Monday, November 30, 2009

Chapter 9. Thanksgiving Lesson from 1623: Communism Is A Loser

The 2009 Thanksgiving weekend is coming to an end.  The American tradition of reflecting on the bounty afforded us, how it came to be and how we might keep it is a laudable and useful excercise.  The sharpest lesson, it appears, comes from the very Pilgrims we often remember in between parades, football games and rounds of turkey of various moistnesses.

It turns out that the original societal plan for the Plymouth settlers was a communist system in which stronger, more able bodied men and women were expected to give their all in part to support those who couldn't contribute as much.  It was "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs," nearly two centuries before Karl Heinrich Marx was a twinkle in his vater's eye. 

And (surprise) communism was a failure.  In his contemporaneously compiled history of the Plymouth Plantation, pp. 134-136, William Bradford, who was Governor of the Plymouth Plantation in various years from 1621 until his death in 1657, details how the folks of Plymouth didn't take kindly to working in the field or performing labors on behalf of others, without getting compensated.  The able began to feign weakness or illness, or to simply complain to the Governor that things had to change.  Then in 1623, they decided to divide the plantation into equal parcels of land for each family and let them get out of it what they could, meaning generally what they put into it.

And (surprise) privatization was a success.  Men, women and children worked to their potential, because they got to keep the fruit of their labors, rather than giving them over to those who didn't earn it.  Through the centuries of time, Bradford waxes pointedly to us on the communist folly:
"...that ye taking away of propertie, and bringing in coiiiunitie [community] into a coirfone wealth, would make them happy and florishing; as if they were wiser then God. For this comunitie (so farr as it was) was found to breed much confusion & discontent, and retard much imploymet that would have been to their benefite and comforte..God in his wisdome saw another course fiter [fitter] for them."

Indeed.  Too bad our leaders today don't see the merits of learning the hard lessons of our forefathers, but rather are inclined to believe the fanciful fairy tales of modern day radicals.

Quotient out.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chapter 8. Another Declaration Worth Fighting For

On Friday, November 20 a group of Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical Christians published a document, the Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience, in which they proclaimed solidarity on common tenets of the Christian faith, as it applies to current modern life. The three basic principles of this Declaration are: Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.  We should be inspired by their steadfastness in these most basic aspects of modern Christianity, or more properly stated, classic Christianity struggling to fend off destructive modern secular influences.

Like our own American Declaration of Independence of 1776, the authors boldly put a stake in the ground on certain things. And like the original, this Declaration has heavyweight support, including 125 original signatories and over 187,000 online supporters (at the time of this posting).

Consider a few excerpts to reveal the courageous leadership of the signatories:
“Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense.”

“Eugenic notions such as the doctrine of lebensunwertes Leben (‘life unworthy of life’) were first advanced in the 1920s by intellectuals in the elite salons of America and Europe. Long buried in ignominy after the horrors of the mid-20th century, they have returned from the grave. The only difference is that now the doctrines of the eugenicists are dressed up in the language of ‘liberty,’ ‘autonomy,’ and ‘choice.’"

“…we are willing, lovingly, to make whatever sacrifices are required of us for the sake of the inestimable treasure that is marriage.”

“We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's.”
Read the Manhattan Declaration for yourself, and consider becoming a signatory, at

Quotient out.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chapter 7. Socialism Doesn't Kill People, Socialists Do Part 2: Today's Newspeak

"'You are a slow learner, Winston,' said O'Brien gently.
'How can I help it?' he blubbered. 'How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.
'Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three.  Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.'"
The chilling torture scene in George Orwell's classic, 1984, offers a glimpse into a future in which the State manipulates the physical records of society, indeed the very memories of its citizens, as a means to control them.  In modern America we have seen this play out in the revisionist histories offered in our liberal universities, as studies emphasize the supposed merits of collectivist oligarchies while decrying the deficiencies and crimes of the American experience.

Another recent example is the way in which language is manipulated to promote a tepid version of our current fight against Muslim extremism so that we will find it acceptable to capitulate both our ideals and our very freedoms to the globalist (defeatist) mindset.

  • According the the Washington Post, as early as February 2009, in response to a request from something called the International Commission of Jurists, Pentagon spokesmen were instructed to drop the term "global war on terror" to the broader and fuzzier, "overseas contingency operation."
  • In March 2009, Security of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano changed "terrorism" to "man caused distaster."  In explaining this liguistic shift to the German news site Der Speigel, the Secretary said, "That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.”

Or behold the faux indignence of Barney Frank at the bankers and executives whose companies lost billions of dollars in the last 18 months, while he curtly dismisses (and in fact simply filibusters any discussion of) his direct advocacy of the very tactics used to bully financiers into making stupid mistakes, not to mention (and all but a few news outlets will not) the schemes he concocted to prop up Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  He blew the bubble all the way up to the bursting point, then walks away daintily dobbing his hands with a kerchief as if he had nothing to do with the whole affair.  This he can do in his role as Chair of the House Financial Services Committee.  But Frank, in his manic, spittle-driven zeal to avoid accountability, attempts to bully his confronters, as he did in this embarrassing exchange with a Harvard student:

In similar confrontations, Frank has never admitted he's ever done anything wrong, or had the slightest culpability in the financial meltdown.

While it's true that the bloom is definitely off Obama's rose, the mainstream media continue to front for a man who clearly has a radical view of what America should be, and how we will get there.  This man has many allies in his quest to normalize Americans to the least common denominator of modern society.

But he is opposed by more, and they will get their say:  2+2=4

Quotient out.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chapter 6. Rational, Or Just Plain Rationed? It Has Begun...

Earlier this week we learned that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a self-importantly named collection of "private-sector experts in prevention and primary care," sponsored by the HHS's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, had issued new recommendations for mammogram screening:  no screens until a woman is 50, then every two years, and no self-examinations, ever.

Apparently, the USPSTF influences the way in which insurance companies cover various medical services.  Oddly enough, nearly every oncological organization has expressed various degrees of stupification, confusion, frustration and outright anger at the "private sector experts'"new recommendation, which seems to defy common sense.  Why would one not want to screen for the second highest killer of American women (next to lung cancer)?  It seems that the logic is based part on statistics and partly on the notion that testing earlier is stressful to women.

And yet, according to the American Cancer Society:
"Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment."

Perhaps we are to take solace in the fact that the USPSTF's recommendation would align America with much of the rest of the world, and in particular with current United Nations WHO standards.  Bitter medicine, to say the least, when one compares U.S. health care with our global brethren.

In an instructive article entitled, "10 Surprising Facts about American Health Care," Scott Atlas writes for the National Center for Policy Analysis:
"Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States, and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom...People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed."
(and references therein)

The correlation between government-controlled health care, and poor delivery of medical services, is apparent even to those of us not on a panel of "private-sector experts."  In every example of government diddling where the free market can and has worked, costs soar and rationing takes place.

Rationing cancer screens is just the warm up.  Democrat leaders are at this very moment preparing to wrest control of health care decisions from the hands of patients and doctors.  Medical rationing will increase, and the State will have yet another way to bend the will of the people to its own.

Quotient out.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Interlude. Required Reading From IBD Editorials

The attached article from Investor's Business Daily Editorials captures some of the essense of this blog nicely.  And, it's from the horse's mouth, so to speak.  The author, Svetlana Kunin, has experienced life in a socialist country, and now lives in the U.S.  Heed her warning.

In her book, "The Forgotten Man," Amity Shlaes recounts the American economic history of the 20's and 30's and how so many influential people were initially drawn to Stalin's socialist "paradise," erroneously thinking the Soviets had miraculously solved the ills of inequality.

So much for the tattered, empty promises of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov and those of his ilk.  Why are we returning to those tired and utterly dehumanizing philosophies?

Quotient out.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chapter 5. H1N1? More Like FBC101

There may not be a conspiracy out there regarding the much-touted H1N1 influenza, as far as the actual biological phenomenon is concerned.  But the psycho-sociological exploitation of the (ahem) pandemic should chill you more than a swine-flu fever.

As has been pointed out already in this blog, control of the means of sustenance means ultimate control of the subject's (read: victim's) every action.

Imagine if there was an imminent famine, and government agencies indicated that two portions of food, determined to be the minimum nutritive support needed for survival, would be available for every citizen "shortly."  Then suddenly, the same agencies took a mulligan and announced that not to worry, only one portion would surely be enough.  And then, it turned out that only about 10% of the food necessary give out those portions was actually available.  When inevitably questioned, their rejoinder was wrapped in technical jargon about kilojoules of energy, and glycemic load, and vitamin metabolic absorption rates.

What would happen, in the midst of this looming apparent disaster?  Of course, fear and hording and clamoring for the little food that might be doled out by the state.  Natural enough, as the instinct for human survival is strong.  There could be anger, and violence, and murder, as parents fought for their own children's survival at the deadly expense of the other parents' families.  Imagine that as the government food truck showed up, how men and women would each push and jostle with one hand, while the other was outstretched toward the state-run distributors of food.  Neighbor against neighbor; brother against brother; eventually parent against child.

Now translate imminent famine to H1N1 pandemic.  Translate innoculations to portions of government-doled food.  Translate food truck to health clinics.  And translate desperate citizens to... well, desperate citizens.

Now imagine that the government suddenly announced, or someone found out and publicized, that the famine was actually just a normal downturn in food surplus, just like most years.  No big cataclysm, no real need to panic.  All those ugly incidents, the pushing and shoving, the arguments and curses, the violence.  All those people suddenly realizing, in shame, that they had become what they would never want to become...

Getting back to H1N1, it's not clear yet how far the infection has spread in America.  The CDC states that up to 5.7 million people in the U.S. contracted H1N1 between April and July.  Of those, about 1,000 have died.  It is clear that doctors were quickly ordered to stop testing for H1N1 (vs the seasonal flu), making the actual tracking of H1N1 impossible.  Their reasons for doing so are:
"1. CDC believes that regular seasonal influenza viruses will co-circulate with 2009 H1N1 influenza and capturing all laboratory-confirmed influenza will provide a fuller picture of the burden of all flu during the pandemic.
2. There are too many cases of flu to test and confirm so laboratory-confirmed data is a vast underestimate of the true number of cases and this bias would be exacerbated over the course of the pandemic as more and more people become ill.

3. Influenza and pneumonia syndrome is a diagnostic code used by all hospitals. Capturing this number will reflect a fuller picture of influenza and influenza-related serious illness and deaths in the United States during the pandemic. Influenza and pneumonia syndrome hospitalizations and deaths may be an overestimate of actual number of flu-related hospitalizations and deaths, but CDC believes influenza and pneumonia syndromic reports are likely to be a more sensitive measure of flu-associated hospitalizations and deaths than laboratory confirmed reports during this pandemic.

However, the syndromic reports of all hospitalizations and deaths recorded as either influenza or pneumonia will mean that the case counts are less specific than before and will include cases that are not related to influenza infection."
Make sense?  Thought so.

The point is not whether the outbreak of H1N1, which is demonstrable at some level, is a pandemic or not; or whether somebody botched the estimates of infection or the production of vaccine.  Many good people are trying to protect Americans.

The point is our own behavior.  Without a conscious effort to resist, we will give in to our basest urges if pushed hard enough in the right (wrong) direction.  If there is not enough food.  Or enough vaccine.  Or enough police protection.  Or enough freedom of speech or worship.  Or enough health care.

Fear-Based Control 101

Quotient out.