By Jim Beers
Thirteen years ago today (2 February 1996), the coldest temperature ever recorded in the State of Minnesota - 60 degrees below zero - was recorded in Tower, Minnesota. "Musta been" before "carbon footprints" and while ex- Vice President Gore and his allies were busy with other things "environmental".
This morning's news on the TV featured a Doctor from a clinic in Georgia, billed as an expert on "in vitro fertilization", explaining the ethics and policies that govern episodes like the recent singular birth of eight artificially implanted embryos. The "Georgia" Doctor sported a very noticeable British accent. Why is a Doctor from Britain practicing medicine in the US? Could it be because he makes and keeps more money here and therefore leads a freer life? I wonder if there are any or many Doctors in Britain that sport a USA accent? Could it be because only "missionary" doctors and nurses from the US choose to practice in poor countries in Africa or Asia or South America and only a miniscule number, if any, choose to practice where medicine is "nationalized"? Why is that? If the "socialized medicine" of Europe and Canada and Australia is so desirable that it is a campaign promise of the current President, why don't American doctors go there? Since they do not go there, could it be that this "universal" (AKA "socialized") medicine neither produces nor maintains the high quality Doctors Americans enjoy today? If we "socialize" medicine like Britain and the rest of Europe and Canada and as our new President promises, will we have their long "waiting lists"; will we have their bureaucratic decisions about "you're too old for care" or "that child is imperfect and therefore should be aborted (AKA "killed") or "the ONLY specialist left (since 'specialties' no longer pay enough to justify all the additional study, time, and debt) that can treat XXXX is across the country and is not available for 3 years; and will all of our Doctors eventually be 3rd world natives and 3rd world medical school graduates like the two British Health care Doctors of (Pakistani?) descent that recently tried to blow up or burn down that airport in Scotland?
I am repeatedly reminded that there is a "national economic crisis". If that is so, why are the President and Congress obsessed with spending Billions on birth control, gun control, more Wilderness (both from a non-use and management aspect as well as the catastrophic fire aspect), and giving Billions to law-breaking and socialist-oriented urban groups like ACORN? Why are they considering the unbelievable long-range expenses of "national" health care when Social Security is going broke and the national deficit mortgages our future and risks national "foreclosure"?
While the central government spends money like drunken sailors, the heretofore hidden and growing subservience of State governments to an increasingly all-powerful central government can no longer be denied. For instance, here in Minnesota a popularly described "fiscally conservative" Governor is attacked for the slightest attempt to bring state spending in line with state revenues. The teachers and parents moan that he hates children when he proposes school funding cuts. The urban Doctors and Hospital staffs publicly proclaim that he hates the poor and the delivery of medical services (presumably to everyone but himself) because he "dares" to propose cuts in medical subsidies and assistance. The "Conservation, arts advocates cry foul over proposed cuts" because the Governor proposes a 2.2 percent cut in such funding after our recent election where Minnesotans voted to earmark increased sales taxes for such work (of course everyone conveniently forgets that it was several weeks AFTER the vote for something "we all loved" that the state announced the Billions of dollars of deficits forecast for the next few years). So our Governor is denounced as a bum for attempting to "cut" spending and the President and Congress are lauded for increasing spending. Everyone is confidently "looking to Washington" for "help" that will keep things just as they were. What "crisis", if all we need are more federal largesse, power, and intervention to make everything better?
So the Governors, including Governor Palin of Alaska, are supporting the national "Bailout" or "Stimulus" proposals to sprinkle a TRILLION or so of our children's tax dollars across the "fruited plain". In this they join urban Democrat politicians in jockeying at the trough for the greatest share possible of these "federal" dollars. Like 12 puppies going after 10 teats, urban mayors and Governors of both parties vie for the promise of federal funding. The fact is that all the large cities are constantly on the verge of bankruptcy because of the promises made by their entrenched Democrat "machines" for the votes to keep them in power. State governments have likewise spent and spent and spent as the "good times (i.e. 'tax collections') rolled". State bureaucrats will now be evaluated by their bosses and receive bonuses based on "how much" and "how quickly" they get "every dime available from the federal piggy bank" just like state highway personnel and
state fish and wildlife agency and state education bureaucrats have been for some time. Forget about "strings": if Robert Reich and Congressional Committee Chairman Wrangel (another national urban politician tax evader) get the legislation to say (as they have discussed in Congressional testimony) "NO FUNDING FOR WHITE MALES OR SKILLED WORKERS" so be it, the Governors will just take the money and run.
Like the bankers that lent to unqualified homebuyers to gain political capital with mostly Democrat national and urban politicians, the states have built a house of cards that cannot withstand the inevitable downturns in all free economies. Like wars and crime, such economic downturns are the inescapable results of human nature and man's constant surrender to the temptation of figuring ways to take property and money from others for their own use by circumventing the current rules and practices be they banking policies, governmental structures, political elections or international boundaries. The parallels between what is happening in the US today
("emergencies", proposed massive road improvements and job promises from central planners, bugaboos like "white men", financing extremist support groups, gun and ammunition control, elimination of local governments much like elected Governors were recently replaced by appointees in Russia and elected Gaulieters were eliminated in favor of appointees in 1930's Germany, and national desperation combined with a charismatic leadership justifying the destruction of any impediment to "quick passage" of extremist legislation, etc.) and other recent Socialist and Communist government takeovers from Lenin and Ho Chi Minh to Castro and Chavez are stunning.
Thus the illusions are front and center in our news and dialogue as we welcome diversion after concluding inwardly that we are helpless and we cannot do anything about what is happening.
We smile as we see Putin and Medvedev attend a funeral in a Moscow Church for the deceased Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox. Why they are nice men, just like us.
We nod our heads as the President offers "olive branches" and meets with the "partisan" opposition that seems to not want to put "partisan politics" behind them much like the President and his supporters did with the previous President. We cannot understand why they cannot "compromise" so that everyone can, to quote the infamous Rodney King, "just get along"?
We agree that we should have neighborhood meetings, like Soviet-style gatherings, where support for the President's policies can be generated or at least where those opposed can be identified and marginalized.
We cheer as The President meets with "Liberal" Church "leaders" and asks us all to ask why the "Churches" are not supporting his abortion and non-discrimination hiring policies as a price for accepting federal funds?
The fact that the "Liberal" Church "leaders" represent only an eclectic mixture of personal beliefs and not universally held truths is of no moment just as the results of forcing Jewish organizations to hire Moslems or Catholic organizations like schools and hospitals to hire Abortion Activists and perform abortions is welcomed by those Americans bent on eliminating all religious belief from public life.
We wrinkle our brows as Speaker Pelosi and Vice President Biden explain how no one knows when life begins including their own Church or how killing unborn children "saves money". Psst, the dirty little secret is that the poor and minority unborn (in those neighborhoods where the vast majority of Abortion Clinics of Planned Parenthood are located) are the ones we "save money" by aborting: the well-to-do and eventually well educated unborn will grow up to pay taxes and "innovate" and hire others and support "us" and our Social Security in our old age through government programs according to these "leaders". But not to worry, the same politicians are promising the same poor and minorities "national" health care for those that manage to avoid the Planned Parenthood Clinics.
I will not insult your intelligence by asking you to write one of these politicians. I won't apologize for mentioning the similarities between our current leadership and present and past oligarchies and dictatorships. I don't have a "magic bullet". (NOTE: I used to encourage hunters to come together, and loggers to make alliances with fishermen, and for dog owners to work with cockfighters, and for rural residents to work with the urban residents that recreated in the rural places, all for their mutual best interests but I was either laughed at or attacked by all sorts of "nice people" from veterinarians to biologists. At a recent Conference of Gamefowl Breeders (people whose families have raised and fought chickens for centuries all over the world) a very distinguished man asked me to suggest groups they could make alliances with and I said I would get back to him. I
never did because I could no longer think of any that might welcome working together with any others to defend their rights and the use of their private property (i.e. the chickens) where local laws would and should be able to regulate such activities with the consent of the local community.)
I will apologize for not having anything concrete and positive to recommend. Let it suffice to say that things are bad and getting worse. This disturbing trend is enabled by allowing ourselves to be diverted to all these illusions: we are literally taking our eye off the pea and watching the hands of the carnival swindler as he asks, "under which shell is the pea?" Like the "rube" about to be fleeced, rural Americans and others concerned with freedom must understand that caution is the order of the day.
The first step is to stop succumbing to all these illusions: the second step is to clearly observe and understand what is happening. Then ask yourself, "Why is it happening?" Last but not least ask yourself, "What can I do about it?" When you answer that last question and if you either conclude there is nothing you can do, or you'll be darned if you will help fellow animal owners like cockfighters or trappers or loggers or ranchers or farmers or private property defenders, or the "other" party, or handgun owners, etc.: then you might as well forget about freedom. If, on the other hand, you see all these groups as fellow Americans with families and
concerns like yours; and you can envision a Constitutional Republic where we tolerate and help each other and live and work together for the benefit of all: then you have just signed up and like the "Few Good Men" of the Marine Corps you have just joined an elite group that deals with reality and not illusions.
Jim Beers 2/2/09
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