Archive | April, 2011

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The Anatomy of a Revolution – The Slogan

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2009-08-16 22:27:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

norbertatwork2
August 16, 2009

Some revolutions are eruptive. They gestate over a relatively short period of time, from the conception of an idea, a goal, a promise or an objective, they quickly transform from intellectual concept into mass action. The shorter the gestation period, the more violent the eruption.  These are usually bloody revolutions, executed with the kind of force that dramatically changes the landscape of a society, a nation, or in the most extreme cases, the world.  From a historical perspective, the Soviet revolution of 1917, while initially having a somewhat limited national objective (the abolishment of the tsar and the Russian monarchy), few would argue its final impact as being anything less than global. These types of revolutions are remarkably akin to a volcano – while the underlying pressure may have been building up over a long time, its explosion to the surface has an unmistakable identity, objective and effect.

And then there are the subtle revolutions, which instead of erupting, creep into existence. They are spoken about with subdued voices, introduced into circles of conversation without the participants even being aware that the revolution is in fact the topic of conversation.  These revolutions quietly introduce new words into the vocabulary, ones which once had a different meaning, but are now transformed to inject new ideals and thoughts, and a call-to-action tension. They may be silent at their birth and through most of their progressing stages of maturity, but their outcome can be just as wide-spread and impacting as their more violent cousin.

These are the revolutions which, once they progress to an advanced stage, create a rude awakening in a society with a “how did we allow this to happen” reaction.

For the revolutionary, language is his most powerful arsenal. And within language, the slogan is his most effective weapon.

The revolutionary has honed the slogan to be his most potent instrument. He uses it to inject his philosophy into the dialog. He uses it to introduce new meaning sympathetic to his agenda into the language. And ultimately, once society has been “softened up” with acceptance of the new terms of the conversation, he uses it to polarize society, creating an “us” and “them” division between his supporters and opponents.

In the early stages, subtle revolutions are almost always fought with slogans. Conversations are generally not welcome since they create a platform for a dialog where the revolutionary’s philosophy can be debated and usually defeated. However, ideology slogans are weapons to which there are few countermeasures.

An astute citizen will spot ideology slogans easily. Depending on the level of societal “softening” to the revolutionary’s agenda, they are either transparent and direct in their presentation of the ideology (“All Power to the Soviets” – a Bolshevik slogan used in the eve of the October revolution) or quite subtle and non-committal (“Change we can believe in – Slogan used by the Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign).

Slogans usually comprise very few words, so as to appeal to all levels of literacy and intellect. The power (and at the same time treachery) which slogans present lie in their simplicity and clever obfuscation of the real objective which they promote.

Below are a few more prominent slogans used at different stages of the respective revolutions. I urge the reader to ponder the words of each and determine the level of subtlety or directness  and from it derive the stage of advancement of each revolution from which these slogans are taken:

Arbeit Mach Frei” – Used by Nazi Germany in 1933-45, posted over the main gates at a number of Nazi concentration camps. In English, the slogan means “work shall set you free”.

“Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer” (“One people, one country, one leader”) — Nazi Germany.

Every Man a King – Introduced in February 1934, the wealth and income redistributionist platform slogan used by Louisiana Governor Huey Long.

“Hasta la victoria siempre” (“There’s always a victory to be achieved”) – a Che Guevara-associated Communist slogan

Yes We Can – 2008 U.S. presidential campaign slogan of Barack Obama.

With the recent elections, we have unintentionally given a platform and a new spark to a revolution that has been going on in the United States for the last eight decades. It is of the subtle, slow and long-lasting kind, and is one that is no longer in its early stages, as president Obama is building on the momentum of many of his predecessors to abandon the principles of our founding and replace them with alien programs and platforms which have lead many a nation to the brink of collapse, and in some cases extinction (e.g. the U.S.S.R.).  And the slogans which accompany this stage of the revolution (or statist counter-revolution, as would probably be a more suitable term) are beginning to lose their subtlety. With “Yes we Can” Obama abandons any pretension of ambiguity and instead expresses a bold new horizon of socialist opportunity. There is no more indecision expressed in this slogan.

But if we understand the dynamics of the statist’s actions and his true intentions beyond the cleverly worded slogans, we arm ourselves with the necessary weapons to fight back in this war of ideologies.  When exposed, most Americans will see the statist’s intentions as opposite to their own core beliefs. As the recent highly animated town halls on the subject of socialized health care can attest to, an educated electorate, armed with facts and information, can engage the statist in the kind of conversation he is most uncomfortable in having – one of truth and historical experiences.

Below I leave the reader with a few artifacts of both past and present. Next time you see a colorful highway billboard on your way to work, a placard in the subway or backdrop on your local evening news, imagine it being replaced by one of these graphic slogans. What emotions does this evoke? More importantly, how does your intellect and value system react to these images?

Albanian communist poster

“Victory of Socialism over Capitalism” — still adorns many billboards in Albania

Soviet communist-poster

“Country and Party – Together and One”

Chinese Communist Party Sign

“Long live the Chinese Communist Party”

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Exploring the US Constitution – The Preamble

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2009-07-03 01:40:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

With this article we begin a series of examinations of the US Constitution, which we hope will provide enlightening insights into its meaning and its Framers’ thinking about government in the young American republic of the late 18th century. We will explore the background behind the issues it addresses with an attempt to place them in both a historical context, as well as in a way that they relate to modern day issues and common situations we observe every day. Our most ambitious hopes are that these articles will make the Constitution more “real” and approachable for the average American so that its meaning can be more broadly understood, appreciated, and applied in life.

And in the spirit of this blog, we will also bring out interesting and less know details about the Constitution, fun facts and interesting conversation topics we hope you will find educational and which you will share with others.

* * * *

In this first article, we begin with The Preamble of the US Constitution, which reads:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,
promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves
and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United
States of America.

We the People. In the Constitution its Framers instituted a visionary new structure of government, one which completely reversed the role of citizens from being subjects of the government to a system where citizens hold democratic control and influence over it. “We the People” are fantastically insightful opening words which underscore this point and create the foundation for the thinking that underlies all facets of the document.

A More Perfect Union. Until the signing and ratification of the Constitution, the structure of the American government was based on the loosely worded Articles of Confederation, which the Framers saw as inadequate. They sought to strengthen the bond between the states and, by so doing, “form a more perfect Union” between its constituent members.

Insure Domestic Tranquility. The history of the young America was full of internal struggles and frequent battles between individual groups representing state or regional interests which threatened to pull the country apart and, by so doing, weaken its ability to defend itself against England, its maternal nemesis. By establishing a strong federated government with the interests of states well defined and protected, the Framers wanted to “insure domestic Tranquility” and unite the country against the many dangers which the young republic was likely to face.

You might notice that some words in the Constitution appear to be misspelled. In 18th century America spelling rules were not fully standardized and many words (e.g. “defence”) were spelled in the English manner. Other words, such as “chuse” (instead of choose) are not as much spelling errors as they are alternative spellings generally accepted at the time. As far as true misspellings, there is only one confirmed, and that is “Pensylvania” (spelled with a single “n”).

* * * * *

In the next issue we will begin the description and examination of Article I, which defines the structure and role of the Legislative branch of our government, including the House of Representatives and the Senate. All articles in this series will be found under the “Exploring the Constitution” article post category.

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The Pain In My Wallet

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2010-04-25 19:42:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

cost of medicineby Norbert Sluzewski
Editor – NakedLiberty.com
April 25, 2010


Ouch! That was pretty much the only sound I could make getting out of bed that March morning after having overdone on the previous day’s lawn work. My back didn’t want to cooperate with what I otherwise needed to do, which included attending several business meetings and other private events. So without considering many alternatives, I dragged myself to my car, painfully scrambled into the driver’s seat of my SUV and drove off to see a local specialist.

I’ve not seen this doctor before, but he came highly recommended by my primary care physician. The office was pleasantly quiet and subdued and the chairs meticulously aligned in the waiting room were all properly hard so as to accommodate folks arriving in conditions similar to mine.

The doctor was quick to call my name and we soon found ourselves in an appropriately sterile but functional examining room, which comprised of nothing more than an examining table, wooden chair and a small supply closet. In a few quick and efficient motions, the doctor felt around my lower back, checked my knee and ankle reflexes and showed me an impressively realistic model of the human skeletal structure, exposing the nerves and arteries which criss-cross its length. I was duly impressed with the doctor’s description of my condition (a story which he likely has memorized from repeating dozens of times a day) and I was prescribed an anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant pill and a dose of physical therapy. From arrival to departure, the entire episode lasted exactly 11 minutes.

I am fortunate to have a reasonably good medical insurance plan, so the bill for the doctor’s services went directly to the insurance company. At no time was I concerned about the amount of the fee, nor did the pleasant medical administrator in the doctor’s office disclose to me what the fee for the doctor’s services would be.

And so several weeks have passed. My back has recovered to its nimble self (at least until my next gardening adventure) and all is again well in the world. Ah, but there is more.

A letter from the doctor arrived a few days ago, which politely explained that the insurance company will be applying the doctor’s fee against my annual deductible (hmm, how conveniently I’ve forgotten about that part of the coverage provisions). As a result, they are requesting payment of the full amount of the doctor’s services which (now take a deep breath) amounted to $575.

Ok, now this got my attention. At no time was this amount disclosed to me. Frankly, at the time, I didn’t really care. I was in serious pain and, after all, I wasn’t really going to be paying for it myself, right? If I had been told, would it have changed my intention and would I have walked out of the office? I don’t know – maybe, maybe not; but perhaps I would have considered alternatives, like a hot compress or an “Icy-Hot” patch.

Now that it looks like I am going to be out of pocket a few hundred bucks, I am beginning to question the value ascribed to the services rendered. Sure, in the end they provided me with medicine to ease the pain, and the physical therapy (for which I haven’t received the bill yet, but am sure it’s en route to my mailbox) did help me get a bit more strength into those achy back muscles, but $575 for 11 minutes of service? That’s a whopping $3,136 an hour. My expensive lawyer would gasp at an opportunity to bill his clients that kind of an hourly rate. Is there any profession that can top this? (No, not even that one – and I know what you’re thinking).

So it’s clear to me that the doctor’s fee is not driven by market forces, but instead by an opportunity to “get away with it” since in most cases there is very little vested interest by any of the parties in the transaction to keep the amount of the fee consistent with the effort expended or value of service provided.

Is there something broken in this type of a fee-for-service system? You bet there is.

The answers to bring sanity back into the doctor-patient relationship (particularly the financial part of it) are so glaringly simple and have been so widely discussed. Among these the most significant and most consequential solution includes removing employer co-sponsorship of medical insurance coverage for its employees and replacing it with tax deductible health savings accumulation accounts (HSA’s, FSA’s or similar). In this case each individual is directly responsible for maintaining their personal financial reserve for medical care. Supplemental insurance could certainly be offered for extraordinary expenses and catastrophic events, including government subsidies for those not able to afford them directly. Employers could easily continue to sponsor employee health maintenance benefits for their employees by offering contributions to the employees Health Savings accounts, similarly to how they incentivize retirement savings through 401k contributions.

One thing is irrefutably true and has been tested time and time again. The best way to keep costs at a reasonable level is to have parties in a transaction directly involved in agreeing on the cost and value of the transaction itself. Whether for medical services, education, housing or groceries at the local farm stand, the market is the optimal arbitrator of the value of any transaction. The more intermediaries are introduced into the transaction, and particularly when it’s the government acting as a proxy for what it determines to be common good, the less optimal (ergo, expensive) each such transaction becomes. At the scale of a society, these incremental costs attributed to involvement of the intermediaries add up pretty quickly and dramatically.

Now that I have a strong incentive, I amwriting to my doctor to request a reduction of the fee charged to an amount that we can both agree is more reasonable for the 11 minutes of time (and yes, his 6 years of medical school and overhead, etc. etc.) he devoted to me on that painful day in March. Instead of being angry at him for the clearly inflated fee, I actually appreciate this opportunity to engage with him in a conversation about cost and value. We’ll see if he feels likewise.

Stay tuned. I’ll post an update to this article once we’ve resolved our billing differences.


Article may be re-printed with full attribution to the author and NakedLiberty.com

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How To Become a ‘Citizen of the World’

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2009-11-03 22:24:33. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

citizen-of-the-worldby Nancy Morgan
RightBias.com
November 3, 2009
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In the summer of 2008, then presidential candidate Barack Obama delivered  a historic campaign speech in Germany. With the Berlin Wall as a back drop, Obama proudly informed the masses that he was not there as a candidate, but as “…a fellow citizen of the world.”
 
The crowd went crazy and the world rejoiced. Finally, the United States was ready to join the community of man. 
 
In what former U.S. ambassador to the UN John Bolton calls our first post-American President, Obama has bestowed instant cachet on the growing ranks of Americans who revel in the thought of being the first in their own social set to be considered cutting edge ‘citizens of the world.’ Especially since joining this community of global citizens confers upon them automatic (albeit, unearned) virtue, along with instant and unassailable moral stature. 
 
For those of you who just aren’t with it, (like Christians, conservatives and a few Republicans) here are the latest, up to the minute, details on how to gain inclusion in this trendy and politically correct group.
 
To become a ‘citizen of the world,’ you must first and foremost declare your support for the disenfranchised. Preferably in front of a camera in a very public forum. Just pick a group of victims upon whom you will bestow your empathy and support. The only caveat being that they reside in underdeveloped countries ruled by misunderstood men of good will like Uganda, or Cuba, or Somalia, or…well, you get my drift. Oh, and make sure everyone understands that these victims are only victims because of George W. Bush and/or America.

Next, you must ardently advocate the spending of other people’s money in order to help these poor victims. If you’re one of the fortunate ‘non-rich,’ (meaning your income is under $250,000 and/or you receive a government check every month) then a straight party line vote for the Democrats, frequent letters to the editor and a catchy bumper sticker are strongly recommended. In addition, you must make yourself available for the occasional photo-op or rally, and vocalize your support for all of Obama’s policies to every-one you know. (T-shirts are a very cool way to do this)
 
If you’re unfortunate enough and greedy enough to have an annual income over $250,000, your membership entrance requirements are a bit more stringent. The good news is, you can skip right over victims and concentrate on vital issues like global warming or the evils of capitalism.
 
For all you rich guys out there, its recommended that you use whatever influence you have to advocate for whichever policy Obama is currently trying to foist on the American public. Bumper stickers won’t do it, guys. You need to atone big time.
 
Not to worry, just contact DNC.org and they will give you a list of organizations you should  support. And since you’ve made all that money on the backs of the poor, social justice requires that you give back some of your own money, instead of merely advocating the expenditure of other people’s money.
 
A list of approved recipient groups will be provided free of charge. It is recommended that you give early and often. ACORN is the most needy cause as of this writing. But whatever group you decide to donate your bucks to, rest assured, Obama is in the process of making those donations tax deductible.
 
If you happen to be filthy rich and/or an elected official or head of a union, different rules apply. In order to be considered a citizen of the world, all you have to do is believe (faking belief is totally OK) in Obama’s vision of utopia. You must believe, or at least profess to believe, that world peace is possible, that the earth is melting, that diplomacy trumps war and that America is the cause of all the world’s problems. Other that that, the only real requirement is a constant and sustained effort to ensure that global governance trumps American sovereignty.
 
Hat-tip: it wouldn’t hurt if you make known that yours was one of the Swiss bank accounts the Obama administration recently forced the Swiss to disclose. That alone will ensure you are recognized by the right people.
 
There you have it, fellow comrades. If you have followed the above steps, we want to officially welcome you as a new ‘citizen of the world.’ Take a load off. You are now eligible to engage in global groupthink, which means that you will never again be forced to make any moral, financial or life decisions on your own. More membership perks are already in the works, and you guys will be the first to benefit! Kumbaya.

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Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for RightBias.com
She lives in South Carolina

Article has been published with the author’s permission

 

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Gender: Optional

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2010-02-16 22:09:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

by Nancy Morgan
RightBias.com
February 12, 2010


Joseph Romero, a 6 year-old Arizona boy, was diagnosed as transgender last October and is beginning his/her transition to becoming a female. When he/she reaches the age of 12, he will be given female hormones containing estrogen and plans to undergo surgery when she is an adult in order to become a full woman.

In the UK last September, a 12 year-old boy turned up at school as a girl. Over the summer holidays his parents changed his name to a female one and allowed him to don female garb and wear his hair in pigtails. The youngster is now preparing to undergo hormone treatment and surgery – and could become the world’s youngest sex-swap patient in the coming years. His school has graciously provided him/her a separate toilet and changing room.

Here in the U.S., the IRS ruled earlier this month that a Massachusetts woman should be allowed to deduct the costs of her sex-change operation. And in Portland, Oregon, there is a move afoot to have the city pay for the sex-change operations of any employees that decide they are unhappy with their gender.

Hollywood is firmly on board, as they plan a new film about the world’s first post-operative transsexual, starring heavyweights Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Over in Italy, the first prison for transsexuals is now open for business.

These cases represent the tip of the iceburg in the growing movement to make gender optional. When coupled with increasingly successful campaign to legitimize same sex unions via gay marriage, the result is an all out assault on the centuries old concepts of family and marriage.

Consider: On September 4, 1969, California Governor Ronald Reagan signed into law the nation’s first no-fault divorce law. California legislators made the case for no-fault divorce with the valid argument that no-fault divorce would remedy some very desperate situations. A woman who desired a family married to a man in an insane asylum, for example. Who wouldn’t want to make her case an exception? Who wouldn’t allow this woman legal divorce from a marriage that had ceased functioning? No-fault divorce was enacted to address these untenable situations. It was intended to address the exception, but instead, quickly became the rule.

No-fault divorce quickly spread across the United States. By 1985, all states had enacted no-fault divorce legislation except for New York. This policy, enacted in good faith, weakened the concept of family to the point where divorce is now the norm, not the exception.

A case can be made that the push to redefine gender roles and broaden marriage to include gays also has the potential of becoming the new norm. And while the very few legitimate cases of genuine gender confusion are indeed heart wrenching, the re-structuring of our society to accommodate them will very likely result in the destruction of traditional family and marriage.

Traditional families are the bedrock upon which our culture and society are based. And marriage is the glue that binds these families together. With twin assaults from the left on these institutions, America is facing the very real possibility of a radical reformation. A reformation that is based on the needs of a few at the expense of the majority. A reformation that has the potential to destroy two of America’s most basic and trusted institutions.

The left is unrelenting in its desire to redefine society. Billing themselves as champions of the oppressed, the left has made significant progress in labeling anyone who disagrees with their agenda as being motivated by hate and ignorance. Genuine objections based on faith, history, common sense and morality are ignored as the left focuses the debate on the plight of the ‘victim.’ It is a successful, proven political strategy. After all, as David Horowitz points out, “The appeal to help the underdog and defend the victims resonates with all Americans.”

The left has attained the moral high ground in this cultural battle. And they will continue to maintain it as long as the focus is on the supposed ‘victims’ and not on some very basic questions that are being left out of the equation. Namely: At what cost?

Do the feelings of the minority of gays and transsexuals trump the rights of the majority of heterosexuals? Do the feelings of 6 year-old Joseph Romero, oops, Josie Romero warrant blurring the gender roles of all citizens? Do the desires of gay couples to attain social legitimacy warrant the destruction through redefinition of the centuries old tradition of marriage? And finally, who will pay the very real costs when these social experiments fail?

These are questions that need to be addressed before the left succeeds in fashioning their brave new world. A world that caters to the feelings of the few at the expense of everyone else. A world where fealty to God and family would be replaced by political correctness and transient social experiments. A world where traditional family and marriage are considered moot and America turns into one country under men instead of God.

Pandora’s Box has been opened. It remains to be seen if we can close it. Drip, drip, drip.

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Article published with the author’s permission

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