"I wish they would only take me as I am" - Vincent Van Gogh               "How Can I believe in God when just last week I got my tounge caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?" - Woody Allen              "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake" - Henry David Thoreau              "I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia" - Woody Allen            "When promulgating esoteric cogitations, eschew platitudinous ponderosities" - Mark Rowan, my father            "Up, sluggard, and waste not life, for in the grave there will be sleep enough" - Benjamin Franklin             "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." - Albert Einstein            "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence" - Ronald Reagan            "It's odd that you can get so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don't quite fully share the hell of someone close to you." - Lady Bird Johnson              "I still want to be the candidate for guys with confederate flags in their pickup truck" - Howard Dean

Friday, June 16, 2006

More on Immigration

The Immigration debate is really low on my list of interests. I've written about it a few times, but for the most part I'm 'out of the loop' (or, disenfranchised as they say in Berkeley). I really don't agree with any of the major players in the debate. The Senate bill was a joke, President Bush' plan is anti-immigrant, despite the pro-illegal immigrant provisions, and the Sensenbrenner Bill (4437) only addressed half of the problem with half a solution. To be sure, no solutions are pro-legal-immigrant.

President Bush' proposed guest worker program and the Senate bill are essentially amnesty, which has been tried in the past without benefit. If there is impetus for foreigners to come to our country illegally now, there will be impetus for guest workers to stay beyond their legally allowed illegal-immigration. It would serve to increase the number of illegal immigrants.

I am supportive of the Sensenbrenner Bill, specifically the provision of building a border fence. Everyone should agree that border security is necessary, whether or not you agree that a fence is the best solution. I also think heightening the penalty for illegal immigration to a felony is acceptable, but only in light of the following.

I believe that we do not allow enough legal immigration. The number currently stands around 1 million a year. Sure, a million is a big number, but in a country of nearly 300 million, it's one-third of one percent. Certainly, this number could easily be increased to, say, 3 million. Coupled with a prevention of illegal border crossing, I think this would represent a fair and compassionate program.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bush approval and the Economy

A Gallup poll released this week stated that 37% of respondents approve of President Bush' handling of the economy. Now, listen; there are myriad issues that I disapprove of President Bush' handling (Immigration, gay marriage, ...), but I don't understand how any objective observer can say that his handling of the economy is subpar. The economy is booming, and has been booming since the dive bomb after 9/11. Unemployment keeps decreasing, the DOW has been hovering near an all-time high. So, considering that the majority of indicators all point to a strong economy, why is this figure so low?

Am I missing something?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

US "Occupation" of Iraq

I don't normally read the Contra-Costa Times, but this weekend I happened to pick one up. It featured an article by Robert Conger titled "U.S. must end occupaton to truly free Iraq," which appears to be nothing more than a poorly thought out argument agains our forces. The article starts off discussing the shortcomings of military investigations, particularly in regards to the "apparent massacre in Haditha."
Just as investigations carried out by police on their own have ensured the continuing travesty of police brutality, the "investigation" of military excesses, being carried out only by the military itself, has ensured the continuing travesty of American military atrocities
Herein lies the truth about how many feel about our military. Despite the fact that "over 99.9%+ of our folks have acted by the rules," they are still portrayed as murderers. This will be a theme the author does not give up on.
The military and the administration freely use the termos "terrorists" and "insurgents" to apply to anyone in Iraq who resists the American occupation.
By the way, I support an American "occupation" of Darfur, which, I presume by his statements, Mr. Conger does not.
If America were invaded and occupied by foreign troops, I doubt very much that any American would regard any act of resistance as an act of "terrorism," and those who resisted would not be dismissed as "insurgents" or "anti-american." We regard such persons patriots.
Aside from his support for the insurgency (but don't question his patriotism), the author is also being horribly misleading. If America were occupied, I would still consider an American who stuffs a backpack full of explosives, nails, and ball bearings, then detonates it in the middle of a crowded shopping mall a "terrorist." I would also consider an American group who kidnapped and murdered 50 American children a group of "terrorists," though Conger would call them "patriots."
We need to assist Iraq to regain stability, if possible. But this continual assault on Iraqis themselves is not the way to do it. We must withdraw from Iraq and invite international forces to come into Iraq, under the auspices of the United Nations, forces that the Iraqi populace would find acceptable.
The author extends the unconfirmed actions of .018% of our military to the rest of our brave men and women. Most of our soldiers are there building bridges and schools, providing security, and doing a wonderful job to help Iraq build a democracy. These are laudable goals, which I support, but Conger does not. But don't you dare question his patriotism.

Furthermore, is Mr. Conger serious about the United Nations? Whose "acceptable" forces continually rape women, trade aid supplies for sex with underage girls, and helped to enrich Saddam Hussein to the detriment of the Iraqi people? This absurd proposal seems to fit into the rest of his analysis.

Opposing a war on reasonable grounds is acceptable. Dissent is patriotic. But this type of slander, to accuse the vast majority of our military of being brutal murderes, while simultaneously supporting those who seek to kill them and Iraqi civilians is neither; it is disgusting, unpatriotic, and dishonest. God bless our troops.

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Picture is worth 1,000 words

Via Gateway Pundit, comes this picture. The photo is of a young Iraqi boy, holding up a photo of President Bush found in the rubble where Al-Zarqawi was killed.

This has been a good week, and god bless the citizens of Iraq.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Gay Marriage Ban

I realize that talk about a ban on gay marriage is supposed to get me - like all conservatives - fired up in support of the President. At least, that's how the media is portraying it (though Powerline shows why this isn't political posturing, like the MSM claims). But, it doesn't. In fact, it's not just apathy that I'm showing, I disagree with the President on the issue for two reasons.

Primarily, I disagree with his position. The marriage of two men or two women threatens my marriage no more than their being gay threatens my heterosexuality. In fact, I would be willing to wager that most homosexual marriages are healthier and more loving that the train-wreck that occupied the White House in the late 90's.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the issue does not require a constitutional amendment. Federalizing the issue, which Bush is doing, is contrary to traditional conservative principle. While I disagree with the position, if it is something that has potential supporters, it should be dealt with on a state-by-state basis, not as a federal constitutional amendment.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Should I be angry of flattered?

I've been plagiarized in Italian! I've made several posts about SB840, a bill in the California legislature that would socialize health-care financing. Recently, I found a website, Pro American Movement, that has reposted the entirety of several of those posts. I used Babel Fish to translate the text from Italian to English, and only in the original post (1 of 4 posted there) does it mention that I am the original author. The other posts mention nothing about me, the original author, and one even says "Cross Posted at California Conservative" (I cross-posted there).

So, should I be flattered, or angry? To be honest, I'm leaning towards flattered, and I'm happy that word is getting out about the bill. But, it is a little annoying that credit wasn't given.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Janet Reilly: Smarter than I thought!

But, most California Democrats are still dumb.
Janet Reilly, who is running for California Assembly in my district (Nob Hill/Marina of San Francisco), is not just any mindless liberal. She has openly supported SB840, the socialized medicine Bill that has many, many, many, many, many problems. However, those farther to the left of her claim that she is not a friend of health care because she owns lots of stock in pharmaceuticals.

This is a ridiculously absurd accusation, to claim that the pharmaceutical industry is somehow an opponent of health care. As someone who works in the medical field, I know that many of my patients simply would not survive if Pfizer, Merck, King, GSK, etc...did not exist. If there were not medicines to treat Cancer, AIDS, pain, depression, and thousands of other diseases, the health care industry would be in a much weaker state. However, liberals still seem to define them as the enemy.

What sets Janet Reilly apart is her realization that pharmaceuticals stand to make billions should California adopt socialized medicine under SB840. I base this on common sense, as well as my own experience.

Common sense tells me that as soon as there is no financial obstacle - even just a small co-pay - to rationalize choice when it comes to medications, there use will dramatically increase. Those who could no longer afford medications will now have no barrier to taking as many as they need. When you aren't paying for the medications, there is no reason not to try the newest, best, and most expensive medications. And generics! Forget about it! Why take generics when you can get brand name for free?

In woker's compensation cases - the majority of the patients I encounter at work - there is no reason to be cost-efficient when determining care; every diagnostic test is ordered, and patients never refuse medications or durable goods (braces, etc..). There is no reason to refuse these, because they have absolutely downside to doing so. There is zero out of pocket expense to deter taking unnecessary medications. Expand this to cover every citizen (and, according to Leland Yee, every illegal immigrant) in California, which SB840 would do, and revenue for pharmaceuticals will greatly skyrocket.

While liberals who support SB840 extol it's virtue, they lack the foresight to realize that it will benefit those "evil" pharmaceutical companies that they unjustly vilify. Janet Reilly understands this, and stands to profit if it passes.