Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Walker, Texas Politician

I don't even know where to begin.

Maybe with this: I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat, either. I find myself being more left-of-center than anything; mostly moderate, I tend to be more conservative on moral issues, but more liberal on issues like the economy, education, health care, and so on.

But even then, I still have issues with this.

The two political sites I often check on are Politico and The Drudge Report. That is, if you can call TDR political.

Criticism of TDR aside, an important thing to know about it is that there are rarely stories reported on there written by founder Matt Drudge (or perhaps TDR staff, if any) himself. Most of the stories link out to other websites, such as newspapers, through their headlines.

One such headline listed today states "Obamacare, page 838: 'Home visitation programs for families with young children and families expecting children'..." and links to The article in question was written by none other than Chuck Norris.

Norris, as a Republican, and has issues with the universal health care bill. Titled "Dirty Secret No. 1 in Obamacare", Norris takes issue with the federal government offering assistance to people on raising their children. Says Norris:

Dirty secret No. 1 in Obamacare is about the government's coming into homes and usurping parental rights over child care and development.

The bill says that the government agents, "well-trained and competent staff," would "provide parents with knowledge of age-appropriate child development in cognitive, language, social, emotional, and motor domains ... modeling, consulting, and coaching on parenting practices," and "skills to interact with their child to enhance age-appropriate development."

Now we get into conjecture:

Are we to assume the state's mediators would understand every parent's social or religious core values on parenting? Or would they teach some secular-progressive and religiously neutered version of parental values and wisdom? And if they were to consult and coach those who expect babies, would they ever decide circumstances to be not beneficial for the children and encourage abortions?

One government rebuttal is that this program would be "voluntary." Is that right? Does that imply that this agency would just sit back passively until some parent needing parenting skills said, "I don't think I'll call my parents, priest or friends or read a plethora of books, but I'll go down to the local government offices"? To the contrary, the bill points to specific targeted groups and problems, on Page 840: The state "shall identify and prioritize serving communities that are in high need of such services, especially communities with a high proportion of low-income families."

First, I'll make note of the abortion note. One, I doubt anyone would go in and encourage that. But secondly, what is to say that one of these agents is decidedly pro-life? The assumption here sounds like this government agency will be entirely "liberal." The Obama Administration has Republicans in it. Jon Huntsman, the now former Governor of Utah, a Republican, was just appointed as the Ambassador to China. As most any job can't discriminate against one for race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion, I doubt anyone from this apparent government agency would be denied work based on their political or moral views. I doubt abortion would be readily encouraged.

Norris believes that the government should stay out of people's lives and let them raise their own children. Low-income families shouldn't be targeted by the government. Sure, I can agree with that, but if the consultation is free, it might have an application to low income people.

No, they can just turn to parents, religious leaders, friends, or books. While those are all fine and outstanding options which should be encouraged, more options provide people with more choices. They are free to choose which they may not want to use. If someone desires to consult with their bishop, priest, or rabbi, in addition to parents and the government, they will get information from different view points. They can then choose how to incorporate any of that information in taking care of their children.

Although he notes that the service would be voluntary, the question is raised of an ulterior motive. Why would the government want to interject with people raising their children, you might ask. Well, it's most likely so that they can raise them the way they want to, not the way you want to.

Government's real motives and rationale are quite simple, though rarely, if ever, stated. If one wants to control the future ebbs and flows of a country, one must have command over future generations. That is done by seizing parental and educational power, legislating preferred educational methods and materials, and limiting private educational options. It is so simple that any socialist can understand it. As Josef Stalin once stated, "Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed."

It's all an attempt to control the next generation. You know, the way that socialists tend to do.

I will give credit where credit is due. I appreciate Mr. Norris' comments regarding how the LDS Church has been unfairly be targeted for Proposition 8 when a load of organizations supported the initiative. However, that article contained facts. Much of Mr. Norris' current article is conjecture, fear-mongering, and speculation, waving around the spectre of the Hammer and Sickle.

Recently, former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin declared the Obama health care plan "downright evil" because it would institute "death panels" that decide "based on a subjective judgement of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care."

As the AP report states, the euthanasia rumors have been going around the Internet for weeks, but the non-partisan group states the claim is false. In fact, FactCheck quotes the President on the actuality of the claim:

At an AARP town hall event on July 28, the president took on questions about these claims. A woman named Mary, from North Carolina, asked: “I have been told there is a clause in there that everyone that’s Medicare age will be visited and told to decide how they wish to die. This bothers me greatly and I’d like for you to promise me that this is not in this bill.” Obama responded:

I think that the only thing that may have been proposed in some of the bills – and I actually think this is a good thing – is that it makes it easier for people to fill out a living will. … And if you don’t want to fill out a living will, you don’t have to. But it’s actually a useful tool I think for a lot of families to make sure that if, heaven forbid, you contract a terminal illness, that you are somebody who is able to control this process in a dignified way that is true to your faith and true to how you think that end-of-life process should proceed. You don’t want somebody else making those decisions for you. … But, Mary, I just want to be clear: Nobody is going to be knocking on your door; nobody is going to be telling you you’ve got to fill one out. And certainly nobody is going to be forcing you to make a set of decisions on end-of-life care based on some bureaucratic law in Washington.

Moderator and AARP radio host Mike Cuthbert then told Obama: “As I read the bill, it’s saying that Medicare will, for the first time, cover consultation about end-of-life care, and that they will not pay for such a consultation more than once every five years. This is being read as saying every five years you’ll be told how you can die.” The president responded: “Well, that would be kind of morbid.”

He went on to explain: “The intent here is to simply make sure that you’ve got more information, and that Medicare will pay for it.” Exactly so.

So an option for people to have their information updated every five years and provide a way for them to have a living will has been distorted into "the government will tell you how you can die," and "death panels will decide who gets health care and who doesn't"; both radically far from what the actual clause is.

The President recently held a town hall-style meeting where he addressed some of these issues personally. He said:

"[Opponents] will try to scare the heck out of folks, and they'll create bogeymen out there that just aren't real."

Directly confronting the death panel issue, he said:

"[D]eath panels that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we've decided that it's too expensive to let her live anymore. … I'm not in favor of that."

"For all the chatter and the yelling and the shouting and the noise, what you need to know is this ... if you do have health insurance, we will make sure that no insurance company or government bureaucrat gets between you and the care you need."

I am of the belief that we need a health care plan that covers all Americans. I lived in Canada and have seen the system work--although I agree with the President that the Canadian system wouldn't work for the United States; there are definitely kinks that could and should be ironed out in an American system. I also don't believe that any legislation should be rushed through, and that it should definitely be refined before being passed into law.

No universal health care bill will get passed that pleases everyone and that doesn't have some sort of problem, but I believe it will be beneficial for everyone to either have coverage in some way, or have the cost of their existing care lowered. If the government and private care coverage can compete, then everyone can benefit from lower costs and quality care. But everyone needs to know the truth about the bill that is currently being considered, and know what is downright false.

For further information on the death panel falsehood, please click here.

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