Tuesday, July 28, 2009

As Racists Go, We are Rank Amateurs

By C. Edmund Wright
Mr. President, history and reality teach us that as racists go, we are, frankly, rank amateurs. And I am sick and tired of Ivy League elites like you and Professor Gates pretending otherwise.

What? You think I'm crazy?

Look at it this way. If we were worth a damn as racist whites, would we fall all over ourselves everyday to voluntarily watch, cheer for, emulate, take advice from and enrich folks named Tiger and Oprah?

Those are, after all, the two people that white racist America has anointed as the top cultural icons in our society. Ever heard about "the Oprah effect" or the ad campaign "I am Tiger Woods?" Let me translate for you: white Americans absolutely love these two black folks above any other athlete, actor, singer or even American Idol contestant on the planet -- and big business in search of evil profits -- knows it.

And by love, I mean whitey will pay to go see, pay to watch, pay to read and pay to do pretty much anything these two non-white folks do, eat, watch, read or wear. To be blunt about it, this is a bigger white to black money transfer than any of your big government schemes. This is spreading the wealth around that the Joe the Plumbers of the world can love.

This is hope and change that we can believe in -- because it is real and does not require a doggone thing from you, Jeremiah Wright or the nutty Professor Gates. (By the way, I lump Wright and Gates together because much of Gate's African American studies is simply a secular version of Wright's "black separatism.")

To reiterate Mr. President - the white love of Tiger and Oprah indicates that as racists go, we are rank amateurs.

And for the record, this is not new. Sometime before your first memoir, back when black cultural icons needed two names, whites felt the same way and poured millions and millions of dollars into the hands of Michael Jordan and Bill Cosby. Ever hear of "I want to be like Mike?" It was an ad campaign aimed at white kids. You must have heard -- being the athletic politician from Chicago and all. Or were you still suffering in Hawaii at the time?

The point is, not only are we rank amateurs as racists now, we have been that way for a few decades. The Cosby's were welcomed into more white living rooms than Sidney Poitier ever dreamt. We even now have a black guy starring as the "Wild Wild West." And I think he's pretty good at it. That is progress, though you won't hear about it in Al Sharpton's fund raising letters.

Sure, there are racists among us. I say some are among your staff, those in the pulpit at Trinity United Church and the Harvard faculty for instance. That's not the point. As a nation, we are decidedly NOT racist when compared to other nations. And if you're talking about a nation, that's the sole intellectually honest measure.

Consider: Would a Kurd ever reach icon status in Saddam Hussein's Iraq? Has there ever been a Mayan who captured the hearts and minds of Mexico? Would Ukrainians ever buy millions of books simply because a Chechen said to do so?

Heck no -- and these are folks who look much more alike than black Americans and white Americans. We can't even tell these folks apart "without a program" so to speak. Note the term is "balkanization" and not "Americanization."

And speaking of folks who kind of look alike but cannot stand each other, have you noticed that even the "friends" of the Palestinians do not want them living anywhere near them? So-called "supporters" of the Palestinians want to live with them about as much as Fred Sanford wanted to live next to Julio the Puerto Rican -- for the same "there goes the neighborhood" reasoning.

Of course Sanford wasn't racist -- because blacks can't be.

Meanwhile, tribal wars still rage across Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, The Congo, Darfur and much of Africa where pre-teen boys are conscripted as soldiers and pre-teen girls are taken as their "child mothers." Tribal wars is just a nice way of saying race wars between races that look essentially the same.

Nothing like this has ever happened in our country and certainly is not happening today. Yet, Gates is all worried about racist cops and being burdened with being a "black man in America."

He should spend an afternoon as the white guy paired with Tiger, the Cablinasian-American.

The point is -- the United States -- all 57 of them -- have done more to correct our own racial wrongs than any nation in world history. We are way ahead of many nations much older than our little experiment in freedom and self-governance. Painful steps like the Civil War and the Republican led Civil Rights Act were forced corrections that simply moved the country more in line with our Constitutional principles of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

And the result is a country where whites and blacks are free to choose their own heroes and heroines. It works. Currently the best way for a white author to sell books to a white audience is to get added to a black woman's book club.

And nothing government did -- nothing that Jeremiah Wright preached -- or Professor Gates taught -- is relevant here at all. Or if it is relevant, it is only so as a negative force.

These are whites and blacks pursuing their own life, liberty and happiness through mutual associations. And while I think the country is making a really good choice in Tiger and a bad one with Oprah, the fact is I celebrate the fact that this is freedom in action. Free enterprise. Free markets. Free association. Even a little evil profit motive thrown in.

So how can you and Mr. Gates and Pastor Wright be so wrong about our country?

How is it that you are so stunned by the reaction to your stupid cop comment?


Perhaps in your Ivy League-Beltway- Media elite universe you are so surrounded by racists of all colors you are blind to the fact that the rest of us are working it out pretty well without your help. (Ok, we'll call them "race focused.")

After all, we know the Democratic Party was glad to finally have a "clean articulate black guy" like you on the ticket. We heard it from a brilliant government employee of some 40 years. I think he picked it up in that diner that had been closed for 29 years.

We've seen scared Republicans like Lindsay Graham pretend your Supreme Court Nominee -- that wise Latina woman -- is not "race-focused." We've seen erudite and enlightened luminaries like Colin Powell, Christopher Buckley and Peggy Noonan fall under your spell as well - preferring you to a white hick governor from Alaska.

Come to think of it, maybe there IS a racist America after all. I think it can be found among the media elites, the civil rights activists, the magnificent centrist pundits, Ivy League faculties, scared CEO's, liberals in congress and moderate Republicans in the areas of Washington and New York.

Allow me to apologize for our country.

The universal health care dogs that aren't barking

Thomas Lifson
Oddly enough, as the nation considers ObamaCare, the press is completely uninterested in the experience of Massachusetts and Hawaii, both of which have ambitious, and failed, experiments in trying to provide universal health care. Mitt Romney, the architect of the Bay State's health care plan, which is costing far more than expected, is largely absent from the airwaves, despite his legitimate claim to be an expert. The Boston Globe calls the plan a "failure" and notes "The state's plan flunks on all counts."

Spending for the Commonwealth Care subsidized program has doubled, from $630 million in 2007 to an estimated $1.3 billion for 2009, which is not sustainable.

As for Hawaii, the President's home state, Steve Gilbert of Sweetness & Light highlights the great hopes for Hawaii as a "model" (according to the New York Times) for the nation. He cites several articles over the years, which make illuminating background for considering ObamaCare. As usual, he highlights the relevant texts. View all of them here.

In Hawaii, as in Mass, once again, universal care has not been achieved, but costs have ballooned. Steve cites (and highlights) the following from the Honolulu Advertiser less than a month ago:

A law enacted in Hawai'i in 1974 that requires employers to provide health insurance for employees working at least 20 hours a week is being cited by researchers who are skeptical of similar mandates being suggested in the argument for universal health care.

The result of Hawai'i's Prepaid Health Care Act has been that businesses have relied more on employees who work fewer than 20 hours a week and thus aren't covered under the requirement, wrote San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank research adviser Rob Valletta and co-authors Tom Buchmueller and John DiNardo, both University of Michigan professors.

The results of the research into health insurance coverage in Hawai'i "imply that an employer mandate is not an effective means for achieving universal coverage," they wrote.

"Although overall insurance coverage rates are unusually high in Hawai'i, a substantial number of people remain uninsured, suggesting a need for alternative approaches if universal coverage is the ultimate goal," they said...

Isn't it time that everyone agrees that ill-considered plans turn out to be disasters when it comes to achieving universal health care? Federalism really is the laboratory of democracy, and the lab results are in. The president and his lapdog media need to be honest about what we have already learned.

10 Questions for Supporters of 'ObamaCare'

By Dennis Prager

1. President Barack Obama repeatedly tells us that one reason national health care is needed is that we can no longer afford to pay for Medicare and Medicaid. But if Medicare and Medicaid are fiscally insolvent and gradually bankrupting our society, why is a government takeover of medical care for the rest of society a good idea? What large-scale government program has not eventually spiraled out of control, let alone stayed within its projected budget? Why should anyone believe that nationalizing health care would create the first major government program to "pay for itself," let alone get smaller rather than larger over time? Why not simply see how the Democrats can reform Medicare and Medicaid before nationalizing much of the rest of health care?

2. President Obama reiterated this past week that "no insurance company will be allowed to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition." This is an oft-repeated goal of the president's and the Democrats' health care plan. But if any individual can buy health insurance at any time, why would anyone buy health insurance while healthy? Why would I not simply wait until I got sick or injured to buy the insurance? If auto insurance were purchasable once one got into an accident, why would anyone purchase auto insurance before an accident? Will the Democrats next demand that life insurance companies sell life insurance to the terminally ill? The whole point of insurance is that the healthy buy it and thereby provide the funds to pay for the sick. Demanding that insurance companies provide insurance to everyone at any time spells the end of the concept of insurance. And if the answer is that the government will now make it illegal not to buy insurance, how will that be enforced? How will the government check on 300 million people?

3. Why do supporters of nationalized medicine so often substitute the word "care" for the word "insurance?" it is patently untrue that millions of Americans do not receive health care. Millions of Americans do not have health insurance but virtually every American (and non-American on American soil) receives health care.

4. No one denies that in order to come close to staying within its budget health care will be rationed. But what is the moral justification of having the state decide what medical care to ration?

5. According to Dr. David Gratzer, health care specialist at the Manhattan Institute, "While 20 years ago pharmaceuticals were largely developed in Europe, European price controls made drug development an American enterprise. Fifteen of the 20 top-selling drugs worldwide this year were birthed in the United States." Given how many lives -- in America and throughout the world - American pharmaceutical companies save, and given how expensive it is to develop any new drug, will the price controls on drugs envisaged in the Democrats' bill improve or impair Americans' health?

6. Do you really believe that private insurance could survive a "public option"? Or is this really a cover for the ideal of single-payer medical care? How could a private insurance company survive a "public option" given that private companies have to show a profit and government agencies do not have to - and given that a private enterprise must raise its own money to be solvent and a government option has access to others'
money -- i.e., taxes?

7. Why will hospitals, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies do nearly as superb a job as they now do if their reimbursement from the government will be severely cut? Haven't the laws of human behavior and common sense been repealed here in arguing that while doctors, hospitals and drug companies will make significantly less money they will continue to provide the same level of uniquely excellent care?

8. Given how many needless procedures are ordered to avoid medical lawsuits and how much money doctors spend on medical malpractice insurance, shouldn't any meaningful "reform" of health care provide some remedy for frivolous malpractice lawsuits?

9. Given how weak the U.S. economy is, given how weak the U.S. dollar is, and given how much in debt the U.S. is in, why would anyone seek to have the U.S. spend another trillion dollars? Even if all the other questions here had legitimate answers, wouldn't the state of the U.S. economy alone argue against national health care at this time?

10. Contrary to the assertion of President Obama -- "we spend much more on health care than any other nation but aren't any healthier for it" -- we are healthier. We wait far less time for procedures and surgeries.

Our life expectancy with virtually any major disease is longer. And if you do not count deaths from violent crime and automobile accidents, we also have the longest life expectancy. Do you think a government takeover of American medicine will enable this medical excellence to continue?

Obamacare’s Effect on Seniors

Posted July 28th, 2009 at 9.24am in Health Care.
Today at 1:30 PM, President Barack Obama will participate in a health care “tele-town hall” at AARP headquarters in Washington, DC. The President is scheduled to answer questions about his health care plan from AARP members via phone, email, and even a live audience of about 40 AARP members and volunteers. We hope the event’s moderators will allow for a lively and honest debate, because our nation’s seniors stand to be huge losers under Obamacare:

Losing Your Doctor: Under the current system, more and more seniors are discovering that it is becoming harder and harder to find and keep doctors who will accept Medicare patients. A 2008 survey found that 29% of the Medicare beneficiaries it surveyed who were looking for a primary care doctor had a problem finding one to treat them, up from 24% the year before. This problem is compounded by the fact that our nation is facing a growing shortage of doctors. Obamacare promises to only make these problems worse. First, Obama plans to pay for up to a third of his plan by cutting $313 billion in Medicare reimbursements to health care providers over the next 10 years. This will only force more doctors to stop seeing Medicare patients. Second, Obama’s public “option” could decrease the annual net income of hospitals by $36 billion, while the annual net income of physicians could drop by $33.1 billion.

Facing a sharp reduction in their pay, more doctors will retire early and more bright students will elect to pursue other careers, thereby reducing access and ensuring lower quality health care for future generations as well.

Losing Your Coverage: 22% of all Medicare patients, which translates to 10.5 million seniors, are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. These health plans cover all of the traditional Medicare benefits and much more, including coor dinated care and care-management programs for enrollees with chronic conditions as well as additional hospitalization and skilled nursing facility stays. President Obama has proposed killing this program entirely. A new study for the Florida Association of Health Plans found that, because Medicare Advantage plans have richer benefits and lower deductibles and co-payments than traditional Medicare, seniors in that state would face dramatically higher payments if forced to give up their Medicare Advantage plans. Cost increases would range from $2,214 a year in Jacksonville to $3,714 a year in Miami.

Rationing Your Care: Another centerpiece to Obamacare is the creation of a federal health board that will ration your health care. Obama supporter and infanticide advocate Peter Singer made the case for rationing health care recently in the New York Times, writing: “The task of health care bureaucrats is then to get the best value for the resources they have been allocated.” Conservatives in Congress have given Obamacare supporters every opportunity to disavow government-rationed health care, but Obamacare supporters have voted down every anti-rationing amendment proposed. Make no mistake, Obama plans to pay for expanded coverage for the young and healthy by denying treatments to the old and sick. Americans can do better.

There is no question that America’s $2.4 trillion health care system needs to be reformed. But it should not be done on the backs of America’s seniors. Conservatives have a better vision for health care reform that cuts health care costs by reforming the tax system, enabling true health care competition, and giving families control of their health care dollars.