Tag Archives: Obama

Godwin’s Law – another short story

“Those many had not dared to do that evil if the first man that did the edict infringe had answer’d for his deed: now ’tis awake; takes note of what is done; and, like a prophet, Looks in a glass that shows what future evils, – Either now, or by remissness new-conceiv’d, and so in progress to be hatch’d and born, – are now to have no successive degrees, but where they lived, to end.”
– Angelo,
Measure for Measure, William Shakespeare


The men in suits sat around the oaken table uncomfortably, the dour silence saturating the air. One man fidgeted with the buttons on his coat nervously, while another tapped his cane against the floor in agitation. All of them stared at the President sitting at the head of the table, his hair turning white from the burden of carrying the free world on his shoulders. His face was buried in his hands, and through his long, wrinkled fingers, a heavy sigh breathed out, then dissipated quickly, lost in the choking depression that hung like a London fog.

“What are the numbers, again?” The President’s voice was sharp and clear, though his hands quavered.

“Intelligence reports say…almost six million killed. Mostly Jews. However, the numbers keep rising. We’re not quite sure when they’ll stop.” The man’s voice near the end of his statement trailed into a near whisper.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, scion of the great conservative Theodore Roosevelt, finally looked up, his eyelids drooped with the long years of the great war on fascism. The war had officially ended against Germany just last week, but reports of concentration camps scattered throughout the German frontier chilled the Allied victory, dampening the celebratory spirits. First, the eye-witness accounts of men and women emaciated, walking skeletons, barely living. Then, the photographs. Oh, God, the photographs! Looking at them would cause his stomach to churn, his heart to wrench as if an invisible hand reached through his ribcage and attempted to rip it out of his chest.

“How was it done?” The Secretary of State, Edward Stettinus, asked.”How could Hitler have killed so many people so…efficiently?”

“Well,” the young man continued, “you could say they were all killed with…inefficiency.”

A collective, puzzled murmur spread throughout the room. What could that mean?

“This monster killed millions of people by…it’s almost too horrific to tell.” The paper the young man held begin to shake, and a tear spilled down his face.

“Please, excuse him, Mr. President,” Stettinus said softly. “He…was one who saw the aftermath firsthand.”

Roosevelt nodded compassionately and then turned to the young soldier. “Officer, take your time.”

“Thank you, Mr. President.” He wiped away the tear and begin to read, his voice ringing clearer.

“He was killed by a most monstrous, diabolical plan, created to systematically kill off entire populations on the sole basis that he considered them ‘inferior’ to the Aryan race. He -” The man’s voice broke. “He killed them…with public option health care.”

The entire room broke into a angry frenzy. They shouted in anger, bewildered how any one human could stoop so low, lose his humanity so thoroughly as to promote such a terrible, destructive policy.

“Public option health care?” President Roosevelt spat out, as if the phrase tasted of bile and consisted of poisonous venom. “How in all of hell did he come up with such a plan and had the gall to so offend God and implement it?”

“As hard to understand, it’s true, Mr. President,” the man said. “Millions of Jews, Poles, homosexuals, gypsies and other ‘malcontents’ were deprived of their private insurance policies and placed on a government run insurance policy instead. They could not choose their doctors, Mr. President.”

“No choice of which doctor to see!” Bewilderment tinted the President’s exclamation.

“Yes, Mr. President.” The man shook his head and continued, ignoring the shocked, disgusted expressions on everyone’s faces. “Not only that, but he stifled innovation within the medical industry. Because of this, German medicine is years behind the rest of the industrialized world. I have reports that even the Communists have better medicinal technology than Germany.

“In addition, he implemented a policy where the government owned doctors would talk to elderly Jews about long term health provisions, such as living wills, under the pretense that they would be able to decide difficult life-and-death situations in a clinical, non-emotional setting, but the Jews tell me that they were in fact more appropriately called ‘death panels.’

“Because of this, millions of ethnic and religious minorities were systematically eliminated, forced to wait in long lines for diagnoses and organ transplants, and the diagnoses they did receive were determined by Nazi bureaucrats shuffling papers back in Berlin rather than trained medical doctors. It is a tragedy beyond tragedy, sir. Despicable, deplorable, abominable. Some have begun to call this the ‘Holocaust,’ meaning wholesale burning. I believe this term is more than appropriate for the destruction wrecked by the hands of one clearly insane megalomaniac.”

The room lay silent once more, as everyone watched the President for a reaction. Roosevelt’s face had transformed into a stony facade, revealing no emotion, until finally, his hands gripped the sides of his wheelchair and he pushed himself up, forcing his polio-stricken legs to support him. An aide rushed forward with his braces, but he pushed them aside with a wave of his hand, and turned to face his cabinet.

“Gentlemen,” his steady voice intoned, “We today have seen the very face of evil. The Nazis have done terrible things – they have started a world war, plunging the globe in a bloodbath, and today we continue to fight the aftereffects of their greed as we struggle to triumph over the Empire of Japan. But today, we have learned a Nazi policy so terrible, so incredible, that it pales in comparison to the rape and pillage he has committed across the face of Europe, Asia, and Africa.”

Roosevelt coughed, and his aide rushed forward again, but Roosevelt simply shook his head before continuing to speak. His eyes clear and wet with tears, he paused momentarily, before finishing his statement.

“Let it be known, gentlemen, that no matter what atrocity the Nazis may have committed against us, the United States of America, for now and forever, Nazism and fascism will be synonymous with the damnable policy of the so-called program of universal health care. Let America be warned – should we as Americans decide that caring for our elderly, our poor, our sick, our needy, our uninsured is somehow important enough to raise taxes on those who can afford, a tragedy akin to the Holocaust, perhaps even greater will occur.”

The entire room remained soberly somber. Not a single cough or rustling of fabric could be heard as each man sat still, contemplating the staggering cost of destruction the Nazi program of universal health care had caused. Roosevelt gently eased himself back into his wheelchair and then turned, staring into each man’s eye.

“Mark my words, gentlemen. Mark my words. Universal health care equals the Holocaust.”

Leave a comment

Filed under politico, wordsmithing

Support the Troops!: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love national health care

There is only one thing in man’s world that can offer any check on the unlimited power of moneyand that is government. That is why money always accuses government of trying to destroy free agency, when the great enslaver has always been money itself.
– Hugh Nibley, Beyond Politics

What will happen if health care is nationalized? Why, health care would be rationed out, people would be dying in the streets waiting for a new heart! You wouldn’t be able to go to any doctor you want, you’d have one assigned to you! Paper shuffling bureaucrats, not doctors, would handle all medical decisions, from what medicines you can have to what operations you can afford. Who would want that?!

What conservatives fail to realize is that this is exactly what happens today. Instead of government rationing out health care, we do it ourselves. The ranks of the uninsured swell every day, especially with the financial crisis. When you have to choose between the mortgage and your insurance, most people pick the house, spin the Russian roulette of health and hope the gun doesn’t go off as they point it to their heads. People die constantly from lack of organs for transfers. And it is paper shuffling bureaucrats in the insurance companies that dictate what doctor you can see, what medicines you can get, what operations you can afford. Doctors have very little say in what goes on – your insurance provider is the final word in what your health care will look like. And when health care is left up to the amoral free markets, it’s not about how deserving you are for good health care – it’s about how rich you are.

The practical arguments against government backed health care have no bearings. They describe how the health care system will deteriorate even further. But the truth is, it really can’t get any worse than it is now. My public health major sister tells me bitterly how despite our vast resources, America has the worst health statistics compared to all other post-industrialized countries. In fact, some former Soviet-block Eastern European states are doing better than we are. That’s just embarrassing.

Most of the arguments are, then, those of philosophy and theory. People don’t like the idea of government controlling everything. It destroys agency. It erodes human industry, innovation, and integrity. It spawns the welfare state, a group of “sheeple,” ready to do whatever the government says, completely incapable of thinking or acting for themselves. the government, we say vigorously, destroys freedom.

However, we also agree that when a philosophy grossly misrepresents reality, it is to be discarded. We did this with Marxist communism – great in theory, horrible in practice. And I contend that such arguments as these rarely hold up in practice.

If it were so, America could not have a great military. It’s completely government run. Though states all contribute, its massive bureaucracy holds itself nationally, and the President is the Commander-in-Chief. Yet, were we to attribute the same arguments of government-run health care to a government-run military:

The military would be grossly inefficient. Bureaucrats, not actual military generals and tacticians, would be calling all the shots. The rank and file soldier would be lazy, a leech off the state only working for great pensions and benefits, never dedicated to his or her job, mediocre at best, completely ineffectual at worst. The equipment they use is without innovation or technology, they consistantly use technology from the mid-20th century rather than the cutting-edge technology developed today. In fact, because the entire military’s basic structure is government owned, with the government choosing which companies manufacture what, there would be no innovation and advancement in American military technology at all. And their tactics and training would be, since they are government-run, incomplete. Individually, each soldier would be unprincipled and undisciplined, and the entire military as a whole would be a bureaucratic nightmare, sucking up trillions of dollars a year but rarely doing anything effective at all. They will rarely win wars, they will rarely win any conflict whatsoever. Their peacekeeping ability will be shot to pieces as each bureaucrat bickers with each other for bigger and bigger offices and salaries as the soldiers cluelessly look on, their hands tied behind their backs, unable to do what they were called to do: defend. Not like they would want to anyway, because they are simply government workers, and the motivation of every government worker is not effectiveness, but to preserve one’s own position, no matter what the cost is to the average every day tax payer.

How accurate is this statement today?

So, tell me again why the government can’t run an effective health care system?

2 Comments

Filed under politico

Obama declared president-for-life; conservative fears come true

WASH., D.C – In a sweeping act, the Democrat controlled Congress helped pass a law declaring Obama as Supreme President for Life, as well as dissolving the legislative branch. Following signing the law amongst smiling Democrat lackies, President Obama then declared martial law, for what he called “the good of the patria – or for you idiot Conservatives who were never educated in brainwashing public schools, the fatherland.” In addition, a new executive order has changed the name of the United States of America to the United States under Allah or Islam, Whichever Comes First.

“The new USAIWCF, or USA for short, will become a great power once again in the eyes of the infidel European countries. What many people didn’t know was that Obama’s frequent trips to the Middle East were to help develop our plan to convert the entire country to Islam and we needed their support,” Harry Reid, Democrat congressman and newly appointed Secretariat of USA Religion, announced to the press today, which has recently been changed to the People’s Press, or “Allah’s Voice, as we like to call it,” according to a recent executive order.

“I got the idea from watching conservative pundits,” President-for-Life Obama said. “They kept talking about how I was bringing the country to fascism and communism. And I decided, why not? I have all this popularity, obviously because I’m just an inexperienced, naive, green behind the ears charlatan with high charisma and excrutiatingly detailed and intricate plans on taking over the country, so I might as well do something with that power.”

When asked by the People’s Press why he decided to do it, he replied, “Well, it’s obvious. Because I hate Christianity and American Prosperity, and decided to insidiously corrupt it from the inside out by playing to the people’s weaknesses and turning them into captive thralls hypnotized by my false pretenses for peace and hope. And also, because I was bored.”

Among other sweeping actions for the new USA is an economy re-tooling program involving herding millions of newly minted Allahians into collective farms where they will be worked to death with little rations and pay for the good of the American Economy, as well as banning guns and religion other than Islam and AK-47s used to dispatch infidels. Other previously controversial but now universally accepted and revered mandates from the Father of our Fatherland include mandatory abortions for females over the age 12, mandatory attendance of public schools/orgies, nationalization of the entire economy and rationing out bread and iron to conserve for the war effort against the bugeoise, mandatory fluorinating the water for preventing tooth decay in the proletariat population, as well as an Obama’s Youth program, which President-for-Life Obama described as “a cross between Boy Scouts, Habitat for Humanity and the Taliban.”

Not all are taking to the Glorious Leader’s inspired dictations, however. The bugeoise, proletariat-hating, Christian God infidel loving Conservative TV and radio personalities Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh sent out an encrypted radio broadcast to “loyalists to all the Founding Fathers” from a hidden secret headquarters somewhere in the Rocky Mountains betwixt Utah and Colorado, urging their fellow followers in hiding to “wake up, sound the alarm, and fight back against this fascist regime instituted by the first black Muslim president.” This was followed by a smarmy “Didn’t I tell you this was going to happen?” as each pundit gloated about their individual prophetic abilities.

They promptly then woke up out of this dream and realized that the country probably is in no real danger to becoming either Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia and moved on with their lives.

2 Comments

Filed under politico, wordsmithing

Free bird – is agency really freedom?

Disclaimer: I am not saying that the Church is wrong, or its stances are wrong, but simply commenting on the current Church culture and our knee jerk, overblown reactions about freedom within our doctrine of free agency.

One of the biggest things I hear from Mormons against President Obama is that he’s a fetching socialist. And one of the biggest blows against socialism I hear is that it curtails free agency.
Now, socialism relating to the gospel is a sticky subject. It requires a lot of thought, dedication, definition and organization and a ton more words than I could write about the subject, and so I focus mostly on the idea of free agency and freedom.
We would think that free agency and freedom are one and the same. Free agency plays a huge part in our gospel doctrine. God tells us that the devil “rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency…And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet” (Doctrine and Covenants 29:36, 38). We believe Satan strives to destroy agency, that it was his plan in the beginning to force the children of God into exaltation without any choice of their own. We strive to protect our agency, and that agency is also our downfall – “Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:31).
And so anything that restricts our freedom would automatically restrict our free agency, correct? Thus, the government should stay out of our affairs!
But such an argument does not follow. The Church has become involved in several political issues – namely, abortion and gay marriage. They have supported legislation curtailing these acts, and should that not curtail agency? Has the Church become like unto Satan?
Absolutely not.
The crux of agency, and where most of the confusion and misinterpretation comes from, is what free moral agency is for. This power to choose is not exercised when we decide to have cereal instead of toast for breakfast, or if we decide we like the Wii better than the Playstation 3. In fact, a man could be tied up and injected with a paralyzing agent, unable to move, to blink, to speak, to do any action, and he will retain his agency. The government could throw a man into the deepest, darkest dungeon with no chance of escape and even then, he retains his agency.
Free agency applies only to one specific decision – to choose God or to reject Him.
Free agency does not involve whether or not you can decide your own career. Free agency does not involve whether or not you can own a gun. Free agency does not involve whether or not you have to pay taxes. All such decisions are irrelevant in the eternal scope – the only decision worth making is whether or not you choose to worship God.
The people of Alma, fleeing from the oppressive King Noah, jumps out of the frying pan and into the fire as they are captured by Lamanites and put under the rule of the very people they tried to escape. The chief bad guy is Amulon, and he attempts to suppress Alma’s people politically – “he exercised authority over them, and put tasks upon them, and put task-masters over them. And it came to pass that so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God. And Amulon commanded them that they should stop their cries; and he put guards over them to watch them, that whosoever should be found calling upon God should be put to death” (Mosiah 24:9-11).
No matter how much conservative Mormons complain about the current administration, we can at least say no federal officer watches over us as we become the government’s literal slaves and are put to death if we pray out loud. But even under such a totalitarian, seemingly freedom lacking environment, Alma and his people never lose their agency:
“And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts” (Mosiah 24:12).
Perhaps the truly ironic part of free agency is that it never makes us truly free, in the worldly sense. In the end, we choose our master and give up our freedom to that master – either Satan or God. If we don’t choose one, we automatically choose the other by default. If you rebel against Satan, you fall under the auspices of God; if you rebel against God, you give up control to Satan. There is no situation in this predicament of all of God’s children where we have autonomy, any sense of traditional freedom. In essence, it is as the saying goes: “Pick your poison.” Either way, our will is swallowed up by one entity or the other.
Of course, as latter-day saints, we understand this, or at least claim we do. Adherence to the commandments gives us true freedom – from guilt, from sorrow, from disappointment, from bitterness, from pain, from hurt, from spiritual death. But adherence to the commandments also deprives us of freedom – to seeking after base pleasures, to over-indulge, to temporary happiness, to instant gratification. When we choose Christ, we are still yoked; it’s just His yoke is much more preferable to Satan’s shackles.
When we claim that something is “bad” because it supposedly robs us of our free agency, stop and think. Is this argument, in fact, incredibly intellectually and spiritually lazy? Do we oversimplify a complex situation by using what we could call the free agency card? Perhaps the biggest violator of this sense of logic (aside from its association of socialism) is the BYU Honor Code. The BYU Honor Code is a grievous burden to be borne and more fascist than most socialists’ dream regimes. Regulations on hair length? Curfew times more strict than ones I endured in high school? The inability to use the bathroom of an opposite gender’s apartment except under dire circumstances and emergencies? Certainly these can be considered oppressive to the freedom loving American. However, it is important to note that under the same system, one person can still worship God, while the other rejects Him. The system does not squash one choice over the other; it still can be made. No agency has been curtailed.
As members of the Church, we are to love intelligence, for “the glory of God is intelligence” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:36). As Brigham Young put it, “If men would be great in goodness, they must be intelligent.” As we consider the world, its history, its ideas and philosophies, let us not dismiss them with a derisive, overly casual tone by insisting it takes away our agency; very little can take away our agency completely, for if that were possible, it would be too easy to stifle the very existence of God; but let us consider them for what they are worth – fine, multi-faceted diamonds of which it will take time and effort for our minds to taste, chew and digest. The kingdom of God has no room or need for the intellectually and spiritually lazy.
Moral of the Story: If you think something is limiting your free agency and is of the devil, stop and think. Do you truly understand what free agency means, or are you simply being intellectually lazy so that you don’t have to use your brain

One of the biggest things I hear from Mormons against President Obama is that he’s a fetching socialist. And one of the biggest blows against socialism I hear is that it curtails free agency.

Now, socialism relating to the gospel is a sticky subject. It requires a lot of thought, dedication, definition and organization and a ton more words than I could write about the subject, and so I focus mostly on the idea of free agency and freedom.

We would think that free agency and freedom are one and the same. Free agency plays a huge part in our gospel doctrine. God tells us that the devil “rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency…And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet” (Doctrine and Covenants 29:36, 38). We believe Satan strives to destroy agency, that it was his plan in the beginning to force the children of God into exaltation without any choice of their own. We strive to protect our agency, and that agency is also our downfall – “Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:31).

And so anything that restricts our freedom would automatically restrict our free agency, correct? Thus, the government should stay out of our affairs!

But such an argument does not follow. The Church has become involved in several political issues – namely, abortion and gay marriage. They have supported legislation curtailing these acts, and should that not curtail agency? Has the Church become like unto Satan?

Absolutely not.

The crux of agency, and where most of the confusion and misinterpretation comes from, is what free moral agency is for. This power to choose is not exercised when we decide to have cereal instead of toast for breakfast, or if we decide we like the Wii better than the Playstation 3. In fact, a man could be tied up and injected with a paralyzing agent, unable to move, to blink, to speak, to do any action, and he will retain his agency. The government could throw a man into the deepest, darkest dungeon with no chance of escape and even then, he retains his agency.

Free agency applies only to one specific decision – to choose God or to reject Him.

Free agency does not involve whether or not you can decide your own career. Free agency does not involve whether or not you can own a gun. Free agency does not involve whether or not you have to pay taxes. All such decisions are irrelevant in the eternal scope – the only decision worth making is whether or not you choose to worship God.

The people of Alma, fleeing from the oppressive King Noah, jumps out of the frying pan and into the fire as they are captured by Lamanites and put under the rule of the very people they tried to escape. The chief bad guy is Amulon, and he attempts to suppress Alma’s people politically – “he exercised authority over them, and put tasks upon them, and put task-masters over them. And it came to pass that so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God. And Amulon commanded them that they should stop their cries; and he put guards over them to watch them, that whosoever should be found calling upon God should be put to death” (Mosiah 24:9-11).

No matter how much conservative Mormons complain about the current administration, we can at least say no federal officer watches over us as we become the government’s literal slaves and are put to death if we pray out loud. But even under such a totalitarian, seemingly freedom lacking environment, Alma and his people never lose their agency:

“And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts” (Mosiah 24:12).

Perhaps the truly ironic part of free agency is that it never makes us truly free, in the worldly sense. In the end, we choose our master and give up our freedom to that master – either Satan or God. If we don’t choose one, we automatically choose the other by default. If you rebel against Satan, you fall under the auspices of God; if you rebel against God, you give up control to Satan. There is no situation in this predicament of all of God’s children where we have autonomy, any sense of traditional freedom. In essence, it is as the saying goes: “Pick your poison.” Either way, our will is swallowed up by one entity or the other.

Of course, as latter-day saints, we understand this, or at least claim we do. Adherence to the commandments gives us true freedom – from guilt, from sorrow, from disappointment, from bitterness, from pain, from hurt, from spiritual death. But adherence to the commandments also deprives us of freedom – to seeking after base pleasures, to over-indulge, to temporary happiness, to instant gratification. When we choose Christ, we are still yoked; it’s just His yoke is much more preferable to Satan’s shackles.

When we claim that something is “bad” because it supposedly robs us of our free agency, stop and think. Is this argument, in fact, incredibly intellectually and spiritually lazy? Do we oversimplify a complex situation by using what we could call the free agency card? Perhaps the biggest violator of this sense of logic (aside from its association of socialism) is the BYU Honor Code. The BYU Honor Code is a grievous burden to be borne and more fascist than most socialists’ dream regimes. Regulations on hair length? Curfew times more strict than ones I endured in high school? The inability to use the bathroom of an opposite gender’s apartment except under dire circumstances and emergencies? Certainly these can be considered oppressive to the freedom loving American. However, it is important to note that under the same system, one person can still worship God, while the other rejects Him. The system does not squash one choice over the other; it still can be made. No agency has been curtailed.

As members of the Church, we are to love intelligence, for “the glory of God is intelligence” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:36). As Brigham Young put it, “If men would be great in goodness, they must be intelligent.” As we consider the world, its history, its ideas and philosophies, let us not dismiss them with a derisive, overly casual tone by insisting it takes away our agency; very little can take away our agency completely, for if that were possible, it would be too easy to stifle the very existence of God; but let us consider them for what they are worth – fine, multi-faceted diamonds of which it will take time and effort for our minds to taste, chew and digest. The kingdom of God has no room or need for the intellectually and spiritually lazy.

Moral of the Story: If you think something is limiting your free agency and is of the devil, stop and think. Do you truly understand what free agency means, or are you simply being intellectually lazy so that you don’t have to use your brain?

Leave a comment

Filed under religion