Should the Feds Start Price–Fixing Hospital Charges?

The Washington Post headlined an alarming story that accused hospitals of trying to make a profit: “Fifty hospitals in the United States are charging uninsured consumers more than 10 times the actual cost of patient care…”

Gerard Anderson, one of the study’s authors, comments, “…consumers are paying for this when hospitals charge 10 times what they should. What other industry can you think of that marks up the price of their product by 1,000 percent and remains in business?”

Bottled water comes to mind along with women’s shoes, illegal drugs, cosmetics and Comcast.

The entire study displays an almost total lack of understanding of how any market works. The solution to the problem is more information and that’s something government can encourage.

Details in my Newsmax.com column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Healthcare-Reform/2015/06/12/id/650307/

Keep the Crazy Away from Sharp Objects & Sharp Comments

Turning in gunsI’m strongly in favor of keeping the mentally ill away from firearms and I’m coming around to approving any policy that keeps crazy ‘journalists’ away from a keyboard, too. Case in point is Salon.com writer Arthur Chu. His rant titled “It’s not about mental illness: The big lie that always follows mass shootings by white males” makes Alex Jones sound like Dr. Phil.

Chu and Solon appear to be angry because most of America has a handy rule of thumb for predicting mental illness: Any white loser that goes into a prayer meeting at a black church and indiscriminately shoots nine people in the belief the killings will spark a race war — is nuts.

Besides, everyone knows if you want to create widespread civil unrest it requires a white cop to shoot a black suspect in self–defense while the suspect resists arrest.

Chu begins, “I get really really tired of hearing the phrase “mental illness” thrown around as a way to avoid saying other terms like “toxic masculinity,” “white supremacy,” “misogyny” or “racism.”

He’s more concerned with how the insanity manifests itself than the underlying mental illness. This is like criticizing coverage of Jack–the–Ripper for not pointing out his poor surgical technique.

The Charleston shooter was manifestly a crazy racist. The description has the advantage of being accurate without making the rest of white America, and gun owners in particular, responsible for the deaths.

Chu does have the distinction of being the first soft–on–sanity leftist I’ve encountered. He complains about the lack of “serious policy proposals for how to improve our treatment of the mentally ill in this country,” but he wants to exploit the mentally ill to remove guns from the law–abiding sane.

He contends that pointing out the crazy component of white mass shooters is only an excuse to begin a reign of terror among the mentally ill by requiring them to undergo treatment and possibly recover. “Elliot Rodger’s (Isla Vista) parents should’ve been able to force risperidone down his throat. Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech) should’ve been forcibly institutionalized. Anyone with a mental illness diagnosis should surrender all of their constitutional rights, right now, rather than at all compromise the right to bear arms of self-declared sane people.”

Since Rodger’s score was three killed with knives and three killed with guns, confiscating my guns wouldn’t have prevented his spree. And Cho was so nutty a professor wanted him banned from her classes before he started shooting.

The mental health component of preventing gun violence is to bar gun ownership to anyone who’s been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution. Second Amendment rights can reinstate after five years and a doctor’s clearance.

But logical consistency doesn’t matter when the end goal of the left is to control guns by confiscating guns.

To Chu calling someone mentally ill is like pulling a gun on them, so to speak. “When you call someone “mentally ill” in this culture it’s a way to admonish people not to listen to them, to ignore anything they say about their own actions and motivations…”

Sure, just ask Kathleen Willey how that works.

But why any sane person would want to listen to Seung–Hui Cho’s ranting is a mystery to me and that goes for all the rest of the mass shooters and their manifestos.

The entire piece is so full of straw men that the column constitutes a fire hazard, but I think his solution to the problem is getting rid of white men and privately owned guns.

Chu appears to believe that the white, oppressive culture that is America today — President Obama, call your office — broadcasts subliminal messages picked up by the most vulnerable among us, who aren’t crazy, just indoctrinated.

No credit is ever granted to white America. “And hundreds of years of history in which an entire country’s economy was set up around chaining up millions of black people, forcing them to work and shooting them if they get out of line? That’s just history.” The only problem with that is slavery in the US lasted less than 100 years and 400,000 Union troops died to remove that stain from our nation’s honor.

Finally, in full frothing–at–the–mouth mode, he concludes, “We love to talk about individuals’ mental illness so we can avoid talking about the biggest, scariest problem of all–societal illness.”

The entire piece reads enough like a manifesto to make me hope Chu isn’t a gun owner himself. The rational among us can be thankful that outside the fever swamp of Salon this screed will have little influence and we can mark Chu as a Bernie Sanders voter who thought the finest moment in recent history was the Occupy movement.

TSA Still Means Thousands Standing Around

You missed out on last summer’s viral social exhibitionism craze and never got around to scheduling an Ice Bucket Challenge, but you have no intention of making that mistake twice. So you’ve already started planning a Let’s Draw Mohammed contest. No need for ice this time, but there is the question of what organization will handle screening the attendees?

Should you contact TSA or your local police department?

If you picked TSA there is no need to include me on the guest list.

The acting TSA head, Melvin Carraway, was demoted this week after the Inspector General found his crack crew of coffee drinkers failed to spot weapons and explosives in 95 percent of the unannounced tests conducted by a security team.

For your Draw Mohammed Contest this means TSA will be confiscating pencils while the C–4 wrapped in a turban sails through unmolested.

Complete details and laughs can be found in my Newsmax column at:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Emerging-Threats-Homeland-Security/2015/06/05/id/648980/

Rachel Dolezal’s Complexion Problem

She's either a giant Q-Tip or preparing to become a human cannonball.

She’s either a giant Q-Tip or preparing to become a human cannonball.

Elizabeth Warren meet Rachel Dolezal. Or better yet, Liawatha meet Fauxprah. Talk about your sisters from another mother! One pretends to be an Indian to exploit the racial spoils system on the East Coast. While the other undergoes what Zorro & The Blue Footballs called the “race change operation” to become black and abuse that quota system on the West Coast.

When Warren’s deception was discovered her nicknames became very colorful: Crockagawea, Fauxcahontas and Liawatha were some of the best. Dolezal and her blackface masquerade also have great potential. In just a few minutes I’ve come up with Josephine Faker, Liah Angelou, Phony Morrison, Nodetta and Fauxprah. You can create your own, but hurry, Rachel’s notoriety won’t last as long as Elizabeth’s, unless she can find enough deluded Democrats to elect her to office, too.

Dolezal’s transformation started slowly. Her parents adopted four black orphans. This act of kindness had a bizarre impact on blonde, blue–eyed Rachel. Maybe it was the attention they received. Maybe it was the melatonin.

Eventually she applied for a scholarship to historically black Howard University in Washington, DC. Family members couldn’t help but notice she sounded more like Hattie McDaniel during her phone interviews than white–bread Rachel, but their surprise was nothing compared to the shock in the admissions office at Howard when Goldilocks walked in the door.

Her time there was not without incident. She attempted a failed lawsuit against university for racial and sex discrimination. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she got tired of being called “Snowflake” and decided to do something about it.

Her mistake may have been combining Man Tan with Jheri Curl in a single session. She dozed off as Rachel and woke up as Fakey Minaj. After listening to Michelle I was under the impression life as a black woman was tough: subtle insults at state dinners, news media hanging on your every word and people at Target asking you to reach for items on the top shelf.

But here’s Rachel volunteering for duty. She had a brief marriage to a black man — it may have caused problems when he asked why a black woman had to spend so much time on the tanning bed — and then moved to Spokane to become the Al Sharpton of the organic clothing crowd.

And that proved to be the beginning of the end. Spokane is not all that far from her parent’s home in Montana and as Rachel’s profile increased it was only a matter of time before someone made the connection.

In retrospect Dolezal is almost a cliché. First she tries too hard. Rachel grew this huge, unruly mop of Rasta hair that I thought was supposed to be confined under a large knit cap. But no, she piles it on top of her head and as a result she looks like a cross between giant Q–Tip or a human cannonball testing a new shock absorption system.

She uses her chemically–induced race to become chair of the Seattle Police Ombudsman Commission where she searches for police brutality. Rachel claims her adopted black brother is actually her son. Ben Shapiro has unearthed an interview with The Easterner where she says the family lived in a teepee, dad hunted with a bow and arrow and they had to flee to South Africa where she was abused with a Boer whip.

Rachel claims to be a professor when she’s not; says she was date raped but didn’t file charges; explains her hair is blonde because she had cancer and whines that someone painted a swastika on the door of an office where she worked.

Essentially Dolezal is a leftist grievance recycling center masquerading as a human. The only thing she hasn’t claimed to justify her ethnic transformation is dad was the “black sheep” of the family.

Now it’s all come crashing down. She had to resign from the NAACP, the police stopped investigating her hate crime magnetism, the university didn’t renew her contract and the black man she claims is her father disowned her.

The only good news for our drama queen is the gullible and superficial media is flying her east to appear on network TV. And there are rumors of an endorsement deal with Fake Bake.

Before she resigned, authentic members of the NAACP were starting a petition to force Rachel to take a leave of absence during the controversy. Her resignation pre–empts that, but some alone time might come in handy. Rachel could try to get in touch with her roots. I hear Scandinavia is very nice this time of year.

Mission Stampede in Obama’s Justice Department

After announcing on May 28, 2014, that America will no longer function as the world’s policeman, President Obama has evidently decided it’s time for us to become the World’s district attorney.

Bystander Nation

Savvas & Amy Savopoulos: RIP

Savvas & Amy Savopoulos: RIP

For all intents and purposes the Savopoulos family were good, civic–minded residents of Washington, DC.

Savvas, and his wife Amy, were active in charitable causes and contributed $51,800 to both Republican and Democrat candidates since 2006. The Daily Mail reports that even though Savopoulos was very wealthy he didn’t surround himself with bodyguards or other security and the family didn’t hesitate to open the door when someone knocked.

When you live near Vice President Joe “Shotgun” Biden in a well–patrolled neighborhood, what could possibly go wrong?

In this instance, everything.

Today Savopoulos, Amy, 10–year–old Phillip and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa are all dead after someone opened the door to their murderer, ex–con Daron Wint. Over an 18–hour period Wint took the family hostage before torturing, stabbing to death and then setting their bodies on fire.

What’s most striking about this is the sheer number of people who went to the Savopoulos’ home while they were hostages or had unusual telephone contact with the family during and then did absolutely nothing.

The timeline shows there were many opportunities for someone to call the police, yet no one did.

The pizza guy is off the hook. He delivers two pizzas about 9PM Wednesday. He rings the bell and leaves the boxes on the porch. The money was waiting for him and no doubt rich people had asked for stranger things, so he leaves without incident.

Next Savopoulos calls the other housekeeper, Nelitza Gutierrez and leaves a strange, contradictory message, which is understandable when your family is held hostage. He tells Gutierrez his wife is going out, but then says she’s sick and Figueroa is staying overnight, so don’t come tomorrow. He concludes by saying Figueroa’s cellphone is dead and they don’t have a charger for it.

Gutierrez thinks that’s strange, but she doesn’t call Figueroa’s husband. Instead she lets the matter drop.

Early the Thursday morning Savopoulos makes a “flurry” of calls to his banker, accountant and personal assistant wanting immediate access to $40,000 cash. This should have set off alarm bells, particularly since Savopoulos wants his assistant to deliver the 40K to his home and leave it in the garage next to the recycling.

Even Joe Biden could tell this is suspicious and out of character, but again no one calls the police or even insists that Savopoulos meet them to take the money.

Forty thousand dollars is dropped off at the Savopoulos home like it’s another Domino’s pizza.

Later that morning Figueroa goes to the house to find his wife. Although he feels someone is inside, there is no answer when he rings the bell. Still curious, he starts peering into windows. And wouldn’t you know it, his cell rings and it’s Savopoulos saying Amy has gone to the hospital and Veralicia is with her.

The house feels wrong, the timing of the call is wrong and no word from his wife is wrong, but there is no indication Figueroa tried to call Gutierrez to see what’s up.

The last contact with anyone outside the home is a text at 9:30 to Gutierrez that reads: “I am making sure you do not come today.” This is her second bite at the apple. Gutierrez tries to call back and sends a reply but again no answer.

None of these individuals had the entire picture, but each of them had enough pieces for concern. They saw something, but failed to say anything.

But that’s the way society functions in the left’s Bystander Nation. Let the authorities and experts handle it, while you mind your own business. Individual responsibility is something for cowboys from Oklahoma.

If employees in the Bethesda, MD Apple store overhear a woman begging for her life in the adjacent Lululemon store and do nothing as she’s stabbed 330 times, how can we expect DC residents to call 9–1–1 before ransom money is dropped off?

In the left’s social paradise it takes a village to raise a child, but it requires only a handful to let a family die.

Even if Savopoulos had been concerned about family safety and applied for a permit to carry a gun, chances are he’d have been denied. Police Chief Cathy Lanier requires a “good reason” before she’ll issue and concern doesn’t qualify.

The good news is if the two surviving daughters want to apply on their 21st birthday, chances are good Lanier will relent.

Does This Ballistic Vest Make Me Look Fat?

The Pentagon is experimenting with a variety of female ballistic armor designs.

The Pentagon is experimenting with a variety of female ballistic armor designs.

Developments on the women–in–combat front are cause for concern, even for leftists that have made cognitive dissonance a way of life, because the women don’t seem to be holding up their end of the ideological bargain.

If Ranger Sgt. Rosie Riveter is going to be leaping out of aircraft and putting paid to ISIS misogynists — either by a well–placed burst from her rifle or silently dispatching him with the Camel Clutch (first made famous by the Iron Shiek) — it would be a big help if she’d quit complaining about her shoes.

I was under the impression that if a shoe didn’t hurt a female wasn’t interested in wearing it, but evidently that’s not the case. Females deployed in Afghanistan are complaining they lack access to combat boots designed especially for them.

This is where the dissonance really bites.

Feminists believe “gender” is a social construct and men and women are interchangeable. Lefty women, secure in Washington think tanks, contend that denying other women the opportunity to be killed on the front line is patriarchal discrimination.

Meanwhile women actually in the Army are hoping for something a little more strappy with a semi–open toe.

Even in branches of the service that have essentially struck their colors, women aren’t happy about equality. The Washington Times quotes a middie (maybe widdie?) at the Naval Academy unhappy that the unisex unis “make women look like men.”

Navy Sec. Ray Mabus — no doubt wondering if women are ever happy — replied there are “skirt options on a bunch of women uniforms,” which didn’t earn him any points either.

The idea behind uniforms is the clothing exhibits, here’s that word again, uniformity. If everyone is accessorizing their look depending on circumstances you no longer have a military, you have a pride parade.

Although women’s slacks have a certain amount of variety when it comes to placement, for men zippers need to be in the front. That goes for the rest of the clothing designs. Uniforms should only differ by size with the exception of undershirts, ballistic vests and maxi–pads. One relaxed–fit BDU design should work for both sexes.

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D–Dr. Scholls) disagrees. The WT reports she is sponsoring a bill that will require the Pentagon to “devise a strategy to ensure that women are outfitted with the best combat footwear possible.”

That would seem to fly in the face of arguments from the women–as–cannon–fodder movement that women are just as capable as men. If that fanciful contention were true, then the only difference in the shoes should be size.

But it’s not true. The WT quotes a British study that found women suffer seven times the rate musculoskeletal injuries found in men and ten times the number of hip and pelvic fractures. And those figures don’t include statistics on pregnancy that, Bruce Jenner aside, don’t affect male combat trainees.

The Marines have had a great deal of trouble finding a few good women. So far the Infantry Officer Course remains undefeated. Recruiters scoured the Corps looking for 100 women eager for the chance to die in the mud and could only persuade 29 to give it a shot. Of those 29 every woman failed the course.

The Army, seven times larger than the Marines, found 113 women to try the Ranger Training Assessment Course. Out of the 113 women, 20 passed and began Ranger training. Out of those 20 every woman failed the course.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who knows all about photons and nothing about females, is eagerly awaiting the first women volunteers for SEAL training, scheduled to begin after Sec. Mabus determines the ideal length for a neoprene skirt.

Frankly if I were Sec. of Defense it would concern me that the only militaries wholeheartedly in favor of the US integrating women into frontline combat units belong to the enemy. As his increasingly disruptive and damaging search for Wonder Woman continues, maybe Carter should contact videogame manufacturers.

They seem to have no shortage of heroic women with large busts that are ready, willing and able to kick some behind, even if they are entirely imaginary.

Did You Know Farmers Used to Grow Food for Free?

One of the more brilliant Democrat ploys is getting consumers to pay for their groceries twice: Once in the form of tax dollars and then again at the grocery store. This scam has been going on for the past 80 years and now Republicans that don’t understand liberty or the Constitution are collaborating.

But that’s only true if you are a maker. If you are a taker then the USDA can help! We are now paying farmers to grow food and consumers to eat it. The government’s idea of an infinite loop.

Feel all the outrage in my Newsmax column at:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/National-Debt/2015/05/22/id/646376/

Taxpayers Flying Coach Pay for Politicians in First

Finally “bi–partisan” legislation that’s not a sellout to leftist extremists by collaborationist GOP leadership! Republican Paul Gosar is and Democrat Raul Ruiz have introduced legislation in the House to prohibit congressmen and senators from flying first class on the taxpayer’s dime.

Instead, if the potentates want to be in first they will foot the bill themselves, an entirely alien concept to most of the members.

Of course the legislation has no chance of passage, but it makes a great question to ask at the next town meeting your representative and senators hold. Complete details in my Newsmax column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Barack-Obama/2015/05/18/id/645191/

 

Meet the New Senate Hypocrites, Same as the Old Hypocrites

Republican duplicity continues on the Obamacare front and it’s got me stumped. What’s the bigger lie?

If you like your doctor, you can keep him?

Or if you elect a Republican Congress we’ll repeal Obamacare?

Potentially even worse than the lying is the hypocrisy. Members of Congress colluding with the administration are now receiving a yearly subsidy of between $5,000 and $10,000 to buy an Obamacare policy regardless of their total household income.

One expects this from Democrats, but now Republicans are enjoying the handouts and preventing efforts at repeal from Sen. David Vitter (R–LA). The entire,depressing story is in my Newsmax column:

http://tinyurl.com/m6bxgnx