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Senator Kennedy Dies

Massachusetts Sen. Edward Moore “Ted” Kennedy has died in his home state at the age of 77. Elected to the United States Senate in 1962, the late Sen. Kennedy was an ardent advocate for socialized medicine in America, carrying the torch for decades through major compromises with religious conservatives, such as Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who co-authored the historic legislation to enact socialized medicine for children, and former President George W. Bush, who led numerous efforts to expand government intervention in medicine.

The goal of government-controlled health care had long been held by Sen. Kennedy, who, with the late President Richard Nixon, is responsible for creating Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), which reject the concept of an insurance contract for paying claims in favor of a cartel model for rationing health care. Kennedy authored the HMO Act of 1973, which forced all U.S. employers with over 25 employees to offer an HMO. The government-mandated health plans practically eliminated the market for traditional medical insurance within 20 years. Today, Kennedy’s HMOs and their corollaries, Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), controlled by state-regulated health care cooperatives such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield, dominate the so-called market for health insurance.

Last year, the senator endorsed Illinois Sen. Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic Party presidential campaign, and he has steadfastly supported the Obama administration’s campaign to enact total state control of the medical profession. Kennedy reportedly died of cancer at his home in Massachusetts.

Thug Worship in Iran and in America

Looters took over downtown Los Angeles the other night following a professional basketball victory.

A news radio reporter and several policemen were attacked, stores were looted, and, as far as I can tell, police stood down and allowed the looters to do the damage. After the Los Angeles Lakers won the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) championship in Orlando, Florida, a mob formed near the Staples Center, burning, vandalizing and destroying property everywhere in sight. Eight officers were injured, and 12 police cars, a sheriff’s vehicle, and six buses were damaged, according to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). One officer was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. Police said 25 arrests were made. One businessman, shoe store owner Richard Torres, told the Associated Press (AP) that he lost $100,000 when looters broke in and destroyed vintage sportswear and sneakers and the shop’s computers. “They were literally lighting stuff on fire,” Torres said. His store manager, Liz Sanchez, said LAPD did nothing.

In fact, LAPD Chief William Bratton, an ineffectual bureaucrat who routinely lectures the public on how the LAPD is underfunded, downplayed the looting and used the term “knuckleheads” to describe the criminals. The police clearly failed to protect the public and downtown L.A. will suffer and lose business.

But this mob mentality is rampant in the subculture of men’s professional sports, especially basketball, particularly the Lakers. Men of ability competing in athletic contests offers the sight of heroic action but thug worship replaced hero worship and engulfed sports long ago. Today, we are left with the spectacle of unkempt, baggy-clothed dog-killers, murderers and rapists spiking balls and sneering at the notion of civility. When Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant, whom I personally believe is guilty of rape, was arrested in 2003 for felony sexual assault in Colorado, Lakers fans rushed, not to defend him based on facts (though some did) but to praise him.

Dads bought their sons jerseys with his number. I heard comments on talk radio and at parties, from educated men and women, that Kobe Bryant was like an animal that couldn’t be controlled when his sexual urges came upon him and that his accuser, a hotel worker and college student, probably deserved to be raped. Far from damaging his reputation among L.A. Lakers’ fans, the rape arrest (which did not result in conviction) elevated his stature. Thug worship is part of what fuels pro sports and it played out in downtown Los Angeles. With the dereliction of duties by the LAPD, and the consent of sports fans who sanction thug worship, the lawlessness, in the City of Angels and elsewhere, will get worse.

In Teheran, we have another example of civil unrest and I am reading the news from Islamic dictatorship Iran. I doubt that the protests against the current Islamic fascist dictator, who is controlled by the religious collective that runs Iran, will lead to fundamental change in that slave state. I support resistance to theocracy, in Iran as in America, where the Obama administration, defending the Clinton administration’s anti-homosexual Defense of Marriage Act, recently compared being gay to incest (as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pointed out in a recent broadcast). But jihadist Iran, like Nazi Germany, did not become a theocracy overnight. Predominantly Moslem Iran is infected with anti-Western ideals that are widely accepted by the people. Protest over which Islamic thug is in charge is neither a cry for man’s rights nor a demand for the only political system which supports individual rights: capitalism.

Comment: the Death of Dr. George Tiller

Police have announced an arrest in yesterday’s murder of Wichita, Kansas, Dr. George Tiller. Apparently, the shooter is an anti-abortion Christian who approved of assassinating abortion doctors (sources: New York Times, Kansas City Star). If true, this is yet another act of religious terrorism in the United States.

According to a 1995 article in the Washington Post, a rundown of recent attacks match the tactics in an Army of God manual that police officers found buried in the yard of the Oregon woman convicted of shooting Dr. Tiller the first time in 1993. The manual states: “Annihilating abortuaries is our purest form of worship” and it gives explicit instructions for home-brewing plastic explosives, fashioning detonators, deactivating alarm systems, and cutting phone, gas and water lines.

From 1983 to 1995, there were 123 cases of arson, 37 bombings in 33 states, with over 1,500 cases of stalking, assault, sabotage and burglary (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and medical clinics). Of the 49 people prosecuted, all expressed anti-abortion views.

At the Women’s Pavilion Clinic in South Bend, Indiana, someone hacked holes in the roof with an ax, shot out the windows and sent repeated death threats to a staff gynecologist. A group called the Lambs of Christ regularly barricaded the doors and blockaded the driveway, despite repeated arrests. According to the Post, on Mother’s Day 1993, “someone connected a hose to the clinic’s outdoor spigot and fed it through the door’s mail slot, flooding the clinic’s entry room. The person or persons then poured in butyric acid, a nearly indelible substance that smells like feces and vomit and becomes more potent in water. The clinic had to shut down for 7 1/2 weeks to get rid of the smell.” The gynecologist told the Post that, after he was shot at as he drove home from work: “If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. I’m realistic enough.”

An anti-abortionist fired 23 shots at the Hillcrest Clinic in Norfolk, Virginia in 1994. The clinic had been damaged by arson ten years earlier and bombed in 1985.

In 1993, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a clinic which does not perform abortions, was attacked by an arsonist.

That same year, a Brooklyn, New York, clinic was targeted with two Molotov cocktails, and a Bakersfield, California, clinic sustained $ 1.4 million in arson damages.

In 1994, Paul D. Hill shot two people to death at a Pensacola, Florida, clinic.

A nurse and clinic director in Little Rock, Arkansas, arrived home to find her neighborhood was papered with fliers calling her a “death camp worker.”

Remember, that information was reported in the Post in 1995. The violent religious crusade against a woman’s right to an abortion is likely to get worse under the religious President Obama, who waffled on abortion in yesterday’s statement on Dr. Tiller’s murder, describing a woman’s right to abortion as a “difficult” issue. The President, a Christian who opposes gay marriage, invited an anti-gay, anti-abortion preacher to speak at his inauguration in January.

For an excellent primer on the legal philosophy of a woman’s right to an abortion, read this examination by The Association for Objective Law (TAFOL) which specifically addresses the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. In the meantime, it remains unknown whether Obama’s Catholic Supreme Court nominee, self-described “latina” Sonia Sotomayor, supports the right to abortion.

A Voice of Opposition to Sonia Sotomayor

With a link to the text of her controversial speech, lawyer Tom Bowden of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights (ARC) provides the best argument against approving Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a member of the Supreme Court. His thesis, presented in a post to ARC’s blog, is that Judge Sotomayor is unqualified to serve on the Supreme Court because she rejects the concept of objectivity.

I agree with him. Since President Obama nominated Sotomayor—and it is still early in the Congressional nomination process—the press has fawned over her, repeatedly citing her race and gender, as MSNBC’s Chris Matthews disparagingly pointed out on Hardball. With populists like Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly, who fell over himself praising Obama’s nomination as a political master stroke and wrongly stating that her nomination is a done deal—a Supreme Court nomination is never a done deal, at least not for several weeks, if at all—it’s left to those new intellectuals like Mr. Bowden to argue against the Obama administration’s nominee on principle. His excellent post should be widely distributed.

Obama at Notre Dame

After all the anti-abortion protests surrounding supposedly pro-choice Barack Obama’s honorary degree and speech this week, the upshot of President Obama’s commencement address at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, is a religious idea: you are thy brother’s keeper. Shoulder the burdens of your fellow citizen, Obama told Notre Dame’s graduates (his wife, Michelle Obama, addressing graduates at the University of California at Merced, said the same thing). Self-sacrifice, the Obama presidency’s essential principle, is the opposite of what made America great. This nation’s greatness lies in its founding principle that each individual has the right to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. The moral premise of individual rights is: selfishness. Telling young college graduates as they embark on a career that they exist for the sake of others (Mrs. Obama’s wicked guilt trip has to be heard to be believed) is explicitly anti-American. It is also inherently religious. Obama’s Judeo-Christian opponents, take note: Barack Obama is one of yours.