Veterans Are the Healthcare Canary in a Coal Mine

JeffDarcy VA scandalBetween today and June 6th’s 70th anniversary of the D–Day landing I want you to find a veteran and talk to him. This doesn’t mean cornering some unsuspecting vet and ambushing him with the latest insipid leftist cliché: ‘Thank you for your service,’ which manages to be both pretentious and condescending.

(However, it is an improvement over the left’s former greeting for vets: ‘How many babies did you kill today?’ But it’s still rote trivialization.)

Ideally your vet should be a veteran of either the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam War. Not because the fighting was far enough in the past be non–controversial, but because this vet has had plenty of time to experience the tender mercies of the Veterans Administration health care system.

And that system should be the main topic of conversation, because if the left has its way, everyone will experience this type of health care under the coming Obamacare regime. Don’t make the mistake — encouraged by the cheerleading mainstream media — of believing the VA is a problem unto itself and has no relation to civilian health care and certainly no relevance to the future of Obamacare.

That is spin and it is completely untrue. The VA hospital system is essentially the pilot program for Obamacare. It’s been a single–payer system from the beginning and single–payer is the ultimate goal for Obamacare. The VA system was designed to accommodate a smaller subset of the population and it was immune to competition from the private sector. Think of it as the United States Postal Service with syringes.

The theory is after the bugs have been worked out of the pilot program, then a benevolent government can expand it to accommodate the entire country. Unfortunately with leftist big government, when a pilot program fails the verdict is always the failure was due to a lack of resources. The cure is to take the same program, bulk it up with taxpayer dollar injections and make it mandatory for the entire country.

So the VA is very relevant to Obamacare

Our veterans have been used as guinea pigs since 1930 when the VA was founded. One would think 84 years is long enough to get the kinks worked out of the program, but one would be wrong. VA hospital horror stories have been a staple of government scandal coverage for years.

If you fall for the ‘it’s just the VA and won’t affect civilians’ cover story then you are believing what the Obama administration wants you to believe. The goal of the White House is to keep the VA scandal bottled up in a silo off to one side. Obama wants you to think it’s just a rogue VA hospital in Arizona that cooked the books.

But it’s not just Arizona. It’s Florida, it’s West Virginia, it’s Missouri, it’s all over the country. And the problem can’t be solved because there is no real penalty for failure and no competitive pressure to excel. And the same government that runs the VA will soon be running Obamacare if the left can expand it into a single–payer system.

My family has it’s own story of an encounter with the Oklahoma – Texas VA administration. One of my uncles — a WWII veteran — fell ill and went to the VA for treatment in the 50’s. The good doctors said he had suffered a nervous breakdown and they hospitalized him in the mental wing.

Today suffering a nervous breakdown means you are forever immune to negative job performance reviews and the Angel of Downsizing will probably pass over you, too.  But in the 50’s a mental problem was the kiss of death.

My uncle lost his career, his wife and his future. He was in and out of VA hospitals for two decades trying to find a cure so he could reassemble the shards of what had been a normal life. And then one fine day he got a new VA doctor. This doctor announced that my uncle had never had any mental problems and that all his difficulties had been caused by an undiagnosed and untreated brain tumor that had been growing in his skull since the first time he saw the inside of a VA hospital.

So my uncle went home to the bedroom he’d inhabited in my grandmother’s house since he lost everything he held dear. And he thought about his life. And he thought about what he had lost. And he carefully took a blanket off his bed, went over to the gas space heater, sat down on the floor, covered his head with the blanket and turned on the gas.

So my family knows all about VA medical care and we want no part of it.

These poor vets were promised first–class health care in return for going to war. Instead they received secret waiting lists, bureaucrat cover-ups, buck passing and incompetent care.

On the other hand the rest of us, that haven’t gone to war, have been promised we could keep our doctor and our insurance.

So find a veteran and ask him how the government keeps its promises.

The continual problems of the VA health care system are what the rest of the country will face if Obamacare isn’t stopped in its tracks. Government can’t run a smaller health care network and it certainly can’t run universal health care.

Our veterans have been the canary in the health care coalmine for decades, but Uncle Sam just keeps replacing the dead canaries with new ones.

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Why Col. Sanders Is a Better Strategist than Col. Riley

In spite of his superior numbers, Maj. Gen. Jubal Early didn't meet with any more success than Col. Riley.

In spite of his superior numbers, Maj. Gen. Jubal Early didn’t meet with any more success than Col. Riley.

Don’t take your guns to town son,

Leave your guns at home Bill,

Don’t take your guns to town.

Johnny Cash ‘Don’t Take Your Guns to Town’

 

Marching on Washington, DC to change the government has not met with success. 150 years ago Maj. Gen. Jubal Early traveled up the Shenandoah Valley in an effort to outflank the Union and attack Washington from the North.

He was making excellent progress until he reached Monocacy, MD. There the campaign began to lose momentum under a blizzard of regulation and EPA requests for environmental impact statements. There was also some concern regarding the potential for Chesapeake Bay pollution due to cavalry manure runoff.

Lacking a parade permit, his 14,000 men were turned away at Fort Stevens just outside the District’s city limit.

Not only did Early fail to set foot in Washington, his march had no effect on the election that November. Abraham Lincoln was returned to office, the war continued and Early — joined by a few other ‘angry white men’ — fled the country when Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered the next year at Appomattox.

Now retired Army Col. Harry Riley planned to march on DC last week with a group of what The Washington Times describes as “revolutionary–style patriots.” Riley’s goal, like Jubal Early’s, is to change the government starting with Barack Obama, John Boehner, Eric Holder, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi and ‘Shotgun’ Joe Biden.

“We are calling for [their] removal … as a start toward constitutional restoration,” Riley explained. “They have all abandoned the U.S. Constitution, are unworthy to be retained in a position that calls for servant status.”

So far, so good, I’d take a walk, too, if getting rid of even three of the seven named was a possibility. But I’m going to sit this one out. The colonel’s effort is called “Operation American Spring” and Riley describes it as the American answer to the ‘Arab Spring’ in more ways than one.

So far he’s not calling for black flags to be flown, but the colonel does envision somewhere between 10 million and 30 million “mobilized militia members” marching down Pennsylvania Ave over the weekend. Arab Spring marchers were known mostly for their propensity to riot, toss Molotov cocktails and fire the occasional RPG. In addition, under Arab Spring rules government change does not appear to be limited to one per customer. Turnover is more like the management suite at an Obama health exchange.

According the Cheryl Chumley, “Col. Riley said he hopes the event will go forward peaceably, but that so far, peaceful protests haven’t brought citizens much luck. He also said that more than 1 million militia members have already mobilized for the event — and that projections of 10 million to attend aren’t pie in the sky.”

No, I would call that crack in the pipe.

Leaving aside Riley’s wildly delusional crowd estimate, just the mention of the word ‘militia’ is enough to cause Starbucks baristas to start calling in sick. The last thing conservatives need is for even 10 gun–toting militia members to cross the Potomac and enter enemy territory.

One picture of a rifle slung over a ‘militia’ man’s shoulder is all it takes to reinforce every misleading stereotype of 2nd Amendment supporters and conservatives. Even if the group is unarmed, when only a handful joins the colonel in his forlorn hope that too will damage our movement, since lack of numbers is an indication of lack of support.

Riley won’t even be able to claim his hardy band drove the targets out of the capital, since everyone knows the House and Senate leaves on the weekend and Obama plays golf.

It almost makes one wonder if Col. Riley isn’t an agent provocateur planted among conservatives by MSNBC.

The reality of Riley’s Raid was somewhat less impressive. His gathering was described as “tens of people” and fortunately none of them were toting weapons any more dangerous than a lawn chair. And as of the date of publication, the same crowd of pretentious hashtaggers was still in power.

Fortunately, I have a better idea for conservatives interested in changing the government and it doesn’t require extensive hydration or risk arrest. Follow my example and make a contribution to the Dave Brat for Congress campaign.

Brat is challenging Eric Cantor in Virginia’s 7th district primary. Cantor is a former conservative that went native in record time. As House Majority Leader he’s surrounded by people who actually call him “leader” as they shine his shoes with their tongue, so it’s no wonder the power and position have gone to his head.

He’s managed to make himself disliked by Speaker Boehner and distrusted by conservatives in the House. He’s betrayed conservative principles, backed a budget bill that gutted the sequester and has gone south on amnesty.

The incomparable Ann Coulter has endorsed Brat and the best part is Brat doesn’t have to win — although that would be best — for Cantor and the rest of the leadership squishes to get the message that conservatives are unhappy and ready to take action.

Incumbents are personally offended by primary challenges. Chamber lobbyists tell them what a great job they’re doing and then some yokel announces for his seat. The nerve of some people! So Brat already has Cantor’s attention.

If Brat can get over 40 percent of the vote, then Cantor gets a message even the self–important can’t ignore. Even if Brat doesn’t win, but is still able to raise a significant amount of money, that money talks, or in this case grumbles, and sends another type of message to Cantor.

I felt so good after giving money to Brat that I also donated to Anthony Riedel who is challenging Rob Wittman in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District where I live. After he supported the budget sellout I wasn’t voting for Wittman anyway, so rather than sit the election out, I’ll vote and contribute to Riedel. That sends two messages to Whittman, too.

So here’s my advice: If you want to visit a colonel this weekend, go to KFC. And if you want to change GOP leadership thinking in Washington, contribute to Dave Brat and Anthony Riedel.

Abortion As Performance Art

Tough choice for Exhibitionist of the Month: Emily Letts or Michael Sam?

Tough choice for Exhibitionist of the Month: Emily Letts or Michael Sam?

A New Jersey execution was recently videotaped and posted on YouTube. Instead of using a simple, painless pill authorities in New Jersey opted for an invasive mechanical method that took longer and carried risk. Yet the resulting video was awarded a prize and greeted with shouts of joy by the left and other cultural arbiters.

For those coming to this story late, Emily Letts is the new face of abortion after taping hers and winning the Abortion Care Network’s Stigma Busting video competition. Letts is an actress with three IMBD credits (‘Hallows’ Eve,’ ‘Ivy’ and ‘Clap on Clap Off’) and since Capital One wasn’t exactly beating down her door to flog credit cards, Emily opted to raise her profile by endorsing death.

Of course this doesn’t rule out a call from Capital One in the future, Emily just has to make sure she doesn’t offend the Gaystapo.

Letts is a ‘patient advocate’ at the Cherry Hill Euphemism Factory in New Jersey. Whoops, make that ‘Women’s Center’ — but only if the woman taller than a travel mug. When Emily became pregnant she didn’t think of her abortion as losing a child. It was gaining the role of a lifetime!

Letts’ wrote an explanation in Cosmopolitan that gives insight into a shallow, confused individual for whom an abortion is a good career move. She explains, “I was a professional actress for many years. I loved acting, but I felt fairly depressed most of the time…I felt completely alienated from myself and everyone else because I was intent on being successful.”

In reality Letts was lost and deeply disturbed, but she did have a friend “who was a birth doula, and she fascinated me with her stories about giving birth and growing life.” (For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a doula is a type of life coach, except I don’t think they use LinkedIn and their cards are always recycled from sustainable trees. Doulas are frequently found cluttering up delivery rooms or cheerleading during a home birth.)

So after being exposed to the wonders of life, Emily decides to become a volunteer sonderkommando working in an abortion mill.  Maybe because she avoids long–term commitments and didn’t want to agonize over buying age–appropriate birthday presents.

Letts job is to support and reassure women during the abortion process, turning a grave sin into something like pre–emptive liposuction. After she went to work for the center, “I fell into this perfect world that fulfills me in so many different ways.”

By day Emily counsels women — somehow the advice is always to kill the baby — and dispels rumors surrounding the abortion process, because in her words, “The misinformation is amazing. And she helps women rationalize the consequences their decision by stressing, “they are still wonderful and beautiful.”

By night she’s personally tormented by rumors and misinformation regarding the pill. “(H)ormonal birth control scared me because of complications I’d heard about from friends — gaining weight, depression, etc.” That’s why Emily adopted the rhythm method and prevented awkward, calendar–based inconvenience by sleeping around and avoiding long–term partners.

Then she became pregnant. Here the timeline in her story becomes vague. Outsiders have to consider four distinct actions while evaluating “her story.”

1. Finding out about the Abortion Care Network’s video competition.

2. Discovering there were no videos that featured a woman going through an abortion and happy about it.

3. Getting pregnant even though Emily checks her ‘Ovulation App’ almost every day.

4. Starring in Emily Gets Her Abortion a mere two weeks after learning she was pregnant.

I suppose the order could have been 3 – 2 – 1 – 4, but somehow I doubt it.

After finally getting top billing in a movie, Letts video commentary proves she needs help, the kind unavailable at the ‘Women’s Center.’ During the video Emily says she’s “in awe that I can make a baby. I can make a life.” After which she snuffs it out like a candle, while bizarrely humming during the abortion.

A reporter writing for the UK’s Independent was impressed. “In filming and sharing her experience with the world, Letts has not only dragged from their caves the dank and sordid unmentionables who still think a woman a murderer for choosing her own life over a cluster of cells, she has shown that an abortion can be a positive experience.”

Unfortunately for the reporter, we are all a “cluster of cells” it’s just some clusters are larger than others. Evidently somewhere deep inside a conflicted Emily knows that too, because she also says, “I still have my sonogram, and if my apartment were to catch fire, it would be the first thing I’d grab.”

Our nation’s Media–Entertainment–Cultural opinion setters are an iron triangle of license and irresponsibility that we are supposed to rectify. Last week in Oklahoma it was outraged that a man responsible for murder and multiple rapes experienced some discomfort during an execution held before a handful of witnesses. And now it celebrates a performance art video of the brutal dismemberment of an innocent, unborn child, who was only responsible for being both alive and inconvenient.

After forcing her baby to pay the price for Letts’ own irresponsibility, Emily claims to be entirely free of guilt. “Still, every time I watch the video, I love it. I love how positive it is.”

Emily Letts is lost and in need of our prayers, but she’s certainly not alone.

Hooray for the Death Penalty!

Anti capital punishment memeFor a brief moment I almost believed the mainstream media when I read: ‘Oklahoma Execution of Murderer Went Horribly, Horribly Wrong.’ ‘Oklahoma Governor Calls for Independent Review of Botched Execution.’

My initial response was horror, too: You mean that violent sadist is still alive?!!!

But the execution wasn’t botched. Clayton Lockett is dead, dead, dead and good riddance. The ceremony may not have been esthetically pleasing to capital punishment opponents, but any execution where the murderer winds up dead is, by definition, a successful execution.

According to hysterical coverage by USA Today (Headline: Botched execution could slam brakes on death penalty) “Clayton Lockett, 38, struggled violently, groaned and writhed after lethal drugs were administered by Oklahoma officials Tuesday night, according to eyewitness accounts. State Corrections Director Robert Patton halted the Lockett’s execution, citing vein failure that may have prevented the deadly chemicals from reaching Lockett. He eventually died of a heart attack.”

In a sane world the inefficient Oklahoma execution would slam the brakes on frivolous death penalty appeals. The goal of the left is to step–by–step end capital punishment. First the electric chair was deemed ‘inhumane.’ So government switched to lethal injection. In return the left attacked the chemicals used.

Since no subject has ever walked out of a lethal injection meeting alive, it would appear the original chemical cocktail works fine, but I’m not a judge that grants spurious legal relief. Over the years drug manufacturers have been under relentless legal assault.

Today the proven, effective drug, thiopental, is unobtainable and states are forced to experiment. This is fine with opponents, because rather than taking the blame for banning the effective and humane drug, they shift blame to the state for using a substitute.

Leading to an interesting pharmaceutical contrast. The same political class that is morally outraged by lethal injection, is equally outraged when the state of Oklahoma bans the off–label use of abortion–inducing drugs by requiring doctors only administer the drug in accordance with FDA protocols.

It’s exactly the same strategy the murderer’s lobby uses to prevent the use of thiopental. Yet regulation that saves a truly innocent baby’s life is unacceptable, because it impedes a woman’s ‘right to choose.’ While the other instance is a barbaric throwback to savagery when it restores balance and justice.

In fact Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, made an unintentionally hilarious comment in the wake of Lockett’s passing, “Somebody died because of the state’s incompetency.”

The second contrast involves medical professionals. Doctors with a sense of justice have been prevented from participating in executions by means of a leftist perversion of the Hippocratic oath. State medical societies threaten doctors with penalties and loss of medical license. Yet abortionists have no problem with ‘first do no harm’ during their procedures, even though harm is the goal. As a result executions are conducted by penal employees who may or may not have adequate training.

Which justice opponents also use to attack governments like Oklahoma.

This problem lends itself perfectly to a genuine ‘bi–partisan compromise: let late–term abortion doctors perform really late term abortions on murderers. Of course the left won’t agree.

The campaign against the death penalty has all the trappings of modern gestures of misplaced moral authority: Achieving the goal comes at someone else’s expense.

Arguments against the death penalty have three main components: The death penalty is not an effective deterrent, it is cruel and unusual punishment and life in prison is a more severe than death.

But since when did deterrence become the benchmark for a law’s utility? Prevention is an equally valid way to judge a law’s effectiveness and the death penalty has a 100 percent success rate in preventing future murders. Laws against robbery don’t always deter robbers. Laws against sawed–off shotguns didn’t deter Lockett. And, laws against speeding don’t deter the readers of this column, yet the laws remain on the book.

Death is the final earthy punishment, but that doesn’t make it cruel. Dennis Prager has made a strong case for the moral authority of the death penalty based on the Bible and the fact we are made in God’s image.

The facile counter–argument that ‘eye for an eye’ law no longer applies because of its savagery is historically ignorant. Lex talionis, outlined in Exodus 21:24, is actually a legal innovation that restored fairness in the law by holding everyone responsible regardless of his station in life. Eye–for–an–eye meant that a rich man could not buy his way out of punishment, while the poor man suffered severe consequences as happened in pagan cultures. It made the law truly impartial and just.

The final argument has always been incoherent. If the death penalty is inhumane how can these compassion tourists advocate a punishment that’s worse? Simple, they are lying. I’ve driven by Huntsville prison in Texas more than once and I have never seen inmates hanging bed sheets out of the window demanding they be put our of their misery.

If murderers were offered a chance between death and life in prison, almost every one would choose life. Then murderers would be free to endanger the guards, medical staff and other inmates in the prison, but the exhibitionist left can’t be bothered with that petty detail.

In spite of years of anti–death penalty propaganda in the mainstream media, 55 percent of the public still favors the ultimate punishment. But reporters keep trying. In January Oklahoma executed Michael Lee Wilson with another mysterious drug cocktail. In an effort to elicit sympathy for the unsympathetic reporters say his last words were, “My whole body is burning.”

But I don’t think that was in reference to the execution. I think he was referring to his destination, because not all near–death experiences are glowing lights and fluffy bunnies.