Central to the politics of states with democratically-constituted governments is the notion that all sovereignty resides in “the People.”  In no place and at no time has this idea been more prevalent than in contemporary America.  It is an idea that both Democrats and Republicans peddle furiously.  In spite of its popularity, however, it is a fiction. Worse, it is an invidious fiction. First of all, it needs to be noted that all talk of “the American People” simultaneously reflects an abysmal ignorance of the kind of order — a Constitutional Republic — that our Founding Fathers left us while further undermining that order. No member of the founding generation would ever have thought to describe the inhabitants of these United States as a single people. On no reading of America at any time during its history could the citizenry be interpreted in terms of the monolith suggested by the language of “the People.”  
Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) joined with Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Tuesday in announcing their plan to reform Medicare before it goes “broke and take[s] our government down with it.” Noting that Medicare beneficiaries take almost three times more out of Medicare than they ever put in, Lieberman is persuaded that the flawed welfare-state program can be reformed. With substantial increases in premiums and extensions of age of eligibility, Lieberman said their plan would save $600 billion over the next 10 years, and reduce Medicare’s unfunded liability from $85.6 trillion to under $75 trillion. Depending upon income levels, individuals would pay into Medicare at least $12,500 a year, with high income earners paying $22,500 a year. And Medicare’s eligibility age would be pushed out to 67, starting in the year 2025. He noted that there is something in his proposal for everyone to dislike:
New reports indicate that leftist billionaire George Soros is working to forge alliances with the radical Muslim Brotherhood by means of his financial contributions through a number of shadow organizations. Those organizations include the International Crisis Group, the organization behind the Responsibility to Protect doctrine under which the United States entered into Libya. The Blaze also indicates that Soros’ connections to the Muslim Brotherhood can also be traced through his relationship to his new spokesman Marwan Muasher, as well as Mohamed ElBaradei, Muslim Brotherhood leader who sits on the board of Soros’ ICG. Muasher oversees research for the Middle East at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, funded by George Soros.
Despite protests from Muslims and Jews living in the Netherlands, the Dutch parliament has passed legislation which requires the humane slaughtering of livestock. If the Dutch Senate also passes the bill, the Netherlands will join Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, and Luxembourg in banning the religiously-motivated practice of slaughtering animals without first stunning them. According to an article published by Radio Free Europe (RFE), “religious groups would be allowed to get an exception from the ban if they can scientifically prove their slaughter methods are less painful to animals than preliminary stunning”— but the ability of Muslims and Jews to demonstrate that halal and kosher practices are less painful for the animals is in doubt, given that they require, in the words of the RFE story, “an animal to be conscious at the time of death.”
Texans around the state, and other Americans who have followed the travails of passing an anti-TSA groping bill in Texas this year, were stunned and disheartened when the Lone Star State’s special session ended early Tuesday without passing the popular Traveler’s Dignity measure. It was a wild ride on a bucking bronco for the bill. It first sailed through the Lone Star State's regular House session (with unanimous approval), but the feds then threatened not to allow commercial flights in the state if the bill were to become law. The threat caused the state Senate to back away from the bill, which died without a vote in the Senate chamber. But after the regular legislative session, Texans deluged Governor Rick Perry's office with emails and phone calls imploring the Governor to call up the anti-TSA groping bill in a special session of the Texas legislature that had been convened for other purposes. During this time, two Texas officials denounced the groping they were subjected to by the TSA, and their personal stories, circulated on YouTube, fueled the firestorm of grassroots support for the anti-TSA groping bill.
By now I assume that most of my readers have already seen the Oscar-winning movie of 2011, The King’s Speech, the dramatic story of King George VI and his debilitating speech impediment and how it was cured by an eccentric Australian speech therapist. But that’s only part of the story. It is also about England in the 1930s, leading up to World War II, and so it is also a great lesson in history. It is also the story of the British royal family dealing with the strained relationship between the two brothers, David the older, Prince of Wales, heir to the throne, and George the stammerer. When their father dies and David becomes King Edward VIII. But he is very unhappy because he is not permitted to marry his twice-divorced lover, the American Wallis Simpson. He abdicates the throne in order to be able to marry the woman he loves. This became one of great love affairs of the 20th century, in which a King gave up his throne for a woman. The former king and his wife become the famous Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Homosexual activists and sympathizers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) want their agency’s “gay” awareness training to be expanded government wide, according to a report in the Washington Times. Officials at the USDA have asked the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which supervises policies for federal employees, to mandate that all departments of the federal government implement its sensitivity training, according to a USDA internal newsletter. Leading the charge is Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack, a former Democratic governor of Iowa, who has launched a “Cultural Transformation” campaign across his department that features a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender [LGBT] Special Emphasis Program.  
Nearly one million union workers in the United Kingdom have begun a strike to protest the government’s austerity plans. The protest is the first of the “summer of discontent” and is sure to cause major disruptions at airports and schools. Mark Serwotka, leader of the Public and Commercial Services Union, warned of the strike, “On Thursday we will see hundreds of thousands of civil and public servants on strike. We fully expect to be joined by millions more in the autumn.” The Blaze reported: The first test comes Thursday, when 750,000 public-sector workers — from teachers to driving examiners to customs officials — walk out for the day, part of a growing wave of opposition to the Conservative-led government’s deficit-cutting regime of tax hikes, benefit curbs and spending cuts.
President Obama’s former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Some wonder if that is what is taking place in Michigan. A new state law, Public Act 4, signed earlier this year, grants much wider powers to emergency financial managers (EFMs) who are assigned to fiscally troubled cities and school districts. Though the measure has drawn the criticism of political analysts as well as interest groups, proponents say it will prove to be beneficial to struggling cities, as drastic times call for drastic measures. While the law provides EFMs increased authority, the EFM program was not established under the new law. The Blaze explains: The authority for the EFM program was established by Michigan’s Public Act 72 that was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jim Blanchard in 1990. If the state determined that a serious financial problem existed in a municipality or school district, Public Act 72 granted the governor’s office authority to intervene in local government administration as a last resort means of shoring up budget deficits. But as the state’s budget problems only continued to grow, it became clear that while well-intentioned, the EFM would not have the necessary tools to be successful.  
The Obama administration has called off plans to conduct a “mystery shopper” survey of doctors’ offices to determine whether prospective patients with government health insurance have a more difficult time getting appointments than those with private insurance. This is, as the New York Times put it, “an abrupt reversal” from an administration that just two days earlier had “staunchly defended the survey as a way to measure access to primary care, and insisted that it posed no threat to privacy.” The New American reported on the proposal on Monday, pointing out the deceptive nature of the survey, in which callers pretending to be patients — and blocking their caller ID information to hide their true identities — would request appointments with various doctors’ offices. Some callers would claim to have private insurance, while others would say they were on Medicare or Medicaid. The results of these calls would be compared to see if patients with private insurance were being given priority over those with public insurance. In addition, some doctors’ offices would be called again and asked to state their appointment policies to the Department of Health and Human Services to see if their answers jibed with the results of the “mystery shopper” survey.
JBS Facebook JBS Twitter JBS YouTube JBS RSS Feed