Saturday, August 15, 2009

An Alaskan Fisherman

By Dewie Whetsell, Alaskan Fisherman. (As posted in comments on Greta’s article referencing the MOVEON ad about Sarah Palin) :

The last 45 of my 66 years I’ve spent in a commercial fishing town in Alaska. I understand Alaska politics but never understood national politics well until this last year. Here’s the breaking point: Neither side of the Palin controversy gets it…It’s not about persona, style, rhetoric, it’s about doing things. Even Palin supporters never mention the things that I’m about to mention here.

1- Democrats forget when Palin was the Darling of the Democrats, because as soon as Palin took the Governor’s office away from a fellow Republican and tough SOB, Frank Murkowski, she tore into the Republican’s “Corrupt Bastards Club” (CBC) and sent them packing. Many of them are now residing in State housing and wearing orange jump suits. The Democrats reacted by skipping around the yard, throwing confetti and singing “la la la la” (well, you know how they are). Name another governor in this country that has ever done anything similar. But while you’re thinking, I’ll continue.

2- Now with the CBC gone, there were fewer Alaskan politicians to protect the huge, giant oil companies here. So, she constructed and enacted a new system of splitting the oil profits called “ACES”. Exxon (the biggest corporation in the world) protested and Sarah told them “don’t let the door hit you in the stern on your way out.” They stayed, and Alaska residents went from being merely wealthy to being filthy rich. Of course the other huge international oil companies meekly fell in line. Again, give me the name of any other governor in the country that has done anything similar.

3- The other thing she did when she walked into the governor’s office is she got the list of State requests for federal funding for projects, known as “pork”. She went through the list, took 85% of them and placed them in the “when-hell-freezes-over” stack. She let locals know that if we need something built, we’ll pay for it ourselves. Maybe she figured she could use the money she got from selling the previous governor’s jet because it was extravagant. Maybe she could use the money she saved by dismissing the governor’s cook (remarking that she could cook for her own family), giving back the State vehicle issued to her, maintaining that she already had a car, and dismissing her State provided security force (never mentioning—I imagine—that she’s packing heat herself). I’m still waiting to hear the names of those other governors.

4- Now, even with her much-ridiculed “gosh and golly” mannerism, she also managed to put together a totally new approach to getting a natural gas pipeline built which will be the biggest private construction project in the history of North America. No one else could do it although they tried. If that doesn’t impress you, then you’re trying too hard to be unimpressed while watching her do things like this while baking up a batch of brownies with her other hand.

5- For 30 years, Exxon held a lease to do exploratory drilling at a place called Point Thompson. They made excuses the entire time why they couldn’t start drilling. In truth they were holding it like an investment. No governor for 30 years could make them get started. This summer, she told them she was revoking their lease and kicking them out. They protested and threatened court action. She shrugged and reminded them that she knew the way to the court house. Alaska won again.

6- President Obama wants the nation to be on 25% renewable resources for electricity by 2025. Sarah went to the legislature and submitted her plan for Alaska to be at 50% renewables by 2025. We are already at 25%. I can give you more specifics about things done, as opposed to style and persona . Everybody wants to be cool, sound cool, look cool. But that’s just a cover-up. I’m still waiting to hear from liberals the names of other governors who can match what mine has done in two and a half years. I won’t be holding my breath.

By the way, she was content to to return to AK after the national election and go to work, but the haters wouldn’t let her. Now these adolescent screechers are obviously not scuba divers. And no one ever told them what happens when you continually jab and pester a barracuda. Without warning, it will spin around and tear your face off. Shoulda known better.

Random Thoughts on Health Care - Pt. 3: Palin Responds and Scores

Obama, you're lyin'.

On Palin's Facebook response and media "fact-checking":

I have to say it's a risky move to pin your argument down to one section of the bill. That was the media's initial opportunity to take her statement, "fact-check" it, and say, "See! There's no mention of death panels!"

I kind of hope she broadens the argument into other arenas or other sections just so that the media will have a harder time pinning her down. Having said that, it's brilliant. She once again managed to instantly galvanize the whole discussion by going right for the throat and effectively accusing the bill of being a form of government murder.

Instant galvanization. Just like the David Letterman thing. Like Beck pointed out, she didn't just come out and say, "Leave my kids alone." She effectively said, "You're a dirty old man and your mindset contributes to the objectification of women in America. Apologize to all women." Like Joseph Livestro pointed out on C4P, she is framing the debate. Now, we need to be careful of the media's blinders when it comes to "fact-checking" her arguments.

Wisetrog on C4P said this: "The Dems tried to sidestep her argument by confining it to end of life arguments. She has responded to the end of life questions, she should move on and bring the debate to her turf which is rationing. She should expand on her last point and make it a debate about rationing."

I agree. Sarah started with the end result. Now it's time to unravel the rest of the thread. And I suggest doing it before the media has a chance to pick apart this latest post. Death panels are a result of rationing, rationing comes because there's too much demand and not enough supply, which will result because of these provisions in the bill, the cost, etc... and look at what's happened in other countries...

It's time to take the whole thing apart and kill it dead. Broaden the argument. She's gotta dance around. If she stays on the one point, they'll focus all their energy on discrediting or "fixing" that one point in the bill and then claiming it's all better.

All I'm saying is that the media was able to try and discredit her statements originally because she handed them just one section of the bill, which they then "fact-checked" and took her statement out of context (removed it from the rationing scenario) to say it just simply wasn't true and she's making stuff up. Perhaps a slight tactical error, but it doesn't really matter now:

She shoots. She scores!

On Sarah's Victory in the Senate Version of the Bill:

One down, about 28 million to go. In an obvious win for Sarah Palin the Senate struck out the end of life counseling provision. Yay.

Forgive me for not celebrating too loudly, but this is nowhere near over. Broaden, broaden, broaden. Go read her latest Facebook post and you'll see that she's doing just that.

Sarah got at least one section fixed. My fear with this approach was that if they did strike it (which they did) they could then claim, "Look, we fixed it! Are you happy now?" Which is why even though Palin could keep on pressing that one section, she really needs to not make that her only topic of conversation (which she isn't) and she must now broaden quickly (which she is). She already set the stage for this in her reaction to it being struck, saying that it was just one part out of many that causes concern and focusing more on rationing. Good, good, good!

Remember a couple of other things too. First off, this isn't even the final version of the bill. The House passed theirs. The Senate struck this one provision. Later they'll go into committee and hammer out a whole new bill reconciling the differences of the House and Senate. Do you get my drift? We don't even have the final version of the bill yet, let alone a guarantee that anything struck out won't just be slipped back in.

Secondly, this one section doesn't really solve the problem of death panels. This one section was only a piece of that, and Palin's already brought that up. She's also now hammering on the rationing point now quite nicely. Good, good, good. The spending and the framework of a committee like Britain's NICE are just a few other pieces of the bill that will lead to rationing and therefore government bureaucrats handing out care selectively, i.e., death panels.

Whether the section that was struck out is in the final version of the bill or not doesn't really matter. The bill itself as a whole will cause a shortage, and then the American version of Britain's NICE committee will start the rationing, whether we try and convince old people to end of their lives or not.

I hate to be a gloomy Gus, but we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. If this thing passes, that's it. The intrusion of government into our lives will be practically irreversible. Once we become dependent on the government for not only our financial well-being but for our very lives, we are in their hip pocket for good.

So now I say, Sarah, broaden the debate, and in her latest Facebook post she already is. Good. This was not the end of the battle, it was merely the first shot. This was a demonstration of Palin's power to shape the debate and shake up Obama. She won the first advance. Now, on to the war.

P.S. I also want to see Sarah say something about the new FCC guy and his regulations that will destroy talk radio.

Random Thoughts on Health Care - Pt. 2: Conversations

Here's a couple exchanges I've had with some over on C4P. Nothing earth-shattering, and I'm sure I'm not always right, but here we go:

Death Panel" is to irrevocable bureaucratic decision not to provide care as "Star Wars" is to Ballistic Missile Defense and the destabilization it would have on nuclear parity. There was no reference to "Star Wars" in the legislative language dealing with Ballistic Missile Defense. What is it that liberals are having such a hard time grasping about the term? It captures the essence of the program - rationing of care and the allocation of the rationed care towards people who lead "worthy" lives as determined by bureaucrats.

(okay, that wasn't an actual conversation, I just thought Alex made a really good point. This was an exchange) :

I have to ask those supporters of Palin's who must extrapolate and explain her death panel comments.... What do you say too those people who are making end of life decisions for family member at this moment? When we had to "ration" care for one of our parents, it was the most painful decision I had to make. But like my sister said, who was by her bedside daily, look at the toll it was taking on surviving family members and what our parent daily care was, how humiliating the daily care was to a very proud and private person. Ms. Palin, before she involves herself in the pubic discourse, should first consider making statement that do no need explaining, and second, to remember that these decisions are the most private and painful decisions a person has to make, and that to have to hear and read about death panels, esp for the people making at this time these end of life decisions for a family member, is emotionally devastating.

That is a decision that you and your family personally got to make. That's fine. How would you have felt if you had no say in the matter, if it was something you had no control over because shortages had centralized healthcare to Washington? There is a role for you and your family and a role for the government. Blending the roles; not a good thing. The critical point we have to be clear on is whether this bill will create such a drain on healthcare that it will create those shortages. That's the question I wish I could ask Barack Obama. Maybe he's got a good answer, but I doubt it. It's just not economically feasible. And if you actually read her statement she does put the "death panel" comment in the context of rationing. It's just that most people skip the context.

We ration care now. My parents insurance had a lifetime max on its policy. Who was going to pay for it after it was reached? If my siblings and myself would have hadn't to taken it over, it would have bankrupted us, I was for spending what it took, but I could not make that dec for anyone else. I was single and only had myself to be responsible for. Palin's comments were irrational and illogical. I have worked in the insurance industry for many years, in a department called "cost containment" Right now, in that department, a nameless faceless person is making decisions on your health care. The decision is probably motivated by profit, So what is the "blending" part you spoke of? There is no blending. Almost every decision in health care is based on profit. I also worked in the fraud department, so I have working first hand knowledge of the fraud.

Dude, there's a difference between the private sector and the government. Look at Medicare. How many trillion is that thing in the hole? Insurance companies can at least turn a profit, therefore it's sustainable. I'm not saying that there aren't problems, but putting everything (and that is the ultimate goal) into the public sector is not going to make things better.

The government way is not sustainable. It'll go for awhile, but with our country already at the breaking point financially, this is really the worst time to break us entirely with another trillion dollar program, which is only the springboard to trillions more. Eventually we'll run out, and when we put all of our eggs in a centralized basket and that basket falls through, we're all in trouble.

There are problems in private industry, but it's spread out and localized so at least not everybody gets burned. There will always be cracks and always be people who fall through them, but the idea that the government is going to make that better...I don't think so. And of course there are limits to insurance. We have to find a way to bring costs down, get more supply in (by getting more doctors, etc...), and possibly move away from an employer-based system. I've always thought that it's incredibly stupid that if you lose your job you lose your health insurance. Insurance itself drives the cost up somewhat. The only way the government can compete is by running a deficit. What on earth good does that do? And Medicare is riddled with fraud. I can only imagine the fraud in this new system.

So basically you think that by duplicating the same problems that exist now only about a hundred-fold is going to solve those problems. Mmmmmm, not so much.
On a sidenote, that Democrat who's challenging Arlen Spector has been floating around Fox lately. He said something about how the uninsured are costing us something like 100 billion dollars a year and that's why we need this bill. He was also for the Clinton healthcare thing, and was one of the crafters in the House of this healthcare bill.

Now, I don't know the details of this, but I have a question: If the uninsured (illegals included, I'm sure) are costing us so much money to pick up their tab, how is the solution to offer them government health insurance? Don't the taxpayers pay for it either way? 100 billion dollars isn't penny candy, but it's better than a couple trillion.

Maybe I'm missing something, but that was my initial reaction.

Don't get me wrong, I know we need to reform health care. But after what Obama's done so far with the stimulus and all the other out-of-control spending, I just simply don't trust him. I honestly do not believe what comes out of the man's mouth. If I don't trust his words, I sure ain't gonna trust his healthcare.

Random Thoughts on the Health Care Bill - Pt. 1: The Death Panels

Here's just some random things that have been floating around my brain lately. There's no real rhyme or reason:

Take a moment to think about this: Nobody had a clue who this woman was a year ago. Now she writes a note on her Facebook page, the media loses its mind, and the President of the United States feels like he has to respond.

Of course Obama doesn't WANT death panels. He didn't WANT to bail out the banks. He didn't WANT to get into the car business. When Obama says he doesn't want something, that pretty much means it's going to happen.

And can I just say, Obama is using this "pulling the plug on old people" thing as a strawman. Palin's point was what could happen based on the philosophy of those around him in the event of rationing. "Death panels" is just a term for government bureaucracy deciding who gets care and who doesn't in the event of a shortage, or rationing. The real question is: Will government intrusion lead to rationing? Um... based on the past and pretty simple extrapolation I would say, yes.

It's not about the death panels. RATIONING is the key, which will lead to things where we decide who gets health care and who doesn't, which is the definition of a death panel. It's not like the government will officially sentence people to die, but if there's not enough to go around, they'll just simply fail to keep people alive. This kind of thing already goes on in countries that have socialized medicine and therefore shortages.

The question isn't "will there be 'death panels'?" It is "will government intrusion to this extent create a shortage of care which will mandate a need to ration that care?" If so, then the "death panel" situation is a natural consequence of this health care bill. The actual wording for it doesn't even have to be in there. We're talking about unintended consequences here. If you think that something like this can't happen, you're being naive.

This healthcare bill is the first step toward socialized medicine. All you have to do is look at other countries that already have socialized medicine and how the elderly are seen as a burden on the system and often neglected because they just don't have that much to offer society. I don't have a problem with individuals making choices about when to pull the plug, but if we centralize this thing it will take it out of the realm of personal choice and, because of the shortages it will create, put it in the hands of government bureaucracy. "Death panel" is Palin's term for this kind of thing. It's not like there will actually be Obama sitting up there saying, "No more chemo for you!" But the result will be the same. It is the media and the White House who are spinning Palin's statement out of control. But they're losing anyway.

And also, they focus only on her "death panel" statement and ignore her other statements about the growth of government, etc.... They're using that one thing to try and discredit Palin (which they won't succeed in doing).

We want to avoid what Europe has, period. This health care bill is the first step down a road we really don't want to even go near. Sarah's telling us what the end state will be, not the immediate effect. But of course it will take time, and we'll get used to it little by little. By the time we get there, it probably won't even matter anymore. We will officially be mindless drones, completely dependent upon the government for our very survival, and we will cease to be free. Call it fear-mongering, call it crazy, but if it means avoiding becoming Britain, I'm all for it.

I love all these media moguls saying the bill doesn't set up that panel. Well no kidding. Bravo, media, give yourself a pat on the back for being so smart. It's a term, idiots, coined by Palin for the inevitable outcome, not language from the actual bill itself. Don't get me wrong, the framework for such a thing is in the bill.

The brilliant liberals who are so much smarter than we are cannot grasp the concept of a....."term." That's right boys and girls, today we learn about the word "term!" Maybe they'll learn another use for the word after they find out they're not getting another one.

The important thing isn't whether or not people like her or that she becomes Prez or whatever, the important thing is that stuff like Obamacare is stopped. If that means sacrificing a little popularity, so be it. This is a fight: she's going to get scratched up and bloody. Expect it. The ride will not be smooth and without mishaps. Nothing easy is worth doing.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Quote of the Day: August 9, 2009

"And what a prize we have to fight for: no less than the chance to banish from our land the dark divisive clouds of Marxist socialism."
- Margaret Thatcher

Picture of the Day: August 9, 2009

Sarah, Trig, and Piper at farewell speech

I Don't Think She Gives a Rip

Sarah Palin's recent Facebook statement about Obama Deathcare has many wringing their hands saying that she's being too divisive. They say that she shouldn't have gone so overboard in using terms like "death panel." They claim this type of red meat is great for the conservative base, but just simply won't fly if she wants to run for President.

And that's where they miss the point entirely.

I don't think Sarah Palin gives a rip about being President in 2012. I really don't. If that's where this road leads, than that's where it leads. If not, that's even better.

Think about it. This woman was unknown to the world a year ago. On August 29th she did something that to her was probably very simple and logical: she accepted her country's call to run for Vice-President, arguably the most boring job on the planet.

A bit of a political earthquake has followed Sarah Palin wherever she's gone, but I don't think even she had any clue of how the Left was going to lose its head completely. With that speech in Ohio accepting the Vice-Presidential nomination, a chain of inevitable events was set into motion.

That chain ultimately shut down her ability to do her job as Governor and led her to where she is today, where a simple note on her Facebook page can send the entire media into a babbling conniption fit.

She hasn't been storming the country just yet. If you think about it the woman hasn't really had a day off since she signed up to run with McCain. And if she takes Obama on it's going to be a fight to the finish, so she better get some rest now while she still can.

What is Sarah Palin going to do? She's going to try and pull this country back from the brink of losing everything that it is. In so doing she will tell it like she sees it, "death panel" language and all. If that kills her chances of the Presidency, whoop-de-dung-doo. This country is more important than any one person's political ambitions.

Here's my take on her healthcare comments:

Human life at any stage and any level is worth protecting simply because it is human, not because of its supposed value to society. The words "death panel" may not be in Obama's bill, but that is the natural result of the circumstances the bill would create.

All you have to do is look at other countries in Europe that already have socialized medicine. This healthcare bill is the first step to what they've got. The elderly mean less than dirt over there. What Palin has done is reason things out to their eventual end. I don't think we want to go down that road.

Yes, we as individuals do sometimes have to make choices about when to pull the plug, but those are choices we should be making, not choices a centralized government bureaucracy should be making for us. If they really want to just bring prices down there are tons of other things they could do that would actually work.

And to those who think she's being too divisive: She's right. I don't think she gives a rip if she's ever Prez or not, and at this point, neither do I. Would I like to see that? Sure. But Palin's political future is not nearly as important as the lives of American citizens. If matters of life and death are not worth dividing people over, then nothing is. Kudos to Sarah for not being afraid to speak the truth. Keep it up.