Thursday, October 1, 2009


Rep. Joe Wilson was chastised by his colleagues in the House of Representatives for loudly expostulating with the President during a speech Mr. Obama made to a joint session of Congress on health care. The President averred that illegal immigrants will not be covered by his plan, and Rep. Wilson took umbrage, accusing him of lying.

It turns out that the congressman was right to feel that the President was playing fast and loose with the facts. After all, if the President was correct why do the Democrats keep voting down amendments to the various health care bills that would require anyone seeking coverage to present proof of citizenship? The Hill reports:

Senate Finance Committee Democrats [today] rejected a proposed requirement that immigrants prove their identity with photo identification when signing up for federal healthcare programs.

Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said that current law and the healthcare bill under consideration are too lax and leave the door open to illegal immigrants defrauding the government using false or stolen identities to obtain benefits.

Grassley's amendment was beaten back 10-13 on a party-line vote.

If the Democrats don't intend to cover illegals why not write the legislation so as to guarantee that illegals can't game the system?

We've also been assured that the President's plan will not cover abortions, a matter of some concern to those taxpayers who believe, not unreasonably, that an abortion gruesomely snuffs out a child's life and shouldn't be subsidized by their tax dollars. Yet here we find the Democrats defeating GOP efforts to insure that the proposed health care reform bill contains unambiguous language to that effect:

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) said the [prohibitions on abortion] in the current law could easily lapse. He called on Mr. Baucus to fold the language into the health bill, making it permanent law. "Let's codify it," he said.

Abortion-rights supporters said the rights of women were in danger. "This is not maintaining the status quo," said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D., Wash.). "It is a major, major change, and a poison pill."

The Hatch amendment failed 13-10 on a mostly party-line vote. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R., Maine) joined Democrats in opposing it, while Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota was the lone Democrat in favor.

The panel also rejected an amendment Mr. Hatch said was needed to ensure the government doesn't discriminate against health-care providers who refuse to perform abortion procedures for moral or religious reasons.

Again, the same question arises. Why oppose language in the bill that would accomplish what the Democrats say they want to accomplish?

And then there's President Obama's promise from early on that he wouldn't sign any legislation that the public didn't have a chance to read, but Republican efforts to have the health care bill put online for a mere three days prior to the vote so the public can study it - even if legislators won't - are meeting with stout resistance from the Democrats. Informing the public about what their elected representatives are up to is evidently asking more than what Democrats can be expected to bear.

In other words, the Democrats, both in the Congress and the White House, seem to be making it clear that they simply can't be trusted to tell us the truth about their intentions, and that they can't be trusted to govern in the best interests of the people they're supposed to be serving. It really is a shame.


Dawkins' New Book

Richard Dawkins, the atheist evolutionary biologist who wrote the best-seller The God Delusion, has a new book out, titled The Greatest Show on Earth, in which he discusses the evidence for evolution. Dawkins is interviewed by Newsweek's Lisa Miller who poses an interesting question or two:

Why were you motivated to write this book?

Well, it's about the evidence for evolution. Evolution is one of the most fascinating ideas in all of science. It explains your existence and mine, and the existence of just about everything we see. How can you possibly ask what motivated me? It's just a wonderful subject to write a book about.

Is this supposed to be the definitive refutation of creationist arguments?

Well, it's amazing that there needs to be a definitive refutation of them, but yes, if you put it like that, it is a propitious time from that point of view. Any time would have been a good time for this book.

Excerpts from the rest of the interview are at the link. I haven't read the book yet, but I have read The God Delusion (and wrote an extensive critique of it here). If the case for evolution in Greatest Show is as well-argued as was the case against God in God Delusion, those creationists won't have much about which to worry.


Hypocrisy Among the Glitterati

It is surely a symptom of a hopelessly decadent culture that a man in his forties, Roman Polanski, can drug a thirteen year-old girl, anally rape her as she pleads with him to stop, admit to the crime, flee the country, and then have much of Hollywood and even some feminists protest his arrest and extradition back to the U.S. to be held accountable for his crime.

Joan Z. Shore writes at HuffPo that she's outraged at the Swiss for arresting Polanski who, she tells us, is really very charming:

The 13-year old model "seduced" by Polanski had been thrust onto him by her mother, who wanted her in the movies. The girl was just a few weeks short of her 14th birthday, which was the age of consent in California. (It's probably 13 by now!) Polanski was demonized by the press, convicted, and managed to flee, fearing a heavy sentence.

I met Polanski shortly after he fled America and was filming Tess in Normandy. I was working in the CBS News bureau in Paris, and I accompanied Mike Wallace for a Sixty Minutes interview with Polanski on the set. Mike thought he would be meeting the devil incarnate, but was utterly charmed by Roman's sobriety and intelligence.

And this from a co-founder of Women Overseas for Equality. You've come a long way, baby.

The poor, maligned Mr. Polanski in a 1979 interview reflected on his crime and demonstrated the depth of his remorse by expressing his feelings about young girls. It's not pretty.

If you check the link just imagine that Polanski were not a celebrated filmmaker but rather a Catholic priest or even worse, a Republican. Do you think there'd be anyone in Hollywood not in favor of hanging the guy from the nearest tree? Why should this man get sympathy just because he makes movies?

One might be forgiven for thinking that the deep concern for the status of women in this country is, for at least some of those foremost among women's advocates, merely a pose struck by phonies who wish to be seen holding fashionable opinions. There's no conviction in their high-minded paens to women's rights and women's equality. This was clear during the nineties when women's groups which had flayed Clarence Thomas for having allegedly made an off-color remark in the presence of the delicate and sensitive Anita Hill completely ignored the credible allegations of rape and sexual abuse made by several women against President Clinton.

Now, because the rapist is one of their own, an artist of great talent, they think he should be permitted his perversions. These people give a whole new meaning to the term "double standard."