Monday, December 28, 2009

I Don't Want to Pay for Your Abortion

I don't want to pay for your abortion. I don't want to pay for your operations. I don't want to pay for your medicines. I don't care if your life is on the line. Call me an asshole, but if I wanted to pay your medical bills, I'd write you a personal check.

I'm employed part-time, so my measly crumbs of tax payments will only pay for a infinitesimal, negligible, invisible morsel of your medical procedures. But then there's also that phantom I call "indirect taxation." Somewhere, some wealthy person cannot afford to expand their security company and hire new help (me), because they're paying for your abortion. Several hundred upper middle-class folks can't afford to go to a BC hockey game, and my company has to reduce its staffing for the event (me). All so some alcoholic in Des Moines can get a new liver to tear up.

Now, I'm not exactly pro-life. I'm not exactly pro-choice. I'm pro-apathy when it comes to abortion. I don't denounce those who have abortions. It doesn't affect me, so I don't much care. I just don't want to pay for it. And that's not a moral stance, it's a fiscal one. Quite simply, my fucking money should stay my fucking money. It shouldn't be used to undo your fucking.

Abortion is elective, it's not healthcare. Unless, of course, the mother's life is at stake. And don't try the old "Well, if the mother can't afford the baby, their life actually is at stake." I'm afraid that argument is preposterous. Doctors are not supposed to be financial planners.

Let's just reduce that lame-brain argument to absurdity, for fun. Should the government pay for an aging, fattening supermodel, with no education and no ability to do anything else; to get a tummy tuck? After all, if she doesn't get it, she'll be unemployed and poor and unable to support herself.

Barack and his cronies want us to pay for abortions. Even if we're zealous pro-lifers, or even if we're sterile/barren, or even if we're abstinent, or even if we use protection. Where in the Constitution does it give people the right to free abortions? Was the Revolutionary War fought over a lack of social benefits from the British Government. Did Jefferson, in the Declaration of Independence, plead for a government that took care of its citizens' doctor bills?

I have no problems with a charitable trust to pay for abortions for women who can't afford them. A PRIVATE charitable trust. I don't mind giving it tax-exempt status, and giving tax deductions or even credits to those who donate.

But elective abortions are not expenditures for which I'm willing to foot the bill.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of good reasons to be against socialized medicine. Not the least of which is the confusion of who gets control over things like this abortion issue.

Will elective abortions be paid for by the government? That's up to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This is a Cabinet position, appointed by the President, and approved by Congress. In other words, abortions will be paid for by the government, when the government wants them to be.

This kind of confusion and potential alteration is a red flag. Isn't one of the goals in socialized medicine to keep costs stable, and predictable? Doesn't it seem weird that when Barack is in the White House, elective abortions will be covered by the government. But when/if Sarah Palin comes to town, they probably won't be?

Doesn't this incongruity suggest that elective abortions are not a healthcare necessity? When Palin, or another adamant pro-lifer is in the White House, will anyone die because they weren't granted a free elective abortion?


But the government will control healthcare. They'll control the definitions of healthcare. They'll eventually control health. What is healthy, what is unhealthy.

I admit that right now, the insurance companies wield this power. BUT, at least we as consumers still maintain the control of selection. Premiums are contained thanks to capitalistic competition, as is quality of product. Health insurance isn't so expensive because the healthcare companies are run by Ebeneser Scrooge and Henry F. Potter.

It's expensive because drugs need to be researched for years, and MRI machines aren't constructed from duct tape and aluminum foil.

Instead of consumers controlling the cost and quality of healthcare, it will be up to the government. Which succeeds so often in maintaining low costs and high quality. Remember the Big Dig? $22 billion for leaking tunnels.

Low cost, high quality.

Barack wants his healthcare reform passed because he'd rather have government workers (and their friends, relatives, neighbors) running your healthcare. After all, we can't trust DOCTORS to make proper healthcare decisions.

We've got to take medical decision-making away from doctors, and give it to bureaucrats who have no background in medicine!

The less control the government has on its citizens, the better. That's a simple axiom, espoused by many people who now adorn U.S. currency. Citizens should control the government, not vice versa.

Why are the Democrats so rushed in their healthcare push? Because November 2010 isn't far away. Despite what the media wanted you to think, Barack's Democratic cronies in Congress aren't exactly safe and secure. A few months ago, the media asked if the GOP was dead. (I answered)

As is natural in American politics, there's been a considerable backlash focused on those in power. And there are more than a few Senatorial and Representative seats up for grabs in 2010 that could affect the balance of that power in both Houses.

The Democrats, for all intents and purposes, currently have a filibuster-proof majority. This means that legislation cannot be held up by purposefully long-winded speeches, which are meant to indefinitely delay voting on an undesired bill.

The Democrats have this power because of 312 people in Minnesota. That's how many votes Al Franken won the 2008 Senatorial election by. 312. That's about one millionth of the US population, and this microscopic sliver of citizens have helped assure that we'll have socialized healthcare.

And because of those 312 Minnesotans, one of the most expensive, and most important pieces of domestic legislation this side of the New Deal (both sides can agree on its importance), doesn't even deserve more than 10 minutes of debate.

The Democrats are smart to hurry. They'll see their legislation passed before they lose their 60/40 edge in the Senate. I just hope I don't get sick until January of 2011, when a new Congress, infused with the anti-Democrat, Tea-Party rage growing across the country, is sworn in. And at the very least, this monumental crapload of crap-legislation can be inspected properly and thoroughly.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Barack the Conqueror

Only Barack could get away with extending a war and receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in a 10 day span. The deification of Barack the Conqueror/Peacemaker continues unabated.

It was a funny reaction after Barack declared a Surge in Afghanistan on December 1st. "Surge" seems to be the new favorite word for TV pundits to sound like military strategists. I don't remember there being a "When to Surge, When Not to" chapter in The Art of War. Maybe the Chinese don't have a word for Surge.

The basics of the plan outlined by Barack is that the US fighting strength in Afghanistan will increase by 30,000 troops within the next 3 months. And in 18 months, we would begin to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

Remember when Dwight D. Eisenhower set a timetable for US withdrawal from Germany? Wait, that never happened.

But I actually don't think Barack's plan is that bad. Essentially, he's giving a deadline to the Afghan people to put up or shut up. If they can't handle their own shit in 18 months, then they're on their own.

What's funny was how unhappy EVERYONE was with Barack's decision here. Of course most people on the left were pissed that we'll still be in Afghanistan for years to come. But the conservatives who agreed with him were pissed that his speech wasn't zealous and zestful enough to inspire his soldiers. They unfavorably compared it to George Patton, Winston Churchill, even Henry V.

Except, Patton didn't roll through North Africa, Sicily, France and Germany because he gave good speeches. He did it because he was a ruthlessly aggressive expert in armored warfare.

The British didn't fend of Nazi Germany's Blitz because Churchill was a fantastic orator. They did so because of radar, an efficient organization of their fighter command structure, and outright blundering on the part of Germany's Luftwaffe.

The British didn't win at Agincourt because Henry V gave an inspiring speech. They won because it rained, and the heavily armoured French were immobilized and even drowned by a deluge of mud.

In the movie Braveheart, William Wallace gives this rousing speech before the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

You may remember that in the ensuing combat scenes, there's no bridge present. The REAL Battle of Stirling Bridge took place on a bridge. The Scottish allowed some of the English/Welsh to cross, then slaughtered them piecemeal, before the entire English army could come over. But that's not very cinematic, is it?

You don't have to know much about history to know this: no war has ever been won by a speech. No war has ever been lost by a speech. Wars are won or lost by men (and sometimes women), equipment, and decisions.

In an effort to please everyone, by extending the war in Afghanistan but also establishing a deadline, Barack has pleased almost no-one. There's a good lesson there. Yet he'll still have that Peace Prize. If by some miracle the Afghans figure out how to run a country (something they've never even tried to do, ever), I'm sure Barack will be given the credit, not the soldiers, not the Afghans.

If in 18 months, things are no better in Afghanistan, we'll begin the withdrawal, and Barack will still get credit for keeping the war "short." Even though it will be over 10 years old at that point. So Barack's taking a hit right now, but eventually he can claim credit for a victory, or for minimizing a loss. It's political genius, not military genius.

This whole war on terror is still fucked up and unwinnable in any traditional sense. Imagine playing chess against someone who moved his rook diagonally, or moved pawns 3 spaces at a time, or shifted his white bishop to black squares?

When countries like Iran and Pakistan willingly or unwillingly harbor terrorists, and yet no American soldier sets foot in them, you simply can't hope to win. In fact, these countries are the more dangerous in this War on Terror. When the Taliban and al-Quada were buddies, it was easy to go into Afghanistan and obliterate the Taliban. But when the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia simply look the other way, it's a lot harder to go into there and crack some skulls.

So what strategy should we implement for the War on Terror? An old one, but an effective one. The War Party. Kill your enemy, then leave. Simple, brutal, cheap, and safe. In Iraq, for instance, we could have left once Saddam had been captured, and the countryside scoured for those nonexistent WMDs.

But then you get the bleeding hearts worried about rebuilding countries after we destroy them, worried about military strongmen filling in the power vacuums. So be it. Who cares who runs Iraq so long as they stay in Iraq?

I don't care who the Governor of Rhode Island is, a state only 17 miles from my house. Why should I care who runs Afghanistan?

So here's the Zeitz Doctrine:

1. Establish a set of Commandments for foreign leaders to follow. Things like "Thou Shalt Not Train Terrorists to Attack the US or its Allies."
2. Forcibly remove any foreign government that breaks a Commandment.
3. Abrupt exit.

It'd be a whole lot more effective, and a whole lot less deadly (for everyone really), than trying to police the world.