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Vital Signs

The nation's health is waning. Crying fascist. Grandstanding Old Party. Plus more.

4.3.09

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A VERY BAD SIGN
Re: Daniel Allott's The Doctor Will Kill You Now:

Some weeks ago my 82-year-old mother called me with a view and worry. I knew that she was "fixing" to tell me something dear to her heart and I actually saw this coming about a year ago, when rumblings of managed health care raised its ugly head. What was mother’s concern? Well, I have a 53-year-old brother. He’s autistic and due to a doctor's mistake, now retarded as well. He's also invalid due to many seizures, in bed and cared for by a family member who quit his job to be my brother’s solitary caretaker. The love and sacrifice in our family has never been any less. Mother’s tearful concern was that when all this health care that Obama wants to start, that David Lee will be subject of "not necessary to society." And she is right.

The circumstances of his birth and life have been nothing short of tragic. Yet, mother and dad never collected in SSI government handout for him, as in my father's words, "The government didn’t have David Lee, we did." End of subject. They sacrificed to build a trust fund to care for him after they leave this earth. They paid for his and their own health insurance, not easy for any rancher, but they did, until about five years ago. At that time no insurance company would cover David Lee. So, my Dad sought an attorney’s help to only be able to get Social Security enough to get disability insurance under Medicare for him. But even then, Dad voiced his real concern, and it was the same as my dear mother's. He said then, and I quote, "We are headed for a time when folks that are handicapped, like my dear brother, will face the government deciding whether they are worth living, and I fear they will, as Nazi Germany, decide that they are too great a weight on society."

So, we are there now. We hear the stirrings of the government deciding who is fit to live and who must be "set aside," as they are a strain on limited resources. We are experimenting with aborted fetuses, and trying to validate using them to "extend life and heal injuries." But years before I knew for certain we were headed this way when the president of our country could not grant a reprieve of any sort, or proclamation, to keep Terri Schiavo from being starved to death. Her entire trial of weeks is noted in my Bible, as a mark on my heart, of this once great nation, allowing a handicapped person to be starved to death. The Heavens shook when that happened.

I must add, that since my brother has a trust fund, he has paid huge taxes for many years, on what he was gifted for by my parents. I suspect the government would love to seize that fund as well. As I watch this amazing "hope and change" in less than 100 days change us so radically, I weep for my country, or as my veteran husband says so well, "I have lost the country I fought and nearly died for."  I couldn’t say this better myself.

Now, I must send my son back to a war that our president and vice president declared as unwinnable a few weeks ago. So, besides trying to reassure my mother that we will do all we must do for David Lee after their death, I must wonder, "What is my son fighting for?" May God help us for we are certainly watching the authorship of our own destruction as the once greatest democratic nation in the world.
-- Beverly Gunn
Texas

For those "Americans who considered assisted suicide morally acceptable," as we said in childhood, "You go first."
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

"A WHIFF OF FASCISM"
Re: Quin Hillyer's Il Duce, Redux?

Apparently affirmative votes from only two more states are needed before a new Constitutional Convention can be called. If that happens kiss the First, Second and Fifth Amendments (as well as that pesky 22nd one) good-bye. Heck, why not just use that moth-eaten old rag to line the budgie’s cage -- that’s about all it will be good for.

I wonder -- will Obama's "campuses" have signs reading "Labor Liberates" (Arbeit macht frei) posted over the entrances?
-- Gretchen L. Chellson
Alexandria, Virginia

Mr. Hillyer's piece brought tears to my eyes. Not a joke.  I had to force myself to respond here.

Max Lerner wrote this about 50 years ago:

"The most destructive imperialisms of the world have been those of men who have elevated their preferences to the pinnacle of moral imperative and who have then confidently proceeded to impose those imperatives on others."

Sound familiar?

And this from Nicolo Machiavelli, who, although he "described," is far too often seen as having "prescribed": someone disposed to do evil in a republic cannot bring about any changes for the worse unless the republic is already corrupt.

The overwhelming question for our time is whether our republic is that corrupt, or whether we can still use principles and our Constitution to stop this terrible and hate-filled impending destruction.

I'm trying so hard to be positive and optimistic.
-- A. C. Santore


SPRING CLEANING
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Spring Ahead:

Just getting to my reading this morning -- but being from Connecticut what naturally jumped right out at me was Chris Dodd heading an investigation of any kind. Seems ole Dodd isn't doing too well here in Connecticut and I couldn't be happier.
-- Jane McNair
Mystic, Connecticut


QUESTIONABLE ASSERTIONS
Re: Doug Bandow's Old Nato Turns 60:

It is somewhat daring to question Mr. Bandow, who has most impressive credentials.

I begin by agreeing that some of what he says is valid, but let me just name some of his most important statements that are both unsupported and at least arguably false.  Perhaps he'll elucidate and validate them.

"...the U.S. got little out of the trans-Atlantic alliance, whose members went their own way whenever they felt like it."

"But U.S. troops remain on station throughout the continent. Whatever they are doing, it is not protecting America."

"The Russian Humpty Dumpty has fallen off of the wall and Moscow can't put it back together without spending money it doesn't have."

"Second, the Europeans are capable of containing Moscow if the latter should threaten the continent."

"Despite the fears of Russia's immediate neighbors, the 'old' Europeans know that the prospect of a Russian invasion is a paranoid fantasy."

"Third, the expansion of NATO is creating a more rather than less dangerous world for America. Since the end of the Cold War the alliance has drawn the U.S. into conflict rather than protected Americans from conflict."

[Perhaps the biggest error is this] "First, Russia poses no serious military threat to the U.S. or Europe. Moscow is acting like a traditional great power, concerned about protecting its border security and raising its international status, not waging an ideological contest or launching a war of conquest."

I ask respectfully, doesn’t Mr. Bandow read any history?
-- A. C. Santore

LET'S SEE A REAL STAND
Re: Peter Ferrara's The GOP's Alternative Budget:

Mr. Ferrara is correct that the Obama budget is a socialist blueprint, and the GOP alternative is a sane alternative. The question remains, if the Republicans along with the Blue Dog Democrats can beat back The One's budget, will these self-same protectors of economic liberties be strong enough to stand up time and time again? If denied passage, the Titan of the Teleprompter can still deceive and delude the populace into buying monstrosity that will eventually bankrupt America. (Give the devil his due, the man is a reader like few others.) Will these aforementioned representatives of the people be able to overcome the backlash that will rise like a tidal wave against them when the President/Messiah calls down his wrath for not seeing the wisdom of his budget and having the gall to question his judgment? When that time comes, then Congress will have a chance to test its mettle. 

Bravery in a time of convenience is no bravery at all. 
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

SOURCE CRITICISM
Re: William Tucker's Three-Mile Island -- Thirty Years After:

"(Portions of this article are excerpted from William Tucker's recent book, Terrestrial Energy.)" [Unconventional use of italics is Original]  

Either the numerous word-tense, punctuation, and spacing errors in this article are due to transcription, or else Tucker's book is a mess, since that is what this essay is. The lack of competent editing is pathetic.

If the propaganda is presented in such a sloppy manner, then it inspires no confidence in the veracity of the claims being made of technical and operational excellence.
-- Paul Crowley


BIGGER FISH TO FRY

It has become very popular to lynch the "evil executives" who received "outrageous bonuses at the taxpayer’s expense." I, for one, don’t mind. In fact, I wish AIG would have used all $165 billion on executive pay. Feigning outrage, this has caused congressional leaders to pass "performance pay laws" that would limit not just executive pay, but reimbursements at all levels of employment. Talk about Fascism!

Getting upset over these bonuses is equivalent to getting mad when the thief that robbed you uses your money to buy a big screen television. What did you expect? The thieves in Washington have already looted your earnings, no sense in crying over spilled milk. I hope I am not the only one who sees this for what it is -- one big distraction.

As I am writing this, Congress is deliberating on another (robbery) budget totaling $3.6 trillion (or is it $4.1 trillion?). The Democrat-controlled Congress is literally trying to cram this, and many other bills down our collective throats. Using any legislative (tricks) tools they can to quash debate and scrutiny. This is the real outrage.

Don't be fooled by the curtain. The man claiming to be Oz is just a midget standing on a stool pulling levers.
-- John H.
Houston, Texas

BLOCKED IN THE PHILIPPINES
Just thought that you might like to know that The American Spectator seems to be blocked in the Philippines -- I was there for a week and was unable to read it -- only now getting rid of the convulsions brought on by cold turkey withdrawal.
-- Paul Nelson

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