Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What Thomas Jefferson Thought About Gun Control:

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms..disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one."

- Thomas Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria, Criminologist in 1764.

You mean David Patterson is black???


Honestly, I never knew New York Governor David Paterson was black, until he pulled that tired old "Race Card". I always thought he was just a cross-eyed buffoon.

The solution to the health care crisis is the FREE MARKET!

Below is an article from the New York Post, Tuesday, August 25, 2009, by Sally Pipes.

What is remarkable about this article is that the solution to our health care crisis lies within it. the answer is simple. It is simpler, easier, more cost-effective, and will give Americans what they need, in the best form. The solution is the FREE MARKET. Read on!



Last updated: 3:58 am
August 25, 2009
Posted: 2:59 am
August 25, 2009

PRESIDENT Obama and his allies in Congress seem to have decided that the best way to fix the private health-insurance market is to break it completely.

Polls have prompted them to shift from health-care reform to "health-insurance reform." Combine this with a government-funded, -regulated and an ultimately -controlled "co-op" system, and the nation will arrive by local roads at the same destination that the public rejected via the expressway: an out-of-control health-care system dominated by federal bureaucrats and funded by increasingly high taxes.

The irony is that private insurance works well where it's least regulated. To find the unaffordable disasters, you must head to states such as New York or New Jersey that have pioneered the reforms Obama is peddling for the entire country.

The health-care sector is complex and interwoven. What appears to be government might in fact be run by private insurance companies. Medicare, for example, has long contracted out its day-to-day operations to insurance companies, mostly Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Most Americans receive the health coverage they cherish through their employer. Chances are, if it's a large employer, it's a self-funded plan, and (as with Medicare) the insurance company is merely administering the program.

It's only smaller employers and people seeking policies in the individual market who actually buy insurance from carriers.

The individual market is where people face the most choices and have the most choice -- except in those states with Obama-style regulations. People are spending their own money and so must confront directly the value of more insurance protection versus other uses of their cash. Not surprisingly, they often opt for less generous coverage with less onerous premiums.

To discover this world of choice, just go to ehealthinsurance.org. Pop in your state, age and gender, and then ponder a myriad of choices to secure protection from catastrophic health expenses, the proper function of insurance.

A 55-year-old man in Allentown, Pa., can choose from 99 plans starting as low as $141 a month for hospital coverage. A zero-deductible HMO plan costs $418 a month. Or he can pick a more flexible PPO, with a higher deductible and pay less monthly out-of-pocket for the premium.

Young people, "the invincibles," often skip insurance, because they have few assets to protect and little fear of getting sick. The congressional Democrats' solution is a tax increase by another name: Force employers to keep paying for them on their parents' expensive plans until age 26.

Yet the market has responded with products targeted at the needs of the young, such as Wellpoint's Tonik, which offers excellent protection, prescription drugs and preventive care for less than $100 a month for the under-30 set.

So if 50-somethings can get a plan at less than $200 a month and youngsters can sign up for less than $100 a month, where's the problem? Why, it's in New York and New Jersey -- precisely the states that have adopted Obama-style reform -- restricting insurers from charging rates based on age and preventing them from saying no due to poor health.

Change the zip code from Pennsylvania to neighboring New Jersey, and choice plummets even as the cost per plan skyrockets. In New York, our 55-year-old has only 12 plans to choose from.

The reason is simple: When people can buy fire insurance after their houses are burning, only those with a fire in the attic apply for insurance. Soon, only those who expect a blaze can afford the high premiums.

Massachusetts enacted such a system in April 2006. A CEO of a major health network reports exactly this problem: Despite the state mandate that everyone buy and keep insurance, his company is experiencing a drastic increase in people who purchase new coverage, run up big bills that are fully covered and then drop the plan.

People are simply gaming the system. Since they can acquire insurance any time, regardless of health, why pay the premium in times of good health?

This is the future of ObamaCare executed by a liberal Congress whose leaders long for a government-dominated system.

The current health-care environment offers all of the components that are touted as true reform -- health co-operatives, health-insurance clearinghouses and tax subsidies for low-income Americans that ensure access to health care. But it doesn't give Washington control of reimbursement rates or health plan design, or the power to force people into insurance plans.

That's what politicians want -- because it's only when they have total control and have totally broken the system that they can recreate it in the image of "Medicare for All."

Sally Pipes is president and CEO of the Pacific Re search Institute.

A response to the article: A WINNING WEEK FOR TERROR

Below is an article from the New York Post, by Ralph Peters, with my comments inserted, bracketed and in bold, italic red color.




Last updated: 3:51 am
August 25, 2009
Posted: 2:59 am
August 25, 2009

LAST week, we learned the answer to the hoary question "What does a Scots man wear under his kilt?" When it comes to terrorism, the answer's "a white flag."

But Scotland's craven release, "on humanitarian grounds," of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the mastermind of the bombing that killed 270 passengers aboard a Pan Am flight two decades ago, was merely the noisiest terrorist triumph during a week of shame.

And noisy it was: Libya's Moammar Khadafy staged a huge homecoming party for the terrorist. (Think that would've happened while W was president?) The gleeful Khadafy rubbed the West's snout in our feckless taste for appeasement.

Appeasement was also the watchword back in the United States, where Yale University Press delighted Islamist extremists by removing all illustrations from a scholarly work about the Danish cartoon debacle -- not just the caricatures of Mohammed.

Elsewhere, the casualty count went beyond book illustrations. In Iraq, Islamist terrorists staged massive suicide bombings in Baghdad. Over a hundred Iraqis died, with more than a thousand wounded. The foreign and finance ministries lie in rubble. The government's reeling.

Our president went to the beach.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban crippled the national elections so severely that the eventual "winner" won't have much of a mandate. Despite madcap ballot-box stuffing, the final tally will probably show that less than half of the eligible population voted -- fewer than one in five in the crucial south.

Afghans put more faith in Taliban threats than in government promises. US and Western officials are struggling to paint a smile on the face of the corpse, but the vote was divisive, not unifying. On Sunday, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, admitted that the Afghan situation is "serious and deteriorating."

That's what happens when, instead of killing our enemies, we try hugs.

[Hugs? By "hugs" does Peters mean talks and negotiations? If so, then why not call it what it is, instead of trying to be cute about it?]

Iran? We all know that its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes. That's why, just last week, President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad chose a Revolutionary Guard commander, Ahmad Vahidi, as his new defense minister.

Interpolwants Vahidi for running the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires -- 85 dead, 300 wounded. Soon, he may have his trigger finger on nuclear weapons. But no need for Israel to worry: The Obama administration will negotiate with Tehran.

[Ah, so Peters does indeed mean negotiations by the term "hugs"!]

Returning to America, the establishment media continued to portray imprisoned terrorists as victims, while further chastising the bygone Bush administration for rudeness to mass murderers.

[Rudeness? Does Peters view torture as a form of rudeness? Maybe he's just trying to be cute again. If a captured American soldier were being tortured by terrorists, wouldn't we portray that American soldier as a victim of terrorist torture? By the same token, if we are torturing imprisoned "terrorists", are they not victims of our torture as well? Since we tortured them, the question is answered in the affirmative.]

(Any self-righteous journalist care to spend a night in a cell with one of the butchers whose "rights" have been infringed?) [Is not guilt or innocence determined by trial? We have tortured detainees on the assumption of their guilt before any trial would prove their guilt or innocence. If we, Americans, are far superior culturally and judicially than these people, why then do we stoop below our own level? Peters then assumes that a journalist would be afraid to spend the night in a cell with the detainees. Why be afraid? What would the detainees do to the journalist--eat the flesh off his bones in the middle of the night?]

Then the White House took all major interrogations away from the CIA, further restricting the techniques allowed to stop terrorists. [Torture has not been proven to extract truth from detainees. Often, the truth a detainee reveals is not sufficient in light of what the torturer thinks the truth is, and he dismisses it, then continues the torture. What has been proven is that a torture victim will say anything he believes his torturers want to hear in order to stop the suffering, even lies. Misinformation does not help find and stop other terrorists.]

And now the administration's hard-left Justice Department -- perhaps the most extreme in our country's history -- is on another witch hunt to prosecute CIA patriots who did all they could to keep our citizens safe. [A patriot is one who loves his country and does what is necessary to defend it from harm. Over decades, the CIA has spread terrorism worldwide, and the backlash from it--a term the CIA itself has coined "blowback"--has resulted in the massacre against American citizens on September 11, 2001. How does the CIA's behavior, detrimental to America, apply to the definition of "patriot", which is behavior beneficial to America? It's not hard to see the falsity of this statement.]

Last but not least, a minor legal case bears enormous implications: A 17-year-old female Muslim immigrant to the US, Fathima Rifqa Bary, begged our justice system not to return her to her family.

She fears she'll be the victim of an honor killing.

Smooching with the boys? Naw. Much worse: She converted to Christianity -- still an offense for which, many Muslims believe, Islam (that "religion of peace") prescribes death. Fleeing from her Ohio home to Florida, she's in protective custody, awaiting a judge's verdict on Sept. 3.

Not all of the details are clear, but the big picture is: A legal resident of our country, where religious freedom is constitutionally guaranteed, fears death at the hands of her relatives and her community because she changed her faith.

If she's sent "home" and murdered, will the crime be written off as freedom of religion?

[In a land where the Constitution protects life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness as well as freedom of religion, life trumps liberty as liberty trumps the pursuit of happiness. If a religion's customs include the harming of a citizen's life by another, then life trumps this religion's freedom.]

Coddled by Washington Democrats and Republicans, extremist mullahs here in the United States -- often funded by our "friends" the Saudis -- invoke religious freedom at the drop of a prayer rug. And our elected officials cower.

[Our elected officials are proven nitwits.]

Well, it's high time for Muslim clerics across this country to issue a public statement explicitly denouncing all violence against Muslims who switch faiths. This is America, folks. If a Methodist turns Muslim, fine. But if a Muslim becomes an Evangelical, that, too, must be tolerated. The Koran is not a license to kill in this country.

(And that dating thing? Murder over that's a no-no, too.)

One year ago, terrorists were on the defensive around the world. Then a new US administration condemned our country while "reaching out" to our enemies.

And here we are.

[What is needed is a radical change to our foreign policy, which produces misery around the globe and creates the resentment and anger against us, which is the catalyst for terrorism against America. We need to heed the words of our Founding Fathers--Jefferson, Franklin, etc.--which Ron Paul has repeated over and over again: good neighborliness and free trade with all, yet entangling alliances with none.]

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

France Has Lost Its Mind

French pool bars Muslim woman for 'burquini' suit

[my comments are bracketed, italicized and in red]

By MARIA DANILOVA, Associated Press Writer Maria Danilova, Associated Press Writer – 29 mins ago

PARIS – A Muslim woman garbed in a head-to-toe swimsuit — dubbed a "burquini" — may have opened a new chapter in France's tussle between religious practices and its stern secular code.

Officials insisted Wednesday they banned the woman's use of the Islam-friendly suit at a local pool because of France's pool hygiene standards — not out of hostility to overtly Muslim garb.

Under the policy, swimmers are not allowed in pools with baggy clothing, including surfer-style shorts. Only figure-hugging suits are permitted.

Nonetheless the woman, a 35-year-old convert to Islam identified only as Carole, complained of religious discrimination after trying to go swimming in a "burquini," a full-body swimsuit, in the town of Emerainville, southeast of Paris.

She was quoted as telling the daily Le Parisien newspaper that she had bought the burquini after deciding "it would allow me the pleasure of bathing without showing too much of myself, as Islam recommends."

"For me this is nothing but segregation," she said.

The issue of religious attire is a hot topic in France, where head-to-toe burqas or other full-body coverings worn by some Muslim fundamentalists are in official disfavor.

France is home to western Europe's largest Muslim population, estimated at 5 million, and Islam is the nation's second religion after Roman Catholicism.

A 2004 law banning the wearing of Muslim head scarves at public schools sparked fierce debate. That legislation also banned Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses in public classrooms.

[Separation of Church and State is not about banning religion and religious items from the public eye, but about preventing the State from interfering in the religious practices of the People. True separation of Church and State would ban the government from banning Muslim head scarves, Jewish skullcaps and Christian crosses.]

French lawmakers recently revived the issue of Muslim dress with a proposal that the burqa and other voluminous Muslim attire be banned.

President Nicolas Sarkozy, a conservative, backs the move, saying such garb makes women prisoners.

[Religious garb does not imprison a woman if she chooses to wear it.]

The "burquini" covers the arms to the wrists and the legs to the ankle and has a hood to cover neck and hair.

An official in charge of swimming pools for the Emerainville region, Daniel Guillaume, said the refusal to allow the local woman to swim in her "burquini" had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with public health standards.

"These clothes are used in public, so they can contain molecules, viruses, et cetera, which will go in the water and could be transmitted to other bathers," Guillaume said in a telephone interview.

[The burquini is not worn in public, so this argument is nonsense.]

"We reminded this woman that one should not bathe all dressed, just as we would tell someone who is a nudist not to bathe all naked," he said.

[Islam, which requires women to cover themselves, is a religion. Nudity is not a religion.]

Guillaume said France's public health standards require all pool-goers to don swimsuits for women and tight, swimming briefs for men — and caps to cover their hair. Bathers also must shower before entering the water.

Guillaume said Carole had tried to file a complaint at a local police station, but her request was turned down as groundless.

Carole told the daily Le Parisien she would protest with the help of anti-discrimination groups.

Emerainville Mayor Alan Kelyor said he could not understand why the woman would want to swim in head-to-toe clothes.

[The Mayor doesn't need to understand why a woman would want to swim in head-to-toe clothing, just that she has the right to do so. ]

"We are going back in civilization," he said by telephone. Women have fought for decades for equal rights with men, he said. "Now we are putting them back in burqas and veils."

[There is a contradiction in the Mayor's statement. First he admits that Carole wanted to swim in head-to-toe clothing, then claimed "we are putting [women] back in burqas and veils." Well, which is it? Either Carole wanted to wear the clothing or she was being put into it by society. Clearly, since Carole chose to wear the clothing, and since the article is about Carole's fight to wear this clothing, no one is putting her into it. It is her decision. Besides, isn't it part and parcel of women's fight for equal rights to wear whatever clothing they choose, even head-to-toe swimwear?]

The suits have a clear market.

Women "jump on the occasion so they can swim with their families. Otherwise, they end up staying on the beach and watching," said Leila Mouhoubia, who runs an online site from France that specializes in the sale of Islamic swimsuits. Sales, she said, are strong.

"I think it's forbidden (in France) because it presents an image of the Muslim woman (and) they have prejudices against Muslims," she said by telephone. "They want women to be undressed."

Mouloud Aounit, head of the anti-racism group known as MRAP, said the decision to ban Carole from the pool appeared fair, since pool authorities were observing regulations. But Aounit lamented that the incident was likely to fuel religious tensions.

"The rules must be the same for everybody, regardless of the color of their skin or their religion," Aounit said. "The concern I have is that this case will again lead to stigmatization of the Muslim population in France."

The all-body suits, worn regularly by some women in Muslim countries, are growing popular in the West. They can be seen on female Muslim lifeguards on Australian beaches, in the United States and various European countries, from the Netherlands to Sweden — which OKed them after two women won discrimination cases last year.

[After years of lamenting from the religious Right that morals have decayed and that there is an overexposure of sex on TV and nudity in public, to complain that a woman is wearing too much clothing is utterly ridiculous, regulatory and antithetical to Sarkozy's phony image that he is a champion of women's rights.]


Associated Press Writers Rod McGuirk in Sydney, Australia, Melissa Eddy in Berlin, Germany, Malin Rising in Stockholm, Sweden, Ian MacDougall in Oslo, Norway, and Toby Sterlin in Amsterdam, the Netherlands contributed to this report.