NOT PART OF THE CLUB
Re: Andrew Cline's Gates Lied:
Your piece is indicative of a mindset that has created havoc on people of color ever since Europeans brought African-Americans to this country against our will. It is indicative of the mindset of many Europeans as it relates to race in this country. It was twisted, narcissistic and self-serving to say the least. However, it does do one very positive thing: it allows African-Americans to see that in the eyes of many European whites we still are not accepted as equals.
First of all, the piece fails to mention the fact that there is no law that says a person can be arrested for shouting. As a former Civil Defense Attorney with these types of cases, I believe Mr. Gates was wrongly arrested for Disorderly Conduct based upon what I heard on the 911 tapes. The 911 tapes do not corroborate the police officer. They exonerate Mr. Gates. Second, the piece failed to mention that Mr. Gates provided his identification when asked. The officer relayed this information to dispatch. Once this information was obtained, why was he still arrested? Because a European White man did not like being yelled at by an African-American man. But who would not be upset by this treatment in their own home? Who would not be upset? Who would not yell? This is what being a professional officer is all about -- looking at the totality of the circumstances. This is not what the police officer did. This is what made his conduct "stupid" as well. Let me repeat this. There is no law that says you can be arrested for yelling!
The writer of this piece seems to be in a fairy tale land if he believes that had Mr. Gates been white, he still would have been arrested. This is intellectually dishonest. Had Mr. Gates been white in that neighborhood, the police officer would have took the verbal shouting, apologized for the mistake and left the home. It was only because he was black that he was arrested. Most importantly, it is this mindset of white people (men in general) that makes African-Americans suspect. We know that European-Americans view the world from strictly a European/white perspective. Since they have never had to deal with other people from anything less than an authoritative position, they seem to think they can do no wrong.
However, I do not fault the police officer. He is a European male doing what European males do. His conduct was not anything different from the behaviors of other European males over the past 400 years. This is conduct which occurs based upon the Western system of values and culture. My problem lies in having a group of African-Americans like Mr. Gates who are "surprised" at being arrested in their home. Inherent in being "surprised" is the belief that he had somehow "arrived" and was now part of the "American Club." The real problem is that he and others like him still want to be a part of this club in the first place.
The history of the members of this club in this country for the last 400 years to people of color and people on the lower socio-economic ladder has been shameful to say the least. Instead of attempting to right the many wrongs perpetuated, reasons are developed to justify them. Then more wrongs are done. From my vantage point, the culture and value system which leads to group behavior as exemplified by this arrest are systems not worthy of emulation.
So a thanks is in order. Apparently the African-American community needed this wake-up call. We have not arrived from the perspective of European/white America. Maybe this act will help us consider the more important issue. Why we feel the desire to be accepted by a community that will not accept us. Morally speaking, the group is not that great.
Peace and Blessings!
-- Anpu Waset
Re: William Tucker's Amateur Hour:
Mr. Tucker speaks of "the political class, which generally consists of people skilled at revving up crowds by not knowing what they're talking about." Indeed. As Churchill pointed out in an essay in his anthology "Thoughts and Adventures," that's just the sort of government you are likely to get when you turn the franchise over to anyone and everyone who happens to be over the age of 18 and have a detectable pulse.
Restricting voting to adults with stakes in their communities would go a long way towards sun-setting "amateur hour," as would repealing the 17th and 19th Amendments.
A constitutional convention may be America's only way out of this mess.
-- Doug Welty
RENDERING UNTO OBAMA
Re: Jeffrey Lord's The Taxing of the Screw:
Mr. Lord offers a logic extrapolation of the current taxation system of America. The end results are, of course, absurd because the initial design and intention of the tax system are absurd. Federal, state and local tax codes are not simply instruments of revenue collection; they are covert systems of behavior modification. Both the left and the right are guilty of interfering with free enterprise and individual choice.
Any behavior that the elected majority finds to be of questionable value (i.e., fun for someone else but not me) is subject to taxation. The justification is always that the state is somehow responsible for the expenses associated with said behaviors. The rationale being if one partakes in an unhealthy activity, one will eventually need medical attention arising from participation in the activity. This thinking does not take into account that the person may offset any deficit with healthy, compensatory behaviors. The Unholy Trinity, Obama, Reid and Pelosi, is offering blanket coverage from the cradle to the grave (with the grave coming all the sooner under a national health care system) if the simple majority are willing to accept it -- at a price. The left ignores more efficient means of health coverage: removing the tax incentive that businesses receive for offering health insurance and allowing individuals to maintain their own insurance trust funds. Even this still leaves the government to interfere with business and individual choices. The most efficient choice is replacing the current tax systems with a Value Added Tax or Flat Tax. If implemented, either system could be calibrated to bring in sufficient tax revenues without imposing government sanctioned morality.
Strong central governments can serve the common interests of the people and governments need money to run, but we, the people, do not need our government to run our lives. Intimate choices, be they eating, health or mating habits, do not fall into the purview of government interests. Let us pay unto Washington what is due Washington, but let us jealously guard our independence and be equally diligent in keeping the government out of our private choices. A just tax system collects revenue, not imposes morality.
As a people, we can be free or we can have the state protect us from ourselves. We can't have both.
THE NATIONAL SOCIALISTS
Re: Robert M. Goldberg's Blue Dog Day Afternoon:
The liberal Democrats need a good slogan to get their healthcare takeover to pass. I suggest the following: "One People, One Nation, One Payer." A similar slogan ("Eine Reich, Eine Volk, Eine Fuhrer") generated tremendous enthusiasm in the 1930s and might work for the modern crop of National Socialists.
-- James Van Alstyne
Re: Ben Stein's We've Figured Him Out:
There has to be "no good" reason why Obama is "railroading" the Health Care Bill through Congress. First, he knows 90% of the Senators will not read the entire bill and the other 10% will scan what applies to him/her. Second, time is his enemy.
Look at what he is proposing for senior citizens, yes, the very ones who lived through WW11; who sacrificed and stood in long lines for food and gas rations and grew what vegetables they could in small gardens in the back-yard, went down allies and collected coffee cans to donate for scrap. Would you stand in lines after a hard days work in a defense plant? Would your children today, rummage through garbage cans? We did and were proud to do what was necessary for our great country.
Well, now that we are older, he says don't take so many prescriptions, even if it's your heart medicine; just suffer and learn to live with it. Maybe we won't live so long and then we won't matter. What about all the other age groups? What do they have to give up?
All I know is, the Health Care Bill must not pass and SHAME on Obama for even putting it together. We don't want a socialized nation and we don't want a redistribution of all the monies. And stop with all the handouts. And while I'm at it, close our southern borders for one year and then anyone wanting to cross into the U.S. must be able to speak English, and agree to become an American citizen within 6 months.
-- Jeanne Solis
Let's be clear about "health care" as it stands today. This statement from Ben Stein that: "... ObamaCare basically means that every time you are sick or injured, you will have a clerk from the Department of Motor Vehicles telling your doctor what he can and cannot do" does touch on a point of real concern in the "health care" debate.
However, criticizing any reform effort based solely on the probability that this bureaucratic insertion into the "health care" delivery process is likely, without acknowledging the fact that this is precisely what HMOs and insurance companies do today does a disservice to untangling the mess we're in. HMOs and insurance companies constantly stand in the place of physician decisions when deciding whether a procedure is "medically necessary" or whether a formulary drug can be substituted with an OTC equivalent.
The feasibility of adding another layer of bureaucracy to the "health care system" is certainly a legitimate debating point. But dismissing it categorically without addressing the fact that this insertion of insurance providers (regardless of the claim whether "qualified medical" personnel are the ones reviewing paperwork) is a major bone of contention already which needs addressed in the same reform debate.
And while you're at tackling the heart of certain issues, why not also address the unfairness built into the fact that medical providers are perfectly satisfied to right-off portions of service costs because of some contracted allowed amounts between provider and company while insisting on full payment from the uninsured.
So, Ben may have "figured out" Obama, but unfortunately his criticisms add nothing new to untangling the mess we're in -- rather they add to the cacophony of vacuous sound bytes. It's like listening to him and Gergen opining on what one ought to do, despite the fact that both of them had their time in office shaping the public dialogue, and 20-30 years later we're suppose to trust that now their insight is more acute -- despite of their lack of foresight then ??? Please.
Thank you, Mr. Stein, for having the platform and courage to speak out for what most Americans REALLY want and feel about America. I have a small business in MN. Is there anything I can do to help make a difference before Mr. Obama takes away our freedoms?
-- Melody Goss
Re: The Prowler's Too Poor to Pay:
It seems to me that those "high power CEOs" have no doubt already paid much more than the costs of those meals with their income taxes. It's not like they are free loaders on the government. They are surely in the highest tax bracket. This excuse by the Obamaites is just one more lie... among many.
-- J. Vincent
SHORTING GOLDMAN SACHS
Re: Ben Stein's The Oil Shortage Hoax:
Enjoyed the article and find your views on oil traders interesting. Now, contrast this with the recent reports of computer coding being stolen from Goldman Sachs and the government statement that this code "if in the wrong hands," could allow someone to control the markets. "Wrong hands"...how about Goldman Sachs? Is high frequency trading in the commodity markets something that can truly control the markets and if so, why is it not being shut down by the Feds?
-- Michael Thomas
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