Friday, October 20, 2017

If We would Reform Health Care, We must Hire more Doctors

   If we want health-care reform, we must hire more doctors, hire more medical technicians. In all the talk and all the plans and all the proposed legislation, has this been suggested?
   I'm not sure but what it isn't a key to a better health-care system.
   I went to the doctor today. I briefly described my problem, the doctor briefly listened, and quickly arrived at a tentative diagnosis. I left thinking what a great doctor I had happened upon, that he should be able to so quickly identify what my problem was.
  But, as I thought about it later, I realized there's a lot we didn't discuss. I was there because it is becoming difficult to walk, and he hadn't even had me walk that he should observe the problem.
  This is a common way with doctors' visits. Doctors whistle a patient in, do a hurried diagnosis, and then it's on to the next patient. We should have so many doctors, so many health-care workers, that each patient gets the necessary time and review.
   Did I mention that it was a little difficult to find a doctor to see me quickly? They were booked a week or two into the future. If we had enough doctors, that wouldn't have been the case.
   Quick access to a doctor is important. Giving doctors enough time to diagnose you is important. But, perhaps the biggest benefit to hiring more doctors is the economic impact. If we are going to operate our health-care system as a market-driven enterprise, then we surely should realize we need to re-instill the principles of economics.
   Supply and demand is one of them. It goes something like this: If the market is flooded, prices go down. But, if there is a shortage, prices can skyrocket. We surely can see we have sky-high medical costs. And, we surely should see we could use more doctors. Does it not occur to us that there might be a connection?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Has U.S. 'Lit the Wick of War"?

   The U.S. has "lit the wick of war," according to a North Korean official. The U.S. faces an "unimaginable strike at an unimaginable time," says a statement from North Korea.
  Idle threats, or dark images of what awaits? I don't know.
  But, obviously, we should be concerned. As of this writing, I am not coming up with definite ideas for what we should do. Bring them to the negotiation table? Perhaps, but even if we could get them there, would they keep on preparing to strike us even as they used negotiations to buy time in their preparations?
  Cut off their oil imports? I continue to think the quicker you cut off the oil imports, the quicker it will have an impact.
  A pre-emptive strike? Does the UN code of conduct even allow such? Do we even need to strike? Is our intelligence telling us it isn't necessary because the North Koreans cannot make good on their threats?


Is Russia a Threat to 2018 Midterm Elections?

  Just wonder whether the Intelligence Community is concerned with whether Russia will try to hack or influence our midterm elections, and I wonder what measures we are taking to avoid this.
  I thought I heard something on the radio about this. Word-searching, though, I find no current story.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

If Government had a Plan for Making the Rich Richer . . .

   It would seem the nation would rise up in astonishment and outrage if government planned to drop the tax rate for the richest 1 percent by 5.7 percent.
  I mean, if those making $25,000 were only going to get a 0.4 percent break and those making $48,600 were only going to receive a 0.8 percent break . . .
   And, if the top 0.1 percent were going to save $722,500 on their taxes each year . . . And, if the top 1 percent were going to save $129,000 . . .
   And, if those of us making $25,000 were only going to save $60 and those of us earning $48,600 were in line for just $290 in savings . . .
   The rich get richer, they say.
   And, what if we were to learn the tax cuts were to shrink across 10 years for everyone except the top 1 percent? That sure seems like government is going to make it look reasonably good for us when it rolls out the tax plan and we're watching, then government is going to erase much of our benefit down the line when it hopes we aren't looking.
   Would government really treat its people this way?
   Actually, government shouldn't be able to hoodwink us this way. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has released its analysis of the so-called "tax reform." It's all there. We should read it and weep, but we should read it.
   Such reports as the one from the Tax Policy Center place all we need to know right in front of us, leaving us to eye our government and ask just what it thinks it is doing.
 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I'd ask Kaepernick the Hard Questions

   If I could sit down and interview Colin Kaepernick, I'd face him with questions like, Do you still consider Malcolm X a hero? What do you make of socialism? Malcolm X was a leader in the Nation of Islam at one time, and the Nation of Islam's beliefs went beyond equality. They believed in black supremacy. Do you think Malcolm believed that way to his death? How about you? How do you feel about black supremacy? Do you believe with Malcolm X that Christianity is "the white man's religion"?
  I'd ask a lot of similar questions of Malcolm X, if I could sit down with him.
  I believe Kaepernick still ascribes to the teachings of Malcolm. I love Kaepernick, the same, and admire him for standing up for what he believes is right. But, that doesn't mean I endorse everything about Kaepernick.
   I think while it is good to recognize good in people, we must be careful not do be overly affected by them, that we take in that which isn't good.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Bless President Trump for Making these Calls

   If President Trump is alone among past presidents in making personal calls to the families of fallen soldiers, bless him. That is a laudable thing.
   And, if he is wrong -- if past presidents made such calls? I still see no big need to fault him for what he said.
  Nor do I fault past presidents. If they made no such calls, I see no fault in them.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Book of Mormon Speaks of Laws that became Corrupted

   The Latter-day Saints (Mormons) have a book of scripture I lean on. Today, I found in it a Book of Mormon passage that makes me wonder about one of our gun laws, and about our immigration law.
  First, what does Helaman 5:2 say? It says their laws were established by the voice of the people and at that time, those who chose evil were more numerous than those who chose righteousness, "for the laws had become corrupted."
  Likening the scripture unto our day, I wondered if any of our laws are corrupted -- are unjust laws.
   Our Stand Your Ground law can be beneficial, spelling out that we have the right to defend ourselves. I respect those who feel it a good law, but I have a different opinion. I fully agree a person has the right to defend themselves. It is the way this law was written that I have a problem with. I see it as a law that allows a person to kill almost at will as long as he says he was only acting in self defense. These laws are written so that if you say, " I did it in self defense; I was afraid for my life," and there is nothing to prove you are wrong, then the killing is counted as justified.
   I see much of the turmoil going on in our nation being caused by this unjust law.
   Our immigration law, it is suggested, keeps us from being overrun and overpopulated, and from having more people than we do who are just here to take advantage of our welfare programs. I respect that opinion, but do not share it. I believe the right thing is to let in those who come because they love America, and who come because they want to join family, and who come because they want to work by the sweat of their brow. It does seem to me that it is an unjust law that keeps them out.
   From my perspective of what is right and wrong, then, if I am to liken Helaman 5:2 to my time and this society, these are two of the corrupt laws we have placed on our books.
  These are things we might disagree on. It is wonderful of you to have an opinion, even if it doesn't correspond to mine. I think it not wrong that either of us turn to the scriptures for guidance, not only in our personal lives, but in all things, including public issues. Others of you say these laws are not wrong, are not corrupt. If you picked the laws you saw as being corrupt, as being wrong, you might well pick some that I support.
  Bless us both.

(Note: Blog was edited for content and changed a little 10/16/17.)