Archive for November, 2010

One of Allen West’s congressional campaign themes was “Restoring American Exceptionalism.” He can absolutely be counted on to stand up for our national sovereignty.

That’s not something you can take for granted in politicians these days, so the fact that Allen West will defend our sovereignty is one of the things we appreciate most about him.  American sovereignty is gravely threatened, especially by various initiatives in the U.N.  Reports supplied by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  have been used to justify proposals for huge new power grabs by the U.N.  When the ClimateGate scandals came to light last year exposing much of the IPCC data to be fraudulent, or at best, questionable, many people began asking:  What is the real goal of the “climate change” hustlers?

Turns out that it’s…. “spreading the wealth around.”  Well, and the “global governance” that would be required in order to implement that.

Via Eye on the World:

Morano mentions the U.N.’s proposal of “global CO2 budgets for every man, woman and child on earth” and a U.N.-proposed “global carbon tax” — which would, essentially, require that you pay a fee for the privilege of breathing.

Those proposals expose the other real agenda of the U.N. and, among others, Obama funder George Soros and Obama’s top science adviser, John Holdren:  massive de-population — even if it requires coercive measures.

From EcoScience, a textbook co- authored by Holdren:  “The law regulates other highly personal matters. For example, no one may lawfully have more than one spouse at a time. Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two children?” He goes on to advocate forced sterilization, compulsory abortion, mandatory implantation of long-acting abortifacients in all teenage girls, and even rhapsodizes about his hope of discovering sterilant drugs that could be put in our drinking water and food supply. Remember:  This man is our President’s top science adviser.

The Truth has a great piece on  the population control agenda behind the global warming movement.  The chilling reality is that environmental extremists propose population reduction as the “cheapest” way to reduce carbon emissions.  It’s well worth your time to read the whole thing.

The Sovereign Independent has also done a lot of homework on these issues and has assembled a great collection of resources.  Check it out.

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Medical tyranny

Allen West has said that ideally, we should repeal the “monstrosity” that is ObamaCare.  This was probably one of the biggest factors in his election as Congressman earlier this month.

However, since Obama would surely veto a repeal of what he considers his greatest accomplishment — and overriding a veto requires a hefty 2/3 vote in both the House and the Senate — a complete repeal may be impossible.

Therefore, we should distinguish between good and bad things in the legislation, according to West in a recent interview.  As an example of a good thing, he cited the non-denial of insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.  The bad parts of the law, meanwhile, should be defunded.  West emphasized that Congress holds the purse strings and so, ultimately, can decide to simply not authorize funding for various agencies and programs spelled out in the legislation.

I am gladder than ever that Allen West is deeply committed on this issue, after reading a recent piece by Wesley J. Smith, a bioethicist who, unlike most people in the field, is actually one of the good guys. Smith blogs at Secondhand Smoke, and is author of the books Forced Exit and Culture of Death, both of which show, among other things, how medical practice in this country — even before ObamaCare — already features “death panels,” in the form of “ethics boards” at hospitals that have been known to cut off care for people against their own wishes and/or those of their family members.

Smith is reliable; I’ve been following him for years, and he’s earned my trust as a reliable source. In his article at the Weekly Standard, he tells us that the federal health bureaucracy intends to cut Medicare costs by creating something called the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

At present, Congress is responsible for setting the policies that govern all aspects of Medicare, including payments to health care providers and facilities. That  arrangement is inevitably messy because the people have a strong say.

The creators of Obamacare saw the ability of constituents to influence their representatives as a problem. Saying, in effect, “Stop us before we spend again,” Democrats transferred most of Congress and the president’s policy-making authority to the 15 “expert” members of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. If this board determines that the growth of Medicare costs will exceed a predetermined target, it has the power to enact a remedy through “fast track” legislation, which works like this:

• By January 15 each year, the Independent Payment Advisory Board must submit a proposal to Congress and the president for reaching Medicare savings targets in the coming year. The majority leaders in the House and Senate must introduce bills incorporating the board’s proposal the day they receive it.

Death panels• Congress cannot “consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report  …  that would repeal or otherwise change the recommendations of the board” if such changes fail to meet the board’s budgetary target.

• By April 1, the committees of jurisdiction must complete their consideration of the proposal. Any committee that fails to meet the deadline is barred from further considering the bill.

• The secretary of health and human services must implement the Independent Payment Advisory Board’s proposal, as passed by Congress and signed by the president, on August 15 of the year in which the proposal is submitted.

• If Congress does not pass the proposal or a substitute plan meeting the Independent Payment Advisory Board’s financial target before August 15, or if the president vetoes the proposal passed by Congress, the original Independent Payment Advisory Board recommendations automatically take effect.

Further demonstrating the Star Chamber-like powers of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, Congress cannot consider any bill or amendment that would repeal or change this fast-track congressional consideration process without a three-fifths vote (60) in the Senate. Not only that, but the implementation of the board’s remedy is exempted from administrative or judicial review.

[boldface mine]

Looking at this tyrannical grab of decision-making power from the people and their elected representatives by a cadre of unelected “experts,” I’m reminded of what Vladimir Lenin once said:  “Medicine is the keystone to the arch of socialism.”

Smith seems to agree, as he continues:

Nor is there any reason to believe that the Independent Payment Advisory Board’s undemocratic approach to governance would long remain limited to Medicare. If our controversy-averse elected officials ever think they can protect their jobs by delegating their most difficult decisions to unaccountable commissions—as Congress did with regard to setting its own salaries—independent “advisory” boards could proliferate. In this sense, the success of Medicare’s new cost-containment board could portend the construction of an unaccountable bureaucratic state.

When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, they did not envisage governance by “we the experts.” Regardless of where one stands on the wisdom of Obamacare generally, the unaccountable power of the Independent Payment Advisory Board as a mini-government within a government needs to be revoked by the new Congress, and if that proves undoable, its organization and staffing should be defunded.

Congress will need to act quickly to stave off this fascistic threat.  I thank God that we’ll have such a dedicated warrior as Allen West fighting on our behalf!

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It’s Sunday, and here at West to the West Wing 2012, that means it’s time for some inspired “preaching” from our brother Allen West.

You don’t need to be a Christian to appreciate this speech; you don’t need to be a Jew; you don’t need to be a believer of any sort.  Radio host/author Tammy Bruce is not a churchgoer; Geert Wilders is, if I’m not mistaken, an agnostic.  But they both love Allen West!  And they freely acknowledge that this wonderful society we live in, with all its freedoms and respect for the dignity of the individual, is the direct result of a foundational Judeo-Christian worldview that reveres human beings as made in the divine image.

My hero Albert Camus was an atheist, as was my heroine Oriana Fallaci.  Camus often challenged Christians to live up to the faith they professed, and Oriana Fallaci praised the Judeo-Christian roots of the Western culture that she loved so much and that she defended so vigorously against the oppression, savagery and vulgarity of Islam.

I was a non-believer myself for many years — but even then, I appreciated the crucial role in our society of religion and religious people and their values, from the Catholic Church to the Southern Baptists, from the Russian Orthodox to the Hasidic Jews.  And I think even a non-believer can appreciate the way Allen West studies the historical events recorded in the Old Testament to draw more general lessons from them about political systems.

So, wherever you are in your own spiritual journey, sit back and let yourself be informed and inspired by this wonderful message from Allen West:

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Jewish humor

One of the reasons we love Allen West is that he is such a steadfast and loyal friend of Israel and the Jewish people.  I don’t know if he has a subscription, as I do, to Commentary, the wonderful journal of conservative Jewish opinion — but I’d be willing to bet he does.  It’s not just the best conservative Jewish magazine out there — it’s one of the best conservative magazines, period.

One of my favorite parts is “Enter Laughing,” where each month a Jewish joke is narrated in wonderful Jewish style, and there’s a contest for readers to send in their 250-words-or-less analysis of the joke.  The following month, they reprint the joke along with the winning analysis.  The jokes are always delightful, often laugh-out-loud.  The analyses sometimes make me smile; sometimes they bring a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye.  My new issue just arrived in the mail today — and this month’s humor section is too good not to share.


The Shoemaker Joke

Ira Kaplan, who hasn’t returned to the old neighborhood since he went off to fight in Vietnam, returns during a business trip to find everything on Kotler Avenue changed.  When once there was Edelstein’s Delicatessen, there is now a McDonald’s; where Fleischman’s Dry Cleaning (One-Hour Martinizing) used to be, a nail salon and spa now is; where Ginsberg’s Department Store was, there is now a Gap.  Nothing is the same, except for the narrow storefront of Klonsky’s Shoe Repair, which, dimly lit as ever, is still in business.

As Kaplan passes the shop, he recalls — such are the quirks of memory that he does not know how — that just before he was drafted to go off to Vietnam, he had left a pair of shoes with Mr. Klonsky that he never bothered to pick up.  Could they, he wonders, possibly still be there?

A small bell tinkles as he enters the dark shop.  Mr. Klonsky, who seemed old 40 years ago, shuffles out from the back.  He is hunched over, wearing a leather apron, one eye all but closed.

“Excuse me, Mr. Klonsky,” Kaplan says, “but I used to live in this neighborhood, and 40 years ago I left a pair of shoes with you for repair that I never picked up.  Is there any chance you might still have them?”

Klonsky stares at him and, in his strong greenhorn’s accent, asks, “Vas dey black vingtips?”

“They were indeed,” Kaplan only now recalls.

“And you vanted a halv sole, mid rubber heels?”

“Yes,” says Kaplan. “That’s exactly what I wanted.”

“And you vanted taps on the heels only?”

“Yes, yes,” says Kaplan. “Amazing!  Do you still have them?”

Mr. Klonsky looks up at him, his good eye asquint, and says, “Dey’ll be ready Vendesday.”

* * *

When you’re done laughing, go here to see the winning analysis.

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We have been vindicated!  “We” meaning Allen West, his friend and adviser Joyce Kaufman, and all of us who support Allen West.

Shortly after he was elected, West had announced that he was offering Joyce Kaufman the chief-of-staff position in his new congressional office.  Kaufman, a popular but controversial talk-radio host at south Florida’s WFTL, accepted the position.  Almost immediately, all hell broke loose.  Hours after West announced his appointment of Kaufman, leftist Rachel Maddow at MSNBC ran a supremely snarky and misleading story on her evening show that included a video clip of Kaufman speaking at a July 4th tea party rally, in which Kaufman said, “The most important thing the Founding Fathers did to protect my First Amendment rights was they gave me a Second Amendment… if ballots don’t work, bullets will.”

In a segment that was nearly five minutes long, Maddow completely buried the first half of that comment so that viewers would fail to even register what is a completely accurate statement about the constitutional Framers’ reasoning.  Indeed our Second Amendment rights do back up our First Amendment rights — a principle that we can safely assume the Founders intended, given that some of those Framers had also signed the Declaration of Independence, whose whole purpose was, “out of a decent respect to the opinions of mankind,”  to submit “to a candid world” the Americans’  long-deliberated reasons for initiating armed revolt against their government.

It didn’t help matters that Kaufman frequently does use passionate, colorful language.   She freely admits that in her eagerness to get a point across, she sometimes doesn’t choose her words carefully.  Well, that often goes with the territory in talk radio.   But then, some may wonder, why would Allen West choose her as his chief of staff?

West said later, “I was not hiring a talk radio host; I was hiring a very brilliant political mind, someone that has been in South Florida politics for 20 plus years.”  West has credited not only Kaufman’s steady promotion of him on her radio show, but also her keen political instincts and insights, with helping him to win the election.  “I would not be congressman-elect if Joyce Kaufman had not taken me under her wing and provided mentor and counsel to me.”

Of course, none of that was in the MSNBC clip, whose sole purpose was to damage West by making him and his newly named assistant look as bad as possible.   The very next morning after MSNBC ran the clip, Kaufman received an email that purported to be from a woman who had seen the clip, agreed with Kaufman’s supposed extremist views, and bragged that her husband was soon going to send a revolutionary message by attacking one or more government facilities such as post offices or schools.   Because of the way the email was written, Kaufman — who used to be a leftist herself and has very sharp radar — immediately suspected it was the work of a leftist posing as a right-wing extremist in order to make Kaufman look bad and ultimately tarnish her boss-to-be, Allen West.  But because of the magnitude of the threat if it were real, she did what any responsible person would do and reported it to the police.

This led to an immediate lock-down of Broward County schools, causing massive disruption and fear — all of which was blamed, of course, on Joyce Kaufman.  She at once resigned from the proposed position that had been offered to her only the day before.  When Kaufman told the media that she suspected the whole mess was left-wing Alinksy tactics, none of them believed her.

But now we find out:  Kaufman was absolutely correct.

Via Weasel Zippers (one of my favorite conservative news blogs), here’s the story from the Palm Beach New Times:

The woman charged by the FBI with making a threat that led to the lockdown of more than 300 Broward County schools after hearing the words of right-wing talker Joyce Kaufman isn’t a member of the Tea Party — she’s a member of the Green Party.

Ellisa Martinez was arrested yesterday for making an emailed threat and a phone call to Kaufman’s radio station, 850-AM, on November 10.  In the email, Martinez feigned agreement with the fiery arch-conservative rhetoric of Kaufman and Sarah Palin, but she’s she’s officially on the other side of the ledger.  According to the Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Office, Martinez is a member of the Green Party, a progressive left-wing group focused on environmental issues….

Martinez was under immediate suspicion from agents but managed to slip out of the area after being first questioned by the FBI at her home in New Port Richey outside of Tampa.  She made it all the way to California.

Do you suppose we’ll hear anything about this in the lamestream media?

Warning: This is just the beginning.  The number of Americans outside West’s own Congressional district who have become aware of him, and are recognizing him as a gifted and trustworthy advocate for their values, is growing exponentially.  It started with YouTube videos of his speeches going viral — but now that he’s been elected to Congress and is already shaking up things in Washington, he’s getting a higher profile all the time.  The Left rightly feels very threatened by a leader who articulates conservative ideas with absolutely no apologies or concessions to political correctness.  Their attacks will only get worse as West’s popularity grows.

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Oh, happy day!

Rarely have I been so happy to be proven wrong.  For years, I (and most conservative pundits) have been saying that any Republican running for election must win by a large margin in order to actually be declared the winner. Over and over, we have seen that if the election is really close, Democrats will “find” enough “misplaced ballots” and “counting errors” to steal the election.

Well, evidently that’s not true in every case — for it’s demonstrably not true in New York’s 25th Congressional district.

Courtesy of The Other McCain, we have news that calls for breaking out the champagne!

Allen West and the rest of the dynamic new GOP freshman class in Congress have just gained another colleague.  On Wednesday, November 24, the 3-week-long vote-counting and certifying process in NY-25 finally ended.  And the winner is…. Ann Marie Buerkle!  A pro-life, Palin-endorsed, Tea Party Republican!  She defeated Dan Maffai, the pro-abortion Democrat incumbent — by 657 votes out of more than 200,000 votes cast.

Buerkle is the eighth pro-life woman Representative to be elected to Congress this cycle.  Some of the credit for her win goes to the Susan B. Anthony List, an organization dedicated to electing pro-life women to public office.  The SBA List worked hard for Buerkle, with the dedication and competence that have given the group a very impressive record of success: a 75 percent win rate for its endorsed candidates in this last election. And in head-to-head contests between SBA List-endorsed candidates and candidates supported by the radically pro-abortion EMILY’s List, the SBA candidates won in a whopping 91 percent of the races. That figure is testament not only to the skill and clout of SBA List, but also — and this, too, is worth celebrating! — the pro-life sympathies of the vast majority of Americans.

From the SBA List press release:

“As the first woman elected to Congress from NY-25, [Buerkle] brings years of experience speaking out for Life and feminine leadership harkening back to its roots in authentic pro-life feminism. At the same time, she replaces a consistently pro-abortion vote with dependable advocacy for Life on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives,” [said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.]  As a registered nurse and mother of six, Buerkle will contribute a unique medical background and a strong commitment to ending taxpayer funding of abortion….

There’s one more thing worth celebrating in this story:  the miracle of Buerkle’s come-from-behind trajectory — a miracle that may well be attributable to her pro-life stance.  A mere two weeks before election day, Buerkle was being outspent five to one by her opponent, and was twelve points behind in the opinion polls.  Give yourself a treat and read Stacy McCain’s marvelous account of what he witnessed first-hand while covering the Buerkle campaign. This feel-good story should be required reading for anyone who volunteers for a candidate everyone says can’t win.

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Thanksgiving Prayer

A Thanksgiving prayer

Thank You, Lord, for the dignity You have given me as a being created in Your image and likeness – a being who, like You, has free will, reason, and the power to love.

Thank You that my country’s Founders endeavored to honor You and to protect the inalienable rights You gave me when You created me in Your image.

Thank You that the Framers of our Constitution were not led astray by false utopianism, but were wise and humble enough to acknowledge our sinful nature. Thank You that they devised a framework of limits and balances to check our perennial lust for power so that we could govern ourselves, in dignity and in freedom.

Thank You for all those who have risked, and in so many cases, given up their lives to ensure that government of the people, by the people, for the people should not perish from the earth.

Thank You for raising up, in every generation, people who love You and strive to honor You through their lives and their work.

Thank You, Lord, for second chances, for the opportunity You give us, every single morning, to begin anew, to reconsecrate ourselves to You, to be more open to Your grace, and more generous to others.

Thank You for the troubles and trials You allow to befall us, so that we might refocus on what is most important, and recognize and embrace our utter dependence on You.

Thank You for Your Holy Word, preserved for us down through every generation.

Thank You for the freedom of conscience that is our right as creatures made in Your image.

Thank You for the freedom we have in this country to exercise that right. Lord, please give us wisdom and courage to preserve that right where it is threatened, for nothing is more dear.

Thank You, Lord, for the precious and utterly new gift You give us in every new life You create.  We ask You to grant us, as individuals and as communities of faith, the grace to cherish all human beings, the generosity to respond to their needs, and perseverance in the fight to protect each human life.

Lord, help us never to take Your gifts for granted, but in everything, to give thanks.

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