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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, January 22, 2005

What is a foil-hatter?

Definition of a foil-hatter:A political activist of any philosophy who accepts without factual support the assumption that any person who disagrees with any of the activist's political positions is necessarily part of a pervasive, nefarious yet hidden conspiracy hell-bent on destroying society.

Definition from Scylla & Charybdis. I like it. It has the Heavy-Handed seal of approval.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Social Security

I am re-posting my earlier 2-part post on Social Security. Notice I was quite critical of our legislators for sticking their head in the sand on this issue. They are politicizing this issue to advance their own agendas over the common good of the people - all the people. This is not, at least SHOULD NOT be, a Democrat/Republican, liberal/conservative issue.

In part 2, I specifically stated that since they had their own government retirement plan free of all encumbrances of Social Security, they may not be as "critically motivated" as you and I on this issue.

With that in mind I bring you this quote: "Why stir up a political hornet's nest . . . When there is no urgency?" said Republican congressman Rob Simmons (Conn.). When does the program go belly up? 2042. I will be dead by then."

With an attitude such as this and a lack of foresight, this man is worthy of a recall.

Social Security


What should we do with it? During the campaign, President Bush talked about his vision of "ownership" for Americans. He was talking particularly about "ownership" of their retirement plans, and "ownership" of their health care. Since being re-elected, he has renewed his pledge to modernize social security.

I think we can all agree that something has to be done. Do we raise the percentage witheld from workers paychecks? Do we reduce the benefits retirees are to receive? If so, how much and when? Do we delay the retirement age? Do we implement all, one, or a combination of these?

Or do we partially privatize social security? Who says we cannot partially privatize social security and still implement some of the other changes that have been suggested? I firmly believe the present system is antiquated. I also find the cut back of benefits to be the least desirable of all the options.

Social Security was never meant to be a retirement plan; it is not a true retirement plan where you save and invest and build up a nest egg to provide income during your non-working years, i.e. retirement. It is merely an income transfer plan in which current workers pay their taxes into the system and that money is then transferred to the non-workers (retirees) to cover the benefits that have been promised to them. It was designed to ensure that all workers would have some retirement benefits, and would not be completely penniless in their post-working years.

Some retirees will get more out of the system, while some others will get less, depending on a number of factors. How long you live will be, perhaps, the most relative factor in regards of how much, or how little, you get out of the system. In this regard, it is much like insurance. You have homeowners insurance if you own a home, and you pay for that insurance. Some people collect on their insurance (if their house burns down) and some people do not collect on their insurance.

We have known for a long time that this type of system was not sustainable. This kind of pay-as-you-go system only works when you have many more people paying into the system than there are people taking out of the system. It will work for awhile but eventually it is bound to fail. It really is like a ponzi scheme. What is a ponzi scheme?

From the U.S. Securities and Exchange website (http://www.sec.gov/answers/ponzi.htm)

"Ponzi schemes are a type of illegal pyramid scheme named for Charles Ponzi, who duped thousands of New England residents into investing in a postage stamp speculation scheme back in the 1920s. Ponzi thought he could take advantage of differences between U.S. and foreign currencies used to buy and sell international mail coupons. Ponzi told investors that he could provide a 40% return in just 90 days compared with 5% for bank savings accounts. Ponzi was deluged with funds from investors, taking in $1 million during one three-hour period�and this was 1921! Though a few early investors were paid off to make the scheme look legitimate, an investigation found that Ponzi had only purchased about $30 worth of the international mail coupons.

Decades later, the Ponzi scheme continues to work on the "rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul" principle, as money from new investors is used to pay off earlier investors until the whole scheme collapses."

It sounds really similar to the Social Security plan does it not? The money of new investors (that would be the current workers of today) is used to pay off earlier investors (that would be the retirees) until the whole scheme collapses.

Why does it collapse? Because remember, you have to have many more workers feeding into the system than you have taking out of the system, as stated earlier, to make it work.

When Social Security started, there were between 13 to 18 workers paying in for each person taking out. Now with the baby boomer population explosion (caused by WWII) nearing retirement, compounded by the fact that they (the baby boomers) had fewer offspring, we now have only 3 people giving in to the system for each person taking out. And within a few years it will be only 2 paying in, while 1 takes out; perhaps eventually even a 1 for 1 exchange could result.

(to be continued)


Our politicians, even those who are true believers in a government controlled income transfer system like we currently have, know that it simply cannot work in the future. They are either being dishonest with their constituents, or do not understand the problem because of ignorance of the facts, and/or think that the only solution is a simple one... raise your taxes.

"If we followed John Kerry’s lead, e.g., no benefit cut and no personal retirement
accounts, we would have to raise
payroll taxes as much as 60%!"

It is time for us to get our collective heads out of the sand and and get this problem fixed soon. President Bush wants to fix this problem now. He believes that a big part of the answer to the problem is to turn our current income transfer system into a wealth creation system before our current Soc. Sec. system runs out of money.

Many of our elected servants are trying to scare current retirees, with half-truths, and misrepresentations about the dangers of privatizing Soc. Security. Please remember, also, that these same elected servants have their own government paid retirement plan, separate and unencumbered from "our" Soc. Sec. plan. Therefore, any dragging of their feet in solving this problem .... well lets just say that they may not be as "critically motivated" as you and I.

This new and improved ownership Soc. Sec. retirement plan that is being proposed is designed to work within an improved and modernized Soc. Sec. system. Ever since 1983, workers have been paying more taxes into the system than is/was needed to cover our current retiree benefits. That extra money was supposed to be saved in the S.S. Trust Fund to pay for the baby boomers benefits when they retired; because, it was known, there would not be enough younger workers paying into the system to cover the obligations promised to the baby boomer generation upon their retirement.

But, guess what? Over the last 20 years, our politicians have spent this money that was to be set aside and issued IOU's. One option being considered would allow the younger workers to put 2% of their taxes now being "pilfered" from the Trust Fund and invest it in stocks, bonds, or into bank certificates. This would produce returns far greater than the "artificial" returns that they supposedly would get from the current S.S. plan. Furthermore, current retirees (and those soon to retire as well) would be guaranteed to get every cent of the benefits they have been promised.

We have been hearing already, and will continue to hear over the coming months, that the "transition costs" would be too high and that we cannot afford the costs of implementing the new retirement system. However, the Chief Actuary at Social Security has studied the proposed provision and concluded that this was not the case. In his judgement, the bill's provisions were adequate to handle these "transition" costs.

Any plan to improve and modernize the system to guarantee its future viability for our children and grandchildren also needs to guarantee that today's seniors benefits are also guaranteed with no reduction in benefits.

Support the troops

Matt from Blackfive recently wrote about his feelings on all the yellow "support the troops" magnets he sees on vehicles. As a serviceman, Matt appreciates the sentiment, but suggests to do one better than that, and really support the troops.

There are alot of fine organizations out there, many of which are non-profit and thus qualify as tax deductible organizations. So how 'bout really supporting the troops by giving something back to them. It is the least we can do for them for what they sacrifice for us.

Matt has this to say too:

So think about it and ask those nice people (with the best intentions) who display their support to spend their hard earned money on organizations that truly support the troops. You might say, "Hey, that's great that you support the troops! Have you heard of Soldier's Angels or Spirit of America?"

Soldiers' Angels and Spirit of America, while two of my favorites, are not the only organizations out there that help our military (and most are non-profits so your donations are tax deductible).

Look into donating money to these two foundations:

    A. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation

    The SOWF provides scholarships for the children of Special Operations soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who have lost their lives (in training or combat). A few dollars would go a long way in providing for the children of those who have died defending America.

    B. United Warrior Survivor Foundation

    UWSF offers scholarship grants to surviving spouses, along with educational counseling, financial guidance, investment planning, and other programs.

Or think about donating your unused frequent flyer miles for a soldier to visit his or her family. Check out Operation Hero Miles.

Operation Gratitude - another site where you can help send care packages to troops in Iraq.

Books For Soldiers - it's one more way to show troops that you care.

Operation AC - Commenter Retread reminds me to include this charity which sends 110v single phase air conditioners to our troops in Iraq. They also send medical supplies to the Combat Support Hospitals for both injured American Soldiers and for the staff, as well as care packages to our troops overseas.

AnySoldier - a great organization that provides soldier contacts where you can read through the names and select the ones you wish to support. They list what they need and want, we even have a search capability so you can easily identify what units need.

Keystone Soldiers also takes care of soldiers by adoption, matching pen pals, or sending care packages.

Adopt-A-Platoon - another source for adopting soldiers who don't have someone on the homefront.

And, for the more martial people out there, you can even Adopt-A-Sniper.

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is a nonprofit, charitable organization that provides financial, educational, and other assistance to members of the Naval Services of the United States, and their eligible family members and survivors, when in need. To do this, counseling, loans, grants, various services, and referral to other community resources are available. There are no fees for such help. The Society, operating in partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps, administers nearly 250 offices ashore and afloat at Navy and Marine Corps bases around the world.

Whatever steps that you take to take care of our troops - no matter how large or small - will resonate beyond just one American soldier.

Someone that was referred by this site to Soldiers Angels also was responsible for donating their extra frequent flyer miles to bring a family to see their wounded soldier at Walter Reed. Just some simple actions made all the difference in the world.

Displaying your support is wonderful, but, please, think about how you can actually support our troops. The men and women fighting around the world can't see the magnet stuck to your car.В Pick one of the organizations above to support the troops - show that you care about their lives while they defend yours.

Thank you.

Heavyhanded says thanks too! Kudos to you too, Matt!

French malaise

It is official: the French are a nation of depressed pessimists, wracked with self-doubt and unable to see a positive future.

This gloomy portrait of the current state of Gallic morale - or rather the lack of it - was made public yesterday in a damning report by France’s prefects, the country’s top administrators.

"The French no longer believe in anything," the report said. "That is the reason that the situation is relatively calm, for they believe that it is not even worthwhile expressing their opinions or trying to be heard any more."

The country’s 100 prefects went on to use the words "lifelessness", "resignation", "anxiety" and "pessimism" to describe the attitudes they believe prevail in France today.

"It’s a fact: France and the French are pessimists," said Alain Duhamel, a respected French commentator.

From The Scotsman

"Moore" Conspiracy Theories

This is from MooreWatch. Don't the "conspiratorialists" ever sleep?
Would you like to see the dumbest statement about the whole bodyguard-gun-arrest story? Seriously. It’s the dumbest thing anyone could possibly think to say on the subject. Think for a second about the most moonbat statement that you can imagine. I’ll bet this is dumber. You ready? It comes from a thread on Democratic Underground.

Here it is....
The timing of this is all too convenient, coming out right before huge inaugural protests are to take place. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this was some kind of plant to delegitimize the protests today (by Rove, perhaps).

That’s right. Karl Rove engineered the arrest of this security agent in order to divert attention away from “huge inaugural protests.”

Brad & Jen

Heh, heh. From 2Slick:
Brad (Pitt) and Jennifer (Anniston): I'm just as stunned as everyone else. To the best of my knowledge, the Pentagon had nothing to do with this unfortunate split. That doesn't mean that Rumsfeld won't have to answer some questions about it- stay tooned.

Or, maybe Dick Cheney. Haliburton? No wait, maybe the "Joooos" are behind it. No, wait; I've got it figured out. It is George W. because he has caused global warming, and their relationship was just "too hot", and well you know, they are so concerned about our environment and global warming that they became too guilt-ridden that they were contributing to the global warming problem and.....

I know this may be tongue-in-cheek and maybe a little over the top, or is it? Read this.


In Pres. Bush's inaugural speech yesterday, he apparently overused the concept of freedom according to many people on the left and people across the pond. Why? What is so "wrong" with advocating freedom? Neal Boortz was asking the same question.
What is the problem with freedom? I think that the biggest problem is that people realize that along with personal freedom comes personal responsibility. To be sure, Americans will say nice things about freedom ... right up until the time that personal responsibility rears its ugly head. Freedom of speech? Sure, that takes no real effort. Freedom of religion? No problem there. It doesn't really require you to actually do anything. Introduce responsibility and consequences for irresponsibility, and the love of freedom suddenly wanes.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Ten Favorite Lies

From THE DIPLOMAD, a career US Foreign Service officer. They are Republican (most of the time) in an institution (State Department) in which being a Republican can be bad for your career -- even with a Republican President. It is like being part of a "State Department Republican Underground" he says.

Well anyway, after that little piece of background, I want to share the Favorite Ten Lies they came up with. ( A dangling preposition - I know !! Live with it!). It is quite good, I must say. Enjoy.

We are bureaucrats. We like things tidy. We like options clearly laid out -- and we don't want too many of them. Above all, we like lists; we love top ten lists. We're not too good at math so we restrict ourselves to lists with ten things.

Our Acting Principal Deputy Vice Chief Diplomad for Coordination of Coordinating Coordinators and List Making has sent us his top "ten mistaken ideas people hold." For what it's worth we present ours for your consideration, in no particular order.

Top Ten Wrong Ideas that People Around the World Still Believe:

1) There's some magic "Third Way." Even one of our best allies in the world, Tony Blair, believes in this. This is a shame, because we like Blair. It was much worse when Bill Clinton was president because he believed in it, too (well, to the extent that Clinton believed in anything.) He and Blair held hands, sang Kumbaya, and preached "Third Way" to others. There's no third way that works. Communism is an obvious failure; prosperity is directly proportional to free markets. More capitalism equals more prosperity. (Note: Please remember this "Wrong Idea" as in a subsequent post we review some new UN UNsanity.)

2) Foreign Aid Helps Poor People. No. Foreign aid largely helps the High Priest Vulture Elite, airlines, restaurants, hotels, car-rental companies and other service industries that cater to the HPVE. Freedom, trade, capitalism and education help poor people. Plus it also matters that their culture teaches them a work ethic (see number 8 below). The old saw that "foreign aid is when the poor people of a rich country give money to the rich people of a poor country" has more than a kernel of truth. BTW, try to name any country that has been developed by foreign aid.

3) If the USA Pressured Ariel Sharon, there'd be Middle East Peace. Middle East peace will happen when the culture of violence changes on the Arab side of the equation and the Arabs drop the goal of destroying Israel. The Palestinian "right of return" is part of destroying Israel. We see Yasser Arafat's death as a good start; and Mahmoud Abbas getting elected. But let's not put a halo over his head just because he's not Arafat.

4) You can't make a country democratic by force. This is anti-Americanism and anti-Iraq-invasion thinking mixed with historic amnesia. The Brits conquered India and left it democratic. We bombed Germany and Japan to smithereens, occupied them by force and left them democratic. We invaded and occupied Afghanistan and it's on the way to being democratic. We have a better than even chance of doing the same with Iraq.

5) The United Nations is the hope for the future of mankind,and its corollary, if we didn't have the UN we'd have to invent it. If this is true, mankind has a bleak future. Anybody with an IQ larger than his shoe size (American shoe size) knows that trusting the UN with our hopes for the future is wrong; we have seen this day after day. But this idea is still out there, and accepted as politically correct and believable by large swaths of countries. It's the official line of the whole European Union, which is frightening, since some of those countries individually are good allies and have intelligent people who should know better.

6) Fidel Castro may be a dictator but Cuba has high social indicators. The first part of this is right, but high social indicators? Highest rate of suicide in Latin America. Highest rate of people leaving the country and risking their life in the process. To the extent that there may be high literacy it's a legacy from the Cuba of the 1950s which had a higher standard of living than Spain and Italy and all but two Latin American countries. Now it's a basket case.

7) A conspiracy killed President Kennedy. A profitable industry has taken individual tidbits of information, blown them out of proportion, and convinced much of the U.S. public and the rest of the world that JFK was killed by some kind of conspiracy. Take your pick: Castro, the Mafia, Lyndon Johnson, the CIA -- all later covered up by the Warren Commission. The real truth, that Lee Harvey Oswald, a nut-case, acted alone to assassinate JFK, is inescapable when you read the facts.

8) No cultures are superior to any others. If you're accused of even thinking that cultures are unequal, then you are branded as a racist, and at State you can have your career ruined. But by any objective measure of success, western civilization is superior. This is actually not racist, since Japan, Singapore, and South Korea have internalized the best of the west, and essentially joined it.

9) You know the news if you see CNN, read the NYTimes, Washington Post. These media, like Reuters, Le Monde, Newsweek, CBS News, and so much of the mainstream media are hopelessly biased towards the left. This is not so much a question of editorials or op-ed, since after all, you can read conservative columnists like George Will, Charles Krauthammer and William Safire in these media. But rather it's the slant in how they present the news and what they make news.

10) We're all going to die of global warming. We are all going to die; that part is true. But Diplomads are not too worried about global warming. We can find articles in the media 20, 30 years ago that warned of a sooner-than-expected new ice age. OK, we can be persuaded that too many cars with bad exhaust pipes can pollute the air, but not nearly as much as when a volcano erupts. It's freezing cold all over the United States this winter, with horrible snow and ice storms. Our countrymen in places like Nebraska or North Dakota are probably thinking "Boy, I sure wish those scientists were right and we could get some global warming real soon." (Note from the Chief Diplomad: Not long ago I read about the freezing winters that Mongolia has suffered. Being a charitable person, I now drive my SUV in honor of the Mongolians. Bumper sticker: Driving for Mongolia!)

Also from Blackfive, this story and request:
Captain Daniel Gade Needs Your Help

Captain Daniel Gade was injured on January 10, 2005 at approximately 3:53 pm Iraqi time when an Improvised Explosive Device detonated near his vehicle.

Through the heroic efforts of a great many soldiers, he is now safely back in the United States and has been at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC since January 13th. He is fighting hard for his life.

On Monday, doctors had to remove his leg to save his life. The Iraqi bacterias are resistant to many anti-biotics and are causing havoc with the Captain.

Captain Gade is married to Wendy (Williams) and they have a three year old daughter, Anna-Grace. His family is asking for your prayers (notice the fourth prayer request?). Here is an email from a friend:

-Pray for restoration of his kidneys.
-Pray for control of his infection. He has bacteria in his blood and in his wounds.
-Pray against any blood clots.
-Pray for his men in Iraq as they continue their missions without the man who led them for the last 2 years.
-Pray for wisdom for the doctors.

Friends and warriors- please feel free to go to a website for Daniel and leave a message for the family- the site is http://www2.caringbridge.org/dc/danielgade
So, please check out the log book for Walter Reed and let them know you are praying/thinking of them.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

This is quite a surprising news report if true:
Dissident Activity Reported in N. Korea
SEOUL, South Korea - A human rights group claimed Tuesday that it has obtained video footage showing dissident activities in North Korea (news - web sites), with demands for freedom and democracy written over a poster of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il.

This is no minor, risk-free undertaking. The article from YaHoo News can be read here.

The Telegraph has more on this.
First signs of protest in world's top secret state

The first known visual evidence of dissent within the world's most secretive state emerged yesterday when video footage taken in a North Korean factory showed a portrait of the dictator, Kim Jong-il, defaced with graffiti demanding freedom and democracy.

That article can be read here. This would be almost too good to be true.

Neal Boortz writes (and I agree):

The current issue of Time calls Social Security the best social program ever. Sorry, they have it wrong. The best social program ever is a system of economic liberty featuring capitalism and free enterprise operating under a system based on the rule of law. No program, private or public, has ever done so much to raise so many from the depths of poverty and despair as has capitalism. When the government steps aside and lets free people react freely with one another, amazing things happen. It's really too bad that Americans have fallen out of love with freedom and so in love with government-provided security.
(All emphasis mine -ed.)

As someone else (who is much smarter than I) likes to say, and I am paraphrasing, "all you need to know about this country, the principles that this country was founded upon and why it has accomplished so much in a relatively short period of time, and makes it so unique, and such a great country, can be summed up in three words - and they can be found on our coins: liberty,e pluribus unum, and in God We Trust.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Is it possible?

Only time will tell if this report turns out to be true. Remember this claim was made a couple of weeks ago and the U.S. denied its credibility. Anyway Hammorabi reports:


The intensified raid on specifically selected targets in Mosel, Baghdad, Ramadi and south of Baghdad in the triangle of death is likely to be based on important information from highly important sources among the terrorists.

Some of these sources have been shown recently confessing in the TV like the leader of Jaish Mohamad who was a general in Saddam's special army. However these information is probably beyond the arrest of one big head only.

There are a lot of ramous here in Iraq that the Jordanain Abo-Mosab Zarqawi has been arrested probably more than 2 weeks ago in Diyala.
He left Falluja to Mosel immediately before the fight. Zarqawi and more than 120 among his followers considered 3 options, Ramadi, Mosel and Baquoba. They chose Mosel because their reinforcement, supplies and communication occur mainly via the west especially from Syria. Mosel therefore became their first choice however he ordered some of his followers to leave to Baghdad, the triangle of death, Baquoba, Ramadi and the rest joined him to Mosel.
Their plan was exactly same as it was used in Falluja which is based on creating fear and intimidation to get people to submit to their will. They tried and succeeded to control some police station and arms initially but the rapid response of the Iraqi forces and the US troops plus the unwillingness of the people to accept them in their city abort their plan quickly.

Zarqawi then felt unsafe and he with very few followers escaped disguised toward the east south of Mosel. He was spotted at least twice by the Kurdish sources but was unable to capture him. He passed throw several villages with suspicion especially in Hemreen mountains until he reached Diyala. The people there were certain after that he has been captured and they spoke about it with certainty but suddenly every thing went into standstill.
The Saudi man who was shown in the TV recently said that he heard from the Mujahdeen that Zarqawi was arrested by the Iraqi guards for few hours but was then released! This means one thing only which is that the news of Zarqawi arrest was true and his followers knew that. They were unable to refute the news so as they tried to cover it with lies by saying that he was released after captured. They try to carry their attacks by pushing the fooled ones for that.

In conclusion there are strong indications about the arrest of Zarqawi who provided much information about his thugs which led to the intensified specific raids. This is probably the reason why he was not shown immediately.

It seems to be the announcement of Zarqawi arrest is just a matter of time, possibly in the next few days or weeks?

This is a classic example of the "slippery slope" theory in action. This story appeared on Yahoo News in late November, 2004:

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A hospital in the Netherlands — the first nation to permit euthanasia — recently proposed guidelines for mercy killings of terminally ill newborns, and then made a startling revelation: It has already begun carrying out such procedures, which include administering a lethal dose of sedatives.

The announcement by the Groningen Academic Hospital came amid a growing discussion in Holland on whether to legalize euthanasia on people incapable of deciding for themselves whether they want to end their lives — a prospect viewed with horror by euthanasia opponents and as a natural evolution by advocates.

In August, the main Dutch doctors’ association KNMG urged the Health Ministry to create an independent board to review euthanasia cases for terminally ill people “with no free will,” including children, the severely mentally retarded and people left in an irreversible coma after an accident.

The Health Ministry is preparing its response, which could come as soon as December, a spokesman said.

Three years ago, the Dutch parliament made it legal for doctors to inject a sedative and a lethal dose of muscle relaxant at the request of adult patients suffering great pain with no hope of relief.

The Groningen Protocol, as the hospital’s guidelines have come to be known, would create a legal framework for permitting doctors to actively end the life of newborns deemed to be in similar pain from incurable disease or extreme deformities. The guideline says euthanasia is acceptable when the child’s medical team and independent doctors agree the pain cannot be eased and there is no prospect for improvement, and when parents think it’s best.

Examples include extremely premature births, where children suffer brain damage from bleeding and convulsions; and diseases where a child could only survive on life support for the rest of its life, such as severe cases of spina bifida and epidermosis bullosa, a rare blistering illness.

The hospital revealed last month it carried out four such mercy killings in 2003, and reported all cases to government prosecutors. There have been no legal proceedings against the hospital or the doctors.

This is quite sad and disturbing, frankly. Hitler was doing this and the world thought it was wrong. And now we are at this point:

Sympathectomy of the Soul:
Dutch Euthanasia and “Suffering Through Living”
From the Evangelical Outpost

After a three-year investigation, the Royal Dutch Medical Association has concluded that Dutch doctors ought to be able to kill patients who are not ill but who are judged to be "suffering through living." The report, which contradicts a Dutch Supreme Court ruling that euthanasia should be allowed only if a patient has a "classifiable physical or mental condition", argues that no reason can be given to exclude situations of such suffering from a doctor’s area of competence.

Jos Dijkhuis, the emeritus professor of clinical psychology who led the inquiry, said that it was "evident to us that Dutch doctors would not consider euthanasia from a patient who is simply ‘tired of, or through with, life,’" (terms used in the original court case). Instead his committee chose the term "suffering through living," where a patient may present a variety of physical and mental complaints.

He said there was "enormous protest" from doctors to the Supreme Court’s ruling. "In more than half of cases we considered, doctors were not confronted with a classifiable disease. In practice the medical domain of doctors is far broader … We see a doctor’s task is to reduce suffering, therefore we can’t exclude these cases in advance. We must now look further to see if we can draw a line and if so where."

The Dutch have conflated reducing suffering with eliminating suffering, pushing them into what the modern Hippocratic Oath calls the trap of “therapeutic nihilism.” While mental and psychological pain can be just as traumatic as physical pain, it may not necessarily be a permanent condition. When doctors choose the short-term elimination of pain rather than long-term maximizing of care, they kill more than their patients.

After a localized trauma or peripheral nerve injury, a person may feel a syndrome of pain and tenderness that can only be relieved by a sympathectomy, the excision of a sympathetic nerve. In a similar way when we see others suffering from psychological pain and trauma we may be tempted to resort to the “excision” provided by euthanasia. But in doing so we are cutting more than the cords of life. By severing the sympathetic nerves that tie us to our fellow human beings, euthanasia performs a sympathectomy on our souls.

Yes, indeed.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

From The Age (Australia)

According to a University of Bielefeld survey, Germans are sick of the "harping on" about Nazi crimes against the Jews, a university study shows.

1. survey seems to confirm a shift in the German consciousness about victimhood.

2. now trendy for Germans to consider themselves as victims of the Nazi regime, rather than its enablers. Books about German suffering in Allied air raids, particularly on Dresden, and the expulsion of millions of civilians at the hands of the Red Army have emboldened Germans to think of themselves as worthy of sympathy instead of merely bearing the shame of a hideous regime.

3. half of respondents believed that Israel was pursuing a genocidal policy against the Palestinians, and that there was "little difference" between Nazi treatment of Jews and Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

4. the study revealed that 62 per cent of Germans were "sick of all the harping on about German crimes against the Jews".

5. attitudes appear to be changing. More than 60 per cent of Germans who once shamefully accepted their nation's role in the genocide are now positively "irritated" at being still held responsible.

6. the shift in sentiment has coincided with the re-emergence of the far right in German mainstream politics. Most now wish to consign their Nazi past to the history books.

7. once considered taboo to talk about their own suffering out of respect for the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis, the theme has now spawned its own industry known as the "victim culture". There is now a steady stream of books and documentaries devoted to the issue.

Since details of the study were released, politicians have made emotional appeals for Germans to remember their responsibility to keep the flame of remembrance burning.

'Anti-Semitism does not just represent a threat for the Jews, but also for ourselves,' warned Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, the country's most popular politician.

But political observers say the shift in attitudes is the result of a longer process in which many Germans believe they have atoned sufficiently for their grandparents' crimes and now have the right to bury the past.

'This trend began with revisionist historians telling the Germans that they were really the victims of the war rather than its perpetrators,' said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, a Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles.

'It's appalling,' said Lord Janner, a spokesman for British survivors of Auschwitz. It really raises fears that the current generation are not ready to pass on the history and lessons learnt from those events to their children.'

That's precisely the point... and the problem. Communism and Marxism WANT to revise history. How can we learn from history if history is rewritten?

CIA report
From: Big News Network

The European Union will break-up within 15 years as a result of its countries being dragged down by unsustainable welfare programs, a CIA report says.

The CIA report warns by 2020, Europe could be thrown into economic decline by its aging population and the post-1945 military alliances of NATO would disband, the Scotsman.com reported.

The current EU welfare state is unsustainable and the lack of any economic revitalization could lead to the splintering or, at worst, disintegration of the EU, undermining its ambitions to play a heavyweight international role, the report said.

Experts are dubious that the present political leadership is prepared to make even this partial break, believing a looming budgetary crisis in the next five years would be the more likely trigger for reform.

Restrictive labor policies, a drop in birth rates and increased longevity would have devastating economic consequences for Europe, the report says.

Mexico Border Scans Net Criminals, No Terrorists

According to a news report from Reuters, we have been using fingerprint scanners ( the digital fingerprinting system linking immigration and FBI databases went live nationwide in early September ) to help monitor the 2000 mile U.S.-Mexican border to help secure our borders from terrorism suspects; and since that time we have caught 33,000 crimnals, including murderers, kidnappers and sex offenders, but no terrorists.

But aren't we violating their rights to commit more crimes?


In the 6 days since Abbas' election, 9 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian terrorists in and around the Gaza Strip; 30 missiles and mortar shells have struck Gush Katif, and another 6 in Western Negev. There has been a total of 35 shooting attacks and 13 bomb detonations.


The reality is that an organization consisting of all nations can be no more than the sum of its members' own politics, policies and ambitions. And, such an organization can have no coherent agenda of its own. Amid its scandals, corruption and general incompetence, any hope for resurrecting the UN as a productive international body appears unfounded.

From The Federalist