Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Here are some thoughts about the year’s coldest season on this, its first day:
I love how it begins with evergreen boughs on mantles, lighted trees in village squares, carols on the radio, and people knowing that life’s greatest joys come from giving rather than receiving.
I love its chilly mornings when fog clings to the surfaces of ponds.
I love sitting outside on those mornings drinking hot black coffee.
I love watching Sarah try to catch snowflakes on her tongue during our winter vacation.
I love driving across
I love walking through Appalachian forests that are barren of leaves but laden with snow, and therefore have the appearance of black-and-white photos come to life.
And finally, I love that I can spend a whole day outside in
So for those who curse the cold: Remember that every season brings beauty, so long as we stop to notice it.
This post was originally published in 2008.
Friday, December 18, 2009
It did not begin as a song, but as a poem written on Christmas morning 1863 by America’s greatest poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. At that moment in time America was torn apart and battling itself in the Civil War – a war that still stands as the one in which more Americans died than in any other.
When dawn broke that morning, Longfellow was despondent. During the war his son Charles had been horrifically wounded when a bullet passed through part of his spine, leading to a long and excruciating recovery. And as if that wasn’t dark enough, his wife Frances had died as a result of burns sustained when her clothes were set on fire by dripping sealing wax, which she was melting with the intention of using it to preserve some of their daughter’s trimmed curls.
But despite that sorrowful backdrop, as Longfellow sat in his Massachusetts home on Christmas and heard the ringing of local church bells, his faith in divine promise started to stir and he was moved to put pen to paper. The resulting poem was transformed into a hymn nine years later, when John Baptiste Calkin composed the music to which it was set.
The poem’s words absolutely speak for themselves. Since some of them are excluded from the carol we normally hear this time of year, here they are in their entirety:
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”
Monday, December 14, 2009
History provides many examples of actual people who have, over time, become so melded into the popular imagination that we tend to forget they were real. Saint Nicholas is one of them.
Born sometime around 280 A.D. in the town of
Down through history, one particular story about his generosity has persisted. In those days, women whose families could not pay a dowry were more likely to die as spinsters than to get married. It is said that when Nicholas learned of a poor man who was worried about his daughters’ fate because he lacked money for their dowries, Nicholas surreptitiously tossed gold into the man’s home through an open window, and the gold landed in stockings that were drying by the fire. Much later, this 1,700-year-old story inspired the modern tradition of hanging stockings by the chimney to receive gifts from Santa on Christmas Eve.
Nicholas became Bishop of Myra and was imprisoned during the anti-Christian persecutions carried out by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Based on the stories of his life, Catholic tradition considers him a patron saint of children, orphans, sailors, travelers, the wrongly imprisoned, and many other categories of people. Churches were constructed in his honor as early as the sixth century A.D. Today, his remains are buried in
For generations now, kids and adults alike have used the names Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, and Saint Nick interchangeably, without giving it a second thought. But there was an actual Saint Nicholas, a decent man who is obscured by commercial renderings of Christmas. We should not allow that fact to be forgotten, regardless of whether or not we are Catholic (and for the record, I am not).
Monday, December 7, 2009
Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack…
Yesterday the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Wake Island.
And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island…
Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves…
Always will be remembered the character of this onslaught against us.
No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory…
With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounding determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.
Five of our eight battleships were sunk, the other three were badly damaged, and multiple other naval vessels were destroyed.
The majority of the American war planes based in Hawaii were destroyed as they sat on the ground.
In addition, most of the American air forces based in the Philippines were destroyed during the nighttime attack on that nation, which FDR also mentioned in his speech.
By crippling our Pacific defenses, the December 7th attack left us extremely vulnerable in the face of an aggressive enemy to our West – an enemy that had signaled its intent to rule the entire Pacific basin by subjugating other nations to its will.
This came at a time when we had not responded to the fact that Nazi Germany to our East had already declared war against us, had already brought most of Europe under its thumb, and had signaled its own intention to rule the world by way of an Aryan resurrection of the old Roman Empire.
Such circumstances would have spelled doom for the vast majority of countries throughout the course of history. With their foundations based on the accidents of ethnicity and geography, most countries would have simply surrendered; or, in a distinction without a difference, entered into “peace” negotiations under which they would have to accept the aggressor’s terms and after which the lives of their citizens would most certainly change for the worst.
But the United States is a nation based on ideals. Our foundation springs from the knowledge that there are things greater than us, things which are greater than the transient circumstances which exist on any given day. We have always found strength in the conviction that our nation exists to support and advance those greater things, to the benefit of people all over the world, and this sets the United States apart from all other nations in all other times.
Taking heed from FDR’s appeal to “righteous might,” reflecting what Abraham Lincoln earlier referred to as the “faith that right makes might,” the American people of 1941 summoned the invincible courage to rebuild and fight at the same time they were under fearsome siege. They did this despite the fact they were still suffering through an unprecedented economic depression that had started more than a decade before.
Let us pray that those qualities – that will to power and that unwavering belief in the sanctity of human freedom – have not been lost as new generations of Americans take the baton from the great ones which came before. For as has been said, those who forget the past will be forced to repeat it.
It would be shameful if history were to record that we failed to transfer freedom’s blessings to our descendants.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Several times last year -- specifically, here, here, here, and here -- I wrote about some of the reasons I am skeptical when it comes to global warming. Since then, three whole seasons have come and gone and deposited us back into that time of year when the earth always cools…and that passage of time has served up even more reasons why we should doubt the prophets of warming.
In the Northeast,
In the Southwest, it was the first time in 96 years that
For the U.S. as a whole, this October was the third coldest since they began keeping records.
North of our border, the November snowfall record for Whistler, B.C. had already been broken a week before Thanksgiving, with more than 14 feet accumulated.
And south of the Equator, New Zealand and Australia both experienced prolonged record cold during their autumn and winter.
But the most jaw-dropping reason for doubt comes from recently discovered emails between scientists who are considered to be among the world’s top authorities on global warming. In those emails, which were uncovered by hackers, the scientists communicate about concealing evidence that contradicts global warming. They discuss the need to “hide the decline” in temperatures that their data reveals.
And they discuss ways to avoid complying with requests for their data that might be made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, or under similar foreign laws. They even toy with the idea of contending that their work is not subject to such laws because it relates to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change; in other words, the scientists have considered making an official claim that no nation’s laws apply to their work because it serves an international rather than national purpose.
Phil Jones, head of the Climactic Research Unit (CRU) at England’s
With the global warming summit right around the corner, you might think that all of this would cause the world’s leaders to move slowly before they propose that sweeping changes be made to address a “problem” that is not even known to exist. But you would be wrong. By and large, world leaders (including our own) have barely acknowledged either the contradictory data or the email scandal, other than to downplay them with arrogant indifference.
With all the indications of cover-up and fraud and of manipulation and hiding of evidence, you also might think that the MSM would cover this story if for no other reason than its sensational allure. But you would be wrong again. They have barely mentioned it, because doing so would work against their political goals.
What we have here is a threefer: a scientific scandal, political scandal, and journalistic scandal all rolled into one.
Update, 12/3/09: I published this post three days ago. As of yesterday, which was 12 days after the the email story first broke, it still had not been mentioned a single time on any of the broadcast news programs of ABC, NBC, or CBS (according to the Business & Media Institute). That is a big deal because more people get their news from those programs than from the cable ones.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
This is the fourth in a series of posts about American medical care and the government’s attempts to meddle in it. Posts about other topics may appear between them. The first three posts can be read here, here, and here.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
"My estimate of him was formed on the battlefield many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then as I regard him now – as one of the world’s noblest figures, not only as one of the finest military characters but also as one of the most stainless. His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty he gave – all that mortality can give…when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism; he belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom; he belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements…From one end of the world to the other he has drained deep the chalice of courage…The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training – sacrifice."
Those words are just as true now, with our men and women returning from the war zones of the Middle East, as they were when MacArthur spoke them 47 years ago. But there has been a troubling shift in the way the American soldier is viewed by his countrymen.
When MacArthur spoke, the heroism exhibited at Guadalcanal and Pork Chop Hill was fresh in the minds of America, and students throughout the land were taught about their forefathers’ valor at Bunker Hill and Antietam. The vast majority of Americans looked upon soldiers with immense respect, as courageous defenders of liberty who, in MacArthur’s words, held the nation’s destiny in their hands.
Less than a decade later, many of the soldiers returning from Vietnam were spat upon and falsely depicted as “baby killers.”
Within a generation, military service went from being a duty that was performed by most American men to being one that was performed by a small minority. In turn, the country has become one where a shrinking percentage of the population puts their lives on the line to defend the rights of an increasingly unappreciative majority. Many of us take our freedom for granted, blind to the fact that were it not for those soldiers who are willing to risk their lives in the line of duty, we would not be free to speak our minds without fear of prosecution, or to pursue our life's goals as we see fit, or to make a choice about whether or how to worship God.
Today is Veterans Day. Modern media and schools have greatly de-emphasized this once prominent holiday, but the rest of us don’t have to follow their lead. To those of you who have answered the nation's call and served in our armed forces, I say: Thank You.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Did you know that Nancy Pelosi’s proposed health care bill does not place any limits on attorney’s fees or punitive damages -- but does restrict how much of your own money you can place in a tax-free flexible spending account, to pay for your co-pays, your deductible, your medical expenses that aren’t covered by insurance, etc.?
Though you won’t see it mentioned in the MSM, our government is once again using our tax dollars to fund ACORN. The much ballyhooed withholding of federal funds from ACORN was for only one month, and that month has now passed.
I have heard several liberals say that the reason conservatives are opposed to Dede Scozzafava (the RINO who unsuccessfully ran for
But speaking of abortion, have you heard about Abby Johnson, the Planned Parenthood director from
Switching to football, in Saturday’s Florida-Georgia game,
Switching back to politics, have you noticed that just about every time Barack Obama speaks, he makes a point of blaming whatever it is he’s talking about on George W. Bush? Well, way back in February Thomas Sowell wrote the following: “How can a president of the
And finally, over the past month and a half I have not written nearly as much as before. That’s not because I “lost the fire,” but because I have been so busy with life that there has been very little time left for writing. Anyway, I expect to be doing more of it. And about that intermittent series on medical care that I started in August? I plan to post the next installment before Thanksgiving.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Now that I have had a couple weeks to recharge, it’s about time I got back to blogging. And what could be better to blog about than the
Much like last fall’s trip, this one started with a lot of people planning to go, only to see their numbers dwindle until it was just me and my friend Mike. For the last few weeks it looked like there would be three of us, but a flare up at the office forced Allan to bow out at the last minute.
Also like last fall, we left around 4:00 a.m. and refreshed ourselves on the way up by stopping in Sylva, North Carolina, for sandwiches and beers. After eating outside at Mill & Main Restaurant, in 68-degree temperatures under a cloudless sky, we walked to the following establishments and purchased some vices for the week:
Unlike last fall, we decided to go through with the backpacking part of the trip, and the next morning we chose our route. Then we spent the afternoon storing up energy by lounging on the deck in our hammocks and reading books. And, of course, drinking beer.
The next day (October 1st) we drove to Twentymile Ranger Station in the western reaches of
But when the trail started climbing, it really climbed. I have ascended a number of mountains in my day, and have never had anywhere near as hard a time as I did on the 3.6-mile haul between Backcountry Campsite 95 and Parson Bald. I became drenched with sweat and my left calf and right hamstring cramped up a few times. At one point we startled a pair of young black bears who dashed into the underbrush like bats out of hell. I was very grateful when the trail finally leveled off somewhat at the bald.
Historically, in the
However, 1.1 miles past it, along the same ridge, is Gregory Bald -- and it is an entirely different story, with 10 open acres dipping down each side of the ridge’s spine and offering up expansive views in every direction except for due-west. That was our destination, so on we pushed. Because the trail marks the state line between the balds, I was able to walk with my right foot in
Four-tenths of a mile from Gregory Bald, we came to Sheep Pen Gap where Backcountry Campsite 13 sits on the
Four or five minutes into our weight-free push to the summit, a loud, scraping sound rained down from above. Glancing up and to the right, we saw bear number three -- another young ’un -- race head-first down a tree trunk, sending a spray of splinters into the air as he went. He fled and vanished as soon as he hit the ground.
Not long afterward, as the trail led through an especially dense tangle of brush that obscured all ground-level visibility, we were startled by a sound so loud that I won’t even try to describe it. But, we’re sure that it too was a bear.
Finally, we reached Gregory Bald and heart-stopping views of the mountains unfurled around us. I broke out my camera and started shooting. Below me in the first of these pictures is Cades Cove, a picturesque valley I wrote about in May. The second picture is an east-looking view of the Smokies. We were standing on a 4,949-foot summit that would be the highest point in 11 of the 17 states through which the
We backtracked to Sheep Pen Gap and ate dinner, and before long the sun disappeared behind the trees. Thinking there was a chance it might still be visible from the higher, treeless vantage point of the bald, I decided to head back up on the off chance of viewing the sunset. Mike opted to stay behind and read in his tent.
I found the idea of encountering a bear all by myself in fading light to be unappealing, so, thinking that noise might scare them off, I sang the whole way up. I was certain my off-key renditions of the
As I lay in my tent, a windstorm swept in and proceeded to blow across the mountain all night, sounding like an airplane circling the ridge. It never rained, but we were enveloped in a cloud come morning, and the temperature was in the thirties as we broke camp and headed across the bald. On the other side we hooked up with the Long Hungry Ridge Trail, which served as our route to the bottom. It was every bit as steep as the Wolf Ridge Trail had been going up, and on top of that, its stream crossings came without benefit of bridges:
Although, one of the crossings did come with an accidental bridge, courtesy of a fortuitously fallen tree. Mike used it to demonstrate why he called himself “The Great Wallenda” when he was a kid:
8.7 miles later, we were back at the car guzzling Gatorade. The next night we were back in
Everybody asks if we got pictures of the bears. No, we didn’t. They moved too fast for us to get our cameras out -- with the exception of the one I saw near the summit at twilight, and in that instance, snapping a photograph was the last thing on my mind. However, I will leave you with one last picture of the view from Gregory Bald, and I recommend you make the journey there if you have the time and energy.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Some thoughts about autumn on this, its first day:
I love stepping outside on that first morning that fall’s nip is in the air.
I love how changing leaves turn Appalachian mountainsides into fiery palettes of orange, red, and gold.
I love driving winding roads through those mountains, catching glimpse after glimpse of falling leaves as they twirl their way to the ground.
I love cold nights marked by the scent of campfire and the sound of wind in the trees.
I love watching my daughter skip through the pumpkin patch looking for the perfect one to bring home.
I love walking behind her as she trick-or-treats on Halloween night.
I love pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day, and how it sets the ideal tone to start the Christmas season.
I love watching flocks of birds land in
And last but not least, I love football, especially college games where the fans are loud and the bands are blaring…and most of all, where Auburn is winning and the fight song you keep hearing begins with the line: “War Eagle, fly down the field, ever to conquer, never to yield!”
Friday, September 18, 2009
It’s time to take a break from political invective and write about something that is all fun and passion: college football.
Okay, I guess college football is political in some respects. And it is no stranger to invective. But whatever.
The first couple weeks of this season have been very intriguing. Here is a look back at the five best teams in history that did not take the national championship.
They are the only team ever to finish 13-0. Including the Sugar Bowl, they won six games against ranked teams and two of those were against BCS qualifiers. They defeated prestigious foes in blowouts (34-10 over
Part of me thinks this was the greatest team of all time, and another part of me thinks it is only the second best team on this list, and that is what makes college football so much fun. What made the ’86 Canes great was their mix of fearsome talent and unapologetic swagger, led by such future NFL stars as Michael Irvin, Jerome Brown, and Bennie Blades. Their 28-16 pasting of
The ’95 Bucks returned
Coach Joe Paterno was 67 years old and considered conventional and out of-date. But he opened up a pass-laden playbook that had QB Kerry Collins throwing the ball over the field. They finished the regular season undefeated, then cruised past
How can a team go undefeated in
Of course, this list is just my opinion. Surely there are other teams -- the 1983 Nebraska Cornhuskers and 1991 Florida State Seminoles, to name just two -- that also deserve consideration for it. Bring ’em on.
Monday, September 14, 2009
This is the third in a series of posts about American medical care and the government’s attempts to meddle in it. Posts about other topics may appear between them. The first two posts can be read here and here.
Wednesday September 9th came. And The Exalted One spoke. And as he spoke, he praised himself, and he lauded the medical care reforms he insists must be passed now -- now! -- even though they are not to take effect for four years. And everything he said was such rubbish that I feel like trotting out that old line about not wanting to dignify something by responding to it.
But when the things he says are so outlandish, not responding to them is difficult.
Barack Obama said the reforms will not add “a dime” to the federal deficit, even though every independent analysis you can find shows that claim to be false. (In my September 12th piece I mistakenly wrote that he said he won’t raise the deficit a “penny,” but at his inflationary pace, what’s the difference?)
He said the reforms will reduce costs -- even as they forbid actuarial pricing, and expand the items covered by insurance, and add millions more people to the rolls. I would be embarrassed to tell such an obvious whopper to a roomful of kindergartners, yet our president does not flinch while telling it to a nation full of adults.
The MSM roundly criticized Joe Wilson for yelling “you lie!” when Obama said that health care legislation would not cover illegal aliens. But
Then there is Obama’s most fork-tongued fabrication of all: His lawyerly remark that the reform “will not require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.” Of course none of the proposed legislation says “you must cancel your current plan.” But like I mentioned in Part II, it does contain financial incentives for employers to cancel their group medical plans and dump their employees into the so-called public option. It should send shivers down every spine in
Barack Obama insults the intelligence of the American people every time he opens his mouth. He does it so shamelessly that the only reasonable conclusion for the people to draw is that he looks down on them with sneering contempt. He should be ignored, for nothing he says ever proves true and his actions never match his words.
There are many things that can be done to positively affect the affordability and accessibility of medical care in America, but, by and large, those things involve limiting government and removing the handprints it has already left on our medical marketplace. In other words, those things represent the philosophical opposite of what Obama is trying to do. I intend to spend the next post in this series focusing on some of those things, since I have spent the first three making the point that neither Obama nor Obamacare are worthy of our trust.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Last October our second child died in Erika’s womb. My grandfather died two days later, on Sarah’s fourth birthday. At his funeral we talked about how his arrival in Heaven made him the first family member lucky enough to meet our child.
Barely ten months have passed since that tumultuous weekend, and now we are experiencing a kind of déjà vu. The child we lost last year was conceived after three years of trying everything under the sun and eventually resorting to in vitro fertilization. After the miscarriage, we returned to trying the old fashioned way, but that failed again and again, so we started up another round of in vitro in late July. My sperm successfully fertilized Erika’s eggs, and on August 10th our embryos (three of them) were transferred into her uterus. Home testing showed she was pregnant on the 16th, and office testing confirmed it on the 21st. We were elated. But then a follow-up test on the 25th brought the crushing news that this child has also passed.
Part of me wants to write about the feeling of helplessness that comes from all this.
Another part of me wants to write about how thankful we are to have Sarah.
Part of me wants to write about how we now have an even greater appreciation for the miracle of life, having experienced first-hand how many things must go precisely right just to conceive, and how many more must go precisely right to carry a child to term.
But another part of me seethes with anger over the knowledge that while we do everything right, countless crack whores seem to get pregnant at the drop of a hat.
There is no way to put any of this into words. The feelings are a tangle of contradictions that ebb and flow erratically, and there is no way to make sense of them -- which presents a problem, because for me, putting things in a way that makes sense is the whole purpose of writing.
All I know is that as much as I want to have another child for its own sake -- and to experience anew the thrills of seeing that first smile, watching that first crawl, hearing that first word -- the most important reason I have for wanting another one is so that Sarah will not be an only child. I have a brother and sister, and can not image having been the only non-adult in the household as the years of childhood peeled away. The very thought feels lonely. I think of how horrendous it would be for Sarah if something were to happen to me and Erika, leaving her all alone with no sibling on whom to lean or with whom to share memories of us late at night.
I have no doubt that the universe is the work of a Creator, and no doubt that there is a plan behind this material plain on which we live. I am also certain that each of us has a role to play towards fulfilling that plan, and that we are responsible for finding our role and playing it. The certainty does not, however, make the task any easier.
Tomorrow morning we return to the doctor’s office, bearing questions. And wondering whether that is the right place to seek the answers...
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
This is the second in a series of posts about American medical care and the government’s attempts to meddle in it. Posts about other topics may appear between them.
My first post in this series pointed out that among the people who want to do away with the way medical care is delivered in America, most of them cite
But few Americans really want to “abandon our system.” Polls repeatedly show that 75 to 80 percent of us are happy with our coverage and our care. What most people do want is to find a way to accommodate those who are faced with hardships that genuinely prevent them from receiving medical services.
But the percentage of our population which falls into that category is small, and finding a way to accommodate them does not require that we eradicate the entire apparatus by which our care is delivered.
Obama has breezily claimed that 47 million Americans are uninsured, but nobody who analyzes the census estimates concurs with him. Sure, for 2007 (the most recent year for which census estimates exist) the stated number of uninsured was 45.7 million. However, after you back out the number of non-citizens -- and the number of people who already qualified for existing public care -- and the number of high earners who chose not to buy insurance because they could afford to pay for whatever treatment they needed -- and the number of people who were temporarily uninsured because they were between jobs, or were simply waiting to meet their new employer’s waiting period before they could be eligible for benefits -- the number plummets to anywhere from 8 to 15 million, depending on who’s doing the estimating.
And that is a relatively small number that should be easy to deal with. There are many things (to be discussed in a future post) that Obama & Co. could do to help those people without jeopardizing the care everyone else receives. However, those things are not even being discussed because the government’s goal is not to help people, but to control them.
On many occasions, Obama has said that under the proposed legislation you can keep your current plan if you like it and keep your current doctor if you like him. This is not true. The House bill would assess a fine, equal to anywhere from 2 to 8 percent of payroll, on employers who do not provide medical insurance to their workers. What Obama & Co. choose not to tell you is that for most employers, the amount of money they are already paying for medical insurance is much higher than that -- usually around 15 percent of payroll. Therefore, the fine will actually incent businesses to drop their insurance. In a competitive environment, what business owner would not choose to pay 2 to 8 percent to the government over paying 15 percent to an insurer.
Worse, when you look at page 16 of the bill, you will find that after your employer drops your insurance, the so-called public option will be the only one available to you because purchasing private insurance will then be illegal.
Further, the bill forbids anyone who does keep their private insurance after the legislation goes into effect from ever making any changes to it...so if you (or your employer) want to do anything like change your deductible or your prescription co-pay, or opt out of maternity coverage, you must either 1) forget the idea, or 2) lose your coverage and be forced into the public system since new private insurance will not be legal.
If the president and his minions were honest, they would stop referring to their plan as a public “option” and call it what it is: a dictate from on high that has everything to do with seizing power and nothing to do with saving lives.
Information used in this post was obtained from Investor’s Business Daily, the Chicago Tribune, the Lewin Group, and the Schnitt Show.