George Will says that an extremely temperate proposal from RINO Sen. Susan Collins reveals which party is irrational (hint: it starts with a “D”)

George Will has made a very important point here about Democrat hubris.  Sen. Susan Collins, as mushy a Republican as one could ever find, made a proposal that gives Democrats everything they want, including relieving them from the political embarrassment of the “medical device tax,” which even they dislike.  Flush with poll power, however, since Republicans have dropped lower in the polls than Democrats, Democrats refused even to contemplate this offer.  They’re now demanding that, in addition to getting everything they asked for in September, the sequester must also go away, so that they can spend even more.

The problem now is twofold:  (1) How to get Republican politicians and talking heads to capitalize on the Democrats’ hubris; and (2) how to explain this somewhat complex procedural maneuvering to the average voter.  George Will’s article is excellent, but it’s not a sound bite and, while it gets electronic and page space in the Washington Post, it’s not the kind of thing that goes viral on Facebook.

Devastating critique of Cory Booker from people who are his constituents but are very clear that they’re neither his neighbors nor his fans

I don’t know when I’ve ever seen such a devastating video about a Democrat Senate candidate:

It makes for especially fascinating viewing if you pair it with Stella Paul’s rundown of Booker’s lies.

If you have any contacts at all in New Jersey, you might want to let them see the video.

Los Angeles Times decides what’s true and what’s false when it comes to climate change and Obamacare

For at least a couple of hundred years in America, the “letters to the editor” section of any newspaper has been the one place where people can express views opposing a newspaper’s editorial content.  Newspapers felt sufficiently strong in their viewpoints that they figured that a few crackpot letters wouldn’t be enough to damage the paper’s reputation.  Now, though, the Los Angeles Times has announced that conflicting views are a bridge too far:

Regular readers of The Times’ Opinion pages will know that, among the few letters published over the last week that have blamed the Democrats for the government shutdown (a preponderance faulted House Republicans), none made the argument about Congress exempting itself from Obamacare.

Why? Simply put, this objection to the president’s healthcare law is based on a falsehood, and letters that have an untrue basis (for example, ones that say there’s no sign humans have caused climate change) do not get printed.

So the Los Angeles Times has taken it upon itself to pronounce anthropogenic global warming as settled science, despite the fact that even the IPCC is trying to squirm around the fact that all of its earlier data and hypotheses were wrong.  That tells you  pretty much everything you need to know about the drive-by media, which works in an ideologically closed system that makes no allowance for new, and especially conflicting, evidence.

And then there’s that other thing:  the Los Angeles Times also says that it’s false that Congress exempted itself from Obamacare.  That too is a giant leap of fact and faith for the Los Angeles Times.  While it’s true that Congress didn’t exempt itself from Obamacare, it made sure to insulate itself from Obamacare, which is just as bad.  In that regard, I think that Noel Sheppard, of Newsbusters, gives up a bit too quickly on the Obamacare point:

Of course, readers are likely just as concerned that the Times is also not publishing letters claiming Congress is exempt from ObamaCare.

After reviewing fact checks on this issue published by CNN, the Washington Post, and Yahoo, it appears the Times has a point here.

I respect Sheppard for being honest enough to concede on the facts but the facts actually support conservative complaints.  The CNN link is a good start explaining why Congress has effectively exempted itself:  CNN purports to do a fact-check on the claim that Congress gave itself a pass:

When Obamacare was passed into law, Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican, attached language to the bill that mandated members of Congress and their staffers would have to buy health insurance on the newly created health insurance exchanges. What nobody accounted for at the time was that members of Congress and their staffers currently have health insurance through their employer – the federal government. No other employer has been legally required to drop its employee’s health care plan and have them buy coverage on the exchanges.

Like most other large employers, the federal government contributes a portion to the premiums of its employees. In fact, like many employers, the federal government pays most of the premiums for its workers; an average of 72 percent on Capitol Hill. The law didn’t account for the continued employer contribution for these federal workers who would now be buying their insurance on the exchanges. The exchanges were designed to help people without health insurance and people with overly expensive health insurance. It became clear that without their employer contribution, members and their staffers would essentially be getting a cut in pay and benefits equal to thousands of dollars. Even Grassley, the provision’s author, had said the government should continue to contribute to lawmakers’ and staffers’ premiums. What the Obama administration has done is ruled that the congressional workers will continue to receive the employer contribution to help them buy their insurance on the exchange.

All those words!  What they boil down to is this:  The Obamacare health exchange is so expensive, in large part because plans must contain expensive benefits that people neither need nor want, that requiring employees to go into it will cost them thousands of dollars out of pocket which, as a practical matter, decreases employees’ take-home pay at the end of the day.  Therefore, Congress is giving employees (congress people and staffers alike) a stipend to offset that cost.  So yes, congress people and their staffers, unlike other Americans, are being forced into the exchange, but Congress has made sure to insulate them from its devastating economic impact.  This insulation is tantamount to an exemption, because Congress won’t feel the pain.

In this regard, it’s unlike other Americans who are feeling the pain very badly.  The law’s terms mean that they too are being forced into the exchange, but without the nice little stipend to offset costs that Congresws gave itself.  For example (h/t Gateway Pundit):

Across North Carolina, thousands of people have been shocked in recent weeks to find out their health insurance plans will be canceled at the end of the year – and premiums for comparable coverage could increase sharply.

One of them is George Schwab of Charlotte, who pays $228 a month for his family’s $10,000 deductible plan from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

In a Sept. 23 letter, Blue Cross notified him that his current plan doesn’t meet benefit requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act and suggested a comparable plan for $1,208 a month – $980 more than he now pays.

“I’m 62 and retired,” Schwab said. “This creates a tremendous financial burden for our family.

“The President told the American people numerous times that… ‘If you like your coverage, you can keep it,’” Schwab said. “How can we keep it if it has been eliminated? How can we keep it if the premium has been increased 430 percent in one year?”

[snip]

Under the new law, all insurance plans must cover 10 “essential health benefits,” including maternity care and pediatric dental and vision care. Plans must also provide certain preventive services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies for free.

Today, people who buy individual policies often choose plans without maternity coverage, for example, to reduce premiums. That choice is gone, too.

“Now maternity is loaded into everybody’s plan,” Blount said.

That means men will generally be paying more than they did before. But women, who can no longer be charged more just for being female, will probably pay less.

[snip]

Blue Cross spokesman Lew Borman said Friday that large premium increases will affect about one-third of the approximately 400,000 North Carolina customers who buy Blue Cross insurance in the individual market. Some of their policies were canceled because they didn’t meet the new federal standards, he said.

[snip]

Michael Hood, 46, who lives near Winston-Salem, is another of the Blue Cross customers who is suffering sticker shock after receiving a recent renewal letter.

He and his wife, who is expecting their third child, now pay $324 per month for a plan with a $10,000 family deductible. The comparable plan suggested by Blue Cross for next year would cost $895.27 per month with an $11,000 family deductible. Their annual payment would rise from $14,000 to $24,000.

Self-employed as part owner of a medical device distributorship, Hood said he and his wife “try to live a healthy lifestyle and keep our medical costs down.” They chose the high-deductible plan to keep their premium low.

Hood said his income is about $85,000 a year, which would mean he might be able to qualify for a subsidy. He said he checked the online marketplace, which has been operating only sporadically this week, and didn’t think it looked like his family would be eligible.

One of the pluses of any new plan is that it will cover maternity care, which his current plan doesn’t. But “is that really worth paying $1,000 a month more for?”

“I’m angry that legislation has been passed that is forcing me to purchase something that otherwise I would not have to purchase,” Hood said.

“The president told us Obamacare would make health insurance affordable and reduce costs. It is now impossible for our family to afford private health insurance.”

By enacting legislation that protects itself from the pain ordinary Americans are feeling, Congress has indeed exempted itself from Obamacare.  And that’s no lie.

I am losing patience with idio . . . er, progressives on my Facebook page

Normally, when I see the usual liberal talking points on my Facebook page, I try to ignore them lest I damage my blood pressure.  Today, though, I got a wall of stupid.  I’ve already written here about the profound ignorance that lies behind the progressive masses’ repeated claim that Obamacare is the “law of the land” and that the Republicans can do nothing.  Aside from being grossly hypocritical coming from a party that refuses to enforce the nation’s immigration laws, it’s also ignorant.  The House has the power of the purse precisely because, as a representative body with a two-year turnover, it is the best reflection of the will of the people at any given moment.

I probably could have tolerated that stupidity if I hadn’t also gotten a boatload of dumb about the gun shots fired in Washington, D.C. today.  Early reports indicated that a driver who tried to slam into the White House was the shooter.  Instantly, people went on their anti-gun tirades.  Of course, when the dust settled, it turned out that the only shooters were the cops and that the person driving the car had a long history of mental illness.   (Warning:  site has autoplay video.)  When I passed this information on to the Lefties claiming that guns were at the root of this, at least two of them made the identical risible argument:  Even though the gal didn’t have a gun, she’s still a poster child for gun control, because she could have had a gun.

Honestly!  How in the world can you counter that kind of monomania?  It transcends reason and fact, and is an article of faith as profound as the Democrats’ historic belief that blacks are an inferior race who need either slavery or government welfare to function.

Given this type of irrational anti-gun lunacy, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that a Phoenix-area police officer was asked not to wear his uniform when he picked his child up from elementary school, because parents were frightened by his gun.

I love Ace’s take on this story.  The article that originally reported the story presented the school’s point of view:

A district spokeswoman told the station that “some parents” voiced concern about seeing a fully armed police officer on the school’s campus. The spokeswoman apologized that Urkov perhaps took the discussion the wrong way.

“It was not the intent of the principal to offend him,” the spokeswoman said.

To which Ace provided the only response possible:

Yes yes yes yes yes. He took it the wrong way. It’s on him. He didn’t understand your intent. He’s got the problem; not you.

Of course you don’t have a problem. Hysteria is not only natural, it’s preferable.

Shall we ban Cowboy Hats next? I mean: Cowboys. They carry six-shooters.

The House’s refusal to fund Obamacare is entirely constitutional — and James Madison personally approves this message

lincoln-memorial

My stock response to all those liberal Facebook friends who have insisted that the House is “unconstitutionally” holding Obamacare hostage, is that the Founders named it the “House of Representatives” and gave it the power of the purse for a reason.

The House’s members serve for much shorter terms than Supreme Court justices (life terms), executives (minimum 4 year terms) and Senators (minimum 6 year terms).  This means that, if people are not pleased with the decisions made by those more entrenched bodies, they can make their displeasure known through the House, where new representatives can be rotated in every two years.

Making their displeasure known is precisely what the People did in 2010 and again in 2012, when they “shellacked” the House Democrats, which was a clear rebuff to Obama and his “care.”  (It’s also entirely possible that Obama would also have been shellacked right out of office but for the IRS’s unconstitutional, illegal, unconscionable interference with free speech.)

In addition to the short term of office, which means the people can quickly punish or reward legislative conduct, the House of Representatives mirrors population dynamics.  The Senate is fixed at two representatives per state, there’s only one president, and there are nine Supreme Court justices.  The House, by contrast, is reconfigured every ten years to represent accurately the number of people in various population centers and deserts throughout the U.S.

The Founders deliberately gave the power of the purse to the federal branch most closely tied to American citizens, both in numbers and responsiveness:  The House is meant to use that power to put the brakes on schemes cooked up by members of the other branches of government who are elected or appointed in numbers unrelated to the American population, and who have job security unrelated, or less related, to their immediate conduct.  If the Founders were alive today, they’d say the roadblock inherent in the power of the purse is a feature, not a bug — and a pretty damned important feature too.

The above response came off the top of my head.  If I had studied the Federalist papers recently, however, I could simply have quoted James Madison. one of the Constitution’s primary architects, writing in Federalist No. 58 (and a groveling h/t to Tom Elias, of The New Editor, for this brilliant find):

The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.  (Emphasis added.)

What the House is doing is entirely constitutional, and we conservatives should be doing our best to trumpet that fact.  Moreover, given the federal takeover of the Lincoln Memorial, we should remind everyone that we live in a nation guaranteed “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”  Unlike a monarchy, the federal government doesn’t own the properties it is denying us.  Instead, we own the federal government.  The government is merely a caretaker, and a pretty damn surly, ineffectual, greedy, and tyrannical one at that.

Some more things to chew on about Obamacare and governmental lawlessness

Still working my way through a backlog of legal and other writing work, so the best I can do is to give you a heads up about a few other articles I found interesting.  All of these came courtesy of Earl, and all address Obamacare.

First, Earl sent me a Reason article saying that, when Obamacare implodes, Republicans should stand ready to give the free market a chance.  I couldn’t agree more.  And the important thing to remember in that regard is that the free market hasn’t functioned in the world of medical care since the mid-1960s, when Johnson introduced Medicaid and Medicare.  Both of those entitlements swiftly perverted the market and created America’s e enormous debt burden.  Indeed, Avik Roy puts a little perspective on things by showing that Obamacare, rather than being an entirely new socialist burden, is simply the icing on the government entitlement cake.  The system was collapsing anyway and Obamacare, rather than “bending the curve,” will only hasten the system’s wholesale collapse.  This means that Leftists are on to something when they say conservatives are being unduly hysterical.  They understand that Obamacare is simply more of the same, rather than a whole new system.

My sense is that Republicans, with their usual knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory will be caught utterly flat-footed when the system does break under its own weight.  Rather than having a free-market plan at the ready, they will out-shriek Democrats when it comes to creating yet another government monstrosity to repair the disaster.  Rahm Emanuel may have said that one should never let a crisis go to waste, but it’s the Republicans that have put a spin on it:  never let a crisis be used to advance liberty and the free market.

Speaking of the free market, have you ever heard of Samaritan Health-Care Ministries?  It’s an absolutely fascinating group whereby its members help each other.  It’s predicated on faith, honesty, and generosity, all of which are alien to a government program, and antithetical to a society that causes Disneyland to shut down its line-skipping benefits for handicapped people,  because so many fully-abled people were cheating.  The question is whether Samaritan Health-Care Ministries can survive Obamacare?  This is because Obamacare does nothing to incentivize price cuts in the free market, and does everything to make more people dependent on having others pay their way — without any reciprocating obligations.  It’s those reciprocating obligations that are so important to gratitude, moral fiber, and honesty . . . and that are so at odds with the impersonality of government largesse and the sense that people can demand their “rights” rather than count their blessings.

I have to comment upon all of the liberals I know on Facebook who are complaining that what the House is doing is unconstitutional because “Obamacare is the law.”  They all seem terribly surprised when I point out to them gently that it’s entirely constitutional for the House to have the power of the purse.  Moreover, they are slumguzzled when I note that the Founders probably gave the House this power because it is called the “House of Representatives” for a reason.  It’s members serve for much shorter terms than Supreme Court justices (life terms), executives (minimum 4 year terms) and Senators (minimum 6 year terms).  This means that, if people are not pleased with the decisions made by those bodies that cannot easily be booted, they can make their displeasure known through the House, where new representatives can be rotated in every two years.  Additionally, unlike the other branches of government, the House of Representatives mirrors population.  This is why it’s got the power to put the brakes on schemes cooked up by members of the other branches of government who are elected or appointed in numbers unrelated to the American population, and who have job security unrelated, or less related, to their immediate conduct.

Summed up, the Founders made it very clear that, no matter the laws passed, the ultimate power lay with the body most close to the people.  After all, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

And, on a completely different topic, Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio is out of prison.  He was sent there for engaging in unethical practices, but he said all along that he was set-up by the government.  His crime?  Refusing to allow the NSA to spy on his customers.  With Edward Snowden’s revelations about the scope of government spying, Nacchio is feeling pretty darn vindicated.  Glenn Reynolds has the perfect coda to this news blurb:  “There was a time I would have doubted that sort of claim, but not so much now.”

Interested in your opinions about the House vote defunding Obamacare

Whew!  I’ve been going straight through since 5:30 this morning, and this is my first chance to sit down and talk politics.

The big deal today as far as I can tell is that the House voted to pass a budget that funds everything but Obamacare.  I’ve already discussed the fact that I like the muscularity of this move, if only the Republicans can keep hold of the narrative.

Cowboy-Chased-By-Bull-Funny-Picture
Here’s what’s going to be interesting:  Once the bill hits the Senate, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are going to lead the charge against it.  Their problem is that they can’t let it pass cloture.  If it does, Harry Reid can strip out the defunding Obamacare bit, and sent a “clean” budget to the Senate for a vote.

Of course, even if Harry Reid does get a “clean” budget, because it’s not harmonized with the House bill, I believe that it heads right back to the House.  Then, we begin the whole thing again.  The longer this little Congressional dance lasts, the more opportunity the media has to paint Republicans as evil obstructionists.

I was thinking about that, though.  Republicans didn’t just mysteriously appear in the House.  The People elected them.  They elected them to the House in 2010, when they clearly meant them as a brake on Obamacare, and against in 2012, when they presumably meant House Republicans to be a brake on Obama generally.

In other words, Obama is being as dishonest as always when he claims that the Republicans are being obstructionist with regard to a presidential agenda that the people want to see put into effect.  In fact, the House’s make-up, which is the clearest evidence of the people’s will in federal government, establishes conclusively that the American people were looking for obstructionism.  Some of them may like Obama as a person (although I suspect that number is dropping), but the House making is the clearest evidence possible that they disagree with his agenda.

If anyone can talk his way around the mud and other stuff the Democrats and media (but I repeat myself) are slinging, it’s Ted Cruz.  I wish him the best of luck and an extraordinary degree of verbal clarity with this one.

I know a budget isn’t a bill, but I still thought this was an enjoyable ending for this post:

House Democrats stage mass walkout before parents of Tyrone Woods and Sean Smith testify before Oversight Committee

Darryl Issa has tweeted out one of the most appalling photographs I’ve ever seen emerge from the United States House of Representatives.

Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing about events in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. You remember what happened on that day, don’t you? If you don’t, I’m happy to give you the official Obama administration version:

That was the day that a Libyan movie review got a little bit out of control. Apparently Libyan fighters coincidentally affiliated with Al Qaeda took umbrage at a poorly made seven minute YouTube trailer promoting a movie that was never actually made about Muhammad’s life. Since Libya has no popcorn to throw at the screen, these same outraged movie critics inadvertently managed to overwhelm our under-guarded diplomatic mission in Benghazi, killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens (and perhaps torturing him before doing so), as well as U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith.

The same crazed movie reviewers then shifted their attack to the nearby CIA Annex where they engaged in a several-hour-long firefight with former Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. Both men died at their stations.

Meanwhile, back at home, some unknown person, but definitely not Barack Obama (even though he had sole authority to do so), told nearby troops told to stand by. Also, after a single phone call early in the attack, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was sufficiently well informed about everything to vanish from the scene entirely. (And really, what difference at that point, did it make?) As for Barack Obama, well, he really did need his beauty sleep before an upcoming Las Vegas campaign stop.

The administration later assured us that, despite a slew of increasingly desperate emails from Ambassador Stevens about security concerns, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had absolutely no idea whatsoever that an American embassy outpost in a war-torn land riddled with al Qaeda operatives might need more than a couple of local guards at the front door. That’s why the Marines weren’t there to fire any of those “shots across the bow” that Obama suddenly loves so much.

In sum, the incompetence of a Democrat administration left a U.S. outpost vulnerable to a terrorist attack; that same Democrat administration could not be bothered to rouse itself to protect Americans fighting for their lives in a tiny outpost of America on foreign soil; and the Democrat administration then tried to cover-up its gross dereliction of duty by lying consistently in the days and weeks following the attack. Other than that, of course, the Democrats have nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to events in Benghazi.

The Democrats’ sordid Benghazi history may explain a shocking tweet that Rep. Darryl Issa sent out two hours ago right before Patricia Smith, who is Sean Smith’s mother, and Charles Woods, who is Tyrone Woods’ father, were to have testified about their sons’ lives and deaths:

Townhall explains what you’re looking at:

The far side of the room, shown empty in the photo, belongs to the Democrats. The only Democrats who stayed were Ranking Member Elijah Cummings and Rep. Jackie Speier.

Absent further information about this mass retreat, it appears that the Democrats, having presided over these men’s deaths, do not have the decency to look their survivors in the face, if only to apologize.

(Cross-posted at Gateway Pundit, where I’m helping out as Jim Hoft recovers from a very scary month, health-wise.)

Ted Cruz understands how to spin a possible government shut down

I have to admit that, with all the ferocity that an anonymous armchair warrior can muster, I like the idea of a House budget defunding ObamaCare while keeping everything else in the government funded.  The Senate, of course, won’t go along with that, and then there’ll be a stalemate.  The easy money is that the House Republicans will blink before the Democrat Senators do.  But if House Republicans don’t blink, then Obama has promised to veto any spending bill defunding ObamaCare, effectively “shutting down” the government.  (It won’t really be shut down, of course.  Essential things will continue to operate, but inessential things will stop.)

Conservatives who oppose the defunding tactic have two concerns:  (a) that the economy will collapse; and (b) that the Republicans will take the blame.

Regarding (a), that was the same concerned voiced about the sequester.  For the most part, Americans didn’t even notice — although I am desperately sorry that the Blue Angels no longer fly and that Fleet Week has been canceled.  For many years, thanks to the Navy League, an organization I cannot recommend highly enough, Fleet Week has been my favorite time of the year.  I know that our military got screwed when it came to pay raises, and I’m also very sorry about that, but at least a “shut down” this time around won’t shut down the military.  It’s also entirely possible that, if the government shuts down, Americans may discover that those who have been saying that we don’t need bloated government were right all along.  (Or of course, we may find that we were wrong all along!)

As for (b), yes, the media will spin any shut down so that Republicans take all the blame if it goes badly.  That’s why Republicans need to strike preemptively.  Ted Cruz, smart lawyer that he is, figured out that Republican spin has to start early and go out often.  I like this:

What do you think?  Is the Tea Party crowd riding for a disastrous fall if it pushes the House to defund ObamaCare?  Or is this the kind of action that Republicans need to take if they actually want to distinguish themselves from Progressives?

One could argue that, now that ObamaCare has Supreme Court clearance, the law is the law, and the House must fund it.  But the constitutionally granted power of the purse is always going to trump everything else.  In addition, while the law may be the law, ObamaCare was passed using chicanery of the worst kind, meaning that it was corrupted from the beginning.  Add to that the fact that the majority of Americans have consistently opposed it, and the House’s refusal to fund it really can be see as vox populi.

Keith Koffler offers an absolutely scathing indictment about Congress’s silence regarding Syria

Keith Koffler has been around Washington, D.C., for a very long time, and he has a theory about Congress’s remarkable silence regarding both events in Syria and Obama’s huffery and puffery regarding events in Syria.  Let me just say that his theory is not pretty.  Indeed, it’s disgusting, and embarrassing, and really supports what many feel which is that, when it comes to Congress, we should dump anyone who’s been there more than one term in the Senate and more than two terms in the House.

Trey Gowdy promises not to let Lucy Democrats hold the football

In my earlier post today, I said that, in the wake of the lies the Gang of Eight told, followed by the Senate’s passage of a 1,200 page immigration bill that will go a long way to destroying the American working class, the Republicans have tearfully promised never to be fooled again.  I doubt that promise.  I likened them to the Charlie Brown scenario where he always believes that, this time, Lucy won’t pull the football.  Having said that, I see that Trey Gowdy, a smart R from South Carolina, isn’t fooled.  Maybe he can educate his fellow Rs. Plus, I like his sarcasm:

And a short anecdote regarding Gowdy’s monicker of “Trey.” When I arrived in Texas, I was overwhelmed by the number of guys I met who were named Trey. What an unusual name, I said. I’ve never heard it outside the South. My friends had a good laugh at my expense when they explained that Trey was a nickname for a guy who boasted the number III after his name (as in, he shared his name with both his grandfather and his father).