Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Health Care

I've been reading a lot about the health care legislation of late, which is not surprising, given that it is one of Mr. Obama's priorities. I'm thinking there are some things that need to be said that aren't being said with regard to this legislation.

First and foremost is "What's the hurry?" Our health care system could use some improvement, I'll grant you, but a complete overhaul with over 1000 pages of legislation that some of our elected officials, like Mr. Conyers, will not even read before casting their vote? (A notion I find appalling as, in my understanding, that is the job of our elected legislators, to read and understand proposed legislation before voting on it. Mr Bilbray is with me on this one.) I understand that the republicans (not to be confused with conservatives) have come up with a different health care reform plan that is unlikely to even see the light of day, thanks to the changes in procedures enacted shortly after the democrats took control of both houses.

It seems to me that we are not even framing the debate in correctly. First one must define the problem. All I am hearing in the MSM is that the problem is that health care costs too much and that the free market didn't work for health care. In my experience we don't have a free market system in health care so how could it affect anything?

I recall shortly after moving about 10 years ago that I was incensed that I could not get a straight answer to a few simple questions when I was looking for a new doctor. Those questions? "How much does it cost for an office visit with each of the doctors who are currently accepting new patients?" and "How much does it cost for a throat culture?" Only one of the health care businesses I called could answer those questions. They were a family practice. (By which I mean a family of doctors who had set up their own offices.) and I only called them because they they were mistakenly on the list of local in-network providers given to us by my husband's new employer.

How can we call this a free market? How would you shop if the salesclerk in a grocery store refused to tell you how much anything cost until after you had purchased it, taken it home and consumed it? That's essentially what most in-network service providers do. They say they have no choice, because different insurance plans cover different things at different percentages and the prices are set by someone else and on and on and on. (Gov.'t regulation plays a part in that as well.) Even when I provided them with the name of my husband's new employer and the insurance carrier, these clinics were unable to provide that basic level of consumer information. (The private practice didn't deal with insurance and made a point of saying that they would have to charge me more because it would cost them more clerical time to get their payment from my insurance - and they were able to tell me how by how much my cost was increased.)

I think if we made clinics publish their prices for various services (Please note I did not say have the government set their prices), that consumers could bring down health care costs pretty quickly through informed decision making and free market competition.

The second issue that really has an affect on health care prices is tort reform. By this I mean that the cost of malpractice insurance has become so prohibitive that many doctors simply cannot afford to continue to practice. If we limit the damages that can be awarded for liability, this would have a huge affect on the cost of health care.

Neither of these solutions would require the federal government to have a mandatory medical database containing the medical records of each and every American citizen with no opt out for those who don't care to share that information with whatever government employee has access and time on their hands. They would not require government rationing of health care or government guidelines on who can be treated or for which treatments are allowable for which people. (Wouldn't want to waste money treating old people or people with incurable diseases-they're going to die soon anyway-right?) Nor would they require huge tax increases or affect current medicare or medicaid programs.

Our form of government is designed to let our legislators deliberate, slowly and carefully before voting on legislation that affects the American people. What crisis is requiring such a push now? Why in the world should a bill this size and this costly to the American people be voted on virtually without review and debate, much less passed?

"To me belongeth vengeance and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste." ~Deut 32:35

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wisconsin's Budget

It has taken me a while to to come to the point where I can post on the passage of WI's budget without including language that I would prefer not to use.

I think those legislators who voted for this monstrosity have lost their focus on the people of WI and are using their positions to advance their own agendas to look good in the eyes of an increasingly politically correct MSM. I think they need to stop worrying about looking "nice" to the outside world and start thinking about their primary duties as legislators of the state of WI. Those duties are to the people of WI. NOT to illegal aliens, not to special interest groups such as trial lawyers or gay rights groups, but to the people of WI.

I'm not saying that those who choose a homosexual lifestyle or trial lawyers or illegal aliens are not people. I must, however point out that the legislators of our state should not be legislating to benefit a tiny portion of the state's population, in the case of those who choose a homosexual lifestyle and trial lawyers, at the expense of the overall population. As for illegal aliens, the duty of our legislators is to prosecute them and to protect the citizens of this state from them -just as it is for every other criminal. I am flabbergasted that not only were such policy items included in the state's budget, but they were allowed to remain. Have we taken leave of our senses? Is it the air in Madison? Or is it simply a departure from what used to be common sense?

As a citizen(for now) of WI, may I say to all of those legislators-I don't have any more money to feed to your politically correct machine. I cannot afford to be nice to any more of the people you think should get my money instead of me. I don't have any more money to give to the state if I want to be able to eat and keep a roof over my head. There are only so many pennies in a dollar and between the state of WI and the folks in D.C. precious few of those pennies belong to me anymore. There can be no more rationalizing that this will only cost each taxpayer 1 cent of every dollar they make. The reality is there are no more pennies. They have all been taken by you and Washington. You were elected to serve my interests. It is not in my interests to make a beggar out of my family or myself in order to benefit criminals and special interest groups. This budget is an affront to common sense and an insult to the people of the state of WI. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

"None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity."~Isaiah 59:4

Marriage in WI

As I remarked in an earlier post, the part of Mr. Doyle's budget containing a domestic partnership registry seems to be in direct violation of WI's newly approved Marriage amendment. It seems I am not the only one who thinks so. Julaine Appling and Wisconsin Family Action think so too and they are filing a petition before WI's Supreme court to have it removed. I hope to see this provision of the state budget thrown out. To repeat my earlier statement:
" party majority does not negate the law. Not even for the governor. This does not belong in the state's budget."

The amendment states:
"Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state." ~Wisconsin Constitution; Article XIII, Section 13.

In a press release, Ms. Appling says:“Gov. Doyle and the legislators who approved the registry in the budget are obviously more concerned with advancing the agenda of a fringe activist group than representing the people who elected them.” When I consider the in-state tuition and driver's cards for illegal aliens, the changes that were proposed to joint and several liability for those who drive and etc. ad nauseum, I can't help but think that anyone who voted to approve this budget had at heart the interests of just about any group EXCEPT the people they were elected to represent.

"Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;"~Jer 22:13

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

Thank You to SR and DR at The Maritime Sentry for bestowing the Honest Scrap Award on me on July 3rd. (I hope it was okay to copy and post the image as I could not get it download from it's web-site here : I am assuming it goes along with the award and will remove it if notified to the contrary.)


In accepting this award, I need to do the following:
1) Say thanks and give a link to the presenter of the award.
2) Share "ten honest things" about myself.
3) Present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me.
4) Tell those 7 people that they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving it.

My 10 honest things:
1.) I want to do my best to do God's will in my life.(I usually fail, but at least I have a goal.-lol)
2.) I am currently severely disappointed in the Boy Scouts of America.
3.) I like blogging because I can review what I write before it gets to it's intended audience.
4.) I have rejected the idea of putting advertising on my blog, because I have an objection in principle to "monetizing" what I write and because I don't like Google's terms even though I could use the money.
5.) I tend to face what scares me, not out of bravery, but out of the fear that I won't be able to live with myself if I don't.
6.) I love my husband.
7.) I love my son.
8.) I hate being manipulated.
9.) I tend to think that people will do the "right" thing if they know what it is and become terribly depressed when they don't - see number 2.
10.) I have never colored my hair and it is still the color God gave me in my portrait(maybe a little darker now) despite the fact that most of my friends my age and some younger have been gifted with that symbol of age and wisdom.

My 7 other blogs, in no particular order are:
1.) Webster's Blogspot
2.) Voice of Conservative America
3.) Wisconsin Speaks Up
4.) Enjoying the Story
5.) Gates of Vienna
6.) Loyal to Liberty
7.) Red County
Since Webster's was already named by The Maritime Sentry, I'm going to include an eight choice here:
"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." ~Prov. 18-24

Friday, July 17, 2009

A week that requires a do-over.

Update# 2: I went to the City park a few times during the scheduled time for this event and I saw nothing but what one should expect to see at a city park. It may be that the event was simply held somewhere else, less public and not publicized for which I praise the Lord. I would hope that those who had planned to participate and especially the young man who organized it in the first place would really start thinking critically about their attitudes and actions. When we are hearing stories like that of this young lady, and, particularly relevant to the proposed Bible fight,these people, it should inspire one to really examine one's own views with an eye towards which religions/philosophies really respect life.

Update: I can no longer find the event "Bible Fight in the Park on Facebook". This may mean that it has simply gone underground. I am hoping that it means that one of the local clergy I notified contacted the organizer's parents and they did what a good parent who cares about their child's future would do in such a case. I hope it's the latter. (By that, I don't mean that people should be denied freedom of speech, but I do mean that parents should be looking out for the future of their children and exercise appropriate discipline to do so. It's bad enough when adults behave in an offensive manner under the banner of free speech, but at least they are doing so with a reasonable understanding of the likely results of such behavior.)If I hear differently, I'll post again. Thank you to all who offered suggestions and thank you to WBCA's adult posters for backing off to allow the community of Plymouth to act.

I have spent the better part of this last week de-bugging my computer. Thank the Lord my husband is a programmer/analyst. With his help and the help of one of his co-workers, Sophos anti-virus software and MalwareBytes, we have managed to track down and remove the over 50 virus/malware programs that insinuated themselves into our computer a few days back. I have no idea yet how they got here, the antivirus software just popped up and we were off!

Then my son shared an event posting on Facebook with me. Apparently some of the young people of Plymouth, WI have decided to have a Bible fight in Plymouth's City Park. Perhaps you believe that this event is going to be a doctrinal debate or a debate between young atheists and believers. Young people who have studied their own beliefs and are willing to stand up in a public forum and discuss them rationally with others. While I know a few young people in Plymouth who really do know what they believe, doctrinally, and would be willing to do such a thing, I am sad to say it is not so.

This is a group of teenagers who, I am assured, are mostly atheists or agnostics who will be throwing Bibles at one another in a game of pseudo dodge ball. I have no doubt that their parents will look lovingly on as their children purchase Bibles, thinking how wonderful it is that their children love God enough to want to purchase their own Bible.

In order to bring reality to these parents, I have alerted the local newspaper to this event posting. Won't their parents be proud to see their young ones in the paper? I can't say, given my previous experiences with this community, that I am surprised by this and that's a shame.

I am appalled beyond words at this event. I hope that a local newspaper article will cause the event to be cancelled entirely and cause some teenagers to suffer revoked driving privileges and remedial Bible Studies. I rather suspect, however, that it will be instead be celebrated as a victory for free speech.

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. " ~Proverbs 1:7

Friday, July 10, 2009

WI Budget Results.

I know some of you have been following along with my series on WI's proposed budget and the voting. I would have posted sooner on the end result, but I was discouraged. Then I read an article in the Wisconsin Club for Growth's e-newsletter that summed it up so nicely, I couldn't think of anything to add. (Yes, I know-who thought of that name? It reminds me of the hair club for men.)

I asked for permission to reprint it here and then had to go to the author, Rep. Mike Huebsch from the LaCrosse area, which he kindly granted as well as providing a link to his e-update for further updates.
Here is his article:
Historic Tax and Fee Hike Centerpiece of Democrats’ Budget Deal
By State Representative Mike Huebsch
Governor Doyle and Democrat lawmakers finally got out of their own way and reached a budget agreement yesterday. Senate Democrats approved the spending plan shortly after 12:00 a.m. and the Assembly is expected to vote some time tonight. Governor Doyle has promised to sign it into law early next week.
While the political maneuvering in Madison may be drawing to a close, the assault on taxpayers has just begun. With no concern for what middle class families can afford, Democrats chose more taxes and more government spending as their answer to the economic downturn.
Democrats will undoubtedly take a victory lap for fulfilling their pledge to complete the budget before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. But we all know from our school days that substandard work earns an "F" even when it's turned in on time. All the Democrats have done is trade quality for expediency.
In the months after the final votes are tallied and the Democrats’ proposals become reality, every Wisconsin family will be able to calculate their own personal and devastating price tag. The price for their misplaced priorities is just too high.
During the last four months, Democrats set new standards for taxing and spending and gave new meaning to the phrase backroom deal. They approved the largest state and local tax and fee increase in state history - $4.9 billion - and spent 6.8 percent more tax dollars than two years ago. They hammered out the defining details of their spending plan in secret meetings, informed Republicans of their progress through the media and rejected our amendments out of hand.
Assembly and Senate Democrats budget work came in fits and starts as they canceled Joint Finance Committee meetings to settle disputes out of the public eye. Democrats who hold 12 of 16 seats on the budget-writing committee unanimously approved the budget after an all-night session on May 29. But in the weeks that followed, each house rewrote portions of the budget and passed competing plans.
Then, top Doyle aids and Democrat leaders met secretly for seven days to iron out the differences. But when media criticism over the secrecy reached fever pitch, they convened a conference committee that can best be described as charade. As the Associated Press reported:
“Democrats refused to allow Republicans to propose any changes to the state budget during the hastily called first meeting Wednesday of a bipartisan committee created to work out a deal…
“For much of Wednesday's 2 1/2 hour meeting, Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan, D-Janesville, merely read the titles of individual budget items with little comment or questions.”
While finger pointing is all too common in politics, it reached absurd proportions this week when the Assembly Speaker blamed Republicans for standing in the way of a budget deal. In truth, competing Democrat priorities have caused the hold up. For example, Assembly Democrats want to give illegal aliens “driver cards” and subsidized tuition, but Senate Democrats do not; Senate Democrats want to eliminate Wisconsin’s capital gains tax exclusion, but Assembly Democrats do not.
While I cannot stand in the way of this budget deal, let me be clear: I would if I could. I would stand in the way for as long as it took to stop the Democrats’ unprecedented tax and fee hikes and prevent policy initiatives that are out of step with Wisconsin values.
But, with Democrats in complete control of state government for the first time in 25 years, my Republican colleagues and I have been forced to watch this proverbial train wreck from the sidelines. Democrat leaders have excluded us from negotiations and limited our ability to review their proposals before forcing us to vote. They have paid lip service to bipartisanship and reduced public input and scrutiny to a meaningless formality.
Governor Doyle and the Democrats sacrificed open government and sincere debate in order to limit scrutiny of historic tax and fee hikes, record spending levels, unprecedented bonding, indefensible earmarks and controversial policy proposals completely unrelated to state finances. The institution of the legislature will recover from the Democrats’ arrogant and destructive decisions, but taxpayers and our economy will suffer for the foreseeable future.
Key Details of “the Deal”
Spending over Two Years: $62 billion, a 6.8% increase.
New State Tax and Fee Hikes: $2.1 billion, in addition to $1.2 billion approved in February’s “budget adjustment bill.”
Local Property Tax Hikes: $309 per median-valued home and $1.5 billion statewide.
Capital Gaines Tax Exclusion Cut in Half. Reduced the income tax exclusion for investment gains from 60% to 30%, costing investors about $242 million.
QEO Immediately Repealed
Oil Franchise Fee Abandoned: Revenues are replaced with bonding and a transfer from the petroleum inspection fund.
Requires Auto Insurance and Increases Mandatory Minimum
Rejected Governor Doyle’s Proposed Changes to Wisconsin’s Joint and Several Liability Laws
Provides Subsidized Tuition for Certain Illegal Aliens at UW Schools
Eliminates Plan to Provide Driver Cards to Illegal Aliens
Scraps Plan to Index the Minimum Wage
Establishes Primary Enforcement of Wisconsin’s Mandatory Seatbelt Law
Restores Funding to the Department of Justice
Rejects the Assembly Democrats’ Plan to Reduce the Number of Low-Income Children Allowed in the Milwaukee School Choice Program
Prohibits Counties Funding Construction Projects with Private Dollars

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. "~Gal 6:9

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

"IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  • He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  • He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  • He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  • He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  • He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
  • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  • He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
  • For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
  • For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
  • For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
  • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
  • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
  • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
  • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
  • For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  • He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  • He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  • He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."~The Declaration of Independence from the National Archives web-site.

"And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it"~Gen 2:15