Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sign your donor card: Keep a rapist alive

(This article first appeared at American Thinker.)
While the logic supporting Obamacare rests upon the obvious fact that health care costs are too high for Americans and continue to rise, here's a story to help illustrate the bureaucratic thinking that keeps those costs escalating:
13WHAM News has learned that a convicted rapist serving up to 40 years in prison, is being evaluated for a possible heart transplant.
The report goes on to estimate the cost of the procedure at $800,000. The bill, if the procedure is completed, would be paid by New York state taxpayers.
The felon in question, Kenneth Pike, 55, began serving time in 1996 after his conviction for raping and sodomizing a 13 year-old girl in Auburn, New York. Although the hospital admits having a patient with that name in their care in guarded condition, neither the hospital nor the New York State Department of Corrections would comment further on the matter.
The state's justification for even considering using state funds (not to mention, the use of a coveted healthy heart for transplant) to prolong the life of a violent criminal is the usual mishmash of politically correct speech:
Strong Hospital doctors, nurses and staff members are committed to providing (care) without discrimination. We believe in and follow the organ allocation policies and guidelines of the federally regulated OPTN/United Network for Organ Sharing, which insures equal consideration for transplantation and access to donated organs.
How simultaneously noble and utterly imbecilic of them! But this is not the first time New York State Correction officials have socked the taxpayers to extend the lives of the criminals in their system.
State Correction Officials say four other inmates in past years have received kidney or liver transplants; 7 others had bone marrow transplants.
One can imagine a potential organ donor at the New York state Bureau of Motor Vehicles, pondering whether or not to offer to donate his organs for transplant in the event of his untimely death. Perhaps if they would post mug shots of criminals whose lives have been extended by organ donations, it would make that decision easier for potential donees.

I suppose this is just another way for the unionized corrections department to keep their jobs. Of course we would need fewer correction officers if their charges keep dying off.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Don't Tread on Trump

While it's not surprising to hear Charles Krauthammer condescend to the idea of Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, it comes as something of a surprise to see the National Review featuring Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg and Daniel Foster pouring tubs of cold water on the populist conservative dreams of a Trump presidency. After all, Krauthammer cut his teeth writing speeches for Walter Mondale and has alternately shown ruling class contempt for Sarah Palin while showering Barack Obama with terms like “brilliant” and “elegant” when he isn't ripping the actual policies of our Affirmative Action POTUS.
Et tu, Jonah? Even David Brooks showed more respect for the Trumpster's appeal than the guys who should be rallying around the single conservative figure demonstrating the ability to get traction with the mainstream media while appealing to a wide swath of potential conservative voters.
It's almost like everybody got the memo the same day. Sort of a conserv-o-list of anti-Donaldism.
All three of our normally conservative advocates were dismissive, insulting and condescending to Mr. Trump who has done more to invigorate the Republican party in the last 3 weeks than all three of our favorite columnists put together over the past 12 months.
Where does Jonah Goldberg get off calling Mr. Trump “a clown?” Yes, the Donald is narcissistic and self-promoting and of course he has some baggage. And while he's busy taking cheap shots, Jonah goes on to criticize Trump's expression of his Christian faith. Last time I checked, an honest profession of one's faith was sufficient to satisfy most Christians. Trump asserts that he does what Catholics consider to be their Easter duty-church attendance on Christmas and Easter and “major occasions.” Just to check if Jonah had become some sort of hyper-fundamentalist religious prude, I googled “Jonah Goldberg Obama Church Attendance” and turned up nothing. So why is Jonah tougher on Trump than on Obama?
While lingering in the spirit of unfairness that seems to have overwhelmed Goldberg, he goes on to provide ammunition to the Democrats by quoting a self-serving, sour-grapes, unofficial biography of Trump by a disgruntled former employee. Nice Republican team effort, Jonah.
Daniel Foster seems most discouraged with Trump's crowing about his wealth and success. As Babe Ruth once said, “It ain't bragging if you can back it up.” Then Foster gets all snarky about what sound like logical business tactics, impugning The Donald for his bankruptcy filings and comes off as insecure about “his habit of projecting the appearance of success.” http://www/ Word up, Daniel-it ain't just an appearance. Donald Trump has made several fortunes and seems to have a pretty firm grip on the one he's got. Trump was ranked 420th on the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people with $2.7 billion and a green upward-pointing arrow. An intelligent and resourceful businessman, Trump uses all of the tools and legal avenues available to grow his businesses-a trait that would be quite helpful as POTUS. The bankruptcy laws exist for a reason-to protect individuals and businesses that may have become overwhelmed by circumstances. Trump used those laws wisely and well.
Foster recognizes that Trump “has shrewdly taken stock of the political moment.” He goes on to pick apart some of The Donald's past statements reflecting a potential conflict with conservative voters. But what even the conservative intelligentsia fail to recognize is that voters aren't going to hold a celebrity businessman to positions he held when he might have just been spouting off for the press. Career politicians like Romney (and Romney Care) or Mitch Daniels and his ill-fated truce on social issues had to launch and defend their views and act on them in the political arena. Their past positions are much more securely tethered to them than any of Trump's views ever will be to The Donald.
Mark Steyn's Trump column in “The Corner” seems like more of an afterthought than any of the thoughtful and hilarious pieces regularly turned out by the English-speaking world's most brilliant columnist. Referring to Trump's cowardice is so ridiculous that it's an oxymoron. If one didn't know better from reading Steyn's earlier works, one would believe that Mark believes that the Chinese and the Saudis consider Americans as something of a joke with no ability to influence their behaviors or business policies. I know most Americans won't by that canard and most of us are willing to give Donald Trump the opportunity to test his confrontational theories on those supposed friends of ours in the international community whose practices make them seem more like our enemies.
Donald Trump is a brilliant businessman and a fearless battler in the media arena. He clearly knows how to hire and delegate and will hire the requisite policy wonks to help him navigate the path to the right policy and policy statements to reflect his America First bravado. Our conservative commentariat serves us more effectively when atypical media ruling class attitudes are left out of our favorite columns.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rand Paul Best Choice for Republicans in 2012

This article first appeared at American Thinker on April 5, 2011. As the field for the Republican presidential nomination rounds into form, it is becoming clear that the traditional standard bearers for the GOP aren't bearing up well under Tea Party scrutiny. Dominated by a raft of losing 2008 also-rans, the Republican field must yield candidates likely to live up to the demanding standards of the largest and most successful grass roots movement in the history of the Grand Old Party. The one candidate demonstrating the most consistent adherence to Tea Party principles perfectly described the GOP dilemma in Iowa on Sunday: Its not enough just to be a Republican (Rand Paul told the crowd) Its not enough just for the Republican parties to exist. Political parties are empty vessels unless we imbue them with values. We have to stand for something and we have to mean it. Even Ronald Reagan never put it more clearly or plainly. While ruling class Republicans continue to practice 20th century deferential Republican politics, a few Tea Party favorites consistently stand on principle and, not surprisingly, those candidates are raising funds briskly. It would have been unthinkable in 2008 that Michelle Bachmann would be out-raising Mitt Romney thus far. With Romney's strategy appearing to be to lay low and assume what one of his spokesmen described as a “statesmanlike” position, Mitt is looking more and more like just another pretty face. The Tea Party conservatives who will drive the 2012 Republican nomination are not interested in a low-key, reach-across-the-aisle statesman. Look how well that turned out for us in 2008. The Republican candidates drawing all the love from Tea Partiers are consistently vocal and unafraid of ruffling feathers. Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Rand Paul and even Donald Trump are all verbalizing issues and taking stances that the mainstream media expect to be anathema to a successful Republican candidate. Compare the clear positions of Rand Paul with Mitch Daniels' desire for a truce on social issues or his unwavering support for his far-too-liberal friend Dick Lugar. There is simply no way the Tea Party will settle for ideological compromisers. The rest of the ruling class Republicans will fare no better this election. Mike Huckabee seems to want to be all things to all people, was decidedly soft on crime as Arkansas governor and is rapidly degenerating into the Republican version of Joe Biden. Newt Gingrich is an excellent idea man and was a great Speaker of the House, but these aren't your father's Republican primaries. If Newt thinks he's having a hard time living down his messy divorce, just wait until he has to explain his teaming up with Hillary Clinton in 2005 on her proposed health-care legislation. Can you say toast? Now let's get back to that fund-raising issue. The leading Republican fundraiser thus far in 2011 is Ron Paul. I have never been a fan of the Texas congressman. Despite his solid conservative record, particularly his stance on gun rights, abortion, the Fed, education and fiscal conservatism in general, he has been portrayed in the media as something of an odd-ball. The elder Paul's successful fund raising is no accident, as he is a consistent winner of Republican party straw-polls including victories at the CPAC convention in 2010 and 2011. While Ron Paul will never be a palatable Republican presidential nominee, there is a way to tap into the near rabid support he generates among libertarians and fiscal conservatives. His son, Rand Paul is the logical choice for the 2012 Republican party presidential nomination. He is an absolute budget-cutting hawk, a forceful and uncompromising speaker, and on the Tea Party side of nearly every issue. He is avowedly anti-abortion, demonstrably in favor of major education reforms (including shuttering the Department of Education), and calls for additional security on our border with Mexico and elimination of birth-right citizenship. Rand Paul opposes all gun-control legislation and same-sex marriage. Furthermore, he is decidedly in favor of major reform to the out-of-control Federal Reserve and wants America to eliminate the issuance of visas to citizens of “about ten rogue nations.” What's not to like? It's refreshing to see Senator Paul taking time out from tying Harry Reid in knots with his forceful Senate floor speeches and strategic use of amendments to float his potential candidacy for the 2012 Presidential nomination. This is the one we have been waiting for to replace the one they were hoping for.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is playing in the NFL like Slavery?

This article first appeared at American Thinker on 03/16/2011.
I have to admit I have trouble mustering up any sympathy for striking NFL players. The league minimum wage for players starts at $295,000 annually with the average player collecting about $1 million per year as reported in 2009. Although I am a huge fan, particularly of the local Indianapolis Colts, I have no more sympathy for wealthy athletes than I would have for any other millionaire entrepreneur. I expect them to negotiate their own deals and maintain responsibility for their business assets. For NFL players, the most important asset is their physical plant: their bodies.
Nevertheless, with the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL owners and the NFLPA (the player's union,) we are faced with adversarial negotiations being conducted in the media between these two groups who have a mutual interest in maintaining the remarkable success of the NFL brand.
Until yesterday, I thought the player's union was at a distinct disadvantage, due to the militant belligerence of their chief negotiator, DeMaurice Smith. Formerly the executive director of the NFLPA, Smith orchestrated the decertification of the union in order to allow individual players to file anti-trust suits against the league's owners. According to the owner's negotiator, the union was dead set on decertification and anti-trust suits, regardless of the outcome of the latest talks. From all reports, Smith appears to be cut from the same community organizer cloth as Andy Stern or Barack Obama.
As of yesterday, however, the player's association has acquired a new spokesman. Whether they like or not, the players are going to be stuck with the ridiculous statements of Minnesota running back, Adrian Peterson. In an interview with Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports, Peterson (whose annual base salary is $10.72 million) was quoted:
The players are getting robbed. They are...The owners are making so much money off of us to begin with. I don't know that I want to quote myself on that....
It's modern-day slavery, you know?...The owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money. I understand that, these are business-minded people...But as players, we have to stand our ground and say, “Hey, without us, there is no football. “
In addition to the 10's of millions of dollars Peterson earns from his on-field productivity as an NFL running back, he also has lucrative endorsement deals with Nike, Upper Deck, Fat-Head, Vitamin-Water, Muscle Milk and many other commercial sponsors which are certain to at least double his NFL income.
Were can I sign up for some of this slavery action?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2012 Democrat Senate Campaign Slogans

An edited version of this article first appeared at American Thinker on 02/09/2011.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, chaired by Patty Murray of Washington,
needs your help. As John Bresnahan reports at Politico, the current Washington state senator, queen of the whisker-thin, adjudicated victory, is appealing to the public for help developing a new catch-phrase for bumper stickers and additional messaging to assist in the upcoming 2012 campaign cycle. Murray, who was described quite accurately by Ann Coulter as a “lifelong public-sector union zealot” and with perhaps a tad of exaggeration as “the stupidest person in America” acquired her Senate seat after considerable subterfuge. Between getting military absentee votes discounted and the efforts of illegal aliens as campaign canvassers Murray managed to squeak out another victory over beleaguered Republican, Dino Rossi. I'll bet you thought those were only Franken tactics.
Considering the 23 seats the Democrats have to defend, they will need all the help they can get. In the spirit of bi-partisanship, I am happy to reach across the aisle and hand off some scintillating new slogans for Democrat Senatorial candidates that are certain to bring some truth to their union-funded advertising. The ideas offered by the committee so far seem rather bland, including “Had Enough Tea?” and “We've got your back, Barack.” Here are my top ten new campaign slogans for the Democrat Senate candidates in 2012:
1.) Go for Broke with Barry and Biden.
2,) In your heart, you know you want Obamacare.
3.) Amnesty, Si! Border Fence, No!
4.) Don't make us go to a hotel in Illinois!
5.) Senate Democrats, Your union dues at work.
6.) Democrats, making our country safe for Islam.
7.) This wise Latina is voting Democrat.
8.) Don't ask, don't vote Republican.
9.) Democrats, beating our swords into teleprompters.
10.) Six more years of spending!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Farrakhan: Flying Saucers & Scientology

This is the unedited version of an article that first appeared at American Thinker on 03/01/2011.
Just because local Chicago hustlers Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have graduated from the Windy City laboratories and taken their community organizing shell games off to Washington, D.C. doesn't mean that the Chi-town leftists have ceased being like broken washing machines. They are still stuck on agitate. While Jesse Jackson pere has taken his traveling search for the media spotlight to support Wisconsin fleebaggers, JJ fils continues to lay low in an attempt to live down his role in the former Governor Blagojovich's version of Let's Make a Deal. There is one Chicago community agitator who is unafraid to get out in front of the home folks and rouse them to action.
Why just last Sunday, Louis Eugene Walcott, better known by his adopted Muslim name of Farrakhan, rattled off a four hour stem-winder to his devoted followers from the Nation of Islam at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, to celebrate the group's annual Saviours Day convention. The increasingly eccentric Farrakhan attempted to link the rebellions in the middle eastern Arab nations to imagined events developing here in the United States:
What you are looking at in Tunisia, in Egypt, in Yemen, in Jordan, in Libya, in Bahrain, will soon, very soon be in all the nations of the world, and even sooner take place in America
Living in the leftist media bubble here in the states, we have become accustomed to such veiled threats from Nation of Islam leaders. Even as Farrakhan whipped up the enthusiasm of his followers, however, it became clear that the issues motivating Muslim rioters in the Middle East are somewhat removed from the issues important to Chicago Louis. While Libyan and Egyptian protestors seek to escape the dictatorial rule of corrupt despots, Farrakhan is urging American Muslims to pay more attention to flying saucers and Scientology.
To set the media record straight, Farrakhan assured his audience that Moammar Ghadafi had always been a friend. He suggested that leader has been loved by 100 per cent of his people and said that if Ghadafi is (prosecuted) for crimes against humanity, the same should apply to former President George W. Bush for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sounds reasonable enough....if you were perhaps from another planet. Maybe the fact that Farrakhan received Libya's Al-Ghadafi International Prize for Human Rights in 1996 influenced his thinking. But this was only the beginning of Crazy Louis's bizarre riff on the world as he sees it. Did you know that on Planet Farrakhan:
...that white people were created from blacks 4,000 years ago on an Aegean Island by a (mad) black scientist (?)
Or that part of the Nation of Islam belief system is based upon UFOs? Those beliefs are based on Farrakhan's recounting of what might be the only recorded incidence of a black person being abducted,0,1665375.story by a UFO:
Farrakhan has described a 1985 religious experience in which he ascended into a flying saucer and heard the voice of Elijah Muhammad predicting historical events.
Perhaps during Farrakhan's abduction he was introduced to Scientology. Farrakhan was apparently seeking to establish a link between the Nation of Islam and the practitioners of L. Ron Hubbard's celebrity religion when he praised Hubbard for his efforts to “civilize white people” in his Sunday diatribe. Where else might Crazy Louis have made the Scientology connection? One of the fundamental beliefs of the Hubbardians is that
...a human is an immortal alien spiritual being, termed a thetan, that is trapped on planet Earth in a physical body.
So it must have been Farrakhan's close encounter with those enlightened thetans from the UFO that helped him develop the deep spiritual understanding that has helped him become a leader of tens of thousands of followers, most of them here in the United States.
In the eyes of the American mainstream media, the protests in the middle east are about better jobs and freedom. It seems more likely the protests are more about establishing a sharia-compliant system of governance. Mr. Farrakhan's speech suggests our streets may soon be filled with protestors as well. And while I would like to heed Mr. Farrakhan's warning about the impending rebellions anticipated here in America, his rambling speech didn't really make it clear whether it was the UFO's or the Scientologists we have to worry about most.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Polecat of the Senate

This article first appeared at American Thinker on 03/01/2011
Despite concerted resistance from the most politicized Justice Department in the history of our great nation, Judicial Watch was finally successful in getting the full FBI files regarding Teddy Kennedy released:
Our tough fight with the Obama administration shows that it was not keen on letting the American people know that Teddy Kennedy, one of Obama's leftist politician heroes, liked to hang out with communists and prostitutes.
We will continue to investigate why the FBI improperly chose to keep this information secret.
The latest releases, while not pretty, are certainly not surprising to those familiar with the long career of the man the left hailed as “The Lion of Senate.” The facts suggests that the late Senator, well-known as a heavy drinker and the terror of young female campaign workers, was more of a cross between Alger Hiss and Charlie Sheen. The newly released files report that Kennedy arranged to rent an entire Chilean brothel to satisfy his outsized libido, and invited one of the American Embassy's chauffeurs to participate in the festivities. More like the polecat of the Senate, methinks.

It seems Senator Kennedy, in addition to his exaggerated lust for life and fermented liquids, also felt the serious need to pow-wow with the local Communists when visiting foreign countries.
..during a tour of several Latin American countries...In each country he visited he was also said to have insisted on interviewing the “angry young men” of the country as well as Communists who had extreme left-wing views.
The results of those interviews clearly informed the direction of terrible Ted's political arc. Kennedy was said to have veered so far left that he was warned off consorting with some of the targets of his curiously sought interviews. Of course, those same extreme left wing views have come too comprise the platform for the 21st century Democrat party.
It is not surprising that the Kennedy family hagiography is being unraveled, string by string. The Kennedy penchant for amorality and the willingness to use any means to justify the ends of feeding their personal pecadilloes was certain to wilt under the light of historical scrutiny. It is now the family's colluding allies in the press and government who are being exposed and who will eventually be destroyed by the horrendous karma of the Kennedy curse.