30 July 2009

Government Health Reforms

Exactly the Wrong Solutions

We are opposed to the large scale health care and insurance reforms currently being considered in the House and Senate.

We are retired and paid into Medicare every year since its inception expecting to receive the promised benefits. As “War Babies” I’m sure we paid in the bulk of the costs and now that we are about to begin using the benefit we earned, there are plans to restrict the promised benefits, that’s pathetically immoral and a very dishonest betrayal.

That’s not what we paid for, and it’s not right.

We are opposed to any changes that will:

1. Reduce our already earned and paid for benefits. That’s wasn’t the promise.

2. Limit the ability of others to earn and pay for their own health needs.

3. Make government or any health insurance mandatory or require any monetary fine for not choosing it.

4. Increase any Government interference in our health care choices; or limit our ability to get and pay for the health care of our own choice.

5. Decrease quality and availability of private health insurance or care; or prevent doctors and hospitals from providing whatever services we request and pay for.

6. Pay for the health care costs of those not here legally; or pay for the health care costs of those who chose foolishly not to provide for themselves.

We have worked our entire lives, and sacrificed, and saved, in spite of oppressively high taxes, to provide our own retirement, health insurance, and health care needs.

We expected to use what we earned and saved to care for ourselves. We did not intend to pay for health care for others, certainly not for those illegally here, and certainly not for those who made poor life choices for themselves.

We already provide for necessary care for those handicapped people who cannot provide for themselves; prisoners, military veterans, mentally deficient, and those temporarily incompetent. I think that’s more than enough.

We do favor targeted reforms that will:

1. Force those who receive health care services to pay their own costs.

2. Redefine emergency services to those necessary to prevent eminent death (i.e. hemorrhaging) or severe impairment (i.e. brain damage).

3. Reduce litigated damages.

4. Reduce health care recipient and provider fraud.

5. Reduce the size, role, and constantly growing interference by the Federal Government in the personal health choices of its free and honorable citizens.

19 July 2009

Bail Out Taxpayers

They need it. They know best how to use it.

Stop Repeating the Mistakes of the Past

The current recession would be over way before now, if in January 2009, $40,000 would have been sent to each taxpayer (100 million had actual tax liability) and each actual American voter (133 million), half of which are taxpayers.

The citizen bailout total would be approximately 6 trillion, 620 billion dollars, or about what they are attempting to waste now. 100M plus ½ of 133M (66.5M) times $40,000; or 165.5M times $40,000 equals $6,620,000,000,000.

Millions of American cars and homes would have been bought. Millions of jobs would have been created. People could afford control of their own health care and “end of life” provisions. They could save money for their own retirement. Help their children afford their own home. Help their grandchildren afford a quality education.

Also, everyone’s Federal income tax rate could be cut in half permanently, and foolish business taxes that are just passed on to consumers hidden in the prices of goods and services could be eliminated, along with ridiculous transfer “death” taxes that are looted from their rightful heirs.

Federal, states, and local revenues would skyrocket. Many new businesses and jobs, and some old ones would flourish. People could actually save money to take care of their personal needs and wants without the interference that must come with, so called, government benefits.

These bailouts will make the old, tired, extremely expensive non-solutions being proposed by the current government completely unnecessary; expanded government health care, unnecessary; new expensive taxes and restrictions on personal commercial freedom, unnecessary; wasteful federal education spending, unnecessary; idiotic business takeovers and financial bailouts, unnecessary; a ridiculous so called Stimulus Act (really thinly disguised social spending) badly planned and under executed, completely unnecessary.

Why then do both major political parties in Congress and the Administration refuse to cut programs and give the citizens back their money immediately allowing the US and World economies to recover?

Well, a lot of reasons. Cutting the government revenue by 40% would cut their power and influence by 40%. The broadcast and print media would lose about $1 billion in advertising sales and bribes. Politicians would lose millions in campaign contribution, bribes, and gifts, about 3 million newly unemployed would need to find real jobs.

Safety nets were in place for these kinds of economic adjustments, but over the past five decades the reserves have been looted to pay for promises of every increasing feel good social programs to buy cheap votes from those willing to take unearned benefits. Together these congressional bandits and citizen and non-citizens thieves have systematically stolen the rightfully resources of good citizens.

It’s time to put these rascals and those that conspire with them, out on the street to earn there own way.

Restore control of the National Treasury to newly elected Senators and Representatives, and yes a President, who understands where, taxes come from and who deserves full and first consideration of where and how it’s held and spent.

17 July 2009


Build more quickly

I often hear complaints about the number of criminals in prison. Occasionally there are complaints about the costs, the location, the ethic makeup of prison populations, prison gangs, lack of effective rehabilitation, the wasted lives, the inhumanity and injustice of it all, etc. etc. etc.
Stop whining. When I’m in a discussion about more prisons, I ask two simple questions. Are all those who have knowingly committed crimes against the people or the state in prison?

Why not?

When there is an opportunity to vote for more prison or jail cells, I vote yes, in spite of my fervent crusade to reduce government spending at all levels. There are not enough prisons cells if any convicted criminals are not in prison, or if they are released before they have served their full sentences. Often early releases occur because of supposed overcrowding, or to scare citizens into approving tax increases when revenues are scarce.

These are poor economic times. Crime rates are likely to increase. Build more prisons now, employing those who wish to work, preparing a place to house those who do not, and are willing take what they have not earned.

There is already more than enough tax revenue to put all criminals in confinement for their full terms. It’s just a matter of priority. Cut just a few of the frivolous and unnecessary Federal, state and local programs and invest in more cells.

I’m not bothered by prison overcrowding. I think its part of the punishment. Although I would build enough cells so crowding only occasionally occurs. When it does, no one should be released because of it

Who’s in prison? What is their ethic makeup? I don’t care!

Assuming they were properly convicted, they belong in prison for their full pronounced sentence. Sentences should be absolute. Nothing should ameliorate what a judge has decreed, except for a deliberately deceitful miscarriage of justice. No humanitarian considerations, no health problems, no dying relatives, nothing else should modify their sentence. These unfortunate circumstances too are part of the punishment.

I favor Rehabilitation; although I think it should be an earned opportunity only available after the completion of their full sentences.

While serving their sentence, if they behave well, they should be allowed to learn the fundamental rules of polite society, how to read and write in English, the best students should have more education or training opportunities, or allowed to work at necessary prison functions, developing job skills that may be useful to them, if they ever get out.

The rest can just sit there, or lay staring at the ceiling, or writhe in mental anguish at the terrible things they’ve done, or mull around the yard with the other losers of their sad ilk.

Those who serve their entire sentence have earned the opportunity to attempt rehabilitation. A priveledge earned, not a right. If they continue to behave well after release, more counseling, training and support should be offered for a few years to restart their newly compliant lives.

Those who can’t learn the basic idea of earning rewards by good behavior can sit and rot. All privileges beyond healthy food, safe cells, and critical medical care, must be earned. No TV, no books, no weight room, no rehab, no training, no education, no mixing with other prisoners, no extra exercise periods, and no visitors for those who cannot exhibit self control enough to comply with a few of societies basic behavior rules.

They are criminals. They have committed offenses that have betrayed our trust of them as fellow human beings. They must pay the prescribed price and may earn their way back by proving they have truly learned acceptable human behavior. If not, don’t waste more precious resources on them, use the resources instead to help the small percentage who prove they can learn from their mistakes.

Not all can be saved; most shouldn’t even get a second chance.

11 July 2009


What Happened to it?

You would think more people would have it, but sadly current conditioning is causing it to be lost as a part of our mindset. Today not having forethought, rarely results in inconvenience, extreme hardship or death. Having it, seemingly benefits only a few of the most astute.

Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines it as; a thinking or planning out in advance; I include, considering the likely consequences.

I once believed that everyone, to a lesser or greater extent, had it and used it in their daily lives. I now believe that very few have the gift or have been taught it as a skill, and fewer still have any reason to use it daily, or ever.

I believed it was common. I was born and raised in rural settings and harsh climates more than 10 miles from the closest towns. My father taught us as children to anticipate our wants and needs because only weekly trips to town were possible. We learned quickly to think ahead to keep from going two weeks or more without things we wanted or needed. It was common practice among farm neighbors in rural eastern South Dakota to tell others when we were planning to go to town, and ask if they needed us to pick anything up for them. All understood the reality of their circumstances. The winters were harsh and potentially deadly. Often people were trapped in their homes for days or weeks by closed roads from snow and ice storms. If you didn’t think ahead, you could easily freeze to death, or starve for lack of food, or die of minor injuries or ailments for lack of simple medical supplies. Being prepared wasn’t just the Boy Scout motto, it was survival.

When you depend upon farming for your income and for some of the foods that sustain your existence, you saved and protect seeds from previous harvests to plant in the spring. You grew and preserve some foods and stored them for your personal use during the following seasons. You raised livestock to sell and a few to eat, or to collect milk or eggs from, for your own use. You safely stored other supplies, like blankets, or guns and ammunition, fish hooks, poles and line, fuel, hardware, tools, buttons, needles and thread, all of these kinds of things were kept on hand to be available when needed. All of these preparations were taken because of necessity, but considered and acted upon via forethought, and refined and improved by the memories of experiences, some that ended badly for others, learning by their sometimes fatal mistakes.

Next we moved to the middle of the Mojave Desert about 12 miles from the nearest real town. The climate realities were different, but forethought was still critical. Food and water were critical. We didn’t have to worry about freezing to death or growing our own food, but fuel and reliable transportation were critical to getting food, clothes, and medical care. The same kinds of forethought, planning and preparedness behavior were critical again.

Since everything and everyone I knew constantly provided object lessons from daily life, I just assumed that resourceful, caring, serious people everywhere thought ahead, imagined accurately what resources they would need, planned and prepared in advance to meet their needs and desires. That way they didn’t find themselves dying of thirst and out of gasoline too many miles from survival.

I had heard tales of the terrible things that had befallen those who didn’t think ahead. I couldn’t imagine people who were so thoughtless. Then, as my life unfolded and I moved to larger towns and visited big cities, I discovered many people who had no reason to think ahead. Larger places with many more people and abundant supplies nearby whenever needed. As I learned of the still larger world, I found there were places where abundant food grew on trees, and meat could easily be collected year around when desired. Climates where temperatures were moderate all year and housing and clothing could easily be made when needed from readily abundant plants and animals.

These peoples didn’t need forethought at all. Few if any special provisions would benefit them. No one was starving, freezing to death in a couple hours, or dying of heat stroke in a single day. Emergencies were so rare that no preparations needed to be made for them. They were just endured and quickly over, if they ever occurred.

Government systems, social safety nets, and reliance on the largess and caring of the citizens of their communities, and government services have made forethought unnecessary for survival in all but the most remote harsh climates. Even comfort and convenience are available in all but the most remote places, if you have reliable transport and a few personal resources.

Schools don’t teach forethought or even rational thought for that matter, it has been decades since I’ve heard of an elementary or secondary school teaching logic or reasoning, not to mention the determining probability, understanding certainty, or evaluating various potential outcomes.

Creative thinking is assumed to be a talent, and no attempt is made to teach it. If survival, comfort and convenience were the only reason for imagination and forethought then teaching them would seem to be a waste. Of course, teaching it requires knowing of it and the reasons for it, which are widely unknown by today’s so called teachers. So there are few who understand the need, and fewer still who could explain it, and even fewer that can see the need to apply forethought to other life processes like; determining needs verses wants, cause and effect logic, rational decision making , effective argument, advanced preparation, efficiency, or understanding any of today’s complicated issues, and many other modern lessons that make life and human relationships easier, less painful, fulfilling, comfortable and productive, with minimum frustration, anxiety, and stress; basically the good life!

Most of today’s social, cultural, financial, and legal, health and lifestyle mistakes can be traced to ignorance, lack of rational forethought, inability to foresee the probable future using cause and effect deductions. If you do this; that will probably happen.

Only with imagination and forethought can one hope to understand the people and events that whirl about them, and the tragedies that seem to befall them without reason.

Whatever the dilemma, forethought is the beginning of solution.