Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Socialized Medicine


Crazy Rant:Scott, a blogger for Conservatism Today, posted an opinion (click on link above to read) on socialized medicine that caught my attention. Scott is a man of faith, a proud conservative, and had some real life examples of why he feels nationalized health care is bad for America. The focus of the article is that Scott bounced from job to job before returning to school, and subsequently did so without health insurance. Murphy's law took hold, and of course Scott had to be admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery that left him in heavy debt. In the midst of his despair, Scott entertained the idea that he could have avoided hiss mess had their been national health insurance. However, out of the hospital and with a clearer mind, Scott quickly shook off those Marxist ideas. Scott preceded to bear down, rely on his faith in God, and his ability to take responsibility for his situation. He negotiated down his debt, and his faith was rewarded with the blessing of a random church stepping up and paying off his remaining debt. Scott's message is that national health care is bad, everyone is responsible for their own situation, and faith will show you the answer. Scott mentions his monthly tithe offering as an example of his discipline and faith, and a key reason for his blessed outcome.

Middle America's Take: I have health insurance, and do not anticipate the need for government assistance in this regard. That said, I imagine that a government controlled system for those without coverage will no doubt be riddled with problems. I also imagine that those without coverage, are willing to endure any amount of road bumps and snags to make sure there kids have health care. The short and quick is, no one is denied care by law. If the patients can't pay, even over time, those losses are flowing through to the rest of somewhere you can be sure. So if I am already paying to subsidize the health care of others, I would just as soon it be regulated, and not left up to an insurance company. I also believe that to a large degree we are all responsible for our personal economic situation, and in most cases deserve what we get. However, that argument is academic, and represents an easy position to take sitting here behind my computer. but what if I stroll down to the local hospital and sit down in the waiting room next to a single mom whose child is sick, and who is having to choose between paying mounting medical bills and food? We are not in Kansas anymore. If $25 a month to offset those bills is what it takes, Middle America is going to sign on the dotted line and help that mom. For this reason I avoid the hospital waiting room at all costs to avoid being sucked in such moral battles. Also of note in Scott's story is his inability to connect his tithe efforts and socialistic behavior. He is making sacrifices to give back to the church, so that God might use his money for the good of many. Sound familiar? The problem here being that Scott has taken the view that God's use of resources is limited to the church. Well Scott, the God I know is involved in all aspects of life. Moreover, he is just as likely to use my tax dollars to bless a poor family who needs health care, as he is my tithe. Sacrifice for the greater good is our duty. Not just in church, but in all aspects of life. Does that mean I want the government to be the first answer for everything, or even most things? Absolutely not. However, if that single mom is out of first answers, I will give up a round of golf so that the second answer exists.

Cheers and Jeers: Daily Kos

Crazy Rant: In a post by "Bill from Portland" the "tea party" demonstrations were dissected. Of particular interest were the signs and slogans accompanying the events, which made reference the current administrations tax policy to the Holocaust and other such provocative nonsense. Also discussed was the inconsistant reactions of Republican leaders, who on the one hand condemed such sensational references made by left leaning moveon.org during the Bush/Kerry race. On the other hand, Republican leaders have been less than quick to denounce the current attacks by protesters no doubt right leaning. Bill Reily of Fox news was even quoted as using Nazi comparisons when discussing the Daily Kos webiste itself.

Middle America's Take: First, refer to the Middle American Constitution and remember that anyone who has time to join a protest during the week, does not have a real job and is part of the problem. Shame on the right leaning crazies of the "tea party" protests for breaking this cardinal rule.
Second, if our government is spending more money than it can bring in, it has to raise taxes at some point. I hate taxes even more than I hate the fact that they no longer serve beer at my local Chucky Cheese (how in the world is a Dad suppose to survive that madness without medication?). The fact is taxes go up, and taxes go down in response to what should be budget fluctuations and stimulus strategy. If the economy needs a boost, taxes should be lowered to encourage spending. When the economy is roaring, taxes should be raised to reduce the deficits created by the previous actions. The $10m question is who do you raise and lower taxes for. Middle America's answer, everyone. My lower and middle income brothers and sisters should get tax relief in hard times because they are more likely to spend most of it, thus making a bigger impact on the economy. My higher wage citizens should also have their taxes lowered in hard times simply because it is fair. When the economy is roaring, the wealthy should incur higher taxes because the earn more, generating more revenue to pay down the deficit. Middle and lower income folks should also have their taxes raised, also because it's fair. Let's say your favorite football coach calls a pass play, whose most critical components are the quarterback and wide receiver. As a fan and constituent of that team, what is the approximate percentage increase of your blood pressure going to be if as soon as the ball is snapped, the entire offensive line sits down on ground. When your on a team, you play hard and do your part regardless if your getting the ball (isn't that right Randy Moss?).
Lastly, I find the defense used by "Bill from Portland" hilarious....and sad. The "but they are doing it too" defense proved ineffective in grade school, time and time again. It doesn't play well with Middle America either. All Bill accomplishes here is partisan finger pointing, and a clear example of how leaders and their crazy followers of both parties, are morally bankrupt in equal proportion.

The Tortured Path: Daily Kos

As my vision for this blog matures, I see a great potential way to add value to those that stumble upon the non-sense jotted here, thus the creation of the "Blog-of-blogs". Of course a play on the generally over priced, and ineffective investment vehicle, a "fund-of-funds". The premise being to spend spare time trolling the blogs of the left and right who have already cherry picked news stories to whine about and spin. Rather than do my own news worthy searches, I will simply let the crazies on the left and right filter the news for you and I, then I will filter their rants into an opinion that the average Middle American can process and form opinions on!

Crazy Rant: First item that caught my attention is from the left leaning blog of Daily Kos. A great looking website with a huge following, and lot's of good info. One blog entry from "Hunter" (probably his first name and not a reference to wild game hunting given his obvious political affiliation). The entry offers an opinion of the current debate whether to prosecute government officials responsible for drafting the now illegal torture policy's of the Bush Administration. The gist of the story is that the types of interrogation techniques used violate US and international law, and those responsible should be tried in a court to be consistent with our laws.

Middle America's Take:The basic premise that the Bush Administration took the War on Terror as an opportunity to quietly if not illegally modify U.S. policy on interrogation techniques is 100% accurate, and eventually I support falling to sleep watching these idiots get prosecuted on C-Span. However, not for the reasons the left craziness subscribe to. I want these idiots to face something similar to "the reckoning" played out in the movie Tombstone ( wasn't Val Kilmer awesome in that?), because they either lied about or concealed the policy changes from the American people. They broke the law, simple as that. Now to really get the skin crawling of our lefticon friends, I would probably had zero problem with the administration coming to the American people and saying "we caught some crazies, we think they know something, and our current techniques aren't working. This is waterboarding, this is the risk to the prisoner, this is the benefit, we do not feel it violates current law, and would like approval to adopt these tactics".
You see I do not advocate the Abu Ghraib wild west nonsense (an absolute embarrassment to our professional armed forces). However, if professional interrogators can prove a case for more aggressive techniques, and American lives are at stake, I have no issue with that. What if we broke out our trusty crystal ball, and knew two days before 911 what was going to happen. If we had a known acquaintance of the terrorists in custody, knowing what was about to happen, how many Americans would not support waterboarding to stop the attack? How many mothers, wives, sons, and daughters would not vote to save their loved ones? You see, the debate of "torture" is academic and in hindsight. What if I am a Marine Force Recon sniper, air lifted to the defensive position where your son, and my fellow Marine, are being over run by insurgents? What if through the scope of my .50 caliber sniper rifle ( generally against international law to use .50 caliber rounds on human targets) I can see your son, and I have a clear shot to take down the insurgent who is about to kill your son? Do we support taking the shot, or allowing your son to die for the sake of international law? The bottom line, I support taking the shot. Wars are hell, and should be avoided at all cost (especially ones with oil rights as the goal), however once your in one the only times rules make sense is when your enemy respects the same rules. We have not been in a war like that in a long time. When our cowardly enemy is willing to torture, burn, mutilate, and rape, I am willing to expand my threshold to save American lives, assuming my government goes through legal channels to make it's case.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Middle America!

My Fellow Middle Americans! No I'm not talking about geography, I'm simply paying homage to those Americans who I feel are not currently represented by their government or their media. I am reaching out to what I feel is the silent majority in this country. Those of us whose information is controlled by the two fringes of our society, and said information does not take into account the fact that most of us are both liberal and conservative on an issue by issue basis.

From politics and faith, to finance and religion, we are spoon fed information that simultaneously tells us the country is headed off the cliff, or we are finally headed towards cultural bliss. The reality, as is always the case, is that we are somewhere in the middle. This blog is my attempt at recording my thoughts and opinions on information being circulated on virtually any topic that affects us. Due to my business and interests, the vast majority of the info contained here will focus on politics, finance, and the lack of media credibility. Anyone can ask a provocative and profound question, but I value those with the courage to offer solutions. An aggressive mistake is always better than doing nothing, at least we can learn from a mistake. If we took note of all of the great ideas we develop while feeding our kids or while we mow the lawn, we could run circles around our elected "leaders". I know I have personally saved and ruined the world a hundred times over while driving to work. This blog is my contribution to documenting my best and worst ideas for seeing this great country reach it's full potential. That said, it's time for the disclaimer:

Mission Statement: Here in Middle America we have opinion on everything, and are experts in nothing. The opinions here will rarely be supported by hard facts, but will represent a fresh perspective on the information being circulated. The goal being to educate, and be educated by my fellow Americans. I am right until proven wrong, but welcome dissenting views, and I am more than ready to be re-educated.

For my first post I offer the Middle America Constitution. This is an organic document that will grow and change as discussions here grow and my opinions change. It represents a launching pad for a view of America that receives no air time, political contributions, or bail-outs. Can you relate?

Middle America Constitution:

I am a Middle American:

-I voted for George Bush and Obama in the last 10 years.

-I do not have a gun rack, or a Green Peace Bumper sticker.

-I am man of faith, not a man of religion.

-I'm not sure who is creepier, Al Gore or Carl Rove.

-The only person scarier than Rush Limbaugh is Michael Moore.

-I think there are crooks on Wall Street and next to me at church, and it's none of business what either makes in a bonus.

-I think Global Warming is real, probably not good, and am not convinced it has anything to do with us.

-I think it is irresponsible not to recycle, but so is not going to the gym, and I will try harder at both.

-I hate pollution, and buying oil from countries who hate us, so as soon as they make a hybrid that looks like a Range Rover, I am in!

-I like my actors to leave the politics to politicians, and my politicians to leave the acting to the actors.

-I want my kids to be able to pray in school, and learn the importance of contraception.

-I believe evolution is fact, and it represents God's first miracle.

-We should have lower taxes when we need the money, and higher taxes when we don't.

-I believe in free markets.........that are regulated by the government.

-I believe there are as many poor Americans looking for a hand out as there are wealthy, and I am sick of padding the pockets of either.

-I believe elephant crap smells as bad as donkey crap, and I am tired of being on latrine duty!

-I am proud that we have our first of many black presidents, and the black community is out of excuses.

-I grew up with racial prejudices, and if I ever hear my son utter a single slur I am bringing back water boarding!

-The only vice more counterproductive than weed is alcohol, I don't judge users of either, and both should be legal and taxed heavily!

-If you can afford to attend a protest at 2:00pm on a Tuesday, regardless of the topic, you do not have a real job, and are part of the problem.

-I think the countries of the "axis of evil" are scary, and we should sit down and have a beer with them any chance we get to sort out our differences.

-Wars rob whole generations of talent, should never be about money, avoided at all costs, but once we are in one we should carpet bomb our enemy into a parking lot.

-What we the world allowed to happen to our Jewish brothers and sisters in WWII is an outrage, and it's time for us to take back our blank check and hold Israel accountable.

-I try to pray every day, and there is no place for faith or lack there of in legislation.

-The only thing more irresponsible than saying women deserve more "choice" than "choosing" no protection, is saying that every baby needs to be brought into the world.

-The bailouts are evil, necessary, will work, and will cause the next financial mess.

-You can learn allot by listening to Cramer, Suzy Orman, and Dave Ramsey. The only difference between them and the sad "do it yourself" real estate guy on TV at 2AM is the time slot.

-Successful investing requires your own free research, paying for advise, buying for the long term, and taking advantage of short term opportunities.

-I miss music videos.

-Reality TV ruined television, and my wife ensures it dominates our DVR.

-I love nearly every Tom Cruise movie made, and it is sad to see the man he became.

-I get good info from Fox News and Bill Maher, and disagree with 90% of what is said on both.

-Good health care, a college education, owning a home, and retirement, are privileges not rights. I have been in danger of not working hard enough for all of them at one point or another.

-I have had good credit and bad credit, and if I buy something I can't afford it is no ones fault but my own.

-Unions have protected employees for decades, an it should be impossible for an assembly line worker to make more money than a teacher.

-Steroids are cheating, and so is stealing signs from second base. Neither makes it possible to hit a fastball or throw a no hitter.

-The fact that our government is spending tax dollars to prosecute Roger Clemens, Bary Bonds, and Miguel Tejada, while having not done so for the leadership of Lehman, AIG, IndyMac, and WaMu, is proof we still have the wrong people on the bus.

-Bill Clinton is a scum bag, and was a great president.

-George Bush is a good man, and the worst president in history.

-Both are great Americans who love America, and did what they thought was right, albeit with mixed results.

-I am ready for a woman president, but if Sarah Palin and Nancy Pelosi are the benchmark, we may be waiting a while.

-I support 100% open borders. Open to kick out anyone not paying taxes, and open to accept all that will.

-Any couple committed enough to one another to get married should be able to by law, and enjoy all legal rights that come with it. That said, to guys kissing ruins any movie for me without question.

-I believe drugs are bad, and the war on drugs is putting kids in jail and making millionaires out of murderers.

-I believe death is too light a penalty for the worst offenders, and innocent people have been

-It's too easy for criminals to get guns, crazy people are going to kill regardless, and if law abiding citizens couldn't own guns, today we would have a Queen and bad teeth.

-Prostitution is a sad venture for both parties, and it is non of our business if people want to use sex as a business.

-I want the option to stop paying into social security to invest on my own, and I would have 6X more money in retirement.

-The right is scary, the left is scary, and Nader is scary. I am a Middle American and I want a voice.