Permission To Survive

Some thoughts on the health-care debacle, in Massachusetts and the nation:

Insurance companies in Massachusetts are thus required to offer numerous benefits as determined by politicians and lobbyists, but they may only charge what government bureaucrats permit. It would be akin to the government requiring restaurants to sell $50 steak dinners, but only allowing them to charge $25.

When similar price controls and “guaranteed coverage” laws were imposed in South Dakota and Kentucky, many insurers left these states rather than be slowly bled to death. As similar laws are phased in nationally under ObamaCare, the government could drive private insurers out of business altogether, enabling it to herd unwilling Americans into a “public option.”

ObamaCare thus places a noose around insurers’ necks. Insurance companies will be allowed to survive only at the arbitrary pleasure of the government.

…The trend is becoming clear. First, insurers must seek government permission to survive. Then, patients must seek permission to receive some forms of medical care. Will we soon need government permission simply to live?

That’s what seems to generally happen at the end of the road we’re on. A quarter of a billion people were, after all, murdered by their governments in the last century.

Heating The Planet

…with biodiesel.

Maybe politicos should do more research before imposing half-baked energy mandates?

It wouldn’t do any good. They’re mostly too stupid to understand the results of the research, or too much on the take from the benefitting industry to care. But they get to pretend to be saving the planet.

Speaking of biodiesel, will the same be true of biokerosene? Is the “green aviation” initiative another unintended consequence on the way?

The Paranoid Style

of American “liberalism”:

Liberals, to put it mildly, are not dealing well with their declining political fortunes. For some reason, liberals seem surprised that Americans have not warmed to the Obama administration’s policies, like government takeover of health care; bailouts and government ownership in multiple industries; wasteful and ineffective “stimulus” spending; unheard of deficits; massive tax increases slated for next year; and a foreign policy that perversely alienates our allies and caters to our enemies. There has never been a time in our history when most Americans would have approved of such policies, yet liberals are somehow convinced that today’s manifestation of longstanding voter attitudes represents a unique and sinister animus against Barack Obama and his administration.

As he goes on, Joe Klein is a poster boy for this.

Not So Hip And Edgy

Thoughts on Bill Clinton and Comedy Central, from Mark Steyn:

Bill Clinton energetically on the stump, summoning all his elder statesman’s dignity (please, no giggling) in the cause of comparing tea partiers to Timothy McVeigh. Oh, c’mon, they’ve got everything in common. They both want to reduce the size of government, the late Mr. McVeigh through the use of fertilizer bombs, the tea partiers through control of federal spending, but these are mere nuanced differences of means, not ends. Also, both “Tim” and “Tea” are three-letter words beginning with “T”: Picture him upon your knee, just Tea for Tim and Tim for Tea, you’re for him and he’s for thee, completely interchangeable. To lend the point more gravitas, President Clinton packed his reading glasses and affected his scholarly look, with the spectacles pushed down toward the end of his nose, as if he’s trying to determine whether that’s his 10 a.m. intern shuffling toward him across the broadloom or a rabid armadillo Al Gore brought along for the Earth Day photo op.

Will it work? For a long time, tea partiers were racists. Everybody knows that when you say “I’m becoming very concerned about unsustainable levels of federal spending,” that’s old Jim Crow code for “Let’s get up a lynching party and teach that uppity Negro a lesson.” Frank Rich of the New York Times attempted to diversify the tea-party racism into homophobia by arguing that Obamacare’s opponents were uncomfortable with Barney Frank’s sexuality. I yield to no one in my discomfort with Barney Frank’s sexuality, but, with the best will in the world, I find it hard to blame it for more than the first 4 or 5 trillion dollars of federal overspending. Eschewing such cheap slurs, Time’s Joe Klein said opposition to Obama was “seditious,” because nothing says sedition like citing the U.S. Constitution and quoting Thomas Jefferson. Unfortunately for Klein, thanks to “educator” William Ayers’s education reforms, nobody knows what “seditious” means anymore.

It’s all like that. Few people can write so entertainingly about such serious subjects (though Lileks can give him a run for his money).

Those Who Can’t Do…

…teach. And those who can’t teach, teach teaching:

It sounded like a great idea: Stanford education professors would create a model school to show how to educate low-income Hispanic and black students.

Or, as it’s turned out, how not to.

In March, Stanford New Schools (aka East Palo Alto Academy) — a charter high school started in 2001 and elementary grades added in 2006 – made California’s list of schools in the lowest-achieving five percent in the state.

It seems to me that if Stanford doesn’t have a good school of education, no one should be expected to. If I were running the Department of Education (assuming that I couldn’t simply abolish it) I would make it a condition of getting federal money that every teacher in the system have a real degree, where you actually have to know something to graduate — no degrees in “education.”

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!