Commentary on Wall Street Journal Headlines

Here is an assortment of headlines from clipped articles that adorn the refrigerator. Headlines are italic, my thoughts are not italic.

Obama Aspires to a ‘Light Touch,’ Not a Heavy Hand

Makes one wonder what a heavy hand might look like.

Merrill’s $10 Million Dollar Men. Top 10 Earners Made $209 Million in 2008 as Firm Foundered.

Populists, people envious of high earners, will seethe reading this article. No one made that kind of money under Mao. Many people would prefer life under Mao and Joseph Stalin to a society like our where such high incomes are possible.

Higher Tax Would Hit at $235,000

That will not be a low enough threshhold. Watch taxes rise on lower and lower income brackets. Someone has to pay for utopia.

Your Stake in the Health Overhaul

Broke. Sick.

Health Care Craving

The Universal Health Care Craving

Harry Truman regretted that during his presidency, 1945-1953, he was unable to implement national health care. The idea has a long history.

1936

Citizens of the USSR have the right to health protection. This right is ensured by free, qualified medical care provided by state health institutions

(Constitution of the Union of Soviet Soviet Republics, the USSR)

1978

Create a national health care system, along the following lines:

  • All medical costs are covered, by a combination of insurance, health maintenance organizations, free public health service. and sliding scale payments based on income.
  • The system is progressively financed.
  • The system is controlled by democratically elected community-based committees.
  • There is a 24-hour, 7 day-a-week medical care / emergency room available in every neighborhood, based in neighborhood clinics.

(ACORN People’s Platform, St. Louis Missouri, the United States of America)

1982

The state develops medical and health services, promotes modern medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, encourages and supports the setting up of various medical and health facilities by the rural economic collectives, state enterprises and undertakings and neighbourhood organizations, and promotes sanitation activities of a mass character, all to protect the people’s health.

(Constitution of the People’s Republic of China)

2006

Make sure everyone has access to affordable health care

We will join 36 other industrialized nations in making sure everyone has access to affordable health care

Every American should have affordable health insurance

(2006 Democratic Party Congressional Promise)

2009

Elections have consequences: we voted for universal health care and intend to get it done. (Nancy Pelosi, Jul 17, 2009)

See any similarities?

Who is That Masked Man?

I found this on Wikipedia:

This man was out to save his country. He knew "change"!

This man was out to save his country. He knew "change"!

Can you place Mr. Obama, the United States,

General Motors, automobile manufacturing,

the U.S. financial industry, and

green jobs programs in the blanks?

“Upon assuming power, _______ began to carry

out his platform of implementing a socialist

program called the _____ Path to Socialism.

This included nationalization of large-scale

industries (notably __________ and banking),

and government administration of the health care

system and educational system. _______ also

intended to improve the socio-economic welfare

of _________ poorest citizens; a key element was

to provide employment, either in the new

nationalized enterprises or on public work projects,

also known as __________.

Who was this socialist dictator? Salvador Allende.

What was the country? Chile.

What was the year? 1970.

We are hearing the echoes of past socialist failures.

Their attendant horrors must be trumpeted to

All who care about liberty.

As my friend Tom Weir says, “The American

people had better wake up before they find their

hands chained behind their backs.”

He should know. He spent 2 years in a German

prison camp from 1943-1945.

The full text of the Wikipedia segment is below:

Upon assuming power, Allende began to

carry out his platform of implementing a socialist

program called La vía chilena al socialismo

(“the Chilean Path to Socialism”). This included

nationalization of large-scale industries (notably

copper mining and banking), and government

administration of the health care system,

educational system (With the help of an American

Educator, Jane A. Hobson-Gonzalez from Kokomo,

Indiana), a program of free milk for children

in the schools and shanty towns of Chile, and an

expansion of the land seizure and redistribution

already begun under his predecessor Eduardo Frei

Montalva,[12] who had nationalized between one-fifth

and one-quarter of all the properties listed for

takeover).[13] The Allende government’s intention

was to seize all holdings of more than eighty irrigated

hectares.[14] Allende also intended to improve the

socio-economic welfare of Chile’s poorest citizens

[citation needed]; a key element was to provide employment,

either in the new nationalised enterprises or on

public work projects.[citation needed]

The Looming Tower

I read a national bestseller: The Looming Tower: AlQaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright.

It was, according to the New York Times Book Review, “A thoughtful examination of the world that produced the men who brought us 9/11.” That seems to blame the world for producing these men, kind of New York Times-ish.

The book won the Pulitzer Prize.

I am glad to have read it. I now know how dangerous this enemy is and some of the intellectual background of its main players. I’m sufficiently warned.

The writing? I’d say pretty read-able. I got lost in the jumble of unfamiliar names and wished that there was a handy way to keep the men and woemn all straight. Lo and behold, there was  a section called Principal Characters at the end that would have been handy to have known about before getting to the end.

One criticism the book leveled was of insufficient coordination between the CIA and the FBI. Now we have the Department of Homeland Security. Perhaps walls between these surveillance agencies is logical, for the protection of civil liberties. It seemed I had heard this criticism of government officials and the layout of the government, as an attack on Bush, during the months following 9/11. I may have these suppositions and linkages all wrong.