yet to hear any reporter ask questions that I would like asked, so I’ll do it.

Senator Clinton, on the 20th of July you stated the following:

“… the rate that technology is advancing…people will be implanting chips in our children to advertise directly into their brains and tell them what kind of products to buy.”

Senator, what people will be implanting chips into our children? Will it be by force? And lastly if I may, who has enough power to get away with forcing our children to have implants, besides the government?

I found more quotes on this speech at the New York Daily News.
Saying advertisers have found so many new ways to get at kids through video games and the Internet, Clinton warned that we're verging on a society out of a grim science fiction novel.

Like 1984, Brave New World, or even Fahrenheit 451? In most grim science fiction novels it was not corporations, but government that was the authoritarian.
"At the rate that technology is advancing, people will be implanting”

I figure she meant that advertisers would be putting implants in our children. My question though is how does she think they can do that? Advertisers have no power over our bodies? It is the parent that has control, to some extent, but an advertiser? This is just another example of the Anti-capitalist mindset of socialists. By fear mongering some imaginary enemy, she has consolidated more power over those lacking critical thinking. The above quote also has another point. Where have these kids gotten the video games and access to the inter-net? Once again it’s the evil corporations that have power over the helpless parents. Every year the bar of victim-hood is raised. Now the parents can blame the “media” for the video’s and inter-net access their children have. And instead of asserting any authority over their own children, they look to the government to do it for them.
The New York Democrat said the country was performing a "massive experiment" on kids who average more than six hours a day with media and advertising, soaking it up through TV, computers, games and iPods. She said the fastest growing advertising market is the 6- and under set, and that children's health is already being hurt by products like Camel's candy-flavored cigarettes and junk food sold with tips for video games - used to sell more junk food.

Senator, you stated, “the country was performing a ‘massive experiment’ on kids”, do you then admit that the government has been indoctrinating the children through government mandated schools? After all no one is forced to buy TVs or inter-net access, but with the tax burden put on parents, most are forced to send their children to government run schools.

So this is a health problem? Senator, can you name one thing within a citizen’s personal life that you guarantee will never become a health issue that the Federal Government can intervene in? There are numerous laws banning the sale of cigarettes to minors, are you saying Senator, that the federal government is incapable of enforcing the laws congress has enacted already, therefore more laws will help? You also mentioned junk food, are you implying that junk food is a stepping stone to violent video game playing? When will congress enact a law regulating how much junk food it’s subjects, I mean citizens can buy?

Senator recently Professor Robert Thompson at Syracuse University, said you and other politicians like to attack advertising because it's easier than trying to ban bad food products or fund broad education programs, and I quote:

"It's sort of a backdoor tack, but it's the safer one politically."

Senator are you trying to back door us?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Strip Searching School Kids for Their Own Damn Good

If you think that this will not be abused check out Fast times at Goose Creek High. I can see it now police come into your child's High School, Guns at the ready, with latex gloves.

2d Session
H. R. 5295
September 20, 2006
Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
To protect students and teachers.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Student and Teacher Safety Act of 2006'.

Congress finds the following:

(1) The United States Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics reported in the 2005 Indicators of School Crime and Safety that in 2003 seventeen percent of students in grades 9-12 reported they carried a weapon. Six percent reported having carried a weapon on school grounds.

(2) The same survey reported that 29 percent of all students in grades 9-12 reported that someone offered, sold, or gave them an illegal drug on school property within the last 12 months.

(3) The United States Constitution's Fourth Amendment guarantees `the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures'.

(4) That while the Supreme Court affirmed the Fourth Amendment's application to students in public schools in New Jersey vs. TLO (1985), the Court held that searches of students by school officials do not require warrants issued by judges showing probable cause. The Court will ordinarily hold that such a search is permissible if--

(A) there are reasonable grounds for suspecting the search will reveal evidence that the student violated the law or school rules; and

(B) the measures used to conduct the search are reasonably related to the search's objectives, without being excessively intrusive in light of the student's age, sex, and nature of the offense.

(5) The Supreme Court held in Board of Education of Independent Sch. Dist. 92 of Pottawatomie County vs. Earls (2002) that random drug testing of students who were participating in extracurricular activities was reasonable and did not violate the Fourth Amendment. The Court stated that such search policies effectively serve the School Districts interest in protecting its students' health and safety.


(a) In General- Each local educational agency shall have in effect throughout the jurisdiction of the agency policies that ensure that a search described in subsection (b) is deemed reasonable and permissible.

(b) Searches Covered- A search referred to in subsection (a) is a search by a full-time teacher or school official, acting on any reasonable suspicion based on professional experience and judgment, of any minor student on the grounds of any public school, if the search is conducted to ensure that classrooms, school buildings, school property and students remain free from the threat of all weapons, dangerous materials, or illegal narcotics. The measures used to conduct any search must be reasonably related to the search's objectives, without being excessively intrusive in light of the student's age, sex, and the nature of the offense.


(a) In General- A local educational agency that fails to comply with section 3 shall not, during the period of noncompliance, receive any Safe and Drug Free School funds after fiscal year 2008.

(b) Definition- In this section, the term `Safe and Drug Free School funds' includes any funds under Part A of Title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

Passed the House of Representatives September 19, 2006.

Great Moments in Bureaucrat History (today)

USA Today has a good article on the recent E coli outbreak “Safety advocates, growers debate produce rules” pg 4A. (Sorry couldn’t find article to link it)

Seems there isn’t an answer on how, or even where the E. coli bacteria on lettuce came from yet. They’ve narrowed it down to three farms in California. Growers are trying to figure how and why, along with packers.

Some such as Caroline Smith Dewaal, Safety Director for Center of Science in the Public Interest, are calling to implement strong mandatory procedures like there are in the beef industry. The problem is the beef industry figured out the causes first; the growers and packers of lettuce and spinach have not.

Tim Chelling, a spokesman for Western Growers, is quoted as saying “We’re not doing any kind of knee-jerk reaction to any proposals at this point”. I hope not, what if the action taken actually makes it worse?

Jerry Gillespie of Western Institute for Food Safety and Security at the University of California-Davis, “We want the industry to do things better. But when it comes time to tell them what’s “better” is, it’s very difficult, because we’re not quite sure what they’re doing wrong.”

The FDA weighed in on this in a letter last November, “Claims that ‘we cannot take action until we know the cause’ are unacceptable”. This same agent that signed the memo was later heard saying “Damn it Doctor, I don’t care if you don’t know what’s wrong with me, operate!".

In other news; “Publishers seek recourse after audit slams federal reading program” pg 5A:

Federal officials mismanaged the Reading First program, forcing schools to buy materials the administration favored, including a few to which federal advisers had financial ties.

The FDA agent who survived surgery was transferred to the Education Department, were he was overheard saying, “Damn it, I don’t care if the books are useless, buy them!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Happy Birthday Samuel Adams; 1722 - 1803

On September 27, 1722, the man that uttered these words was born.

If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us
in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down
and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon
you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
—Samuel Adams

What better way to honor him then to read about him, try here and here.

Medicaid violates the 10th Amendment

There’s a lot of talking about Medicaid being a large budget problem in Western New York. The local government is saying the State isn’t helping out enough and that its killing county budgets.

I can’t understand how the Federal Government even has the authority to start social programs. From my understanding the 10th Amendment to the Constitution forbids it. Then again I've only read it, not the black housecoat wearing judge's rulings that changed it.

A while ago though I read an article about a man named Sheriff Richard Mack. Sheriff Mack was upset about a little intrusion into state’s rights, in the form of the Brady Bill. The main problem is that it “billed” the states, literally. The sheriff always wanting to uphold the law, and in this case the highest law, the one called the Constitution, challenged the bill.

In JAY PRINTZ, SHERIFF/CORONER, RAVALLI COUNTY, MONTANA, PETITIONER 95-1478 v. UNITED STATES RICHARD MACK, PETITIONER 95-1503 The Supreme court ruled that the Brady Bill violated the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, basically because it required the States to pay it (Unfunded Mandate).
June 27, 1997] Justice Thomas, concurring.
The Court today properly holds that the Brady Act violates the Tenth Amendment in that it compels state law enforcement officers to "administer or enforce a federal regulatory program." See ante, at 25. Although I join the Court's opinion in full, I write separately to emphasize that the Tenth Amendment affirms the undeniable notion that under our Constitution, the Federal Government is one of enumerated, hence limited, powers. See, e.g., McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 405 (1819) ("This government is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers"). "[T]hat those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the constitution is written." Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 176 (1803). Accordingly, the Federal Government may act only where the Constitution authorizes it to do so. Cf. New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992).

Before any dismiss it because Thomas wrote it:
Justice O'Connor, concurring.
Our precedent and our Nation's historical practices support the Court's holding today. The Brady Act violates the Tenth Amendment to the extent it forces States and local law enforcement officers to perform background checks on prospective handgun owners and to accept Brady Forms from firearms dealers. See ante, at 23. Our holding, of course, does not spell the end of the objectives of the Brady Act. States and chief law enforcement officers may voluntarily continue to participate in the federal program. Moreover, the directives to the States are merely interim provisions scheduled to terminate November 30, 1998. Note following 18 U.S.C. § 922. Congress is also free to amend the interim program to provide for its continuance on a contractual basis with the States if it wishes, as it does with a number of other federal programs. See, e.g., 23 U.S.C. § 402 (conditioning States' receipt)

Now I've got a few questions for our so-called representatives in Albany. If a Sheriff had the courage to stand up to the Federal Government for his county why can't you? You whine about it being out of your control, yet its not, so says the Supreme Court. Or were you hoping no one would notice?

Is there anyone out there that understands the law will enough to explain why we don't use this decision to get the unfunded mandate of Medicaid off our backs? Better yet is there a lawyer out there that would take the case?

Richard Mack is now running for the U.S. Senate in Arizona, maybe he could get the other Senators to read the Constitution.

By the way I received a very nice three-page letter from Sen. McCain (sorry no pictures, I used it in the bird cage) in response to mine to him. Very nice form letter even had a stamped signature that REALLY looked like his. Though the letter didn’t address my concerns, though how could it, they were about his disregard for the Constitution. After all you have to know something exists before you can talk about it.

Friday, September 22, 2006

It’s a Living Document, Do to the People as You Want

A Time’s article looks at another page turned in the Enron case. This one though could have some disasterous effects on what little remains of the Bill of Rights.
Ken Lay's death in July, it was assumed, meant the end of the criminal case against the former Enron chairman. But prosecutors want to change that. On Wednesday, they filed a a motion asking Judge Sim Lake to hold off on signing the paperwork vacating Lay's conviction on fraud and conspiracy charges until former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling is sentenced in late October. In the motion, prosecutors propose a new law that criminal cases not be abated when the defendant dies, as is current legal precedent. In an effort to also get a Congressional hearing on the proposal, copies were sent to the Speaker of the House and Vice President Dick Cheney………….

……………….The Enron task force wants the new law to be retroactive to July 1 — four days before Lay died. The proposal has sparked a hot legal debate among those involved in and observing the Enron case…………..

So we now have public prosecutors lobbying congress for laws. Passing new laws and making them retroactive?? Scary, I hope in a “need for more revenue” the New York Legislation doesn’t lower the speed limit to 10mph “retroactively”. I can see the resubmission of thousands for tickets. Think of all the votes they could buy then.

Skilling's defense attorney Daniel M. Petrocelli says.
"The proposed legislation is openly unconstitutional. And the motion to the court asks the court in the starkest terms to participate in a knowing violation of the Constitution. I trust the court will reject the invitation."

Umm, I wouldn’t bet on it. Mistake number one, trusting the court to uphold the Constitution.
While some attorneys, and victims of the Enron scandal, argue that letting Lay — even in death — off the hook is a miscarriage of justice, others say the proposal is mean-spirited. "It's a disguised attempt to punish Lay further — not to help crime victims," says attorney Joel Androphy, author of the legal text White Collar Crime. "It has no global purpose other than being vindictive." Even though the criminal case is over, Androphy points out, Enron victims will still be compensated, because Lay's estate will have to pay any civil judgments. He argues that the proposed law sends a message that the government could strip away other constitutional rights, from jury trials to Fifth Amendment protections. "Who knows what will be next," he says.

Hold it, “proposed law sends a message that the government could strip away other constitutional rights”. Three words New London, Conn. The message has gone out and the message reads; “It’s a Living Document,” and “Do to the people as you want”.

To better serve the people the state most force the people to serve it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The War on Drugs, the Real Stepping Stone to Hard Drugs

The Internet is a marvelous thing. Even an uneducated smock like myself can find intelligent people that we can quote, or point too to prove a point, or opinion.

Today while jumping around the “web” from link, to link, to link, I found a site that has the transcripts of an interview with Dr Milton Friedman.
Paige: Let us deal first with the issue of legalization of drugs. How do you see America changing for the better under that system?

Friedman: I see America with half the number of prisons, half the number of prisoners, ten thousand fewer homicides a year, inner cities in which there's a chance for these poor people to live without being afraid for their lives, citizens who might be respectable who are now addicts not being subject to becoming criminals in order to get their drug, being able to get drugs for which they're sure of the quality. You know, the same thing happened under prohibition of alcohol as is happening now.

Under prohibition of alcohol, deaths from alcohol poisoning, from poisoning by things that were mixed in with the bootleg alcohol, went up sharply. Similarly, under drug prohibition, deaths from overdose, from adulterations, from adulterated substances have gone up.

What's really great is how Dr. Friedman explains how government prohibition of Marijuana is the REAL stepping stone to harder drugs, and not Marijuana itself.Transcript

One justification for the prohibition is the addicts, but Milton Friedman explains the flip side of the coin:
So, the evidence is very mixed. But I have to admit that the one negative feature of legalizing drugs is that there might be some additional drug habbits. However, I want to qualify that in still another way.

The Child who's shot in a slum in a pass-by-shooting, in a random shooting, is an innocent victim in every respect of the term. The person who decides to take drugs for himself is not an innocent victim. He has chosen himself to be a victim. And I must say I have very much less sympathy for him. I do not think it is moral to impose such heavy costs on other people to protect people from their own choices

In a prior post I had asked "How many lives are worth a socialist idea, now though, how many lives are worth an moralistic idea?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Constitution Day

Now I see why the Buffalo News doesn't use Walter William's A MINORITY VIEW
Each year since 2004, on Sept. 17, we commemorate the 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution by 39 American statesmen. The legislation creating Constitution Day was fathered by Sen. Robert Byrd and requires federal agencies and federally funded schools, including universities, to have some kind of educational program on the Constitution.

I cannot think of a piece of legislation that makes greater mockery of the Constitution, or a more constitutionally odious person to father it -- Sen. Byrd, a person who is known as, and proudly wears the label, "King of Pork." The only reason that Constitution Day hasn't become a laughingstock is because most Americans are totally ignorant of, or have contempt for, the letter and spirit of our Constitution.

Kind of ironic also.
President Grover Cleveland vetoed many congressional appropriations, often saying there was no constitutional authority for such an appropriation. Vetoing a bill for relief charity, President Cleveland said, "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit."

Free Buffalo has posted an article about President Cleveland, I really didn't know much about him, though now I'll start looking to read more about him. There's also talk about a Grover Cleveland Library, odd that a man that was Erie County Sheriff, Mayor of Buffalo, Governor, and President doesn't have a Library/Museum in his hometown.

But back to Constitution Day, Walter Williams ends with:
Here are my questions to you: Has our Constitution been amended to authorize federal spending on "objects of benevolence"? Or, is it plain and simple constitutional contempt by Congress, the president, the courts and, worst of all, the American people? Or, am I being overly pessimistic and it's simply a matter of constitutional ignorance?

Or arrogance?

The New Intellectual bringing about a New Dark Age

In an interview conducted by the Objectivist Center with Walter Williams, Dr. Williams said;

the kinds of things that are tolerated on the college campuses today—it’s despicable. The shouting down of people that they disagree with. Or the recent running out of the President of Harvard, just because he speculated that the reason why women are not highly represented in the sciences may have something to do with genetics.
Take that incident. In terms of the actual evidence that we have, it turns out that women are never as dumb as men, but, on the other hand, they’re never as smart as men. That is, at the very high end of the IQ range, there are relatively few women. At the very low end of the IQ range, where you find imbeciles and idiots, there are relatively few women. And that might explain why women aren’t in jail as much as men. But he was not being a sexist for saying that; he only said, maybe that’s one of the reasons. Yet he was just lambasted at Harvard University and elsewhere. He also said something else: that maybe another reason is because married women just don’t have as much freedom to devote 80 hours a week to research as males do, because they have some obligations. Many times, married women have obligations of household and kids. But anyway, just for making some reasonable speculations, he was run out—he resigned.
What this shows in the university community and the academy is a growing intolerance for intellectual diversity. They’re for all kinds of diversity, whether it’s sex or race or et cetera, but they’re not for intellectual diversity.

John Stuart Mill wrote:
But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race, posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

I remember all the “hub-bub” over the example Dr. Williams uses. Could it be that the self-proclaimed enlightened elite were upset that their beliefs were questioned?

Mill also wrote:
In the present age- which has been described as “destitute of faith, but terrified at skepticism,”-in which people feel sure, not so much that their opinions are true, as that they should not know what to do without them-the claims of an opinion to be protected from public attack are rested not so much on its truth, as on its importance to society.

It might be a stretch, but there seems to be similarities between Dr L Sumers and Harvard University and Galileo and the Roman Catholic Church.

Galileo questioned the church's scientific beleifs with observations; Dr Sumers questioned the elitist's political beliefs with observations.

Mill again:

There are, it is alleged, certain beliefs, so useful, not to say indispensable to well-being, that it is much the duty of governments to uphold those beliefs, as to protect and other of the interests of society.

Though it hasn’t come to the point of opinions being outlawed, a small group of intellectual elitist are doing their best to make it all but illegal. By trying to silence opinions or thoughts are the intellectuals concerned about truth, as Galileo was, or do they feel that although their beliefs might be lies, theirs are just "indispensable to well-being" like the Church? Intellectuals once brought the world out of the dark ages, now the self proclaimed ones might just take us back in.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How Many Lives are Worth a Socialist Idea?

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. It was probably first used after seeing the results of socialist ideas in action, and in New York there's tons of them. After answering my front door once to many times, only to find a salesmen on the other side, I've come to the opinion that it is way too kind to the incompetence and shortsightedness of those who constructed it (the road).

Has anyone noticed the increase in door-to-door salesmen lately? Could it be a direct result of the "Do not call list"? My elderly neighbor recently put a No soliciting sign in her door. I guess the elderly that were victims of telemarketers and phone scams, have no fear of strangers constantly at their doors. Speaking of what the do not call list law did for the elderly, what's harder, screening your phone calls, reaching for it or getting up and answering the door. How many people have been physically assaulted over the phone vs. answering their front door?

I'm sure that the number of assaults perpetrated by those posing as salesmen will go up, and then a cry of "there should be a law", after door-to-door salesmen are illegalized, we'll need a wheel barrel to empty our mailboxes. There should be a law.........

With the unintended consequence of salesmen, from a simple law like the no call list. What do you think the unintended consequences of socialized medicine would be?

You constantly hear the phrase, "How much is a human life worth?" by socialist, the next time you hear it, ask them, How many lives are worth a socialist idea? We can get the answer by looking at history, for Stalin it was 30,000,000 To Mao 40,000,000.

Senator Clinton on more then one occasion has said, "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good". Stalin and Mao only took it to the logical conclusion, your life for the State.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Free Markets and Charities Work Better then Government Mandates/Rationing

A letter in the Buffalo news “Buffalo should not deny water services to anyone”, stated water should not be grouped with commodities, but free for basic survival. This water isn’t falling from the sky or over the Falls. Even with a graduated scale, increasing the amount per gallon in excess of government quotas, the facility probably would operate in the red. Increasing the cost per gallon means those using an “excessive amount” will cut back. Then you go through another long drawn out process of government boards for new increases? Other questions that need to be asked, who decides the Formula for “basic needs”? Do infants get the same as a 200-pound man; or office workers to ironworker? Male/female, medical issues. This proposed policy creates layers of bureaucracy in an area that employees more government workers then any industry does with private.

Turning to government with good intensions creates unintended consequences that through history have proven to do more harm then good. The energy used to impose government mandates would be better spent helping charities that are better suited in helping the “most in need”. They are also better judges in differentiating between the needy and those that are just plain irresponsible.