I went to Grinnell College in Iowa. It is a small liberal-arts college (I'd say that it is also a liberal arts college, but the school isn't really arts focused,) and these days it seems the administration there spends probably half its time crowing about how progressive they are.

That is probably why the school rarely mentions one of its most important alumni: the late John Garang. John Garang is know to his people as the father of South Sudan. He was a revolutionary fighter, leading an army into battle against the Sudanese government. In the end, he won, and South Sudan was born. Sadly, he died before independence was fully established; but on that first day of independence, the people of South Sudan unveiled a massive statue of Garang in their capitol. He's their founding father.

I'm sure Grinnell doesn't like to extol the virtues of a military hero--not kumbaya-ish enough for them--so, I've only seen one article about him in the alumni magazine, and that was long before South Sudan came into being. I am on Facebook with a 20-something fellow alum, and she had never even heard of him--and she was at Grinnell when he was still alive and winning his people's independence, and she was there when he died in 2005.

I see the same thing happening after Nelson Mandela's death; though, instead of ignoring the militant revolutionary, they are simply scrubbing that part of his life out of existence. He wasn't a man of peace, he was a fighter who had thousands of grenades with him at the time of his arrest. He wasn't going around putting daisies in rifle barrels; he was blowing things up. He had tried non-violence and decided it didn't work and couldn't work against Pretoria. He then turned to bombs and blood. He wasn't leading peaceful marches (when he tried that, the government shot at the crown and killed dozens) or penning editorials, or giving speeches; he was a fighter. That's what I admire most about him. He saw an intolerable situation and decided it was worth fighting against--with blood if necessary.

But the modern left; and, therefore, the modern media; is violence-adverse. They can't image actually celebrating a militant hero as a militant hero. That part of his life is scrubbed away. He is just another neutered black man, only acceptable when he's been made a milquetoast.

He wasn't Gandhi. He was Mandela. Honor the man for who he actually was, not a distorted, cleansed, mythologized facsimile of him.

Fumbles and putting points on the board

So, the Packers are losing at the moment--what a shock. (Update: They won in the end!)

Here are my thoughts on the Democrats' misteps and what the Republicans need to do about it:

One team may fumble, but unless the other team scores during their possession, it's meaningless. Conservatives need to press the advantage, but I see the usual Republican/conservative ineptness.

It's not enough for people to see that Obamacare is failing, they need to see that any Obamacare-like plan will fail; that the failure is baked into the very idea of a big government solution.

We need to press home the point that hope for growth and prosperity is misdirected when placed in the hands of the government. If you want growth and prosperity, then you better hope for private enterprise and individuals to provide it, and for the government to stand back and let them do it.

If you want good schools and for the next generation to be educated and able, then you need to rethink how the government is providing free-but-abysmal education for all. The solution is not a top-down, regimented and regulated government solution; but a bottom-up percolation of ideas and experiments devised by individuals and individuals schools and districts.

If you want good-quality, affordable health insurance; then you shouldn't look for the government to write thousands of pages of regulations in an attempt to wish such insurance into being. People need to understand that it is the free choices of 300 million Americans that will build a strong insurance system--with each American looking for the best coverage for the best price, each choosing to enter freely into a contract with an insurance provider that meets their needs. Before Obamacare, government regulations were preventing free choice and free markets from working in the insurance market. Obamacare made it worse.

The choice the Democrats present is a false one: either you have government, or you have chaos and viciousness--it is only the government that can help, only the government that can create peace. Conservatives need to press home the point that the American people are fundamentally charitable and kind. That we seek to help those who are truly unable to help themselves; that we do want to help those who have fallen and need to rebuild their lives; but that we do not want a blank check for every whim a Congressman can dream up.

Not every problem can be solved.
Not every problem with a solution can be solved by group action.
Not every group action should be done by the government.
Not every government action should be done at the federal level.

Some things should be left to individuals, to private enterprise and charity, and to local and state governments.

The Democrats have fumbled, but the ball is still on their side of the 50-yard-line--and the referees are all in their pocket; unless we drive the ball back over to the other side of the field and really change the way Americans think about what the government should and can do, we're wasting our chance.


So the insurance companies, which are so evil that we should abolish them entirely and bring in single-payer, are actually so completely trustworthy that we can run Obamacare solely on the honor system.
Health plans will estimate how much they are owed, and submit that estimate to the government. Once the system is built, the government and insurers can reconcile the payments made with the plan data to "true up" payments, he said.
In addition, was that paragraph simply in serious need of editing, or was the phraseology actually intentional? I don't think my health plan, or any health plan, is capable of independent thought. A health plan is a contract, a series of agreed-upon words which bind the insurer and insured in a money-for-services exchange. You can print off your health plan and read it. If it suddenly came to life in my hands and engaged me in a conversation about my premiums and government subsidies, I would be more than a little freaked. On the other hand, the phrasing might have been intentional; after all, most Americans like their health plan, they'd like to keep their health plan; but those nasty, money-grubbing, insurance companies are another matter entirely. Sock it to them, I say!

An editor should have rephrased it:
Insurance companies will estimate how much they are owed, and submit that estimate to the government....
 But I think people's negative reactions to that sentence would be much stronger than the original.So, why was one phrase chosen over the other? Inadvertently?  or intentionally?

Shhhh...everything's fine...go back to sleep...