American Elephants

Remember Who We Are! by The Elephant's Child
August 23, 2010, 8:54 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Freedom, Music | Tags: , ,

If You Can’t Change the Facts, You Change the Words You Use to Describe the Facts! by The Elephant's Child

Four years ago a coalition of leftist advocacy groups, union leaders and health care advocates teamed up to attempt to change the language of the health-care debate. They used polling and focus groups to find the precise language that would win over voters.

The AARP ,which falsely claims to speak for senior citizens; the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); the American Cancer Society and the liberal health-policy group Families USA, among others called themselves the Herndon Alliance after the Virginia suburb where they first met.

When President Obama told grass-roots organizers last week that the mandatory purchase of insurance would “be affordable, based on a sliding scale,” the language had been poll-tested and put before focus groups over several years.  But it doesn’t seem to be working.  Language that was meant to be soft, soothing and healthy isn’t working with an angry public.  It is the old euphemism approach, and a roused public is better informed than the people who put the ObamaCare plan together.

Instead of Government, say Public. Instead of Competition, say Choice and control, Instead of Universal coverage, say Quality, affordable health care.  Don’t say Free, but Sliding scale.  Instead of Wellness, say Prevention. Say Rules, which is softer than Regulations.  Don’t say Medicare for all but A choice of private and public plans. See how the game is played?

Democrats have always resented what they call “the Republican  playbook.”  They had become adept, said Robert Crittenden, a physician and founder of the Herndon Alliance, at using words to seize issues, turning the estate tax into “the death tax.”  Funny, I thought it was a leftist attempt to fool the voters that called it “an estate tax,” instead of acknowledging that it was a hefty tax on money already taxed, just because the owner died.  That’s a policy Republicans have been fighting for years.

“We always had the facts on our side,” Dr. Crittenden said.  “But our language hasn’t connected with what the general public actually cared about.” Um, possibly because your facts are full of holes?  Like comparing U.S. Health Care to other developed countries?  Turns out the best gauge of outcomes is life-expectancy, at which the U.S. excels.  The U.S. is more successful on comparative costs, efficiency of resource use, and outcome as well.

How about the idea that Reform will yield major savings? The primary drivers of costs are new technologies, public demand for broader coverage and access, and defensive medicine.  ObamaCare specifically does not make any attempt to restrict lawsuits or reign in tort lawyers, who are a major constituency.  Customer demands for quick access to the latest and best is not contraindicated except in inevitable rationing that will be required to hold down cost.  There are no real cost-savings in ObamaCare except for the rationing that is sure to come.

Neither ‘comparative-effectiveness nor health-information technology have been shown to reduce costs.  Claims of health-care costs being so high they result in personal bankruptcy were found to be simply unsupportable by the ABC News Director of Polling.  And claims of covering the uninsured were exploded by the CBO which noted that 22 million would remain uninsured.

What they are trying to do has nothing to do with the health of the American people, but everything to do with putting an enormous and important part of the economy under permanent Democrat control.

If you have to prettify your language to make your policies palatable, you are assuming that the American public is too stupid to understand what you are doing.  It is a flawed assumption.  They are not out there clinging to their guns and their religion, but heading for protests with signs they’ve made on the kitchen table.  Never underestimate the American people.

Looking for Integrity in the Electoral Process. by The Elephant's Child

There would seem to be a few potholes in the road to permanent Democrat dominance in the American electorate, as some Democrats were planning. An 82 percent majority of Likely Voters in the United States believe that all voters in the country should be required to present photo identification to vote in U.S. elections.

Rasmussen Reports in a new telephone survey found that only 14% disagree, and just 4% are undecided on the issue.  Majorities in every demographic agreed that voters should be required to show photo ID. That should frustrate liberal advocacy groups like the NAACP and the League of Women Voters that oppose common sense proposals to ensure the integrity of  our election process.

A majority also said that ballots should be printed only in English.  The Justice Department has threatened to sue Cuyahoga County. Ohio, unless it prints ballots in Spanish.

The Justice Department lawsuit against Arizona is opposed by 56% of voters.  54% think that Eric Holder should be doing something about sanctuary cities, something the Justice Department has specifically said that it will not do.  A majority (59%) hope that their own states will pass a law similar to Arizona’s, and CNS reports that 22 states are drafting legislation similar to the Arizona law.

Fifty-six percent believe that the policies of the federal government encourage  people to enter the United States illegally.  Looks like there is some pretty definite difference of opinion between the Justice Department and the American people.

For Big and Little Boys Everywhere: by The Elephant's Child
August 23, 2010, 2:02 pm
Filed under: Heartwarming, History, Humor | Tags: , ,

When Is a Pirate Not Really a Pirate? by The Elephant's Child
August 23, 2010, 1:19 pm
Filed under: Africa, Law, National Security | Tags: , ,

Six Somali men were alleged to have fired on U.S. naval warships in the Indian Ocean. They were captured, and brought to the Virginia civilian court of federal judge Raymond A. Jackson, to be tried for piracy, under Section 1651 of the federal penal code.   Judge Jackson was appointed to the bench by President Clinton in 1993.

U.S Attorney Neil MacBride explained:

“since the earliest days of this country, piracy has been a serious crime…privacy threatens human lives and disrupts international commerce. When pirates attack U.S. vessels by force, they must face severe consequences.”

But Judge Jackson looked at Congress’s definition of piracy.  Instead of spelling out just what constituted piracy, Congress referred to “the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations.”  The judge looked at a Supreme Court case from 1820 (United States v. Smith) that involved robbery on the high seas, in which the Court ruled that such a robbery fit the law of nations concept of piracy.  That does not eliminate attempts, conspiracies or other forcible acts.  But the judge decided that pirates have to succeed in robbing or killing to be a pirate.  If they try and fail, then they aren’t pirates.

Attacks in international waters are one of the very few reasons to have “a law of nations.”  But courts have become willful, and like to make law — the duty assigned to the Congressional branch — rather than just apply it. You can see why they used to just string pirates up from the yardarm.

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