Saturday, February 27, 2010

Capitalism vs. Socialism/Communism

Capitalism vs. Socialism/Communism

If you have a spare 10 minutes (I know it's a lot) CLICK HERE RIGHT NOW

Make Mine Freedom.

It's a cartoon that I found from 1948 that seemed far fetched back then, but it's happening now here in our country - not all at once, but step-by-step. Yeah I know Bill O'Reilly (and like-minded sleeping fools), we're not a socialist country yet. Try to look at the big picture a little more Bill - OK!

President Obama and the "S" Word
Bill O'Reilly
Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rush Limbaugh recently mocked me because I do not call President Obama a socialist. Although I asked Obama to explain his "socialistic tenets" in my last interview with him, I have not branded him with the "S" word, because the label does not exactly apply to his governance thus far.

As defined in the American Heritage Dictionary, socialism is a social organization in which the means of distributing and producing goods is owned collectively. Last time I looked, my production of material was owned by my corporation; the government was not involved. Yes, the federal, state and local governments can tax me at will, and they do. But that's a constitutional mandate and part of our capitalistic system. So until Obama begins seizing condos, I cannot put the "S" word on his resume.

Of course, millions of Americans disagree with me, and I have plenty of e-mails to prove it. The basic theme is "we don't need no stinkin' dictionary to tell us Obama is a socialist." OK, fine. I admit the man wants a huge federal presence to control as much of the economy as possible. I will agree that he is a big income-redistribution guy. But as long as he isn't nationalizing industry or purloining private property, I don't think the socialist label is accurate.

But what I think doesn't matter. If socialism and Obama become linked in the minds of most voters, the president is done -- and thus, the campaign to label him Hugo Chavez Lite. According to a recent Gallup poll, 36 percent of Americans view socialism positively, but 58 percent see it as a negative. No American president could win re-election if deemed a socialist.

There is only one socialist in Congress, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Sanders is proud to state that he wants the government to call the economic shots and make sure there is "economic justice." That means if your house is too big, the feds should be able to subdivide it. Sanders is a frightening guy. They love him on NBC News.

But let's get back to the president. If he does not begin tamping down the big government "nanny state" strategy, I believe the socialist label will get traction. Even with all our problems, the United States remains the most successful economy in the world, offering the most opportunity to the most people. Just ask the 12 million illegal aliens currently in this country. Capitalism is not going anywhere, and socialism will not take root here. If Obama gets on the wrong side of this, he is a one-termer for sure.

But short of putting Sanders in handcuffs, there really isn't much the president can do to turn the "S" word situation around. Except maybe hang around with Donald Trump.

To continue reading the historical thread, click here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Anti-Obama?

The Anti-Obama?
Mona Charen
Friday, February 26, 2010

On the morning of Nov. 5, 2008, the world rocked to news that the United States had elected Barack Obama to the presidency. That same morning, Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana, joined the list of those most often mentioned as potentially defeating President Obama in 2012.

In what may be a sign of unusual mental health and emotional balance, Daniels persistently declined to be considered a candidate. Among his many reasons, he told Brian Lamb, was reluctance to subject his family to the "savagery" of presidential politics. It is great news for the country, if not for him, that he has at last relented and agreed to keep the door open -- if only a crack.

He earned his spot on the short list of possibilities the hard way: In a quicksand year for Republicans, he managed to win re-election as governor by 18 points (in a state Obama carried). His margin of victory included 24 percent of Democrats, 20 percent of African-Americans, 51 percent of the youth vote, 67 percent of the elderly, and 57 percent of independents.

When Daniels took office in 2004, Indiana, which had been enduring Democratic governors for 16 years, was running an $800 million deficit. Four years later, it had a $1.3 billion surplus. Daniels accomplished this without raising taxes (as 66 percent of states have done); in fact, he passed the largest tax cut in state history. Nor did he cut essential services like education, as 40 states have done. As Mark Hemingway reported in National Review, "In the last three years, the state has repaid $760 million to schools and local governments that had been appropriated to finance the state's deficit spending." Additionally, Indiana has hired 800 new child welfare caseworkers and 250 state troopers, all while cutting the rate of increase in state spending from 5.9 to 2.8 percent annually.

Daniels has successfully courted business investment and has welcomed "two Toyota plants, a Honda factory, a $500 million Nestle facility, and a British Petroleum project that will bring $3.8 billion to the state ..."

This is a laboratory of successful conservative governance. As Daniels put it to NR, "Our health-care plan is health savings accounts for poor people. Our telecommunications policy is deregulation. Our infrastructure policy was the biggest privatization in state history." And his spending policy was less is more.

A former chief of the Office of Management and Budget (under George W. Bush), Daniels is known for his incisive mind and mastery of detail. In addition to government service (he also worked as an aide to Sen. Richard Lugar and as Ronald Reagan's political director), Daniels has headed a conservative think tank, the Hudson Institute, and served as president of Eli Lilly's North American operations.

This is not a slick, packaged politician. Daniels writes his own speeches -- and they are thoughtful, substantive exercises -- and even pens the content of his political ads. His demeanor is friendly and his posture is forward-looking. He has never run a negative ad. He is a conservative, but not of the grievance variety.

In style, Daniels is low-key and witty without being arrogant. In his first run for governor, he traveled the state on his motorcycle or in his motor home, spending the night as the guest of ordinary Hoosiers. His self-deprecating humor made his travels into a popular show -- "MitchTV" -- still available on YouTube. He treats every voter (supporter or not) with respect. And he's not above enjoying himself at a state fair (his wife won the watermelon seed spitting contest).

He's been called the "anti-Obama," but the contrast is not in style. Both men are poised, intelligent, and well spoken. The most glaring contrast (aside from philosophy) is Daniels' wealth of experience and record of governing success.

Daniels has offered the view that a Republican candidate in 2012 must present a credible plan for solving the spending, deficit, and debt crisis the country is in and campaign to "govern, not just to win."

He'd rather someone else do it, which is understandable. He promised Hoosiers he would serve out his term, and feels duty bound to abide by his promise. But Daniels has a combination of traits -- broad experience, wisdom, skill, and likeability -- that are rarer than rare. Surely Hoosiers would release him from his promise if he asked -- if we all asked.

Ailing Health Care

Ailing Health Care
Kathryn Lopez
Friday, February 26, 2010

Make no mistake: If President Barack Obama actually wanted to be the post-partisan agent of Washington change, his health-care summit would have looked a whole lot different than the meeting he recently held across the street from the White House. Every Republican, from House Minority Leader John Boehner to maverick John McCain (the latter facing primary challenger from the right, by the way) walked into the meeting imploring the White House to start over, to begin again, to hit the reset button. If the president wanted to work with them in any way, he would have done just that.

Instead the president continues to argue -- aided by media folks from near everyone on MSNBC to even Bill O'Reilly on the supposedly all-right Fox News Channel -- that the American people just don't understand what his health-care plan is all about. In one sense, I agree with him. Given the fact that even the Congressional Budget Office said it didn't have enough details to do a proper examination of the latest version of the legislation in time for the official summit, the man has a point. But it's not voters' slowness that's the problem; it's the White House with the issues.

If the president were serious about being a different kind of leader, he would have invited governors at the White House summit on health care, as Republican politicians requested.

Instead of dismissing criticisms as he has been doing for the better part of a year now in this and other debates, President Obama should have considered what Republicans had to say. One of the best lines of the summit was: "If you're waiting for Mitch McConnell to roll in here a wheelbarrow full of a 2,700-page comprehensive health-care bill, that's not going to happen," delivered by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander. He continued, "We've watched the comprehensive, economy-wide, cap and trade. We've watched the comprehensive immigration bill ... we've watched the comprehensive health-care bill. And they fall of their own weight."

That's a message that Washington can afford to hear. That's a message that gets back to constitutional principles of federalism. And, frankly, that's a manageable message.

As Paul Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin, whose attention to detail is such that even the president has trouble dismissing him, explained, "We don't really believe the government should be in control of all this." Pointing to what he and others have been hearing from Americans -- in town halls since the summer and perhaps most recently in the Massachusetts special election, Ryan said to the president: "I would respectfully submit: You're not listening to them."

Not listening isn't exactly the "hope and change" people signed up for. The president of the United States is a liberal ideologue who isn't comfortable telling you the straight facts. And he ridicules those who try to highlight the truth. Without a penchant for honesty -- or even a slight openness to it -- it's just about all he's left with.

On perhaps no issue is this more obvious than abortion. And it's been so with President Obama since before he was inaugurated. During the campaign, he falsified his position and called those who talked about his record in the Illinois statehouse liars. He continues to do just that. Late last year, he audaciously accused the Catholic bishops of the United States and others who criticized various versions of the health-care legislation for providing federal dollars for abortions of "bearing false witness" on the issue. And, after refusing to invite pro-life Rep. Bart Stupak, a Democrat, to the summit, when Rep. Boehner brought the issue of abortion up, the president of the United States simply ignored the minority leader. He apparently didn't believe that an issue that threatens the consciences of millions of Americans deserved a simple explanation from the White House.

A Quinnipiac poll last year found that 72 percent of voters oppose federal funding of abortion. A recent CBS poll found that half those surveyed didn't approve of the president's job on health care.

There's something to what Rep. Ryan said. And President Obama knows it or he wouldn't be trying so hard to gloss over what he's doing, and to dismiss criticisms. His options right now are to force some plan through Congress or walk away, blaming the "party of no" for killing his health-care hopes. But his own health-care summit is already on YouTube and provides ample fodder to counter his party's obstructionist Republicans. His opposition proved themselves anything but the troglodytes "Hardball" would have them portrayed as.

And if the president does manage to get enough Democrats to go along with his politically suicidal gambit, good luck explaining why the impractical plan is not the panacea it was supposed to be. And then the American people will understand things all too well.

The Obama Plan Changes the Status Quo on Abortion

The Obama Plan Changes the Status Quo on Abortion
by Legal Staff on February 23, 2010

On Monday February 22, 2010, following the release of President Obama’s new health care reform proposal, Nancy Ann Deparle, Director of the White House Office of Health Care Reform, made the following statement on a conference call about how the Obama proposal addresses abortion:

The starting point is the Senate bill with the Nelson language. It’s not a perfect proposal, but it was crafted in a bipartisan manner. It’s different from the House, but our effort was to not change the status quo on abortion. I know it’s not ideal, but that’s the starting point we’re working from.

Her statement that the Senate abortion language was “crafted in a bipartisan manner” is inexplicable. In fact, the Senate abortion language was crafted behind closed doors without a Republican in the room, which was evidenced by the fact that no Republican Senators voted in favor of it (as part of the manager’s amendment to the bill). Instead of modeling the Senate abortion language after the House abortion language (the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, with its bipartisan nature demonstrated by the political diversity of its cosponsors as well as the 64 Democratic members who voted for it), Majority Leader Reid decided to model the language after the pro-abortion Capps Amendment that was included in an early version of the House bill and in the Senate Finance Committee Bill. Reid was able to tighten the language just enough to win over Senator Ben Nelson from Nebraska, who was holding the key 60th vote.

However, no rewording can hide what the Senate language does. The genesis of the language aside, Ms. Deparle grossly misrepresents how it compares to existing law or the “status quo on abortion.”

The most well known embodiment of the “status quo on abortion” is the Hyde Amendment, a funding limitation added annually to the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill. However, there are numerous other laws that adopt the same principles in the Hyde Amendment – that no federal funds may be used to pay for abortions (except in cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother) or to subsidize insurance plans that cover abortions.

The Senate bill does not adopt the comprehensive approach to prohibiting federal funding of abortion found in the Hyde Amendment (and the House health care reform bill). Instead, the Senate bill:

• Only prohibits the use of certain funds to pay for abortions, leaving open the possibility that other authorized funds – such as the 11 billion dollars provided for Community Health Centers – will be used to pay for abortions. Furthermore, even the paltry limitation in the bill is not built on solid ground – it is tied to the existence of the Hyde Amendment which is subject to elimination every year. So, if the Hyde amendment is ever removed from LHHS appropriations, the limited prohibition on federal funding for abortion in the Senate health care reform bill will disappear as well. Pro-abortion lawmakers are committed to getting rid of the Hyde Amendment, and it is perhaps not cynical to see this as the first step in a two-step plan to do that.

• Allows federal dollars to directly subsidize insurance plans that cover abortions. Again, this contravenes existing law. The most well-known example of the prohibition on the use of federal dollars to subsidize insurance plans that cover abortions is the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).

The Senate bill also fails to maintain the “status quo” on abortion in other ways. The bill creates new broad mandate authorities for federal agencies and officials that could allow them to require private insurance companies to provide abortion coverage. For example, under the Mikulski Amendment to the Senate bill, an administrative agency may determine that abortion is “preventive care” and then require all insurance companies to cover abortion. If that happens, all Americans will be forced to pay for abortions through their insurance premiums, even in violation of their conscience.

Speaking of conscience, while the Hyde-Weldon conscience amendment (added annually to LHHS appropriations) prohibits government entities from discriminating against health care entities that refuse to participate in abortions, the Senate bill only prohibits discrimination against health care entities by insurance plans participating in the new government exchanges.

Clearly, the Obama Administration is not trying to maintain the “status quo” on abortion with health care reform. Health care reform is another weapon in the Administration’s arsenal to mainstream abortion in the United States.

Here is a story about Abortions and Adoption...

Hillary Clinton and the Mother Teresa Home for Infant Children
Dr. Paul Kengor
Friday, February 26, 2010

A few years ago, I wrote a book on the faith of Hillary Clinton. Released in 2007, the book flopped, dismissed by conservatives who didn’t believe Hillary believed in God and liberals who didn’t care that Hillary believed in God.

I felt compelled to insert a word of caution in the book’s preface: I noted that the Clintons are like a hurricane to those who come near them. I hoped this wasn’t likewise true for their biographers, leaving us, too, in a wreckage of misleading information.

Lo and behold, a possible case in point is provided by reporter Emily Belz in World magazine, in a story getting coverage from only a handful of sources. Belz caught Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s keynote at the National Prayer Breakfast, where Clinton extolled the “common ground” she once found with Mother Teresa. The two had come together to open an adoption center, the Mother Teresa Home for Infant Children, near the northwest section of Washington, DC. In a 30-minute address, Clinton devoted five minutes to the home.

I certainly wasn’t surprised by the reference. The home is a warm example of Hillary Clinton and Mother Teresa—rabid “abortion rights” advocate and tireless abortion opponent—joining in a wonderful cause. Mrs. Clinton touts it whenever she can.

Belz, however, had a thought: Why not call the home to see how things are going? She did just that, only to find it closed—for almost 10 years now.

Hmmm, Clinton and her spokespersons never mentioned that.

Let me back up a bit, to give a fuller glimpse of the saga:

Hillary Clinton’s encounter with Mother Teresa began, ironically, at the National Prayer Breakfast, way back in 1994. That year, the keynoter was a special guest: Mother Teresa. Nearly 3,000 packed a huge room. Near the dais were the president and first lady—the Clintons.

Unlike in typical years, where the keynoter sits among the assembled waiting for others to finish speaking, Mother Teresa appeared from behind a curtain only when called to the platform and then slowly hunched toward the microphone. She began talking about Jesus and John the Baptist in their wombs, about their mothers and how the “unborn child” in the womb of Elizabeth—John—leapt with joy, heralding the arrival of Christ as Mary neared Elizabeth.

Mother Teresa next spoke of love, of selfishness, of a lack of love for the unborn—and a lack of want of the unborn because of selfishness. Then, the gentle sister made this elite group uncomfortable: “But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because Jesus said, ‘If you receive a little child, you receive me.’ So every abortion is the denial of receiving Jesus.”

After an awkward silence, the entire ballroom erupted in a standing ovation that seemed to last minutes. It felt even longer to the embarrassed Clintons (and Al and Tipper Gore), who remained seated and did not clap.

Undeterred by the Clintons’ coldness, the tiny, aged lady was only warming up: “By abortion, the mother does not learn to love,” she admonished, “but kills even her own child to solve her problems.” Abortion was, said Mother, “really a war against the child, and I hate the killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that the mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? ... This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”

Hillary Clinton was shaken. But it wasn’t over.

After the talk, the weak nun persisted, taking the matter directly to the first lady. As Clinton recalled, “[S]he wanted to talk to me. Mother Teresa was unerringly direct. She disagreed with my views on a woman’s right to choose and told me so.”

Mother Teresa said something that resounded with Hillary. She offered an olive branch: “Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Give me the child. I’m willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child.” She said, “I will tell you something beautiful. We are fighting abortion by adoption.”

That was something Hillary Clinton could applaud. She made clear that while she supported legalized abortion, she preferred more adoptions as an alternative. The nun told the first lady she had placed over 3,000 orphaned babies into adoptive homes in India and informed the first lady of her goal of establishing a home in Washington, DC. She invited Hillary to India for a tour, and Mrs. Clinton obliged.

To Hillary’s great credit, when she returned to Washington, she went to bat for Mother, rounding up pro bono lawyers, fighting the DC bureaucracy, telephoning community leaders and pastors, calling them to the White House to see how they could help.

Mother Teresa was equally relentless. When she feared the project was lagging, she sent letters, emissaries and called the first lady. “She called me from Vietnam,” remembered Hillary, “she called me from India, always with the same message: ‘When do I get my center for babies?’”

On June 19, 1995, she got her center. That moment is captured by a photo of Hillary and Mother Teresa smiling and clasping hands in the nursery. Mother Teresa died two years later.

My compliments to Mrs. Clinton: Unlike so many pro-choice liberals who insist they want abortion to be “safe and legal” but “rare,” here was one who finally lifted a finger to promote the birth and adoption of unborn babies rather than feed them into the jaws of Planned Parenthood clinics. Hillary Clinton, lifelong Methodist, did a good work.

It turns out, however, that the work didn’t bear the fruit we hoped. It reportedly lasted a handful of years, closing by 2002. World’s Emily Belz called the Washington, DC, branch of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. The nun who answered didn’t go into details on the home’s closure, noting that the nuns are not permitted to talk to the press, but did confirm that the order sold the Chevy Chase house in 2002.

So, that’s it. The adoption home that Clinton and her advocates have justifiably touted as a genuine display of her Christian compassion has been out of operation for a long time.

This prompts some questions:

Has Mrs. Clinton known that the home has been shut down, all the while boasting about it in books, statements, interviews and no less than the keynote at the 2010 National Prayer Breakfast?

Fox News sought an explanation from Clinton’s spokesman, Philippe Reines, who said: "[Hillary Clinton] remains very proud of her work with Mother Teresa in opening this home in 1995. Their partnership is a success story to be emulated."

Yes, but what kind of success?

This begs another question—actually, more of a request:

Where’s Mrs. Clinton’s commitment? Why not strive to keep the home open? The Clintons know more wealthy liberals than any couple in America. Why not tap into these liberals’ professed compassion for the needy?

I have a sincere suggestion for Mrs. Clinton: What would Mother Teresa have done? This frail little woman got on her mangled hands and knees and fed and held the dying of Calcutta. She declared it “a poverty” when a child died from abortion. Why not rekindle the tenacity Mother Teresa had shown in wanting that home and which Hillary Clinton seemed to share?

With the breathtaking number of abortions performed in the nation’s capital, and with the Obama administration and Pelosi-Reid Democratic Congress having approved taxpayer funding of abortions in the District, there’s an urgent need.

I opened my 2007 book with a quote from Mother Teresa, directed at Mrs. Clinton: “My prayer for you is that you come to understand and have the courage to answer.”

I was thinking of Hillary Clinton’s need to understand the tragedy of abortion. Now I’m also thinking of the need to answer the call to continue one’s service. She stepped up to the plate once. Why not do so again?

How to Stifle Speech

How to Stifle Speech
Cliff May
Thursday, February 25, 2010

There's an old Soviet joke in which an American tells a Russian: "In my country we have freedom of speech. I can stand in front of the White House and yell, ‘Nixon is an idiot!' and nothing will happen to me. The Russian replies: "In my country, we have the same freedom. I can stand in front of the Kremlin and yell, ‘Nixon is an idiot!' and nothing will happen to me either.

Updated for the 21st century, the joke might go like this: A Christian tells a Muslim: "In the West, we have freedom of speech. I can go to the Vatican and yell ‘Christianity is a crock!' and nothing will happen to me." The Muslim replies: "We have just as much freedom in the Muslim world. I can go to Mecca and yell: ‘Christianity is a crock!' and nothing will happen to me either.

The fact is very few Muslim-majority countries are free countries. A Muslim who wants to speak his mind without fear, practice his religion as he chooses, and vote for or against politicians in fair elections is better off living in the West than in any of the more than four dozen nations that hold membership in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

But even in the West, freedom is an endowment, not an entitlement. Generation after generation must have the courage to defend what we used to call, without embarrassment, "the blessings of liberty."

That means recognizing that a war is being waged against what we used to call, also without embarrassment, the Free World. This war is being waged by an enemy many are reluctant to name: Islamists. They are fighting not only with AK-47s and I.E.D.s in such places as Afghanistan and Somalia. They also are fighting with actions, ideas and laws in such places as Europe and America. They are fighting a pitched battle against freedom of speech -- the right without which other rights cannot be protected.

And, at this moment, the West is putting up a feeble defense. We are accepting government prohibitions on the thoughts we may express, we are allowing extremists to shout us down and shut us up, and we are self-censoring out of fear or faux-sensitivity. A few examples?

Start with the Dutch government's prosecution of Geert Wilders, a Member of Parliament who has expressed unfavorable opinions of the Islamic faith and the Koran. Such views may cause offense. But they cannot be criminalized in any country that values freedom.

Would anyone consider prosecuting a Muslim or an atheist for making hostile comments about Christianity or Jesus or the Bible? In 1987, Andres Serrano offended many people with "Piss Christ," his photograph of a crucifix submerged in a container of urine. Not only was he not prosecuted - he was awarded a prize in a contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (which speaks volumes not only about American freedom but also about the tastes of the "arts community").

And when Louis Farrakhan, after a visit to Libya, called Judaism a "gutter religion" was there anyone - no matter how outraged - who proposed sending the Nation of Islam leader to prison?

Those who defend the prosecution of Wilders contend that his statements amount to "hate speech." And that, they assert, is dangerous and therefore must be outlawed. They point to the existence of "hate crimes" in the United States and say it's more or less the same thing.

But it's not. The idea behind "hate crimes" is that the law should differentiate between someone who hits you on the head because he wants your wallet, and someone who hits you on the head because you're black, or Jewish, or Muslim or homosexual. The latter, it is argued, is worse than the former and so merits additional punishment. I have always been doubtful about that proposition. But more to the point: There has been from the start the concern that hate crimes would lead where they have led in the Netherlands and elsewhere: to justifying the criminalization of thought and expression -- even in the absence of any act of violence.

Meanwhile, as Mark Steyn notes, a film titled "The Assassination of Geert Wilders" has been produced and promoted - by a Dutch government-funded radio station. No one is being prosecuted for hate speech as a result of that.

Another battle against free speech was called to my attention by Ali H. Alyami, Executive Director of the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia. He sent me a video of Michael Oren, Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., at the University of California, Irvine. Alyami suggested I watch it because, he said, it represents a "threat to our freedom of expression."

It shows a lecture hall in which Oren is to give a talk. A group of students, many but not all foreign and Muslim, have taken seats around the hall. Every few seconds one rises and begins to shout at Oren. Guards lead that individual out. Oren begins again - and another individual stands up, shouts and is led out. The goal is to prevent Oren from completing a single thought - and prevent the audience from hearing what he has to say.

University officials insist such behavior is intolerable - but do you think they'll actually take the tough measures necessary to prevent such brown-shirt tactics in the future? And what do such episodes say about the values the students are learning from their professors? Is there any reason to believe they - the students or their professors - understand anything about the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

One more battle to consider before I let you go: Last year, Yale University Press published The Cartoons that Shook the World, a book about the controversy over the 12 drawings ridiculing Islamist terrorism which were published in a Danish newspaper, the Jyllands-Posten, in 2005.

Soon after, the OIC demanded that the United Nations impose international sanctions on Denmark and it circulated a dossier that contained not just the cartoons but examples of other European insults - most of which were fabricated. Especially memorable was a picture of a man wearing a pig mask, captioned: "Here is the real image of Mohammed."It was eventually revealed that this was a photo of a Frenchman at a pig-squealing contest; nothing to do with Mohammed. Nevertheless, coupled with the cartoons, it enraged Muslims in many countries, some of whom took to the streets, rioting, setting fires, assaulting anyone who looked European. More than 100 people were killed.

With this as backdrop, Yale decided to exclude the cartoons from the book on the cartoons, and to omit, as well, any images of Mohammed, including those by the 19th century French artist Paul Gustave Doré and the 20th century Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. Was that because Yale's executives feared violence? Or, as Roger Kimball has suggested, was it out of deference to Saudi Arabian donors? Either way, it's hard not to view Yale's decision as an act of pre-emptive surrender.

The OIC, in its 1990 "Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam," declares that "Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely -- but then adds: "in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Sharia," which is to say Islamic law as interpreted by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya and other despotic members of this international religious/political alliance.

Theirs is not a different view of freedom of speech: It is a death sentence for freedom of speech. And it is what they intend not only for the lands they now rule but globally. What does it tell us that they are finding so many people in the West willing - indeed, eager -- to assist them?
and more on this important subject...

‘Racist!’ He cried…: A Thought-Terminating Cliché in Decline
by Adam Baldwin

‘Racist!’, the political epithet, has rapidly lost credibility and political sting recently thanks to clumsy overuse by grievance-mongering thugs. The slur is a tactical viewpoint discrimination launched as a means to stifle intellectual diversity, rational discussion, and to shame people that diverge from race-hustling orthodoxy.

‘Race hustlers’ are commonly known as shakedown artists and/or smear merchants who expertly deploy the “R-word”, and it has somehow garnered them credibility to preach the gospel of social justice — and reap the ill-gotten gains of equality-of-outcome Statism — to the intellectual wreckage left below them.

Tragically, such rhetorical abuse damages the appropriate use of the term – and leaves actual victims of “traditional” racism with a neutered descriptor that is quickly beginning to make the accuser sound like a whining name-caller. The sad irony is that abusers harm the very people they claim to be defending, most often for selfish political and financial profit.

Of course, follow the money…

Thomas Sowell:

Being a race hustler is a very lucrative business for people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. But such people can extort money and power from white business and political leaders precisely because it is easier to pay off a relative handful of noise makers than to be bothered fighting them. But tens of millions of blacks cannot duplicate what a small band of extortionists do.

Chasing a will o’ the wisp like reparations cannot produce what blacks most want — respect, including the self-respect that comes ultimately from one’s own achievements. This is something that whites could not give blacks if they wanted to.

That fading race-business model is likely depressing its intolerant participants’ financial outlook.

Moral-crusaders on self-congratulatory, highly profitable missions exploit and perpetuate the ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’. They are now desperate to keep their minority mascots in political servitude to one political party’s destructive ideology, i.e., dependence.

Ironically, Candidate Obama’s denunciation and public divorce from his long-time racist pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, played a pivotal role in accelerating the loss of race-hustler credibility in the current American zeitgeist; this cultural good fortune – secured for now by new/alternative media success — is likely to continue its progressive course into the foreseeable future.

Addressing his former pastor’s failures and “mistake” in his famous March, 2008 campaign ‘Race Speech,’ President Obama characterized our nation’s “racial divisions” as being in a “stalemate.” He asserted a firm conviction “rooted in [his] faith in God and [his] faith in the American people – that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds.”

Later, elected president, Mr. Obama acknowledged his careless rush to judgment – which some deemed as reflexive reverse racism — that the Cambridge, MA Police “acted stupidly.” The president manned up and provided leadership at a healing “Beer Summit.” Ben Franklin, no stranger to beer, would’ve likely approved this gesture.

Rhetorically speaking, thank God that from now on when thought-terminating clichés such as “racist!,” “sexist!,” “bigot!,” “xenophobe!,” “homophobe!,” “hypocrite!,” “chicken-hawk!,” “Uncle Tom!,” “white supremacist!” etc. are hastily concocted (Max Blumenthal call your office), Americans are no longer intimidated by these divisive, intellectually-stifling smears.

Fearless rhetorical engagement in the modern cultural/political arena of ideas is a good and necessary component of our vigorous and successful Republic.

With principled firmness, a solid rejoinder to race-hustler-ridiculousness: “What hard evidence do you have other than clumsy guilt-by-association character assassination, and/or sins-of-the-father attacks and innuendo?”

Too often Modern Liberal arguments amount to nothing more than self-anointed moral rulings that certain people don’t at all have standing on various issues, especially race. These rulings are never ideologically neutral but, rather, are the notorious political weaponry of Saul Alinsky.

Once exclusively reserved for very effective use against unarmed conservatives, Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” is now self-defeating his radical ideological progeny. Now those are ‘chickens come home to roost’ that can benefit America!

Ridicule is, according to Alinsky, man’s most potent weapon.

Highly effective also is Andrew Breitbart’s approach of keeping the pressure on by freezing the target and making them live up to their own book of rules:

It’s time to hit back at these people — that these people keep calling you a racist… Instead of slinking into the corner and crying or saying ‘I don’t like that,’ you walk straight towards them and confront them; and they’re bullies, they’re just bullies and bullies crumble when you hit them back.

Unity is overrated… Saddle up. Let’s Roll!

Bill Graham Meets Bill Ayers

Bill Graham Meets Bill Ayers
Sandy Rios
Friday, February 26, 2010

There’s hardly an evangelical who doesn’t know about Wheaton College. Alma Mater of the Reverend Billy Graham, Wheaton boasts a student body of superior intellect and an education rivaling much of the Ivy League. Wheaton College graduates can boast of presidential speech writers and Speakers of the United States House of Representatives along with doctors and executives and professors and missionaries and pastors across the globe.

But Wheaton is different. Founded by an anti-slavery father and son, Jonathan and Charles Blanchard, Wheaton was established as a chain in the Underground Railroad to help runaway slaves. Wheaton’s distinctive has always been to educate students not only with knowledge but with wisdom. All truth is God’s truth. The knowledge of God brings greater understanding, not less … the acknowledgement of Him brings order from chaos in science, mathematics and economic systems. To be a Christ follower can bring the highest of intellectual pursuits, not the Bible thumping ignorance Hollywood would portray.

So imagine the dismay of many to learn that, in an effort to educate its students, Wheaton has moved to the left, so much so that in a survey by the Wheaton Record, 60 percent of its faculty voted for President Barack Obama, the most pro-abortion, pro-homosexual agenda, spiritually confused president the nation has ever elected.

How can this be? Perhaps much of it can be attributed to a movement widely embraced by the campus known as “social justice.” In its truest form, justice is synonymous with Christian teaching. Why else would Christians through the ages have left the comfort of their home and culture to go to remote villages and treat the sick and preach the “good news” of a universal savior, Jesus Christ. Why would the William Wilberforces and the American abolitionists have sacrificed so much to eliminate the slave trade? Why would most hospitals trace their beginnings to founders compelled by their faith to treat the sick? Soup kitchens … homeless shelters … inner city missions the same? Why if not for the cause of justice?

But as is often the case for the Left, words are co-opted and meanings changed. To be “gay” is to be homosexual. To abort a baby is to exercise “choice” and to exercise “social justice” is to identify the oppressed and the oppressors and define all of history past and present as a series of injustices. Whites oppress blacks … even 6-year-old white children are intrinsically racist. Big business oppresses the working man…even business owners who are honest and generous. To be successful in business is to oppress and the score must be evened to obtain justice. Heterosexuals oppress homosexuals with no allowance for moral objection. According to this definition of “social justice,” the oppressor and the oppressed must be identified and actions taken accordingly.

In the current document known as the “conceptual framework” of the education department at Wheaton College which must be endorsed by each of its faculty, the thinkers cited include among others, the father of the social justice movement, Brazilian Marxist, Paulo Freire and former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers. Just a glimpse at Freire’s foundational treatise “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” will clearly display his sources: Marx, Lenin and revolutionary murderers Mao Tse Tung, Fidel Castro and Che Guevera (see, “Pedagogy of the Oppressor,” March 28, 2009, in National Review by Sol Stern).

Professor Bill Ayers, co-founder of the Weather Underground, wanted the violent overthrow of the United States Government. Now elevated as a teacher of teachers, Ayers publicly states he has no regrets for his violence and only wished he had done more. The overthrow of the capitalist society was the goal of all these men and violence was their method. Today’s radicals condense their rage into college curricula under the guise of “social justice.” The method is more cunning, but the goal no less sinister.

Why would Wheaton College embrace such a philosophy? “…these are people you can learn from because they’re going to teach us Christians that maybe we have some blind spots here, that we’ve been oblivious to certain areas of injustice,” said President Duane Litfin.

Dr. Jillian Lederhouse, chairman of the department of education defended the conceptual framework by saying “we don’t teach our students to be afraid on an ideology as long as we give them a critical perspective. We do not have a list of people we do not read. Our goal is to produce a thinking Christian teacher.” And that is as it should be in an institution of higher learning, except for one thing. Lederhouse went on to admit that the people who were foundational to Wheaton’s conceptual framework were all on the far left.

There is deep concern by Wheaton graduates over the current trajectory at Wheaton. They are lobbying the board and the administration to make the deep changes necessary to pull Wheaton back from academic fads that threaten its future and guide it back to its true foundations, the wisdom of the ages displayed beautifully at the entrance to the campus: “For Christ and His Kingdom.”

About Obama's Health Care Summit...

What Part of "Party of No" Don't You Understand?
Ann Coulter
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Inasmuch as Obamacare has a snowball's chance in hell of passing (but did you see how much snow they got in hell last week?), everyone is wondering what President Obama is up to by calling Republicans to a televised Reykjavik summit this week to discuss socializing health care.

At least they served beer at the last White House summit this stupid and pointless.

If the president is serious about passing nationalized health care, he ought to be meeting with the Democrats, not the Republicans.

Republicans can't stop the Democrats from socializing health care: They are a tiny minority party in both the House and the Senate. (Note to America: You might want to keep this in mind next time you go to the polls.)

As the Democratic base has been hysterically pointing out, both the House and the Senate have already passed national health care bills. Either body could vote for the other's bill, and -- presto! -- Obama would have a national health care bill, replete with death panels, abortion coverage and lots and lots of new government commissions!

Sadly, as the president's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has noted, the Democratic base is "@#$%^ retarded."

The reason massive Democratic majorities in Congress aren't enough to pass socialist health care is AMERICANS DON'T WANT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!

In fact, you might say that the nation is in a boiling cauldron of rage against it. Consequently, a lot of Democrats are suddenly having second thoughts about vast new government commissions regulating every aspect of Americans' medical care.

Obama isn't stupid -- he's not seriously trying to get a health care bill passed. The whole purpose of this public "summit" with the minority party is to muddy up the Republicans before the November elections. You know, the elections Democrats are going to lose because of this whole health care thing.

Right now, Americans are hopping mad, swinging a stick and hoping to hit anyone who so much as thinks about nationalizing health care.

If they could, Americans would cut the power to the Capitol, throw everyone out and try to deport them. (Whereas I say: Anyone in Washington, D.C., who can produce an original copy of a valid U.S. birth certificate should be allowed to stay.)

But the Democrats think it's a good strategy to call the Republicans "The Party of No." When it comes to Obamacare, Americans don't want a party of "No," they want a party of "Hell, No!" or, as Rahm Emanuel might say, "*&^%$#@ No!"

It's as if the patient has a minor fever and the Democrats (as doctor in this example) want to cut off his arms and legs. The Republicans want to give the patient two aspirin. "Compromise" means the Republicans agree to amputate only one arm and one leg.

Complaining that Republicans are "obstructionists" is not a damaging charge when most Americans are dying to obstruct the Democrats with a 2-by-4. While you're at it, Democrats, why not call the GOP the "Party of Brave Patriots"?

So Obama's sole objective at the "summit" is to hoodwink Republicans into agreeing with some of his wildly unpopular ideas on national TV. If this were a reality show on NBC, it would be called, "Dateline: To Catch a R.I.N.O."

This shouldn't be hard, inasmuch as he will be talking to elected Republicans. About a third of them were enthusiastically engaging in "bipartisanship" on Obamacare last year -- Chuck Grassley, you know who you are! (That's better than Lindsey Graham, who still wants to compromise.)

And then the American people spoke up.

In town halls and tea parties across the nation, Obama lost the argument with Americans. So now he wants a debating partner who will be less challenging: elected Republicans.

If Republicans were smart, they'd shock the world by sending in one of their most appealing members of Congress, who can speak clearly on health care -- Sen. Jon Kyl, Rep. Steve King or Rep. Ron Paul.

Actually, if the Republicans were really smart, they'd send in 14-year-old Jonathan Krohn, who understands the free market better than most people in Washington. Of course, so does my houseplant.

There are other important points Republicans cannot raise often enough -- such as putting scuzzy medical malpractice lawyers like John Edwards out of business. OK, that wasn't fair: Even trial lawyers are almost never as scuzzy as John Edwards. We want to put them all out of business.

But there's really only one idea the Republicans must cling to -- like they're clinging to their guns and religion! -- in order to resist agreeing to something moronic and losing their advantage as Americans' only allies in Washington.

Please, Republicans, remember the free market -- the same free market that gave us cheap cell phones, computers, flat-screen TVs, and stylish, affordable eyeglasses in about an hour.

Congress needs to outlaw state and federal mandates on insurance companies and allow interstate competition in health insurance.

The end.

Love, the American People.

Home Court Advantage Didn’t Help Obama
Friday, February 26, 2010
Posted by: Staff at 10:49 AM
Guest post from Ernest Istook with the Heritage Foundation

President Obama used his health care summit to give his side every advantage possible. Whenever opponents spoke, he got to respond. By appointing himself the moderator, Obama gave himself the first word, the last word, and the most words.

Overall, Obama gave Democrats over twice as much speaking time as Republicans. The 17 GOP’ers attending received a collective 110 minutes. By himself, Obama hogged 119 minutes of microphone time and gave his 21 fellow Democrats an additional 114 minutes. When called to account for this, Obama proclaimed it fair because, “I’m the President.”

Obama exercised free rein to cut off opponents, speak sharply, and pass judgment on whether others’ arguments were legitimate. He wasn’t just a player; he also was the referee.

Despite giving his side all the advantages, most commentators agree that Republicans held their own or even carried the day. CNN’s David Gergen proclaimed that Republicans “had their best day in years.”

A key moment was when Obama—arguing passionately with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)–claimed his plan would reduce the cost of private health insurance, and then the President was forced publicly to back down from that claim.

As media such as the Daily Caller reported:

Later in the session, after an aide handed the president a note, Obama admitted he had been wrong: ‘What the Congressional Budget Office is saying is, is that if I now have the opportunity to actually buy a decent package inside the exchange, that costs me about 10% to 13% more but is actually real insurance, then there are going to be a bunch of people who take advantage of that. So yes, I’m paying 10% to 13% more because instead of buying an apple, I’m getting an orange.’

It was a crucial point because, for many Americans, the key issue is not whether government provides health care for the uninsured, but whether it lowers costs for the already-insured. Whether the number of uninsured is estimated at 30 million or 46 million (and both numbers are deceptive, it still represents only 10-15% of the population.

Among the 85-90% of Americans who have insurance, the main concern is affordability, not availability. Obama’s most important health reform promise to them was his oft-repeated pledge to lower their health insurance costs by $2,500 per year. Being forced to admit on live television that his plan fails to do that—and instead increases premiums—was the low point of the summit for the President.

As Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) noted, “It’s just another example of why because the bill has to raise so much money, it ends up hurting the very people that we want to help.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) offered Obama a clear chance to embrace a premium-reducing solution. For example, she said, those Californians who face up to 39 percent increases in premiums should be given “the ability to go to Oregon, where they could buy a policy for 25 percent less, or individuals in New Jersey who could go to Pennsylvania and buy a policy and lower their cost 26 percent, or go to Wisconsin and buy one and lower their cost 74 percent.”

The need for a plan that lowers premiums rather than increases them is a major reason why the best course for Congress would be to start over. Lawmakers should take a different approach, rather than try to ram through Obamacare and impose it on a country that does not want it.

The Democrats' Problem
Friday, February 26, 2010
Posted by: Carol Platt Liebau at 12:09 PM

The Democrats did themselves no favors yesterday.

The President did plenty to diminish himself. First, there was his lack of grace-- announcing,"I'm the President!," his testy reminder to John McCain about who won the election (reminiscent of his "I won" triumphalism immediately after inauguration), most notably -- and his penchant for scolding everyone was on display. Can anyone even imagine the really great presidents behaving this way? Can you imagine Ronald Reagan, or FDR (or even JFK or George HW Bush or George W Bush) hectoring, lecturing and condescending so brazenly?

Then there was the President's demonstrated inaccuracy about the fact that, contrary to his claims, his health care plan won't bring down health insurance premiums. So much for the brilliant policy wonk. Either he's dishonest, or he's wrong.

But the President's main problem -- and that of the Democrats generally -- is that it's clear it's not about America and its people anymore. It's about them. And that's political death.

When it comes to the President, it's clear that he wants his bill to pass so that he can have his way, and claim a big achievement, and vindicate his boasting about being the last president to have to tackle health care. And, of course, grow the size of government. It no longer has anything to do with actually solving a problem, or helping people, or reform. It's all about him. And it shows.

When it comes to the rest of the Democrats, they're in a similar boat. No one can claim that they're simply trying to respond to the cries for reform from the electorate. The electorate hates this bill. What seems most apparent is that they're trying to save their own skins, politically (there wouldn't be such a need for all the sob stories, otherwise -- that's called "overcompensation").

The President and the Democrats can try to claim they're doing this to "help" Americans. But voters apparently don't want this kind of "help." So it's patently obvious this is no longer about representing Americans or doing the will of the people.

It's about an out-of-control effort by the Democrats to impose their will on Americans, contrary to the people's express wishes. Americans know it, and they know it isn't about them -- they're seen by Dems as nothing but a stumbling block, at this point! -- and that's why there isn't any easy way for the Democrats to improve their political position.

Republicans Get the Chance Punch Back at the Speaker-in-Chief
Jillian Bandes
Friday, February 26, 2010

Obama stacked the deck during the health care summit, giving Democrats twice the speaking time as the GOP. But how well did Republicans punch back?

Depends who you talk to.

“I think we need to start out by acknowledging Republicans brought their ‘A Team.’ They had doctors knowledgeable about the system, they brought substance to the table, and they, I thought, expressed interest in the reform,” wrote The Hill’s A.B. Stoddard. “I thought today the Democrats were pretty much on their knees.”

That wasn’t the only opinion.

“Republicans aren't being tough enough,” said Quin Hillyer of the American Spectator. “GOP politicians, here and in most forums, just don't know how to ask questions in a way that makes their points best. It really is painful.”

It’s clear that Republicans were on the defensive – but there really wasn’t another option, given the structure of the debate, said Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, who is fighting the Democratic health care bill.

“When the President of the Untied States says, I want to talk about this issue, you have to listen,” said Phillips. He thought that Republicans managed to hold their own, and do the best they could given the circumstances.

President Obama made himself moderator and speaker-in-chief – talking just as much as members of each party. But given the total speaking time allowed, those GOPers needed to make their points much more quickly – and with much less detail – than their Democratic colleagues.

House minority leader Rep. John Boehner (Ohio) was one of the main GOP attendees to rebut some of the points put forth by Obama. During the last session of the day – a session designated by the President to discuss entitlements – Boehner complained that a government takeover of health care that would bankrupt the country. Here’s how the President responded:

“Right now, what we’re doing is focusing on the issue of federal entitlements. I will come back to you at the end of the session to answer the range of questions you just asked.”

The President never did.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) tried to get into some details during the first session, citing specific figures regarding health insurance costs in different insurance plans. But he spoke quickly, because he knew the Obama was trying to interject – which Obama did, cutting Kyl off with a story about his college years.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tried to bring up the point of reconciliation and political will to pass the health care bill.

“Americans aren’t all that interested in procedures inside the Senate,” replied Obama. “They are interested in how we’re going to move this issue along for a vote.”

That, said Phillips, made Democrats look bad.

“I thought the president looked testy, and frankly unpresidential, when he attacked McCain,” said Phillips. “McCain was making a pretty reasonable point, and Obama attacked him in a very personal way. I think Republicans played it about as well as they could.”

But Chip Hanlon, editor of the site, thought there was more room for improvement on the Republican side. He noted that when Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) went on a detailed rant about costs, Republicans just sat pretty.

“Our side isn't fighting, it is actually – astonishingly – negotiating! The appropriate response to Baucus' remarks would have been to interrupt him, reminding him that our side does not even agree on the Democrats' basic premise: that government has a role in the providing of healthcare,” wrote Hanlon. “Instead, the viewer is left to assume--what?-- that maybe the Republican heads on the other side of the table were nodding right along with this assertion from Baucus?”

Oba-Kabuki: A Box-Office Bomb
Michelle Malkin
Friday, February 26, 2010

The Oba-Kabuki health care show at Blair House kicked off with a big lie on Thursday morning -- and it all went downhill from there. The taxpayer-funded infomercial backfired by exposing the president's thin skin, the Democrats' naked disingenuousness and the ruling majority's allergies to political and policy realities.

Responding to Sen. Lamar Alexander's opening call for Democrats to renounce parliamentary tactics designed to limit debate, circumvent filibusters and lower the threshold for passage of health care reform to a simple 51-vote majority, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sputtered indignantly: "No one's talking about reconciliation!" Everybody and their mother has been invoking the "R" word on Capitol Hill, starting with Reid.

In a letter on Feb. 16, four Democratic senators pushed Reid to adopt the procedure, normally reserved for budget matters. A few days later, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs discussed the option. Then Reid himself talked up reconciliation on a Nevada public affairs show as an option to ram the government health care takeover through in the next 60 days.

According to The Hill, Reid said that "congressional Democrats would likely opt for a procedural tactic in the Senate allowing the upper chamber to make final changes to its health care bill with only a simple majority of senators, instead of the 60 it takes to normally end a filibuster." A few days after that, Reid snapped that Republicans "should stop crying" about the abrogation of Senate minority rights, since the GOP had used the reconciliation process in the past.

So, the cleanest, most ethical holier-than-thou Congress ever is now defending the unprecedented adoption of ram-down rules for a radical, multitrillion-dollar program to usurp one-seventh of the economy on the grounds of "two wrongs make it right"? Hope and change, baby.

For his part, President Obama responded with one part pique and two parts diffidence. After the summit lunch break, Republicans pushed the reconciliation issue again in the face of the Democrats' refusal to disavow the short-circuiting of the deliberative process. "The American people," an annoyed Obama asserted, "are not all that interested in procedures inside the Senate." Oh, really? A new USA Today/Gallup poll reports that 52 percent of Americans oppose using the procedural maneuver to pass the health care bill in the Senate.

The survey also showed that Americans oppose Demcare-style health care "reform" by 49 percent to 42 percent -- with those "strongly" opposed outnumbering those "strongly" in favor by 23 percent to 11 percent. Obama's best and brightest team of Chicago strategists, new-media gurus and communications specialists still hasn't figured it out: Voters are as fed up with the corrupt process in Washington as they are with the White House's overreaching policies. It's both, stupid.

When he wasn't cutting off Republicans who stuck to budget specifics and cited legislative page numbers and language instead of treacly, sob-story anecdotes involving dentures and gallstones, Obama was filibustering the talk-a-thon away by invoking his daughters, rambling on about auto insurance and sniping at former GOP presidential rival John McCain. "We're not campaigning anymore," lectured the perpetual campaigner-in-chief.

After ostentatiously disputing the GOP's claims that health care premiums would rise under his plan, Obama walked it back. Confronted with more GOP pushback on the failure of Demcare to control costs, Obama told GOP Rep. Paul Ryan that he'd rather not "get bogged down in numbers." Not numbers that he couldn't cook on the spot without staff consultation, anyway.

Obama and the Democrats labored mightily to create the illusion of almost-there bipartisanship by repeatedly telling disagreeing Republicans that "we don't disagree" and "there's not a lot of difference" between us. But the dogs weren't riding the ponies in this show.

This was a set-up from the start. The "we're so close" mantra is the rhetorical wedge the White House will use to blame Republicans for fatal obstructionism, while whitewashing festering opposition from both pro-life Democrats who oppose the government funding of abortion services still in the plan and left-wing progressives in the House who are clinging to a full, unadulterated public option.

While Republicans came off well, the six-hour blowhard-fest was a monumental waste of time. Obamacare Theater tied up GOP energy and resources as the White House readies its "Plan B" (expanding government health care coverage, just at a slower pace) and Democratic leaders prep their reconciliation ram-down for early next week. This Washington box-office bomb is a prelude to much bigger legislative horrors still to come. Don't you love farce?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kick Me!

Kick Me!

Katie Couric, Charlie Gibson, Brian Williams and a tough old U.S. Marine Sergeant were captured by terrorists in Iraq . The leader of the terrorists told them he'd grant each of them one last request before they were beheaded and dragged naked through the streets.

Katie Couric said,'Well, I'm a Southerner, so I'd like one last plate of fried chicken.'

The leader nodded to an underling who left and returned with the chicken. Couric ate it all and said, 'Now I can die content.'

Charlie Gibson said,'I'm living in ' New York , so I'd like to hear the song, The Moon and Me, one last time.'

The terrorist leader nodded to another terrorist who had studied the Western world and knew the music.He returned with some rag-tag musicians and played the song.

Gibson was satisfied.

Brian Williams said,'I'm a reporter to the end. I want to take out my tape recorder and describe the scene here and what's about to happen. Maybe, someday, someone will hear it and know that I was on the job till the end.'

The leader directed an aide to hand over the tape recorder and Williams dictated his comments.

He then said, 'Now I can die happy.'

The leader turned and said, 'And now, Mr... U.S. Marine, what is your final wish?

'Kick me in the ass,' said the Marine.

'What?' asked the leader, 'Will you mock us in your last hour?'

'No, I'm NOT kidding. I want you to kick me in the ass,' Insisted the Marine.

So the leader shoved him into the yard and kicked him in the ass.

The Marine went sprawling, but rolled to his knees,pulled a 9 mm pistol from inside his cammies and shot the leader dead.

In the resulting confusion, he emptied his sidearm on six terrorists,then with his knife he slashed the throat of one, and with an AK-47, which he took,sprayed the rest of the terrorists killing another 11.

In a flash, all of them were either dead or fleeing for their lives.

As the Marine was untying Couric, Gibson, and Williams, they asked him,'Why didn't you just shoot them all in the first place? Why did you ask him to kick you in the ass?'

'What?' replied the Marine, 'and have you three ass holes report that I was the aggressor.....?'

Semper Fi!

Tone Deaf in Washington

Tone Deaf in Washington
Robert Knight
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

t’s one thing to stick to your goals in the face of adversity. That reflects strong character. It’s another thing to be tone deaf and arrogant.

A number of issues starkly demonstrate that the Obama Administration and its congressional allies seem to be clearly in the latter camp.

The nation has demonstrated massive resistance to ObamaCare, including three straight elections in which voters rejected liberals in Virginia, New Jersey and even Massachusetts. Opposition to government health care has also fueled the meteoric rise of the Tea parties. Recall efforts are already underway in New Jersey and Louisiana against U.S. senators who voted for it. But Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are still at it.

They want a Republican fig leaf of “bipartisanship.” So they are staging a half day, televised conference on Feb. 25 on a “new” health scheme based on the previous 2,000-page bills. When the Republicans gag on this recycled bowl of swill, the Dems will accuse them of not being bipartisan, and then try to jam a bill through the Senate with a reconciliation process that gets around a promised GOP filibuster.

It’s no wonder that Mr. Obama’s approval ratings have plunged about 20 points since he took over in January 2009, with 42 percent saying they “strongly disapprove,” while only 23 percent “strongly approve.” And Congress is not exactly loved right now. A February 2010 Gallup poll shows 78 percent of the public disapproves of the way Congress is operating, an all-time low. Only 18 percent approve. Keep in mind that Congress has been working feverishly from the Obama playbook, pushing the stimulus package, the government health care takeover, expanding the federal payroll, empowering unions, and rubber stamping his many radical appointees. Their bizarre behavior has spooked employers, who are delaying hiring, thus keeping the unemployment rate above 10 percent.

Last year, the House passed the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade (Tax) bill that would impose more than $200 billion in new energy taxes, create a massive carbon credit bureaucracy, and fashion the skids to send the United States downhill into the arms of the power-mad global warming enthusiasts. The only reason the Senate did not follow suit was that the health care train wreck blocked the tracks.

It doesn’t seem to matter that the climate change data have exploded in their faces like an overheated bottle of Coke. The phony “facts” on temperatures, glaciers, ice shelves, sea levels and even polar bear populations are falling apart. Does it matter that head researcher Phil Jones at Great Britain’s University of East Anglia, the nerve center of the scam, resigned? Jones finally admitted that there is no evidence for global warming in the last 15 years, and that the warming period during the Middle Ages might have been hotter than today, despite no appreciable carbon emissions. Does it matter that Yvo de Boer, the head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which works alongside the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the driving force behind Al Gore’s ambitions for global government, has also resigned after presiding over the Copenhagen conference fiasco?

No matter. They’re not listening in Washington. So Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is riding to the rescue. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson wrote to Congress on Feb. 22 warning that the EPA will begin targeting power plants in 2011, and get around to harassing other emitters, such as dry cleaners and hospitals, by 2016. Jackson says the EPA has to continue the charade (not her words) because of the 2007 decision by the eminent scientists on the Supreme Court (not her words) who ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases from vehicles are a regulated pollutant under the Clean Air Act. That includes CO2, which we all exhale, so heavy snorers had better hide under their pillows.

How about the renewed drive to shove homosexuality down the throats of the nation’s armed forces? Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen cannot argue that this would enhance the military, just that they would try to “minimize disruption and polarization.” They’re not listening to surveys showing a majority of men and women in the services opposed, nor to the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, with a combined four million members. Nor do the views of more than 1,150 retired admirals and generals who don’t have to salute Obama carry much weight. Or that we are in the middle of wars against Islamic fascism – not that it would ever make sense to turn a vice into a virtue.

Speaking of the homosexual agenda, the Obama White House is still tone deaf when it comes to the scandalous appointment of homosexual activist Kevin Jennings as the nation’s “safe schools” czar at the Department of Education. The founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Jennings has been asked to resign his “czar” post by more than 50 congressmen. The legislators don’t think much of the sexually explicit scenarios in GLSEN’s recommended books for children, nor GLSEN’s staging events at which obscene sex pamphlets were available to teens. There’s more, but this should be enough.

Washington’s ears also seem closed to public resistance to the plan to close Guantanamo Bay and have terrorist trials in civilian courts. Although Attorney General Eric Holder has backed off his pledge to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in New York City, he reiterated on Feb. 22 that the civilian court system is fine for trying “thugs.” We’re not talking about the Jets and the Sharks here, but state-supported terrorists who specialize in mass murder. Holder acknowledged recently that his Justice Department has at least nine attorneys who have either represented terror suspects or worked for firms that did. He finally responded to a three-month-old request about this from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), but provided little information not already known. The letter, according to Washington Examiner reporter Byron York, contained this tidbit:

“Holder also assured Grassley that ‘all department appointees understand that their client is the United States.’” Now what would give Justice Department officials the idea that they work for someone else?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

5 Reasons Illegal Immigrants Shouldn't Be Given American Citizenship

5 Reasons Illegal Immigrants Shouldn't Be Given American Citizenship
John Hawkins
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Over the last few months most conservatives have quite naturally been distracted by Barack Obama's frightening incompetence, his elephantine spending, and his zealous attempts to swallow as much of the private sector as the government beast can stuff down its gaping maw. But while the cat's away, the mice will play. The little feet you may have been hearing pitter-patter back into the public square? They belong to advocates of amnesty for illegal aliens. Oh, they don't necessarily call it that. They call it comprehensive immigration reform, earned legalization, a path to citizenship -- but, it all amounts to the same thing: rewarding people for breaking our laws.

On behalf of the overwhelming majority of the conservative movement and the American people, let me say, "Not just ‘no,’ but ‘Hell, no’" to giving illegal immigrants American citizenship.

Now, I know what the response to this will be: "You must hate Hispanics!" Actually, it doesn't matter where the illegals are from; they're not welcome here. But, but,'ll help the GOP with Hispanics to support amnesty! Tell that to John McCain, who bombed with Hispanics despite being the Republican most associated with amnesty. Well, then you must not want any immigrants in this country! What a despicable argument. Comparing an illegal alien to someone who loves and respects this country enough to come here the right way is like comparing a burglar to an adopted son.

Let me tell you exactly why illegal immigrants shouldn't be given American citizenship.

1) It will only encourage more illegal immigrants to come here. We've already had a "one time only" amnesty deal for illegals. It occurred during the Reagan Administration and the idea was supposed to be that we'd allow the illegals who were here to become citizens and we'd simultaneously beef up security to try to keep the problem from occurring again. Well, guess what? That very bipartisan sounding compromise didn't work. To the contrary, it failed miserably. So why in the world would anyone who actually wants to stop illegal immigration want to try something that has already been proven to be counterproductive? We have far more illegals in America today than we did when the "one time" amnesty went through. Do we want 20 million illegals here when the next amnesty goes through? 30 million? Are we going to be accused of racism if we say the next huge wave of illegals shouldn't be given citizenship either? Where does it end?

2) Illegal aliens take jobs from American citizens. The economy stinks. American citizens are out of work. People are going out every day looking for jobs to support their family and they're coming home empty handed. Meanwhile, there are illegal aliens in this country holding jobs that American citizens would otherwise have. "Oh, but those are jobs Americans won't do!" There's no such thing. There's no job in this country that couldn't be filled if every illegal disappeared tomorrow -- but, here's the catch: the crooked business owners who are knowingly hiring the illegals might have to pay what the job is worth instead of hiring people who let everyone else pay their health care, pay their car insurance, and pay their share of the taxes.

3) We're importing poverty. It's no secret that the majority of illegals are uneducated manual laborers. In fact, that's supposed to be one of their selling points, isn't it? Don't advocates of amnesty say we need illegals to do the dirty, hard, manual labor that "Americans won't do?" But even if that were true, which it’s not, people with very limited skills often turn into liabilities for a society as they age. There aren't a lot of people picking oranges and scrubbing floors at fifty years old. In other words, in order to help crooked business owners get cheap labor today, the rest of society has to be burdened with people who are going to cost society far more than they ever pay in taxes. Are American taxpayers so unburdened that we want to actually bring in even more people to carry on their backs?

4) It rewards bad behavior. It's against the law to enter this country illegally. It's against the law to buy fake documents or steal someone's social security number. It's against the law not to pay your taxes. So after all of that, we're going to give people citizenship? What message does that send to all the immigrants filling out reams of paperwork, paying out significant chunks of their paychecks, and waiting for years in their home countries to finally achieve their dream of becoming an American citizen? Here's the message it sends: You're a chump! This is something you don't normally have to say to people north of five years old, but it's not smart to reward bad behavior and punish good behavior.

5) It cheapens and demeans our country. Is this Cuba? Is this Afghanistan? Is this Rwanda? Are we such a garbage dump of a nation that we have to desperately give citizenship to anybody and everybody we can find? Newsflash: This is the greatest nation God has seen fit to raise up in the history of mankind. We can not only have the cream of the crop from other nations; we can ask them to wait in line, obey our laws, and prove themselves -- and the ones worth having will do it because this is the place people all over the world dream of coming one day. American citizenship is a precious thing and it shouldn't be given to people whose first act upon American soil was to violate our laws.

Green Jobs Obsession Distracts from Real Economy Recovery

Green Jobs Obsession Distracts from Real Economy Recovery
Carrie Lukas
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The American public has become familiar with many new political phrases since the start of the Obama administration: Jobs saved or created. Bending the cost curve. And, of course, green jobs. As with all political catch-phrase, Americans should be warned: what they think the term means and the actual policies advanced in its name are often very different things.

President Obama has made the creation of green jobs a centerpiece of his economic agenda. Becoming the “world leader in developing the clean energy technologies that will lead to the industries and jobs of tomorrow” is described by the Administration as “critical to the future of our country.” They are investing billions in pursuit of this goal.

The 2009 stimulus bill made a massive investment in “green” enterprises: a $6 billion loan guarantee program targeted to green industry, $5 billion for weatherization assistance, $11 billion for “smart grid” technology and modernized high-tech transmission lines, and $500 million to help train workers for green-related careers. The new budget doubles down with similar “green” investments: hundreds of millions for the research and development of new energy technologies, billions of tax breaks for companies investing in clean energy projects, and $74 million for initiatives to “inspire tens of thousands of young Americans to pursue a career in clean energy.”

Just what are American taxpayers getting for this investment? The Administration has struggled to quantify how many jobs were created by last summer's stimulus; identifying government-created “green jobs” is an even more difficult task. Part of the problem is defining exactly what counts as a “green job.” Employment produced by some initiatives--weatherization support and improving buildings' energy-efficiency--are almost indistinguishable from regular construction jobs. Even the money focused on producing “green” energy products, like solar panels and wind turbines, has effects that trickle far outside “green” sectors since the production process requires raw materials and transportation, which cut across the general economy.

Taxpayers should also be warned that creating a “green job” can be expensive. One report examining state and local efforts to encourage the creation of “green jobs” found that the subsidies sometimes exceed $100,000 per job created. Other analysts have pointed out that much of money targeted for “green job” creation is being sent overseas. ABC News reported that nearly 80 percent of the close to $2 billion in the stimulus bill dedicated to wind power went to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines.

Yet the bigger question is whether it is sensible for the government to invest so heavily in wind power at all. A report by the minority of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy, entitled “Yellow Light on Green Jobs,” revealed that alternative energy sources remain much more costly than traditional power. The report details:

“Comparisons of wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas, and coal sources of power coming on line by 2015 show that solar power will be 173% more expensive per unit of energy delivered that traditional coal power, 140% more than nuclear power and natural gas and 92% more expensive than wind power. Wind power is 42% more expensive than coal and 25% more expensive than nuclear and natural gas power.”

The report further explains that even this comparison overstates the total efficiency of wind and solar since they operate at full optimization only a fraction of the time, and require traditional sources of energy as backup when the sun or wind disappears.

American families used to hearing stories about dubious bank bailouts, wasteful earmarks, and new spending bills with hundred billion dollar price tags may shrug their shoulders. Yet these “green” efforts aren't just more inefficient, ineffective uses of federal money which require a few more bucks out of our paychecks. Government's meddling in the energy sector distorts the market process, rewarding some less promising technologies, while discouraging the creation of others that could truly revolutionize how we power the economy. Government has a habit of rewarding today's favored technology--at one time, corn-based ethanol; today, wind and solar. This discourages outside-of-the-box innovators since they know they won't be competing on a level playing field, but instead one that's stacked in favor of the politically connected.

Even more worrisome, policymakers know that direct government spending alone won't usher in a new “clean” economy, so they are also pursuing a more surefire path to “green” job creation-- driving up the costs of traditional energy sources either through regulation or a costly cap-and-trade system that acts as a carbon tax. Average American families will find that these policies cost them thousands of dollars as the price of everything from food to fuel rise. And while it may create additional “green” jobs, it will strangle many more traditional jobs, as businesses have to invest more on their energy costs and have less to spend on expansion and job creation.

The term “green jobs” must poll well, but in reality these costly initiatives steer money toward inefficient technologies, thwarted the market process, and ultimately act as a drag on economic growth. Instead of “green jobs,” the Administration should focus on facilitating private sector job creation by reducing how much the government meddles in the market.

An Unbridgeable Philosophical Divide?

An Unbridgeable Philosophical Divide?
Armstrong Williams
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One quickly realizes the major philosophical and principle divide between liberals and conservatives when they painfully deconstruct and analyze their respective rhetoric. Conservatives and liberals are worlds apart in their ideology; an ideology that is now more than ever serving as the impetus for bold and endlessly complex legislation foisted on the already burdened American people. Conservative cling to the power of equality of opportunity and unfettered freedom; while liberals, on the other hand, are fearfully willing to sacrifice the hard earned dollars of honest Americans for the freedom of equal outcomes.

To illustrate the point, let’s examine some of the more recent contentious political issues to better test and illuminate this hypothesis.

Healthcare: The Left was willing to sacrifice individual freedom to choose doctors, opting instead to impose a state-run monopoly on medical care at the expense of a market driven health system. They unabashedly didn't care that they were redistributing income from the more productive to the less productive; from the young to the old; from the healthy to the less healthy. In contrast, conservatives looked towards market solutions to resolve many of the existing health care issues, one that operated within a framework of the invisible hand of rational behaviors and the proper incentives. If cost is a factor in health care as liberals would argue, then why not ensure the solution has a price-based fixture?

Cap and Trade: Under the Democratic plan, income derived from a cap and trade scheme would be redistributed from productive carbon producing enterprises to non-carbon emitting enterprises. In effect, jobs would be lost, shifting from the USA to less responsible, emerging countries. Wealth would also shift from America to non- compliant nations; for what reason? Because of spotty, inconclusive scientific evidence that reduced carbon emissions would prevent global warming. Conservatives questioned that science. Not because they were Neanderthals. But when you ask the average American to pay $5 for a gallon of gas to save an iceberg in a remote part of the north he may never see when that same person is struggling to pay that month’s mortgage or he himself will be out in the cold, you better be damn sure of the consequences of “global warming.” Frankly, the Left failed in that argument.

Union Card Check: Democrats were willing to sacrifice the sanctity of a secret ballot to insure that Unions could fleece more American workers. With members (and clout) dissipating at record rates, it’s evident union bosses are feeling their grip on power lifting. It was easy to see this political exercise for what it was – a desperate bid to win at all costs, even if it meant cooking the ballot box at union halls. Here again, conservatives stood on an obvious side – the one for more freedom and more individualism.

McCain-Feingold: Democrats howled when the Supreme Court recently overturned corporate prohibitions in the landmark McCain-Feingold law. Here again, they’re willing to sacrifice the constitutionally-protected free speech of corporations and their shareholders. This has the long term effect of preventing this segment of society from spending their corporate dollars on political issues that are or are not in their best interest. The beauty of our First Amendment is captured best in its simplicity – when you abridge someone’s right to speak out for causes he/she believes in, no amount of demagoguing will cover that injustice.

In the real world, most Americans are neither completely liberal nor conservative in their overall views. Views and opinions change, based on one's own station in life and through differing circumstances. That's why we have laws, based on fundamental principles of what's just. Because if left to the devices and whims of populists, so-called principled would change in an instant, and freedoms would suffer. That's why conservatives look back to the Founders - they approached the building of this nation with the freshest of views - chief among them was the unfailing pursuit toward more, not less, freedom.

For the most part, Americans prefer their politicians this way as well. They would much rather have a President in the middle of the political spectrum, regardless of political affiliation, rather than have a polarizing dictator trying to sink their teeth into the free world. In fact, when policy is proposed, whether it has the appearance of being liberal or conservative, once it's vetted through the rigor of intense partisan debate, it usually comes out somewhere along the middle of the political divide. When it comes to the personal lives of Americans it is important to realize that views and opinions continue changing as individuals move up the economic bracket, get an education, have a family and gain a matured perspective.

Our laws are continuously based on fundamental social philosophies of what elevates the quality of the society as a whole. After all, we do not only live for ourselves, but we are active members in a society of people in which dignity, respect and honor must be at the core of growing our great nation. However, with that being noted, the populous is an accurate gauge to feel the pulse of a nation that can only survive if the populous are in the middle class and don’t infest the lower strata of the economic stratosphere.

Conservatives will never be able to cogently persuade a true liberal who is more than willing to sacrifice his freedom and income (and yours) so that there is absolute perceived equality. Likewise, liberals will never persuade conservatives to sacrifice their individual freedom and hard earned wealth to be redistributed by bureaucrats and politicians in Washington, DC. For this reason alone, the Left and Right will never meet. It’s probably good that they don’t, for conflict is at the heart of democracy. I’m just glad I and my conservative colleagues are on the side of liberty!

Cuba’s Free and Fabulous Healthcare

Cuba’s Free and Fabulous Healthcare
Humberto Fontova
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Back in August 2009 BB (Before Scott Brown) CNN was frantically producing infomercials for Obama’s healthcare plan. Lucky for them Michael Moore had a handy supply of valuable footage from his infomercials for Castro’s healthcare plan.

So on the August 6 edition of CNN’s “Newsroom,” while Morgan Neil “reported” on location from a Potemkin Havana hospital, gushing about Cuban healthcare's "impressive statistics!" the broadcast included clips from Michael Moore's Sicko, adding much oomph to the propaganda montage. CNN's "Cuba's infant mortality rates," reported Neil, "are the lowest in the hemisphere, in line with those of Canada!"

"Amazing!" probably gasped the type of person who watches CNN nowadays "No wonder Colin Powell said "Castro had done some good things for his people!" No wonder Barbara Walters hailed Castro for “bringing great healthcare to his people!” No wonder Michael Moore catches so much grief from those insufferable Miami Cubans! Before Castro only they could afford doctors, as Cuba's huddled masses languished in sickness and poverty!"

And indeed, according to UN figures, Cuba's current infant mortality rate places her 44th from the top in worldwide ranking, right next to Canada (the lower the rate the higher the ranking).

What CNN left out is that according to those same UN figures, in 1958 (the year prior to the glorious revolution), Cuba ranked 13th from the top, worldwide. This meant that robustly capitalist Cuba had the 13th lowest infant-mortality rate in the world. This put her not only at the top in Latin America but atop most of Western Europe, ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Today all of these countries leave Communist Cuba in the dust, with much lower infant mortality rates.

And even plummeting from 13th (Capitalist) to 44th (Communist), Cuba's "impressive" infant mortality rate is kept artificially low by Communist chicanery with statistics and by a truly appalling abortion rate of 0.71 abortions per live birth. This is the hemisphere's highest, by far. Any Cuban pregnancy that even hints at trouble gets "terminated."

In April 2001, Dr. Juan Felipe García, MD, of Jacksonville, Fla., interviewed several recent doctor defectors from Cuba. Based on what he heard, he reported the following:

"The official Cuban infant-mortality figure is a farce. Cuban pediatricians constantly falsify figures for the regime. If an infant dies during its first year, the doctors often report he was older. Otherwise, such lapses could cost him severe penalties and his job."

This might lead a few people to question Cuba's official infant-mortality figures. But such people would not get a Havana bureau for their news agency, much less a visa to film a documentary.

According to a report by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, more than 75% of “doctors” with Cuban “medical degrees” flunk the exam given by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates for licensing in the U.S. Most Cuba-certified doctors even flunk the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates’ exam for certification as “physician assistants,” making them unfit even as nurses. None of this is meant to disparage these hapless men and women who were simply cursed by fate to be born under a Stalinist tyranny.

Ninety-nine percent of Cubans have no more experience with hospitals like the one Michael Moore featured in Sicko and CNN's Morgan Neill visited, than Moore has with a Soloflex. Most Cubans view these hospitals the way teenage boys used to view Playboy magazine and husbands view a Victoria's Secret catalog: "Wow! If only. . ."

The Castroite propaganda in Sicko so outraged people cursed by fate to live in Castro's fiefdom that they risked their lives by using hidden cameras to film conditions in genuine Cuban hospitals, hoping they could alert the world to Moore's swinishness as a propaganda operative for a Stalinist regime.

At enormous risk, two hours of shocking, often revolting, footage was obtained with tiny hidden cameras and smuggled out of Cuba to Cuban-exile George Utset, who runs the superb and revelatory website The Real Cuba. The man who assumed most of the risk during the filming and smuggling was Cuban dissident -- a medical doctor himself – Dr. Darsi Ferrer, who was also willing to talk on camera, narrating much of the video's revelations. Dr Ferrer worked in these genuinely Cuban hospitals daily, witnessing the truth. More importantly, he wasn't cowed from revealing this truth to America and the world. (A recent samizdat reports that the black Dr. Ferrer is currently languishing in a Cuban prison cell --not far from Gitmo, by the way-- undergoing frequent beatings.

Originally, ABC's John Stossel planned to show the shocking smuggled videos in their entirety, during a 20/20 show. Alas, on Sept. 12th 2007, the 20/20 show ran only a tiny segment on Cuba's "real" healthcare, barely 5 minutes long and with almost none of the smuggled video footage. What happened?

Well, the Castro regime got wind of these videos and called in ABC's Havana bureau for a little talking-to, stressing that ABC's "bureau permit" might face "closer scrutiny" if they showed the blockbuster videos. ABC wimped out.

Enter Fox News, and Sean Hannity in particular. Your humble servant here contacted Hannity's producers regarding the smuggled videos and they immediately requested a look. Within hours they jumped on them and produced a blockbuster of a show. Fox viewers saw naked patients covered with flies while lying on "hospital beds" consisting of a bare mattress. They saw a building that would be condemned by the health board of any U.S. municipality serving as "hospitals." They saw and heard Dr. Darsi Ferrer along with other Cubans who described their inability to obtain something so basic as aspirin.

In case some have forgotten, Cuba is a totalitarian state almost perfectly patterned on the Stalinist model. I say "almost" because in the early stage Castro and Che deviated somewhat by actually jailing more political prisoners per-capita than Stalin. As such, material rewards are granted exclusively by the regime and relentless police-state control is the regime priority.

"Health care" is important only so far as a function to bamboozle foreign press agencies, academics and filmmakers (which has proven a laughable cakewalk). So the rewards issued by Castro's Stalinist regime to Cuba's doctors (a monthly salary of $22) are dwarfed by those awarded to the dedicated and intrepid staff of Cuba's Ministry of the Interior. (spies/secret police.) These latter perform the vital functions in maintaining the viability of Castro’s fiefdom.