If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. Anne Bradstreet

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27

Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season therof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion. D&C 59:18-20

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The farce of global warming

Pat Buchanan has an excellent article, "The Second Battle of Copenhagen," on HumanEvents.com. The full text is below.

The Second Battle of Copenhagen
by Patrick J. Buchanan
Posted 10/16/2009 ET

Before President Obama even landed at Andrews Air Force Base, returning from his mission to Copenhagen to win the 2016 Olympic Games, Chicago had been voted off the island.

Many shared the lamentation of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, "What has become of America, when Chicago can't steal an election?"

A second and more serious battle of Copenhagen is shaping up, in mid-December, when a world conference gathers to impose limits on greenhouse gases to stop "global warming." Primary purpose: Rope in the Americans who refused to submit to the Kyoto Protocols that Al Gore brought home in the Clinton era.

The long campaign to bring the United States under another global regime -- the newest piece in the architecture of world government -- has been flagging since 2008. Then, it seemed a lock with the election of Obama and a veto-proof Democratic Senate.

Why has the campaign stalled? Because global warming has stalled. The hottest year of modern times, 1998, came and went a decade ago.

As BBC climate correspondent Paul Hudson writes: "For the last 11 years, we have not observed any increase in global temperatures. And our climate models did not forecast it, even though manmade carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise."

What this powerfully suggests is that what man does and does not do is far less responsible for climate change, if it is responsible at all, than other factors over which he has no control.

Consider. Though the emissions of carbon dioxide rose constantly throughout the 20th century -- with the industrialization of the West, Japan, Southeast Asia and, finally, China and India -- global temperatures have not risen steadily at all. They have fluctuated.

John Sununu, writing in the St. Croix Review, says the Earth underwent "cooling in the 1920s, heating in the 1930s and 1940s, cooling in the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s, warming in the 1980s and 1990s, and cooling in the past decade."

But if there is no crisis, why are we even going to Copenhagen? And if there is no causal connection between carbon dioxide and global warming, what is the true cause of climate change?

Some scientists say that 98 percent of the Earth's temperature can be explained by the sun. When the sun's energy increases, a matter over which man has zero control, the Earth's temperature rises. When the sun's energy diminishes, the Earth's temperature falls.

One solar scientist, Piers Corbyn, claims to have found a link between solar charged particles hitting the Earth and global warming and cooling.

Others, like professor Don Easterbrook of Western Washington University, contend that the oceans explain climate change. As they heat and cool cyclically, the Earth heats and cools. And where the oceans were cooling for 40 years before the 1990s, they have lately been heating up. Easterbrook says these cycles tend to last for 30 years.

As Hudson notes, there are scientists who claim they have taken all these factors into consideration and insist that the Earth, over the long haul, is warming. But Hudson cites Mojib Latif of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who says we are in the first stage of a long-term cooling trend that will last another 10 to 20 years.

The anecdotal evidence almost daily contradicts Al Gore and the end-of-times environmentalists. Lately, there have been record-breaking cold spells in the Midwest and West. Snow came to Colorado this October, postponing a baseball playoff game. The hurricane season turned out to be among the mildest on record. Contrary to predictions, the polar bear population seems to be doing fine.

While the ice cap at the North Pole is receding, the Antarctic ice cap, which contains 90 percent of the world's ice, is expanding.

Moreover, receding ice in the Arctic is opening up a northwest passage from Europe to Asia. The Russians believe the immense mineral resources of the Arctic may soon be accessible. While we wring our hands, they are rushing to get them.

The mounting evidence that global warming has halted and man is not responsible for climate change has thrown the Kyoto II lobby into something of a panic. Barbara Boxer and John Kerry are re-branding the Senate cap-and-trade bill as a national security measure.

If, however, cap-and-trade, which the Congressional Budget Office says will be another blow to economic growth, can be stopped before the Copenhagen summit in December, the republic may have dodged another bullet. And the goal of the globalists -- an end to the independence and sovereignty of the United States, and the creation of a world government -- will have sustained yet another welcome postponement.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sticking with the status quo

President Obama laments that so many Congressional Republicans want to stick with the status quo rather than endorse his health-care reform.

Good for them. I much prefer the status quo than what he offers. We have some problems with health care, some injustices by insurance companies, some injustices from malpractice suits, some incompetent doctors and hospital administrators - but by and large, the health care system we have now works pretty good for the majority of people, in fact, according to many polls, about 80% of us. So, there is no need for a massive overhaul of our health care system -- fix the parts that need fixing, and for goodness sake, leave the rest of it alone.

But Mr. Obama calls a select group of doctors and nurses to the White House, passes out the white coats to make them look authoritarian, and announces that doctors and nurses support his overhaul plan. Which is totally deceptive, but what can we expect from a President who won't listen to the American people, and who denigrates everyone who opposes his plan.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Analysis of the impact of health care reform

Newt's recent email letter exposes the dramatic (negative) effect this health care reform is going to have on most Americans. Were all of Obama's promises just lies? Or does he not know what is in the bills? Or, as some suspect, is this just getting the camel's nose in the tent, the camel being total government control of our economy? I suspect Mr. Obama and the Congress are counting on being able to withstand the backlash at the polls.


With the Senate Finance Committee poised to pass health care legislation, the final contours of the bill that could come out of Congress are starting to come into focus. The bill will contain new taxes on the middle class. It will add to the deficit. And it will put government bureaucrats between Americans and their doctors, among other things.

So it’s not too early to ask the obvious question: Will President Obama veto health care reform?

It’s worth asking because so many of the costs to taxpayers the President has repeatedly promised won’t be in the legislation are, and so many of the benefits are not.

What follows is a list, in no particular order, of the contradictions between the President’s promises and the reality of Democratic health care reform. Add them up and it’s hard to see how President Obama doesn’t reject the bill Congress seems likely to send him.

Contradiction #1: From a Promise Not to Raise Taxes on the Middle Class to $2 Billion in “Penalties”

As far back as the campaign, President Obama promised he wouldn’t raise taxes on Americans making less than $250,000.

But an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that at least 71 percent of the individual mandate penalties in Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus’s (D-MT) bill would be paid by Americans earning less than $250,000. In fact, the nonpartisan analysis found that, of the $2.8 billion in penalties the bill imposes on those who do not purchase health insurance, a full $2 billion will be paid by taxpayers earning less than $120,000 for a family of four.

The Senate Finance bill also levies $215 billion in new taxes on employers and health insurers for offering high-value insurance benefits, which will surely be passed onto all consumers.

Republicans tried to ensure that President Obama’s words would not ring hollow by offering an amendment that said: “This amendment provides that no tax, fee or penalty imposed by this legislation shall be applied to any individual earning less than $200,000 per year or any couple earning less than $250,000 per year.” Democrats defeated it.

Contradiction #2: From a Promise to Reject a Bill That “Adds One Dime to the Deficit” to $239 Billion Added to the Deficit

In his speech to the Joint Session of Congress, the President was adamant: “I will not sign [a bill] if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.”

And yet House bill H.R. 3200 will increase the deficit by an amazing $239 billion over the next decade.

The Baucus bill pretends to be deficit neutral but it’s an accounting gimmick. “It pays for itself” by forcing a new $250-300 billion unfunded mandate on the states. And it doesn’t include nearly $300 billion that will be spent to adjust physician payments in Medicare.

Contradiction #3: From a Promise That “If You Like Your Current Plan You Can Keep It” to Half of Medicare Advantage Benefits Being Cut

In his speech to the Joint Session of Congress last month and elsewhere, the President has reassured nervous Americans that if they like their current coverage, his reform will let them keep it.

Unless you happen to have Medicare Advantage, that is.

Or employer provided insurance.

The director of the nonpartisan CBO testified before the Senate that, under the Senate bill, the benefits of seniors under Medicare Advantage would be cut in half.

And an analysis of the House bill found that 88 million people will lose their current insurance under government health care.

What’s more, both bills would disrupt vision care for more than 100 million Americans.

Contradiction #4: From “If You Like Your Current Doctor You Can Keep Your Doctor” to Squeezing Doctors and Hospitals Until They Reduce Patient Access

Here’s what three doctors who are former chairmen of the American Medical Association (AMA) say about the cuts to Medicare in Democratic health reform bills:

“Now the government is saying that additional Medicare cuts are coming—thus forcing doctors to try and make up the difference in volume, by seeing more patients. If you ask patients about this, they understand that more volume means less time with the doctor. That's something that all patients and doctors should oppose. In time, it will be difficult to find a physician.”

And here’s what the executive director of the Mayo Clinic said: “We will have to violate our values in order to stay in business and reduce our access to government patients.”

Contradiction #5: From a Promise that No Government Bureaucrat Will Stand Between Patients and Doctors to a Medicare Commission With the Power to Deny Treatment

Just this week, in a speech to doctors gathered in the White House Rose Garden, President Obama reiterated his pledge not to let a Washington bureaucrat get between a patient and their doctor.

But the Senate Baucus bill creates an “Independent Medicare Commission” with the ability to deny benefits to the elderly or the disabled based on a government calculation of the costs versus the benefits.

Contradiction #6: From a Promise to “Slow the Growth of Health Care Costs For Our Families” to a New Tax on Hearing Aids, Wheel Chairs and Breakthrough Drugs

In his speech to the Joint Session of Congress, the President pledged to “slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses and our government.”

But the Senate bill contains a tax on medical technology companies and drug makers that will raise the cost to American families for thousands of drugs and devices, including pacemakers, eyeglasses, hearing aids and powered wheelchairs.

Contradiction #7: From a Promise that Health Care Reform Will Fix the Economy to New Taxes on Small Businesses

One of President Obama’s main rationales for health care reform is that it is necessary for economic recovery.

Working against this promise is the provision in the Senate bill that will tax small businesses -- the engine of American economic growth and job creation -- that can’t afford to purchase health insurance for their employees. It’s hard to see how the economy recovers when small businesses are prevented from hiring new workers by a new government tax.

Contradiction #8: From Insuring All Americans to Leaving 25 Million Uninsured

One of President Obama’s three basic goals for health care reform is to provide insurance to those who don’t currently have it.

That’s the promise. The reality? The CBO has determined that the Senate bill will leave about 25 million nonelderly Americans uninsured.

I could go on, but I think the point is made. The differences between what Americans have been promised from health care reform and what they are getting go beyond the usual give and take of Washington.

A Congress controlled by the President’s party is producing health care legislation that blatantly contradicts his most basic, often repeated, promises.

What will the President do? Will President Obama veto health care reform?

Stay tuned.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

Saturday, October 3, 2009

President Obama is ashamed to be an American!

I am really tired of hearing President Obama run this country down. In his bid to get the Olympics for Chicago, he said he wanted to make the world welcome again in the US and to restore us to our values. He repeatedly says he wants to make the U.S. strong again.

Mr. Obama, the peace-loving people, law-abiding people of the world have always been welcome here.

Mr. Obama, George W. Bush has more value in his pinkie than you and Mrs. Obama combined have in your whole bodies.

We have been strong -- strong enough to prevent another 9/11 attack. Strong enough to bring down one of the world's most oppressive dictators. Strong enough to put Al Queda on the run in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Mr. Obama, if you are ashamed to be an American, then resign your position and move elsewhere.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Should we penalize people with bad health habits?

No, but we should reward people with good health habits with lower health insurance rates. That's the way it is in auto insurance -- no accidents and no tickets, your rates go down; accidents and tickets, your rates go up.

We reward good students with scholarships; we reward good employees with bonuses.

If you choose to engage in bad health practices, then you choose to have higher insurance premiums.

It's just good common sense. Choices have consequences. It's time we learned that lesson again.

Are we marching along towards a New World Order?

Dick Morris's email today detailed the activities of the G20 summit meeting:

"While all eyes were on the rantings of Ahmadinejad at the United Nations, the United States -- under President Barack Obama -- was surrendering its economic sovereignty at the G-20 summit. The result of this conclave, which France's President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed as "revolutionary," was that all the nations agreed to coordinate their economic policies and programs and to submit them to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for comment and approval. While the G-20 nations and the IMF are, for now, only going to use "moral suasion" on those nations found not to be in compliance, talk of sanctions looms on the horizon."

"While the specific policies to which the U.S. committed itself (reducing the deficit and strengthening regulatory oversight of financial institutions) are laudable in themselves, the process and the precedent are frightening. We are to subject our most basic national economic policies to the review of a group of nations that includes autocratic Russia, China and Saudi Arabia. Even though our GDP is three times bigger than the second largest economy (Japan) and equal to that of 13 of the G-20 nations combined, we are to sit politely by with our one vote and submit to the global consensus. Europe has five votes (U.K., France, Germany, Italy and the EU) while we have but one."

National sovereignty seems to be going down the drain. We already can't do anything in the world to keep the peace without a UN resolution, and now we have the IMF overseeing our economic policies?

I know Obama isn't the first one to chip away at our national sovereignty, but it has to stop. That's why we elect a President and a Congress -- to handle our domestic AND foreign policies.

It's time to break free of these global enterprises and be our own country again!