I Never Stepped Over Dead Bodies On the Streets!

Hey, I have this really great idea to provide government subsidized insurance-based healthcare to the 20 million who can’t afford it. (That was the goal, always done before and after Obamacare and never improved by the Obamacare Act.)
We print up 40 million wallet-sized cards, half red, half blue. One card reads “Obamacare. Whatever medical procedures needed will be subsidized by the American taxpayers.” The other color will say “Trumpcare. Whatever medical…”

We use these cards whichever party is in political power.

These cards will be “Means Tested” by the Welfare offices of each state, under federal guidelines.

Now, it is done with only the cost of printing 40 million wallet-sized cards. The government picked up the medical care for the indigent before Obamacare, after Obamacare; before Trumpcare, after Trumpcare…always has, probably always will. This is the price an advanced and rich society pays to not step over dead bodies on the street. We obviously solved this problem long ago because I am 83 and NEVER stepped over a dead body on the streets of America.

Next problem, please!

(Note that the above does not lower the cost of insurance, improve medical care or solve the terrorism crises. Neither did, or would Obamacare or Trumpcare, but my plan does not require 2,000 pages of regulation and thousands of bureaucrats. What it does is remove the embarrassment of not having an insurance card in the ER, which is all Obamacare did, or Trumpcare would.)

You are welcome.

Glad It Failed!

The Trump White House and Paul Ryan lost, but the citizens won.
This was both Obamacare light, and so complicated that it was to have been contained in three separate bills, to be phased in over three phases.

From a political standpoint, Greg Gutfeld got it right. Trump is accustomed to cutting a deal with those who have no ideology, just an economic interest. Politicians have no economic interest, only an ideology.

What am I missing? Eight years ago before Obamacare, were people dying in the streets across America? I don’t think so and I have 83 years to observe America, of which 63 were years of political cognizance.

No, the promise of Obamacare was that it would give medical insurance to some number of millions of uninsured people without costing anyone anything, a promise that could not and has not materialize. DUG,

IT was all an illusion as most political promises are.

Obamacare did not offer one iota of more or better medical care. What Obamacare was, and is, is the offer of a card to be presented in the Emergency Room, instead of being perceived as poor and admitting you have no money and the government must pick up the bill.

Billions for THAT!  Government picks up the bill either way.

Let it fail!

Unions Broke The School System

The San Diego Union reports that hundreds of teachers from the San Diego Unified School District, millions in debt, must lay off hundreds of teachers, and that a huge majority of those teachers will come from the schools in poor neighborhoods. Unions cause this by insisting on “post and bid” where senior teachers get to choose the plum schools, and those in minority districts get the newbies.
Of course the worst schools have the teachers with the least seniority — and get fired first. Why the civil rights groups are not all over this is because they, and the unions are liberal, and there are “No enemies on the left.”

This “post and bid” means that only the most dedicated senior teacher is teaching in troubled schools, if any of them actually exist. Without senior teachers to act as mentors, newly graduated teachers struggle, and many quit.

The system is badly broken.

This is Insane

34 years ago I published a column which my Editor headlined, “Let the Ethiopians Starve.”
That is a bit more harsh put into shorthand than my 500 word column, but essentially correct.

My concept was that there are some parts of the earth that are so inhospitable that if you feed the population they will reproduce, then you will feed their children and grandchildren and…

Nothing has changed. Nothing will.

To exacerbate the problem, we figh againstt disease and war in those inhospitable lands vigorously…disease and war that previously thinned the herd, naturally.

Last week the news reported that 40 million people faced starvation. That proves my concept, writ large.

No it is not a compassionate view, it is a realistic one. Starvation has been a fact of life in parts of the world since the dawn of time. Populations that exceed the ability of the land to feed them have only been fed by international efforts since television brought the specter of dying children surrounded by flies into our living rooms. In living color. 

Our international efforts have brought us more generations to feed. Some of these populations live in countries where oil is plentiful, governments rip off the money, and the governments depend on Western money to feed their hungry.

The only rational solution would be to overturn the corrupt governments — not just in Africa but Venezuela as well, but that cannot happen in our “enlightened world” that now abjures “Colonialism”, so we must resign ourselves to doing what is counterintuitive– throwing money down a rat hole. Forever. 

All the while putting massive efforts into purposely increasing our international charitable load. 

This is insane.

Subsidies, Welfare and Charity

Before we discuss the pros and cons of reducing the funding of the National Foundation for the Arts, or the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, perhaps we should discuss if there should be any federal funding at all.
Just this last week we celebrated the birthday of James Madison, whose pen scratched the US Constitution. I can’t imagine that anyone knew the Constitution better, and he remarked on Congress giving $16,000 to an otherwise group of displaced people: 

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”

If Madison could not find the article, I suggest that neither can you.

That is not to say that individuals and deserving groups should not get assistance or subsidies, only that the proper venue for giving aid is the state, and the 10th Amendment passes that responsibly to them:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

We have spent the 240 years since the signing of the Constitution, finding ways to disobey the law. We have tortured the words to mean what the words do not mean, and the concepts to do what they would not do given the plain English meaning of the words.

Can the Republic be recovered? It is unlikely, but that doesn’t mean it should not be tried. The best hope is that Trump can avoid being institutionalize (no sure bet, there) sufficiently long for him, or his current VP to appoint three or four Supreme Court Justices. A strong Constitutionally based SCOTUS, seated for decades could reestablish a Constitutionally based nation.

I am not sanguine that it could happen. Federalizing an issue is the first answer proposed to every problem, and the Feds have only been too quick to accept the problem, because it gives them the opportunity to employ more people and expand power. That process has continued almost without slowing.

Everyone knows of Dave Crockett, almost for his heroic death at the Alamo as anything, but few recall that after his famous frontier days and before his martyrdom at the Alamo, he was a three-term Congressman from Tennessee. Read this speech he gave on the HouseFloor, (edited for space):

“Mr. Speaker — I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House…

“I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to so appropriate a dollar of the public money….

“Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.”

Crockett was a man of principle. No Congressman took him up on his challenge, and none has since while wildly voting money from the Treasury.

Brick and Mortar Suicide

Yesterday, I learned the hard way why people shop on-line.
I have this former home office, that is a real first-class “study.” It has more than $50,000 in rare Hawaiian Koa wood, and it deserves and has a beautiful and expensive Casablanca fan. 

I had turned the room over to my fine Great Grandson, who has moved out to test his wings, leaving me with a remote to the fan that is inoperable, and lights that don’t light! Teenagers!

Not a problem, say I. I’ll just whisk over to the very expensive fan retailer who already has over a grand of my money for my beautiful fan, in a nearby city. No COSTCO fan for my study!

“Good Morning. I bought a beautiful Casablanca fan about a decade ago…”

“Yes, Mr. Hemphill. We have you in our data base…”

“I am in need of a 12v battery for the remote, and new bulbs as well. I have bought them here before…”

“Yes, Mr. Hemphill, but we no longer carry bulbs or batteries. I can tell you where to get them. It’s called, appropriately, BATTERIES AND BULBS over by the coast. ”

Wonderful. Back on a freeway, and let GPS find BATTERIES AND BULBS. I hate freeways, particularly this one.

“Good morning. I need a 12 volt battery for this remote, and four, 60 watt, medium base, appliance level bulbs.”

“Here is the 12v battery, but I’m afraid we are out of 60 watt, medium base, appliance level bulbs. We can order them for you, if you like.”

Ahhh…no. So far I have gone to two stores, expended a quarter tank of expensive California fuel, fought idiots on the freeway, and have only succeeded in attaining half my quest. I didn’t mention my time because I have lots of that.

So, I drove home, punched up Amazon Prime, ordered what I needed and expect them delivered on my doorstep on Wednesday. 

Brick and mortar were not killed by the Internet. Brick and mortar committed suicide

Trump’s Personality

Trump’s policies must be differentiated from Trump’s personality. His policies are (generally) good, his Cabinet excellent, but the press — both here and abroad concentrate on his personality, which would give a hedgehog a better reputation.
Bad press, regardless of what you think of the press, has a grinding effect on policy. It sucks the oxygen from airtime that could be given to policy. For example, the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee of the House are moving rapidly to reduce frivolous lawsuits. That is huge, and we have all read about a single disabled person using a single attorney to file hundreds of lawsuits against small businesses on minor infractions, knowing the business will settle rather than go to an expensive lawsuit.