Foolishness since 2007

Foolishness since 2007
Foolishness since 2007

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Way Too Many Topics Today

Grab a cup of Joe and good luck making sense of all these thoughts

The Point of No Return
In an interview last week Ted Coppel said to Sean Hannity that he thought Hannity and his followers thought ideology was more important than facts. My jaw dropped, No it’s the other way around I told the TV. And that is the Great Divide. Both sides claim to be factual. But only one can be correct. Reminiscent of Daniel Patrick Moynihan famous bite Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

Now, before you tee off on me, we are not Hannity fans. And surely not Coppel fans.

My point is that both D and R claim the high ground and each fears the other. There is no chance for compromise. The division is as wide as that between Sunni and Shiites. It’s poisonous. There must be a way out, but I don’t have the vision to see it. The country has been split 50/50 many times before. During the American Revolution, half the people were either loyal to the Crown or did not want to pick a side.

Mr. Trump is getting the worst press of any President since the final days of Richard Nixon. The press is more partisan than principled.

The Future of the GOP Was Bright For A Time, Now Seems Dismal
Last weekend the Republicans engaged in a circular fire fight. The nation lost. I have no idea if the legislation was with merit or not. I do know that it was not explained any more than ACA was. Ryan did nothing to explain it. The always say no Freedom Caucus did not explain their objections. And the Dem’s were all too happy to sit on sidelines and enjoy the gunfight.

The full dimensions of the GOP’s self-defeat on health care will emerge over time, but one immediate consequence is giving up block grants for Medicaid. This transformation would have put the program on a budget for the first time since it was created in 1965, and the bill’s opponents ought to be held accountable for the rising spending that they could have prevented.

Medicaid is now the third-largest program in the federal budget and the fastest growing. Federal outlays are nearly three times higher today than in 2000.  Three Times!

Think it’s worth it? A New England Journal of Medicine study in 2013 found that Medicaid “generated no significant improvement” across measures like mortality, high blood pressure or diabetes compared to the uninsured.

The defeat of heath care reform almost fore-ordains that tax reform will be DOA. Freedom Caucus Members sit in safe seats and don’t need achievements to win re-election. They are almost happier in the minority where they can more easily vote no on everything. Damn them!

IF we are able to reduce tax rates and achieve regulatory reform, economic growth could hit 4% a year for the next couple of years. It will all be wasted, however, if the U.S. ends up in a 1930-style trade war.

What Health Care Would Have Done
It would have canceled insurance exchanges, halted and reversed Medicaid expansion, killed its taxes, and whacked its individual and employer mandates. It was a start.

Climate Change
Yes, our climate is changing. It was changing long before we started using coal. Man has contributed to the change in a minor way. There is nothing man can do ameliorate the change. Really nothing. The change will not be catastrophic. All the hoopla is nothing more that using a feigned crisis to regulate behavior. Yes, the swells want me to ride a bike or pay $8 a gallon for gas.

Cudo’s for rolling back the Obama energy generation restrictions. They did no good anyway. A year of U.S. reductions in 2025 would be offset by Chinese emissions in three weeks, says Rice University’s Charles McConnell.  It’s not enough though, energy plants take years to construct, companies remain leery that a future administration would put new plants out of operation.

Limited Government
I am for a limited Jeffersonian government. I don’t wake up and think what can I regulate, control or tax today. I want to be left alone to make my own mistakes while striving to attain my goals. I am unalterably opposed to anyone telling me how to live my life.

Marcus Aurelius
There are things you can control and things you can control. I think the progressives are worried about the things they can not control and seek laws and regulations in an attempt to alleviate their own worrying about things they can not control. Regulations are like a religion to some - an attempt at comfort in a world of uncertainty.

Celebs
Michael Moore predicts the end of the human race because Trump reset the ridiculous regulations that would have forced all energy investment into green technology. Can some drive a stake into his heart.

“Barbra Streisand says she’s gaining weight because of Trump. Lena Dunham says she’s losing weight because of Trump. Really?

Roger Daltrey said Trump didn’t really win it—because Democrats threw it away by putting [Hilary Clinton] up. A dead dog would have won it against [her]


We would have voted for the dog.


Facts, Deal With Them

If you want to refute what someone has said, you need to do more than call them names. You need to establish your own bonafide's. I don’t claim to know it all. I maintain that my sources are accurate. If you think otherwise, cite your own sources.

Why I Am Writing
I write to help me glue together disparate thoughts. If it makes you think, great. It’s not necessary to agree with me. BTW, the number of eyeballs on these weekend posts are more than on spanking posts.


7 comments:

  1. Koppel also stated that Hannity was bad for America. Evil in fact. Actually I like Hannity. The actual interview lasted 45 minutes but Koppel edited it down to a mere few to show his point of view. Biased, fake news as usual.
    Michael Moore is a bag of shit. Another well healed celebrity posing as the common person.
    The celebrity sect should stay out of politics.

    I am upset with one of your comments. Why do you compare Hillary to a dead dog? What do you have against dogs? You owe them an apology

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    Replies
    1. I get your point, but I was only saying I will always vote for a dog when a liberal is the other choice. I think a brown lab would look good in the White House. Have a good weekend.

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  2. This is why the world loves american politics...better than any sit-com. If it wasn't so tragic it would be so funny.

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  3. Hello,

    I can't make much sense of your post today because it covers so much stuff that is local and not covered in international news. But I do want to comment on your statement that only one side can be correct.

    I posted some stuff on Facebook this week about my work. It was absolutely factually correct. But a friend had an emotional reaction to it and called me out as "wrong". I felt attacked and responded really sharply with more of my beautifully clear facts. He went silent. So I started to wonder. I thought about the friend and his emotional and mental health and I realised that his had been an emotional and stressed response to what he perceived I was saying, not what I was actually saying. I tried to reach out to him. He responded by recognising that we were both right but talking about different things. He apologised, sort-of. We are still friends. And that is the answer to a divided country. Listen to each other and try to understand the other perspective.

    You have a very clear perspective and are very sure of your facts. But if you could walk two moons in someone else's moccasins you would undoubtedly find a different perspective. Facts are always interpreted by our brains and our brains use stereotypes and shortcuts to make sense of an incredibly complicated world. That's not bad, it's just life. I don't share your priorities. I value independence, for sure, but not above compassion. While I might want to persuade you to my point of view, I don't disrespect yours. But I think you are mistaken in your certainty of your facts. We all look at facts through the filters of our values. Sometimes we need to be taken outside our filters and look at the world as others see it. Then we cease to be enemies. I was not factually wrong this week. My friend was wrong to call me out as wrong. But I could have handled it with more compassion. We got there in the end. I would wish the same for America.

    Emmi

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  4. Emmi, Thanks for your thoughtful note!

    I have noticed that about half of the comments on The Saturday Posts have come from those not in the US.
    We have noticed that when we travel out of the US, there is always coverage of the US. The reverse is not true. Sad.

    I am a bit Spox like. Examples of things I had in mind of being factually correct would include if I see a elephant on a street corner, I am inclined to believe that the elephant exists. While I have never seen an elephant, except in a zoo, if I did not believe I was conscious and the elephant was not real, then really nothing could be depended on to be real. While there are arguments to the contrary going back to the early Greeks, I am going to believe my eyes.

    A vote for a bill in Congress may be recorded and anyone can look it up. That sometimes becomes an inconvenient fact for politicians. I have no memory of being born, but I accept my date of birth as factual.
    8 plus 8 is 16 in Base 10, but has a different result in Base 16. All these sorts of things are facts and not subject to debate.

    I get that we tend to see the world as we are. I fully agree that we can have different views, but I require the views be based on the same facts. We can agree that the murder rate in US inner cites is the highest in the world. We can agree that it is tragic and something needs to be done about it. What needs to be done can be a subject of great contention. That’s where opinions come in. Some want to ban guns. Well, that’s already been done in several major cities, but the murder rate continues to increase. Maybe a ban is not the right solution? All of that is a matter of policy. The only facts are dead people, guns are not legal and it’s not possible to make them more illegal.

    Let’s use that as an example.
    I freely admit that I am beyond listening to arguments about stricter bans on guns. I can tell it’s not working. I am willing to listen to other ideas. No new ideas? Don’t care to listen to mine? Then we can not communicate.

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  5. Hello again,

    I live in the UK where gun ownership is almost nil and the desire to own guns not much greater. We have a strong hunting and shooting industry for deer-stalking and game-bird shooting but, aside from licensed shotguns and rifles, we essentially have no guns. All hand-guns were banned after the Dunblane shooting in 1996. So we are starting from a very different base. Our police are mostly unarmed and there is very little gun crime.

    According to wikipedia (so not necessarily a reliable source), UK murder rates are roughly a quarter those of the US. Western European rates are generally low and lower than the US. But head east towards Lithuania,Latvia,Estonia, Ukraine and Russia and the rates rise rapidly, despite relatively low gun ownership compared to the US. It's curious. The link between gun ownership and gun crime seems so obvious from a UK perspective but it seems there may also be cultural factors involved in violent crime more generally that should also be considered.

    Your question has made me read and reflect and recognise that answers to complex problems are far from easy to come upon. I had no ready answers to give you before I started reading but I have fewer now than before. If violent crime is a cultural problem,then I suppose that it might be helpful to try to change the culture. But changing cultural attitudes takes a long,long time and do-gooders telling other people how to live aren't always well received!

    Emmi

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  6. Gun violence must be cultural. If murders from only five US cities were removed from the total, US gun violence ranking falls to the bottom world wide. Think about that. Gun ownership does not predict violence.

    Yeah, I think most people resent being told what to do. Even when it's well intentioned and meant for their own good.

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Feedback is always appreciated.