Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Lies Continue On ObamaCare


The president and his team at the White House have obviously fixed on a strategy todeal with the fallout of the failed ObamaCare, and it's fairly typical. They're going to find someone else to blame, simply continue to lie about it and hope the low information voters and True Believers buy it.

Today, while HHS secretary Kathleen Sibelius was taking the flak for him in front of Congress, President Obama was in Boston, speaking at Faneuil Hall and trying to sell ObamaCare to the rubes one more time.

He's dropped the 'if you like your health plan you will be able to keep it' horse manure in favor of blaming the insurance companies for what he terms 'substandard insurance policies' and telling people to 'just shop around for a better deal' ignoring the fact that those who have are stunned by the high deductibles and high premium prices:

"One of the things health reform was designed to do was to help not only the uninsured but also the under-insured," Obama said. "And there are a number of Americans, fewer than 5 percent of Americans, who've got cut-rate plans that don't offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident.

"Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received or used minor pre-existing conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy."

This is an excellent example of the sort of contempt the president regards us with. He knows full well- or he should if he's going to run his mouth in public like this - that ObamaCare allows absolutely no payments to 'out of network' doctors unlike most current insurance policies, so the real risk of being under-insured and going bankrupt is having a heart attack, a car accident or a similar emergency where immediate treatment is required at the closest available facility while you're 'covered' by one of these wonderful new ObamaCare a price of $20,000 per year for a family of five for ObamaCare's Bronze policy, the minimum coverage available with with deductibles ranging from $4500-6,000.

Such a great deal! If President Obama really wanted to weed out "bad apple insurers" who don't provide enough coverage as he said in his speech, he could start by repealing ObamaCare.

Not only that, but the president knows very well that the insurance companies were compelled by the ObamaCare regulations to cancel most of these policies because under the arcane regulations of ObamaCare adopted after the bill was passed, policies that underwent any changes after March 23, 2010 when this tyranny became law are disqualified to be grandfathered, even if they were for choices you made yourself, such as eliminating coverage for maternity care if you or your spouse was past childbearing age or opting to pay a higher premium for a lower deductible.

The festivities continued on Capitol Hill, where DHHS Secrfetary Kathleen Sibelius was questioned by the House. She was there, of course, to fall on her sword as one of the president's loyal functionaries and take full blame for the results of following his orders. Unfortunately, Congress wasn't in the mood to play that game:

Hey. you lost your health insurance because of us and the premiums for a new policy are five times as expensive? Whatever.

And her response to Rep. Steve Scalise, who refused to let her get away with blaming this expensive fiasco on the insurance companies is worth watching, if nothing else but to see how Secretary Sibelius regards the little people that Rep. Scalise has to remind her that they both work for:

As a final coup de grĂ¢ce, at the very moment Secretary Sibelius was testifying to congress that the ObamaCare website had never crashed, CNN ran footage showing it crashing.

Hilarious! ObamaLie Supermix "If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep It"

Heh! A supermix of clips from the prognosticator-in-chief.

H/t Snoopy at Simply Jews

Watcher's Council Nominations - ObamaCare Trick Or Treat Edition

Welcome to the Watcher's Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the 'sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday.

Council News:
This week, Ask Marion, Maggie's Notebook, The Independent Sentinel, and The Pirate's Cove took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status for some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won't be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor  by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It's a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let's see what we have this week....

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How Obama Leans On Whistleblowers And Intimidates Reporters

My friend and Council mate Debra Heine over at Nice Deb has a fine piece over at Breitbart I recommend to your's a slice:

When Obama was elected in 2008, his ascension to the White House was deemed "historic" because he was our first black president, and Americans were rightly proud of that. Unfortunately, Obama has been a "historic" president in other ways, too - ways that should horrify and alarm Americans. His administration's brazen efforts to silence whistleblowers, intimidate reporters and businesses that don't play ball with him have been unprecedented. We are living through highly troubling times.

This White House has a long track record of bullying reporters as a tactic to ensure only positive coverage and suppress free speech. And Obama has used the DOJ as a political arm to enforce allegiance to his agenda.

Keith Koffler, who has covered the Bush and Clinton White Houses, as well as the Obama White House has written at length about the Regime's bullying tactics.

When White House officials, particularly members of the press office, see a story they don’t like, they often call and verbally abuse the reporter who wrote the piece.

In diatribes often peppered with obscenities, they complain of profound injustice, bias, lack of relevance – anything they can think of to get reporters to back off their story.
It’s not just a series of uncontrolled outbursts. It is a planned, methodical, and highly artificial effort to either squash a story or get inside a reporter’s head so they think twice about doing a piece next time that negatively impacts Obama.

That this is an actual policy is evident from the consistency of the practice and its implementation by nearly every member of the White House press office staff. They are all nice, affable people who suddenly switch into an unmarked gear and begin running you over at full speed.

Koffler noted that he's "seen this done by press people from the Bush and Clinton administrations. But only on rare occasion, and generally with a legitimate grievance in hand. But never have I witnessed this type of bullying of the press in such a systematic, intense, and frequent manner."

Because the examples of this are legion, I thought it would be a good idea to aggregate a number of these stories in one spot. These are not isolated incidents. They are the result of purposefully thuggish policies perpetrated by nasty, thuggish people. It's the sort of thing you would see in a third world Banana Republic.

Read the whole thing here.

Backdoor Gun Grab - EPA Forces Closure Of Last Lead Smelter In U.S.


The Left badly wants American citizens disarmed and denied their Second Amendment rights, and they'll achieve that by any means necessary...including using Obama Environmental Protection Agency to severely impact the price of ammo:

In December, the final primary lead smelter in the United States will close. The lead smelter, located in Herculaneum, Missouri, and owned and operated by the Doe Run Company, has existed in the same location since 1892.
The Herculaneum smelter is currently the only smelter in the United States which can produce lead bullion from raw lead ore that is mined nearby in Missouri’s extensive lead deposits, giving the smelter its “primary” designation. The lead bullion produced in Herculaneum is then sold to lead product producers, including ammunition manufactures for use in conventional ammunition components such as projectiles, projectile cores, and primers. …
Doe Run made significant efforts to reduce lead emissions from the smelter, but in 2008 the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for lead that were 10 times tighter than the previous standard. Given the new lead air quality standard, Doe Run made the decision to close the Herculaneum smelter.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration and SWAT teams attached to non-military or police governmental agencies like Fish and Game or the EPA itself have purchased billions of rounds of ammo for themselves...and are training their agents to shoot first and ask question later when it comes to what are euphemistically called 'non-traditional targets' like pregnant women, children and the elderly.

Of course, ammo can be imported, and there are shooters who roll their own and save their cases,but the idea is to deplete the supply of available ammo and make it horrendously expensive. Look for arcane 'taxes' on ammo purchases as well, something California and other Democrat run states are already salivating over.

The national security implications of this are pretty staggering as well. If we get involved in a shooting war in the next three years, there will be a significant delay before facilities like Doe Run can tool up and start production again.

But that's not the primary concern of the Obama Administration. Their focus seems to be on maintaining the ability to guard the elites and impose tyranny from within.

UPDATE:  The EPA regs in question were actually passed under George W. Bush ( after 2006, when the Democrats had a strong majority in Congress), and Day by Day's Chris Muir actually printed a correction. What's different is the way they're being enforced, and a climate where the Feds are pushing radical gun control while buying up as much ammo as they can get their hands on with other people's money.

Obama Lied, Knew Millions Would Lose Their Health Insurance

By now,most Americans are beginning to understand that when President Obama told Americans that if they liked their doctor, their present health plan, they'd be able to keep it, it simply wasn't true.

However, as we're now finding out, it goes far beyond that. The president deliberately lied, knowingly lied, along with his team.

In another, astonishing random act of journalism, NBC, of all places revealed that ObamaCare was deliberately constructed to destroy the health coverage of millions of Americans and force them on to government exchanges, with much less coverage and far higher premiums. And this president knew it all along:

Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”

None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date -- the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example -- the policy would not be grandfathered.

Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”

That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.

Yet President Obama, who had promised in 2009, “if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan,” was still saying in 2012, “If [you] already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.”

“This says that when they made the promise, they knew half the people in this market outright couldn’t keep what they had and then they wrote the rules so that others couldn’t make it either,” said Robert Laszewski, of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, a consultant who works for health industry firms. Laszewski estimates that 80 percent of those in the individual market will not be able to keep their current policies and will have to buy insurance that meets requirements of the new law, which generally requires a richer package of benefits than most policies today.

Actually, Laszewski estimates that as many as 16 million Americans will lose their health insurance because of ObamaCare.

Note the part I emphasized.Any changes made to your existing policy after March 23, 2010 when this tyranny became law disqualified it to be grandfathered, even if they were choices you made yourself, such as eliminating coverage for maternity care if you or your spouse was past childbearing age, eliminating an adult child from your policy because he or she obtained his or her own insurance, or increasing the co-pay for yourself and your employees slightly to keep costs down or to add more employees to your policy. It doesn't matter...even if you are perfectly satisfied with your coverage as it is, your insurance company will be told your policy doesn't meet ObamaCare standards and that cancellation letter will go out informing you that you no longer have health insurance come January 2014.

The Democrats are busily spinning this and trying to blame the insurances companies, since the companies are the ones issuing the cancellation letters. But the truth of the matter is they have little choice in the matter. Unless you are employed by a very large company or government agency (like a city or state bureaucracy) that can afford to absorb the expense of compliance with ObamaCare's arcane requirements because they can spread the cost out among a large group of employees, or unless your employer is politically connected enough to get a waiver or a subsidy like members of the governing class, you are likely to lose your insurance because private companies will be unable to absorb the cost of insuring small groups or families with individualized coverage.

Once you're forced to shop the exchanges, you'll discover what so many Americans already have... the sticker price of ObamaCare's Bronze coverage,the cheapest available with the highest deductible and the lowest sticker price is going to cost a family of five, two adults and three children, in excess of $20,000 per year. And that's a conservative estimate, guaranteed to go up as more and more healthy young adults opt to pay the penalty and the system needs more taxpayer dollars to cover the Medicaid patients whom qualify for the subsidies.The Medicaid patients signing up for ObamaCare in droves, and are the vast majority of those signing up for the exchanges. There's always an unlimited demand for free stuff at someone else's expense.

That also applies if you are fortunate enough to get your insurance through a very large company or government agency. At present, you're able to keep your present insurance,but your time is coming. While you may not lose your insurance outright, at least at first, you can expect vast increases in your co-payments to cover the cost of ObamaCare compliance.

Even worse, since ObamaCare unlike most current insurance policies does not allow any payments to 'out of network' doctors whatsoever, all it's going to take is a heart attack, a car accident or a similar emergency where immediate treatment is required at the closest available facility to put the average American who is forced to buy 'coverage' through ObamaCare into bankruptcy. That alone should blow the White House claims that the cancellations are due to insurance companies declining to meet standards for 'increased coverage' out of the water.

ObamaCare's failure is what was planned from the start, with the resulting misery and chaos ending with millions of desperate Americans being herded in single payer and the Sovietization of America's healthcare.Even the Medicaid patients who are happily signing up for their free coverage have no clue about what is ultimately in store for them.

The president bloviated a great deal about being a 'warrior for the middle class' during the 2012 campaign. Given what he knew about ObamaCare at the time, the term 'rapist' would have been more appropriate. Including the parts about the desire for power, domination and control. We've already seen how the president used the IRS to attack his political enemies. Imagine what will happen when they have access to all your data and can decide who gets a medical procedure and how long they have to wait to receive it based on how you voted or whom you donated to.

No wonder the president lied about it.

Here's another thing to consider. The president has the power to call up the HHS and instruct them to change the regulations and honor the promise he made again and again for two years. He isn't doing this because he was always determined to break that promise.

And that's illustrative of one of the main problems with the current occupant of the Oval Office, something that comes up again and again. He has no moral core, no standards of what most of us would refer to as common decency. It's a common thread running through his stance on infanticide, his use of the IRS as his political goon squad, the misuse of a trillion dollars worth of 'stimulus' to pay off his political allies, his cavalier ignoring of Federal Law, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and the myriad of other scandals swirling around the Obama White House. And it runs through ObamaCare as well.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hilarious! Viral Saudi Video Mocking Ban On Women Driving

Now, where else but in the Middle East would you find an acapella Bob Marley infused vid making fun of the Saudi ban on women driving...

By the way, the reference to keeping the ovaries safe was the official government rationale for keeping the ban in place, believe it or not. Enjoy!

Forum:What Do You Predict The Ultimate Fate Of ObamaCare Will Be?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day. This week's question
: What Do You Predict The Ultimate Fate Of ObamaCare Will Be?

The Independent Sentinel: Obamacare will devolve into a single payer system. That is what the Medicaid expansion was about. Forcing millions into the government-run program is the beginning. That is why we saw the negative reaction from Democrats when the Supreme Court of the United States gave states the option to opt-out of the expansion.

People are flocking to Medicaid in droves. Obamacare will be Medicaid for all, and unfortunately, it's a poor system that pays doctors and hospitals too little.

Medicare lost $716 billion in future payments to doctors and hospitals. The money was transferred to the Medicaid expansion.

The Medicare rationing has already begun.

There are now rewards for hospitals that do not help seniors and there are penalties for those that do according to IBD: Hospitals that spend the least on seniors get bonus points, and higher-spending hospitals get demerits. Hospitals will even be penalized for care consumed up to 30 days after patients are discharged, for example, for outpatient physical therapy following a hip or knee replacement. There will be far fewer joint replacements, cataract surgeries, bypass surgeries on the elderly.

Several of the doctors I know told me it is too late. Our healthcare system is ruined.

The local hospitals on Long Island are facing closure because of the burdens being placed on them. Catholic hospitals that accommodate 1 out of 6 patients in America are facing closure due to the penalties that will be imposed on them for refusing to provide abortifacients and related services. Charitable hospitals are facing their demise.

It will be all government, a government that does not allow judicial recourse.

 The Glittering Eye: Cutting to the chase, here's what I wrote as a comment to this post of mine:
My off-hand conjecture is that on April 1, 2014 the scope of the problem of lack of healthcare insurance will be about the same as it was on February 1, 2009, healthcare will be substantially more expensive, and a bit more than five years will have been allowed to elapse without addressing the fundamental problem of cost.
There are no prospects for the PPACA being repealed until after 2016. Neither the president nor Senate Democrats will allow that to happen. As to its fate after 2016, who knows? The frequent assertion that once enacted into law entitlements are sacrosanct is incorrect—the long-term care benefit enacted and repealed during the Reagan Administration is an example that comes immediately to mind as does AFDC.

As of this writing it looks very likely as though the PPACA will run into cost overruns more rapidly than anyone could possibly have imagined. That's clearly what will happen if 85% of those who sign up for insurance under the plan are enrolled in Medicaid and the balance are already sick and desperate enough for insurance that they'll put up with the ordeal of registering for insurance under the federal exchanges.

Working together those will make decreasing healthcare's outrageous costs all the more urgent than it was in 2009 and, sadly, the PPACA does very little beyond wishful thinking to do that.

The Right Planet  : There isn't enough pixels in the universe to contain all my work on the #ObamacareFAIL.

Bookworm Room: I don't care if Obamacare fails. I hate the thought of our country's medical care and economy failing..... (Especially since my husband currently earns a nice living thanks to the medical care system.) I foresee lean times ahead.

Simply Jews : I know that I will, most probably, piss off my Republican friends on this forum. However, my answer is less about this specific (and very doubtful) implementation of healthcare, rather about what I wish to happen in USA regarding that painful issue. So, instead of the ultimate fate let's talk about the ultimate hope.

As one who has experienced for several years one of the existing medical insurances in US, here is my impression:
  1. Devilishly expensive, even for generally healthy people
  2. The "pre-existing conditions" could probably kill one with time
  3. Excellent medical care is followed (or even preceded in some cases) by a bureaucratic nightmare and a maze of phone calls with people who don't understand, aren't eager to help and in general couldn't care less.
  4. Out of work - out of luck, or very soon so.

My apologies if I am wrong in some details, some time has passed since. Besides, we were mostly healthy then.

What I wish to happen to my American friends: a complete reform of the medical care, based on successful examples that proved to work in some countries:Japan, Israel, France and several others. Make it simple and efficient and make it work. And yes, add optional private insurances for those who want some additional bells and whistles - I am not a commie enough to be against this.

If you look at this table, US has the most expensive healthcare. Meaning the money is already there, and there is more than anywhere else in the world.  It is just used (abused) by insurance companies very inefficiently. So the issue is not the lack of funding, rather the poor organization, spiraling uncontrolled insurance/care costs and chaotic oversight of the whole system, which by now became too complicated to manage successfully.

Will Obamacare succeed? They way it was set up - as a doubtful system of compromises and as an additional superstructure on top of the already crumbling base - I doubt it. But at least it may speed the process of destruction of the current status-quo and the birth of a really workable and working healthcare system.

And, by the way, there is another, but closely related, issue of litigation, ambulance chasing in simple words, that has helped the prices of treatment skyrocketing, doing the same to the insurance prices... this must be reigned in too.

 GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD:Whale, I have absolutely no idea so I'm going with Skippy Klein's Ouija board here:

1. Affordable Care Act is a success, and liberals build on it
Under this outcome, the law works as well as or better than its supporters predicted. After some initial hiccups, it expands insurance coverage to those in need without disrupting the health care experience for those who are already satisfied. The cost-control measures work, and providers are able to deliver better care at a lower price by taking advantage of government incentives to be more efficient. As a result, the government saves hundreds of billions of dollars on Medicare without seniors noticing any cuts to their benefits and access. Young and healthy Americans flood into the insurance market to offset the cost of providing insurance to older and sicker Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions. The new insurance exchanges are vibrant marketplaces offering beneficiaries a wide range of options, promoting competition that drives down the cost of premiums. Over time, more individuals and businesses demand access to the exchanges, and America evolves into an exchange-driven single-payer system.

2. Affordable Care Act is an epic disaster and it gets fully repealed
Under this scenario, the law unravels. The cost controls do not work, proving especially troublesome for smaller regional hospitals. They either start closing, stop accepting Medicare or cut services. This effectively reduces the benefits seniors can get out of Medicare, and they, along with industry lobbyists, pressure Congress into undoing the cuts that are one of the primary offsets to the law’s trillions in new spending. On top of this, new taxes kick in – mandate penalties, the insurance premium tax, the medical device tax, pharmaceutical tax, etc. – and businesses struggle to adjust to a raft of new regulations. The exchanges are swamped with technical problems and poorly administered, making it difficult for individuals to sign up. Not many insurers participate in the exchanges, meaning they don’t offer sufficient choices to promote competition. New regulatory requirements drive up the price of premiums, so young and healthy Americans decide they’d rather pay a penalty than invest in costly insurance. Without the younger and healthier people in the risk pool to offset the cost of sicker Americans, insurers raise premiums even further, prompting yet more individuals to exit the insurance market. And so, the dreaded insurance “death spiral” ensues. In the meantime, newly insured individuals start taking advantage of their free or heavily subsidized care, but the capacity of the health care sector does not grow quickly enough to meet demand, translating into long waits at doctors’ offices and difficulty getting appointments in the first place. The ensuing backlash from all fronts leads to a Republican takeover of the Senate in 2014 and helps elect a Republican president in 2016. At some point in 2017, a new Republican president signs a law wiping Affordable Care Act off the books.

3. Affordable Care Act is largely a disaster, but it survives, and possibly expands
At some point at least some constituency of voters will be deriving some benefits from the law. It’s one thing to support repeal when it means voting against theoretical subsidies for theoretical beneficiaries. But once the law goes into place, repealing the law would mean stripping away benefits from people actively receiving government aid. Let’s say, in 2017, there’s an incoming Republican president with – at best – control of the House and a narrow Republican Senate majority. Would he or she be willing to use reconciliation to push through a repeal bill when confronted with Democratic attacks that it would take millions off the Medicaid rolls and make millions more lose their subsidized private insurance? Republicans have not traditionally shown themselves to have the political fortitude to roll back entitlements once they are in place. At the same time, if Republicans do not respond with an alternative to clean up the mess, then liberals will begin to blame problems in the health care sector on the idea that Affordable Care Act left too much control in the hands of private industry. This will prepare the groundwork for a further move toward a socialized single-payer health care system, perhaps by, say, re-introducing a “public option.” There have been many times in American history when failures of government policy led to further expansions of government. Limited government advocates should be wary of this happening with Affordable Care Act.

4. Affordable Care Act is largely a disaster, and it gets reformed
Under this scenario, a combination of public backlash and adverse court decisions forces Congress to re-open Affordable Care Act. It doesn’t get fully repealed, but it gets reformed. Perhaps, for instance, exchanges remain, but there are far fewer restrictions on what type of insurance can be offered, broadening the range of options and providing more affordable choices for those who don’t have as many medical needs. States may be given actual flexibility on the operation of the exchanges, and Medicaid funds become block granted. Insurance is made accessible to those with pre-existing conditions without the “guaranteed issue” and “community rating” policies that force insurers to cover everybody who applies at a price effectively set by government. This allows Congress to get rid of the federal individual mandate.

 Liberty's Spirit:Note: I am going to address this as the parent of two special needs children. Someone who has had to pay hundreds of thousands for therapies, support systems and doctors that are not covered under any insurance plan. I have seen what the high cost of healthcare can do to do a family in this country and there is no question that there needs to be an overhaul of the entire system. So I am NOT against many of the provisions of Obamacare: allowing children to stay on their parents health insurance until they are 26 (for those of us with special needs children this is financial helpful. The cost for them for health insurance would have been staggering if our children could even get health insurance at all); not allowing insurance companies to deny a policy due to preexisting conditions (most insurance companies would not write a new policy for someone with autism, epilepsy and any other preexisting conditions); providing for autism treatments, etc. However, as the child of a parent on medicare advantage (Humana) I am concerned that this terrific program is going to end.

I am going to start off from another rather rebellious position....I think there is nothing wrong with requiring people to carry health insurance. If hospitals have to treat people when they get sick, there has to be some way that those bills get paid. Most people who have no insurance do not end up paying their hospital bills and that means the rest of us are left with the cost when we are sick. The problem is that the way the law is written it is still financially better for some people to pay the fine rather than carry health insurance. (Israel, which has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, requires their population to carry insurance plans.)

Also there is a huge issue with the general cost of medicine. Most nations that have socialized medicine negotiate with drug companies about how much they can charge, which means the American people end up paying the drug company's loss when we by our medication. This has not been addressed.

The cost to educate a doctor is ridiculous. But that is the issue with the cost of higher education (another issue for another day). So many doctors coming out of medical school are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and need to find a position that allows them to live and pay off their student loans. This makes healthcare very expensive in this nation.

Death panels are a big issue. The idea that bureaucrats will decide whether someone has the right to medical care is frightening. However, at the same time, insurance companies decide whether they will pay for some medications, surgeries and therapies, which if you cannot afford these on your own, can become a form of a death panel as well. The idea that certain persons (age, illness) and those with disabilities, do not have the same right to life as those of a certain caliber is replete in society and as seen by the writings of those like Ezekiel Emmanuel, who helped craft Obamacare, eugenics is considered not only acceptable but for the betterment of society. Furthermore, the targeting of conservatives by the IRS does not engender competence that politics will not be used as a weapon to deny healthcare to those who challenge the policies of the executive branch (which is what happens in a fascist society.)

There is no provision in Obamacare where you can sue the government if you disagree with a ruling by the panel. The law is that you cannot sue the federal government unless they allow it (sovereign immunity.) Unlike at present where you can sue your insurance company if they rule against you for a treatment, Obamacare does not allow for this remedy. Administrative relief is not always enough.

The issue with Obamacare is that the provision that the republicans wanted, the right to sell insurance across state lines, which would have brought down the cost due to the real free market, was rejected. The reality is that instead of providing people with a lower cost, more effective form of health insurance, Obamacare is a nightmare and does nothing to reduce the costs of healthcare in this country.

The exchanges are too costly and do not offer most people the same type of insurance that they were used to carrying. This needs to be fixed. No I do not blame Obamacare per se that people's insurance policies have been canceled. Instead of complying with Obamacare the insurance companies have simply decided to cancel the policies and push people into the exchanges. While this was foreseeable, it is the choice of the insurance companies.

It is embarrassing that the government website is such a disaster. It does not engender competence that DC will be able to fairly and effectively regulate healthcare.

Will it survive? Yes it will. Does it need tweaking? Absolutely.

 JoshuaPundit:  ObamaCare as it is now will almost definitely fail. Among other things, it depends on young, healthy people applying for overpriced policies with scanty coverage and ridiculous deductibles that will not even cover them in the event they need emergency coverage from 'out of network' doctors. They're staying away in droves, while the vast majority of people now signing up for the exchanges are people that qualify for MedicAid, there being an unlimited demand for free stuff at someone else's expense. There is no way to fix  this basic problem without spending huge amounts of money, because medical providers will simply opt out in order to avoid going bankrupt. And actually, that's  the whole idea.

Let's start out with this basic truism - ObamaCare was never about healthcare per se. It is about increased taxation (and unconstitutional taxation at that, as anyone who can read the Constitution can discover for themselves) and government control.  As I wrote a week or so ago, the end game for ObamaCare is single payer with government mandated rationing and ultimately  the Sovietization of American healthcare. It was designed to fail, and as it does, the Left will hold out the carrot of single payer as a panacea.

I have always said that anyone unwilling to utter the words 'tort reform' and to deal with America's problem with illegal aliens (another huge factor in driving up healthcare costs nobody wants to mention) is not serious about reforming healthcare and reducing the cost of it to the average citizen.

Tort reform hasn't happened because the majority of members of congress are lawyers, many with practices back home, while the various trial lawyer associations are major donors to the Democrat party.And illegal aliens and those that advocate for them are becoming a constituency for a lot of politicians in Washington.Senator John  McCain's chief financial backer, for example, is the owner of the Spanish language media giant UniVision.

ObamaCare is  the only major social legislation ever passed in America by one party alone, and the manner in which it was pushed through is in violation of rules that have governed how laws are passed by congress in our Republic for well over a century. It also is a perversion of the Constitution because it provides a precedent wherein the Federal government can use its police power to force its citizens to buy something  or not buy something  just  because.  The damage done to our institutions if ObamaCare stands as a precedent will be horrendous.

Another issue no one wants to discuss is the issue of social control. Government bureaucrats will decide who rates certain procedures and who doesn't. Given how the IRS has been used in an unprecedented fashion to wage war on the Obama Administration's political enemies and is in charge of enforcing ObamaCare, is anyone naive enough to believe that the huge amount of personal data accessible because of ObamaCare won't be used to deny medical procedures outright to those whom don't vote or donate correctly? Or at least send them to the back of the line?

And people actually laughed at Sarah Palin,  one of the first public figures  smart enough to point this out .

Will ObamaCare survive?  Not if we wish to remain a free people. The 2014 elections will be key in determining whether the law is simply frozen until it can be repealed or whether it eventually morphs into single payer.That is something the American people will decide.

 The Colossus of Rhodey: I predict that ObumbleCare will survive -- but in a drastically altered form. Let's face it: The promises made by Boss Obama and his acolytes virtually ALL turned out to be lies. "Keep your doctor?" Yeah, right. (I can see Obama spinning that one: "You CAN keep your doctor. If you lost your coverage, it wasn't because of a government mandate. Your insurer made that decision on their own!") "Costs will go down?" A total fantasy for the vast majority of Americans.

If something substantial is not done in the next few months, the 2014 mid-term elections may make 2010 (and 1994) seem pitiful in comparison. The GOP House majority could become prodigious, and the Senate could flip to Republican control, perhaps by a sizable margin. There is almost nothing Boss Obama can do to pin the ObumbleCare disaster on the GOP; he and the-then Democrat controlled House and Senate passed this clusterf*** without a SINGLE Republican vote. Not. One. Obama and the Democrats own this. 100% completely.

I believe that some of the worst aspects of the law will be repealed; that is, unless the Democrats want to get crushed next November. By next summer we'll see that the employer mandate will be excised, and the individual mandate will as well. What will replace the latter is not for me to say; perhaps Obama will propose some new tax on millionaires and/or corporations to pay for those who need health coverage. But HOW he will do this will be fun to watch given that he NEVER takes responsibility -- or apologizes -- for anything. Expect much ridiculous spin and blaming of the GOP, the Koch Brothers and, of course, "racism" along the way.

Rhymes With Right:Frankly, I have very little hope regarding ObamaCare. I don't see it being overturned by the courts, I don't see it being repealed by Congress, and I don't see it working anything like it was advertised. The most likely outcome I see will be even worse for America than what is currently enacted into law.

Let's be honest -- the ruling by the Supreme Court in 2012, and the opinion written by John Roberts in particular, were a disaster. The notion that the penalties in the legislation are a tax is completely at odds with the legislative history of the bill (such as it is) and the claims of the Obama Administration. The president and his henchmen admitted as much at the time of the ruling and have continued to do so since then. Based upon admissions made within days of the ruling that the Solicitor General's office had committed a fraud upon the Court by making the argument that the penalties were taxes and and their arguments that John Roberts and the liberal wing of the Court got the decision wrong, the losing parties in the case should have made an appeal for rehearing under the Supreme Court's Rule 44. Unfortunately they did not do so, and so it is likely that any future Supreme Court decision will continue to abide by the precedent in place.. At most we will see some nibbling around the edges based upon First Amendment issues and statutory language regarding state vs. federal exchanges, but no judicial flip on the question of constitutionality.

As for repealing ObamaCare, we don't have the votes in Congress to do it, or even delay it one second longer than Obama wants it delayed for. After all, The Democrats control the Senate, Harry Reid is refusing to run that body in a collegial fashion, and there is no way we can get a veto-proof majority in either house of Congress even if Reid allowed the Senate to consider repeal legislation. That means that Obama can stop any Congressional effort to repeal ObamaCare with a stroke of his pen. The same will be true after the new Congress is seated after the 2014 elections -- there is no way the GOP will have the sort of landslide that it would take to get to a veto-proof majority, and without one Obama will still wield the veto pen.

Which leads to the question of the implementation of the law. We've already seen that it is a fiasco and will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future. Software doesn't work, prices are high, and millions are losing the medical insurance they like and the doctors they have been seeing, promises by Barack Obama notwithstanding. By 2016 it will be clear just how big a failure ObamaCare is -- but too many Americans will already be dependent upon it. Republicans campaigning on a platform of repealing ObamaCare will be depicted by the Democrats and their media toadies as seeking to "take access to healthcare away from millions of Americans who cannot afford it". Any Republican plan to replace ObamaCare with something else will be attacked by the lapdog media as even worse than the status quo. And into the fray will step Hillary Clinton and other Democrats who will declare that the failure of healthcare reform was the fault of Republicans who "opposed fixing the system" in 1993, refused to "work with us to care for the poorest Americans" in 2009, and whose efforts to thwart ObamaCare after the passage of the law was nothing short of a program of sabotage responsible for the every unpleasantness experienced by Americans due to ObamaCare's failure. Their proposal will be nothing less than a single-payer system -- perhaps "MediCare for All". Presuming that the GOP does not manage to pull off a trifecta by holding the House, gaining a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and winning the White House, we will see the passage of a single-payer bill by the end of 2017. Any likely 2016 winner (and no, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Sarah Palin are not likely winners), regardless of party, will sign the resulting legislation on the basis that it will be better than ObamaCare -- though I question whether that will prove to be the case over the long term. At that point we will have a federal health care system funded by massive tax increases for all but the poorest quintile.

Do I truly see such a dystopian future? Sadly, I do. The choices of the GOP since the adoption of ObamaCare have brought us to a position where we have failed to stop ObamaCare and are unlikely to find ourselves positioned to undo ObamaCare. The result will be the ultimate success of the sort of single-payer system that the Left has been seeking, the resulting expansion of federal power, and the increasing irrelevance of the Constitution as a blueprint for limited government and maximum individual liberty. The Reaganite vision of my youth will have failed, only to be replaced with an Obamunist state that will collapse within two generations.

 The Razor:If you would have asked me four years ago, I would have said the Democrats would never stoop to using a legislative trick, reconciliation, to pass a law without a single Republican vote. Two years later I would have said there was no chance that a conservative supreme court justice would have allowed this mess to pass the test of constitutionality. Now I have to guess what it’s ultimate fate would be? Have you ever watched The Walking Dead? If this legislation doesn’t remind you of a zombie, I’m not sure what law would.

At this point I’m not sure what it would take to kill it, beyond a GOP triple play (owning both houses of Congress plus the White House). One that happens the GOP had better be ready with their own well thought out health care plan to replace this mess with.

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y'know?

Lou Reed 1942-2013


Singer songwriter Lou Reed has taken his final walk on the wild side, making the passage at the age of 71. The cause was apparently complications related to a recent liver transplant.

He died in Brooklyn, not too terribly far from where he was biorn and is survied by his wife, performance artist Laurie Anderson.

Reed first surfaced musically back in the 1960's with a group called The Velvet Underground, together with John Cale, a classically trained cellist and violist,guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen "Mo" Tucker. They specialized in avant-garde rock, with Reed's lyrics on songs like 'Heroin' 'Run Run Run'. 'Waiting For The Man' and 'Venus In Furs' delving into gritty urban themes that included drug addiction, sadomasochism and homosexuality.

That made them absolutely perfect for artist Andy Warhol, who took over as their manager and featured them in the dada art scene that eventually became known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable.

The group never sold much and were not popular anywhere but certain parts of the greater New York area.In an effort to increase sales, Warhol had them add German singer Nico to the lineup for their debut album 'The Velvet Underground And Nico'.It didn't do much business, but it caught the ears of a number of people and became one of those seminal albums. Oddly enough, while the VU was never exactly popular, a lot of people ended up being influenced by them. I forget whom it was that said that maybe 50 people actually were fans of the VU, but every one of them formed a band. In a sense, Reed was the godfather of punk,influencing people like David Bowie, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and a whole slew of the New York punk scene.

Reed eventually surfaced a year or so after the VU broke up with a solo album on RCA, 'Transformer' produced by David Bowie and Bowie's guitar player Mick Ronson which did moderately well, providing Reed with a hit, 'Walk on the Wild Side' that was basically a series of short vignettes about some of the folks he knew back in the Warhol/Exploding Plastic Inevitable days.

Lou Reed's whole career was odd in that he rarely was all that popular, but his influence continued to be outsized. People tended to take his ideas and clean them up for commercial consumption. For instance, I have a bootleg of him in Australia playing a version of 'Waiting for The Man' (a song about hanging out waiting for his drug dealer to show up with the goods, of course) with an arrangement that Talking Heads borrowed almost note for note for their own hit cover of Al Green's 'Take Me To The River.'

That's simply how it went.

I was never a huge fan, simply because I have to be in a certain mood to listen to Reed's music and I'm seldom in that mood. But I'll when I am, albums of his like 'Berlin', 'Magic And Loss', some of the VU's better moments and the odd song here and there remain pretty compelling. His work meant a lot to a lot of people and his reach,in the end, exceeded his grasp. There's not much more an artist can ask for than that.



Sunday, October 27, 2013

60 Minutes On Benghazi: "Yes, They Were Left To Die and You Were Lied To"

60 minutes pulls off a surprising and devastating act of random journalism, courtesy of ace reporter Lara Logan. CBS says they spent almost a year investigating what happened that night in Libya, and it proves beyond a doubt the Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, President Obama, Jay Carney and the rest of the White House crew knowingly lied about Benghazi to the American people.

Not only that, but the report shows the White House and the State Department were fully aware that an attack was being planned (they even knew that one of the former Guantanamo inmates we kicked loose for no good reason was instrumental in planning the attacks). They did absolutely nothing before the attack and nothing afterwards, even though the assault went on for over nine hours. Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty held off the numerically superior jihadis for hours virtually alone before dying on a rooftop while waiting for back-up that never came.

In the case of the president and Secretary Clinton, they actually stood by the caskets perpetuating that lie to the families of the men who were murdered by al-Qaeda thanks to their negligence, so as not to jeopardize President Obama's re-election.

One thing the report doesn't get into is exactly what our Ambassador was doing stationed in an indefensible compound in the middle of al-Qaeda territory with zero security when even the Red Cross had pulled its people out. For those of you with an interest, I believe you'll find the answer here.

I'm curious as to whether our media's going to ask President Obama and Hillary Clinton why they deliberately lied to the American people and blamed an obscure video for Benghazi while standing  in front of those flag draped coffins of the men they left to die.

The ghosts of the four men who died in Benghazi that night are restless, and they continue to demand justice.We owe them that.

No Bid Contract For ObamaCare Website Was Given To Michelle Obama's Pal And Sorority Sister

There's an interesting thing that's surfaced regarding the disastrous $678 million ObamaCare website.

The company that built it, CGI Federal received a no bid contract to build the site, even though four other companies submitted bids which were never reviewed. Only CGI’s bid was considered.

And wouldn't you know it, there are a couple of other interesting coincidences.

As the Daily Caller reported, Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is the senior vice president at CGI Federal...and not only a classmate and friend of the First Lady, who graduated from Princeton the same year, but a sister at the all black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha and a fellow member of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.

And to add to the mix, there's George Schindler, president of CGI, who became an Obama Campaign donor after CGI won the lucrative contract.

Even more interesting, there are rumors that CGI Technologies and Solutions, Inc. PAC – CGI Group’s political action group that donates to the campaigns - made a significant swing in donations to Democrats at around the same time.

Now, no bid contracts have come up before. Democrats threw a huge tantrum over no bid contracts awarded to Halliburton for services they performed in Iraq because of former Vice Presidnt Dick Cheney's past employment with them. Those services included saving Iraq's oil wells after Saddam Hussein set them on fire after we invaded.

The difference was that for most of the work Halliburton performed in Iraq, they were the only game in town and no other bids were submitted. Few companies had the expertise and/or the equipment to do what Halliburton contracted to do...observers who credited Halliburton with saving Iraq's oil wells while avoiding an ecological disaster characterized it as a miracle. Not only that, but few if any competitors were willing to send their equipment and employees into a war zone or pony up for the huge insurance costs involved.

What happened with CGI was very different, with four other companies submitting bids that were never even looked at.

It's the Chicago way...and always done using other people's money.

The Last Straw

Every so often,the question gets anti-Zionism the same as anti-semitism?

'Anti-Zionism' itself is anti-semitic because it seeks to undermine the right to self-determination for Jews by subjecting Israel to rules, standards and conditions that no other country is subjected to.

It is anti-semitic because it promotes the idea of 'restricted neighborhoods', places where Jews should not be allowed to live simply because they're Jews.

And finally, it is anti-semitic because nearly every 'anti-Zionist' you'll run into is a Jew hater at heart, and usually you don't have to dig too deeply to find it.

British Labour MP Jack Straw, who served as both Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary under Tony Blair has never been accused of being a friend of Israel, and in that he's in accord with the majority view in Britain's Labour Party. Straw's stance on Israel is also understandable when you realize that his constituency, Blackburn, has a significant Muslim population, approximately 25%.

But MP Straw has always simply portrayed himself as an anti-Zionist, and kept his real feelings about Jews pretty quiet, until now.

In a roundtable discussion in Parliament on the Middle East, Straw (who's already said he won't stand for re-election next time out) decided to open up with some fairly typical anti-semitic tropes. The biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East, he said, was 'unlimited Jewish money' is used to control foreign policy in America. Oh, and that Germany's 'obsession with defending Israel' was another huge obstacle.

This is pretty much standard 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' stuff...the image of the scheming, moneyed Jews plotting to take advantage of the helpless gentiles.

This sort of thing is actually part of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia's (EUMC) Working Definition on anti-semitism, which states: “[Anti-Semitism is]… Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”

Also in attendance were former Israeli Knesset Member Einat Wilf and the Palestinian ambassador to London who accused Israel of "cultural genocide" and "ethnic cleansing."

"It was appalling to listen to Britain's former foreign secretary," Dr. Wilf said. "His remarks reflect prejudice of the worst kind. We're used to hearing groundless accusations from Palestinian envoys but I thought British diplomats, including former ones, were still capable of a measure of rational thought.

"Throughout the debate I reiterated that the origin of the conflict was the Arab and Palestinian unwillingness to accept the Jewish people's legitimate right to a state of their own, and that as long as that willingness is absent there will be no true solution."

Speaking of solutions, MP Straw also made the news this week speaking about Iran and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. He said, “You could do business with him, and we were able to do business with him. I very profoundly believe that [this] is a new chance for proper negotiations.”

Former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain used almost those exact words in 1938 to describe Adolf Hitler, who had his own ideas about solutions, especially when it came to Jews.

That kind of pro-appeasement language is actually not so startling coming from Jack Straw, but a case of the apple not falling too far from the tree.While he has said publicly that he considers himself a Christian, Straw's mother was of Eastern European Jewish stock, and of the far Left, secular type. She met his non-Jewish father when both were members of the Peace Pledge Union. a group that favored appeasement of Hitler at all costs. In 1938, they even campaigned against legislation introduced by Parliament for air raid precautions, and against legislation for military conscription. Straw's father, Walter Straw, along with several other members of the PPU was even arrested during the war for passing out leaflets and erecting posters urging British troops to refuse to fight.

There's not much more to be said about Jack Straw. I repeat his personal history merely as background, and because inevitably someone will claim he's not anti-semitic because of his mother's ethnicity, saying 'but he's Jewish, you know!'

Undoubtedly Mr. Straw has always had these sentiments on Jews, Israel and appeasement. I'm actually glad he finally decided to come clean, and I wish more 'anti-Zionists' would do the same.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks' Watcher's Council Results


Once again, the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and  the results are in for  for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

 This week we had a tie in our Council category between Joshuapundit's The Dirty Secret Behind ObamaCare No One's Talking About and The Right Planet's ObamaSoft — The World’s Worst Rollout in History, who applied his knowledge of software engineering to give us a wonderful and well written in depth look at exactly how big the colossal failure of the ObamaCare rollout was.

In accordance to our by-laws, that means I get to put on my Watcher's hat and break the tie, and there's no question - The Right Planet takes the honors this week!

Here's a slice:

Watching the disastrous rollout of the online healthcare exchanges has really left me shaking my head, and not just for the obvious reasons. The rollout of Obamacare has been described as nothing short of abysmal, leaving some to question why the administration would go ahead with the launch of a busted site. Numerous problems have plagued the debut of the Obamacare healthcare exchanges; and a number of experts are questioning the soundness of the site’s architecture.

But Obamacare supporters are attempting to slough off all the errors associated with the online exchanges as simple “glitches”–to be “expected” with such a revolutionary, comprehensive web-based system.

Well, if there’s something I do know a bit about, it’s software engineering. My background is in client-server development with an emphasis on web applications. Developing distributed applications that must communicate with multiple servers and clients was my field of expertise. I designed relational datebase schemas and ER diagrams; I modeled and mapped the application layers to the data layers using UML and OOD, I wrote the complex SQL queries and stored procedures to access the data layer from application layer; and I dealt with the interface issues and graphical design on the front-end as well. It’s been about five years since I worked for a consulting firm as a software engineer. So forgive me if I may use some “old school” terms in this article. But I’d like to take a deeper look at this whole healthcare software disaster known as from purely the software engineering perspective.


First, on a bit of a sidenote, I’m surprised by the reliance on a web interface to implement the state healthcare exchanges. Is the assumption that the 30-40 million that are allegedly uninsured and desperately need Obamacare have access to an iPad, laptop or computer? Ironically, in spite of Obamacare (a.k.a Affordable Care Act) and all promises contrary, estimates are there will still be 30 million left uninsured. But I digress.

The debut of is one of the worst software rollouts I’ve ever witnessed. The president was forced to hold an emergency press conference in the Rose Garden, playing the part of Salesman-in-Chief. The administration and the liberal media are portraying all the software errors as “glitches.” Well, FYI to the liberal media and the CEO of Obamasoft, we don’t refer to fatal program errors as “glitches,” not in software world.

The preferred description for a so-called software “glitch” is a bug. Almost all software contains bugs of some kind. That’s why updates, patches and new versions of software will always be the norm. People aren’t perfect, nor is technology. Software is “alive.” You can’t just code it once and leave it at that; it must constantly be refactored and improved, since technology constantly changes. The big difference between a bug and an error is, typically, a bug will not cause the application (program) to freeze or crash.

For those who have no clue about the software development process, it might help to start off with a bit off a primer on some technical terms and concepts that will hopefully give a better understanding on the challenges of developing and implementing the online exchanges.

The term application has an important meaning in software engineering. In a general sense, a software application can be thought of as a computer program. But, in a strictly technical sense, a software application is commonly comprised of numerous computer programs.

There are significant differences between what is called a stand-alone application and a web application. A stand-alone application is a computer program like Microsoft Word that installs directly to your computer’s local hard-drive (HD). A web application resides on a remote computer (server), not the client computer’s local hard-drive, and must be accessed via an internet connection. Typically a web application is accessed via a web browser like Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, etc. This is referred to as a client-server architecture–meaning: two separate computer programs communicating with each other.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with Whose Islam?   submitted by which Steyn wonders out loud at the West's strange insistence that terrorism fomented in the name of Islam has nothing to do with Islam.  Do read it.

OK, here are this week’s full results. Only Rhymes With Right was unable to vote this time, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty.:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don't forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week's Watcher's Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in...don't you dare miss it. And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.....'cause we're cool like that!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

“What Was Auschwitz?” “I Don’t Know…”

"I have never felt able to describe my emotional reactions when I first came face to face with indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality and every shred of human decency.Up to that time I had known about it only generally or through secondary sources.I am certain, however that I never at any time experienced an equal sense of shock.

I visited every nook and cranny of that camp because I felt it my duty to be in a position to testify at first hand about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that 'the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda.' {...}

I not only did so, but as soon as I returned to Patton's headquarters that evening I sent communications to both Washington and London urging the two governments to send instantly to Germany a random group of newspaper editors and representative groups from the national legislatures. I felt that the evidence should be immediately placed before the American and British publics in a fashion that would leave no room for cynical doubt."
-Dwight D. Eisenhower, from "Crusade In Europe" , his personal memoir of WWII.

General Eisenhower realized that the historical lesson of the Holocaust was too important to be forgotten and thus perhaps repeated in a different time and place. So he not only saw to it that journalists and photographers were given access to the camps, he personally ordered that they be filmed and photographed by the Army's own personnel and eyewitness accounts documented.

He certainly can't be blamed for it, but apparently his efforts were mostly in vain.

The above video shows author Rhonda Fink-Whitman interviewing Pennsylvania public school graduates currently enrolled at four different Pennsylvania universities to see what they know about the Holocaust, WWII, and Genocide in general.

Their replies will shock and depress you,but they explain a lot.

He who controls the past controls the future.
He who controls the present controls the past.

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

(H/T, The Anchoress)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Watcher's Council Nominations - Train Wreck Edition

Welcome to the Watcher's Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the 'sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday.

Council News:

This week, Ask Marion, The Independent Sentinel and The Pirate's Cove took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won't be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor  by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It's a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let's see what we have this week....

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!