THE MORE OBVIOUS MORAL of the von Brunn attack relates to media coverage. If you’re a white supremacist caught in the act, intrepid, mainstream journalism will not rest until it has dug-up, divulged and dissected everything about you.
Scarcely had the cowardly attack taken place than the mug of the hater was plastered on every TV station across the country. (I can’t tell you what the Jihadi du jour looks like.) Ditto details of von Brunn’s dysfunctional biography and ideology.
In no time the usually lackadaisical liberal media expertly knitted together von Brunn’s years in irons, unsavory associations, and the ins-and-outs of his holocaust-denying, anti-Semitic belief system. …
On the other hand, does anyone … know who Wael W. Kalash is?
I didn’t think so. If you’re a swarthy supremacist, driven by devotion to a vampiric prophet and his deity, you can count on the ‘discretion’ of those whose job description is vigilant indiscretion.”…
Update (June 14): In addition to the assorted protected-species murder charges (hate crimes), “Von Brunn, 88, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 39-year-old Stephen T. Johns, who was black.” (via FoxNew)
I’m beginning to get the gist of equality under the law in America. If you aggress against a gay, black, or Jewish individual, then you’ve earned the severest of sanctions: first degree murder, in the case of von Brunn. If, in the course of being Muslim, you behead your wife—well then, Muslim acts in mitigation. You’re charged with second degree murder, only.
To listen to the reports by the malpracticing media, health care lobbyists have volunteered, for the good of all, to pay for a large portion of the so-called health care reforms: “Representatives from hospitals, the insurance industry, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, labor and physicians came to the White House to discuss major steps being taken to lower health care costs across the board” by $2 trillion.
Yep, that’s how the “market” works: the president sweet talks “stakeholders” in an industry, and, before you know it, they’re cutting costs and improving delivery. And Meghan McCain will grow a brain.
“A good rule in politics,” explains Cato’s Michael Cannon, “is that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Lobbyists don’t simply propose to reduce their members’ incomes. If they did, they would be fired and replaced with different lobbyists.”
“According to the Urban Institute, covering the uninsured would cost a minimum of $120 billion per year. Over 10 years, the cost could easily hit $2 trillion.That money’s gotta come from somewhere. And that’s where politics comes in. Everybody wants that money to come from someone else.” …
“Another possibility is that the industry – which would get more customers under universal coverage – wants to help the president and Congress ignore the math.”
“Democrats have offered reforms that they claim would reduce health care spending over time, including more coordinated care, preventive care, and disease management. The industry endorsed those reforms in its recent letter to President Obama. But the number-crunchers at the Congressional Budget Office say there’s little to no evidence that those measures will produce savings. And unless the CBO agrees, Congress has to cut payments or raise taxes.”
“Senate Finance Committee chairman has spoken openly about getting the CBO to change its mind. If reformers can say that even the industry is committed to achieving savings with these reforms, that might make it easier to get the CBO to relent, and allow health care reform to pass without the necessary payment cuts or tax increases – even if there’s still no evidence that the assumed savings will appear.”
Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, doesn’t call it “cooking the books”; he calls it “the new math of universal coverage.”
Update I: Myron, last I checked, procuring private care in Canada was against the law. Socialized medicine—more often than not analyzed only from a utilitarian point of view—is coercion and tyranny that criminalize consensual, naturally licit contracts. If Obama is indeed building-up to Cuba-cum-Canada care by increments, it’ll end in coercion of the worst kind. Canada, North Korea and Cuba do not have second-tier medicine.
Update II (May 12): My man Myron again: In Canada, politicians jump the queue or hop over to the US. The rich and powerful are seldom without. Obama may be an operational centrist, but he’s all about heavy-duty planning. The guy can’t conceive of anything but a planned economy.
As bad as the Democrats are, let us not forget the quintessential con men and women: the Republicans. They’ve just about to compromise on a credit-card bill of rights. As you know, the right to carry debt with no penalty is enshrined in the Constitution.
Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institutedetails the Republicans’ contribution to socializing American health care:
“[A]lthough they claim to oppose the expansion of government interference in medicine, Republicans don’t, in fact, have a good track record of fighting it.
Indeed, Republicans have been responsible for major expansions of government health care programs: As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney oversaw the enactment of the nation’s first ‘universal coverage’ plan, initially estimated at $1.5 billion per year but already overrunning cost projections. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who pledged not to raise any new taxes, has just pushed through his own ‘universal coverage’ measure, projected to cost Californians more than $14 billion. And President Bush’s colossal prescription drug entitlement–expected to cost taxpayers more than $1.2 trillion over the next decade–was the largest expansion of government control over health care in 40 years.”
“The solution to this ongoing crisis,” writes Brook, “is to recognize that the very idea of a ‘right’ to health care is a perversion. There can be no such thing as a ‘right’ to products or services created by the effort of others, and this most definitely includes medical products and services. Rights, as our founding fathers conceived them, are not claims to economic goods, but freedoms of action.
You are free to see a doctor and pay him for his services–no one may forcibly prevent you from doing so. But you do not have a ‘right’ to force the doctor to treat you without charge or to force others to pay for your treatment. The rights of some cannot require the coercion and sacrifice of others.
So long as Republicans fail to challenge the concept of a ‘right’ to health care, their appeals to ‘market-based’ solutions are worse than empty words. They will continue to abet the Democrats’ expansion of government interference in medicine, right up to the dead end of a completely socialized system.
By contrast, the rejection of the entitlement mentality in favor of a proper conception of rights would provide the moral basis for real and lasting solutions to our health care problems…”
The Republicans—who, as I’ve joked quite seriously, need a giant tin-foil hat; not a bigger tent—have never made an argument from rights. I doubt they know what a negative individual right is.
MSNBC: “Republican Sen. Arlen Specter disclosed plans Tuesday to switch parties, bringing Democrats closer to the 60-vote supermajority they need to push Barack Obama’s agenda through the Senate.”
The imagery conjured by defections, or ideological spit swapping, between Republicans and Democrats, in my mind, is of two colossal, identical amoebas occasionally allowing their semi-permeable cell walls to open and merge with a biologically compatible, primitive organism. In fact, that’s the perfect, dynamic metaphor for our two-party system.
Although dyed-in-the-wool party parrots will disagree, based on fact, reality, and policy prescriptions, the differences between the parties exist along a continuum; are quantitative, not qualitative.
“How much to hand out; who to hand it to; which handout makes the best use of taxpayer money; do the Big Three submit a business plan with their bailout requisitions, or not—that’s the depth of the ‘philosophical’ to-be-or-not-to-be among Republikeynsians.”
Mercer in 2006: “What we have now is a cartel, the traditional ideological differences between the political parties having been permanently blurred.”
Mercer in 2006: “Antitrust laws ought to be deployed, not against business, but to bust this two-party monopoly, which subverts competition in government and rewards the colluding quislings with sinecures in perpetuity.”
Update: Look at the bright side. The political developments have steered Commissar Keith of MSNBC away from lamenting, night after night, the damage water boarding has wrought on Abu Zubaydah’s bladder, to speculating how Specter’s defection will help his man Obama’s agenda.
Daniel Hannan (a Ron Paul fan) is a “writer and journalist, and has been Conservative MEP for South East England since 1999.” Hannan’s masterful use of the English language and articulation of first principles is unmatched in the American political landscape (and beyond), where intellectualism is frowned upon, and the use of anything more than Pidgin English is berated by boors.
Hannan’s dazzling display of rhetoric and reason are on the wane in the UK too. I also happen to believe that had he spoken out against corrupt Keynesianism in the age of Bush, who begat our economic woes, the American punditocracy would not have turned him into a sensation. It so happens that the boobs who could not get enough of Bush have had a bellyful of Barack.
Watch Hannan’s speech to the European parliament. Then listen to Cavuto questioning Hannan—how cumbersome and incapable of articulating principles is the former compared to latter. About one thing Cavuto is correct: the UK’s debt is minor compared to that of the US, which approximates 75 percent of the GDP. What Hannan says has been written before, here for example. But at least there is one English-speaking politician who’s piped up at last.
GLENN: We have now Daniel Hannan on the phone. He is a member of parliament for the European community. He’s the representative of the U.K. and he was on television last night and just a plain spoken guy and has a lot of credibility because, you know, he’s got the English accent and that always works. Daniel, how are you, sir?
HANNAN: Glenn, it’s great to talk to you. I mean, what a brilliant introduction. I think we should just call it quits there, don’t you think?
GLENN: You said last night on the program, and we barely even touched on anything. You said the conversation that we had on television you couldn’t have in the United Kingdom on the BBC.
HANNAN: Well, this is because organizations that are owned by the states generally tend to be on the left, and the BBC is I’m afraid no exception.
GLENN: So is this why what you said and there’s a YouTube video and we’ll send it out in our newsletter today. Is this why when you went to parliament and you said a couple of things that we’re going to play here, that it wasn’t really covered in the U.K.? It’s bigger over here than it was over there?
HANNAN: Yeah. I mean, I think you’ve got, you’ve got a bit of an alternative media in a way that there isn’t really in Europe, and I think what happened, what I was doing was attacking the money that’s being fire hosed at this financial crisis, you know, the bailouts, internationalizations and the subsidies and all the things that you guys are doing as well, the bailout of the auto industries and all this. The things that everyone within what we call the Westminster British, I guess what you would call within the Beltway kind of agreed on this in the early days, the pundits, the commentators, the politicians and obviously the bankers themselves. And so there was nobody really to articulate the view of those kind of 80% of people who said, well, hang on, wait a minute; why should I hand over more money and tax so that the government can give it to the banks, so that the banks can lend it back to me, if I’m lucky, for interest, you know? And that was that turned out to be a pretty widespread view, but it just didn’t have any articulation.
Now, I guess in the U.S. where you’ve got, you know, you’ve got programs like this one, you’ve got things like the Fox News TV, you’ve got a bit more of an outlet for those things.
GLENN: Yeah, a bit more, but they are trying to silence and discredit anybody that speaks out against it. Could you please
HANNAN: Never forget that you are the majority. I remember when I was 15 years old, I was at school and a guy, a conservative philosopher called Roger Scruton came to do a talk and I said to him, what do you think is the role of a conservative philosopher in this day and age? And he thought for a bit and he said, the role of a conservative thinker is to reassure the people that their prejudices are true. And, you know, I think that’s what you should never, ever forget that what is called a kind of kooky, weird position by some of the political elites very often turns out to be very widespread support which is, of course, why you guys don’t like democracy, why they don’t like referendums, why they don’t like elections.
GLENN: Daniel, what do you see happening to England? You guys are out of money. The Bank of England, which, correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t know your system of government very well but it’s my understanding that that’s kind of like our treasury secretary, and he doesn’t say things like that. He doesn’t come out and make political statements. True or false?
HANNAN: No, I mean, it’s very, very unusual.
HANNAN: It’s almost unprecedented and it shows how serious things have got that he says this publicly. I mean, I’m sure he says them privately.
GLENN: And reestablish what he said this week.
HANNAN: He well, initially we reacted to the financial crisis as you did by spending a lot of money. The first instinct of a lot of politicians in a moment of crisis is to reach into somebody else’s wallet and ours were no different than yours and for a while people went along with it. It’s become clear it didn’t work. On all of the measures that bailout was a failure. But rather than admit that, Gordon Brown is stuck in this thing of saying, “Okay, I spent all this money and it doesn’t work. Oh, I’ll spend even more money. Maybe that will work even better.” Now, it got so serious that the governor of the Bank of England who is a kind of, how can I say it, he is a discreet figure, he doesn’t do interviews very often.
GLENN: He’s English.
HANNAN: When he comes out publicly and says, look, we can’t do this, we are out of cash, I think that’s very serious and I think we can assume that he’s been giving that message privately for a long time without success and so he feels he has to come out and say it to a wider audience. GLENN: Daniel, here’s what I’m concerned about. I have been concerned about the patterns that we have here in America. They have been going this way for a while. You are in are you still in France or are you in England?
HANNAN: You know what, at the moment I am in Switzerland. I’m in one of the few truly sovereign democracies in Europe.
GLENN: You know, our founders wanted us to be like Switzerland and, gosh, I wish we were. We would have had the hot chocolate and everything else. In France right now there are boss nappings. These unions are now kidnapping their bosses and holding them until they change their severance or their pensions or any other terms that they want. I am real concerned that there is a revolution that is on the we’re on the edge of a worldwide revolution where people think that they are fighting for the little man but it is actually a power grab after we have just tubed all of our economies. I mean, your people in England have been warning about, what do they call it, the summer of rage.
HANNAN: And that could well happen. And the reason it’s going to happen is people just don’t feel that the Democratic system is working. You know, this thing, I hear it all the time when I’m knocking on doors as a politician and I suspect congressional candidates do that as well, this constant thing of it doesn’t matter how I vote, nothing ever changes, they are all the same. Now, in Europe that’s pretty true because the decision making power isn’t really vested in any elected representative, whatever. It’s in the hands of the European commission and the rest of the kind of sending bureaucracy. And so what you are seeing with, what do you call this explosion of rage, what it really is is people feeling that the constitutional and Democratic mechanisms that are meant to articulate that point of view have failed and so they are going directly to the streets to do it in a different way.
Now, this is a remedial problem. There are a lot of things you can do to make the Democratic system work. There’s still time to avert this problem. But ultimately if you don’t give people any legitimate voice, they tend to take it out directly to the country in an angry and bellicose way.
GLENN: There doesn’t seem to be here in America a lot of people that understand this except the people, and when I talk to actual people, they all say the same thing, that this is getting out of control, that there is too much control, that they are disenfranchising us because they are not listening to us, they are not doing the things that as in England they are spending money and the vast majority of Americans say this is a bad idea; don’t do this. And yet they are doing it anyway. Is there any in Washington there seems to be very few people that understand what’s bubbling up underneath the surface. Do the people in your position in England understand and the rest of Europe understand what’s in their future?
HANNAN: I mean, I think in Britain we still have a system that’s kind of more or less Democratic and more or less it’s got a lot in common with yours and I think there is a lot of sensitivity. When you say Europe generally, if by Europe you mean Brussels, then absolutely not. Public opinion is seen in the EU as an obstacle to overcome, not as a reason to change direction. If you think that sounds extreme, you think I’m exaggerating when I say that, look at how they reacted to these no votes. You know, they have got this Constitution to give themselves more power to take more power away from the national capitals and it was put to a referendum and people kept voting no. France voted no, Holland voted no, Ireland voted no and the reaction in Brussels was, yeah, they didn’t really mean that. They were voting on something else. They misunderstood the question. So let’s just go ahead and implement it anyway. It’s like that scary poem which ends with the lines, wouldn’t it be easier to dissolve the people and elect another in their place. I mean, that could be the that’s the slogan of the EU.
GLENN: So Daniel, what is what is your best advice here? I mean, we have eight million people listening here in America all across the country and you guys are ahead of us on everything. What is your best advice? What should Americans be looking out for? What should Americans, when we hear our politicians here say this is the solution, this is the direction, what have you learned through experience? Don’t do that.
HANNAN: Yeah, you should learn from our mistakes. I mean, the single biggest area where I could see you making this mistake is on this thing of the nationalized healthcare system. I mean, I hope that sanity is going to prevail. I know it’s been kicked around before and it hasn’t happened. I love my country even more than I love yours, you know, but god, I would love to get rid of our system and have something that puts patients in charge rather than putting doctors’ unions and bureaucrats in charge. That’s the single biggest thing. More widely than that, you know, you can spend your money better than politicians can. You’ve got a better idea of what to do with it than governments have. You know, we have this thing for 10 years in the U.K. which is saying the current government that we’ve got. Of people feeling that it was kind of mean for us to think that. You know, if you said I don’t want to pay any more tax, that was taken not as an intellectual critique of whether the government was better placed to spend the money than you were. It was taken as a sign that you didn’t want to because you didn’t care about the poor or, you know, you were greedy. And people who should have known better kind of got right along with that and talked themselves into this kind of wanting to wrap themselves in this great warm duvet of national solidarity. And, of course, the only beneficiaries of that are the state bureaucrats who take the money and laugh all the way to the bank.
GLENN: Daniel Hannan, I wish you the best of luck and we would like to stay in touch with you. You make an awful lot of sense and it’s easier to hear from one of our brothers in England and I think people I think you have a way of penetrating with a clearer voice because you are speaking about your country and we can see the similarities.
HANNAN: You’ve got a great system there. Think long and hard before you toss it away.
GLENN: Thank you very much. We’ll talk again, my friend.
HANNAN: Thank you.
GLENN: Wow, is that kind of sobering, Stu? Just amazing.