Dangers of Police-less-ness

There is a new “abolitionist” movement starting up and it isn’t about abolishing slavery, taxes, or even borders. No, this movement wants to abolish the police. You read that right, they want to end the institution of policing in this country. You know, those people you call when someone breaks into your house or you have an automobile accident. The same people who ride around your neighborhood in the middle of the night to make sure no one is sneaking around trying to break into cars and homes. This group associated with Black Lives Matter wants those pesky people in uniform who are willing to give you directions when you are looking for something in an unfamiliar city or take a bullet for you taken off the streets. They believe that the institution of law enforcement makes the criminals because they believe the penal system is “for profit”. Therefore, giving the police an incentive to create criminals to fill the spaces for them. Don’t take my word for it you can check it out here. If you watched that you may be wondering how abolishing the police would work and what it would do.

First off, let’s address the person in the video. Her name is Janaya Khan and she is the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Canada and has made an appearance at the GWS International Women’s Conference in 2015. She identifies as a queer, gender non-conforming, why she would speak at a “women’s” conference makes no sense for someone who gender non-conforming, and a staunch Afrofuturist. Her views of the world could be considered delusional at best and psychotic at worst. What does she think will happen if there were no police officers around to enforce the law? Would we all hold hands and sing “Kumbaya”? She claims that police don’t keep people safe, and I think she has a point there somewhat. Yes, police are more reactionary as in they show up only after a crime has been committed but they have been proactive in deterring crime by their presence in areas where criminals like to frequent. Some high crime areas have become nearly crime-free due to more patrols in the area. Even though the police can’t be everywhere at once, their presence does help keep people safe so that argument is debunked. I believe your safety is up to you and you can do things to help, if you are inclined you can get a pistol and learn how to use, store, and care for it. That is what the 2nd amendment is all about.

 

Now we need to address some of the statements in the video about the police and the justice system. She stated that the prison system was “for profit” but that just isn’t the case. Most of the prisons, penitentiaries, and jails in the US are run by local, state, or federal agencies and not corporations. The few prisons that are run privately have less overcrowding and are usually low security for petty offenders who spend less than a year there. She stated that police had an incentive to “create” criminals. I don’t see how that could be true. Is she saying that everyone serving time was an innocent person framed by the police? The phrase, “prisons are full of innocent people” is not about innocent people being put in prison, on the contrary, it means everyone in prison will say they are innocent even if they were caught in the act. Criminals are criminals because they break the law. If you rob someone at gunpoint, even when you’re having a “bad day” you should be punished for that crime. Running a red light and saying you were upset about your boyfriend might let you off the hook but I don’t believe the same excuse would work after you murder him. The difference is in the law that you broke. Running a red light is a minor traffic offense that usually carries a fine, no jail time and even some jurisdictions will let you go to traffic school instead. On the other hand, killing someone on purpose and not in self-defense is a serious felony that, depending on the degree, could get the death penalty. With the advent of forensic science, it is harder for a criminal to get away just as it is harder to convict an innocent person. Not that it doesn’t still happen but it is less common today than ever before.

 

Now let’s talk about weaponizing skin color and the reasons that there is a difference between the number of white people in prison as opposed to black and Hispanic. The black community has claimed that black men are targeted by police for nothing more than being black and they are arrested for the same thing. I have never seen a mugshot in our local paper or on the sheriff’s website with the caption, “arrested for being black” under it. Most have a crime whether it is a petty crime such as theft, harassment, or trespassing or more serious crimes such as rape, murder, and assault under the mugshot. I live in a mixed community where there are black, white, Hispanic, and Asian people living in the same area. On my local sheriff’s website, just this evening (May 23, 2017) there were 51 mugshots. Out of those, 24 were black and out of the 24, 5 were female. That means that black males made up 36% of those arrested today. That is a far cry from the portrayal that Ms. Khan is putting forth. If her statements were true there should have been a 90% black male arrest rate. I have been binge watching Forensic Files and have noticed that about 85% of the cases involve white or Latino perpetrators not black. This also flies in the face of the statement that black people are unfairly arrested.

 

In another statement, she said that mosques and churches have stopped calling police in their areas. I believe the mosque statement but not so much about the churches, there are several areas in many countries including the US that are majority Muslim and are called “no go zones” where police will not enter for fear of assault or assassination. As long as you are Muslim or not white, you have safe passage through these zones. Therefore she said they were working so well, the fact is that these areas are dangerous for white males and especially white females. Reports from Paris document sexual assaults on women and girls as young as 15 in areas labeled “no go zones” and the media in France will not divulge the identity of the assailants as Muslim. As far as a justice system is concerned, these areas use Sharia Law as the basis for their laws. The mosques are the courts and under Sharia, only Muslims are recognized as legitimate and therefore any crime perpetrated against an infidel (non-Muslim) is justified and there is no punishment. On the other hand, if an infidel commits a crime against a Muslim or Islam, they can be subjected to harsh punishments including beheading. There is no real sense of justice as the infidel is not allowed representation in Sharia courts.

 

The statement that was most asinine was when she talked about not having prisons and that we should move to transitional justice system. With no policing and no jails, she thinks that would be a great way to change the current justice system. I wonder if she would feel that way when it comes to Dylan Roof or others convicted of racially motivated crimes. What would a jail free system really look like? How would we deal with violent criminals who refuse to give up their ways and continue to commit crime including murder and rape? Her suggestion was to have trained rapid response justice teams respond to a crisis. How would these teams be trained and what kind of response would they have? We already have such a system, it is called first responders which include the police. The term “rapid response justice team” is a euphemism for “vigilante justice” because such a team could be like the judges in Judge Dredd that have the power to try, convict, and punish the offender without a trial by jury. Trial by jury is the cornerstone of our justice system along with the prohibition of warrantless searches and the right to legal representation regardless of ability to pay. To do away with police in favor of “rapid response justice teams” would erode the Constitutional protections to which every citizen in the US is entitled. While our justice system is not perfect, it is still the best model for fair and impartial application of the law. It has been misused in the past but with advancements in technology and forensics there are less chances the wrong person will be convicted of a crime.

 

She also stated that “undocumented immigrants” and some black communities are fearful of calling the police in a crisis. Do these same communities fear calling an ambulance or fire department? I would think not. So, why do they fear police? The short answer is that the police have the power to arrest anyone that is suspicious at the scene. Illegal aliens, I do not call them undocumented immigrants, are technically breaking the law by being the US without going through the proper channels and therefore could be arrested. The truth is that many times police are more concerned about catching the violent criminal than about the victim’s immigration status. I have heard this from police officers who have been called out to Hispanic neighborhoods for very heinous crimes. The last thing on their mind is whether the person reporting the crime is a legal resident, instead they are wanting to apprehend the perpetrator before they can commit another crime. While the fear of deportation is present, the immediate focus of police responding to an emergency is the safety of the people and not their status.

 

While the belief that police target black people, especially men for arrest may seem true on the surface, nationwide statistics do not support it. In individual cities, the rates may be higher but this could be due to the percentage of other races in comparison to all others. For instance, a city with a large percentage of Hispanic population will have a higher rate of Hispanic arrests, mainly for misdemeanors. The issue here is that if you live in an area where most everyone is your race, you will feel that you are being harassed by police because the only people you see at any given time are your race. As far as a black person looking suspicious by being in a mostly white neighborhood, that door swings both ways. A friend and her sister, both white, were pulled over around 2:30 AM in a mostly black neighborhood. The cop was black and he asked them what they were doing in the area. They stated they had dropped off a friend in another neighborhood and they were told the route they were on was the quickest to get to the interstate to go home. He explained to them that they had looked “out of place” in the neighborhood and he stated that there were known drug dealers there. After he was satisfied that they were not there for nefarious reasons he sent them on their way with a warning to be careful. The same thing happened to a young black male friend with the same result. Checking on people who don’t look like they belong in an area, especially during off hours is not racial profiling, it is common sense policing. I am not saying that racial profiling does not happen and I do not support it, but there was logical reason behind its use.

 

The unfortunate truth is that young black males are more likely to be in a gang and involved in criminal activity. This is not due to race but to culture. The youth in the black community for many years has embraced a culture of violence and drug use. It is reflected in a popular music that started in the black community called Hip-Hop. In the beginning, Hip-Hop was just another music genre that seemed to be a spoken version of rock. Many of the early Hip-Hop artists, also known as rappers, wrote songs that were about the same thing all other genres were singing about. Much of the theme in early Hip-Hop was about fun and parties of course there were references to sex and violence but most was not graphic. In the late 1980’s there was a group called N.W.A. that was from Compton, CA and released an album that was much different in tone and lyrics than anything before it. From that point, there was a new subgenre called gangsta rap which made social commentary but also glorified a lifestyle that included crime and drugs. The music industry compared the subgenre to the death metal movement that came from the hard rock genre. Unlike death metal, gangsta rap caught on despite criticism and mainstream radio stations refusing to play it. It mainly found fans in the black community but soon had spread to other communities with new artists coming on the scene. During the same time, gang activity was increasing as young men without fathers felt they could only be accepted by the gang. This is another issue that the black community refuses to acknowledge and calls anyone who points it out as racist.

 

Since the 1960’s there has been a stark contrast in the US as far as family is concerned. Starting with President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society”, a plan that was supposed to reduce poverty and racial injustice there has been a rash of missing fathers. Programs that were intended to help struggling families ended up creating generational dependency on the government. One of the unintended consequences of the programs was the elimination of the father from the family. The “welfare” program made it more profitable for a woman to have a child without a man in the household. This incentivized single-parent households that exploded in the late 1960’s starting in the black community, the most impoverished at the time. After 50 years, these policies that were to reduce poverty have not changed the poverty rate in the US by much. In some areas the rate has increased while it has stayed about the same elsewhere. Once again, the lack of fathers in the family led to more young men growing up without a responsible, mature male influence. In the absence of this influence, more of these young men have sought belonging in gangs since they held more allure than most other avenues and activities. It was also a way to keep safe in the neighborhood where members of the gang were not targeted for crime. The gangs went from protecting their neighborhood to becoming the threat through drugs and violence. While some have left the gang life, there are more young men entering the dangerous lifestyle.

 

We must acknowledge that there are people in the world with no morals, scruples, or even a sense of common decency. No society can survive without rules and laws that set the minimum standard of behavior in the society. The US was unique in the fact that the founders tried to balance freedom with law and order. Even with laws, there are always people in the society that will not obey the law so there will always be lawlessness. Crime is not a black or white or brown issue it is a human issue that has been with us from the beginning of time, no matter when you believe that was. Humans have the capacity to do good but more often will gravitate toward evil. This part of human nature makes it easier to be lawless than to be lawful, in other words, it is harder to obey a law than it is to break it, especially if the risk of being caught is low. This is the reason for policing in the community. Lack of law enforcement encourages law-breaking when there is no chance of punishment. That would put the role of justice in the hands of the victims of crimes and eliminate the rights of the accused to have a trial and face their accuser. This would turn many large cities into war zones with people who even feel they have been wronged seeking vengeance. That situation leads to the families of those who met with vigilante justice to hold a vendetta against the victim that sought vengeance, thereby perpetrating an endless cycle reminiscent of the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. Law enforcement would not be necessary if we lived in a perfect world where no one did anything wrong, but we don’t live in that world so law enforcement is absolutely necessary.

 

What would really help all communities and reduce the overall number of people in prison is to live lawfully. For the young people, staying in school and avoiding drugs and gangs would be a start. We need to reject the ideology of the Left, the Socialists, and the divisive people that try to blame other groups for their problems. We need to understand that the way to prosperity is not an easy journey and many times we will have setbacks but we must be willing to keep going. The government can only give to you that which it has taken from someone else. You would not go to your neighbor and rob them at gunpoint so why would you want the government to do it for you? When you depend on the government to give you something, it will only give you what it believes is fair and no one can get ahead when the government oversees their lives. The only true way out of poverty is to gain a marketable skill either through education or training and go out into the workplace and build your career. Depending on your skill level and your willingness to learn more and work hard, you can achieve a better life than government can ever give you. You just have to be diligent and not be lured into the traps of the streets.

 

The Unlocked Door

Let’s start off with a fundamental fact of life. No one from one country has the right to enter another country without going through the proper channels and getting the permission of the country’s government usually by way of visas and passport stamps. This fact is known by anyone who has traveled internationally or have seen shows about international travel. Also many countries have very harsh penalties for violating their immigration laws by entering illegally, staying past your allotted time (visa limit), and lying about your intentions for entering the country. In the US a growing number of people, mostly on the Left, are advocating for those who have broken the laws governing entry into our country and are in the US illegally. There are even government officials in high ranking positions local, state, and federal that want to protect these lawbreakers from any and all penalties for their violations. Can you imagine if these people were advocating the same thing for serial killers?

For the sake of argument, let’s imagine that you left your house unlocked and went to work. When you get home you find a strange man sitting on your sofa eating a sandwich made from the food in your fridge and drinking one you your drinks. The first thing any rational person would do after getting away from the person would be to call the police. So the police arrive and you expect them to carry the man away in handcuffs but instead they tell you that there is nothing they can do. The man has a right to be in your house without your permission. To add insult to injury, they also inform you that you are now responsible for this person’s well being. How would you like that? Chances are, you wouldn’t. That is exactly what is happening to the US. Illegal aliens (that is what they were called before the PC crowd started saying it was insensitive) are coming into the country through a vastly unsecured border and making themselves at home. When these people are caught, especially in cities that call themselves sanctuary cities the local law enforcers are told that they have to let them go.

While I do acknowledge that there are many hardworking, mostly honest (except for that breaking the law thing), and determined people that come here in search of a better life, there are those who come here with nefarious intentions. Some of the illegal aliens carry drugs, people, and even diseases that if they came through the proper channels would be caught. Some may even be a part of a terrorist network. Therefore, as long as we have an unlocked door (unsecured border) we are at risk of possible attacks or epidemics, some of which may be intentional. We are in fact inviting calamity into our nation by virtue of an unsecured border, lax law enforcement, and the existence of sanctuary cities. Many of the advocates for these “undocumented immigrants” say it is inhumane to punish them for breaking the law. They somehow feel that people who are here illegally have the right to be here and should not face the consequences for their actions even if the person has committed other crimes as well. These same people, mostly Democrats, vehemently oppose the proposed wall on our southern border with Mexico. This is just plain lunacy.

Back to our example now. After a while, you either get the man to leave or he decides he is going somewhere else and leaves on his own and you are finally rid of him. You decide that you don’t want this to happen again so you start locking your door when you leave the house. A couple of days later you return home to find the police outside your house. When you ask what is going on, you are told that you can no longer lock your house because it is wrong to keep people out. When you argue that you don’t want people just coming into your home you are called “racist”, “xenophobic”, and a “white supremacist” by your neighbors. So now you are forced to leave your home open to anyone who would like to come in. This is similar to what is happening in our discourse on the subject of not only the issue of illegal aliens but the proposed border wall.

Right now in the US if you call for the enforcement of current immigration law you are labeled as many things including having no compassion for immigrants. The terms xenophobe, racist, white supremacist, anti-immigrant, and myriad other demeaning and derogatory expressions are used against anyone who would dare speak out about ILLEGAL immigration. The thing that the Democrats have been doing lately is to equate immigration to illegal immigration as if those who come to the US the right way and go through the process are the same as those who enter illegally. This way they can label those opposed to illegal aliens as being anti-immigrant. They use the fact that the US is a nation of immigrants to shame and dismiss opposition but the fact of the matter is that they don’t know or understand history and the American culture.

While it is true that most of us in the US are the descendants of immigrants and we still have people immigrating here today, most of our ancestors came here in a legal manner. They arrived here over the two centuries that the US has been around and came here to build a better life and assimilate into the culture. Many brought parts of there culture with them but they began to take on the prevailing culture in the US. Many of those immigrants added to the culture whether it was with food such as the Italians, French, Chinese, Mexicans, and Dutch or with style, architecture, or inventions. The fact of the matter is that these immigrants wanted to become Americans and left much of there past lives behind in their old country. They believed in the American dream that if you work hard, were diligent, and persevered that you could improve your life and gain wealth and freedom. Many immigrants came from places where, even today, this was an impossibility. This is not always the case with illegal aliens.

Within recent years, there has been a movement among the Hispanic population especially in California centered around the belief that the state as well as much of the southwest and west were illegally obtained by the US and should still belong to Mexico. Groups have advocated for rights for illegal aliens on this premise that they are citizens due to the California not legitimately being a part of the US. These same groups urge those from Mexico, Central, and South America not to assimilate into the US. They refuse to speak or learn English and fly the flag of their country instead of accepting the US flag. During protests they are seen waving Mexican flags and burning US flags as a demonstration of their defiance of the US. This anti-American movement has actually found an ally in the Democratic Party and with Liberal activists that want a border-less US. This would be a huge mistake that could spell the end of our national sovereignty.

While the border wall is not popular with Democrats and activists, those in the middle of the US and some Conservative Hispanic groups support the wall and increased border patrol as a way of combating the influx of illegal aliens, drugs, weapons, and human trafficking that right now is a serious problem. A majority of US citizens both native (born in the US) and immigrant want to see immigration law reform that both addresses the current illegal alien problem and makes it easier and better for those from south of the border to gain legal entry, work, and possible citizenship and encourages people to take the proper way into the US. By setting out the specific requirements that are both fair and reasonable for those coming in through Mexico, we can make the process less expensive and more streamlined. That would be a change from enforcing the broad law and giving special consideration to our southern border. In turn, this would help curb illegal border crossing and human trafficking and may save some lives as there are many people who die on the journey to and across the border.

One more thing of note are the travel restrictions placed on people from certain parts of the world that denies entry for some. As I stated in the opening, there is no right for a person from one country to enter another. It is the prerogative of the country to be entered as to who they will allow in. Barring entry into the US of people from certain areas or countries is neither immoral nor unconstitutional. In fact, the US has denied entry from war torn nations, nations at war with us, and hostile nations for all of its history. This is nothing new or uncommon for any country. On a daily basis, there are hundreds of people around the world who are denied entry into other countries for whatever reason from improper passport paperwork to not having the correct immunizations. Michael Savage was banned from entering the UK because of his criticism. Canada may not let a person enter if they have been convicted of a DUI even in another country because it is a felony there. Muslim countries are known for not letting non-Muslims enter or severely restrict travel within the country. North Korea has very strict rules on who is allowed in and where they may go. Some countries even charge fees and tariffs that travelers must pay to gain entry. To say The US is wrong, immoral, and unjust to limit entry for certain people from parts of the world is dishonest at best and treacherous at worst.

A sovereign nation must have borders and limitations on entry. It must also enforce the law that governs the border and immigration consistently and fairly. It must not allow unauthorized entry to be an automatic right to stay. The US is a country made up of individual states but no state has the right to ignore or violate federal law and is obligated by its very participation in the union to enforce all laws passed by Congress. To defy the law is the same as breaking the law as was seen in the Roy Moore case when he refused to remove a monument from the courthouse rotunda. In the eyes of the law, these politicians who will not comply with immigration enforcement are guilty of obstruction of justice and should be indicted on federal charges. As for those who advocate open borders, they must realize that no nation can stand if it has no sovereignty and without borders, enforcement of the law, and punishment for lawbreakers a nation loses its sovereignty and legitimacy in the eyes of other nations which often times leads to invasion or collapse.

In order to have effective and comprehensive immigration reform we must address each issue individually and not try to create a bill or law that would be massive and incomprehensible. This is a step-by-step process that should be followed by definitive action. While there is room for debate on the finer points of each issue there are a few things that should be universally accepted. First, there should be no disagreement that we need to secure the border. We can build a fence, wall, or some other barrier that would impede border crossing where there is not a checkpoint. Until it is agreed what type of barrier is to be used and until it is built there should be increased patrols in areas where there is a lot of activity. Second, we must determine what to do about those already here illegally. This is easier said than done but we can start by categorizing them into groups based on how long they have been here and if they have established residency. We may also look at how productive they are. Are they gainfully employed or running their own business or are they on government assistance and why? These questions will help determine who is here to build a life and those who are taking advantage of social programs. At that point, each situation can be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Finally we will need to determine what laws other than immigration laws have been broken and to what extent. Chances are that if a person is here illegally and working or running a business they have obtained a Social Security card illegally Some of those people may have committed identity theft or at least received a stolen identity. Either way, there must be recompense for those actions granted not as severe in some cases. Then those who we have found to be productive and established need to be made legitimate by getting the proper paperwork and documents to allow them to continue legally in the US. Those who have been here a short time and have no permanent residence or anyone to sponsor them should be deported as per the law. They will be allowed to come back through the proper channels once they have the necessary documentation. Those on assistance programs should be evaluated to see if they are on assistance on a temporary basis or if there is a physical or mental issue that is the cause. Of course, we want to be fair and humane so that those in real need of help are getting it but at the same time we cannot allow non-citizens unlimited, unrestrained access to programs intended for citizens. This is a balancing act that should and must be given careful consideration in order to be fair but in adherence to the law. While there is no perfect solution and as with all proposals there will be scrutiny, we must not allow the mean spirited name-calling and demoralization to become the focus of debate. We must communicate and listen carefully to each side and work to find common ground and compromise points that can unite us in the effort to protect the nation but give all who wish to have a better life a way to achieve it legally and honestly.

The Pitfalls of Healthcare

If you claim to like the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare then it really has not affected you directly. You either have employer provided health insurance, are so rich you can pay out of pocket for health services, you are on your parent’s plan, or you are on Medicare or Medicaid and do not directly pay your premiums. Otherwise you are young, healthy, or do not need medical care outside of annual checkups or preventative screenings all of which are covered under most insurance plans by law. I would guess that a majority of people fall into one, or more, of these categories. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a political post but rather the story of my experience with health insurance purchased through the http://www.healthcare.gov website. It does not matter if you are left or right, liberal or conservative, or anything in between this is a direct insight into the consequences the law has had on me. When the law was being proposed I said that it was the wrong direction to take with healthcare. I stated that giving the federal government so much control over healthcare would be disastrous for a lot of people, especially those between 35 and 65 and in the middle class. I knew by how it was discussed on both sides that it would not work as intended, so fast forward a few years.

Shortly after the law was passed, I switched jobs. At my former job I did have insurance but I was working 72 miles from home and spending a lot of money on gas, not to mention an hour and half drive one way. I was offered a better paying job close to home (14 miles) through a temp to hire arrangement with an IT company based in Chicago. While that company did offer insurance, it was rather expensive and was limited outside Illinois so I opted to wait to get insurance until I was offered a full-time position with the company with which I was contracted. It was going to be 6 months to a year which was the average for temp to hire. Six months passed then a year and before long I was looking at two years in a temp to hire basis. The IT company did give me a raise and the contract company assured me that when they were able, they would hire me but at the time it was tough financially for them. In December 2016 I decided we needed to get some insurance before the new year and the fines would go into affect. We first tried to buy directly from Blue Cross Blue Shield but found the lowest plan we could get would cost more than $600 a month. We then checked Medishare, a Christian based medical sharing plan. But because I still smoked, we could not go that route. We finally visited the healthcare marketplace. This is where I first got a taste of what the Affordable Care Act had become and just how bad it had gotten.

In2010 we had private insurance (not through my employer) through Blue Cross Blue Shield for $313 a month which was cheaper than that offered by my employer. The insurance had a $5,000 deductible but covered office visits with $20 co-pays and $50 co-pays for outpatient services. The deductible did not come into effect until you were admitted to the hospital. For that time, this was great coverage. I had a hernia repaired and it cost me all of $50, including an overnight stay in the hospital. At the time I was an over-the-road truck driver and decided to become a local driver which paid less so I had to drop the insurance. It wasn’t until 2012 when I took a job with the state that I had insurance again. This insurance was just as good as the private insurance I had before. I was there until 2014 when I was offered the job I currently have. Because of the expense of the insurance and the fact it was limited, I decided not to get insurance due to the fact that the fines would not go into affect for at least two years. At that time, there were two providers on the marketplace, Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Healthcare.

When I had not been hired full-time with the company I was contracted for work and the fines would be implemented in 2017, I decided to take another look at the marketplace to see if there were any plans that would fit my needs. When I checked it out there was only one provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare was no longer available. I also noticed that the plans had increased in price with the lowest price going from $54 to $131 a month. So I looked over the plans offered and what I found was disturbing to say the least. First, the lowest plan was $131 a month and it would cover all “preventative visits and screenings” but all diagnostic procedures are not covered until the deductibles were met. This plan had an over $10,000 deductible. The next plan was $350 a month and had a $7,200 deductible. As with the cheaper plan, it to did not cover diagnostic procedures until the deductible was met. The last plan offered was a whopping $700 a month but did have co-pays for office visits and some outpatient procedures. The deductible was still $7,200 but would only be applicable in hospital admissions. I felt we were in good health so we chose the one we could afford which was the $131 a month plan. It would have been $600 without the subsidy.

I purchased the plan in January but it did not go into affect until March. I decided since I had coverage for an annual exam that I would go to my doctor. He did the exam and blood tests and I thought all was fine until I got a call from his office. He informed me that I was iron deficient and we needed to find out why. I knew I had rectal bleeding from hemorrhoids but did not think they were the cause. My doctor sent me first to have that checked and it was found they were not bad enough to need surgery. That is when they sent me to a Gastroenterology doctor that ordered a colonoscopy and EGD. I was scheduled and ready for the procedure when the surgical facility called and told me that I would need to have $875 for the procedure. When I consulted my insurance provider they informed me that because I am not yet 50 that the colonoscopy was considered a diagnostic test it would only be covered after my deductible was met. At the time, I only had $215 paid toward my deductible. I did not have the $875 so I had to cancel the procedure until I could save up the money which, on my own, would take months. I wondered why it was set up this way that is when I found out what the law really did.

The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, or the healthcare law as people have called it did two things that caused this dilemma. First it mandated that everyone must have insurance coverage which caused the rates to increase due to the inclusion of preexisting conditions and high risk patients into the marketplace. Second, it divided the services into two categories, diagnostic and preventative, while allowing very high deductibles on lower rate plans. This was to entice young, healthy people to get the lower rate insurance because they would only need preventative coverage. This is when I found out the difference between diagnostic and preventative services.

Preventative services are any tests or screenings used primarily to check the overall health of a person. These can include blood tests, urine tests, and X-rays for most all insured people. Some have age limitations such as the colonoscopy and mammograms. In my case it was the colonoscopy. I am 44 and the law states that you must be 50 or older for the colonoscopy to be considered preventative. This is due to the recommendation of the healthcare community that has set the prime age for screening at 50. The problem is that the law does not take into account the caveat that was also put forth that those with a family history of colon cancer or have high risk factors should be screened earlier. This means that a 30 year old person with a family history and/ or risk factors would still not be covered for the screening due to their age. My problem was that the colonoscopy order by the doctor was considered diagnostic in nature.

Diagnostic services are also tests and screenings of the same nature as preventative services but performed because there is a known issue for this reason the test is considered diagnostic. For instance, if a 50 year old man has a colonoscopy ordered without symptoms or indications of illness, the test is preventative. But if the same man has an order for the same procedure because of symptoms or abnormal blood test it becomes diagnostic and therefore falls into the area of covered after deductible. It is the same procedure for the same man, the only thing that has changed are the circumstances for the procedure. This is how it was explained to me by my insurance provider. This is a direct result of the healthcare law.

You might ask why I did not buy the top plan in the marketplace or at least the middle plan. It all boils down to finances. When I had the insurance in 2010 I had fewer bills than I do now. My wife was the caregiver for her mother who could no longer drive so my wife was the one to take her to doctor’s appointments and dialysis three times a week. Her parents in turn would help with gas and other things so we had more disposable income available to us. Since that time, her parents have passed away and we are buying a home and we are helping her son and soon to be daughter-in-law by maintaining the car insurance and cellphone (which was a plan her dad was able to get and we can’t get a better deal) for the family. So when it came to picking a plan, we were limited on what we could spend. The $700 plan was out because it was way too expensive, our mortgage is less than $600. The $350 plan may have been manageable but would have left no room for savings or added expenses. We settled on the $131 plan thinking we would only use it for annual checkups and any savings we would get on prescriptions. That is when we were hit with the unexpected.

Due to the way the coverage is, I need to raise $875 or more to cover the cost of the tests I need. I can save the money up on my own but it will take a while during which time my condition, whatever it is, may go from treatable to not treatable and that is the concern I have. To help in this endeavor, I have started a Go Fund Me page and have already reached the halfway point. So anyone who is reading this and wants to help you can donate here . Thank you for reading.

A Call to Arms?

It’s been almost a week now since the election and there are still protests going on around the country. It is a Constitutionally protected right to peacefully assemble and voice your opinion freely if you are not causing harm or interfering with others. While I do support the right to protest anything you wish, I must bring to light a few things about these protests and the violence that seems to follow them. Before we address the current protests let’s cover the point for protests and the reason for protesting.

 First, a protest can be a vehicle for change. During the 1960s, the civil rights movement used the protest to bring attention to the inherent unfairness of segregation especially in the South. With marches and civil disobedience, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated himself to peaceful protests while trying to unify people against segregation. At no point in his speeches did he ever call for the destruction of white businesses or the death of white people. He called for God to help change minds and hearts to see blacks as people, equal in the eyes of the law. He wanted unity between black and white, not separation. He wanted to see the day when black children and white children would play, go to school and worship together without the scourge of racism and bigotry. For the most part, his dream has come true.

 Secondly, a protest can be used to raise awareness of an issue either in support or opposition to of that issue. Each year on the anniversary of the landmark Roe vs Wade decision that legalized abortion, pro-life protesters march to the Supreme Court building to show their opposition to the decision. At the same time, pro-choice advocates show their support for the same. Both sides have speakers and carry signs but neither are violent toward the other. Although there is little chance of reversing the decision, the pro-life advocates use the opportunity to raise awareness of their position and hope to sway public opinion to their side. This has worked to a degree. Today more young people identify as pro-life than in years past.

 Consider for a moment today’s protest over the election and what people in these protests are saying, not only of President-elect Donald Trump but of his supporters. First off, what change are the protest supposed to bring? The election has been decided and there is little possibility that the protesters will sway the electoral college from voting the will of the people. They are protesting something, for all intents and purposes, cannot be changed unlike the segregation laws.  Secondly, whose opinion are they trying to sway? Those who supported Trump will not likely stop supporting him especially when the protesters call them racist, homophobes, bigots and Nazis. Insulting someone will never win them over to your side or even give them cause for consideration of your view.

 Finally, there are the calls for Trump’s assassination, the raping of his wife and even the killing of his supporters. These protesters carry signs that say “Love Trumps Hate” but spew some of the most hateful words to ever cross one’s lips. This comes on the heels of a man being beat up and robbed by a group accusing the guy of voting for Trump and after a young girl was beaten for an Instagram post in support of Trump. Calls for violence against your fellow citizens is not a protest, it is terrorism. Just because you don’t like the outcome does not give you the right to threaten the lives and liberties of others. Those on the Left are already calling for violence against people who support Trump using the defunct narrative that only white people voted for Trump. They claim they are standing with the “oppressed” while promoting oppression.

 Moreover, most of the protesters are paid by George Soros, a billionaire globalist who would like to see the US become a Socialist country under the control of a one world government. These are not “organic” protests but rather artificial uprisings of like-minded Socialist, Communist and Anarchist activists hell-bent on the overthrow of our Constitution and complete eradication of the rule of law. Ever wonder why these protests seem to be in large, liberal cities? These cities have very strict gun laws and they know that they will likely not face resistance from the citizens. If they were to try this violent rioting in an area where there would be armed citizens, they would fight back instead of becoming victims. I have a stern warning for those wanting to start a revolution or civil war. Beware what you ask for, you might just get it. Some may consider that a threat but I am not threatening anything but I can see that if the these protesters follow through on their threats, there will be push back.

And So It Begins

I have been checking out the news around the country after the election and what I see is quite disturbing and disheartening. In protest after protest, the Left in this country are showing their true colors. While I believe in the right of the people to peacefully protest and speak their minds I don’t think the way to do it is to disrupt other’s lives and livelihoods by burning things and breaking windows. In some news reports people are advocating violence and death to those that voted for Donald Trump. All this while carrying signs that read, “Love Trumps Hate”. Calling for violence is the furthest thing from love. Mind you, these are the same people who protest war that are basically calling for war although they use the term “revolution”.

 

Most of these protests are organized by Socialist organizations that wish to promote Socialism in the US and overthrow our Constitution. These groups supported Bernie Sanders and then Hillary Clinton and were the same group telling the American people they would have to accept the results of the election if she had won. Now they are not accepting the results because their candidate did not win. There is a lot of hypocrisy there. They are showing us and the rest of the world that the will of the people when it goes against their desires is not to be honored. They are also burning the American flag which indicates to me that they don’t love their country. These groups are not true patriotic Americans by no stretch of the imagination. They promote a form of government that has been proven time and time again that it will fail.

 

Then you have the “social justice warriors” that believe every problem in the US and the world is caused by white men and whiteness. This group is primarily composed of professors that have taught their students that white, or Western values holds back minorities and women and that the only way to overthrow it is to have a Communist society that punishes the “rich white” men and redistributes wealth. They believe that only then will society be fair. They call Trump and racist even though they cannot point out a single instance of racism, in fact, Trump got more of the black and Hispanic vote than Romney did. They call Trump sexist but Bill Clinton had been accused of rape and had visited the island that was notorious for child sex.  Not to mention Clinton only got 1% more of the women’s vote than President Obama did. By the way, Trump got less of the white vote than Romney did.

 

This election was a rejection of the globalist, socialist, communist and elitist ideologies that have been indoctrinated into our society through the university system. This election was an affirmation that we believe Capitalism and free markets, when government gets out of the way, will work for more people and lift more people out of poverty.  These violent protests just show us that if the Left cannot get their agenda passed in the ballot box they will try to force it on the people by violence. They use name-calling and intimidation to push their views on others just like the Bolsheviks in Russia. We cannot allow them to corrupt our election system by causing unrest and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power that has stood the test of time.

The Unequal Law

So Kenneth Bone is afraid that Donald Trump’s Supreme Court selections would take us backward on equal rights.  I’m not sure which rights he thinks would be reversed.  Right now, it does not matter the color of your skin or what gender you are, you have the same rights that everyone else does under the law.  So again, I’m not sure what he is talking about but I can tell you that there are laws that are unevenly applied but no one seems too concerned about them.  In fact, most people cheer these laws and want them to be even more unbalanced.  You might be wondering what law in the US is applied unequally.  It is the US income tax code.

 The income tax code in the US is one of the most complicated, convoluted, and onerous in the world.  From exemptions and write-offs to deductions and tax credits it is very hard for the average person to calculate their taxes every year.  Accountants and tax preparers are always busy around April and many people are anticipating their return, that is, if they have overpaid.  The politicians like to use the tax code to promise to make the rich “pay their fair share” and give more tax breaks to the poor and lower income levels.  It all sounds good, unless of course you are rich.  The belief that the rich don’t pay enough taxes is a myth and has been refuted by several different sources.  The truth is that the top 20% of wage earners pay nearly 70% of all income taxes while the bottom 20% pay nothing and even get money back over what they have paid in.  This is why I say the income tax code is inequality in action.

 We in the US should expect fairness in all laws and the Constitution guarantees this in the 14th Amendment Section 1.  All laws should be applied equally among the people but yet we cheer the unequal application of the income tax law.  If we are all equal under the law regardless of our race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and marital status, why is income suddenly the exception?  Am I somehow less of a citizen if I make $100,000 compared to if I make $50,000?  Still in yet, if I made the higher amount, barring any available deductions, I would be taxed at a higher rate than I would making the lower amount.  This is discrimination based on income and is the only discrimination that is celebrated.  Yet it did not begin this way.

 The Constitution clearly stated in Article I Section 9 that no direct taxes would be levied.  But in 1913, the 16th Amendment was ratified for the direct taxation on income in the US.  This was originally promised to be a tax on the top 1% of incomes.  Does this sound familiar?  Ultimately, as with all laws, the abuse started.  Soon the law was changed and amended to include more people and lower income levels.  At one point in the US the top rate was near 95%.  That means that if you made over the threshold of the top income, you would pay $0.95 of every dollar above that level to the government.  People rarely paid this top rate due to deductions and write-offs written into the tax code over the years.  Still there was a true divide over taxes.  The Democrats always promised to raise taxes on the rich while Republicans urged lower taxes on everyone.

 It wasn’t until John F. Kennedy argued for lower taxes that Democrats even warmed to the idea.  Still the top tax rate was 70% but something unexpected happened after the tax rates were lowered.  There was more money coming into the government than before.  The same phenomenon occurred in the 1980s when the tax rates were reduced once again.  Liberal economists were aghast by the fact that with lower tax rates revenue was increased.  Most of them believed it was the economy and not tax rates but they still could not explain it.  The fact is when more people have more money due to low taxation, they spend that money and invest more as they have more to work with, this is especially true for the rich.  When those who earn more get to keep more of what they earn, they will be willing to invest in new technologies, new business ventures, and even buy more high-end items.  With this ability to spend, new business is created and more people are put to work, therefore adding new taxpayers to the mix.  Even with all the evidence that lower tax rates spur economic growth, the Democrats keep calling for higher taxes on the rich. 

 Many people think that the more you make, the more you should pay in taxes but they fail to realize that this would be true if everyone paid the same rate.  Let’s face it, 10% of $100,000 is more than 10% of $10,000.  Instead, those who make more are forced to pay taxes at a higher rate.  Let’s be honest, would you feel it were fair if you and another person were both issued a traffic ticket and the judge fined you more based of the fact you drove a nicer car?  You would upset and feel it was unconstitutional, and you would be right.  According to the Constitution, both of you should be fined the same for the same offense but that logic does not seem to apply to income taxes.  Furthermore, if you make one dollar over the tax bracket you are in, your taxes can increase by a greater margin than the increase of your income negating such an increase.  It all becomes confusing to say the least.  There are two alternatives that have been suggested, a flat tax and The Fair Tax. 

With the flat tax proposal, it would be across the board 10% on incomes up to $100,000 and 15% on incomes above $100,000.  There would be no deductions, write-offs, credits, or allowances for anything in this plan, you would simply pay your rate and fill out a card each year stating your income and taxes paid and overpayments would be refunded.  Opponents of this tax say that it would unfairly affect the poor by eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit and other deductions.  They also say that the rich would pay a lot less in taxes due to the lower rate.  Proponents say that the simplified tax code means that everyone would pay something and that the rich would still pay the most taxes.  While both sides have legitimate concerns, this tax would be fairer than our current tax system.

 This brings us to The Fair Tax which would eliminate all income and corporate taxes and replace them with a consumption tax or retail sales tax.  Remember that this plan will mean that everyone will receive their income without government deductions for taxes, FICA, or Social Security.  What you make is what you receive minus deductions for insurance, retirement, and state taxes.  Each family in the US would also receive what is known as a prebate that is equal to the amount estimated by family size for taxes paid on food and clothes.  There would be no tax filing that would need to be done each year and no need for loopholes and deductions.  All taxes would be collected at the retail level so if someone resales something, taxes would not need to be collected on that item.  Unlike our tax code today, if you have a garage sale you are supposed to report the money you make on the sale as income.  That would not be the case with The Fair Tax.  As far as the rich paying more, they would by default as the rich buy not only more but more expensive items than others.  Therefore, the rich would pay more taxes.

 While there are both positive and negatives in either tax plan, they are a far cry better than our current income tax code.  This archaic, progressive tax system in a holdover from Communism and stifles the economy and can be used to punish people for simply making too much money.  That goes against everything the country was built upon.  The truth is that if you stand for equality, then you should stand for equality for all.  Taxation based on income level is as unequal as you can get and should be unconstitutional.

Another Climate Rant

Once again the liberals are at it with “climate change” with Hillary Clinton blaming hurricane Hermine on mankind, not natural weather.  If we go by her statements  here, we would have to conclude that major hurricanes have only begun since the Industrial Revolution.  Apparently she believes that the activities of man can affect the severity of hurricanes and wreak havoc on communities in the US.  In one statement she made the arrogant assumption that we can prevent natural disasters that have been going on for thousands of years.  She stated that Hermine would not be the last hurricane to hit Florida, NO DUH!  Hurricanes, just like Hermine have devastated parts of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and several other coastal states all along the eastern seaboard for thousands of years. 

 It amazes me that these liberals act as if man can somehow control the climate or the weather.  I contend that if it were possible to exercise that kind of control, it would have been weaponized already.  To say that major hurricanes are a recent phenomenon requires you to completely ignore history.  The truth is that we have only been able to track these storms for seventy years.  It was not until the invention of radar that we were able to fully see the scope of hurricanes.  Satellite technology has further enabled us to track the storms even those that do not make landfall.  In fact, we have only been naming the storms in the US since 1953.  Before we were able to track storms offshore, we did not know about them unless a ship was caught in it.  There were several intense storms in the 1800s, long before the widespread use of fossil fuels.  So to say man has made storms worse is very dubious at best and downright fraudulent at worst.

 Mrs. Clinton also stated that 2015 was the hottest year on record, which it may be true but we have only been keeping global records for 136 years from 1880.  Once again, these climate “scientists” are basing their estimates on data that has not encompassed more than century.  There is a climatologist who has worked to trace temperatures as far back as 4000 years.  You can view his findings  here.  He has shown that there have been 78 climate shifts during this timeframe and that we a due for another shift.  From my own understanding about weather patterns, I would conclude that these shifts are natural and not majorly influenced by man’s activities.  Still, is estimated that man’s CO2 emissions are far less than natural sources of the gas.  Still in yet, these same liberals want the average citizen to pay “carbon taxes” to the UN.  In their view the only way to stop climate change is to pay money to an international organization that has repeatedly called for population controls.

 Finally, I would like to address another claim made by climate scientists that very few people have ever questioned.  What about rising sea levels?  I have a theory that I have not heard anyone else even remotely suggest.  When you put pebbles into a glass of water, the level of the water goes up.  This could be the same effect that is rising the sea levels and not melting ice.  We have seen in recent years underwater volcanic activity that has resulted in the formation of new islands.  We also have no way of estimating how many underwater volcanoes there are or how much magma they are depositing on the ocean floor.  I would suggest that these eruptions are causing the rising ocean levels far more than even melting of sea ice.  Another thing that brings me to this conclusion is that the ice caps have actually been growing over the last few years.That is why we never hear about shrinking Artic ice anymore.