More fallout from Obamacare 3

By Tom Quiner

“When people better understand the Affordable Care Act, they’ll understand, I think, that this isn’t something being done to them but is something that’s really going to be valuable to them.’’

This was the President’s recent defense of the Affordable Care Act, also know as ObamaCare.

The law mandates elimination of lifetime coverage limits.  Sounds good, right?

The law mandates “free” immunization for children. Sounds good, right?

The law eliminates co-pays for mammograms and some preventative care. Sounds good, right?

The law bars insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. It all sounds wonderful, right?

What the law does is increase the price of health insurance. Does it still sound so good? Aetna and Regency Blue Cross Blue Shield are jacking up rates due to increased costs. Here in Des Moines, Principal is getting out of the entire health insurance business because, according to the New York Times:

“The company’s decision reflected its assessment of its ability to compete in the environment created by the new law. More insurers are likely to follow Principal’s lead.’’

Over six-hundred more jobs will be lost in a city already stung by layoffs.

Speaker Pelosi infamously stated that “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.’’

As we find out what’s in it, we’re increasingly stung by how bad it is.

Please remember, this was a totally partisan bill. Not a single Republican voted for it.

Please remember, Democrats celebrated when they passed Obamacare.

Please remember, that Iowa’s own Leonard Boswell voted for the bill.

Now Congressman Boswell makes unsavory personal attacks on his rival, Brad Zaun, who would have voted against the bill.

Now the only Democrats who mention the bill in their campaign ads are those who voted against it. South Dakota Congressional candidate, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, sounds more like a Republican than a Democrat in her ad above. Look hard for her party affiliation. You won’t find it.

President Obama and his party have inflicted a grave wound on this country’s health care system. It all sounded so good at the time.

Is government corrupting our national character? 1

By Tom Quiner

America is exceptional because our character is exceptional.

Our national attitude and philosophy of life were set out eloquently by our Founding Fathers, first in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Founders built on this philosophy with a blueprint for our nation as presented in the preamble of the Constitution:

“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.”

The American character has been something to behold.  It is characterized by a healthy blend  of rugged individualism and civic-mindedness. Americans are optimist and have historically had a can-do attitude.  Nothing can stop us. We are willing to sacrifice and defer immediate gratification in order to build a better tomorrow for our posterity. We are generous, faith-filled, and the most freedom-loving people God ever created.

Have we reached a point in our history, though, when our government, at all levels, is corrupting our national character? Is it possible the essence of America’s greatness is being degraded by the government of the people, by the people, and for the people?

Wall Street Journal columnist, Peggy Noonan put it this way:

“There is a real fear that government, with all its layers, its growth, its size, its imperviousness, is changing, or has changed, who we are. And that if we lose who we are, as Americans, we lose everything.”

Let me give you an example. Congress recently passed legislation that will require businesses to issue a 1099 form for every product and service on which they spend more than $600. I had coffee this morning with an insurance executive in a company here in Des Moines, Iowa. He said that single piece of legislation will require them to issue 17,000 additional forms next year.

Is this what made our nation great, requiring businesses to fill out 17,000 more forms on top of the thousands they already have to complete at the local, state, and national level? Americans are innovative, energetic entrepreneurs. Our rapidly expanding bureaucracy is sucking the lifeblood out of the real job creators in America: our businesses.

This little piece of government intrusion sucks a little bit of the greatness out of our character by forcing us to divert our focus toward bureaucratic minutiae instead of grand designs. That’s not who we are.

Is it any wonder unemployment remains so high?

In the lead editorial of the Des Moines Register this morning, even this extremely liberal editorial board calls for scaling back wages and benefits for government employees. The idea of promoting the general welfare and securing the blessings of liberty for our posterity have been corrupted by the decision of legislators of both parties to extend lavish pay and benefits to public unions at the expense of the private sector who foot the bills.

It gets worse. An article in today’s Financial Times says:

“Big US cities could be squeezed by unfunded public pensions as they and counties face a $574 billion funding gap.”

It gets worse. The Financial Times adds:

“The gap at the municipal level would be in addition to $3,000 billion in unfunded liabilities already estimated for state-run pensions, according to research from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Rochester.”

We’re saddling our posterity with unimaginable debt. That’s not good for our national character.

Our character is being eroded in many ways. The Supreme Court told us in 1973 that, in fact, we truly do not have a right to life, even though 45 states at the times had laws on the books defending the right to life. In one day, those democratically-enacted laws vanished.

We are paying a price for the degradation of the value of life to this very day. One out of three pregnancies in the African-American community end in abortion. Their birth rate has fallen below replacement levels. The African-American race is dying a slow death. The overall replacement birth rate for America has also declined precipitously at a time in our history when we need a high birth rate to pay for tomorrow’s unfunded liabilities mentioned above.

In other words, our Government has created a system that requires the unborn to pay for benefits they will never enjoy. The only way to avoid the price tag is to be aborted!

Is that the kind of national character we want?

Government has dealt a serious blow to our character by systematically degrading the institution of marriage over the past twenty to thirty years. Marriage was designed to protect children and mothers from wayward men. It was a social construct to keep men honest, to civilize them, so to speak.

In this land of the faithful, it was even more, it was a Sacramental institution,the sacred steward of the family unit, which has been the dynamic engine for our social order.

Government is degrading marriage. No-fault divorce laws changed the focus of marriage away from the children. Marriage became all about the relationship. Divorce is easier. More children live in broken homes. More children are living broken lives.

With marriage now focused on the relationship instead of the children, it was inevitable for courts to allow it to be redefined, even if the people didn’t want it redefined.

Our character has been eroded beyond calculation since we became a land that made the unborn and children second-class citizens.

To pay for the mess government has created, they have turned to publicly-endorsed gambling. Iowa has more casinos per capita than Las Vegas. Iowa has a lottery.

Is this good for our national character?

Do we want to become like Europe? They’re dying, because their birth rate is even lower than ours.

Countries like Greece are broke. People are rioting because they’re being asked to pay the piper for their country’s profligacy.

People are rioting in France because they don’t want their retirement age raised to 62!

Americans really dislike the elites of both parties, Democrats more so simply because they’re in power. Here’s what we’re saying: let’s restore our national character.

Let us live within our means.

Let us promote independence, not dependence.

Allow us to create and prosper. Don’t punish us for being successful.

Allow us to self-actualize. Don’t drag us down with 17,000 new forms we have to fill out.

Let us again proclaim that everyone has a fundamental right to life.

This is a gallant country.  Allow us to be gallant again.

Here’s what happened at Planned Parenthood yesterday 6

By Tom Quiner

The weather was perfect. We prayed. We held up signs promoting life and discouraging abortion.

As a marketing guy, I counted the number of cars going by at certain times so I could extrapolate the number of cars that saw our pro-life message.

I’d guess we reached about 3500 cars in our two hours in front of Planned Parenthood (PP). Yes, we got the finger on occasion. More likely, though, people honked in encouragement. Countless gave us a thumbs up gesture.

I was struck by how many people were happy to see us there, at how many people smiled inside their cars knowing they weren’t the only ones who believe the baby in the womb has a fundamental right to life.

At one point, a security guard drove up and approached us. “Who’s in charge here?” he asked. “We all are” said one of our group. The man seemed somewhat conflicted to have to say what he was about to say. “You know your protest is being photographed.”

“We’re not protesting, we’re praying” I said with partial disingenuousness.

The guard responded, “Now, I’m not the bad guy here, but you’re going to end up with a $180 ticket if the camera records you parking in Planned Parenthood’s parking lot.”

It hit me what an impact we, and others like us, are having on Planned Parenthood’s abortion business. Their parking lot is expansive. I’ve never seen it more than ten percent full. Our presence, our prayers, our purpose is a threat to their profits. So PP is not issuing warnings anymore. They’re going for the jugular. They’re reporting us to the authorities to immediately ticket us “praying protesters.” (For the record, I parked across the street, which is okay.)

I commented to one of my praying colleagues about the 3500 cars we reached and how many hearts and minds we may have affected. He said, “it only takes one.”


The #1 way to end abortion 3

By Tom Quiner

Armies of the faithful pray in front of Planned Parenthood facilities throughout America

At 4 PM this afternoon, I’m going over to Planned Parenthood on Army Post Road here in Des Moines, Iowa. Please join me.

This is their facility where they perform abortions.

This is the day on which they perform abortions.

I am joining folks on the sidewalk in front of this facility in silent prayer for the unborn, some of whom will die today. Despite the way the media portrays folks like me, we’re pretty normal. We believe in God. We believe God created us in His image. We believe that life begins at conception.

In other words, we believe like most Americans of both political parties have believed until fairly recently.

With a belief system like ours’, how can we do nothing about abortion?

Prayer is the foundation for fighting abortion. The faithful believe God hears our prayers and intercedes with Godly wisdom, that God works on the hearts and minds of man in mysterious ways.

This blog has a unique blend of readers. Some aren’t particularly religious. And yet they would like to see the need for abortion end.

To those of you who aren’t so sure what or whom God is … and if He’s really listening, I’d like to ask for you to pray for us at exactly 4 PM today. I mean it. I think your prayer will count for a lot. Your prayer can go like this:

God, I’m not sure if you’re really there, but if you are, I pray for your loving intercession at Planned Parenthood. I pray for the people praying outside the facility. I pray for the women considering having an abortion that you change their hearts. I pray that you touch the hearts and minds of the people working at Planned Parenthood that they see the humanity of the baby in the womb. And God, you know me better than I know myself.  If you hear me, would you reveal yourself to me in some way if I promise to keep an open heart and mind? Thanks for listening. Amen.

I am serious in asking for you to pray this one minute prayer. I very much appreciate it.

Pro lifers get upset at the people working at Planned Parenthood. Believing as we do, it’s understandable. And yet, they are people, and they are victims. They are victims of the judges and politicians who have blocked and overturned legislation to protect the unborn. They are victims of a culture of death in America.

I received an e-mail this morning from a gentleman named Shawn Carney who directs the efforts of a national prayer movement called 40 Days for Life. He got my attention in reminding us to remember to treat everyone like a human being, including employees of PP:

I’m going to keep the location a secret right now, but please pray for an abortion center staff member that I heard about recently.

This employee walked out the abortion facility and handed vigil participants a slip of paper. “I thought you might want this,” the worker said. It was the name and phone number of a prayer volunteer.

The employee explained that this volunteer had called the abortion center to apologize because she wouldn’t be able to make her prayer hour in a couple of weeks.

The worker tried to explain to the volunteer that it wasn’t the abortion facility that was organizing the prayer vigil. But the volunteer seemed confused and didn’t really understand what was going on.

The employee could have just hung up … and certainly didn’t have to deliver the message. “What a nice gesture,” said the local 40 Days for Life coordinator.
“This shows the abortion center workers are not our enemies.”

Keep praying for them!

To my Quiner’s Diners friends and critics, do pray.  Join us if you can. Thank-you.

Freedom of speech takes a hit in the U.S. Reply

By Tom Quiner

Larry David, the comedic creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, has gone into hiding. No one knows where he is. His career is over.

It all happened quickly following a controversial episode of his HBO sitcom, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Here’s what happened in the fateful episode. Mr. David’s character was medicated with a pill that would compensate for the shortcomings of his middle-aged prostrate. In his haste to relieve himself, urine (from Mr. David’s character) inadvertently splattered onto a painting of Jesus hanging on the bathroom wall. The show milked this low brow humor for all it was worth.

Typical Hollywood bathroom humor, right?

Pope Benedict found nothing funny about another assault on the Christian faith. The Pontiff had it and blew a liturgical gasket in a public address from St. Peter’s Square.  Here is an excerpt of the stunning pronouncement:

“My fellow Christians. The American media and entertainment establishment has heaped one blasphemy after another on our faith. We have meekly turned the other cheek time and time again. And where has it gotten us? The blasphemers are only emboldened. Each act of sacrilege is worse than the previous. In the name of God, in the name of Christ, this must stop. Today, I am calling on the faithful to act. The perpetrator of this outrage must be hunted down. He must pay for this atrocity with his life.  The honor of Jesus Christ demands it. The dignity of religious faith demands it. And I demand it.”

A terrified Larry David immediately went into hiding.

The reaction from the media was explosive.

The New York Times devoted a full six pages to denouncing the Pope and the Catholic Church specifically, and Christianity generally. The Times editorial called for immediate governmental action:

“It is time for Catholic Churches, and perhaps Christian churches everywhere, to immediately lose their tax-exempt status. God, if she even exists, only knows what is being said within the hallowed halls of these so-called churches. The Church and its representatives should not be allowed to foment unchecked fear and unrest. The social order demands quick government intervention to protect us from these religious crackpots.”

The Seattle Weekly was less reserved:

“It is time for the government to board up these simmering dens of anti-secular malcontents. More Americans are going to be hurt, more are going to be forced underground unless something is done, and done quickly.”

The Des Moines Register struck a more moderate tone:

“No one believes in freedom of religion more than the paper Iowa depends on. But the time has come for more government oversight and regulation of houses faiths in this country. Religion in American has become an inefficient hodgepodge with 33,000 competing denominations. We need to move to a single prayer system. We are not calling for the establishment of a state religion. However, we advocate that we begin a process of creating a more logical and orderly way for Americans to approach their spirituality.”

Okay, this isn’t quite what happened. The Pope didn’t really say that, nor did those papers write the above editorials. Larry David is fine. Yes, he offended the faithful in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm as described above. But no one threatened him. He is rich and famous and by all accounts doing well.

Here’s the real story. It’s about an American cartoonist named Molly Norris who has lost her identity because a Muslim terrorist has called for Muslims to murder her.

Ms. Norris reacted to the self-censorship imposed by Comedy Central, the Yale University Press, and other stewards of American culture when it came to Muslim matters. Muslim jokes are out. Muslim commentary must be carefully couched. Or you may be killed.

Molly Norris came up with the idea of a “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” The thinking went that if a ton of people do just that, Muslim terrorists can’t kill everyone, can they? No, just Ms. Norris.

Muslim terrorist, Anwar al-Awlaki, the man who inspired the Fort Hood mass murderer, learned of Ms. Norris’ idea. He immediately issued a fatwa, calling for her to be immediately murdered. She is now a marked person. She is in permanent hiding. Her identity is gone. Her career is finished.

I would find at least a little comfort if the media demonstrated even a smidge of concern for this, another barbarous assault on Western Civilization. I would feel that America was unified even if the media expressed some outrage for this Muslim-imposed assault on free speech.

Here is how the Seattle Weekly responded:

“You may have noticed that Molly Norris’ comic is not in the paper this week. That’s because there is no more Molly.

The gifted artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, “going ghost”: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. She will no longer be publishing cartoons in our paper or in City Arts magazine, where she has been a regular contributor. She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program – except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab. . . .

Norris views the situation with her customary sense of the world’s complexity, and absurdity. When FBI agents, on a recent visit, instructed her to always keep watch for anyone following her, she joked, “Well, at least it’ll keep me from being so self-involved!” . . .

[W]e wish her the best.”

We wish her the best?

May I ask you a question? If the tables were turned, if public hits were being directed at members of the American media by Christians, if Christian-directed attacks on free speech were on the upswing in Western Civilization, would the liberal press say, “we wish her the best?”