Thursday, October 30, 2014

Perhaps Enforcing Existing Laws Would be Better than the I.D. Laws

   Instead of all the tight I.D. laws, aimed at locking non-citizens from voting, how about just enforcing the law that is on the books, the one that says you cannot vote if you are not a citizen?
   This is a thought, something to think on, and I don't know what the best way to pull it off would be. It seems a little much to have a police officer there, looking into questionable voters, or those who were challenged. Somehow having an officer at the polls just doesn't set well.
   And, if we combed the voters after-the-fact, the election would be over and their votes counted before we ever caught them. Still, the fact that they knew we would be investigated would have a chilling effect on those who shouldn't be voting.
   Perhaps it is a better answer than the tight I.D. laws, if the tight I.D. laws are disenfranchizing those who are should be legal voters.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Texas Voter I.D. Law is Liking Shooting into a Crowd with a Shotgun

   The State of Texas says 600,000  to 800,000 voters will be disqualified in this election due to a new law that requires approved I.D.s. (I would guess that number is high, but still . . .)
   Now, if the biggest chunk of them are people from other countries who don't have permission to be here, perhaps the law is justified. But, it seems if you are going to disenfranchise large numbers, you'd best be sure you're catching the right culprit. I don't believe proponents of the law have any such proof. One thought made by the other side, by the opponents of the law, is that there have only been two cases of voter impersonation prosecuted to conviction in the last 10 years. Two! And, I wonder if either of those were here in America without proper permission. My experience is, often the undocumented go out of their way to avoid situations where they might be found out as not being citizens. Some of them may vote. Some of them might be so brazen. And, how many that amounts to, I don't know. But, for many, it is a matter of why would they turn out to vote  -- even without this law -- if there were a chance they might be found out? I'm of the mind that many of them steer clear of the voting booth, period.
   Nor have I heard of any proof there are many undocumenteds voting. It is a supposition, nothing more?Perhaps it might be correct, but we don't know that. Can we disqualify so many voters just on a supposition?
   And, what if it turns out there are only 5,000 undocumented people among the 600,000 disqualified voters? (Again, supposing the number is that high.)  Can we disqualify so large group if it means catching only 5,000 undocumented people?  Talk about shooting into a crowd with a shotgun.
 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Feed the Poor, and You Could get Arrested?

   No time to read up on it more, but I see how 21 cities have restricted or flat-out banned feeding the homeless since January 2013. Is it because they don't want panhandlers, and it is really the panhandlers they are after? From what little I did read, no. It is because they believe feeding the homeless only makes the problem grow.
   I think of Salt Lake City, and wonder if we could just offer them three square meals. Go to such-and-such a place, and eat as you will. Actually, that is already the way it is, I believe. I don't know if three meals are offered, but there are places where they can go and eat. I think it wonderful. I can't imagine anyone making such feeds illegal.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Would We Were Scrambling as Hard to End Abortion

   I have nothing new to say of abortion. I only pause for the topic as it is one I think we should not forget. I will repeat that more lives are lost to abortion than are lost to any of our diseases.
   Perhaps I could give it an comparison to Ebola. There is no known cure for Ebola. . . . And there is likewise no known cure for abortion. Would that were scrambling as hard to find a cure for abortion as we are scrambling to find a cure for Ebola.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Almost Three Weeks Ago: A Reddish Moon of Wonder

    I offer this account, given to me by a friend, Scott Horton.
   Horton slipped out of his truck, and headed to the shower. He looked up at the morning sky in search of the moon, knowing it was a full moon.
  What he saw froze him dead in his tracks. If a  truck had came along then, moving no faster than 3 mph, honking all it would, who knows if Horton would have reacted in time to get out of the way.
   He was as good as paralyzed. The moon had a vaporish, smokish overcovering, various shades of red moving and flowing through the orb. At its right tip, the moon shined brightly, exuding a neon yellow-orange.
   Such a moon he had never seen. He will count the experience one of the most wonderful of his life. For the rest of us, it is a reminder of what we missed Oct. 8 when the lunar eclipse came to our skies, and we slept right through it.
   "And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath, blood and fire and vapour of smoke." -- Acts 2:19-20

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ambulance Service isn't a Fit with Private Enterprise

   Ambulances service is not a thing you can operate through free-market competition. When it is time to call an ambulance, you can't dial three competitors and get price quotes. Indeed, you have but one number to call -- 911 -- and no choice is made.
   Nor is ambulance service something for which you need an owner. If you have the EMTs, the ambulance and all the equipment, they can do the trick whether there is an owner sitting at the top or not. So, why have an owner? That just adds unnecessary expense. If we took all our post offices nationwide, and gave each one an owner, might we not have to increase our prices to pay for the owners' salaries?
   So, this might not be a time when private enterprise is the answer. Ambulance service might be a situation for which we are best off letting government do the task.
   Most communities today, I would guess, allow just one franchise in their community. Just one. Competition doesn't fit well into this profession. If you had Red Ride Ambulance and Blue Car Ambulance both serving Dannaville, one ambulance would get a call and the other would be just sitting there. For the most part, by the time another call came in, they both would be sitting again. So, if there is only enough business for one, why have two firms waiting?
   Once again, we can see ambulance service doesn't fit into the free-market model.
   Insurance? I do wonder how much of an ambulance bill goes for liability insurance. Actually, I don't hear of many lawsuits against ambulance firms, but there surely must be some. So, in steps the insurance company. It should not go lost on us that if an insurance agent is to be paid, that, too, is an expense. We are not only paying a fee to be banked away for when the ambulance service loses a liability case, but we are paying additional money to support the insurance company, itself.
   But, if we've already established that government is the best fit for running ambulance service, why even have insurance? Let the government pay out for the lawsuit when the lawsuit comes, and save yourself all the money that goes just to support the insurance executives.

Friday, October 24, 2014

$1,900 for an Ambulance Ride Across Town?

   I wonder if we victimize people with our ambulance system, if we victimize victims.
   I just go my bill for my ride across town, $1,898.55. I do find mself wondering why it would cost $1,900 for a trip to the hospital.
   Because the EMTs are trained? True, they are. Bless them. So, perhaps charge me $50 an hour for each and send me six. Charge me for half an hour. That's $150.
    Or, is the bill so high because of the equipment? They placed a breathing tube down my throat. How much expense would that be? When they picked me up, I tried to convince them not to make me lie on my back as I did not want to drown in my own blood from all the blood pouring into my mouth. But, now was not the time to reinvent the ambulance ride. They explained to me that rather than have my lay on my stomach, they would place the breathing tube down my throat and I'd still be able to breathe.
  As soon as I laid back, I passed out. They needed to hook me up to an assortment of items, and therein lies some of the bill. There's $52.85 for O2 Oxygen, $85.25 for O2-vent circuit with peep, $10.66 for thermoeter cover, $41.85 for O2-ETCO2 Adapter, $74.68 for IV pump set-reg, $55.38 for EKG pads, and $28.03 for "disposable care" (blood wraps?).
  It is good that they cared for me, but seeing they've already itemized my expenses, where comes the rest of the bill? Where comes the largest two items? They're billing me $284.85 for mileage and $1,265 for "ALS1 GC emergency." What's that? If I've already paid for everything but the EMT personnel, which I suppose I believe ought to be closer to $150, where comes these two charges?
   Do a hurting person a favor, and don't charge $285 for "mileage." By charging such, it is clear you are not looking so much to help a person who is hurting, but for a way to make a buck off the person who is hurting. This is not a person you should be looking to run up a bill on, but a person you should be wanting to help.
  The $1,265 for "ALS1 GC emergency"? Whatver that is, it sounds like something you shouldn't want to charge someone if that someone is someone you are just wanting to help, instead of making a buck off them.
   Is some of the expense due to liability insurance? Actually, I don't hear of many lawsuits against ambulance firms. This, though, might fit into another blog. Sufficient to say, for now, I don't think we should allow liability insurance to be such a massive expense, if it is, in fact, a large chunk of the bill.
   Bottom line, to me, seems to be that if a person has no choice but to take your ride, you can charge them as much as you like. Run up a bill on them, for what are they going to say? With their life of the line, they can't exactly turn your ride down. You've got them in a corner. So, if you want to charge an extortionary fee. . .
   Isn't this victimizing people you should not be victimizing? They are victims when you pick them up, and you victimize them some more.
   Bless the EMTs for working in a difficult profession. It is not them I have a beef with. Bless them for the care and for getting folks like me to the emergency room. And, when they go home at the end of the day, I doubt it is they who have made an overly amount.
   But, somewhere in there is someone making an awful lot of money off people in pain. No, I don't like the way we've set up our ambulance service, and, yes, I do think we should change it. If there is a person sitting back, just making a buck for owning a franchise, I think we should cut them out. Bless them, for allthey do to save lives, but the ambulance system probably would go right on working well without franchise owners and others garnering money off this system. This might be a time when it makes more sense to have government provide the service instead of private companies.