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Tag Archive: Boston.com

So what the blank could possibly go wrong?

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012 (10:31 pm), by John W Gillis


[Video] Quote of the Day for Friday, September 28, 2012. Illinois State Senate candidate Barbara Bellar putting some context around the Affordable Care Act:

 

Now that I’ve figured out what was wrong with my video embeds, I’m on a roll…

As funny as this is, Bellar is actually softballing the problem of the plan’s utter lack of attention to the need for doctors in order to provide government care, what with stories like 83 percent of doctors have considered quitting over Obamacare floating around. And it’s not just sheer numbers, but the fact that ObamaCare doubles-down on the screw-turning inflicted upon general practitioners. The inevitable result of this will be the increasing specialization of the doctors that remain in the work force, producing an escalating shortage of actual opportunities for “care” for all the folks who’ve been assured by the government that they’re “covered”.

Even the progressive siren Boston Globe recognized this pattern emerging in the wake of the implementation of RomneyCare in Massachusetts, reporting two years ago that primary care physicians are getting harder to find. And that’s in one of the world’s great medical hubs! Good luck to the rubes in fly-over country. OK, so that links to a Boston.com-based blog, not the Globe per se, and just because they report it about RomneyCare’s unwanted, unintended consequences doesn’t mean they’ll report the problem when it is being generated, in spades, by Obama’s program, but you get the drift. This “Patient Protection” scam is one idiotically-conceived boondoggle.

Initial Thoughts on Reactions to Fast & Furious and Obamacare Developments

Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012 (11:48 pm), by John W Gillis


Very interesting day in the political world, with the Supreme Court handing down its judgment on Obamacare, and Congress finding Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress for his evasive shenanigans trying to cover up the background to the “Fast & Furious” program – the first sitting US Attorney General to receive such an honor. How now to prosecute him becomes quite a conundrum, since the department he runs is responsible for such prosecutions, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Neither finding is very surprising to me (the first admittedly more than the next, however). But I find the behavior around the situations fascinating – and pretty much irrational. For starters, the big topic of conversation in the news space and blogosphere has been the Obamacare decision. Now, I’m not surprised by that in the least, and there are even some very good reasons for it (such as the fact that the contempt vote happened late in the afternoon, in contrast to the SCOTUS decision, which was read shortly after 10:00 AM).

Then there are the blatantly partisan motivations to factor in. For example, The Boston Globe’s boston.com site had a Breaking News!!! alert at the top of their page as soon as the Obamacare finding was released, where the story has remained all day – now complete with “analysis” of how “Obama scores win”. Well, not so fast, but I’m getting ahead of myself again. In contrast, news of the Holder verdict took the better part of an hour to show up at all, and was presented as a small, second-rate story, which at this point late in the evening – though still amazingly on the home page – has slid down below not only about a dozen and a half Obamacare story links, but half a dozen links (plus embedded video) concerning the Boston Celtics’ draft picks, and a story about US Rep John F. Tierney’s brother-in-law calling him a liar. At least it still ranks above the MBTA reversing a commuter rail surcharge decision. It’s just hard not to picture cowardly ideological snake oil salesmen (propagandists) laying out the pages of that august publication.

But the truth is that the Holder story is a much bigger deal. Despite the incessant protestations of the professional leftists that the contempt vote was politically or even (may God heal their shriveled little souls) racially motivated, this criminally insane operation Holder is trying to hide the origins of is a very big deal. If this ends up being traced back to Obama himself, which is looking more and more likely every time the stakes are raised and Holder doesn’t buckle, it will be Obama’s Watergate – especially if any evidence surfaces that it was even partially motivated by a cynical desire to advance the left’s agenda of opposition to gun ownership by citizens. A good man is dead, and the entire republic is not stupid enough to get buried under a dump truck full of liberal smokescreens about a “botched operation” that actually went pretty much according to plan, even if the corpses were not supposed to include border patrol officers.

The self-proclaimed Most Transparent Administration Evah is going to have to release those documents they’re hiding to Congress, or risk a serious constitutional crisis. The only real question will be whether they are damaging enough to sink Obama’s presidency (and, needless to say, his reelection chances). Fast & Furious (or Gunwalker, as I first heard it called last year) might turn out to be the one thing schoolchildren know about Barack Obama 100 years from now (or more likely the only thing besides the fact that he was the first black president of the USA, a fact which will eventually be the answer to a trivia question). That would be a shame, because he has done so many other things to advance the cause of statism against the commonweal of human freedom and lawfulness, and those lessons should be learned and not forgotten.

On the contrary, the SCOTUS decision this morning, despite all the public hoopla, was really pretty much a non-event in terms of the ACA act itself. I’m not saying important decisions weren’t made, but everything remains pretty much the way it was yesterday, except that the Feds don’t have the power to punish non-conforming states by withholding Medicaid funds under Obamacare, and Commerce Clause activism has been legally circumscribed in a manner that departs significantly from the court’s trajectory over the past several decades. The first change very well might (further) doom the program fiscally, and the second establishes a much-needed, critical restraint on the cancerous spread of federal statism on the whole. Not insignificant points, either, but hardly fodder for naïve leftist victory dancing, or for anti-leftist tirades against Chief Justice Roberts for his “betrayal” of conservatism (which, of course, completely misses the point of his or SCOTUS’ role as constitutional referee). While I admit that it would have been easier if the whole law were shot down by the court, and that legislative repeal is likely to be difficult and at best partially successful, the fact is that Obama is going to have to carry this “tax” law with him as a political albatross through November, while Mitt Romney can stand on the side and say: “If you want to get rid of Obamacare, you have to get rid of Obama”. Sometimes the easiest answer is not the best.

Time permitting, I will try to take up these SCOTUS decision reactions in more detail later on, because I do find them fascinating, and almost universally wrong-headed in just about every conceivable way.

Forced Abortions & Sterilizations in Massachusetts?

Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 (11:28 pm), by John W Gillis


Occasionally, I read or hear about something so stunning that I feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience, watching from a detached vantage point as the world unfurls strangely in front of me. Yesterday afternoon, I had one of those experiences.

I was at work, pausing to check the headlines, weather and traffic, when I saw the surreal headline: “Massachusetts Appeals Court rules that judge was wrong to order mentally ill woman to have an abortion and to then be sterilized”.

Forced abortions and sterilizations in Massachusetts? Granted, the court-ordered violation of this woman – and murder of her baby – were stopped, but it still seems hard to fit these facts into the perception I have of the world I inhabit. This isn’t China, or some other totalitarian state; despite the admittedly growing monstrosity of state hegemony over too many areas of life, America’s still seems like a system worth saving through correction, not overthrowing. Judges don’t really order things like that, right?

I’m not wholly ignorant of the history of these kinds of criminal depravities in American jurisprudence; I know these kinds of judgments were not unheard of during the early heyday of Progressivism, 100 years ago or so, before the “historical marches” of fascism and communism progressed Europe into post-Christian, scientifically-ordered hell-holes, giving the eugenics and related movements a rather tarnished public image. I’m also very aware of the broad based public support for abortion, in both varnished and even unvarnished guises; for eugenics in just about every conceivable form excepting the currently unfashionable sex-selection killing of fetal girls practiced by Hindus and others; and even for sterilization of the “unfit” as part of the eugenic spirit, at least insofar as it is reflected in attitudes that some people, for the common good, just shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce. even if the means of accomplishing that are not part of the reflection. Still, I wouldn’t have thought any judge in 21st century America would dare to be so craven, regardless of her own level of contempt for the human being.

A day later, there are still a few lingering things haunting my mind about this fiasco, after getting past the shocking moral depravity of the judge in the case – Norfolk (MA) Probate and Family Court Judge Christina Harms, who retired from the bench last Wednesday, less than a week after handing down this ruling, which among other indecencies, stipulated that the mother ‘could be “coaxed, bribed, or even enticed … by ruse” into a hospital where she would be sedated and an abortion would then be performed’, according to the original Boston.com story I read, as well as the few others I’ve found.

The first is the amazing lack of legs this story has (not) grown. I would have expected that a story reported on  pretty major MSM news site about a judge in America ordering this forced abortion and sterilization would have gone close to viral within 24 hours – especially during an election year. This has barely caused a blip. Am I the only one shocked by this, or is this a case of the MSM looking the other way from what could be a political hot-potato for their political sponsors? Is there another explanation? I’m lost on this.

Secondly is the realization that it was apparently only the attempted forced sterilization that brought about the judicial rebuke from Appellate Court Associate Justice Andrew R. Grainger, who noted that the ruling contradicted a 1982 (MA) Supreme Judicial Court ruling on the right to procreate. The fate of the baby appears to have been handed over to yet another lower court judge for dispositioning! The courts might yet order the baby to be killed for having a mentally ill mother! Incredible.

Lastly, I was profoundly struck by what I can only characterize as a thunderous moral tone-deafness and spiritual imbecility on the part of the alleged adults involved in this, including the reporters (with the exception of Ben Johnson writing for LifeSiteNews.com, who picked up on this). It is a tone-deafness to the cruel irony that the mental incapacitation afflicting this women (schizophrenia), which is the cudgel being used to beat her into the torture chamber, appears to have its source in a prior abortion she had committed. Court records are clear that she had a breakdown after the abortion, and has been a basket case ever since, especially around issues concerning babies.

This poor woman is tormented by the evil of her earlier abortion, and this knuckle-dragging judge wanted to trick her into having another abortion! And her own parents are advocating for killing her child! May God have pity on all of them in their deformities. This tortured soul does not need an abortionist, she needs a priest. I pray one finds her soon.

Scientists who didn’t predict quake are indicted

Posted: Monday, May 30, 2011 (7:34 pm), by John W Gillis


When I saw this headline, I thought it was a joke – perhaps something from the Onion. Apparently, the story is a few days old, but I just saw it a few minutes ago:

Seven scientists and other experts were indicted on manslaughter charges yesterday for allegedly failing to sufficiently warn residents before a devastating earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy in 2009.

….

Judge Giuseppe Romano Gargarella ordered the members of the national government’s Great Risks commission, which evaluates potential for natural disasters, to go on trial in L’Aquila on Sept. 20.

Italian media quoted the judge as saying the defendants “gave inexact, incomplete, and contradictory information’’ about whether smaller tremors felt by L’Aquila residents in the six months before the April 6, 2009, quake should have constituted grounds for a warning.

This is how civilization ends.

An article that was never worth dying for

Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 (11:23 pm), by John W Gillis


Quote of the Day for Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011:

From a New York Times article, published on Boston.com, from four Times’ reporters who had just been released from several days of captivity in the loony bin of wartime Libya, relaying some of the details of their ordeal, including this moment of realization that their Libyan driver had likely been killed by the soldiers who’d captured them:

From the pickup, Lynsey saw a body lying next to our car, one arm outstretched. We still don’t know whether that was Mohammed. We fear it was, though his body has yet to be found. If he died, we will have to bear the burden for the rest of our lives that an innocent man died because of us, because of wrong choices that we made, for an article that was never worth dying for.

No article is, but we were too blind to admit that.

Ummm, do you think? And if that poor man had a family, what exactly should be said to his wife now? That he died so that Americans back home could be thrilled by up-to-the-minute eye-witness war reporting?

I often feel queasy when I pass by TVs playing war front footage, thinking about the irresponsibility and just plain inanity of it all. And it’s not just the media outlets that are to blame; those who sit down with their popcorn and crackerjacks to take it in are equally responsible.

War zone reporting is a kind of pornography; a tacit agreement between a salacious public eager to indulge its lust for the thrill of purely objectified knowledge, and a pimping media equally eager to grow wealthy and powerful providing the entertainment “content” of a stranger’s debasement, especially given the ease with which such emotionally charged messaging can be used to manipulate public opinion for political ends.

The “news” is just about the worst of what the mass entertainment industry has to offer society, and this article is, I hope, a pretty clear example of why that is.

“Libyans don’t want anyone but Gadhafi. He gave us loans.”

Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2011 (8:50 pm), by John W Gillis


Quote of the Day for Saturday, February 26th, 2011:

From an AP story by Maggie Michael and Ben Hubbard, as posted on boston.com this afternoon:

Supporters in about 50 cars covered with Gadhafi posters drove slowly around the square, waving green flags from the windows and honking horns. A camera crew filmed the procession.

A taxi driver, Nasser Mohammed, 25, was among those who had put a picture of Gadhafi and a green flag on his car.

"Have you heard the speech last night?" he asked. "It was great. Libyans don’t want anyone but Gadhafi. He gave us loans."

Mohammed said each family received 500 Libyan dinars (about $400) after the start of the protests, plus the equivalent of about $100 credit for phone service.

The idea of a clown like Qaddafi being able to buy the support of citizens for $400 per household (on a loan!) is mind-boggling, given the outrageous criminality that his regime has inflicted on the people inside and outside Libya both in recent days, and for more decades than Nasser Mohamed has been alive. With news today that he is arming such stooges from military depots to repress their fellow Libyans, the scene becomes gut-wrenching. It was depressing enough knowing he could buy mercenaries to come in from other African countries to terrorize the citizenry, but this…

It’s hard to read of the cravenness of Qaddafi’s cheap shills without wondering where the rancor roiling the U.S. over the past week or so might eventually end up. Granted, we’re a long way from the governing class handing out weaponry to their bought stooges in order to hang onto power in the face of a fed-up resistance movement, but it’s not hard to see a shadow of the same dynamic at work as the beneficiaries of government largesse-by-proxy circle the wagons against those who demand an end to corruption.

The protesters who are demonizing reformers like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with Hitler, Mussolini, or Mubarak (!) characterizations are pleased to fancy themselves stateside brothers-in-arms of the protesters in the Muslim world, standing up to autocratic dictators; but the truth of the matter is that they themselves represent the entrenched power of cozy governmental corruption and inside deals, and they are showing themselves more than willing to subvert legal and ethical norms to protect their privilege. As with Qaddafi’s Libyan stooges, it is a Faustian bargain they cut, but it can be hard to see that when you know you have a chance to be in on the loot today.

Free Speech and the Peaceful Public Order

Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 (11:19 pm), by John W Gillis


I arrived home from my sister Mary’s funeral Saturday evening, and saw that Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several other people had been shot during some kind of meet-and-greet in her congressional district. I’d never heard of Giffords, but was discouraged that such a thing would happen – it’s hard enough just given our political process to get good people to run for public office, and it was of course a terrible tragedy for the people involved. It seemed to me that it had been a long time since something like that had happened.

As I read the AP story published on Boston.com, I began to get increasingly uncomfortable as the report progressively shifted from providing information about the tragedy and background on the people involved, to inserting accusatory innuendo aimed at various opponents of the Democrat Party and overall leftist political agenda: repeatedly finding a way to mention Sarah Palin by name in a setting suggestive of her being a menace to the lives of her political opponents; dredging up a reminder of a man who once threatened Nancy Pelosi over the telephone; dropping in a reference about a mad gunman from California the article tied to “conservatives” while simultaneously reporting that he wanted to “start a revolution” (note to moronic left-wing journalists: conservatives, by definition, are anti-revolutionary); pointing out that Giffords’ TEA Party-backed Republican opponent this past fall had fired a gun at a rally during the campaign; and suggesting in less-than-subtle language that this tragedy should be interpreted as the culminating denouement of “a highly charged political environment” that had hitherto not “reached the point of actual violence.”

I was, needless to say, dripping with disgust at the sleaziness of the journalism by the time I finished the story. Even the sketchy details in the earliest stories were enough to make it obvious that this was the handiwork of a deranged idiot, not an attempted political assassination. But the willingness of the leftist journalist class (and I quickly discerned that several other “mainstream” propaganda channels had picked up essentially the same meme) to immediately exploit the tragedy as an opportunity to try to score political points was just truly revealing – and infuriating.

Over the next several days, as we all know, we have seen an avalanche of contemptible opportunism from the leftists, as they’ve tried not only to pin the blame for the violence on the usual opposition scapegoats (Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, talk radio in general…), but have taken to self-reporting a mysterious hubbub of “concern” over “inflammatory political rhetoric:” an ailment that quite obviously knows no medicine except the silencing of such opposition.

And this new ethic of “civility” is being trumpeted by even some of the most screwball partisans in the leftist media! Even Keith Olbermann is in on the act! Keith Olbermann! This is the man who, on his April 23rd, 2008 “Countdown” show, back when Hilary Clinton was an opponent to Barack Obama for the Democrat nomination for U.S. President, and therefore a legitimate target for leftist bile under the ethics of the revolutionary order, wished on the air for “somebody who can take her into a room, and only he comes out," this on account of the "negativity, for which she is mostly responsible."

Negativity? Gee, sound familiar? This despicable clown all but called for someone to snuff Clinton out in order to save the narrative of the left’s favorite candidate from criticism, and the other left-wing loonies in the so-called “mainstream media” largely yawned and looked the other way. Three years later, he’s in the vanguard of a reactionary assault force intent on suppressing criticism of the leftist agenda by exploiting a personal and national tragedy to call for political speech censorship – or “an end to inflammatory rhetoric.” Priceless. You couldn’t sell fiction this corny.

The history of the leftists, from the Jacobins to the Bolsheviks to the Olbermanns, routinely resorts to characterizing criticism as “extremism” or “reactionaryism” in an attempt to marginalize and suppress it – a useful tactic when you can’t win the intellectual battle, and are stuck trying to sell a bagful of lies. Not only is this chicanery in and of itself, but in the American context, it is thoroughly disrespectful of the reality of what this country has managed to nurture as its political life.

Admittedly, being called a racist, or some other clever form of ”hater,” simply for opposing a puerile and idiotic political agenda, is frustrating (not to mention mendacious on the part of the accusers). On the other hand, for some reason, left-leaning people in this country resent being called socialists simply for trying to advance socialist ideas. And for some other reason, libertarians often want to be called conservatives, even though about the only thing they want to conserve is their bankrolls (and, I suppose, the U.S. Constitution, which is ironically an archetypical document of liberalism).

So while, yes, there are fissures in the political fabric of our society, they are fissures that run only from philosophy to rhetoric – and branding, or marketing. Political violence in the U.S. is virtually unheard of – unlike so many places in the world. Why is the media fixating on the Giffords shooting while giving short attention to those who died in the shooting – including a U.S. District Court Justice and a nine year-old? It may very well be in part because Giffords is a Democrat (the judge, on the other hand, was a G.H.W. Bush appointee), therefore facilitating the propagation of the above discussed agitprop, but I suspect is has more to do with the fact that elected officials are so rarely targeted for violence in the U.S. Even looking more broadly, I can’t recall any political violence in the U.S. in about 40 years, save a couple of abortionists who were assassinated in retribution for their death-dealing. People like Hinckley (and Loughner) are  lunatics, not partisans.

The idea of “overheated political rhetoric” fomenting violence in the USA is absurd – and worse than absurd: it is a dangerous threat to the country’s ability to retain the relatively peaceful political climate we enjoy. The left would like to suppress dissent, but that cannot be allowed to happen. The liberals who formed this country were so much wiser than their unfortunate French cousins precisely because they understood the value of political moderation, and the value of allowing political opposition secure standing.

Some of the people being lambasted by the leftists today for their “inflammatory rhetoric” do indeed go over the top sometimes, and the Ed Schultzes and Keith Olbermanns on the left are even worse; and we’d all be better off if political discourse was always more polite and more thoughtful; but that’s not the important point at all.

Our institution of free speech is crucially important to maintaining not just an environment ripe for good intellectual discourse, but, more importantly, the very requirement of a peaceful public order that is capable of solving its political differences at the ballot box, regardless of how much yelling and screaming precedes it. Only a fool would fail to recognize what a good that political freedom truly is for society.

Religious Coping Superstitions

Posted: Monday, March 30, 2009 (10:17 pm), by John W Gillis


A couple weeks ago, I came across an article on Boston.com that really struck me as being foreign to the world I live in. "Patients with strong faith more likely to get aggressive end-of-life care" looked at a Journal of the American Medical Association article that explored the influence of religious faith on end-of-life medical decisions by terminal patients.

What startles me in the writing is the apparent assumption that religiosity among these men and women was not something constitutive of them as persons, but a selected process of "coping." The clinicians quoted in the story seem fascinated by what they call "religious coping," expecting that some kind of objective analysis of the phenomenon will yield a "better understanding" of how it factors into decision making. These patients, essentially, were viewed not as persons of particular personal character, but as a sample of concept-consuming human laboratory rats who "used religion to some extent to cope with their illness."

Aside from the sadly comical image of clueless empiricists standing around a scene of deep human meaning with clipboards, kind of like they’re trying to measure changes in friction, for example, to explain human sexuality, I’m left with the disturbing realization that these people see "coping" as the fundamental human act. Everything is a tactic to be utilized in a complex story of universal manipulation. Even the human being as a subject is nothing more than the object of external phenomena that must be "coped with," for there is, in this barren and shallow worldview, no truly interior life.

Of course, the belief that reality can be manipulated is the very heart of superstition…

Even the chaplain gets into the act, finding “diverse choices” associated with “high levels of religious coping.” This makes her almost a dissenter to these “findings.”

I’m sorry, but I just can’t imagine entrusting someone I love to these imbeciles during his or her final days. I just don’t know how I’d cope.