Monday, July 27, 2009


After listening to so many African-American talking heads on cable news offer thoughtless, knee jerk endorsements of Professor Gates' tantrum and the President's foolish decision to inject himself into the matter of Gates' arrest, it's refreshing to listen to these black cops speak in support of officer Crowley:

If liberal America wants to see what race relations could be like in America if we'd just start seeing each other as people and not as identity groups they should watch this video.


<i>Taken </i> and Torture

I watched the movie Taken starring Liam Neeson the other night and wondered what those who think that torture is absolutely wrong would say about Neeson's character's behavior. Neeson plays a retired CIA operative named Bryan Mills whose daughter is kidnapped in Paris by Albanian sex slave traders.

Mills sets out after his daughter and her kidnappers, leaving mayhem and carnage in his wake, in a pursuit that strains credulity but nevertheless wins the viewer's forgiveness because it's, well, interesting. Along the way Mills resorts to some rather unorthodox means of interrogation and it was here that I wondered about the anti-torture absolutists.

Let us, just for the sake of discussion, imagine that a man's daughter had really been kidnapped and sold into sex slavery, and the man found it necessary, in order to find and rescue her, to use methods which would give Eric Holder and Barack Obama an attack of the vapors. Would the anti-torture absolutist maintain that the man did the wrong thing?

Now if you are such an absolutist, before you answer the question you have to subject yourself to the movie, otherwise you might not appreciate the dilemma Bryan Mills faced. So, have at it. Let me know if you blame Mills for using torture or if you think he was justified, but only if you've seen the movie first.


Bumper Sticker

Seen in Florida:

"You don't see Obama stickers on cars going to work."

Unfortunately, if we get cap and trade and the Democrat version of health reform, you won't see many cars going to work.


Throw Granny Off the Train

Betsy McCoughey at the New York Post fills us in on the disturbing views of two of President Obama's close medical advisors. The first is Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of Mr. Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Here's what Ms. McCoughey tells us about Dr. Emanuel. Read it carefully and think about the kind of world these men would lead us to:

Savings, [Dr. Emanuel] writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, "as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others."

Yes, that's what patients want their doctors to do. But Emanuel wants doctors to look beyond the needs of their patients and consider social justice, such as whether the money could be better spent on somebody else.

Many doctors are horrified by this notion; they'll tell you that a doctor's job is to achieve social justice one patient at a time.

Emanuel, however, believes that "communitarianism" should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia."

Translation: Don't give much care to a grandmother with Parkinson's or a child with cerebral palsy.

He explicitly defends discrimination against older patients: "Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years."

The bills being rushed through Congress will be paid for largely by a $500 billion-plus cut in Medicare over 10 years. Knowing how unpopular the cuts will be, the president's budget director, Peter Orszag, urged Congress this week to delegate its own authority over Medicare to a new, presidentially-appointed bureaucracy that wouldn't be accountable to the public.

Since Medicare was founded in 1965, seniors' lives have been transformed by new medical treatments such as angioplasty, bypass surgery and hip and knee replacements. These innovations allow the elderly to lead active lives. But Emanuel criticizes Americans for being too "enamored with technology" and is determined to reduce access to it.

Dr. David Blumenthal, another key Obama adviser, agrees. He recommends slowing medical innovation to control health spending.

Blumenthal has long advocated government health-spending controls, though he concedes they're "associated with longer waits" and "reduced availability of new and expensive treatments and devices." But he calls it "debatable" whether the timely care Americans get is worth the cost. (Ask a cancer patient, and you'll get a different answer. Delay lowers your chances of survival.)

Obama appointed Blumenthal as national coordinator of health-information technology, a job that involves making sure doctors obey electronically delivered guidelines about what care the government deems appropriate and cost effective.

In the April 9 New England Journal of Medicine, Blumenthal predicted that many doctors would resist "embedded clinical decision support" -- a euphemism for computers telling doctors what to do.

Americans need to know what the president's health advisers have in mind for them. Emanuel sees even basic amenities as luxuries and says Americans expect too much: "Hospital rooms in the United States offer more privacy . . . physicians' offices are typically more conveniently located and have parking nearby and more attractive waiting rooms."

Evidently, convenience and comfort are amenities we should not expect in Dr. Emanuel's, and thus Barack Obama's, brave new world. Nor should we expect care for those beyond a certain age, the quality of their lives representing an expense the state shouldn't have to bear.

No one has leveled with the public about these dangerous views. Nor have most people heard about the arm-twisting, Chicago-style tactics being used to force support. In a Nov. 16, 2008, Health Care Watch column, Emanuel explained how business should be done: "Every favor to a constituency should be linked to support for the health-care reform agenda. If the automakers want a bailout, then they and their suppliers have to agree to support and lobby for the administration's health-reform effort."

Do we want a "reform" that empowers people like this to decide for us?

We've noted in the past that modern progressives are kissing cousins to 20th century totalitarian fascists. Drs. Emanuel and Blumenthal do nothing to dispel that notion. That President Obama is quietly surrounding himself with such men - Dr. John Holdren, his science czar, being another like-minded advisor - is not just disturbing, it's frightening.