The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘Benghazi’

OUR LIVES ARE AN OPEN BOOK

The reality is that apparently Obamacare is going to move forward with the state exchanges open for business in October, 2013.  It will probably take a little bit of time for us to really see the full impact of how poorly designed this law was from inception.

Of course, by illegally deferring the employer reporting mandate, the administration put off (until after the mid-term elections) some of the effect this portion of the law would have in reducing the number of workers who will have their work weeks cut in order to avoid the act’s onerous requirements.  So we will have to wait until 2015 to see how harmfully this affects the economy and “recovery”.

Of course, now that Congress has gained an exemption for themselves and their staffers and then gone on vacation (although they have a long way to go to catch up with the vacation time the Prez has taken), these esteemed lawmakers can just sit back and let the dice roll as the Obamacare craps game plays itself out.

That, of course, is really only the concern for those of us who remain who actually will be compelled to obey the law.  The unions who were ardent advocates for the passage of universal coverage have now looked at the law (probably ahead of former Speaker Nancy (Pip Squeak) Pelosi and decided that it reeks and have asked for exemptions.  This includes the union representing those who are given the responsibility of administering a significant portion of the law – the IRS.

While we do not know how much of this law will play out – whether we include the limitation of services (death panels), the actual cost of obtaining insurance, whether the predication of Obamacare’s success that younger, healthier people will actually enroll or just pay the rather minimal penalty that will apply in its first year of existence which could sink it, there is one thing that we do know now.

The administration (translation Health and Human Services) which has had nearly four years to develop a secure system to maintain the personal information to which it will be entrusted, has yet to test their system and prove that it is hacker-proof and secure.  It missed its first deadline to do so earlier this year and is going to try again later this month.  We will need to see if they are able to accomplish this.

The IT systems developers with whom I have spoken have unanimously doubted the likelihood that this test will prove the system to be secure.  Their experience suggests that a system of this scope and magnitude needs one to two years of constant testing before it is safe to unleash.

You’ve probably heard of a service called “Life Lock” which is supposed to protect your financial information from hacker intrusion.  There are a number of such services which attempt to alert us and provide early detection against hacker intrusion into our private financial records.  But what this service protects against, the amount of data that they monitor on our behalf, is so small compared with that which will be collected under Obamacare that it pales in comparison.

Imagine listing not only your social security number, your DOB, your home address, your marital status but add to that your entire health history – all reposited in one unsecure data base.  What a field day for our hacker friends to gain complete access to our most intimate, private matters.  Are you comfortable with exposing your life to anyone who is clever enough to hack into these servers?

But let’s assume, and this is a big assumption, that HHS is successful in implementing a secure system.  We will have eliminated one threat – or so we hope.  But there is another that might be even more dangerous.

Think about the bureaucrats who will have access to all that personal information.  Under normal circumstances and with a functional administration that conducted its affairs based on some at least minimal moral standard, that might not be much of a concern.  But that is not this administration.

We have all heard President Obama descry those who are “distracting the American people by raising the specter of all the ‘phony scandals.’”   Those, of course include the truth about Benghazi; the revelation that the IRS not only targeted conservative organizations – delaying their approving tax exempt status for purely political reasons – but the latest part of that “phony scandal” that they apparently communicated information to the Federal Elections Commission and redacted (translation deleted) certain information which they might have had to supply to Congressional committees based on what their friends at the DEA taught them; and, of course, the last “phony scandal” that the NSA has actively been collecting information on law abiding Americans and archiving what we once thought was personal, privileged communications.

My grammar school English teachers would have raked me across the coals for producing something akin to that last lengthy paragraph.  But when the administration continues to provide so much fodder, it’s hard not to run on a bit too long.

With an ever-growing list of such malevolence, it’s simply too great a leap of faith to believe that those in this administration will not use whatever information is available to benefit their own political agenda and not the citizens of this country.

reallyyoustilltrustthegovernment

AND THE AWARD GOES TO …

Hillary Rodham Clinton has had an interesting career – to put it mildly.

She is an attorney; an inexperienced but highly successful commodities trader; the former first lady of the State of Arkansas and of these United States; the first female partner in the Rose Law Firm – the firm of choice for the rich and powerful in her adopted state (the first one); a key player in the Whitewater Scandal that absorbed the nation’s attention for over two years; a partner in an unusually “open” marriage; a United States Senator elected from her adopted state (the second one); our 67th Secretary of State; and now … my nominee for “The Best Actress In A Leading Role” for her testimony regarding the “Benghazi Affair” delivered to the Senate.

With a dossier that is extensive as Secretary of State Clinton’s it is hard to know where to begin in reviewing her career.

It shows remarkable, innate talent on Ms.Clinton’s part to have given the emotional performance that she delivered in front of the Simpy Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week while essentially avoiding answering the questions that were put to her.  Rather than respond with facts, Ms. Clinton launched her own assault on those who were questioning her – overflowing with “emotion” as she talked about standing next to the caskets of those who had been murdered by Muslim “extremists” in Libya.

During her testimony she also pointed out to her Republican critics that it was not only Libya but that there were at least twenty countries around the globe where American diplomats and embassies were at great risk.  That was perhaps the most honest part of the testimony which she delivered.  Perhaps that was what prompted Senator Dick “Duh” Durbin of Illinois to comment,

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has done an extraordinary job for this country. It’ll be recognized by history. This was one of her finer moments.”

Sadly, Senator Durbin’s statement might have been one of the most insightful of his rather inglorious career.  The only small emendation I would like to make would be the small matter of a preposition in the first line of that comment.  My revision would change that line to read, “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has done an extraordinary job on this country.”

Let’s return briefly to the Secretary’s remark about the danger our men and women in the foreign service face around the world.  As the present administration, which claimed that it would be the most transparent in history has proven continuously to be the polar opposite, it is unusual to have one of its members be so forthright by making this kind of statement – and it gives us an unexpected opportunity to gain an understanding of our government’s thinking and foreign policy.

What is it, if anything, that these twenty hot spots have in common?  Well, for those of you who lived through 9/11 (the first one), it should come as no surprise that virtually all of these foreign lands are run by governments where sharia Muslim law is the law of their land and jihad is their political message.

So having been forthcoming in her analysis of what is going on globally, how did Secretary Clinton’s Department of State explain the Benghazi massacre?  Did they place the blame on extremists whose goal is to bring down America?  No.  It squarely faulted an “insulting film made by an American Coptic Christian” and publicly maintained that position for at least a week after the facts were known.

Have you heard anyone, whether in the State Department, the Congress or the White House with the guts to speak out against those in the Muslim world of jihad and say, “America will not tolerate your abrogation either of our laws or of international law and you will be rooted out and destroyed if you attack any of our embassies or our personnel?”

Secretary Clinton (along with many of her European colleagues) has maintained a position (our official position) of being an apologist when the “rights of Muslims” are purportedly infringed.  Protecting our citizens’ ability to practice their religious convictions freely is an essential part of the American Constitution – and one not accorded to non-believers in the countries to which the Secretary made reference.

The performance to which the Senators and the nation were treated by the Secretary was nothing short of astounding.  Perhaps the senior Senator from Illinois’ comment,  “It’ll be recognized by history. This was one of her finer moments”  will ring true.

But coming off a baseline of a career filled with deception, half truths, intrigue and unmitigated dishonesty, doesn’t America deserve better?

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