THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 738, September 22, 2013
Please Return Our Tomorrows
Defund. Defang. Destroy: a Day at the Exempt America Rally 9/10/13
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
(Photos by Jeff Fullerton)
Tuesday the 10th of September 2013 was a rough day coming and going. Beginning with the night before when I got home late and then had to get ready and also stop by the place of my friend the "Historian" to get his mail as I have been doing that week while he and his wife are away for vacation. Did not get in bed until long after midnight and was up at 5 for breakfast before heading out. Took the truck because I didn't want to chance my old Honda breaking down on the way to Monroeville. And had spent a little too much time messing around with stuff on the way out the door—it was quarter till as I approached the entry point to the turnpike so I hauled ass!
The local conservative talk radio host Jim Quinn of America's Morning Show came on at 6 breaking the news about the deal with Russia over Syria as I was hitting the Monroeville exit—and his co-host Rose Thenent was already on the road for Washington. It was a great sigh of relief to know I was on time in addition to at least a delay in regard to war. Show time for the bus was quarter after and departure on the half hour. There were two other buses in addition to the one from Monroeville that had been organized by the local Tea Party groups. Pity upon the poor souls who had to get up even earlier to catch the one leaving Butler PA and there were others coming from as far as Ohio and Georgia!
I rested on the way as the sun rose over the mountains and we stopped late morning at a McDonalds near Hagerstown Maryland. -Went with the group across the street to the BK—more effort but avoided the longer line at the place where the three buses stopped. Which proved to be the wiser choice in the way of getting in and out faster. I think both places were glad to have the business on the account of the bad economy. A young black man who worked there expressed his happiness at the fact and seemed very interested as he engaged some of the Tea Partiers in conversation. They were sort of like ambassadors of good will and enlightenment. On the other hand this guy they were talking to might already understand what is going on. I did not catch everything verbatim but he sounded concerned about something. Health coverage or hours being cut.
We rolled into DC around noon—just in time for the start of the Tea Party event. Coming in I noticed a few cranes here and there and the Washington Monument was totally encased in scaffolding; apparently undergoing a massive renovation. Otherwise it was the same old Washington I knew and once loved back in the day when I was in the Air Force. While stationed at Andrews in the late 1980s / early 90s I frequently visited the National Zoo, the Botanical Garden and various museums of the Smithsonian. That was of course before the dark times. Before the Empire—or the time my eyes were opened more to the realities of government. Washington DC went from a shining city on a hill to the likes of Mos Eisley Spaceport in the first Star Wars movie—where in the words of Obi Wan Kenobi just before the bar scene : You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy!
And you'll never find a more fitting description for that city on the Potomac!
Especially since the spring of 2010 when the Affordable Care Act—AKA Obama Care was rammed through in haste by the democrats while they held the majority of both houses of the legislature and the Presidency. A law so tyrannical and so fraught with unintended bad consequences that its full implementation had to be strategically delayed in order to prevent it from provoking a backlash before the 2010 and 2012 elections. But now another election is on the horizon and those unintended consequences are beginning to kick in. The Affordable Care Act is anything but—like so many other things promised by government. People are loosing coverage, or hours or even their jobs because of this monstrosity called Obama Care—and at the same time, all the special interests—unions, big corporations, even Congress—even the minions of the IRS who are to be charged with administering the law—want to be exempted from it.
As we alighted from the bus into 90 degree heat the crowd was starting to gather with their protest signs and flags on the lawn in front of the capital dome. Which continued to swell as more buses arrived and soon the speakers took the stage and began turning up the heat on the politicians inside—who were busy debating the issue of Syria. Despite previous expectations that this day—the day of the Exempt America Rally would be a good day to launch missile strikes—that thankfully did not come to pass. However the threat of war remains and foreign adventures are a good way to distract from failed policies at home. Presidents of both parties have learned its much easier to build a legacy dropping bombs overseas than pushing an unpopular domestic agenda at home. In the case of the current situation—war or just the threat of war would serve a useful purpose in diverting efforts of legislators away from the effort to defund or repeal the health care law which would be allowed to slide along and get fully implemented beyond the point of no return—if you remember the words of Ronald Reagan regarding the closest thing to Eternal Life on this planet; a government program.
Fully implemented—the so called "Affordable Care Act" which is to be enforced by the IRS is neither affordable or caring when it comes to patients. The current push of the Tea Party Patriots and other like-minded groups is to move the Congress to defund the health care law while maintaining funding for the rest of the federal government—even all the other things they don't like—to avoid a government shut down. The fact such a disruptive, budget busting program is actually being pursued in a time when the nation is having to raise its debt ceiling every so many months is the stuff of insanity. And unfair considering the current class warfare pitting special interests favored by the government against the producers and freeholders represented by the Tea Parties. Essentially a fundamental battle between those who favor the life style of a captive animal—pampered pets, livestock and their keepers verses those who favor the old way of self-reliance and rugged individualism. Freedom.
Surprisingly—or maybe not so—a good many democrats are outraged or alarmed at the bad consequences and are up for reelection—so they might support the initiative ; unless they get bought off again like many were with sweetheart deals that led to passage of the abomination in the first place in 2010. And among the republicans—there are the usual suspects threatening to go soft. Words to them from one of the speakers as well as a few protest signs: DEFUND IT OR WE DEFUND YOU! Another catchy slogan was the "Three Ds": Defund. Defang. Destroy. Along with Defame, Delay, and quite a few other Ds strung out in a long litany.
Wish I had a syllabus because it was hard to keep track of so many speakers being squeezed in with short speeches. I remember best James Golden; AKA "Mr Snerdley" who is a producer and call screener for Rush Limbaugh, Rand Paul and Michele Bachman to name a few of the nationally prominent figures. And "Radio Rose" from back home was there too!
I missed Herman Cain who apparently spoke when I went into the US Botanical Garden to cool off and use the Bathroom. And for selfish personal reasons too; as I wanted to see what had changed since my last visit a year after getting out of the Air Force—probably in 94.
And it really had. Like so much else in Washington—the botanical garden which sits just across the street from the capital lawn on the House of Representatives side had undergone renovation.
Photographed a really neat Amaryllis plant in bloom with a white stripe down the middle of the leaves—which was the same species that caught my eye on the internet just a few days before as I recently got on this kick for that particular group of plants. Impressive specimen but probably too big for my more modest greenhouse. Some of the anthuriums are too. I posed in front of a big Bird's Nest—Anthurium hookeri for a fellow Tea Partier to take a pic of me.Best places to be were the Garden Primeval which consisted of mostly ferns and other non—flowering plants and the Hawaii garden with its cascading waterfalls. Both had refreshing, cooling mists that gave temporary relief from the heat outside.
After the Tea Party ended late afternoon, I watched the crowds dwindle as ground crews cleaned up—which mostly involved breaking down the stage and Tea Partiers in their zeal to live up to their quasi libertarian virtues that include personal responsibility; never leave a mess. A stark contrast to many leftist protests around the nation and over the years.
Felt guilty for a while for not going in with the the others who were visiting their congress creatures and senators. Word was that many of them got the runaround anyway. The heat was a bit overwhelming for me too so I hung around the area where the bus was to return and drank lots of water. That big plastic ketchup bottle I grabbed in a pinch and filled with Gatorade the night before was probably what saved me. My primary mission was to contribute to ua show of force for the benefit of lawmakers and cover the event for TLE had been fulfilled. Also did a little advertising on behalf of Down With Power in the way of carrying the book around as I circulated through the crowd and made a few new friends. Also had a great dinner at a place in Frederick on the way back and they played Atlas Shrugged II on the bus's audio visual system.
Got back late and went to bed as soon as I reached home. Had little time the following morning to catch up on things and afterthoughts on the trip before heading off to work.
I really hope we can get it repealed. This monstrosity called Obama Care is like the thing that would not die like in an old sci—fi horror flick. It's personal too since I work in the health care industry as an ER tech—which puts me and my fellow techs, nurses and doctors right at Ground zero! Our hours are already being cut a good bit in times of low census. Those of us who are full time—nurses and techs wonder if they will be reduced to part time as the hospital may eventually find it convenient to dump us onto the government plan. Or it may even fold like others have done around the nation.
Doctors who don't have to worry so much about job security because they are a more precious and scarcer resource—still have concerns of their own. Many are retiring earlier than they originally planned. Fewer people are deciding to enter the profession because they feel the expense of medical school and rigors of residency will not be worthwhile under a government run system. As a result many nurses are going back to school to become nurse practitioners—which along with PAs are being sought more and more to pick up the slack from the doctor shortage by letting them handle the minor, less acute cases. This transition—started by the private sector is an evolutionary response of the health care market—along with the new Urgent Care Centers—to deal with the doctor shortages and rising costs that have been at issue long before Obama Care, or even Hillary Care that came before it. In the short run they are proving somewhat beneficial to people seeking lower cost care and left to their own devices could help reform the system which has been distorted by years of government meddling. Most of us as libertarians—as well as constitutional minded conservatives understand that everything government touches turns to crap—which is why we oppose the "Unaffordable Care Act" and want it gone. Lock stock and barrel. To be replaced with an effort to disentangle the existing government tentacles from the system and hands control back to the patient / customer in the way of personal choice—shopping around for better quality lower cost care and things like health savings accounts that are tax free and can be built up over time which—if started early in life can come in handy down the road to deal with catastrophic things like heart disease or cancer that tend to strike older patients— as opposed to the use it or loose it kind that cover doctor visits and minor procedures. I always spurned those because they seem like a waste of money to me.
One option: if you loose your current plan—don't bother buying insurance (other than catestrophic plan—if you can find an affordable one) and just pay the fine. If you get sick—then get coverage because you can at the last minute. The system was designed that way because the intent was to break the private insurance system so they could replace it with a single payer government plan. Might as well play along—sort of like Judo—where we let them come down on us and then turn the tables using their momentum to body slam them. Funny thing—I was thinking the same for a long time as just a personal survival strategy to keep my head above water. It may very well take mass civil disobedience in the end to defeat this thing.
A thought as I mull through my next burning issue: what to do with that census form for the American Community Survey which I so happened to be among the few lucky randomly selected recipients. It asks way too many intrusive questions—as if Obama Care and Spygate were not enough! Wants to know stuff like how many rooms I have , my heating and other utilities cost and number of occupants and I didn't get much farther because it was that disturbing. Someone else I know already threw it away. Why do they want that info—so they can say that's too much living space and carbon footprint for one person? Sounds kind of Agenda 21. Or is it a foot in the door to quartering the homeless in private residences with spare rooms? That's what happened in Soviet Russia. I know its a stretch—but so were the predictions regarding Obama Care several years ago.
Shall I comply, blow it off or burn it on U-Tube?