Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 18, 2014

Shutdown impacts USDA office

Oct 07, 2013

Because of the federal shutdown, the USDA office in Washington is temporarily closed. The employees of the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship Division of Soil Conservation in Washington County are reporting to the Washington County ISU Extension temporarily. ISU Extension is located at the Washington County Fairgrounds, and the telephone number is 319-653-4811.

Comments (10)
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Jan 07, 2014 07:30

Senator Rand Paul discusses individualism, freedom, and national security on Uncommon Knowledge

http://www.hoover.org/multimedia/uncommon-knowledge/149581



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Jan 01, 2014 15:56

George Drake '56, Grinnell College Professor Emeritus of History and former president of the College, talks about how famous world leaders have handled crisis. 

http://forum.grinnell.edu/leadershipincrisis



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Dec 27, 2013 01:23

Thomas Sowell at the Hoover Institute

http://www.hoover.org/multimedia/uncommon-knowledge/128106



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Dec 10, 2013 20:45
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Nov 26, 2013 15:10

One of the best peace speeches I ever read was one delivered back in the 1930s -- by Adolf Hitler! He knew that peace speeches would keep the Western democracies from matching his military buildup with their own, or attacking him to prevent his buildup from continuing. Peace speeches by Iran today serve the same purpose of buying time -- until they can create a nuclear bomb. Thomas Sowell

 

The Book of Daniel - World leaders will enter into a Middle East peace agreement that will last for four and half years. It will then be broken by the King from the North and the King from the South. I assume that will be Moscow and Egypt. Then Iran will attack Israel. As countries come into the war to settle the dispute including China with its 200 million man army, Israel will launch a nuclear strike against its enemies. This will turn world opinion against Israel. As Israel is about to be destroyed, God will step in to save Israel. This will be a war like no other known to mankind. The skies will roll up like scrolls and people will melt like candle wax. So it is writ!

 

 

 



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Nov 05, 2013 13:01

by Thomas Sowell

 

Like so many things that seem new, ObamaCare is in many ways old wine in new bottles.

For example, when confronted with the fact that millions of Americans stand to lose their existing medical insurance, as a result of ObamaCare, defenders of ObamaCare say that this is true only when those people have "substandard" insurance.

Who decides what is "substandard"? What is older than the idea that some exalted elite know what is good for us better than we know ourselves? Obama uses the rhetoric of going "forward," but he is in fact going backward to an age when despots told everybody what they had better do and better not do.

ObamaCare is old in yet another way. One of the fundamental reasons why private medical insurance has gotten so expensive is that politicians in state after state have mandated what this insurance must cover, regardless of what individuals want.

Insurance covering everything from baldness treatments to sex-change operations is a lot more expensive than insurance covering only major illnesses that can drain your life's savings. Now these mandates have moved up from the state to the federal level.

Insurance is an institution for dealing with risks. It is a costly and counterproductive way to pay for things that are not risks -- such as annual checkups, which are known in advance to occur every year.

Your annual checkup does not cost any less because it is covered by insurance. In fact it costs more, because the person who is insured must pay premiums that cover not only the cost of the checkup itself, but also the costs of insurance company paperwork.

If automobile insurance covered the cost of paying for your oil changes, would that make oil changes cheaper or more expensive? Obviously more expensive, since additional people would have to be paid to become involved in handling the transaction, instead of your simply paying directly out of your own pocket to the people who changed your oil.

Different people have different risks and different willingness to take care of risks themselves, instead of paying to have them transferred to an insurance company. But politicians in state after state have mandated what must be covered by insurance, regardless of what policy-holders and insurance companies might agree on if left free to make their own choices.

That has made it impossible to get less expensive insurance that covers only costly but rare medical problems.

Politicians love to play Santa Claus by handing out favors to voters, while depicting insurance companies as Scrooge when they raise insurance premiums to cover the costs of government mandates.

This kind of political game has been played for generations in other areas besides insurance.

Municipal transit used to be privately owned and run, but politicians would not allow the fares to be raised to a level that would cover costs. The net result was that private companies were driven out of business and local governments took over, saddling the taxpayers with the costs that fares don't cover.

That is what "single payer" means in any context -- a government monopoly that virtually guarantees worse service. Why would anyone want that for something as crucial as medical care?

One reason, of course, is the ever seductive illusion of something for nothing, an illusion spread by glib politicians, posing as saviors of the public against villains in the private sector.

Yet another way in which ObamaCare is an old political story is that it began as supposedly a way to deal with the problem of a segment of the population -- those without health insurance.

But, instead of directly helping those particular people to get insurance, the "solution" was to expand the government's power over everybody, including people who already had health insurance that they wanted to keep.

Since there has never been a society of human beings without at least some segment with some problem, this is a formula for a never-ending expansion of government power. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are all on record as believing in a "single payer" system -- that is, a government monopoly able to impose its own will on everybody. Even the current and future problems of ObamaCare can help them to reach that goal.



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Nov 04, 2013 13:42

by John Ransom

The New York Times brought out the big guns in defense of Obamacare.

Faced with a growing chorus of complaints about the keystone health insurance reform that bears Obama’s name, the New York Times shrugged.

They shrugged because that’s all they have left. 

The Times shrugged off the problems with the website, the problems with rising insurance premiums and the major problem with the president’s promise that if you like your insurance you get keep it.

The problem the president faces is that when he promised Americans they could keep their insurance he was either wrong and didn’t know it or he was lying and did know it.

It’s a problem with all the Democrat policies: They either are wrong or lying.

Because, now we know that you can’t keep your policy if you like it. You have to get a new policy that more often than not will cost you more because you are paying for someone else’s benefits.

“Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that [you could keep your insurance if you liked it],” writes the New York Times Editorial Board.

But what difference does it make they continue?



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Nov 01, 2013 18:13
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Oct 13, 2013 23:13

Thomas Sowell

by Thomas Sowell
 
One of the many fashionable notions that have caught on among some of the intelligentsia is that old people have "a duty to die," rather than become a burden to others.
This is more than just an idea discussed around a seminar table. Already the government-run medical system in Britain is restricting what medications or treatments it will authorize for the elderly. Moreover, it seems almost certain that similar attempts to contain runaway costs will lead to similar policies when American medical care is taken over by the government.
Make no mistake about it, letting old people die is a lot cheaper than spending the kind of money required to keep them alive and well. If a government-run medical system is going to save any serious amount of money, it is almost certain to do so by sacrificing the elderly.
There was a time-- fortunately, now long past-- when some desperately poor societies had to abandon old people to their fate, because there was just not enough margin for everyone to survive. Sometimes the elderly themselves would simply go off from their family and community to face their fate alone.
But is that where we are today?
Talk about "a duty to die" made me think back to my early childhood in the South, during the Great Depression of the 1930s. One day, I was told that an older lady-- a relative of ours-- was going to come and stay with us for a while, and I was told how to be polite and considerate towards her.
She was called "Aunt Nance Ann," but I don't know what her official name was or what her actual biological relationship to us was. Aunt Nance Ann had no home of her own. But she moved around from relative to relative, not spending enough time in any one home to be a real burden.
At that time, we didn't have things like electricity or central heating or hot running water. But we had a roof over our heads and food on the table-- and Aunt Nance Ann was welcome to both.
Poor as we were, I never heard anybody say, or even intimate, that Aunt Nance Ann had "a duty to die."
I only began to hear that kind of talk decades later, from highly educated people in an affluent age, when even most families living below the official poverty level owned a car or truck and had air-conditioning.
      
It is today, in an age when homes have flat-panelled TVs, and most families eat in restaurants regularly or have pizzas and other meals delivered to their homes, that the elites-- rather than the masses-- have begun talking about "a duty to die."
Back in the days of Aunt Nance Ann, nobody in our family had ever gone to college. Indeed, none had gone beyond elementary school. Apparently you need a lot of expensive education, sometimes including courses on ethics, before you can start talking about "a duty to die."
Many years later, while going through a divorce, I told a friend that I was considering contesting child custody. She immediately urged me not to do it. Why? Because raising a child would interfere with my career.
But my son didn't have a career. He was just a child who needed someone who understood him. I ended up with custody of my son and, although he was not a demanding child, raising him could not help impeding my career a little. But do you just abandon a child when it is inconvenient to raise him?
The lady who gave me this advice had a degree from the Harvard Law School. She had more years of education than my whole family had, back in the days of Aunt Nance Ann.
Much of what is taught in our schools and colleges today seeks to break down traditional values, and replace them with more fancy and fashionable notions, of which "a duty to die" is just one.
These efforts at changing values used to be called "values clarification," though the name has had to be changed repeatedly over the years, as more and more parents caught on to what was going on and objected. The values that supposedly needed "clarification" had been clear enough to last for generations and nobody asked the schools and colleges for this "clarification."
Nor are we better people because of it.        
             




Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Oct 09, 2013 13:37

by Thomas Sowell 

 

A talented con man, or a slick politician, does not waste his time trying to convince knowledgeable skeptics. His job is to keep the true believers believing. He is not going to convince the others anyway.

Back during Barack Obama's first year in office, he kept repeating, with great apparent earnestness, that there were "shovel-ready" projects that would quickly provide many much-needed jobs, if only his spending plans were approved by Congress.

He seemed very convincing — if you didn't know how long it can take for any construction project to get started, after going through a bureaucratic maze of environmental impact studies, zoning commission rulings and other procedures that can delay even the smallest and simplest project for years.

Only about a year or so after his big spending programs were approved by Congress, Barack Obama himself laughed at how slowly everything was going on his supposedly "shovel-ready" projects.

One wonders how he will laugh when all his golden promises about ObamaCare turn out to be false and a medical disaster. Or when his foreign policy fiascoes in the Middle East are climaxed by a nuclear Iran.

 



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