The Bookworm Beat (11/13/14) — Morality edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingAs you’ve probably noticed, I’ve spent a bit of the past two days doing housecleaning at my site: I’ve upgraded the comments feature (for the better, I hope) and I’ve rebooted the “read more” feature so that posts are truncated, requiring less vertical scrolling, but can easily be expanded and contracted without having to leave the home page. I’ve also done housecleaning in my house, with a much-needed pantry clear-out. Now, I’m cleaning out my inbox, ’cause there’s a lot of stuff in there that’s interesting. Who says spring cleaning can only take place in spring?

So, if you’re interested in this portmanteau post, click “read more” and you’ll see it unfold before you.

A few comments on Obamacare and big lies

What is it about Obamacare that makes everyone lie? (Don’t worry. That’s a rhetorical question. I know that everyone who supports it lies about it because it’s a big stinkin’ mess, and no one in his or her right mind — a category that excludes all Progressives — would ever support it absent lies and obfuscation.)

The lies began with Obama himself, who made myriad promises about insurance, and doctors, and costs, and Death Panels that were all LIES. The lies didn’t stop with Obama, though.

The relentless Richard Weinstein is promising to unearth more Gruber videos. He has too because, until there’s a critical mass, the MSM won’t acknowledge the existing videos, in which Jonathan Gruber admits that Democrats deliberately lied to voters about Obamacare because, in the Democrats’ considered opinion, voters are too stupid to handle the truth.

And yes, Gruber’s remarks do show that life imitates art or, at least, life imitates pop culture:

So, we’ve got Obama’s big lie. And now we’ve got Gruber freely acknowledging a series of big lies. Where do we go from here? Simple. We move on to the cover-up.

I’ve just got two instances of the cover-up to share with you today, but I’m sure I’ll have more over the next few days. Cover-up number one is Nancy Pelosi saying “Who is this Gruber person of whom you speak?” Cover-up number two is Vox “reporter” Sarah Kliff saying “Once upon a time I knew a cool guy named Gruber, but who is this Gruber of whom you speak?”

While I’m on the subject of lies and Obamacare, I also want to talk about some lying that didn’t make the media. Out of respect for various people’s privacy, I can’t say how I got this information, but I can say that people working very high up in the Electronic Health Records field are claiming that Epic Systems did not help facilitate Obamacare’s passage; that its founder and CEO, Judith Faulkner, is apolitical; and that Obamacare has nothing to do with the fact that Epic’s gone from a million dollar company to a billion dollar company in just a couple of years.

Oh! Did I not explain what Epic Systems is? Epic, headquartered in Wisconsin, is the biggest healthcare software company in America. Its systems hold health information for almost half of all Americans. Although it was growing steadily as health care providers organically made the decision to move their records into electronic form, Epic’s growth exploded with Obamacare. It’s founder, Judy Faulkner, is now one of the richest women in the world, and people who have been working at the company for a while and received stock options are pretty darn wealthy too.

So now let’s get back to those claims that (a) Epic had nothing to do with Obamacare’s passage (because Faulkner is apolitical) and (b) Obamacare’s passage has nothing to do with Epic’s record profits.

A very quick internet search reveals that, in 2008, Judith Faulkner spent almost $150,000 of her own money to help get Democrats into Washington. Indeed, between 1989 and the present, she’s given almost $450,000 to various Democrat candidates and causes.  There’s nothing apolitical about that.

In addition to spending her own money, Faulkner rallied the troops at Epic. All told, 82% of Epic employees banded together in 2008 to donate almost $900,000 to Obama and to other Democrat Congressional candidates throughout the U.S. Given that Obama had promised to pass a healthcare bill that would mandate electronic records, the employees’ enthusiasm for the Democrat party is unsurprising.

Faulkner didn’t just send money  to Washington. She was actively involved in the political process (emphasis mine):

Obama and the Democrats, meanwhile, have received support from heavy-hitting campaign contributors from the digital records industry, some of which has been reported in the news media and by conservative bloggers.

They include:


Judith Faulkner, the chief executive of Epic Systems, which makes the software used by the most physician offices in America, is a longtime supporter of Congressional Democrats, including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. She contributed to Obama’s first presidential campaign and also served on the Health IT Policy Committee, alongside Egerman, advising Blumenthal and his successors. Faulkner declined a request for an interview.

Nothing that I’ve described above is illegal in any way. It’s all totally above-board and understandable. What I hate is the lying about it. I can guess as to why the Progressives lie. It’s possible that they’re lying now because Obamacare is a disaster and rightly loathed. Alternatively, they’re lying because they don’t want to admit that, as with the whole green energy thing, Progressive elites are making obscenely, oligarch-level profits by forcing ordinary Americans to suffer economically and in terms of creature comforts.

The second lie, which is a continuation of what I assume is embarrassment or fear out of admitting that Progressive elites profit from American suffering, is that Obamacare has nothing to do with Epic’s profits. This too is a lie.

It’s true that Obamacare doesn’t explicitly say “All health care providers shall have electronic medical records [“EMR”] by 2015.” That’s a clear mandate. Obamacare also doesn’t explicitly say “All health care providers who don’t have electronic health records by 2015 shall lose their licenses to practice [never mind that the states control medical licensing].”

What Obamacare does do, though, is to state in negative terms something equally punitive, thereby effectively turning Obamacare into an EMR mandate: It says that the federal government will effectively bankrupt those health care providers that do not have EMR systems by 2015:

A key provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is about to go into effect, and healthcare providers across the country are preparing to comply. As of January 1, 2014, all public and private healthcare providers and other eligible professionals (EP) must have adopted and demonstrated “meaningful use” of electronic medical records (EMR) in order to maintain their existing Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement levels.

Nice little medical practice ya got here. Shame if something happened to it…. That looks like a mandate to me.

So I’ll reiterate: Obamacare is so corrupt that it befouls everything it touches. From the first day, one of its main casualties has been truth.

William Voegeli’s “The Price of Liberal Compassion”

In the latest edition of Imprimis, William Voegeli turns his attention to the way in which Progressives have carved out for themselves the role of humankind’s better angels.  Their justification for this celestial pedestal is the fact that their political ideology is the one that wants ever more money for government welfare.  Since they want to fund the poor, they say they’re good.  This position logically creates a corollary saying that conservatives, who oppose open checkbook spending on the poor, are genuinely evil devil-folk.

Written in polite and objective tones, Voegeli’s short essay is a staggering indictment of the intellectual laziness that “moral preening” that characterizes the Left. The article is worth reading on its own terms, and very worth reading in the context of Obamacare’s lies.

Integrity in the military

Earlier this week, I posted about what I perceive as America’s morality vacuum, with the new morality premised on feelings, not values. American’s Sergeant Major has been thinking about morals too, although he’s been looking at the issue in the context of the obligation our armed forces owe to society. It’s a very interesting post, and I don’t want to steal its thunder by giving away the main point. I just urge you to read it for yourself and see how nicely it harmonizes with the point I was making.

There is no moral inversion like Norwegian moral inversion

The world creeps closer to George Orwell’s 1984 every day. The latest example took place in Norway, a country that pairs exceptional natural beauty with the most foul moral inversions:

Anti-racism activists in Norway have refused to participate in a Holocaust commemoration after members of the Jewish community were put on the guest list, a Norwegian blog has claimed.

According to Norway, Israel and the Jews, Norwegian activist organisation New SOS Racisme — which claims to reduce racism in society — asked for the “Zionist Jews of Bergen” to be banned from attending the Kristallnacht, or the night of broken glass, an event aimed at remembering the escalation of the persecution of Jews in Germany, between the nights of 9th and 10th November 1938.

They “refused to participate in the Kristallnacht commemoration since a representative from theMosaic Congregation [a conservative Jewish Congregation ] was invited. Yes, they balked at a Jew participating,” the blog added.

Read more here.

The Vikings would be ashamed of their descendants.  They may have been brutal killers, but even they had some principles.

President Rand/Ron Paul?  Well, maybe….

I mentioned yesterday that Ron Paul is a sticking point for me when it comes to Rand Paul. How far has that Rand-ian apple fallen from the Ron-ian tree? It seems that, when it comes to antisemitism, it may not have fallen far enough (h/t Sadie):

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R., Ky.) office deleted a “student reading list” that promoted anti-Israel books from his official Senate website this week, shortly after the Weekly Standard published an article last Friday highlighting the controversial recommendations.

Read more here.

The wages of kindness in an age of terrorists

The Bible exhorts us to turn the other cheek, which I think is a sound piece of advice when you’re dealing with ordinary people. When you’re dealing with people who are truly evil, however, turning the other cheek is merely an invitation to further evil.

Of Ducks, and Dynasties, and Singing, and Dancing

The Duck Dynasty family is headed to Las Vegas in the form of a musical about their family’s trajectory. Because the family members are not part of the cast, I know Sadie Robertson won’t be in the Vegas musical — but if she was, she’d be a stand-out dancer. Here’s her most recent turn on Dancing With The Stars. It was a delight from start to finish:


I’d like to post more now, but my Mom needs my help with something, so I have to hit road. I’ll be back, though. In the meantime, I’ll round this post out with some great pictures from Caped Crusader.

We teach children political correctness, they teach killing

Communist Muslim Illegal Alien Obama

Liberal gives away everything he doesn't own

All the things we'll find out after the election

When ID is required and when it's not

And, lastly, a list of all the things at which Obama’s been “first.” He’s probably proud of that list. I’m appalled.