Saturday, January 20, 2018

Government Not Working? Refund Out Taxes!

With the Federal government shut down, can we get a discount on our Federal taxes? 

I'd propose we get a refund 1/365 of our annual taxes for each day the government isn't working.  If the government isn't working, then refund our taxes!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

No Shithole Nations

This week we heard reports that the elected leader of the US used an obscene and derogatory term to refer to Haiti and African nations, saying why do we want people from those nations and not a nation like Norway.

Besides the blatant racism of the statement, it is blatantly untrue that the desirability of an immigrating person is related to the nation from which they come.  As a civil engineer, I've worked with other engineers who have come from these countries, including Haiti, Eritrea, Kenya, and Lesotho, specifically. Besides being nice people, they were also good engineers.

I have to conclude that good and talented people come from all nations, even the poorest nations of the world or the nations where some might not expect talented people to come from.

Some nations may be poor. Some may not have the resorts for the rich and famous. But, there are good and talented people that come from these nations.

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!!