have heard of the impious doctrine in the old world, that the people were made for kings, not kings for the people. Is the
same doctrine to be revived in the new, in another shape...?” —James Madison
“Change” the channel!
By Mark Alexander
At the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing, I found
a small Chinese flag had been placed on my seat, and on 90,999 other seats in the Bird’s Nest stadium. Needless to say,
I did not wave that flag—we smuggled in our own 3x5 foot American flags, which we displayed with honor. But there was
a sea of little Red flags around us.
Apparently, the organizers
of the big Demo confab in Denver took a cue from the Chinese and supplied small American flags on every delegate’s seat,
which the cadre of Obamaphiles waved obediently and incessantly. (I suspect those flags were made in China.)
No small irony here that the subject of all this fervor, Barack Hussein Obama, refused until recently to wear that flag on his lapel, much less recite a pledge to it.
Of course, all the flag waving played well for the TV audiences, but liberal protagonists have always
been about appearances, appealing to feeling, style over substance.
as I previously summarized in an essay entitled, “Why the Left can’t get it Right,” ask liberals about some manifestation of their worldview—for example, why they support a charlatan like Obama—and
their response will be predicated by, “Because I feel...”
the other hand, ask conservatives about what they believe, or why they do or don’t support John McCain, and their response
will be predicated by, “Because I think...”
crowning, we witnessed a stadium full of feelers—sensitive, emotional, sentimental types, bursting with tearful glee
at the prospect of one of their kind becoming the next president of the United States.
Now, I don’t mean to suggest that there is something wrong with strong feelings; had I not
contained my own on occasion, there’d be fewer Leftists on our planet. It’s just that we need to set our feelings
aside when making serious decisions, such as who will be our next commander in chief.
All this notwithstanding, here are a few “feeling” moments from the past week.
Nancy Pelosi felt proud: “I am very proud of the Democrats in Congress,”
the House Speaker told delegates. Proud of what, that the Democrat-controlled Congress now has an approval rating of 9
percent? Or are they proud of all the feel-good resolutions coming from Pelosi’s colleagues in the House—more
than 1,900 of them—a congressional record?
John Kerry felt
the need for change: “We need a leader who understands all our security challenges, not just bombs and guns, but global
warming, global terror and global AIDS.” That assertion left me wondering why anyone would vote for Hussein instead
of McCain. Of course, I had to think about it.
Since Jesse Jackson
had already let us know how he feels about Obama, Bill Clinton took his place at the podium, lip quivering as he felt our
pain. And Hillary was just radiant, feeling that all the stars were aligning for her campaign in 2012.
Michelle Obama felt good about herself. “I left a job at a law firm for a career
in public service, working to empower young people to volunteer in their communities.” I suppose the best part of that
feeling is the $275,000 annual salary she draws from a privately owned hospital whilst “working to empower young people.”
And Michelle no doubt felt good about hubby Barack, who she says
will “bring us together and remind us how much we share and how alike we really are.” Can’t you just feel
Capping the DNC love fest, The One himself, whom I fully expected
to walk onto his Greek temple set in a toga and gold laurel leaf crown, appeared before thousands of delirious, glossy-eyed sycophants who were chanting his
mantra. Obama, a master propagandist whom running mate Joe Biden described as “the first mainstream African American
who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” albeit “naive,” offered his own slate of
feel-good sentiments about a “country I believe in.” (How about that American flag lapel pin on his $1,600 suit!)
In short, Obama constructed his ruse around a few themes.
He insisted that he is our savior, the embodiment of a “promise that has always
set this country apart—that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come
together as one American family.”
He promised to reverse
the “failed policies of George W. Bush,” and a “third” Bush term, as he frames McCain’s policies.
He proclaimed that, “Ours is a promise that says government...
should do that which we cannot do for ourselves” and proceeded to outline the same worn socialist policies his “useful idiot” predecessors have promoted for the last half century.
final appeal to the faithful, Obama promised a presidency “that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that
binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better
place around the bend.”
At least he was able to correctly
identify the city he was in this time.
I am sure it comes as no
surprise to genuine American Patriots, those who recognize a kindred spirit in the Patriot character of presidential candidate John McCain, that at the conclusion of Obama’s coronation in Denver, thousands of those little flags ended up in trash bags with other delegate refuse.
It’s not that those Demo flag-wavers
don’t like our national flag, it’s just that they don’t have a clue about the “Republic for which
it stands,” or its seminal document of incorporation, our Constitution, or the Patriots who have pledged “To support and defend... so help me God,” or the hundreds of thousands who have given their lives to honor that pledge since our founding.
Obama certainly does not get it.
end, of course, no amount of logical dissent will make a lick of difference to most Democrat voters. Logic, after all, requires
thoughtful analysis, and the Democrat hordes are too busy feeling great about Obama to muck that up with logic.
(PUBLISHER’S NOTE: There are 67 days before the presidential election. Please
visit PatriotShop.US to view our popular collection of political merchandise. Let your opinion be read loud and clear! As always, proceeds from
PatriotShop.US support our mission of service to America’s Armed Forces.)
of the week
“If Socrates had engaged in an interminable
presidential campaign in a media-drenched age, perhaps he, too, would have come to seem banal. But the fact that Obama lost
nine of the final 14 primaries might have something to do with the fact that when he descends from the ether to practicalities,
he reprises liberalism’s most shopworn nostrums... Obama’s rhetorical extravagances are inversely proportional
to his details... The diminished enthusiasm of some voters hitherto receptive to his appeals might have something to do with
the seepage of reality from his rhetoric.” —George Will
recent death of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn should make us recall what he said when he was awarded the Nobel Prize: ‘The
timid civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other
than concessions and smiles.’ What would a Barack Obama presidency mean, other than more concessions and broader smiles,
while Iran goes nuclear?” —Thomas Sowell
The BIG lie
I’ve got news for you, John McCain: We all put our country first.” —Obama
This week’s ‘Alpha Jackass’ award
McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war [in Iraq]... You don’t defeat a terrorist network
that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don’t protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington.
You can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances.” —Obama
GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
Campaign watch: Obama picks Joe Biden as VP
Despite the lackluster efforts of some Hillary Clinton dead-enders to de-rail his train at the Demo Convention,
Barack Obama is now the official Democrat nominee for president of the United States. Yet the real news of the week was that
Barack Obama, the Senate’s most liberal member according to the non-partisan National Journal, chose Delaware
Senator Joe Biden, the Senate’s third most liberal member, to be his vice presidential running mate. So much for balancing
So much for “change,” too. Biden is a
Beltway lifer, having been first elected to the Senate in 1972, while Richard Nixon was carrying 49 states against George
McGovern, while John McCain was languishing in the Hanoi Hilton, and while Barack Obama was a sixth-grader at the elite Punahou
School in Hawaii. Biden is supposed to bring two qualities to the table: experience and foreign policy expertise. Biden does,
in fact, chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and he voted in favor of the 2002 Iraq War Resolution. Obama, who was
then a part-time Illinois state senator representing Chicago’s notoriously liberal Hyde Park, opposed the removal of
Saddam Hussein, calling it “the most important foreign policy decision in a generation.”
Biden, like Obama, is the slippery sort. This is, after all, the same guy who withdrew from the 1988
Democrat presidential primary after being caught plagiarizing British Labour party leader Neil Kinnock in his stump speeches.
Biden also plagiarized a law review article at Syracuse University, lied about having attended college on an academic scholarship,
lied about how many degrees he had earned, and lied about having graduated in the top half of his law school class (he was
76th in a class of 85). “I exaggerate when I’m angry,” Biden once said, “but I’ve never gone
around telling people things that aren’t true about me.” Clearly, this guy can’t even tell the truth about
not telling the truth.
Biden’s comments about Obama in the
early days of the presidential contest certainly call into question whether the six-term senator has much respect for his
younger colleague. When Biden was himself a candidate for president, he said that the White House was not a place for “on-the-job
training,” a swipe at Obama’s youth and inexperience. Biden also got himself into hot water when he noted that
Obama was “articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” a remark the thin-skinned Obama campaign interpreted
as racist. Biden has made more than his share of slips over the years. It happens when one’s mouth is constantly running.
The strengths that Biden might bring may not be enough to offset
Obama’s glaring weaknesses, particularly in light of Biden’s own issues. And the comedy of errors that surrounded
the VP announcement last week didn’t help. Obama had apparently made his decision early last week, but wanted to keep
it quiet until the Saturday before the convention when he and Biden could campaign together. Consequently, the press was told
they would be notified by text message, which led to a series of fake messages being sent by pundits playing the guessing
game and pranksters looking for a good laugh. Everyone from Indiana Senator Evan Bayh to Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps
was announced as Obama’s VP selection, leading some in the media to disregard the actual pick when it finally came out
at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. What media strategist in their right mind makes a press announcement at 3:00 in the morning
on a weekend? As Rush Limbaugh suggested, maybe Obama is just trying to prove that he can indeed make a decision at 3:00 a.m.
Or maybe he’s just inadvertently proving that no matter who he picks as his running mate, he just doesn’t have
what it takes to make a coherent decision.
All that said, however,
the most significant shortcoming of Joe Biden might be his vanity: We all know he’s had hair plugs surgically implanted
in his scalp, but how on earth did he ever get those gleaming white choppers?
Hillary never had a shot at VP
As the Democrats in Denver call for unity and look forward to the November contest, it now becomes
clearer than ever that Barack Obama never gave Hillary Clinton serious consideration as a possible running mate. Obama’s
staff did not approach her once with any requests for paperwork or background access that is standard in the VP vetting process.
After Obama sealed the nomination in June, he ducked questions from the media and Clinton supporters about his intentions
for her by noting that Clinton was the most closely vetted candidate out there and that she would not need to go through the
process again. Advisers close to Obama, however, knew that such a partnership could never work, particularly after the bruising
battle between him and Clinton for the nomination.
had no luck in getting Obama to help her with her campaign debt, either, something he would have been somewhat obliged to
do by picking her. She obliquely solicited his help after admitting defeat, and he suggested that his supporters help her
alleviate the $25 million debt her campaign accrued. Two months later, though, Clinton’s debt still stands at $24 million,
$13 million of which is owed to the candidate herself. While that portion is likely to be forgiven and forgotten, other creditors,
including former campaign advisor Mark Penn’s firm, are still awaiting payment. Given the Obama campaign’s distaste
for Penn, Clinton shouldn’t count on any help there. Per his campaign rhetoric, Obama wants to lift everyone above debt
and out of the poor house, but he’s not going to help his enemies—or even his own brother—and he’s surely not going to do it with his money.
make no mistake—while Hillary and Bill Clinton each gave “emphatic” and “forceful” pleas at
the convention for Democrats to unite behind Barack Obama, it’s doubtful they will help Obama’s campaign. They
may even work toward his defeat.
“Imagine if it were the [GOP] undergoing equivalent convulsions [to those of
the Democrats]. Let’s say Mitt Romney’s supporters demanded an open floor vote and were seething with public resentment
against John McCain, the way Hillary’s delegates are against Obama. Add to that former President George H.W. Bush verbally
undercutting McCain at every opportunity, in the manner of Bill Clinton’s anger toward Obama regarding Hillary, because
of, say, statements he made against his son, the sitting president. Finally, what if Mike Huckabee were involved in a cheating/love
child scandal the way John Edwards is, and had become so much of an embarrassment that, like Edwards, he couldn’t even
speak to his own party’s convention after winning lots of electoral votes? Is there any doubt that the Democrats and
the media elites would classify such a GOP convention as the biggest fiasco in the history of party politics?” —Investor’s
GOP convention speakers draw concern
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain has been known to be at odds
with conservatives in his party, so his strategists are on the lookout for any opportunity to prove otherwise. Inviting moderate
Republican Rudy Giuliani to be a keynote speaker at next week’s convention in Minneapolis, however, looks like a lost
one. Giuliani, whose own campaign imploded after his inane strategy of skipping the first five contests to focus on winning
Florida’s big one, is admittedly pro-choice, pro gay-marriage and pro-gun control. In other words, he’s a Democrat
in elephant’s clothing. Terrorism and national security are Giuliani’s supposed strong points, and that is what
his focus will probably be, thus allowing the GOP to reframe the contest in a national security light.
Liberal Democrat Joe Lieberman is also slated to speak. He is rumored to have an outside
shot at being chosen McCain’s running mate. While that is highly unlikely to happen, Lieberman’s and Giuliani’s
speaking appearances at the convention will send mixed signals to say the least. Worse, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger,
the man who saved California from Gray Davis and then tried to ruin it himself, will be speaking as well.
Meanwhile, conservative Republicans that should be on the docket have been
left off: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. The GOP prides itself on being a Big Tent, which
sometimes is one of its strengths, but there is a fine line between being inclusive and trying to be all things to all people.
The Democrats claim they are the former when they often practice the latter, and it has yet to serve America. Republicans
would be wise to keep that in mind.
As we go to press, McCain
has not announced his vice presidential pick, though according to Fox News, “Speculation about who John McCain would
name as his running mate focused on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin after reports circulated early Friday that two short-listers—[former
Massachusetts Gov.] Mitt Romney and [Minnesota Gov.] Tim Pawlenty—were out of the running.” Palin would be slick
politically—a young woman who is known for her reformist ways would counter Obama’s supposed strong point.
Stevens wins, Young not sure
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) won his primary bid this week despite having been indicted for lying on Senate disclosure reports
and concealing more than $250,000 in home renovations and gifts from oil industry executives. Stevens won big, too, with 63
percent of the vote, though he faced six challengers, who split their votes. He now faces an uphill re-election battle against
Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. It’s a shame that Alaskans seemingly aren’t willing to part ways with the 40-year
pork king of the Senate, but it may happen anyway if Stevens is convicted and removed from office. Also facing a tough primary
Tuesday was the state’s at-large Rep. Don Young, an old veteran who likewise faces ethics charges. Young currently leads
his primary against Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell by only 152 votes, with thousands of absentee ballots yet to be counted. Vote counting
will not conclude until 5 September, and the results officially will be certified on 16 or 17 September.
Warfront with Jihadistan: Withdrawal agreement
Iraq and the United States reached a tentative agreement last week for the gradual withdrawal of U.S. combat
troops by the end of 2011—contingent on conditions in Iraq between now and that date, of course. While we certainly
can be hopeful of continued progress in Iraq’s ability to govern and protect itself, the deal is intended first and
foremost to soothe Iraqi feelings and thereby bolster Prime Minister Maliki’s political safety. If Iraq is not prepared
to protect itself by the end of 2011, the agreement is not binding in its call for the removal of all U.S. troops. Iraq’s
Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Haj Hamoud stressed that “if the Iraqi government at that time decides that it is
necessary to keep the American forces longer, they can do so.”
for pundits, pols and presidential candidates on the Left to claim this deal as vindication of their “out of Iraq now”
stance over the last three years. It most assuredly is not. The Left’s demand was for the immediate removal of U.S.
troops regardless of conditions in Iraq, and regardless of the consequences of a headlong withdrawal. Nor is the deal a repudiation
of John McCain’s statement that he would support a long-term U.S. presence in Iraq. The deal would still leave many
thousands of American troops in Iraq beyond 2011, training and supporting Iraqi forces. We sincerely hope that Iraq is a stable,
self-governing and secure nation by 2011, and that U.S. combat troops can be drawn down significantly by then. But all concerned
should clearly understand that this deal is about internal Iraqi politics first and foremost, and is only secondarily about
the actual removal of U.S. troops.
Answering the critics on Iraq
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Ron Suskind claims in his recently released book,
The Way of the World, that in early 2003 the White House learned that Saddam Hussein no longer possessed weapons
of mass destruction but decided to proceed with the war anyway. Suskind writes that British and U.S. intelligence
officials obtained this WMD information in secret meetings with Saddam’s spy chief, Tahir Habbush. But the book’s
most explosive allegations are that under White House orders, the CIA forged information designed to influence public opinion
about the war and enlisted Habbush’s help to write a fake letter stating that Iraq helped train Mohamed Atta, leader
of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks.
If all of this is true,
then the Bush White House broke numerous U.S. laws and lied to the American people about the war in Iraq. Too bad for the
Looney Left, the book is little more than a cheap spy novel, the stuff of which paranoid leftist fantasies are made. Last
Friday, the CIA issued an extensive rebuttal based on an internal agency investigation. It included a full records search
and interviews with those officers directly involved in operations in Iraq at the time. No one, including foreign intelligence
services, could substantiate any of Suskind’s claims. Naturally, Suskind stands by his book, but even many of his alleged
sources have now disputed his accounts. Suskind retorts from his safe house that the administration is pressuring his sources
to change their stories. And coming to their comrade’s rescue, House and Senate oversight committees, which, with $4-a-gallon
gas, the Long War, a slowing economy, etc., apparently have nothing better to do, are investigating Suskind’s claims.
Is it asking too much for Congress to give up wild goose chases and concentrate on the real world?
Profiles of valor: USA 1st Lt. Pixler
October 2007, then-First Lieutenant Ross Pixler of the United States Army Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment,
3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division was on patrol in al Bawi, Iraq, when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle was hit by an IED. The
ensuing explosion killed three fellow soldiers and wounded Pixler, the driver and the gunner. Pixler, acting on his training,
immediately checked on the driver and gunner, both of whom were unconscious, and then took up a defensive position. “Everything
goes really fast, and I wasn’t really stopping to think about what I was doing,” he said. “I was doing what
I was trained to do.” Still reeling from his concussion, Pixler and the rest of his unit had to fight off a small arms
attack; Pixler directed air support as well.
Hours later, as the
attack was repelled, Pixler and the other survivors were loaded onto another Bradley and began moving toward base when another
IED exploded, crippling that vehicle. The soldiers then fought off a second attack before finally making it back to their
base. For his bravery and tenacity while injured and under attack, Pixler was awarded the Silver Star. Now-Captain Pixler
considers it “an award for every single one of the soldiers that were out there, and the ones that can’t come
Immigration front: ICE offers aliens a deal
Between 5 August and 25 August, Immigration and Customs Enforcement offered a special
program to 457,000 illegal aliens who have no criminal records yet have failed to follow a court’s order to leave the
country. The pilot program, Operation Scheduled Departure, had offices in six U.S. cities where aliens could “turn themselves
in, get their affairs in order and leave the country without being detained.” The program was advertised on Spanish
language media in the cities where the ICE offices are located.
to Julie Myers, HSD Assistant Secretary for ICE, the program would have assuaged the “concerns raised by aliens, community
groups and immigration attorneys who say ICE unnecessarily disrupts families.” But Jim Hayes, who supervises deportation
for ICE, claimed that advocacy groups and lawyers had counseled eligible aliens not to participate—as an act of protest.
“What the advocates state is that... we don’t like enforcement of the law itself,” Hayes said.
In any case, the program was a bust, enrolling a total of eight (that’s 8) aliens.
Hayes saw it as a victory because it proved the efficacy of capturing illegal aliens over trying to coax them to comply in
the current climate of entitlement. None of the eight has yet departed, Hayes said. They are an Estonian, two Indians, two
Guatemalans, a Lebanese, a Mexican and a Salvadoran, proving that, if nothing else, the U.S. government is an equal opportunity
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Revised economic picture
than expected” was the buzz once again for the economy in the second quarter after the Commerce Department released
revised numbers this week. The new numbers indicate that “gross domestic product, or GDP, increased at a 3.3 percent
annual rate in the April-June quarter,” reports the Associated Press. The government had originally reported growth
of only 1.9 percent, short of its forecast of 2.7 percent. Of course, the good news is not good enough to impress the army
of economic-expert editorialists, er, reporters at the AP. They warn, “Still, the growth pickup is not likely to be
seen as a lasting sign that the fragile economy is back on solid ground.” It should go without saying that current growth
is no predictor of future economic activity, but the AP simply cannot leave readers feeling optimistic. AP continues, “A
growing number of analysts fear that the country will hit another economic pothole in the fourth quarter.” These analysts
who have been wrong all year—not only was there no recession, but we had “better than expected growth” —will
continue with their depressing drumbeat despite every report to the contrary.
the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File
are pushing for a four-day workweek to “limit unnecessary commuting” in these “times of high gasoline prices.”
The extra day off will not come for ordinary Americans, however, but federal bureaucrats. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
(D-MD) said, “I believe the federal government should do all it can to ensure that federal agencies and departments
are appropriately reducing gasoline consumption.” We think a little extra time off for bureaucrats could be a really
good thing... but for other reasons.
Meanwhile, House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lived up to the dignity of her office this week by taunting pro-drilling protesters in Denver. In answer
to signs that read “Drill Here, Drill Now,” Pelosi coyly replied, “Right here?” and “Can we
drill your brains?” Heaven knows we wouldn’t find much between Pelosi’s ears.
To wit, the Speaker doesn’t even know what fossil fuels are, declaring Sunday, “I believe
in natural gas as a clean, cheap alternative to fossil fuels.” Memo to Nancy: Natural gas is a fossil
fuel. We think she’s just confused because she and her husband have invested so heavily in natural gas—to the
tune of $50,000 to $100,000. Move along, folks. No conflict here.
From the ‘Court Jesters’ File: Legal lotto
Gambling is a risky business, but it sure paid off for a retired police officer in
Minnesota, thanks to the misguided generosity of a jury. The man was recently awarded an $8.2 million judgment—mostly
punitive damages. A longtime gambler, the man claimed that the prescription drug Mirapex, used to combat Parkinson’s
Disease, caused his gambling habit to become a compulsion which led to financial losses amounting to $204,000. While Boehringer
Ingelheim and Pfizer, the manufacturers of the drug, did issue a warning in 2005 that Mirapex may cause compulsive behavior,
The Gambler has admitted that he had been taking the drug for more than four years before his gambling became compulsive.
Clearly this fact was irrelevant to the jury during deliberation.
the issue here is not even that the plaintiff won, but the crippling amount of the award. When wronged, people have a right
under the law to be made financially whole. But punitive damages in the millions can cripple industry’s creativity and
technological advances. For example, whereas the coffee case debacle led to widespread use of coffee sleeves and temperature
warnings on Styrofoam, cases like the one over Mirapex may hinder the development of new drugs that help millions of people
fight pain and disease. Drug companies already spending between $800 million and $1.7 billion for the development of a new
product may think twice when they have to worry about the army of rapacious ambulance chasers and jury awards in the millions.
Republicans should restart their 1990s tort law reform efforts.
In addition to alcohol and cigarette and drug
smuggling, we should soon be able to discuss incandescent light bulb smuggling. That’s right folks, as we have reported
before, those geniuses we continue to elect to Congress decreed that 20-cent filament light bulbs must be replaced by $3 compact
fluorescent lights (CFLs) beginning in 2012. Readers may note that only the manufacture and sale of the bulbs will be illegal,
not possession. Buy incandescents now while it’s still legal.
it is true that, properly used, CFLs are more energy efficient than filaments. They do claim “up to” 10,000 hours
of life. But proper use involves long periods of continuous use, proper disposal to avoid mercury poisoning, buying fixtures
in which they will fit—something we’re sure most folks are looking to do anyway—and living with the fact
that they simply will not turn on completely bright, taking time to warm up. We’re sure Congress thought of all that
when making this tough decision for the American public. Free choice in the marketplace is overrated anyway.
Village Academic Curriculum: Pre-K
crime... send your toddler to preschool! Such was the message brought to Washington last week by law enforcement personnel
and universal pre-K advocates in hopes of bending Congress’ ear—and loosening its purse strings. Supporters like
David Kass, president of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, pointed to a report released by the organization stating that boosting
graduation rates through implementing government-funded pre-K will save $10 billion in annual crime costs as well as preventing
3,000 homicides and 175,000 aggravated assaults annually. In fact, so eager is Kass’s group for Uncle Sam to become
Professor Sam that it would include “in-home parenting coaching” in its program.
Unfortunately, Kass has a ready ally in Barack Obama, whose “Zero to Five” plan would
farm even infants off to government-run schoolhouses—at a cost of $10 billion per year.
Obvious—and compelling—arguments that parents are a child’s best teachers aside,
data show that preschool is not universally beneficial and may actually be harmful to children. According to James Heckman,
a University of Chicago Nobel laureate in economics, “[T]he solid evidence for the effectiveness of early interventions
is limited to those conducted on disadvantaged populations.”
fact, as noted in a recent Wall Street Journal column, while preschool attendance has skyrocketed from 16 percent
to almost 70 percent in the last 50 years, fourth-grade reading, science and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational
Progress (NAEP) have remained nearly unchanged since the early 1970s.
what matter the facts when a federal entitlement is involved? Unfortunately, not much to those who want Washington to whisk
away toddlers from their parents for the imagined utilitarian good of the greater society.
Faith and Family: HHS protects doctors
A measure proposed by the Bush administration last week would prevent healthcare organizations
that accept federal dollars from penalizing doctors who refuse to perform abortions on moral grounds. “Freedom of conscience
is not to be surrendered upon issuance of a medical degree,” said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael
Leavitt. “The first principle of free speech is protected conscience.” If implemented, nursing homes, doctor’s
offices and other organizations that violate the measure would have their federal funding terminated. This stands in stark
contrast to last week’s Supreme Court of California ruling that doctors must artificially inseminate any woman who requests
it, regardless of the doctor’s religious beliefs.
Parenthood, however, is predictably none too pleased about the HHS rule. “Women’s ability to manage their own
healthcare is at risk of being compromised by politics and ideology,” said its president, Cecile Richards. Some groups
have argued that doctors would take advantage of the rule and refuse to prescribe birth control. Sec. Leavitt countered, “This
regulation is not about contraception. It’s about abortion and conscience. It is very closely focused on abortion and
Abortion groups have promised
to put up a fight, but it’s doubtful that concerns over issuance of birth control will create enough leverage to turn
the tide. The measure is very specific in its scope to protect “any individual healthcare provider or institution from
being compelled to participate in, or from being punished for refusal to participate in, a service that... violates their
Earlier this month, the Rocky Mountain News headlined, “With DNC in mind, city bans carrying
urine, feces.” Knowing Democrats, this sort of thing was certainly going to be a problem. The report began, “Poo
and pee dominated a public hearing... on a new law that prohibits people from carrying certain items if they intend to use
them for nefarious purposes.” Uh, who carries those things around for non-nefarious purposes? The city council turned
out to be prophetic, however. The Denver Post reports, “A 22-year-old Massachusetts man was arrested Monday
after police saw him carrying a bottle filled with feces.” How he got it in the bottle remains a mystery. The
University of Massachusetts student was charged with “interference, disturbing the peace and possession of ‘irritants’
in public.” A police spokesman explained that an “irritant” is something that smells bad. The student, who
was the first to be arrested under the new law, complained that the cops who arrested him stretched his shirt, adding, “I
did not deserve to be arrested because I’m here to organize community and take part in a beautiful new world.”
So in that beautiful new world, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do with poo