Monday, July 17, 2017

Health Insurance and Working Americans

Breaking news:  the latest Republican health care bill in the US Senate is now 2 votes short of passing.

And so goes on the health care political football.  When the Democrats controlled the Congress and White House, they forced through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Flawed in places and perhaps not stable over time, it let the health care genie out of the bottle.  

For the first time, many working Americans could afford the benefits of health insurance.  The could afford the medicine they need to treat their chronic conditions.  They could feel assured that they were not one bad diagnosis from loosing their home and the job and falling into poverty.  

Cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, stroke:  who knows when they may befall someone.  And without health insurance, any of these could take a productive, working American from a role of being a self-supporting, productive, tax-paying citizen of this land and make them a ward of the state, and burden to taxpayers.

But now the Republicans in Congress and President Trump want to repeal the ACA and replace it with some variation of the various plans that have seen the light of day, each of which would result in so many Americans loosing health insurance.  It seems their idea of freedom is the choice of not getting insurance and either (if you're healthy) spinning the wheel of chance that you stay healthy, or if not so lucky, perhaps unable to afford care, medicine or necessary procedures.

In this case, I don't know why they don't understand that a healthy working American is a productive and tax-paying member of society, something they value.  And for those in America who have to work for a living - which is the vast majority of those who voted for President Trump and those who voted for Hilary Clinton - affordable health insurance helps keep them productive and tax-paying.   Isn't that what Republicans value?

All I can figure is that got themselves twisted like a pretzel:  they couldn't participate in creating the ACA, so they must kill it!  They are convinced that's why they were elected:  to repeal the ACA!

But that's no longer in touch with their constituents.  Affordable health care ensures working Americans can remain productive, self-supporting and tax-paying even if bad health should befall them.

The people want affordable health care!  So, reform the ACA, make it better and sustainable, but don't deprive working Americans of the opportunity to afford health insurance.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Let's Make America Kind Again!

January 21, 2017.  Kindness and respect. 

I went to the march today to reinforce my belief in respecting all people. We live in a nation founded on the belief that all are created equal and endowed with unalienable rights. I believe in a God who created every person with the dignity of being formed in the Divine image.

We have seen in the campaign words that came across as not being respectful to other individuals and groups of individuals. We have seen some increase in acts of harassment and violence against individuals because of their race or religion or ethnicity or gender.

I want to say "no" to all violence against individuals and "yes" to respect for all people, regardless of who they are or where they are from or what they believe in or who they voted for. I wanted to say "yes" to protection of the rights of all individuals.

Saying yes to kindness and respect and love is a choice. A very good choice.

No to Torture!

February 27, 2017.  Donald Trump is now tweeting about a return to torture by the United States.  This is wrong.  It is not the American way.  We do not torture human beings now or ever!

See other posts:

Trump in Office: Liberties at Risk

February 20, 2017.  The inauguration of Donald Trump brings with it a time of uncertainty for liberties, here in the United States and around the world.  See my previous post.

I am reactivating this blog to point out concerns and violations of liberty as they are put into place by executive action or legislation.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Trump, Torture, Terrorism and Other Talk

Donald Trump, now the official candidate of the Republican Party, presents a great number of concerns when it comes to sustaining liberty and freedom for all. After such a long primary process, the two major political parties have nominated the two most candidates with the most negatives.   However, where the concerns about Hillary Clinton are more with judgement and some poor decisions made, the concerns with Trump are in the areas of Constitutional rights and even the Geneva Conventions.  

Libertarians cannot support someone who is opposed to the freedoms given to US citizens under our Constitution.  Libertarians cannot support Trump.

Here are some examples that Trump is anti-liberty.

Opposition to Freedom of the Press
When the press has said anything unfavorable to Trump, he has many times said the press is lying or corrupt.  He has called for an end to Freedom of the Press by allowing for libel suits against reporters and news organizations.  This not allowed under the First Amendment.

Trump does not want to play by the rules.  All elected and appointed officials realize that the First Amendment allows the press to say unfavorable things about any public figure.  

Opposition to Freedom of Speech
In many of his rallies, Trump points out someone with a sign opposing him, and he has the person removed, often rallying the crowd to chant something against that person.  According to CNN, Trump has also said, "There used to be consequences to protesting. There are none anymore. These people are so bad for our country, you have no idea, folks."(1)   This attitude goes against the First Amendment.

Again, Trump does not want to play by the rules.  All elected and appointed officials realize that the First Amendment allows the public to say what is on their minds, including saying things unfavorable things about any public figure, and including public protests against officials.

Opposition to Freedom of Religion
Trump at one point has called for both the closing of mosques and registering of all Muslims in the US.  The First Amendment guarantees free exercise of religion.  US citizens who are Muslims have their free exercise of religion.  Closing of places of worship or registering the religion of US citizens is against the constitution!

Trump's War on the Constitution
Trump's oppositions to the First Amendment are just one example of his war on the Constitution.  He proposes many controversial ideas including the wall along the Mexican border and the round-up and deportation of millions of the undocumented, likely without due process of law.  While Trump says he loves the Constitution, that love goes only so far as it doesn't stop him from doing whatever he wants to do.

Recently, Khizr Khan at the Democratic Convention asked Trump if he ever read the Constitution.  I doubt he has.

Trump on Torture and Terrorism
Trump's words on terrorism are most disturbing.  He would bring back waterboarding and worse. (2)  While all of his strongly oppose the barbarian cruelty and deliberate murder by terrorists, Torture is never acceptable.  Period!

Trump also wants to murder the families of terrorists. (3)   This is not only illegal, but also immoral!  When told that General Michael Hayden would refuse to follow illegal orders, Trump came back indicating that they will obey him.  Here, again, Trump is proposing to ignore the Constitution and the law.  

Other Trump Talk
Trump, at a number of times, has said things like "I'd like to punch him." and he'd like to punch a number of speakers at the Democratic Convention.  What kind of candidate advocates violence against individuals who speak critical of him?  Certainly no one who should serve in public life.

Mr. Trump:  You don't understand how we do things in this country!  This is America and we are a free people and we are free to speak, even if you don't like it.  The press have the freedom to print the news as they see it, even if you don't like it.  And American citizens have the freedom to express their religions beliefs, even if they are Muslims.  And we live by the rule of law.

If you don't want to live by our Constitution and the laws of the land, I say, Mr. Trump, get with the constitution or get out of the country!  You are not an American!!


Monday, March 14, 2016

Another Big Tuesday

Another Tuesday and five more big states to divide among the final 6 candidates for President.

Word is that at least Marco Rubio, who is unlikely to win his home state of Florida, will likely drop out.  So would John Kasich, if he looses his home state, Ohio, except that he is likely to get the all his winner-takes-all state delegates.

On the Democrat side, Sanders needs to win a few states to his victor doesn't become mathematically impossible.  While Clinton has seemed to be winning more states, the delegate count is still a race:
  • Clinton 1,223
  • Sanders 574
  • Needed for nomination:  2,383

On the Republican side, the delegate race is still very close, with Cruz not so far behind Trump:
  • Trump     458
  • Cruz       359
  • Rubio     151
  • Kasich     54
  • Needed for nomination:  1,237 
Cruz needs to win a state or two to combine with Kasich winning Ohio to keep Trump short of "inevitable."

The Ides of March will tell where the race is headed.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

You Reap What You Sow

Yesterday, a rally for Presidential candidate Donald Trump was cancelled for safety concerns after waves of demonstrators descended upon the venue.  Demonstrators were protesting various statements Trump had made regarding Mexicans, Muslims, and Black Lives Matters supporters.

Trump has been blaming the demonstrators for inciting emotions and denying him of his 1st Amendment right to speak.

However, from a Libertarian standpoint, Trump is wrong on both counts.  

On the 2nd point, everyone has a 1st Amendment right to speak.  Trump does.  The protesters do.  

Trump also has to get used to the fact that as a public figure, he will get protesters and a press that doesn't always swoon at every word that comes out of his mouth.

On the 1st point, it is Trump who has incited emotions:
  • "The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” (interview on Fox News’ “Media Buzz,” July 5, 2015, quoted in the Washington Post, July 8, 2015)
  • "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."  (Trump campaign press release, quoted by CNN, December 8, 2015)
  • "'I'd like to punch him in the face,' Trump said, remarking that a man disrupting his rally was escorted out with a smile on his face."  (reported by CNN February 23, 2016)
  • "Knock the crap out of him, would you?" (Trump at a rally, reported by US News & World Report, March 11, 2016)
In recent rallies, a photographer was pushed to the ground when walking from the press area, various protesters were pushed and roughed up by security while being taunted while being removed from the venue, and "a reporter for the conservative website Breitbart, was grabbed by the arm and almost forced to the ground, apparently in an effort to prevent her from asking a question of the candidate." (quoted from a report by US News & World Report, March 11, 2016).

Clearly, these statements and actions foster suspicion and even hatred of protesters, as well as those groups he spoke against (Mexicans, Muslims, blacks).  And Trump cannot claim it's the protesters' fault when it is Trump who has said "I'd like to punch him in the face," and "Knock the crap out of him, would you?"

You reap what you sow!