21 September, 2009

Just the Truth - National Security

Republicans interred terrorists in Cuba in a time of war

Democrats interred Japanese and German American Citizens in America in a time of war

20 August, 2009

An open letter to the President

Mr. President

Stop blaming your failures on others. I have been at two events dealing with the health care debacle that is occurring. I am not a radical. I am not a racist. I am not an "evil monger". I am not a sheep to follow others blindly. I have not been given a script to read and no one has helped me find my way to these events. Certainly no one has offered to bus me anywhere or printed out signs for me. Fear is not my primary motivation. I am most certainly not bearing false witness. You and your counterparts may be saying these things to create a cloud of doubt or you may honestly believe what you are saying but if you honestly believe that what is occurring is an artificial construct of your political enemies then you truly do not understand the depth of loss of trust in you that is happening.

Many of us voted for you and almost all of us supported you for a while as our President. My neighborhood voted overwhelmingly for you. That would not happen right now. That loss of trust is happening and it is very real.

I and many others who have been persistently trying to politely voice concern and ask questions simply want an honest discussion that occurs over a long enough time period to get the facts out. Instead we are demonized, ignored, and in some cases physically attacked for daring to ask those questions.

In every event I have seen video of, the initial questions were quite polite. It was not until the people were ignored, talked down to or verbally accosted by the reps or their lackeys that things became more tense. At this point your "punching back twice as hard" has caused people to stop turning the other cheek. Even in those scenarios the only escalation is verbal and remarkably mild verbal in comparison to the political discourse of the last few decades (and certainly the last 9 years).

We are not the stupid sheep that we are being made out to be. I know very well that the end of life consultations are not intended as a "death panel" but I also know that they could become exactly that in function if mandated. I realize that the cost of medicare is at the point that it will soon become insolvent but I am not convinced that the way to solve that government induced failure is to impose similar government controls and concepts to the entirety of the rest of health care and to every single citizen of this country.

Fear is not driving us. Knowledgeable concern is driving us. The hubris of trying to forcibly alter (or take over bureaucratic control of) a fifth of our economy in two months without real debate or even one clearly written bill is driving us.

It is not a "Hope" issue it is a "Trust" issue. I do not want to have to hope that I can trust the government.

I am mostly happy with my healthcare. If I wasn't I could always find different care. I am ok with the government trying to find ways to expand the coverage base for the uninsured that want it. I think it is disingenuous to say that the uninsured do not get care though. I would be very OK if the government limited lawyers from specious lawsuits against sound medical practices. I would find it acceptable if the government removed barriers preventing me from having choice in private insurance but I do not want a government option. I believe that more people will "fall through the cracks" in a government system than in the system we currently have.

I am not naive. I know that any government option will eventually force out all of the other options. It will not do this because of fair competition or because it is better. It will do this because it has seemingly endless pockets and can operate at a loss. Seemingly endless because the real cost will be shifted. It will occur in higher taxes. It will occur in the form of inflation as the government prints money to cover shortfalls. It will occur in lower wages because businesses will either be taxed or regulated. It will occur in higher unemployment because thousands of small businesses will have to offset personal tax costs (taxing incomes over $250K). It will occur in reduced care to "less productive" society members (even if they paid their fair dues before). It will also force others out because as part of the government it will eventually regulate out competition. It will create a monopoly. The only thing worse than a monopoly is a government monopoly.

I think that 15% of our economy is worth 6 to 9 months of deliberation and not a hasty political cram.

I respect you and my government. I respect you and my government significantly more than most others respected the previous administration.

I am loosing that respect though. It is difficult to respect people who do not appear to respect me. People who are prejudging based on appearances, racial groupings and socioeconomic status.


Respectfully,

Jim C

PS - I am completely aware that your staff will likely censor this from you but on the off chance you do read it I would certainly be willing to buy you a beer to talk about it.

20 March, 2009

No it isn't a Marvel Iron Man Reactor


It is real.

http://www.sandia.gov/media/z290.htm