Friday, August 31, 2007

Senator Larry Craig

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation." Henry Kissinger

Yesterday, Radio host Mark Levin, Constitutional Attorney, Former DOJ assistant to Ed Meese, author of "Men In Black" (An expose of the Supreme Court), and founder of Landmark Legal foundation, played the entire recording of the initial interview of Idaho Senator Larry Craig, by the police officer who arrested him on his radio show.

It was a classic case of Police coercion.

Once again, I know a little something about the tactics police use to force a confession out of a suspect. I have experienced the tactic first hand.

I was once charged with a crime I didn't commit, and was subjected to exactly the same sort of interview that Senator Craig endured. It is brutal.

The interrogation begins with an assumption of guilt from the start. All that BS about an assumption of innocence was not (and rarely is) observed by the police officer that interviewed me and it wasn't observed by the officer who interrogated Craig.

It's a "We know you did it, we just want you to tell us how and why" kind of thing.

Throughout the interview Craig maintained his innocence. Not one time did he ever admit any guilt of anything. His explanation for his actions in the men's room stall were plausible. Nevertheless, the officer doggedly pursued a guilty confession, one he never really received.

The officer jumped the gun. If he had wanted a strong case, he should have received an overt proposal before the arrest. He didn't get it. He based his entire case on the arguably accidental or intentional bumping of Senator's foot against the officer's foot underneath the common wall between two stalls, and the appearance of Craig's hand under the wall. No contact other than the feet touching occurred and no words were exchanged. And the arresting officer, based on this completely inconclusive evidence, made an arrest.

It was far from conclusive evidence of any impropriety. He was coerced into a guilty plea. It was entrapment and coercion.

I am not saying Craig is innocent. I don't know, and based on the recording of the interview, I am unconvinced of either his guilt or innocence, but let me tell you what I experienced:

In my case, the detective kept pushing me for a confession of guilt, regardless of the fact that there was no physical evidence to support his case, other than testimony from an extremely unreliable and biased witness.

He stated with authority that if I just confessed, I would get off "scot free", in his words. He hammered that point. All I had to do was confess and the whole unfortunate incident would just go away and life would return to normal. No one would ever know that I was ever charged. My reputation would be left intact.

But, he said if I refused to confess, I would be arrested and tried and found guilty and serve time in state prison. He seemed genuinely sure that was my future if I didn't tell him what he wanted to know. This is a frightening concept for anyone, guilty or innocent.

The stress and anxiety is unbelievably high. Trust me. You don't want to experience this.

In effect, he lied to me, and he knew he was lying.

The really outrageous thing about all this is the fact that my attorney was right there, listening in silence to ever word, and said nothing. He knew I was being lied to, and coerced, yet he said nothing.

I was young and naive and had never been in any situation remotely similar, and in my naivety and innocence, I believed the officer when he told me I could go free if I just confessed. I really truly believed him.

Now, I said I believed the police officer, and nothing would have made me happier at the time than to walk out of that police station that day, scot free.

But I was innocent. Finally, after what seemed like hours, I said, "Let me get this straight. If I just say I did it, you'll release me and I can just walk out of here free?"

"Yes", said the detective, "you'll get to go home and the most that will happen is you may have to do some counseling."

, I replied, "I'd sure love to go free, but if I confess, I'd have to give you details, wouldn't I?"

"Yes, you would."

"Well, I'm sorry, but since I didn't do it, I don't have any details to give you, and if I made up details, they wouldn't agree with what you think you already know, so I guess I'll have to take my chances with the court."

Interview over. I was arrested, and stood trial, and since I was innocent and the lack of evidence proved I was innocent, I was freed.

The recording of Craig's interview brought all those memories back to me as if it all happened yesterday.

Now. Here's the difference: Craig pleaded guilty.

How stupid was that? He is a United States Senator! How could he ever think by pleading guilty, this whole situation would go away? How could he have believed the officer? He is supposed to be smarter than the the average citizen. Certainly, he is much older and wiser than I was when I was in a similar situation. Could he really have been so naive to believe Americans wouldn't find out about his arrest?

He pleadedd guilty. By law, that means he's guilty. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. He is guilty.

Even if he's innocent.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Why Communism Can't Work

"Communism is like prohibition, it's a good idea but it won't work." ~ Will Rogers

Communism is Karl Marx's concept of a Utopian Governmental system. It has been suggested that the only reason why it hasn't worked everywhere it's been tried so far, is because it hasn't been done right yet. Not true. Here is why it would not and cannot work:

When I was a pre-pubescent young man, I used to daydream about having great wealth and all the things I could do with such wealth. I remember once entertaining the idea of owning my own private island and creating a Utopian type government there, with me having total and complete authority.

But, unlike Communist governments around the world at the time, mine would be a kind, generous government. A benevolent dictatorship, if you will.

This is the concept I created in my own mind:

First, I would make absolutely sure that everyone in my country would have exactly the same amount of property and money as everyone else. Then, I would set the wage for every person in my country at exactly the same amount per year. The janitors and the bag boy at the supermarkets and the fast food counter person would make exactly the same amount of money as the doctors and lawyers and stock brokers and corporate officers.

Everyone could choose whatever occupation they wanted to go into, and I, the benevolent dictator, would use my incredible wealth to supply them with all the necessary tools and education they needed to accomplish their goals. In the beginning, no one would be allowed to have unfair advantage over another. All would be equal in every way. Then, I would let them do whatever they felt they needed to by whatever means they deemed necessary to achieve success by their own standards, within reason.

Breaking the law, questionable, or unethical conduct would not be allowed. No one would be allowed to use trickery to sell goods or services to anyone else.

But, being a benevolent dictator, I would not prevent anyone in my country from earning as much money as they could as long as how they managed it were legal.

People would have to start from nothing, and make something out of themselves or not, as the case may be.

"What a wonderful country!", I reasoned, with no one having any kind of advantage over anyone else. This country would be the ultimate example of perfect government.

Of course, in my childish, simplistic fantasy, everything worked perfectly. There was no crime, and everyone was wealthy enough that all would be content. There was simply no greed at all.

Now that I'm an old curmudgeon, and in my old age, become cynical, I have long since abandoned the notion that Utopia would ever be possible.
Here is what would happen in reality if someone ever did create such a society:

Within a year, some people would be wealthy. Some would be penniless. There would be a lot of resentment from the ones who frittered their money away towards the ones that managed to use their natural good thinking, instincts, and sheer determination to parlay their start-up funds into fortunes.

Within five years, there would be an upper class, a middle class, and a lower class. The rich would continue to get richer, and the poor would continue to get poorer.

Some people would find loopholes enabling them to cheat the cheatable. Some people would be so gullible they would find themselves easy targets for those who would take advantage of them. Some people would have scruples, others would not.

Some people would begin to steal, and murder, and whatever else they think will allow them to circumvent the legal process to success.

You see, Utopia isn't possible this side of Heaven. There is too much diversity in people.

Some people are ambitious, some are not. Some people are industrious, some are not. Some people are inventive, some are not. Some people take pride in good workmanship, others are just content to get the job done, whether it is done well or not. Some people are workaholics, some are just plain lazy.

Some people buy anything, Some people buy nothing. Some buy what they want. Some buy only what they need. Some people are foolish with money, some are miserly.

It takes all kinds to make a world. It takes one kind to make a Utopia.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Socialized Medicine

"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five." ~ Groucho Marx

After my last post on National Health care, it became obvious there were some who disagree with me that National Health care is just basically re-packaged Socialized medicine.

So I create this post to explain why I believe National health care is synonymous with Socialized medicine. This post began as an addition to my comment section, but it grew to the length of a full blown blog entry, therefore I decided to just create a new post. Here is is:

I defined the reason I call "National health care" socialism in my post when I said the concept embodies Marx's main principle, "From each according to his means, to each according to his needs".

Socialized medicine, or, if you prefer, "National health care" does exactly that. It is intended to take from those who have in order to provide medical care for those who have not. That is the perfect definition of socialism.

The very word socialism, according to Mr. Webster, means:

1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

Once again, as I mentioned, the process by which the Libs intend to own and control health care in the "community" that Conservatives call the Republic of the United States of America, is to raise taxes.

Effectively, that takes money away from the haves to give free health care to the have nots.

So there you have it. The dirty little secret that the Libs don't want us to know about is this:

Their concept of National health care embodies the concepts of Socialism, which is the transitional stage to their ultimate goal of Communism.

Socialism is Marx's theory of a transitional stage between capitalism and Communism. Communism is the ultimate goal of knowledgeable Liberals in this country. I use the term, "knowledgeable" to differentiate them from those non-thinking lemmings who just parrot the Lib bumper sticker phrases rather than thinking for themselves. Those who are knowledgeable know that the ultimate goal for Libs is, in reality, Communism.

Therefore, national health care, which is just an innocuous code word for Socialized medicine, is a concept of Socialism, which leads to Communism.

Communism, for those of you with short memories, is a bad thing. Now. Do I have to explain to you why Communism is a bad thing, too?

It's a shame I have to spell it out so that a child of 5 can understand it. How is it some people don't seem to grasp the obvious? Is it because those who refuse to agree that Socialized medicine is a bad thing can't see the connection or because they won't see the connection?

Monday, August 20, 2007

National Health Care

"Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie." ~ William Shakespeare

They used to call it socialized medicine. Now they call it National Health care. Or Universal health care.

The term, "socialized medicine" is more accurate, because ideally, it takes money from the rich, (supposedly) and uses it to pay for health care for the poor. That, of course, is the main tenet on which Socialism is based.

The author of The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx, wrote, "From each according to his means, to each according to his needs".

I am just guessing, but I think the reason the term "national health care" is used instead of "socialized medicine" is because the socialists who are pushing socialized medicine in this country have finally realized that there is a negative connotation to anything that includes the terms "socialized" or "socialism".

It is simply not beneficial to their agenda to equate any national policy with any form of Communism, and they know it. The American people would not support them. The memory of Communism and it's oppressiveness is still fresh in our collective memory.

So now, it's called National health care. It's the same thing as socialized medicine but it sounds nicer.

This isn't the first time Liberals have used semantics to legitimize their socialist agenda. They used to proudly call themselves "liberals", and some still do, but later, when they realized that the term Liberal was being interpreted (and rightly so) as "Communist" or "Socialist", they began referring to themselves as "Moderate". That is, until Americans began to realize that word was simply code for "Liberal", which is code for "Socialist".

Now they call themselves "Progressives". What's next?

"A rose, by any other name..."

But I digress. I was talking about socialized medicine. It sounds like a great idea on the surface. I mean, who wouldn't like to have free health care?

But there are problems with that concept. First, and most obvious, the cost of health care has to be defrayed somehow. How do the proponents of national health care propose to pay the price? You guessed it. Higher taxes.

Paying higher taxes to pay for free health care is an oxy-moron, but nevertheless, using tax revenue to pay for health care isn't necessarily a bad thing, if used and distributed responsibly. I, for one, wouldn't complain about slightly higher taxes if I could get free health care, within reason.

The problem with it is, when has any social program been executed responsibly in this country, or for that matter, any other country?

Here is a problem that I observed first hand way back in my youth:

I learned early on that Air Force personnel and their families received free health care at the local base hospital, McConnell Air Force base in Wichita, Kansas, where I grew up. I was surprised and astounded at the petty reasons many of my "Air Force brat" friends would go to the base hospital. If some of them sustained anything from scraped knees to paper cuts, they were rushed to the emergency room by their well-meaning, but over protective parents. I often wondered how the hospital ER staff could handle so many non-emergencies and still handle real emergencies effectively.

Apparently, socialized medicine works for America's armed forces, but I don't know how. Perhaps if the Libs truly want socialized medicine for all American citizens, they might want to look to the military for it's model.

The other day, I read an article posted by the liberally biased AP about a woman who birthed a set of identical quadruplets. Apparently, it is "news" because the ratio of quadruplets being identical are approximately 13 million to one.

But within the article, I believe the AP unknowingly revealed a serious problem with socialized medicine. Here are some excerpts from the story:

"Karen Jepp of Calgary, Alberta, delivered Autumn, Brooke, Calissa and Dahlia by Caesarian section Sunday afternoon at Benefis Healthcare, said Amy Astin, the hospital's director of community and government relations."

She is from Canada, but she chose to give birth in Great Falls, Montana. Why?

"The Jepps drove 325 miles to Great Falls for the births because hospitals in Calgary were at capacity."

Here it appears the AP reporter attempts to give a credible excuse for the inadequate Canadian Health Care system, by blaming it on Calgary's rapid growth:

"The difficulty is that Calgary continues to grow at such a rapid rate. ... The population has increased a lot faster than the number of hospital beds."

I'm not buying it. The people (and we know who they are) that are pushing socialized medicine in this country continue to point to Canada as a shining example of how wonderful national health care can be in our country, but if health care in Canada is so wonderful, why did the Jepps have to drive 325 miles?

It's no secret. Conservative opponents of socialized medicine have been discussing it for years. Socialized medicine causes overcrowding of hospitals, over regulation, delayed essential medical operations and procedures (which are a consequence of over regulation), incompetent or substandard medical care, and the enabling of unscrupulous politicians who abuse the system to enrich themselves through graft and bribery.

Another article I read recently stated that America's health care system ranks 41st in the world. I don't recall it mentioning what criteria the researchers used to come up with that figure, but it hammered the Liberal point that France, England, and other countries have socialized health care, and America doesn't. By doing so, the inference was made that those countries have better health care, but would you like to know what information they conveniently left out of their report on the study?

The report didn't mention where the countries that have socialized medicine rank in the study. I think if they were ranked above the United States, the report would most certainly have mentioned it, don't you think?

I am fortunate because, at fifty five years of age, I am still remarkably healthy. Outside of a nagging pain in my right elbow and my left ring finger, and a questionable diagnosis of type II Diabetes, I have no immediate need of health care.

I would very much like to avail myself of free health care, when and if I need it, but until someone comes up with a national health care system that doesn't create more problems than it solves, I'll take my chances with the one we currently have.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Teaching Math

"I am not bound to please thee with my answers." ~ William Shakespeare

I received this e-mail in my in-box labeled "jokes". Possibly it would be funny if it weren't so true:

Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King
for $1.58. The counter girl took my $2 and I was
digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from
my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there,
holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking
at the screen on her register.

I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to
just give me two quarters, but she hailed the
manager for help. While he tried to explain the
transaction to her, she stood there and cried.

Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution
in teaching math since the 1950s:

1. Teaching Math In 1950
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his

2. Teaching Math In 1960
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What
is his profit?

3. Teaching Math In 1970
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Math In 1980
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your
assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Math In 1990
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he
is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for
the habitat of animals or the preservation of our
woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit
of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living?
Topic for class participation after answering the question:
How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut
down their homes?

(There are no wrong answers)

6. Teaching Math In 2007
Un hachero vende una carretada de madera por
$100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto
dinero ha hecho?

Some may remember that I discussed a reduced meals form I received from the High School last year when I enrolled my son in school. What was unusual about the form was that the whole thing was printed in Spanish. Not Partly Spanish. Not equal parts Spanish and English. All Spanish.

Maybe it's not so unusual anymore, but it should be.

We shouldn't have to change our culture to accommodate others. Unless we are living in their country. If they live in ours, they need to accommodate us.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Justified Illegality?

"The judge is condemned when the criminal is absolved." ~ Publilius Syrus

In response to my last post, Dan Trabue made the point that the American and Mexican governments are partially responsible for aliens entering our country illegally, to which I replied that Dan is using that reasoning to justify giving illegal aliens a "pass".

Dan replied thus:

"I said nothing about "giving lawbreakers a pass." I said that if WE make poor decisions, we will have to deal with those consequences.

As a matter of personal responsibility, I am opposed to NAFTA. It gives corporations greater legal standing than local sovereign states.

We are obliged to live in a responsible manner with our neighbors. NAFTA hasn't done that. Poverty has increased in Mexico as a result of NAFTA (as will no doubt happen in other Central American nations because of CAFTA).

Is it personally responsible to live in such a way that you take away your neighbor's job and home to make you wealthier, Mark? This is exactly about personal - as well as societal - responsibility."

Here in this post, I reply.

My apologies, Dan. You are right. You aren't giving illegals a pass. You are making excuses for them.

Let's assume you are correct that the American government and the Mexican government together are responsible for forcing illegal aliens to take desperate measures to assure themselves and their families a better life. For the record, I don't necessarily disagree.

What difference does that make, really? They are still illegal. There are legal ways to immigrate into this country. Admittedly, it is more difficult to immigrate here that way, and it takes much more time to jump through the hoops and fight their way through all the red tape, but it is nevertheless the legal way. They make the choice to do it legally or illegally. If they choose to enter America illegally, they are, by definition, illegal.

Thus, they should rightfully be punished.

Doing it the legal way is called taking personal responsibility.

If they choose to break our laws simply because they are too impatient to do it the legal way, is that America's fault? Is it Mexico's?

You don't like that? Then write your Congressmen, and/or elect people who will work to reform the law. Personally, I think the process by which aliens in this country become legal is needlessly complicated and lengthy.

But that is still no excuse to break our laws.

This is indicative of another of the problems with Liberal thought infecting America. When the Judicial system in America allows itself to be distracted by irrelevant facts, Justice is often set aside.

The Menendez brothers killed their parents. Their attorneys attempted to get them off, and indeed, got them a lighter sentence, by suggesting the murders they committed were somehow justified. They were not. There are other legal ways to stop abuse.

We see this trend over and over. OJ got off because a police officer used inappropriate language. What does Mark Furmans bigotry (if indeed he is a bigot) have to do with whether OJ is guilty? Nothing. This was a classic case of an unscrupulous lawyer manipulating a jury by distracting them from the actual facts of the case.

An abused woman set her husband afire in his bed in retaliation for the beatings he administered to her over the course of their marriage. Yes, she was abused, and yes, he undoubtedly deserved to be punished for what he had done, but did she really have the right to take the law into her own hands and kill him?

Of course not. As my mother continually reminded me, two wrongs don't make a right.

The way justice should be dispensed in this country is to address the crime only. The reason why is not important. Motive is never necessary to prove guilt. Why must it be necessary to prove innocence?

This is the way the crime of illegally entering this country should be prosecuted:

1. Did he enter this country illegally?

2. If yes, he is guilty of a crime.

3. If not, he is to be adjudged not guilty.

Extenuating circumstances should not even enter into the question of guilt or innocence. That is a criteria for determining punishment, not guilt or innocence.

Entering this country illegally, regardless of motive, is still a crime.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Guests

"The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept." ~ William Shakespeare

A couple I am acquainted with have owned a spacious home for many years. It has much more living space than they need, and more of the amenities than they need, or even use. In fact, they don't even use several of the rooms. They rarely make use of the indoor heated pool, the game room, the gymnasium, and they have yet to play a single game of tennis on their tennis court. They are simply too busy working and jetting around the world to exotic locales.

Often, the house sits unoccupied for months at a time, with only their hired caretaker to patrol the grounds, mow the lawn, and do other routine maintenance.

However, it belongs to them. No one else owns any part of this home. It is all theirs, and they have the right to reside, or not reside there. It is their choice.

Recently, my friends came home from a trip to Italy, and found a young couple had taken up residence in their home uninvited. The strangers refused to leave after my friends politely asked them to, and, after repeated demands to leave which met with stubborn refusals, they called the police.

Amazingly, the police refused to put the unwanted guests out of their home, noting that the couple had been hard at work since they arrived, maintaining the house and grounds, and indeed, they strangers had done such a fine job of keeping the house well maintained, the caretaker had resigned and moved on.

Since the strangers had not stolen anything and had treated my friends property with respect, and after the guests explained to them that they were only trying to make life better for themselves, and since my friends were rarely home, they reluctantly agreed to let them stay, at least until they could get back on their feet, as long as they promised to continue to maintain the residence and cause no trouble.

After it had become clear that this arrangement appeared to be working, my friends decided it was safe for them to leave the home for a couple of weeks. The guests, although originally unwanted and uninvited, had proven themselves trustworthy.

Upon returning home, to their surprise, they found their guests had invited several members of their extended family to move in with them, and now, in addition to the original young couple, their elderly parents, their siblings, and their siblings children were occupying the home.

Again, the local police refused to do anything because, once again, the only crime they had committed was trespassing, and they compensated for that by being good stewards of my friends property.

My friends were not completely pleased with this arrangement, but, as the police explained, as long as no serious crimes other than trespassing was committed, they might as well get used to having unwanted guests. So, my friends decided to try to make the best of their situation.

This cycle repeated itself every time my friends had to leave for any amount of time, until eventually, their once spacious mansion became so crowded, there was little room for the actual owners.

Once, one of the children fell and cut his finger on a rusty nail. My friends took the child to the emergency room, and, because the child's parents didn't have insurance or jobs, my friends paid the medical bill.

In addition to footing the medical bills for the uninvited guests, they were also paying for most of the food and clothing, and other expenses incurred as most of the guests had no jobs, and the ones that did, didn't make enough money to pay their own way. Then their guests began insisting my friends give them furniture and decorative items and electronic gadgets.

Eventually, my friends had to declare bankruptcy and move out of their home. Their guests have yet to repay their kindness.

I'm sure you are probably thinking, "That's crazy! How could anyone let people just walk all over them that way? Why did they not do anything to stop it?"

Why? Because it is crazy. The story isn't true. It is a parable.

But it illustrates the problem with allowing illegal aliens into our country unchecked and unsupervised.

The Conservative blogs and talk show hosts are forever pointing out insidious crimes committed by illegal aliens in this country, but I am going to say, for the record, that for every crime committed by illegal aliens, one can find probably at least ten illegal aliens who are just living and working, and making a life for themselves and their families, and not causing any trouble, whatsoever.

It makes no difference. Just because they are not murdering, stealing, raping, or committing other crimes, it does not mean they are no longer illegal.

The whole illegal alien problem basically comes down to one incontrovertible fact: They are illegal by virtue of the fact that they entered this country illegally, without going through proper immigration procedure.

Illegal is illegal. It does not change to legal simply because we let them get away with violating our laws.

If we allow this problem to continue unabated, we will someday become strangers in our own land.