ATTACK ON THE EASTER BUNNY

We are at war. No, I’m not talking about the war on terror or the war in Afghanistan. To be sure, those are real wars with real consequences for Americans. But, apparently, to some people at this time of the year the most dangerous enemy is…….THE EASTER BUNNY.

The Easter Bunny, Easter eggs and Easter egg hunts have become symbols of Easter. But, in reality, they have nothing to do with the religious aspect of the holiday, the Resurrection of Christ. The origin of the Easter Bunny can be traced to 13th century Germany. At that time Germany was pagan, not Christrian. The German people worshipped many different gods and goddesses, including a goddess of Spring and Fertility. Guess what the symbol of this goddess was? That’s right, a rabbit, because of the animal’s high reproduction rate. German immigrants brought the custom to the US where it has evolved to what we see today. In modern times, the Easter Bunny and its trappings have become symbols of festivity and fun, especially for kids, who love the Easter baskets and egg hunts. In addition, being able to consume large quantities of chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs is no small side benefit. Finally, let us not overlook the commercial value of Easter to the economy.

Enter the school district of Madison, Alabama. The school principal, Ms. Lydia Davenport, in her infinite non-wisdom has decreed that in the interest of “religious diversity” there shall be no mention of Easter in the schools and no school activity labeled an “Easter” activity. Hence, no Easter Bunny, but maybe a “Spring Bunny.” No “Easter egg roll,” but instead a “Spring Roll (with or without chopsticks?).” The parents and kids were not consulted; the school district just decided this unilaterally apparently because of one parent’s “question[ing of] some of the things we do here at school” whatever that means.

Ironically, the Easter Bunny has nothing to do with the US Constitution’s first amendment, freedom of religion. The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Tell me what that has to do with the Easter Bunny.

PREDICTION AND CONCLUSION

This is a continuation of two recent trends, (1) bending over backwards to be politically correct and (2) attacking religious symbols, first, Nativity scenes and now the Easter Bunny. I think in some cases, such as this one, we go too far. What’s next, banning Santa Claus and Menorahs? I say let kids be kids and enjoy the traditional Easter events. It has nothing to do with the religious aspect of the holiday, which is separate. Other religions can be free to ceelebrate their own holidays as well.

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CBS’ AMAZING MISTAKE, AN INSULT TO VIET NAM VETS

What do conservatives, like John McCain, and liberals, like Bob Beckel, have in common? Give up? Well, the answer is that recently they were both sharply critical of an episode of the CBS TV show, “The Amazing Race.” Apparently, the show’s organizers and producers, which include, among others, Les Moonves, a CBS executive, and Jerry Bruckheimer, a prominent TV and movie producer, are ignorant of and/or insensitive to the strong feelings that still linger from the Viet Nam War. It’s not easy to get conservatives and liberals to agree on anything these days, but these idiots at CBS have managed to do so.

For the benefit of those of you who are either too young to remember or have fading memories, this war dominated the lives of a generation of young people in the ’60s and ’70s and tore apart the nation socially, politically, economically, emotionally and morally. Oh, and by the way, nearly 60,000 Americans died and many more were wounded physically and/or emotionally.

Briefly, what the show’s producers did was send the contestants to Hanoi where they visited the wreckage of an American B-52 bomber. The wreckage was set up like an ordinary prop with markings, clues and instructions for the contestants to follow in their glorified scavenger hunt. In addition, they were required to memorize a communist propaganda song. Nice, huh.

Fox TV reports that emails and tweets to its station haven been running 10-1 against CBS. Veterans groups and other critics have demanded an apology, however, to date, CBS has been mum, no doubt hoping that some celebrity will eventually do something stupid to divert attention.

CONCLUSION AND PREDICTION

CBS can’t be that ignorant and insensitive, can they, so there is a distinct possibility that they did it on purpose to gain publicity for the show. After all, as they say, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” Now, why won’t they apologize. Stubborness? The desire for more pubilicity? Because Fox is leading the criticism? Your guess is as good as mine. All I know is that there are hundreds of thousands of living Viet Nam veterans, including me, who are outraged and demand an apology and an explanation. One cannot underesimate the impact this war had on the nation. Even young men who escaped unscathed had their lives and careers delayed or interrupted. Many vets can’t bear to even visit the country to this day. As one critic stated, what venue is next, Normandy, Iwo Jima, a concentration camp site?

I hope that CBS does the right thing and apologizes.

OBAMACARE DEATH PANEL

Seniors, congratulations on living to a ripe old age. You worked hard all your life. Now, you are retired and enjoying your “Golden Years.” But, beware, your Golden Years may become tarnished by the “Mortality Index.”

Never heard of the MI? You will. It is another unintended consequence of Obamacare, like higher insurance premiums, fewer doctors and lower quality healthcare for the 80% of us that already had medical insurance before the advent of Obamacare.

In a nutshell, the MI is a measurement of a person’s likelihood of dying within a certain period of time based on various factors. The index ascribes points to various factors, such as age, gender, physical condition, other chronic illnesses, etc. If the resultant number is too high, some government or medical provider bureaucrat, not a medical professional, not you, may decide that treatment for what ails you is not practical. Therefore, treatment would not be covered. For most people, no insurance coverage means no treatment. In essence, they are deciding that one person’s life is worth more than another’s. That’s right. If two people need the same procedure and person A is, say, 50 years old and in good physical condition, and person B, for example, is 80, overweight and a diabetic, it could be “Syonara” for person B.

If this sounds like a plot for a Stephen King novel, you should know that the MI is already in use, although not for the above purpose. Doctors can use it to measure a patient’s health risk and advise him or her accordingly. In addition, I believe insurance companies are using a version of it to decide whether or not to issue a person a life insurance policy and, if so, to calculate the premiums.

CONCLUSION AND PREDICTION

As we all know, health care is expensive and getting more expensive every day. In addition, there is a finite amount of money and resources. The population is aging, and people are living longer. Elderly people use a disproportionate share of health care resources. Most experts predict that there will be fewer doctors as the medical profession becomes less attractive for various reasons (which merits a separate blog). A large majority of doctors will soon be employees of health care providers rather than proprietors, thus losing some of their independence. If you combine all these factors the future of healthcare, in general, and for the elderly, in particular looks bleak.

Higher premiums, fewer doctors, lower quality care, and now the death panel. Anybody still think Obamacare was a good idea? Thank you Mr. Obama and Justice Roberts.

WASTED OPPORTUNITY

The more I see of the Obama Presidency, the more I view it as a wasted opportunity. Regardless of what one may think of his political views, President Obama is very popular personally. All the polls have shown this consistently. He is glib, likeable, personable, a superb orator, and a great “rags to riches” success story. With all these positive attributes Mr. Obama has had and still does have a rare opportunity to unite various disparate groups of Americans and achieve greatness. Instead, he has done exactly the opposite He and his policies have been extremely divisive and have led us down the road toward economic and social disaster.

His wealth redistribution and nanny state policies and refusal or inability to compromise and forge coalitions with those who hold differing views have steadfastedly turned Democrats against Republicans, liberals against conservatives, poor against rich, minorities against whites, and women against men. To be sure, some or all of these animosities have always been present to a degree, but I do not recall another period in my lifetime when they have all been as extreme as they are now.

I could give many examples of this, but I will cite only one: the Sequestor. As I wrote yesterday, this was President Obama’s idea in the first place. Now that it has been turned around against him, rather than promulgating spending cuts in a judicious manner, he doing his best to cast blame on the GOP for it and make the sequestration as painful as possible to the American people. Want examples? (1) Last week he gave several “chicken little” speeches in which he delineated the dire consequences of sequestration, none of which has come to pass. In these speeches, he conveniently forgot to denote that sequestration was his much balleyhooed idea in the first place. (2) His Director of Homeland Security has reported, as a direct consequence of sequestration, the release of thousands of illegal aliens from ICE detention centers. These people had been detained because they are dangerous, and now if any of them commits another crime, guess who Mr. Obama will blame. (3) The D of HS also reported massive airport delays, whereas there have not been any. (4) Perhaps most outrageous of all, the White House cancelled all tours to save money. In reality, these tours are give by VOLUNTEERS, so this was also a sham. The only effect was to inconvenience thousands of Americans who were planning to tour the White House on their vacation. Reminds me of Chevy Chase and “Walley World.”

Why is Mr. Obama doing this? I believe he feels that if he can tarnish the GOP with this issue the Dems can win the House in the 2014 elections. In the meantime, the welfare of the country is secondary.

PREDICTION AND CONCLUSION

President Obama’s refusal or inability to compromise and bring people together will doom his legacy. As we know, Presidents view their legacy quite seriously. Most of them spend their entire second term building it. Typically, they move toward the middle and try to unify the people.

With the passage of time, historians, and Americans in general, often view presidencies very differently than they were viewed at the time. For example, most historians rank Presidents Lincoln and Truman in the top 5, yet they were unpopular and/or controversial during their presidencies. If Mr. O stays on the present course, which I believe he will, history will judge him quite harshly and deservedly so.

SEQUESTER

Well, you have been sequestered. How does it feel? Did you even notice it? The sky did not fall. There were no massive layoffs. Social security and welfare checks did not cease. Airplanes did not fall out of the sky. Our military capacity was not decimated. Our borders were not overrun. The truth of the matter is that President “Chicken Little” and his supporters exaggerated the potential situation considerably.

At this point, a little history of sequestration would be instructive. Originally, sequestration was Mr. Obama’s idea. In July 2011 when Congress and the White House could not agree on a tax plan and spending cuts, he proposed it and pushed it as a compromise measure to avoid the US defaulting on its debt obligations. Mr. Obama lauded the measure as a solution to the impasse. He stated that it would not impact social security payments, medicare or medicaid and other programs for low income voters. Now, all of a sudden hw has changed his tune. It is safe to say that Mr. Obama was “for sequestration before he was against it.” (If this phrase sounds familiar, it should. It has often been used to mock politicians of both parties who have “flip-flopped” their positions on an issue.)

Mr. Obama is counting on Americans having a short memory. In addition, rather than demonstrating leadership, rather than applying the spending cuts in the most effieicnt and judicious manner, he has chosen to be divisive, looking to ascribe blame to the GOP.

PREDICTION AND CONCLUSION

The amount of these spending cuts is a drop in the proverbial bucket – approximately $42 billion out of a total budget of approximately $3.5 trillion. As I said, most Americans will hardly notice. Also, we desperately need to reduce our expenses and our debt.

Mr. Obama’s vision of socialism does not work in the long run. This is not opinion; it is fact. It has not worked in any other country that has tried it (Greece, Italy, France, to name a few). They have all encountered economic and social problems as a result. Why would we think it would work here? My anticipation is that the voters will come to realize this eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later.