Saturday, October 30, 2010


In the shadow of the Capitol and the election, comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert entertained a huge throng Saturday at a "sanity" rally poking fun at the nation's ill-tempered politics, its fear-mongers and doomsayers.

"We live now in hard times," Stewart said after all the shtick. "Not end times."

Part comedy show, part pep talk, the rally drew together tens of thousands stretched across an expanse of the National Mall, a festive congregation of the goofy and the politically disenchanted. People carried signs merrily protesting the existence of protest signs. Some dressed like bananas, wizards, Martians and Uncle Sam.

Stewart, a satirist who makes his living skewering the famous, came to play nice. He decried the "extensive effort it takes to hate" and declared "we can have animus and not be enemies."

Screens showed a variety of pundits and politicians from the left and right, engaged in divisive rhetoric. Prominently shown: Glenn Beck, whose conservative Restoring Honor rally in Washington in August was part of the motivation for the Stewart and Colbert event, called the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. It appeared to rival Beck's rally in attendance.

As part of the comedic routine, Stewart and his associates asked some in the audience to identify themselves by category, eliciting answers such as "half-Mexican, half-white," "American woman single" and "Asian-American from Taiwan."

"It's a perfect demographic sampling of the American people," Stewart cracked to a crowd filled with mostly younger whites. "As you know, if you have too many white people at a rally, your cause is racist. If you have too many people of color, then you must be asking for something -- special rights, like eating at restaurants or piggy back rides."

With critical congressional elections looming Tuesday, Stewart and Colbert refrained from taking political sides on stage, even as many in the crowd wore T-shirts that read "Stewart-Colbert 2012."

Stewart sang along as Jeff Tweedy sang that America "is the greatest, strongest country in the world. There is no one more American than we."

Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow also performed, singing if "I can't change the world to make it better, the least I can do is care."

The idea was to provide a counterweight to all the shouting and flying insults of these polarized times. But there were political undertones, too, pushing back against conservatives ahead of Tuesday's election.

Slogans urged people to "relax." But also: "Righties, don't stomp on my head," a reference to a Republican rally in Kentucky at which a liberal activist was pulled to the ground and stepped on. And, "I wouldn't care if the president was Muslim."

Colbert, who poses as an ultraconservative on his show, played the personification of fear at the rally. He arrived on stage in a capsule like a rescued Chilean miner, from a supposed underground bunker. He pretended to distrust all Muslims until one of his heroes, basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who is Muslim, came on the stage.

"Maybe I need to be more discerning," Colbert mused. He told Stewart: "Your reasonableness is poisoning my fear."

Shannon Escobar, 31, of Bangor, Pa., came with a group of 400 people on buses chartered in New York. A supporter of President Barack Obama in 2008, she said she's tired of nasty rhetoric from both sides and disenchanted with lack of progress in Washington.

"I want to see real change -- not Obama change," she said. "We need a clean slate and start over with people really working together."

A regular viewer of Stewart's "The Daily Show," she said she had a dream that he ran for political office, but got "corrupt and dirty."

"I need him to stay pure," she said, deadpan.

Stewart is popular with Democrats and independents, a Pew Research Center poll found. Colbert of "The Colbert Report" poses as an ultraconservative, and the stage was stacked with entertainers associated with Democratic causes or Obama's 2008 campaign.

Even so, Stewart said the day was about toning down anger and partisan division. "Shouting is annoying, counterproductive and terrible for your throat," he said on his website.

Friday, October 29, 2010


The FDA has declined to approve the investigational weight-loss pill Qnexa, marking the second time in a week the agency has rejected a diet drug.

The FDA wasn't expected to approve the medication because a panel of outside experts voted in 10-6 in July against recommending approval for the combination drug -- made by Vivus -- which was shown to be effective in helping obese and overweight patients lose an average of 6-10 percent of their body weight in the company's clinical trials.

At the meeting, one panelist said the drug is "far superior to anything on the market;" however, concerns over psychiatric and cardiovascular issues uncovered in the company's trials ultimately trumped the weight-loss benefit.

Qnexa had been touted by many experts as the most promising weight-loss drug in more than a decade.

One of the key researchers in the development of Qnexa warned that the FDA's negative decision on the drug could have a cooling effect on industry efforts.

"If there isn't any kind of path forward for this drug I think it is going to shut down all obesity drug development for a decade," said Dr. Tim Garvey of the University of Alabama. Garvey conducted two clinical trials of Qnexa and has consulted for Vivus.

"Why would a company put all that investment into developing a drug if the FDA signals they aren't willing to approve it," he said.

With U.S. obesity rates nearing 35 percent among adults, doctors and public health officials say new weight-loss therapies are desperately needed. And even a modestly effective drug could have blockbuster potential.

While I question the constitutionality of the FDA, they actually may be right here.

I have done a lot of research on this subject since this story broke, and it turns out that if you eat LESS and exercise MORE, you will actually lose weight.

Maybe of we all turn off "American Idol," get off the couch, and go for a walk, we'll be better off...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Obama on ‘The Daily Show’

President Barack Obama paid a visit to “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” yesterday.

During the interview, President Obama defended his administration against the charge that its policies have been too “timid.”

“We prevented the second great depression,” the President said.

He also appealed to voters to give some credit to lawmakers seeking reelection who had supported his policies in the face of criticism. “My hope in this election is that people who vote on the basis of what they think is right, and have integrity, and aren’t just thinking about the next election but are thinking about the next generation, that they are rewarded,” he said.

President Obama suggested that he might amend his famous catchphrase “Yes we can” to reflect political reality. “Yes we can, but…” the President began, before Stewart interrupted with a laugh. “…It’s not gonna happen overnight,” the president finished.

There was a funny exchange where Obama told Stewart he didn't want to lump him in with the other pundits. A moment later, Stewart responed with not wanting to lump him in with the other Presidents of the last ten years.

Now Stephen T. McCarthy is never gonna forgive me for the following comment, but the Prez came off as charismatic and funny. I think this was a good move for him.

Contrary to the criticism being leveled against the POTUS, I think it was a clever way to reach a broad audience.

This was not Bill Clinton playing saxophone and trying to look cool.

It was a pretty serious discussion.

However, the message still contained an awful lot of mistruths. The health care bill did not decrease the deficit by trillions. Obama's policies have in fact burdened the country with trillions in additional debt.

He seems to condemn people for working hard and succeeding. I guess I thought we had a capitalist system for the time being.
The notion that "people who vote on the basis of what they think is right, and have integrity, and aren’t just thinking about the next election but are thinking about the next generation, that they are rewarded,” is a bit of a fallacy as well.

I think a lot of Americans are finally starting to be concerned about the government's out-of-control spending. And as for preventing a depression, well we're not out of the woods yet!

Whether this concern is enough to vote in change remains to be seen.

Whether there really be any real change or just more of the same "two parties with the same agenda" shuffling that has gone on for decades...I don't know if I dare to hope.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Maricopa County: Political shirts unwelcome at polls

(still awaiting verdict on whether voters are welcome)

from The Arizona Republic, America's best bird cage liner

"Tea party" shirts will not be welcome inside Maricopa County polling places on Tuesday, nor will any clothing promoting Democrats, Republicans or any other political group or campaign issue.

A federal court ruling that permits one particular Flagstaff tea party T-shirt to be worn in Coconino County polling places does not apply to Maricopa County or to any other article of clothing, Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne said.

"We're not singling out the tea party," she said. "This applies to anybody wearing anything that is campaigning."

A voter who shows up on Tuesday wearing campaign material such as T-shirts, buttons, hats or stickers will be asked to remove it, cover it or turn it inside-out.

Osborne said if the voter refuses, he or she will still be permitted to vote. A polling place worker will fill out an "event report" that includes the voter's name and voter ID number. Osborne can then use that information to follow up on the incident at a later date, including finding others who were there voting at the same time. "That will give me an additional person to go back to if there is a complaint the following day so that we can have not just what the polling place told me but what other voters who were there at the time saw," she said.

The Goldwater Institute, which is involved in the Coconino County lawsuit, has sent Osborne a letter calling the county's decision not to allow tea party shirts that don't expressly advocate for or against someone or something on the ballot unreasonable and discriminatory. The tea party is not an official political party in Arizona.

And once again, the embezzles in charge miss the point!

Voter turnout is so low, especially in the intellectual void that is Airheadzona, that maybe they ought to forget about policing tee shirts.

I would even support someone's right to wear a King Kenyan tee shirt!

How many Arizonans do you really think can read anyway?

What a maroon!

I know...let's require formal wear at the polls! Or maybe Catholic school uniforms...

Looney Tunes quotes are intentional...sadly, this story really is true...

Sunday, October 24, 2010


An Ohio high school cheerleader was placed on suspension from her squad Tuesday for an alleged picture of underage drinking that was posted on Facebook.

Bree Vargo, a 16-year-old junior, was suspended from the Cardinal High School cheerleading squad after someone sent a photo from Facebook of her with a beer bottle positioned under her mouth to school administrators.

"I just sat there and cried, I didn't even know what to say, just I don't know, I wanted to leave school, I didn't want to be there," Bree said.

The picture was taken at an Oct. 2 wedding reception for Bree's older sister. Bree and her mother, Susan Vargo, said that the photo is misleading. They explained that the angle the photo was taken makes it so the viewer cannot tell the beer bottle is really being held by the woman next to her.

School officials stated that Bree admitted to having a beer in her hand at one point. Her parents are angry because a meeting took place without their permission and without them being present.

“I was there when the picture was taken. It was a completely innocent picture,” said Bree’s mother, Susan Vargo, adding that Bree and her 22-year-old sister were switching drinks in a mock toast.

“I don’t condone drinking, let alone underage drinking. There’s absolutely no tolerance — (that) behavior is not acceptable.”

Vargo said that an off-duty Geauga County Sheriff’s deputy was present per a stipulation by the wedding hall when alcohol is present.

Cardinal Schools Superintendent Paul Yocum said the district’s athletic handbook indicates any possession or use of alcohol or drugs results in a two game/three week suspension for the first offense. It was Bree’s first such offense.

“She said, ‘I wasn’t drinking. I was holding it for somebody,’” said Yocum, adding that simply possession, not just consumption, falls within that violation.

Yocum said every high school deals with instances of underage drinking though the district tries to educate students through its D.A.R.E. program and health classes.

The Facebook photograph and note was sent to the district’s athletic director, Yocum said.

The athletic director, high school principal and dean of students met with Bree and then suspended her on Tuesday. Yocum said it is common practice to meet with a student for such a violation and then inform the parents.

Regardless of what the handbook says, Bree’s mother said she and her husband should have been present for the meeting.

“It upsets me greatly, but apparently they have the right to do that,” Susan Vargo said. “Unfortunately, her suspension is not going to be overturned. This is going to go on her school record.”

Susan Vargo said they have contacted an attorney to see if anything can be resolved.

This is an example of these schools reaching into the student’s lives outside of school.

Remember I mentioned that in yesterday’s blog.

If you don’t remember, shame on you! Go back, reread it and tell ten of your friends to follow my blog.

I believe that Susan Vargo has EVERY RIGHT to allow her daughter to consume alcohol under her supervision, and that is no one’s business.

Not the police, and certainly not the school’s.

And where does Cardinal High School get off holding a meeting and discussing topic like that with a minor without her parents present? Might that not be intimidating for a young girl? Might she possibly get railroaded?

On the one hand, she’s enough of an adult to represent herself in a proceeding overseen by several high-level school employees, but on the other hand she’s not old enough to hold a bottle of beer in a photograph.

In my high school days, my parents were called for far less. Which got me into trouble at home. Coincidentally, that was at Cardinal O’Hara High School. Maybe it’s a “Cardinal” thing.

I had a discussion with a coworker recently, who was at a grocery store with her fourteen year-old son, and the cashier asked her who the beer was for.

Yes-you can buy alcohol in supermarkets in AZ-take that my Philadelphia friends!

My coworker made it a point of assuring the cashier she would never serve alcohol to a minor.

Again-none of their business how you raise your own child in your own home. I would have walked out and left the entire grocery order at check out (without paying, natch!) and gone down the street. In Phoenix, there’s a supermarket every hundred yards. They need her business more than she needs them.

I was at a retirement party for my aunt as a teenager and there was a toast being made. My father asked for glasses for me and my younger sister. The waitress said she could not serve minors. My father said, “You’re not-you’re serving me. I’m serving them.” The manager came over and gave approval. A different time, a different world.

Now I would agree that it would be irresponsible for my father to let two minors get sloppy drunk. But if a responsible parent wants to give his or her children lessons on responsible drinking, I encourage that.

But ya know what really has me PISSED? Read the comments attached to the second story….

"She should be suspended!!!! "

"I don't know about this. I get that she was holding the drink for someone else, but I can see what the school is saying. The school board cant believe that she was holding the drink for someone else. "

"Blame the parents for allowing even this joke to take place, not the little girl. Maybe the parents feel they are entitled and rules don't apply to them but thankfully the supt stuck with the rule. Great teaching moment for all kids, regardless who you are or think you are, rules apply to you too. "

"Maybe if kids were more respectful of the rules, bullying would not occur so this incident is a perfect example of rules are rules, follow them, and that means everyone "

What the hell is going on in Ohio?

Stop worry about what Bree may or may not have been drinking and check the Kool-Aid you have apparently been guzzling.

Is this Salem?


Nazi Germany?

These people are ready to burn this kid at the stake for HOLDING A BEER BOTTLE! Are you kidding me?

Even if the young lady were (GASP!) drinking a beer, am I the only one left in American who seems to think that is normal behavior for a teenager and not the end of the world?

And sadly, the people who left comments miss the real point. The issue isn't whether Bree had a beer. The issue is that the school's authority over Bree ends at the sidewalk in front of school and after school hours is replaced by parental authority.

Were all the protestors at Kent State out-of-state students? Are you people really this lame?

It's no wonder you guys bent over when Bill Clinton shoved NAFTA up your butts and then cheered when Hilary said on the campaign trail she'd pull it out.

Where will these so-called defenders of the rules draw the line at intrustion into their homes?

Maybe the schools should be allowed to search their houses at will to make sure the ”environment” is safe for their child.

Oops, I forgot. We already have Child Protective Services for that. Don’t want to tread on their turf.

Parent in this school system should be outraged at this overstepping of authority, and furious that it was allowed to happen without their input.

Links to the full news stories I read and summarized for this post:

And thanks to Stephen T. McCarthy who mentioned hearing this news item on the radio.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


We need the Department of Education, right?

Where would our children be without them?

Well, the truth is, the Department of Education didn’t even exist until Jimmy Carter created it for the National Education Association in return for its political support.

The taxpayers in this country have spent, since 1965, an estimated $3 trillion on public education.

Think your tax dollars for education are well-spent? Consider the following statement by former Yale president Benno Schmidt:

"We have roughly doubled per-pupil spending (after inflation) in public schools since 1965… Yet high school students today are posting lower SAT scores than a generation ago. The nation's investment in educational improvement has produced very little return."

The numbers support this assertion. Between 1972 and 1992, the combined math and verbal scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) fell from an average of 937 to 899. This drop occurred despite the fact that the U.S. doubled its per-pupil spending, from $2,611 to $5,521 (in 1990 dollars) between 1965 and 1990.

Meanwhile, home schoolers that liberals like to write off as nut cases (ever listen to Bill Maher talk about them?) continue to outperform their “No Child Left Behind” counterparts. A Washington Times article from 2009 cites a study that indicates that the average home-school test results continue to be 30-plus percentile points higher than their public school counterparts.

Do you still think that giving the government more of your tax dollars will help education?

Whether the money does the job really doesn’t matter to Uncle Obama. In many cases, the worse the job, and the poorer the performance, the more money is likely to be thrown at a program.

Consider the results of a study released at the beginning of the year about Head Start, which in theory is supposed to narrow the performance gap between low-income children, ages three and four, and those whose parents have more money. Per their web site:

Head Start is a national program that promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families.

In the words of the Department of Health and Human Services, while enrolled in Head Start, students show improvement on measures of academic and social achievement. But all gains diminish and then disappear entirely within a few years of exiting the program.

HHS summarized Head Start's short-lived impact this way: "In the long run, cognitive and socioemotional test scores of former Head Start students do not remain superior to those of disadvantaged children who did not attend Head Start."

More recently, the General Accounting Office reported that there is simply no evidence that Head Start provides lasting benefits. Essentially, children end up back where they started. Those findings are consistent with 40 years of research on early intervention that shows that short-term benefits are possible but lasting gains are elusive.

Put simply: It’s a failure. Having eaten up some $166 billion over 45 years, Head Start is a bust.

The drive to nationalize education is based on a lie.The idea that imposing national standards from Washington will make Americans more competitive is a myth.

This is not about education-Washington is all about power. The more that states and localities can be rendered dependent on federal dollars, the more power accrues to the liberal educational establishment. It makes it much easier to direct what should be taught.

Is the dumbing down of our children coincidence or conspiracy? Many would theorize this is a deliberate action aimed at furthering the Marxist goals of the government. If you look at the behavior of both parties, the Marxist agenda is hard to debunk.

Just because conspiracy theorists are paranoid doesn’t mean there’s no conspiracy. Look at some of the changes in schools over the last thirty years.

• Remove references to Christianity (“winter celebrations” instead of Christmas)
• Disallowed moments of silence for meditation or prayer
• Advocate homosexuality
• Lower test scores
• Intrusion into student’s lives outside of school (see my next post)

Is this a conspiracy? At a minimum, it is another example of our government’s vast incompetence and our inability to make them accountable.

I don’t have children. If I did, I’d be pretty pissed off at the school systems. I do not understand why parents are not.


Courtesy of "The New American," the only news magazine that carries truth.

Written by William F. Jasper

Monday, 27 September 2010

The Choose Freedom — Stop ObamaCare tour is a nationwide speaking tour/media tour of physicians sponsored by The John Birch Society. It is an important part of the Society’s comprehensive Choose Freedom — Stop ObamaCare campaign that includes billboards, radio and newspaper ads, videos and DVDs, flyers, bumper stickers, ObamaCare repeal and nullification petitions, Internet social network sites, and YouTube, as well as print and online articles. The campaign aims to educate and enlist more Americans in the efforts to push Congress to repeal ObamaCare (officially, and disingenuously, named the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), while at the same time urging state legislatures to stop the federal takeover of medicine and healthcare through the constitutional process of nullification.

The four distinguished physicians on the speaking tour were interviewed recently for The New American by Senior Editor William F. Jasper. (We have combined excerpts from their interviews here; all four of the unabridged interviews will soon be available at

Dr. Mike Ritze is a physician and surgeon in private practice in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He is also an adjunct professor, a state medical examiner, an FAA senior medical examiner, a private helicopter pilot, and a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He received a 100-percent rating from the Oklahoma Constitution this year and was named the top freshman conservative by the publication. Dr. Ritze authored legislation to enable Oklahomans to opt out of the federal ObamaCare. His bill passed both houses with comfortable margins, but was vetoed by Oklahoma’s Democratic governor. Dr. Ritze then sponsored an initiative that will be on the state ballot in November to permit Oklahomans to exercise the individual choice to opt out of ObamaCare.

Dr. Fredrick Pierce graduated from medical school in 1955 and spent stints in the military services at the Navy Aviation Medical School and as an Army flight surgeon before beginning a long career in industrial medicine in the environmental and occupational health fields. He served 27 years with General Motors and then at clinics in Michigan and Indiana before retiring. He is a longtime active member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Mark E. Baxter is a former urgent-care and emergency-room physician and a Senior Airman Medical Examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration. He works in family medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Utah and served his residency at the Hinsdale Family Practice in Hinsdale, Illinois. He has long had an interest in the effect on medicine that would accompany government control of medical care. He wrote a paper on the subject in 1992 entitled “Basic Problems in Recent Proposals to Nationalize (Socialize) Medicine.”

Dr. Mal Mauney is a former professor of optometry and director of clinics at the Southern College of Optometry. He was the president and CEO of the Vision Education Foundation, where he developed eye-care centers that render high-tech diagnostic and/or surgical procedures by doctors of optometry and ophthalmologists. The centers also provide educational seminars for doctors to maintain skills needed to render secondary and tertiary eye and vision care. He received his optometry degree from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1960. Dr. Mauney is also very active in community, civic, and political affairs, serving 16 years as commissioner of the Board of Education of the Memphis City Schools (four years as either president or vice president). He has been honored as Citizen of the Year by the Memphis Civitan Club, and as Lion of the Year by the Lions Club of Memphis.

The New American: ObamaCare was rammed through Congress before the final text was available for members to even read, let alone study as something this complex deserves to be studied. What are some of the more alarming provisions of the legislation that have been revealed since its passage?

Dr. Mauney: One of the provisions that has caused quite an uproar is the requirement that every business (which would include private physicians) file a 1099 Form with the IRS for every transaction of $600 or more. You know, today $600 is practically nothing, so you can imagine the imposition that this is going to make on small businesses. Thousands of new bookkeeping headaches. And we find out that in order to enforce the 19 or more new taxes under ObamaCare, the IRS will be adding 16,500 new IRS agents.

Of course, there is the incredible statement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that you can watch on YouTube, in which she says they had to pass the ObamaCare bill so they could find out what’s in it! But then you may have seen the more recent statement by Senator Max Baucus at his town hall meeting [in Libby, Montana, on August 23]. A constituent asked him if he’d read the bill. Baucus came back with this comment, and I quote: “I know you don’t want me to waste my time reading every page of that bill, it’s statutory. We hire experts for that.”

However, one thing that is even worse than what was hidden in the bill is what’s not in the bill. By that I’m referring to the still unwritten, to-be-decided policies and mandates. There are over 150 agencies, boards, commissions, or panels that it has created, and each one of these bureaucracies will now write their own rules and regulations. Can you imagine what a nightmare that will be?

Dr. Baxter: The American College of Physicians (ACP) is complaining about an independent payment advisory panel, which is 15 so-called experts appointed by the President to make decisions about cutting costs and improving quality.... There is a major constitutional problem here, in that even a majority vote of Congress supposedly can’t undo something that this advisory body recommends. Of course, the constitutional question is how can the legislative branch give up the power to do that? These people will be appointed by the President — and Congress has no control in changing them or their edicts? That’s certainly unconstitutional. And that’s just one little part of the massive legislation; every week something like this comes out because no one had a chance to look at it earlier.

So we don’t really know what ObamaCare is because everything is so carefully hidden. The details are not in the bill, except for setting up these committees that will decide everything at a later time. We can’t look up the bill and find out what age they will cut off dialysis, for example; that will be decided by a committee at a later time, so how can we oppose that when there’s nothing specific to oppose? And that, of course, is the intent of those who wrote it.

The New American: The British National Health Service (NHS), the Canadian Health Service, RomneyCare in Massachusetts — all of these continue to be held up as models that we should be emulating. What does your experience and study tell you about these systems?

Dr. Ritze: A friend of mine is a radiologist up in Alberta, Canada. In the whole province they have one MRI scanner that is 12 years old, and it breaks down regularly. He can’t rely on it. In the city of Tulsa we have more MRI and CT scanners than the whole country of Canada has. That’s what the free market does.

Another friend of mine is an internist up in Toronto, Canada. He had a lady, 50 years old, come in with urinary bladder cancer. She could have been cured easily, and they put her off for five years and she died because of the rationing up there. The same week at the same clinic, a man came in wanting a sex change and got it done in a week under the Canadian socialized medicine. It was politically expedient because he was homosexual. Most physicians can relate similar personal stories because it is so common.

In the Canadian system, you can go outside the system and where do they come? There’s a term, they call it Fargoing, Buffaloing, or Seattling; they come to border states in the United States to get their healthcare.... Many thousands of Canadians come down and pay cash to get good healthcare they can’t get up there. Under ObamaCare it will be against the law if you seek care outside ObamaCare. You’ll be fined and taxed and sentenced to prison; that’s the ultimate plan everybody knows they have up their sleeve.

Dr. Baxter: My parents were legal citizens of Canada and were able to get all the benefits of citizens including healthcare. My mother broke her ankle and needed surgery. She went to the hospital, and they transferred her to one about 300 miles away, for a very simple pinning of a bone. The orthopedic floor, due to budget cuts, had only one wheelchair for the entire floor, and this is the orthopedics ward where people can’t walk and get around. They would schedule tests based on the available wheelchair, not the availability of the tests. She went on a Friday to get some x-rays, the weekend shift had been cut because they had already reached their budget, so they left her lying on the x-ray table and closed down that wing of the hospital. My dad found her the next day, she wasn’t able to get off of it. That kind of thing, which would be unimaginable here, and which would result in huge scandal and lawsuits, is not uncommon there. And that’s what we are going to have here if ObamaCare is implemented.

Dr. Pierce: The major media here have been glorifying the Canadian and British health systems for decades and covering up their well-known deficiencies and notorious horror stories. There are many medical and economic studies exposing the problems with those systems: horrendous waiting lists, huge cost overruns, corruption, unavailability of common procedures and tests we take for granted, doctors leaving for foreign countries or leaving the profession, rationing by bureaucrats, scandalous conditions in hospitals, etc. But in addition to scholarly studies, anyone with access to the Internet can quickly do a Google search and come up with many published British and Canadian news stories showing the deplorable state of their healthcare systems. They’re not anything we should copy. But that’s not what you hear from the Big Media here; they’ve been telling us story after story about this person and that person in Canada and Britain who had an operation or treatment for “free,” whereas, their counterparts here in the United States would have been hit with an enormous, crushing bill.

President Obama’s appointee to head Medicare and Medicaid, Dr. Donald Berwick, is an ecstatic proponent of British socialized medicine. The British NHS is a “global treasure,” he says. He even says he’s “romantic about it” and “loves it.” So that’s where he’d like to lead us.

Dr. Mauney: The Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, has done a series of studies on the Canadian healthcare system, and in one of their studies estimated that in 2009 over 40,000 Canadians left Canada for non-emergency care. And that is likely an underestimate. They also said on average Canadians would be better with coronary bypass surgery in the States than in Canada. They also indicated in their report, that Canada is spending 41 percent more per person than they spent back in 1993, while their waiting periods are about 73 percent longer than 1993 — but it’s all equal care, and it’s free! You just might have trouble getting to it. And this free system turns out not to be so “free” after all; the Canadian national and provincial governments are now admitting their healthcare spending is not sustainable and will end up bankrupting them.

A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to spend a number of weeks in Canada, and about six weeks in England. I read everything, so I read all their papers — they were waiting almost two years for cataract surgery. Also in a UK paper just recently, there were 3,000 deaths due to medical mistakes. An interesting editorial in the London Daily Mail, a major newspaper, detailed some of the terrible scandals at supposedly model hospitals and commented: “The dead hand of central government control is ruining the national health service and the patients are paying with their lives.”

The New American: One of the things that has tilted many supporters toward ObamaCare is the spiraling cost of American medicine and healthcare. But how much of those skyrocketing costs are the result of previous federal mandates, taxes, and regulations?

Dr. Baxter: Government’s impact is huge; government is the problem not the solution. Take one minor bill, a clinical laboratory mandate that was passed about 20 years ago. I was working in a small clinic at the time; I had my own lab, my own microscope, and did my own tests. People could come in, and I could do the urine tests, spin the specimen down, look at it under the microscope, perform simple laboratory tests at much less cost, and certainly quicker — I was able to diagnose on the spot. But they passed a law that you had to have some kind of certificate to do lab work, which basically meant only a large hospital lab that had some bureaucrat hired could qualify for it. In my particular case, I have a background in microbiology, I have a master’s degree in aquatic ecology, and my thesis was on microbiology along a stream continuum. I’m much more qualified than most of the people they have running the tests now, but under the government plan, I wasn’t qualified. It’s estimated that just that one bill raised the cost of medicine 10 percent, which would be one-third of all the salaries of all the doctors. That’s just one bill, then you add on all the others. Yes, the costs go up dramatically because of government intervention.

Dr. Pierce: I think government is responsible for almost all of it.... The government has stepped in with first-dollar coverage, so to speak. This medical care stuff is not insurance — it’s not health insurance, which is risk-related. An insurance product is supposed to be shared-risk/actuarially sound, where the premium bears some relationship to the use and to the group experience. The trouble is medicine doesn’t do that now because that’s considered “discriminatory.” And so it’s not health insurance, it’s prepaid medical care. There are two kinds of so-called health insurance, one is defined benefit, and the other is defined premium, with the “defined” being contractual. Socialized medicine gives you a defined premium; you have so much to pay, but there’s no connection between that and the benefit. The government steps in and says you pay this much and you can have all you want. So it creates infinite demand for very finite resources.... It works as a reverse incentive, actually. If the consumer (patient) doesn’t use it, he loses it. I heard that a lot when I was in corporate practice. “It’s mine and if I don’t use it, I’ll lose it.”

Dr. Ritze: As just one example, take the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Under Bush 41 (George Bush, Sr.) OSHA began an invasion of medical offices, putting tremendous burdens on us. Our group practice figured it was going to cost us $5,000 extra per year to tag on the extra costs to abide by OSHA, which included stupid things like double-gloving, and they wanted us to do “safety” things like two-way dooring out of our laboratory, just crazy things. At the small local hospital with just 100 beds, the administrator told me he stopped counting at $75,000 per year it was adding on to their costs.

I talked to an ENT [ear, nose, throat] doctor the other day — he’d been in practice for 20-30 years. He started off with one office girl, one nurse, one secretary and now he has 20 of them that are drowning in regulations that he has to comply with. And all that stuff adds up. It adds to the stress of the practice, and a lot of them are just quitting. I know a neurosurgeon, 49 years old, at the peak of his career. He’s working on his MBA. He’s never been sued, but as soon as he finishes his MBA, he’s quitting his medical practice. He said, “I’m out of here.” Just couldn’t take all the government regulations, costs, and red tape anymore.

The New American: The American Medical Association (AMA), the most well-known medical organization, endorses ObamaCare. What do you say to people who argue that it’s AMA-approved?

Dr. Ritze: The AMA leadership sold out a long time ago, which is why their membership has plummeted; they now represent less than 20 percent of physicians, most of whom are beholden to government for paychecks, facilities, research grants, contracts, and/or benefits. But they posture as the voice of medicine. They have become a tool of socialism. A specific example is AMA’s partnership with the federal government in fastening the draconian coding system on us that is strangling medicine. The AMA has an exclusive contract, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to produce the huge coding books that we all must use, and that are adding to costs and making the practice of medicine a constant, expanding headache. So, they’ve been bought off with a guaranteed revenue stream and can ignore the concerns of the vast majority of physicians who put patient care as their top priority.

Dr. Pierce: The AMA’s endorsement of ObamaCare further discredited an already-thoroughly discredited organization. It has become totally politicized. It speaks for a political agenda instead of good medical care. Members of the medical and healthcare professions, as well as members of the general public who wish to be well informed on health-related developments and policies, are better served by looking to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) for reliable information and sound, principled leadership. In addition to AAPS, other doctor groups have come out against ObamaCare: Physicians Against ObamaCare, National Doctor’s Tea Party, Docs4PatientCare, Physicians for Reform, and others.

The New American: Are you positive about the prospects for repealing ObamaCare?

Dr. Mauney: I’m definitely encouraged by the stand that people are making. In various surveys it’s running from 55 to 65 to 70 percent of the people would like to see the thing repealed. The danger we have to be on guard against is those Democrats and Republicans peddling the “repeal and replace” nonsense: We’ll repeal it, then replace it with some type of ObamaLite. We don’t need any replacement; after repealing ObamaCare we need to repeal many of the other unconstitutional, costly, and onerous policies and mandates that have been driving up the cost of healthcare and destroying our freedom of choice in medicine. I know there are defeatists who say it’s futile to try, the odds are stacked against us, but I’m one of the folks who agree with that great philosopher Yogi Berra when he said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
Dr. Pierce: There’s no question in my mind that we can repeal it; if we educate, motivate, and mobilize a significant number of our fellow citizens to take correct and timely action. Congress can and will repeal it, if they feel the heat from us in the form of letters, e-mails, town hall meetings, as well as in the form of ballots — both in the primaries and the coming midterm election in November. We really have no alternative, we must repeal ObamaCare before its tentacles can sprout and reach into every nook and cranny of every American’s life.

Dr. Ritze: I’m absolutely positive. I’ve been in the freedom fight for several decades and have never seen this kind of widespread awareness, concern, alarm, and involvement. As a Bircher, it could be lonely, at times, talking about the Constitution, the 10th Amendment, state nullification, the Federal Reserve, the dangers of Big Government. Now these things are commonplace in many circles. The economic crash has caused many people to sit up and wake up, as have the many alarming intrusions of government under Presidents Bush and Obama. Dr. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, and his ongoing Campaign for Liberty, as well as the Tea Party movement, the Internet’s alternatives to the controlled, so-called mainstream news — all of these have opened things up and brought many new, motivated, constitutionally-oriented patriots into the process.

You can follow the Choose Freedom — Stop ObamaCare campaign and keep up with related issues on Facebook at

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


ObamaCare, for Some

Even the media (typically liberal and definitely demonstrating a pro-Obama position for two years) is starting to change it's tune on health care reform. The following editorial piece is from the October 20, 2010Wall Street Journal. Not my words, but I agree with the opinion.

Well, well. In the clearest evidence so far that ObamaCare is harmful in practice and an election-year liability, the Obama Administration has decided not to enforce some of the law's "consumer protections." At least when the results are politically embarrassing.

Over the last several weeks the Health and Human Services Department has granted dozens of temporary waivers to certain ObamaCare mandates so that insurers and businesses won't drop or cancel coverage. The most conspicuous went to McDonald's to protect the "mini-med" plans for some 30,000 hourly workers from a rule that prohibits annual restrictions on benefits. Mini-med policies offer modest coverage at low premiums and other low-wage fast-food chains like Jack in the Box and Denny's have been granted waivers as well.

Cigna, Aetna and a few other insurers have been given hall passes to continue selling mini-meds. Another went to the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund. The New York union offers city teachers supplemental drug coverage that would have been banned under the new rules.

At least this sudden regulatory flexibility is protecting the coverage that people have today, as President Obama promised. But it isn't much of an improvement if HHS retreats only after a national political blow-up. After all, the essential point of the regulations was to destroy mini-med plans and other types of coverage that Democrats claim are insufficiently generous. Democrats from Mr. Obama on down call these rules "the patients' bill of rights," but people don't regularly need exemptions from a bill of rights.

And is it really better that HHS will impose destructive regulations and then decide on ad hoc basis who they'll hit? This is an invitation to play favorites, exact political retribution and pursue whatever arbitrary goals HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and her successors happen to hold. ObamaCare amnesty shouldn't go merely to the CEOs who can get White House aide Valerie Jarrett on the horn.

Recall, too, that the original McDonald's memo the Journal exposed was actually warning about the future damage that will be caused by the forthcoming definition of the "medical loss ratio," that is, what insurers are allowed to count as spending on health-care services. HHS said in a statement that Ms. Sebelius has the power to waive those rules too when they come out and "we fully intend to exercise her discretion under the new law to address the special circumstances of mini-med plans in the medical loss ratio calculations."

In other words, HHS is pre-emptively declaring that it will grant a special dispensation to rules that haven't even been finalized. Wouldn't it be better to write less destructive rules in the first place? Or why not give everyone a waiver from everything?

The reality is that ObamaCare assigns HHS vast, undefined new powers that will mean whatever Ms. Sebelius and her team decides they will mean. The bill uses the phrase "the Secretary shall" or one of its variants more than a thousand times. Earlier this year, the Congressional Research Service found that ObamaCare created a "currently unknowable" number of new boards, commissions and offices, adding that "it is currently impossible to know how much influence they will ultimately have."

HHS is also not building this bureaucratic apparatus in a transparent way. Ten of the 12 new regulations that HHS has issued in the last six months have been "interim final rules" that are not open to the ordinary process of public comment.

The White House had to play favorites with Senators and special interests to pass ObamaCare, and its implementation is no less ugly. But the waiver wave is most telling for what it says about the architects of this plan. By bending their own rules, they're conceding their destructiveness.

This does not even touch on what the cost would be if left unchecked. All of the "currently unknowable" boards, commissions and offices that this bill creates have not even formed, so their budgets have yet to be tallied up.

I can say first hand that already the costs to health insurers are mounting up, and even the dumbest of Americans (that would be Arizonans) ought to be able to figure out what happens to health insurance premiums if the company's costs increase.

It is a noble idea to want to provide free healthcare to all. It is just foolhardiness to not understand the Al Stewart lyric that goes....

"Nothing that's real is ever for free
And you've just got to pay for it sometime"

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Let’s take a break from all of the mayhem being inflicted on the American peeps by the foreign usurper who sits on the throne and take a closer look at the fall of an American icon. A myth. A legend in his own mind.

Brett Favre should have quit while she was ahead.

It’s hard to believe that after all of the drama, and all of the press conferences about retiring or not, our girl would be brought down by a few racy text messages and a few pictures of his… how do we say it delicately…thang.

In case you have not guessed, I am not a Favre fan. While it is hard to question his toughness, which contributes to his streak of consecutive starts and his impact on the record books, I get tired of hearing him billed as “the best quarterback of all time.”

In the same game that he broke both the 70,000 passing yards and 500-touchdown barriers that Favre also became the all-time leader in fumbles with 162. Most of these records are due to his long career, which is an accomplishment. But there a bunch of quarterbacks just in my lifetime who I’d rather have lead my dream team (Joe Montana, Tom Brady ,Peyton Manning, Troy Aikman, Jim Kelly, John Elway, Steve Young, Dan Fouts, Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw, Kurt Warner, to name a few).

Last year, he ended his season with a critical interception that cost his team the game. This seemed to be such a shock that the owners voted to change the overtime rules so that Brettie would have had another chance.

How quickly they forget. At the end of the 2007 season, Betty threw an interception in overtime that set up the Giants' game-winning field goal. You can almost set your watch on Bert ending his season on an interception. That’s why he keeps coming back-his ego can’t take it. And he has always been a reckless quarterback who makes questionable decisions.

Pet peeve number two. Brent is billed as the saviour of the Vikings. I seem to be the only one who remembers that during the same year Bette fell apart and almost single-handedly kept the Jets from the playoffs with four times as many interceptions as touchdowns in their playoff run, the Vikings were facing the Eagles in the playoffs. They were already a playoff team on the rise, and the rest of that team should be offended by the categorization of Brett as a savior.

But wait, there’s more! I keep hearing that the Brett-led Vikings outplayed the New Orleans Saints in last year’s NFC championship game.


That game was tied at the end of regulation and went into overtime. The Saints defense hit Birdy so hard he didn’t know what millennium it was. And did I mention the tie score? That sounds to me an awful lot like neither team outplayed the other.

In fact, there’s a word for when one team outplays the other. I think they call them the winner.

The Saints coach and I were good friends when we were yewts back in the Philly suburbs. He has to keep an even profile with the media, so I’ll be offended in his behalf.

Do you see why I call Brett the most over-rated quarterback to ever play the game. Best ever? He’s not in my top ten! He might not make my top twenty.

This all could not happen to a nicer guy. The bum ankle, the tendinitis, the losses to start the season. Favre’s quarterback rating is lower than any season in his 20-year career, and he’s already thrown as many interceptions — seven—as he did all of last season.

And now the naughty picture scandal.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is investigating allegations that Favre sexually harassed former Jets game hostess Jenn Sterger in 2008, while both worked for the team, with voicemails and several graphic photos sent via cell phone.

You see, this scandal conflicts me. The lady in question has not filed a complaint. And notwithstanding the vow Brett made to his wife (which he has reportedly broken time and again anyway), no crime has been committed that should warrant league action.

Sterger has been largely silent about the episode, though her manager, Phil Reese, said, “We don’t want a quick resolution, but the proper resolution,” suggesting she’s keeping all her options open. For his part, Goodell hasn’t hesitated to suspend players for off-field incidents, even in the absence of criminal charges.

So while this seems to be a money grab on Sterger's part, it would give me great joy to see Brett suspended.

That would not really be fair to Brett. But it couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ObamaCare can and must be repealed,0,3014554.column

by Dennis Byrne

Can ObamaCare, the most complex, far-reaching and epically destructive legislation enacted in living memory be repealed?

The thought is at once alluring or repulsive, reasonable or batty, depending on your politics. My politics say repeal is necessary and possible.

At first blush, it would seem impossible. Powerful interests are aligned on both sides and, presumably, a tie or standoff would go to the status quo. Even if Republicans could take control of both houses of Congress next month (some starry-eyed partisans are perilously taking a Democratic trouncing for granted), they still face a president whose name is permanently attached to this law. ObamaCare opponents would have to be clever, indeed, to craft a strategy that could foil a near certain veto by President Barack Obama.

Inertia also favors the status quo, as well as the populous' exhaustion with the yearlong health care hostilities. In their desire for an armistice, much of the public just might not want to restart the war.

Except that all the old rules are out the window. Polls show that opposition to ObamaCare has not abated since its passage in March, when it faced great public antipathy.

In fact, has reported that ObamaCare is even less popular now than when it passed.

Some Democrats, recognizing the continuing demands for repeal by a majority — not just a plurality — have tried to hide behind a "mend it, don't end it" strategy. But that still leaves them in the minority.

What's keeping up the public pressure? You would have expected some opponents to have dropped off after the law's passage, having accepted a fait accompli. The Obama administration has encouraged that with a publicity blitz that included mailings to Americans about ObamaCare's great boons and an Andy Griffith television spot touting ObamaCare to seniors. (Five senators have asked for an investigation to determine whether the ads violate laws against using tax money for campaign purposes.) Whatever little success such propaganda has achieved apparently has been offset by Americans disillusioned by increasing evidence of ObamaCare's failures.

Just a few of them: ObamaCare was supposed to stop increasing health insurance premiums, even lower them in some cases. But a PriceWaterhouseCoopers study projected that premiums in a decade could rise 111 percent with ObamaCare, compared with 79 percent without ObamaCare. A review by John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis finds that 87 million Americans "will no longer be able to retain the health plan they have and the number could be as high as 117 million."

Section 1311 of the new health care act will give the secretary of Health and Human Services and her minions the power to establish "guidelines" that will sting physicians with fines if they are not followed. This has led to the creation of Docs4PatientCare, a group of doctors who are leaving letters in their waiting rooms warning patients of the impact of ObamaCare. The letter warns that in addition to "badly exacerbating the current doctor shortage," the ObamaCare will also bring about "major cost increases, rising insurance premiums, higher taxes, a decline in new medical techniques, a fall-off in the development of miracle drugs as well as rationing by government panels and bureaucrats … that will force delays of months or sometimes years for hospitalization or surgery."

But what do they know? They're only doctors who are firsthand witnesses to this train wreck.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously insisted that we have to pass ObamaCare to find out what's in it. Now, we're finding out that this 1,000-plus page law has left so much out that bureaucrats, far from any kind of public accountability, (e.g. the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board) will be making crucial decisions. It only stands to reason: A mere 1,000 pages is inherently unable to regulate and manage the nation's entire health care system; bureaucrats will be filling in the blanks for decades to come. And what surprises they will have.

A "repeal and replace" pledge is gaining ground in the House, the place most likely to suffer the slings of voter outrage. Tactics are being debated, including House refusal to fund the law's most egregious sections. Opponents are savoring, with an eye to the 2012 election, Obama's rigid and deceptive defense of the law. Stop it for now, and replace it after fed-up voters dump everyone who gave us the law.

Political "realists" assure us that stopping the law's momentum won't work, and that repealing it is fantasy. They're not counting on the reality that as we discover more and more what's in the law, it will become ever more hated.

Monday, October 4, 2010

If The Senate Wants To "Probe" Us, Kiss Us First!

In another example of the Federal government overstepping the limits of its constitutional authority, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., opened a probe into the limited benefit “mini-med” plans that McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant chain, offers to employees.

Sen. Rockefeller asked Scott Beacham, CEO of BCS Financial Corp., whether the company's health offerings amount to a good deal for many of McDonald's low-wage and hourly employees. Closely held BCS Financial, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., offers limited-benefit plans that cover 30,000 employees of McDonald's, based about a mile away in Oak Brook, Ill.

Mini-med programs are designed to offer a low-cost way to cover part-time employees with limited benefits. McDonald's told the Obama administration it may consider dropping the plans if it couldn't get a waiver from new rules governing insurance products.

“The products BCS is selling to McDonald's employees are not likely to protect them against the costs of a major health care episode,” Sen. Rockefeller said in his letter. “If this is the case, McDonald's hourly wage workers are setting aside portions of their paychecks for an insurance product that may not be providing them a good value.”

Apparently, Rockefeller is uniquely qualified to determine what represents a good value to the consumer.

The plans are typically offered to companies with part-time workforces in high turnover industries that don’t make enough to afford coverage, or for which it might be prohibitively expensive to insure, said Daryl Richard, a spokesman for Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group Inc., which offers limited benefit plans to about a dozen companies.

Under the unconstitutional health overhaul signed by President Obama in March, companies are banned from capping yearly coverage for workers.

The cost of including all employees in a traditional plan could represent as much as a 500 percent increase, bringing costs from 1 percent to 5 percent of store revenue in an industry with very tight margins.

In his letter, Sen. Rockefeller asked BCS to provide information on what limits the plans put on coverage, information about how extensively McDonald’s employees use the plans, and how the company sells the products to the McDonald’s workers. BCS has close ties to Blue Cross & Blue Shield insurance plans, through members of its board, according to its website.

I hate to sound like a constitutionalist version of the Detrimental Cowboy, but Obamacare is positioning itself to force employers into a nationalized plan that will end up eliminating the private health insurance industry.

Even though Obamacare will be supposedly funded by an employer tax, Americans are being naïve if they do not understand that such a tax will simply result in higher prices through inflation.

Sadly, this is less about access to care and more about a Federal power grab. And contrary to what our liberal blogging cowboy says, this is not about political parties, this is a bipartisan power grab.

Each time the government gains control of something they gain power. That’s what this is about. The government gaining power and further bleeding the wealth of the American people through higher taxes and inflation.

Open your mouth, say “aahhh” and bend over, America.