By Way Of Explanation

This should be Number 102 or possibly even 103 of the PenPo. It was delayed by injuries to this newsletter’s second assistant proofreader, who is now able to essay a return to thankless drudgery.

During the brief hiatus, political events in the USA came to a rapid boil. The Obama machine, incompetently confident of a crushing victory, found that the consent of the governed is still a valid concept. This discovery will doubtless evoke better planning the next time the collectivists try to impose their will on the nation.

This newsletter is determined to make it difficult for the ruling elite to subvert democracy and eradicate Enlightenment values. Until the rat-bastards shut the PenPo down or Nature takes her inevitable toll, the message from here will be, “Individualism and Liberty Forever!”

A Good Read On The Current Imbroglio

Camille Paglia is back, savaging the Congress and the president’s team while carrying on her love affair with The One. She insists she’s right about his brilliance and steady leadership, but…the one area in which she praises him the most, foreign relations, is in this newsletter’s view one of his most alarming failures.

First, read her recent article, linked above. Then consider Obama’s signal blunders in diplomacy, and the wrong-headedness of his assumptions. Begin with his false and purely ideological statements regarding an important aspect of relations with Mexico, in which he blamed legal firearms sales within the USA for many of Mexico’s woes. He was wrong, and it hurt his nation and his administration, putting both at a disadvantage as we try to help decent Mexicans regain control of their country. The USA is not a consequential source of weaponry for the drug lords, and the federal government’s enforcement arm, the BATF, has testified to that.

Middle East: Obama acted disgracefully when he bowed to the king of Saudi Arabia. His bullying of Israel rolled right over some embarrassing facts: Obama wants Jews excluded from a part of Jerusalem; he wants to strangle Jewish settlements on land that was Israel’s, was captured by Arabs, and was taken back by the IDF. Obama cannot see that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza made things worse, rather than better, and proves that the “Palestinians” are utterly unready for statehood. Obama has waxed apologetic to hostile regimes (such as the Iranian ruling class) who view his stance as a sign of weakness and malleability. His “go anywhere, talk to absolutely anybody” whining has hardened the line taken by Hamas in Gaza.

Finally, Obama sided with the president of Honduras, a tyrant who tried to realize his ambitions. The brute had been legitimately ordered out of office by the judicial and legislative branches of the government for attempting to discard the Honduran constitution, facts that Obama ignored. In sum, Paglia is wrong to credit The One with positive contributions to the international situation.

Well, nobody’s perfect. Right, wrong or self-contradictory, Paglia remains a perceptive critic whose view of the truth is only occasionally dimmed by her ideological imperatives. In this case, her angular momentum as she orbits around The One has disoriented her.

By all means read her latest narrative. In spite of her self-contradictory stance on Obama’s foreign follies, parts of this latest effort from this newsletter’s favorite leftist lesbian could peel the paint off a barn at a hundred paces. She’s trenchant, she’s tenacious, she’s trumpet-tongued, she’s terrific.

There’s Many A Slip ‘Twixt Cup And Lip, As The Obama Apparatchiki Could Tell You If They Were Candid

It’s a problem shared by college sophomores and virtually all radicals: the implementation of ideological strategies is messy and much more complicated than the Utopians imagine.

When Obama breezed into office, he mistook his mandate — most of which was based simply on the fact that it was about time a black person be president of the nation — for a blanket approval of his programs. To him, the problems are pressing, and their solutions obvious.

The result has been a huge miscalculation of the will of the electorate.

The One’s frustration and impatience are evident, leading him to make impossible promises and repeat an untruth. He has even accused his opponents of having caused the shortcomings in the USA’s health care, an absurd charge (“…I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking”). A list of some of his other false claims is here. Then there’s this explanation for why a wheel came off the juggernaut.

Yeah. And how’s this for candor from Team BO? Douglas dodges a simple question with all the skill of a machine politician. She was a good hire for Obama (she comes from Big Media, after a bit of rest), but a nasty piece of work if you take the public’s interests seriously.

Well, this is a tale of extreme nineteenth century ideology, a culture (or class) war, and the blindness of the administration. What a shame that the dispute is over how best to help people who are suffering, when only one side in the argument looks at it that way — for the other side wants to decide whether to help them.

Palin Won’t Change Many Minds, But She Will Galvanize The GOP As No Other Person Can

Love her, hate her or wonder why she talks funny, Sarah Palin must be reckoned with. The “progressives” who believe otherwise may be in for some shocks.

When Palin minted a new meme — “death panels” — she slashed the collectivist Democrats with her saber. Her hyperbole was a bit crude, but it sums up a fact that Obamaniacs will never be able to ignore or refute: government health care will create something that the US citizenry finds appalling. That creation will be a class system regulated by bureaucrats who can withhold medical care from some individuals.

Though it drew a lot of angry fire from Obama, Palin’s “death panels” slogan is a valid concept. How so?

No monopolistic government health plan in any large nation on earth functions as promised. Care is routinely unavailable to some who need it, for the demand always far exceeds the supply. Making patients wait to be seen or treated is the universal tactic; it can amount to a sentence of death.

So even though Congress quickly dropped the concept of a panel of bureaucrats making individual decisions to treat or ignore (who but Palin could have precipitated that capitulation?), the assurance of Kafkaesque horror in the hospital remains. It is both a real threat and a hyperbolic argument packing a tremendous emotional punch. It may have more potential to shape the debate than anyone currently realizes.

Canada, says Obama, is “not a model” for US health care; then what is? Perhaps it is the Veterans’ Administration (for varied views, see this website), or the federal program that sees to the health of Native Americans? Or might it be the broken-down, snail-paced socialized medicine practiced in the United Kingdom? (For the UK, see PenPo Nr. 8, “Leaping Into Quicksand.”)

Fact: if the system draws on a fixed or legislated source of revenue, the only way it can survive is to ration care.

In the current US system, however, the source of revenue is not fixed. It depends entirely on the ability of the people, the insurance companies and the government to fund health care. That mix of resources makes the system scalable.

Yes, the system is not perfect, and yes, it needs to be improved (what does not?). The question is not, however, whether it should be destroyed and replaced by a nineteenth century notion of collective responsibility for the welfare of all persons. The answer to that non-question is known. The real question is how segments of the population can be helped by the extension of services, and how those new efforts will be funded.

Health care is like any other good or service that the overwhelming majority of the people consider essential. The crazy-quilt pattern of provision needs patching and mending, in other words, and some new approaches to medical schools, hospitals and clinics need to evolve.

That will never happen if everything is co-opted by a government program.

The substitution of a huge, self-serving bureaucracy for a wide variety of approaches to health care would result in a drastic reduction of consumer choices. Once that happens, the system’s motives for change and adaptive policies would disappear, and the new system would become as limited in vision and scope as the sclerotic VA and Bureau of Indian Affairs. It would happen virtually overnight.

In sum: under Obama’s plan, the rationing of health care is inevitable.

Obama has lost control, for Palin has at a stroke redefined and won the argument. Congress backed off. Read her Facebook post, and then have a look at this commentary from a leftist.

Finally, contrast the facts of the matter, as Palin and others have made them clear, with the way the press is reporting the issue. The media are more concerned with the spectacular aspects of the story than with the facts and background.

At Its Core, This Is A Prime Example Of Hypocrisy

People — a lot of people — don’t like Obamacare, and they said so. The response: collectivists and Obamaniacs called the unhappy electorate a “mob,” accused them of being Nazis, said they were too well dressed not to be “astroturf,” and started ducking town hall meetings.

Suddenly what was once patriotic became outrageous, intolerable and contrary to the practice of democracy.

What was sauce for Bush is not for Obama. Never has the hard left in US politics more clearly revealed itself. “Progressives” have seen their causes besmirched by the left’s mindless reaction to wide opposition, and the harm may endure.

And why is that? Because when hypocrisy drives out reason, we are left with this sort of garbage. Sooner or later, most people are going to reject it as just what it is.

Scattered Potshots

A cost of AGW madness — job losses.

Yale and the Mohammedans. This newsletter’s money is on the eleventh century fanatics, a commitment based on the manifest decline of Enlightenment values in the US academy.

You have “free” money to give away. You spread it around. You wind up looking like a fool. That’s because you thought of it as “free” money.

Will it never end? Probably not, but meanwhile…for some common sense, try a bit of Card. He’s on target, and definitely worth a read.

Do not go on the internet with Windows. Your computer may be part of a botnet — and you won’t even know about it.

Glimpses Of The Continuing Disgrace

Hark! A Socialist Utopia awaits, and you will love it — or else. Of course Sarah Palin disagrees, so it’s fair to ask whether the despised icon was wrong when she attacked the concept. Do so.

To elucidate: the problems with Obamacare begin with its ethical vacuity.

Free people can treat each other justly, but they can’t make life fair. To get rid of the unfairness among individuals, you have to exercise power over them. The more fairness you want, the more power you need. Thus, all dreams of fairness become dreams of tyranny in the end.

That’s from an article you should read in full. Then there is the question of quality, and the answer is dismaying.

Next, look at the muscle of the coalition pushing Obamacare. Read this reminder of the sort of people the bicoastal elite has mustered for the effort. The “progressive” agenda calls for seismic change, so you might well ask whether government medicine will be a big outfit in the USA. Answer: oh, yes, and it will have the political clout to resist reform.

The (British) NHS (National Health Service) employs around 1.3 million people — it’s thought to be the world’s third-largest employer after the Chinese military and India’s railway service….

…according to this article. Note that the United Kingdom is not a large nation, compared to the USA (about sixty-one million people, as opposed to over three hundred million). Meanwhile, speaking of the politics of socialized medicine in Great Britain….

Let’s not forget Canada, a nation that can’t quite convince anyone that it’s not actually a clone of the USA without the Enlightenment values. All physicians in Canada have to work for the government, and the result is a mess. No, really.

It’s nasty on the front lines of the struggle, and the Obama zealots are crying foul. Are they justified? Here’s a report. It seems more likely that the Utopian socializers have a fundamental attitude problem, and then did not understand the circumstances. Fatal errors? Possibly. It all depends on how pissed off the political middle becomes; the oldsters are pretty steamed already. For perspective, read this piece; here’s a sample quote:

Focusing on the town halls certainly has its merits, but if you actually wanted Obama-care to pass, casting a majority of Americans as being stooges of racist goons may not be the best way to go.

That’s just part of the sordid story, too little of which is getting out. The outrageous hypocrisy of Nancy Pelosi will have to stand for all the many sins of a besieged Establishment that is furious at the misbehavior of the Grate Unwashed. Here’s Nan-Nan before, when she waschampioning dissent. Now look at the wretch of today. So much for her ethics.

Yes, it’s distressing that this degenerate holds high office in a nation so pathetically in need of wise leadership. Wouldn’t it be great if a way could be found to get Nan-Nan to resign her seat in Congress and devote herself full time to a new hobby? Well, this may be just the ticket.

Back to harsh reality…Pelosi’s egregious partisanship and ideological zeal are an ugly thread that runs through the “progressive” wing of the Democratic party. Have you noticed how anti-war protests have declined, and have you wondered why that is? Probably not, if you use the major media as a source of information and inspiration to rumination. Consider some hard facts, and ponder this adaptive response.

Well, the collectivist camp is trying to regroup and counter-attack.

And what, you might ask, are the news media doing with all this? This newsletter considers them puzzled and frustrated lap dogs still. They have studiously avoided one monumental issue, for example, in spite of genuine developments (see this while you are at it), and their cowardice (or sheer bias) is harming the republic. Vital news is trickling out when it should be a tsunami, but that would upset The One. Shame!

So facts like these are hard to come by. Yes, they are available if you dig, but for the umpteenth time this newsletter repeats: censorship and bias do not have to be 100% complete in order to be effective. If less than five percent of the electorate knows the real story, the fake story can ignore the truth and carry the day.

There is more to a collectivist administration than government medicine; there’s also political correctness, and the repression of the individual. Again, the major media are letting the nation down, for these are vital issues. “What issues?” you ask; issues you have not heard about. Issues like this, and then this. While the media focus on spectacular reports of “clashes” at town hall meetings and spread false accusations of racism and “astroturfing,” Liberty is being eroded. The news consumers often forget that what they read, see and hear is not news, but what the news media want the public to know.

So a lot gets filtered out, and a lot more is reported in small markets and is never exposed to even a quarter of the public. Here are three examples that you probably did not hear about if you do not use the internet as a major source of your information.

1. Politically incorrect technology that is badly needed —

Extracting oil and gas from shale requires less water than is used in the production of ethanol….

2. Yet more evidence that the government is not qualified to run the nation.

The SEC is using public funds to deny the public the free flow of public information involving taxpayer-funded state universities.

3. Considering the magnitude of the administration’s sins, this is trivial — but still wrong, and reveals a nasty attitude. And here’s one for lagniappe: it’s not Obama’s doing, but typical of government’s authoritarian streak. What makes you think having your health care managed by bureaucrats would be an improvement, for crying out loud?

We have to consider the probabilities, in other words. Probabilities are heralded by events that give us a notion of the style, the fundamental values, of a man, a town, a federal administration. Look carefully, therefore, at what past events might tell us. Here are two more pieces of evidence.

1. Lesson learned: do not mess with an Obama crony, or you will be accused of racism. This means a lot of folks are going to say they are FOTOs (Friends of The One). Equal justice under the law? Forget it; Obama’s not that kind of guy. He’s from Chicago, and points west and south…way, way west and south.

2. If Obama finds out about this, he may order the program halted. We don’t want to offend our enemies, after all….

Here It Is

When Palin denounced Obamacare, she shifted the discourse from Utopian promise-mongering to the quintessence of the electorate’s fears: that government poses a threat to the individual. The “death panel” was a symbol with profound meaning — especially so because the elderly in particular know that inevitable care rationing will cause them suffering. They don’t want that for their children and grandchildren.

Voters deeply resent being called “astroturf,” which means goons hired by insurance companies to harrass officials. They hate being reviled by their elected representatives as Nazis, crazies, “wingnuts” and a “mob.” Most of all, they are furious at being called racists. To them, the Obama/Joker poster is anything but bigotry. Finally, they recognize full well the hypocrisy of their ruling class, which cynically supports “patriotic dissent” or damns “mob violence” and “racism” in support of its controversial causes.

The great majority of the electorate intuits the folly of Utopian ideology. Common sense, a virtue of despised “flyover country,” is asserting itself.

This has come as a shock to Obama and his eminence grise, Rahm Emanuel. The duo miscalculated the palatability of their schemes because they neither understand nor respect the populace of the USA. To this driven pair, the people are not individuals, but a community to be organized.