Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm black and I'm proud!

I don’t know if you saw the discussion about Professor Louis Gates and his “nemesis”, Officer Crowley, sharing a common ancestor. I thought this was amusing.

Professor Henry Louis Gates share the same Irish heritage, both apparently having traced their ancestry back to the famous Irishman “Nial of the Nine Hostages.” Gates was quoted as having said, “I’m descended from a white man. A white man who slept with a black slave. And we know from the analysis of my DNA that ….goes back to Ireland.”

I chuckled about this because it reminded me of the 1991 film “The Commitments”, in which the film’s protagonist, an Irish singer named Jimmy Rabbitte, wants to form a band that plays American rhythm and blues music. When he is trying to explain his concept for the band, he says:

“Do you not get it, lads? The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. So say it once, say it loud: I'm black and I'm proud.”

So, don’t you see? Gates and Crowley are both Black and White…Now why can’t we all just get along?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Obama embraces our enemies and rebuffs our friends

I continue to be fascinated with the Obama administration’s handling of the Honduran political “stale-mate” (my term). The latest twist in the sordid tale is that, while ousted President Zelaya continuously taunts the interim government there by making frequent visits to the border, stepping one foot inside Honduras and then backing away before he can be arrested (generating lukewarm condemnation from US Secretary of State Clinton for his “provocative behavior”), the United States has decided to revoke the visas for officials in the interim government. (Read my previous analyses: Here, Here and Here)

As reported in the Washington Post, “the U.S. government revoked the visas of four members of Honduras's de facto government Tuesday, escalating the pressure on officials there to reinstate the president, who was kicked out of the country a month ago.” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly “indicated that other officials also could have their visas revoked.” Not only that, but he added that “U.S. authorities were reviewing the visas of all members of the current government and their dependents.”

This latest move is yet another example of how the Obama administration slaps its friends and allies, while coddling tyrants and enemies. Obama has not revoked the visas of the Iranian officials, who last month brutally oppressed protestors who claimed the presidential election was a fraud, resulting in untold number of deaths and injuries. Nor has he revoked the visas of North Korean officials, who have repeatedly threatened the destruction of the United States and provocatively launched missiles toward Hawaii. No, to the contrary: Obama believes in “engagement” with our enemies, and repeatedly opens his arms wide to them, turning his other cheek when those tyrants rebuff his entreaties and slap him down.

In keeping with that absurd policy, Obama has picked up the cause for President Zelaya, who was a part of the cabal of “Bolivarian” Marxists who openly called for the downfall of America, and has rejected the pleas of the interim Honduran government that wishes to befriend the United States.

Obama’s racial prejudice was recently on display with the Gates-Crowley brouhaha, when Obama precipitously and publicly prejudged the white officer and, quite frankly, got it all wrong, as has been indisputably proven by subsequent events and analysis.

The Honduran debacle reveals Obama’s parallel anti-American prejudices: his automatic sympathy toward world leaders who vociferously criticize the United States or accuse it of being an evil empire. It appears that Obama is predisposed to believe the historical interpretation that the United States has repeatedly and wrongly supported “dictators” in Latin America, and in a desperate effort to distinguish his Presidency and display his presumed “moral superiority”, he has ironically decided to meddle in the internal affairs of Honduras. Obama could have called a summit in the United States, in order to hear both sides of the story and try to find a way to reconcile the differences. Instead, he farmed that out to Costa Rican Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias, who failed to achieve progress. And far from remaining neutral, the Obama administration sided with the Castros and Chavez in demanding the reinstatement of a President who has been accused of various crimes, including treason.

Obama not only has ushered in a dark period in American race relations. He has also undermined our credibility in international affairs and proven yet again that the American government simply cannot keep its meddling mitts out of Latin American affairs.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Obama's mouth will be the end of him.

"It’s the mouth that kills the fish."

President Obama’s accusation that the Cambridge police “had acted stupidly”, responding to a question about the incident involving Cambridge Police Officer Crowley’s arrest of black Professor Gates by stating “off-the-cuff”, was just the latest example of Obama’s most serious character flaw: his tendency to opine forcefully before knowing the facts.

His statement illustrates the Venezuelan phrase I often quote: “El pez muere por la boca”. Roughly translated, this means “It’s the mouth that kills the fish.” In other words, it is the fish’s instinct to open its mouth and take the bait without hesitation that results in its ultimate demise.

The details of the event can be found through various sources, starting with the police report. A short version goes like this: A white, female neighbor, Ms. Lucia Whalen, saw two black males wearing backpacks trying to shove their way through the front door of a house in an up-scale neighborhood. Concerned that her neighbor’s house was being burglarized, she called 911. Officer Crowley responded and found Mr. Gates in the house. Crowley spoke with him, told him he was responding to call that suggested the house was being robbed, and Gates asked him for identification.

Gates at first refused, and launched into his tirade “Why, because I’m a black man in America?” According to the officer, Gates was verbally aggressive and conflictive throughout the event. A report filed by a second officer (Off. Carlos Figueroa) reaffirms this assertion. Gates then tried to call the Police Chief from his home phone in order to escalate the issue. He continued yelling at the officer, calling him a racist and asking him for his name (which Crowley asserts he told Gates several times). Crowley warned Gates several times to calm down. Crowley alleges that he asked Gates to step outside, because the acoustics within the house, combined with Gates’ yelling, prevented him from communicating via radio with the station. Gates stepped outside and continued his yelling. Crowley warned Gates that he was beginning to disturb the peace, while he withdrew his handcuffs. But Gates did not take the hint: he continued yelling at the officer. At that point, he was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct.

It should be noted that Gates was the first “fish” to fall victim to his own loud mouth. Had he simply calmed down and explained the situation to the officer, he never would have been arrested. But this professor in the W. E. Debois Department of Black Studies clearly had a chip on his shoulder, a false sense of his own importance, and—knowing that he was a personal friend of President Obama—told the officer “you don’t know who you’re messin’ with”, and “you haven’t heard the last of this.”

But Obama apparently didn’t know the full story when he called Officer Crowley “stupid”, as he himself admits.

It is fascinating that Obama, who was a trained lawyer and has been praised for his legal knowledge, failed one of the most basic tenets of practicing law: know the facts of the case!

Officer Crowley is not the only person being vilified by black activists. Ms. Whalen, the woman who placed the 911 call, has been accused of being a racist, by various imbeciles opining on the case and ignoring basic facts. One blogger wrote: “I believe that the media would be remiss not to focus at least some of their attention on Lucia Whalen, the woman who initially called 911. Her racism was the catalyst that put all of these other events in motion.”

“Racism”? While it is clearly true that she was mistaken, and that Gates was a resident trying to force open his front door, and not a burglar, it is hardly racist for her to be concerned about her neighbors’ safety and call the authorities. What’s more, it is now known that the reason why Gates was trying to force the door was because, after returning from a trip, he found the front door damaged. Gates has apparently said that it looked as if the door had been damaged in a previous burglary attempt.

This often overlooked fact shines an important light on the events: the neighbor, it turns out, was right to be concerned. Gates had been victimized, but not by the police: his residence had apparently suffered an attempted break-in which, unfortunately, had not been observed and reported.

We have to ask ourselves; had the White House failed to properly brief Obama on this issue? We are being told that they had not.

Had Obama done due research before opining? He said that he was not there and did not know the details.

So why did Obama feel that he needed to blurt out an emotional response to an issue for which a simple “No Comment” would have been more appropriate? Could it be that he actually has been listening to the sermons of his infamous Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and is a proponent of black victimization?

While that may be true, what cannot be denied is that Obama has demonstrated, over the past few weeks, a disturbing tendency to make firm public statements about issues that he admits he knows little about.

When asked about the impacts of the H.R. 3200 Health Bill that he has been championing, Obama admitted: “You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about.” He then went on to defend the bill and promote “his plan” (which is not really his plan, because he has farmed it out to a cabal of radical Democrats to write in his stead).

It is peculiar that Obama would propose a radical idea that would enact massive restructuring of a major component of the American economy, then decide to let others write the bill, then not familiarize himself with the bill, openly admit that he is not familiar with the bill, and then defend it!

A couple of weeks previously, when the Honduran Supreme Court ordered President Manuel Zelaya deposed due to his unconstitutional behavior, Obama leapt into the fray, declaring that the actions taken were an illegal and unconstitutional “coup”. I analyzed the events there in depth through two posts, and concluded that Obama’s assertion is false; the process appears to have been legal, constitutional, rational, democratic, and does not constitute a “coup”.

But again, Obama believes himself to be so wise that facts are irrelevant. Events are what he says they are, and “damn your lying eyes!”

A President who speaks too soon once has committed a forgivable error. When he repeats that mistake within a week or two, it is a very real cause for embarrassment and should cause him to rectify his behavior. But when it occurs a third time in as many weeks: you have identified a dangerous trend.

Just like the fish that automatically snaps at a baited hook, Obama has proven himself incapable of assessing the impact of his impromptu remarks. His narcissism drives him to seek attention, and he does so without the slightest reflection as to the outcome. The truth to the matter is, that while Joe Biden’s frequent gaffes are generally harmless and amusing, Obama’s screw ups will ultimately undermine his own credibility.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Deposing a President is not the same as a "coup"

I would like to take just a moment to reflect upon the events in Honduras, and the media’s obtuse use of the term “coup” (as in: “coup d’etat”) to describe it.

I have read commentators describe the ouster of President Zelaya as an “illegal coup”. President Obama (who in the first six months of his Presidency has shown an uncanny knack for being on the wrong side of History) has also stated that the “coup” was unconstitutional and illegal. They argue that President Zelaya should have been “impeached” rather than overthrown in a “coup”, a statement that is silly on multiple levels (I’ll explain shortly). Even commentators who support the Honduran government’s actions—some of whom I respect greatly, such as Charles Krauthammer—also refer to the events as a “coup”.

Even though I am not a legal scholar, I am confident that a cursory examination of the terminology and events will reveal that the term “coup” has been bandied about irresponsibly. “Irresponsibly”, I say, because it erroneously lends credence to the notion that the President was unjustly removed from office and should be returned to power by the organizations of the international community.

The term “coup d’etat”, or “coup” for short, “is the sudden, unconstitutional deposition of a legitimate government, by a small group of the State Establishment — usually the military — to replace the deposed government with another, either civil or military.”

Note that the removal of the official is “sudden” and “unconstitutional”.

Without getting into the minutia of the events, please recall that former President Zelaya violated the Honduran constitution by unilaterally calling for a referendum that would ask the people if the constitution should be re-written in order to give the President multiple terms (currently they are limited to one four-year term, in order to prevent future dictatorships). The constitution makes this very action illegal and the official who requests it loses his mandate immediately. Only the congress has this authority, and refused to do what Zelaya asked, so he did it unilaterally. He violated a number of other laws as well when he called for an insurrection, illegally fired his chief of staff who refused to obey the illegal orders he’d been given, raided the military compound where the ballots were stored in order to go forward with the referendum in spite of the orders to desist by the Supreme Court. The Congress, Supreme Court, and Federal Attorney General all agreed that Zelaya had violated the constitution and the constitution stated the outcome: loss of his authority.

The subsequent action to depose the President was therefore neither “sudden”, nor “unconstitutional”. It was deliberative, involving multiple branches of government, and spelled out in the nation's Magna Carta.

There are a number of terms that would be preferable, and more accurate, to employ in this instance. The President was “deposed”, “unseated”, “overthrown”, or even “dethroned” (if you will allow that he was acting like a tyrannical monarch, rather than a President).

I have also noted criticism that Zelaya should have been “impeached”. The very term “impeach” means “to accuse of a crime, especially to accuse a person who works for the government of a crime against the State.” Clearly, when the opposition appealed to the courts regarding the illegality of the President’s actions, they did “impeach” the President. And the court did what courts do: it judged the merits of the accusation and decided against the President. This was not an issue where there could be a prolonged trial by jury: by the time this occurred, the constitutional order would have been in disarray, and the national security already would have been adversely affected. What's more, the critics presume that the "impeachment process" in Honduras should look exactly like the one that we have in the USA. Without having read their constitution, they (and I include Mr. Obama in this) have decided that if the process doesn't look like ours, it must not have been legal.

My point is that the events in Honduras did not constitute a “coup”, and that term is being detrimentally applied. It would be preferable to use the term “removal” or “deposition” instead. Every time anyone—including those of us who support the removal of Zelaya—use “coup” to describe the legal and just sacking of the President, it simply adds credence to the arguments of people like Chavez and Castro—and the newest member of the gang of leftist nuts—Barack Hussein Obama.

I have learned new information which reaffirms my conviction that it was NOT a coup, and the Obama administration's position is wrong.
1) The interim president, Roberto Micheletti, is a member of Zelaya's Liberal Party. So control of the government was NOT transferred to an opposition party, nor maintained by the military.
2) The reason the VP was not put in that position was that he had resigned as VP in order to run for President next November. Micheletti was the next one in line per constitutional order of power.
3) The Liberal Party--Zelaya's and Micheletti's party--controlled and still controls the majority of the Parliament. No transfer of power or restructuring occured there.
4) the Parliament voted and found that Micheletti is the legitimate President.

If you speak Spanish you can read about it HERE.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Euthanasia as a solution for Health Care Rationing

“I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.” The Hippocratic Oath

I was shocked, although not surprised, to learn that the medical profession in Netherlands (Holland) has not only legalized euthanasia, but has expanded its use recently. Shocked, I say, because it is horrific to think that the medical profession, which once swore by the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm”, has adopted values that are in direct conflict with the oath. But I was not surprised, because this seems to be a logical outcome to the liberal philosophy that has taken control of much of Europe, and whose “humane” attempt to provide affordable access to medical care has been tempered by the practical need to reduce costs.

And what has been the logical, although horrific outcome? Euthanasia has become an acceptable alternative to expensive treatment.

The story was exposed to me by the great conservative radio host, Mike Gallagher. I wanted to verify the veracity of his statements, so I began to search, and found no shortage of corroborating articles.

What had started out as a “humane” ending of suffering for the terminally ill morphed, over time, to include an ever widening list of conditions. Recently, doctors there have even begun to euthanize the elderly, and children.

In “Euthanasia in the Netherlands”, I read a personal story about a man whose Dutch parents returned to their homeland to visit relatives, and shrugged off a story about a woman who chose euthanasia over treatment for depression following the death of her last son. Her physician did not even try to treat her depression: no, he decided she wasn’t depressed, just deeply saddened by her loss, and had the right to die—with his assistance, of course—instead of finding a new reason to live at the ripe old age of 50.

The author pointed out that many survivors of the Holocaust had managed to find new meaning in their lives after the loss of their entire families, but that was apparently unimportant. He reports:

“Over 50% of Dutch physicians admitted to practicing euthanasia, most often on cancer patients. Only 60% kept written records of their euthanasia practice and only 29% filled out death certificates honestly in euthanasia cases…”

While that statistic alone was alarming, I then confirmed that “Only half of Dutch doctors report euthanasia, report says.” In 2001, the study focused on 5500 deaths, of which 41% to 54% of those cases were patients that had been euthanized.

Proponents of the practice will rally to say that these cases provided a humane ending for individuals suffering chronic pain, with terminal illnesses, who chose to end their lives under their own terms. But that, it turns out, is not always true.

80% of Dutch now support euthanasia, in a nation that, during World War II, resisted Nazi orders to euthanize patients, actions that later resulted in the hanging deaths of Nazi “war criminals”.

But today, the practice is so widely accepted, doctors have begun to euthanize many others. In his article, “The Dutch way of Death” (2001), Richard Miniter points out that, in 1990 alone, of the 130,000 Dutchmen who died, 11,800 were “killed or helped to die” by their doctors. An estimated 5,981 people were killed by their doctors WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT—according to the Dutch government.

But if that was not shocking enough, prepare yourself: “other groups that are put to death involuntarily: disabled infants, terminally ill children and mental patients. Some 8% of all infants who die in the Netherlands are killed by their doctors, according to a 1997 study published in the Lancet, a British medical journal.”

These facts prompted the Catholic Association of Doctors and Nurses to issue a statement protesting the decision of Groningen University Hospital to euthanize children under 12 when their pain is “intolerable, or if they have an incurable illness.”
“The ‘decision proposes a death solution in situations which could be addressed by modern palliative care”, and “raises the suspicion of a financial interest of the public authorities, since it decreases the 'burden' of prolonged and expensive care in clinical conditions for which any extension of life duration is considered meaningless.’ The association continues; ‘it opens the door on a national scale to the 'mercy killing' of other mentally incompetent persons, to be eliminated without their consent for reasons based on an external appreciation of their quality of life."
In “Now They Want to Euthanize Children” Wesley J. Smith explains that, “In the Netherlands, 31 percent of pediatricians have killed infants. A fifth of these killings were done without the ‘consent’ of parents.”

"In 30 years Holland has moved from assisted suicide to euthanasia, from euthanasia of people who are terminally ill to euthanasia of those who are chronically ill, from euthanasia for physical illness to euthanasia for mental illness, from euthanasia for mental illness to euthanasia for psychological distress or mental suffering, and from voluntary euthanasia to involuntary euthanasia or as the Dutch prefer to call it ‘termination of the patient without explicit request’.
It is now considered a form of discrimination against the chronically ill to deny them assisted death because they will be forced to suffer longer than those who are terminally ill and it is considered bias to force endurance of psychological pain when it is not associated with physical illness. The next step, non-voluntary euthanasia, is then justified by appealing to our social duty to care for patients who are not competent to choose for themselves. "

Smith sums up the horror quite eloquently:

“It took the Dutch almost 30 years for their medical practices to fall to the point that Dutch doctors are able to engage in the kind of euthanasia activities that got some German doctors hanged after Nuremberg.”

“Blame the radically altered mindset that results when killing is redefined from a moral wrong into a beneficent and legal act. If killing is right for, say the adult cancer patient, why shouldn't it be just as right for the disabled quadriplegic, the suicidal mother whose children have been killed in an accident, or the infant born with profound mental retardation?”

You may well ask what this has to do with us here in the United States.

According to the authors, a primary driving force in this barbaric shift from euthanizing only as a means of ending insufferable pain and misery to euthanizing patients ranging from the mentally disable, to Alzheimer’s patients, to the depressed, was the implementation of Socialized Medicine. The financial costs of treating the sick grew to the point that society might rebel against the ever increasing taxes necessary to support it. The government began to ration care, and pressured doctors to make decisions that would reduce care to those for whom it would not heal, in order to reduce costs.

Bureaucrats, in a single payer system, have been given the power of God over the public. Their actions now echo the policies of the Nazis, whose efforts to “strengthen the strain” resulted in the mass murder of millions across Europe in order to weed out the weak, the feeble, the retarded, and the incurably sick—not to mention those whose ethnic background was simply “unacceptable”.

It is logical to conclude that, as genetic testing for inherited diseases improves to the point that fetuses and babies can be identified as carrying the genes that will trigger future illnesses, doctors may decide to euthanize otherwise healthy infants or abort fetuses simply to avoid even the remote possibility of having to treat them in the future.