Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Headaches for the Docs

A couple of weeks ago, I needed my doctor to change my prescription. He’d given me a new prescription that really didn’t seem to be working, so he increased the dosage. Within a day or two of taking the increased dosage, I was on the phone to his office: we’ve got to go back to the other medication, here, because I’m feeling really terrible.

My doc is a really busy doc. He just always has wall-to-wall patients. I wasn’t surprised when he didn’t return my call during the day. At 9:30 that night, the phone rang; it was him. He immediately agreed to return me to my old prescription (and I felt better immediately after returning to it). As he was trying to phone the prescription into the pharmacy, while still on the phone, his computer shut down.

He said it happened every night at about that time. I told him it was okay; that it could wait till morning. I told him he should go home to his wife and kids. But he said he couldn’t; he had to finish up paperwork and then visit his patients at the hospital.

When people think of the medical profession, they think of the glamorous life of television medical dramas. Hunky doctors, hot nurse’s aides, bossy nurses, and incompetent bureaucrats. But that’s not really the way it is.

Government interference has made the medical profession a nightmare. They’re forced through a horrdenous maze of forms and regulations, all to keep some bureaucrat employed.

“My life stinks,” my doctor sighed. “I tell my kids, don’t become a doctor.”

A doctor who spoke at a local tea party meeting gave out copies of The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Their fall issue contains an analysis of Obamacare by Jane M. Orient, M.D., and executive director of AAPS.

One of the first items mandates a prohibition of requiring low-wage workers to contribute the same percentage of income as higher-wage earners to their health plan. Premiums will be based on wages. Dr. Orient views this as a progressive, or redistributive, tax.

She explains some of the rules for large and small businesses. The government will require extensive reporting. Many companies and small businesses will have to change their current coverage because it is “so easy to lose the ‘grandfathered’ status of existing plans. Even business that offer ‘correct’ coverage may have to pay penalties up to $3,000 for every employee who receives a subsidy because his contribution is deemed “unaffordable” (exceeding 8 percent of his income).

Businesses will have to issue a form 1099 to any vendor with which it does more than $600 worth of business in a year. This includes rent, fuel, office supplies, cars, packaged delivery services, and food contractors.

Starting in 2013, the 3.8 percent Medicare tax will be applied to capital gains and investment income if an individual’s total gross income exceeds $200,000, or a couple’s exceeds $250,000. Middle class people would be subject to this tax even if they were only “rich” for one day, according to Dr. Orient: the day they sold their house and bought a new one.

An Independent Medicare Advisory Board will be established, ostensibly assigned with the task of controlling Medicare spending. They are charged not to ration health care raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums, nor increase Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing, including deductibles, co-insurance, co-payments or other restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria. Dr. Orient concludes the only way the IMAB can achieve its cost-cutting goal is by reducing payment for services to the providers.

What’s more, Congress is forbidden from repealing or changing the board’s recommendations. This prohibition can itself can be waived or suspended in the Senate only by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of its members. By 2050, the chief actuary predicts that 40 percent of providers will go out of business.

Healthy individuals will not benefit from lower premiums. But those who participate in certain favored “wellness” programs may be rewarded – as well as those companies offering the programs. The cost of a smoking cessation program is reimbursed whether or not the individual quits smoking.

There’s also a section concerning multiculturalism. Health care education must include “cultural competency,” health literacy, and dealing with “health disparity populations.” Applicants for Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training grants must demonstrate “participation in the institution’s programs of individuals and groups from different racial, ethnic, cultural, geographic, religious, linguistic, and class backgrounds, as well as different gender and sexual orientations.”

“Non-discrimination in health care” prohibits better pay for better qualified personnel, although the Secretary or health plan may establish varying reimbursement rates based on compliance with quality or performance measures. Dr. Orient says, “Thus, all providers acting within their ‘scope of practice’ will be paid at the same rate, whether a nurse practitioner, primary-care physician, or fellowship-trained specialist.”

Physicians are protected against retaliation for declining to perform euthanasia, but not for refusing to ensure death by abortion, overmedication, or withdrawal of fluid, nutrition, or medical care.

Enhanced surveillance of child-rearing, the article states, “will begin with ‘at risk’ populations including smokers, drug abusers, ‘low achievers’, and members or veterans of the military. This includes home visits with extensive data collection on health-related measures, expansively defined to include poverty, school readiness, and crime.”

“School-based health centers will take over much of the family’s responsibility for health, providing ‘comprehensive health assessments;’ diagnostic and treatment of minor, acute, and chronic medical conditions; mental health and substance use disorder assessment; crisis intervention; counseling; and referral to emergency psychiatric care, community support programs, in patient care, and outpatient programs. Health care professional will abide by parental consent and notification laws – so long as they are not inconsistent with federal law.”

Finally, Obamacare takes up the issue of “Social Transformation.” According to the article, “The section on ‘Creating Healthier Communities’ establishes the rationale and infrastructure for a fundamental transformation involving redistribution of wealth and changing the basic culture of communities through Community Transformation Grants. There is to be a ‘detailed plan that includes the policy, environmental, programmatic, and as appropriate, infrastructure changes needed to promote healthy living and reduce racial and economic disparities’ including ‘social, economic, and geographic determinants of health.’”

These are only some of the highlights of this massive, intrusive program. Dr. Orient states that there are already bills in Congress to repeal at least sections of the Act, promises by many candidates to repeal or defund it, and lawsuits to block it. “States,” she writes, “are reluctant to accept costly and intrusive new programs, even to the extent of turning down federal funds. The leap in regulatory requirements and the increasing criminalization of medicine may finally lead to an [Atlas Shrugged-type] exodus of large numbers of physicians – into truly private medicine.”

Contact your representative or preferred candidate to elicit a promise to repeal this monstrosity disguised as legislation. Time is of the essence; the election is little more than a month away. Repeal this repellant law.

Or else start investing in Pepto Bismol and Tylenol.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

March of the Morons

Well, that’s enough of picking on Glenn Beck for awhile; it’s Jon Stewart’s turn to be skewered. And he has it coming.

The Liberal comedian of The Daily Show is planning a counter-rally rally on Oct. 30th to mock Glenn Beck’s 8/28 rally. Just to be politically correct, another group is planning a spoof of the Rev. Al Sharpton counter-march in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Interesting that Stewart chose Oct. 30th as his date – Mischief Night, Devil’s Night, here in N.J., Goosey Night. If you had to choose a day for mockery, that’s the day, I guess. I suppose they plan to toilet paper the National Mall. How sweet.

According to reports, he’s doing it because he objects to all the demonstrations on the National Mall. He’s even included the Vietnam War protests in his denunciations. He thinks it’s a disgrace to bring protests, to demonstrate, to exercise our First Amendment rights on the National Mall in the nation’s capital. We’re being irreverent when we do so, he apparently thinks.

Already, according to Liberal reports, carpools are being organized and buses are being chartered down to Washington, D.C. The Million Moderates March Stewart is proclaiming it. They might as well call it the Million Morons March.

These so-called “Moderates” are the Liberal Right. They make too much money to be classically poor Liberals; they don’t make enough to qualify as Limousine Liberals. These are the same idiots who voted in the Moderate Republicans who drove up the deficits to new heights, in cooperation with the Democrats whom they crossed the aisle to appease.

These are the young Twenty and Thirty-somethings who have no problem with legalizing marijuana. They were probably good students, and were able to secure good jobs, but they couldn’t tell you that the capital of Maine is Augusta (even if they live there) or that Washington became a state in 1889 or that Washington had contracted smallpox as a young adult.

They’re the fabled, self-centered Me Generation, the Peter Pan Generation that never grew up. It’s all about them, and now their kids, who walk all over them. Discipline is a word that’s not in their parental vocabulary. They want to be their kids’ friend.

Predictably, they’ve swallowed the Global Warming Fairy Tale (which a generation before had been the Global Cooling Fairy Tale). They dutifully bag their own groceries filled with plastic diapers guaranteed to survive an eternity and gulp down their bottled water.

Their credit cards are maxed to the hilt, so they think nothing of the government maxing out its credit to the hilt. They’ll worry about that tomorrow. Today we’ll sing pretty campfire songs with the kids about saving the earth, and the whales,

The idiots let their kids watch The Simpsons and SouthPark. They encourage them to imitate their rock and roll idols and pay attention to their socialist/communist teachers who teach them wealth is greed and redistribution of wealth is social piety.

They and their kids run around in peace sign shirts, smugly defying anyone to argue with them, raising the specter of “hatred”. They’re fuzzy-wuzzy suburbanites who just want everyone to get along. They want no part of the nasty business of politics and disagreements and criticism of government. Just relax and let the government take care of things. It’s all such a bother; let’s go watch the kids play soccer and forget about it.

These are our future leaders, the parents of the future. Just give them a joint or a sip of wine or beer, and everything will be just fine. Relax, man, you’re too tense. It’s not like it’s the end of the world. Chill out.

That’s why Conservatives in the Tea Parties don’t want anything to do with these brainwashed nitwits. It’s useless trying to reason with these arrested adolescents. Their brains are permanently disconnected. They don’t care anything about real freedom. If the government wants to coddle them from cradle to grave, well, what in the world is wrong with that?

Another reason it’s impossible to reach them is they feel so good about themselves. They’ve deluded themselves into a notion of eternal youth. They’ll give to this charity or that charity and pat themselves on the back for being good globally citizens. Look how much they care. They even pat themselves on the back for agreeing to higher taxes, regarding it as another form of charity.

And they say the Tea Partiers are crazy.


“Don’t count on anyone but yourself,” my mother used to warn me. This rigorous admonition got me through many encounters at school and in the work place.

There’s been a lot of ballyhoo about Glenn Beck’s opinion of the Tea Parties, and I’ve certainly added my “hoo” to the “bally.” A friend said, “Well, he’s rich and you’re not, so that makes him right.”

To which I replied, indignantly, “Oh no, it doesn’t. He’s completely wrong about the Tea Party signs and he’s making too much out of the poor people who wear colonial costumes.” Beck seemed to back down after reading the article from the BBC, saying something like, “Have I gotten it wrong? I was only telling them what I think.”

Well here’s what I thought of GB when I looked at the photo gallery on his website mocking the costume-wearing tea partiers, especially the poor kid in the militia uniform: “What a jerk!”

That was no cheesecloth costume that kid was wearing; it was the real deal, and a real expensive deal at that, I’m told by re-enactors I’ve met on parade and at concerts. They provide all their own uniforms and equipment – rifles, flags, other antique props. Maybe it’s a joke to Glenn Beck (we know all of American history is a joke to the Liberals), but to those volunteers, it’s serious business. They do it because they have an affinity for American history. It’s their way of honoring their country, not smearing it.

All I can say is, shame on you, Glenn Beck. And he calls himself a history buff. It may sound like I'm biting that hand that feeds us, but really, this is more a case of the hand that's feeding us biting us.  Instead of mocking them, why doesn’t he invite one of the units onto his program? They’re all around the New York area – New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island – they all have regiments. He might learn a thing or two about history from them.

Well the Tea Partiers I know were worried that I might have offended the Beckoner. But that’s just too bad. He’s wrong about the Tea Parties, and that’s all there is to it. Actually, there’s a lot more to the Tea Parties than just the rallies, although that’s all he knows about them. Both parties I attend have regular monthly meetings, where they listen to speakers and strategize.

“Don’t let anyone see how smart you are.” That was another favorite piece of advice my mother was always dispensing. “Don’t let your brains show.” Of course the Tea Partiers don’t lay out all their strategies in public; that would be like one football team trotting over to the other team with their playbook. Why should the Tea Parties disclose what they intend to do?

The biggest mistake the Tea Parties make is to quiver at the mere sight of power and money. If they don’t have the gumption to stand up even to Glenn Beck, if they simper and fawn at his feet, and cower at his displeasure over costumes or signs, how are they ever going to stand up to some politician who says to them, “We’re going to do things my way because I’m richer and smarter than you?”

The Tea Parties are doing plenty besides holding rallies, if that’s what’s worrying the pundits. No one knows better than the Tea Partiers – the average Americans - how much is at stake. They know what it is they have to do in a very short time and they know where they have to do it (sorry, Libs – NOYB).

Whether they do it in a Betsy Ross costume or a tee shirt and jeans or a three-piece suit is immaterial. That’s up to the individual Tea Partiers and what they’re comfortable doing. The important thing is that they do it – their way - and soon – and not let anyone intimidate them into not doing it their way.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Robbing the Tea Parties of Their Steam

Since the Tea Parties began in April 2009, the moderates have been trying to take the steam out of the Tea Parties. Their deal is to control the Republican party. They did so quite successfully in 2006, electing moderate Republicans who drove up the national debt to frightening new heights.

Then they had the nerve to complain that the Republicans they voted into office were a bunch of crooks. Well, no kidding, Sherlock. The Conservatives, of course, were furious all along, mostly at being dragged along by these gate-swinging, Liberals in Republican clothing phonies.

What they didn’t expect was that the Conservatives would come out of the hills and challenge them for control of the Tea Parties. We ignored every threat they made, every supposedly conciliatory remark about being inclusive. We showed them the door.

Gradually, they intimidated our crowds into leaving their signs at home. They’ve abused anyone who shows up in a heritage costume. Most of all, they’ve got the considerable weight of Glenn Beck behind them. He’s fooled a lot of people with his history lessons into thinking he’s a conservative, which he’d be the first to tell you, he is not.

Many Conservatives have followed him blindly to this point where they’re bleating like sheep and nodding their heads like bobble-head dolls. ‘Well, okay, Glenn – if you think it’s better, we’ll stop showing up with our home-made signs and we won’t wear our heritage costumes because people whose opinion we never cared about might get mad or might laugh at us.’

Tea partiers from my group, didn’t I tell you early on not to go trotting and panting after this guy? Now he’s taken over our state rally, which was supposed to be for us, for everyone who had the courage to take a stand at the Tea Parties. Take a look at the website – “a non-partisan, non-political” non-energy, non-spirit, nonsense event.

You’ve let this overblown, egotistical, spine-of-jelly, marshmallow-loving, yellow-bellied charlatan co-opt our cause. What in the world were you thinking of when you invited him to speak?

This “one-state-at-a-time” slogan should have been a clue that this was all wrong. That’s the same slogan some hoodwinking bunch used to close down the websites that linked the state Tea Parties together, that gave us a forum, that let interested parties know where the rallies were going to take place. They didn’t like the idea of us going rogue; they had no idea that we had the guts to do it back in February of 2009, when the Tea Parties were just a mad scramble of people running around, which was probably the image they wanted people to have of us.

They didn’t expect us to take matters into our own hands in April of 2009. They didn’t figure on us being so well-organized and smart. They had to figure out a new strategy to deal with us, some way to head us off at the pass. To undermine us. Infiltration didn’t work. They had to find a way to destroy our networking ability.

They decided for us that we had to take a “new direction.” Yeah, straight to the center and into the arms of the very moderates who sold us out in the first place. This is just another maneuver of theirs to silence the real independents of the real Tea Parties – the Conservatives.

We’ve already won, have we, says Glenn Beck? Why doesn’t he just wave a gold watch in front of us, while he’s at it? We’ve won? I wouldn’t bet on it. You can also bet your Molly Pitcher rammer that we’re being had. Fold our hands, nod our heads, go “baaaah” and go right back to sleep.

To think I was almost going to waste my time and money on this “event” and throw off my obligation to my band. Not!!

Don’t give up there, Betsy Ross! Don’t let this Glenn Beck guy hornswaggle you into not wearing your costume. I’ll be with you at the next REAL Tea Party rally, wearing my Molly Pitcher costume.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Three E’s – Engineering, Economics, and Entrepreneurship

Obama and the Democrats insist that the Republicans threaten to dismantle their precious socialist plans but have no plans of their own. That’s not true; the Media has simply been ignoring the Republican plans.

Roland Straten, running for Congress in New Jersey’s 8th District, has a degree in engineering, economics, and was an entrepreneur – in a word, he’s really smart. He has plenty of good ideas. He sent this memo out to his supporters. We need to disseminate these ideas out to the general public, especially the besieged 8th district in New Jersey.

Three Specific Actions that Congress can take to End the Recession

Straten Forecasts 8% unemployment rate in two months

The Recession and the Party of NO

Republicans are continuously attacked as being the party of NO. The truth, however, is quite the opposite. The solutions offered by Republican candidates are largely ignored by the media.

Since Bill Pascrell does not understand Economics 101, which covers the concept of free markets and the supply/demand curve, I am forced to give him a failing grade and move on to Business 101.

The first lesson in Business 101 is that the massive stimulus package that was to give us an 8% unemployment rate during the summer of recovery did nothing of the sort. Instead, it gave us a 9.6% unemployment rate and the largest deficit in the history of our country.

The second lesson is that business does not like uncertainty. Corporate leaders will do anything do avoid uncertainty.

The third lesson is that business hates surprises, especially from Washington. Business wants to know the bad stuff up front so they can plan for it. I used to tell my employees to give me the bad news right away so that I could take the needed action to minimize the effect on the company.

Three major sources of uncertainties and surprises are:

1. Taxes

2. Health Care Costs

3. Cost of Capital (Interest rates and loan availability)

For business to expand, invest, and hire, it needs an end to the uncertainty about what Washington will do next year. Businesses are just completing their budgets for 2011. How can they plan effectively if they do not know what their tax rate will be, if they do not know what their health care costs will be, and if they do not know if they can get a loan or what that loan will cost should they need one?

Right now congress is fiddling while Rome is about to be burned with a massive tax increase. No one knows for sure what will happen. We hear that congress will do something, but we have no idea what that something is. Everything is on hold until we get some insight on what Congress will do next year. Unless Congress, acts we will have a massive tax increase on Jan 1, 1011. Unless Congress acts, we could have a massive increase in health care costs next year. And finally, loan costs could skyrocket or loans could become totally unavailable.

As a result business is sitting tight not spending, not buying, not hiring -- doing nothing until they find out the bad news so they can plan.

Our federal government must take three simple actions and business will start hiring and investing ending the recession. I forecast that if we take these three simple actions, the unemployment will rate will be 8% or lower 2 months after they are signed into law.

The three actions are:

1) Make the current tax code permanent. (extend the current tax code permanently)

2) Repeal the current health care bill known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Address the key health reforms that need to be made: Allow purchase across State lines -- Tort Reform -- Delink healthcare policies from Employers -- Health Policies should be transportable -- Reduce Mandated benefits -- Keep Medical Decisions in hands of Doctors in Patients.

3) Allow the federal discount rate to increase to 2% (the federal discount rate is now .75%) -- this allows banks to borrow at almost nothing and lend out from 4.75% to 18% -- individuals get minimal return for their investments and need to get some return on their investment)

If Washington does these three simple things, I forecast that within two months unemployment will drop to 8% or lower.

Roland Straten
Box 43254, Montclair, NJ 07043
Paid for by StratenforCongress (there was no fee for appearing on this blog)

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