Sunday, December 4, 2016

Why not become the Only State to Elect the President the Right Way?

   If we were operating the way the Constitution suggests, the six Electoral College representatives from Utah would be free to vote for who they thought wise. I do not know that I would encourage them to vote for anyone but Trump, at this point, as they have committed to him, and state law commits them to him.
   Still, such pledges and laws should be done away with. The Constitution is clear on how the electors are to select the president. If the Founding Fathers had intended it to be an automatic process, we wouldn't need people there to do it. We would just translate the popular vote into six electoral votes and be done with it. Clearly, the founders intended us to do it differently than that. Why not just do it the way they intended?
  It would be neat if between now and the next election, Utah changed its laws to conform with the Constitution, and we became the first state in the Union to elect in the manner prescribed by that honored writ of governance. Why not do it right? Why not become the first and only state to do it right?

Would You Check Your Vault to See if it had been Robbed?

   Thanks to J. Alex Halderman, the computer scientist who was watchful enough to realize the opportunity for hacking presidential elections does exist. When you face that possibility, and given there are hackers who will hack if given a chance, of course you do a recount, of course you do everything you can to ensure your election was not hijacked.
  It is being said there is no evidence of interference. I say, No evidence of tampering? Look instead at the fact there was opportunity. If you left a bank vault unsecured, would you be saying, "No, let's not go into the vault and see if anything was taken unless we first find some evidence outside the vault that suggests we've been robbed."

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bring a Little Doc Adams to Our Health System

   I wonder on neighborhood medicine. I wonder if this is the way to go, if we are really to improve our health system.
   If you want, call it co-op medicine, or communal medicine, or community medicine. What I speak of is a doctor who does all the doctoring to be done without charging the customers a dime at the time of service.
   You remember Doc Adams on Gunsmoke? That's in part what I'm talking about. You have a doctor, and he cares for the people in the community in a way you don't get when you have 50 doctors scattered all across a city. He's the only doctor, because one is all you need. The advantages are that he bonds with the community, feels a commitment to it, and derives his joy and fulfillment from helping the community, by being the one his neighbors turn to in their hour of need.
   There's a pride and an honor there that is lost when you go to a doctor who isn't your neighbor, who you don't run into in your daily life. In today's society, with the work place often being our place of community, maybe these co-op doctors should be at the places of employment, instead of in the actual neighborhoods. The point is, these doctors should be people you run into daily, or weekly, or relatively often.
   With the way we have it now, the doctor's job is but a job. He sees his customers as customers. He puts in his time each day and goes home to a different world, one that they are not a part of. I have often thought where you put your carrots, your incentives, determines much. With this system, the doctor has more incentive to really serve the patient. His driving force is more likely to be love.
   Another benefit of this system, is that it might reduce lawsuits. You are less inclined to sue if the person is your neighbor and friend.
   We need to put care back in health care, and having community doctors like what Doc Adams was for Dodge City might just be the answer.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

There is Reason for Excitement in This, Too

   The chance to revamp our health system, now that Donald Trump has been elected and has signaled that changes are coming, is exciting.
    For those arm-chair politicians such as I, it is an opportunity to think of what we would do, if given chance.
    I think on a friend's comment, of how health-care shouldn't be motivated by profit. It will take some thinking, but perhaps some (or all) health-care providers should be paid flat rates. I only know we should be careful with where the profit-motive is placed, as you want your incentives to be placed in such a way that good care is rewarded.
   Other thoughts? We need to reduce negligence and malpractice. Lawsuits and the insurance it takes to be prepared for them, are too high of expenses. One way to reduce them -- perhaps the best way -- is to reduce the number of times doctors make mistakes.
   A couple things that might help? One, have more second opinions. Make them common practice. For things of significance -- those beyond common colds and such -- you never get a diagnosis without getting two. One doctor diagnoses you and makes a recommendation, and then you see another, and he (or she) arrives at his (or her) opinion without even knowing what the first doctor recommended. Two, during surgeries, have an auditing doctor present. He (or she) observes the surgery as it takes place, offering advice and suggestions.
   A third suggestion came from a friend while I was a the gym last night. Have more preventative medicine.

Investigate Trump's charges

   Is this dangerous, as people are suggesting it is? Trump says he would have won the popular vote if false votes were discounted in Virginia, New Hampshire and California. Such outlandish talk undermines the integrity of our election system, it is said.
   I can see that. I see how quickly his followers jump to believe him. They speak of undocumented residents voting.
   I would, the same, that we took what he is saying serious, and looked into it. Did unregistered voters in those states cast votes? I don't know that a simple recount would uncover this. You would have to investigate further than that.
   And, there is expense. I believe we must find a way to pay for it.
   The way to ensure the integrity of the system is to investigate claims against them. What if undocumented residents are casting a large number of illegal votes? Do we not want to know? And, if they aren't, perhaps an investigation can help put the charge to rest.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Perhaps this is a Time for Optimism and Hope

   As Donald Trump names Steve Mnuchin his nominee for Treasury secretary, I find myself being a little excited for the times. Could they rewrite the tax code? Indeed, it seems they might. While I do not look forward to the tax plan Trump outlined during his campaign -- that plan could plunge us $11 trillion deeper in debt -- perhaps they will go a different direction.
  I only know I see this as an opportunity to completely re-haul the tax code. We could do it right, or we could do it wrong. Here's hoping they rewrite it with one goal being to reduce the national debt, and another goal being to make it much simpler.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

May the Recounts be Honest and Thorough

   I worry, when I hear Wisconsin officials are going to allow a recount, but not a hand recount. Why, if a recount is paid for to the tune of $3.5 million deep, why not do it right? Are you suggesting it will only be an electronic recount? Is an electronic recount a real recount, or simply flashing all the same numbers and all the same results back on the screen? Why not be fair, and do a real, thorough, honest recount? Why are they not allowing this?
    I worry when I hear Pennsylvania's top election official taints his impartiality by saying a recount will not change anything. "When everything is said and done, you're going to see that the results are accurate," Secretary of State Pedro Cortes said. I would rather see impartiality in my election judges, rather than being in position to prove themselves right.
   Pennsylvania's ballots lack a paper trail. So, as with Wisconsin's, I wonder if it will be able to be a true accurate recount, or just flushing the same material on the screen again. I suppose there must be some way to undercover false votes, otherwise those calling for a recount wouldn't be doing so. I understand, the malware that could cyberattack the voting system can be erased upon completion of the voteing. Perhaps it is, then, that when an electronic recount is done without the malware being present, the vote would change.
   Bless the recounts, wherever they are done, that they will be honestly done, and thorough.