Monday, July 16, 2018

A crime against America

 It's very simple. Our government intelligence agencies are unanimous in saying that a massive crime was committed against the United States electoral system. Out intelligence community further says that this will continue in 2018 and 2020. OK, no dead bodies such as in 9/11, but our very system of government is threatened. The Russians hacked into voter rolls in 2016. If they can hack into voter rolls this time, they can wipe thousands of names off the voter rolls next time so that when you try to go vote, they are going to tell you that you weren't registered, so you have to fill out a provisional ballot, and if we happen to find your name in our system, your vote will count. No matter who it benefits, it's totally wrong. Trump stood on stage with the chief perpetrator, our enemy, and said that since he vigorously denied it, that has to be taken at least as seriously as the work of our own Justice Department. O. J. Simpson says he didn't do it, too. This is not about liberalism and conservatism. Let me repeat: This is not about liberalism and conservatism. Both senators form my home state of Arizona have vehemently condemned Trump's performance today as disgraceful. They are conservatives with the conscience of a conservative. Conservatives used to be the first to stand up for our national defense, and Ronald Reagan once told Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. If you want to point to something Obama did you think is just as bad, well, Obama is out of office and can't be impeached, and last I checked, two wrong do not make a right.

The biggest mistake you can make is making issues concerning Donald Trump all about liberalism and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, Left and Right. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Monday, July 09, 2018

Socialism is not a sexually transmitted disease

 I never got a full-time tenure-track teaching job, so I spent most of the last 26 years cobbling together adjunct teaching jobs and other part-time work. I worked as hard as anyone else, but I never got insurance except for one semester when I got a temporary full-time position. I was diagnosed with chronic ulcerative colitis at the age of 23, so individual health insurance companies wouldn't touch me with a ten foot pole. Finally, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I got insured in 2014, and since then I have had three surgeries, the last to prevent cancer. Under good old fashioned capitalism I would have had to wait until I actually got colon cancer before my condition would have been considered a sufficient emergency for my operation to be paid for. After that surgery I was in the hospital for three weeks watching the debate over the attempt to repeal and replace the ACA, after the ACA, arguably, had just saved my life. The legislation, supported by Trump, would have cost me my health insurance for 2018.

 Socialism? It is not a sexually transmitted disease. We are all socialists when it comes to our military, our police, and our fire department. Not so much, maybe, for cars and houses. People should earn a living and work hard. But I don't see that moving in a socialist direction on medicine in any way undermines the work ethic, which seems to be the great fear with socialism. Now it could be that for others the ACA has done harm. Maybe I am thinking selfishly here, and it would be better for the American people in general not to have laws allowing me to get health insurance in spite of a pre-existing condition. Maybe I didn't deserve health insurance, since I didn't earn a place with an employer who would provide insurance for me. Maybe someone could have told me when I was 18 not to get ulcerative colitis. As they say, "don't get sick." But I say, "Thank you, President Obama."

And, by the way, what does "repeal and replace Obamacare" even. You don't replace something if the basic idea is rotten to the core, you just get rid of it. 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Foreign Aid: A solution to illegal immigration?

Chad wrote: The only real solution to illegal immigration is helping to make other countries in our hemisphere safe and prosperous. People with good jobs and safe streets don't walk a thousand miles to come to another country.

And bmiller agreed. 

Hey, I've got an idea. We should raise taxes in America to pay for massive foreign aid to countries like Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, etc. Then their people won't want to come to America, and we won't have such a severe problem with illegal immigration. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What, if anything, is our humanitarian obligation to those who desperately need to enter our country?

I just head Jeff Sessions say that the family separation policy will deter people from going over the border illegally, and will instead require them to enter our country through our designated ports of entry. 

So if they didn't try to come here illegally, could they just hop on over to the ports of entry and get in? Country quotas make that impossible. Some people's circumstances are so desperate that the only solution to their impossible lives is to violate our laws and enter our country. It is similar to stealing a loaf of bread to feed their families, and those who defend a "zero tolerance" policy remind me of Javert in Les Miserables. 

The question I have is not whether they have a right to enter our country, but is rather, whether we have a humanitarian obligation to such people. We do not merit having been born in a wealthy country like America, any more than they deserve to have been born in a third world country like Mexico. I mean who would want to make the harsh trip across the Sonoran desert to emigrate here if they could just walk up to the office at the port of entry, stand in maybe a six hour line, and get in legally? They want to come here not because we are so great, but because life there is so bad. If you don't want to let them into America in order to lead a decent life, what are we willing to do to make their lives better where they are? Does anyone seriously think they are just coming here because they are evil and criminals?

This isn't, so far as I can tell, about liberalism or conservativsm. There are billions of people who want to come here. Well, probably not. Jonah Goldberg, who inspired these thoughts of mine, is a writer for the National Review. There are people who are in such bad shape in their current country that they are prepared to put up with a lot of misery to enter the country illegally. There may be some doing it for morally bad reasons, but it is easy to see morally acceptable reasons for at least wanting to come here illegally. Do we have any moral obligations to these people over and and above building a wall and making sure they don't come here? If we are conservatives, do we need to take a lifeboat ethics position and say that these people were just born in the wrong part of the world, and so it's just tough toenails if they can't take care of their families? America , I think, started restricting entry into our country with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Before that, there was no illegal immigration, because we didn't restrict it.

Hillary Clinton's gun control proposals

Here is a link to the proposals Hillary Clinton made as a candidate. Bernie Sanders actually ran closer to the NRA than Hillary did. Many will disagree with some of these proposals, but notice that she never said she wanted to take everyone's gun away.