Secrets and Healthcare

I’m opposed to nearly everything the current administration is doing, so that I’m having trouble deciding which atrocity to focus on.

The US Senate currently is writing a new healthcare bill to supplant the current system. The entire Senate isn’t actually writing this proposal, not even all the Senate Republicans are writing this proposal. It is being written, in secret, among about ten or twelve senators. 

It seems they will write this bill, and then rush to pass it without giving anyone much of a chance to read it. 

If made into law, this bill will effect a huge number of americans, as well as the economy of the entire United States.

Worried? You should be.

Listen to “(2017/05/30) A conservative solution to solving climate change” on Stitcher

If you have Stitcher, click here.

For web version, click here.
I frequently listen to this podcast, which comes out about three times a week. This episode contains an explanation of how to solve climate change from a conservative’s perspective. It’s frightening that we have this current idea that climate change was invented by liberals and that conservatives have to be opposed solving it. Why would anyone oppose saving the earth we live on? If you ever wondered about this, please listen.

On Vice President’s Speech Regarding Persecuted Christians May 11, 2017

Today Vice President Pence gave a speech at the “World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians” in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC 

The following are opinions on various parts of the speech. 

He says that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. While I can believe this, I am somewhat skeptical of where he got this information and think it would have been better that he made this clearer. I would believe Christians are the most persecuted because they are the largest religious group, so there are more of them to persecute than any of the others. The CIA World Factbook says that 31.4% of the people in the world are Christians, followed by Muslims with 23.2%, Hindus 15%, and Buddhists with 7.1%. 

He says that “ISIS” is committing genocide against Christians. I can agree with this, although he did not mention any other groups until later on. They seem to pretty much be against everyone who is not themselves. 

Pence said “I often say when people have asked me over the years what my philosophy is, I tell them I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.” He said this in his campaign for vice president as well, and I have heard it criticized because he does not even list “American.” 

He mentions some countries in which Christians are persecuted, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, and Eritrea. While I am not an expert, I believe that all religions in North Korea are illegal. Fortunately he went on to note that many other religions were also persecuted around the world and that they needed to work together. Likely he referred to Boko Haram in Nigeria. 

Some of his speech appeared extremely political, such as his repeatedly making a point of he and Trump saying the words “radical Islamic terrorism,” something many politicians demanded that Obama said and said themselves in order to contrast themselves with Obama. 

He had an anecdote about a meeting he had with Christian and Muslim religious officials in al-Basrah, a city in Iraq where he appeared surprised to find there had been a Christian church for 1,500 years. Interestingly, although he did not mention it, a 1,500 year old church would predate Islam itself. I did think the anecdote was good though as it promoted cooperation and peace rather than fear. 

References: 

Vice President Pence’s Speech, from the White House Website: 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/05/11/remarks-vice-president-pence-world-summit-defense-persecuted-christians 
CIA World Factbook Website: 

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html 

Not All Democrats Welcome Bernie Sanders

Though I register as independent I am more allied with the Democrats. It’s more a statement that I’m tired of the two two party only system we have. The parties have the power, and the money. They hold the conventions, and the debates, and if you vote for a candidate who isn’t a democrat or republican, you are often throwing your vote away. This system is causing stagnation. And there is almost no way for a third party to get a foothold.

To win, a candidate must be sponsored by one of the two parties and fit their cookie cutter shape. It’s all about money and talking points and looking good to the donors. But people are tired of this; I am tired of this. This is why the most popular democrat in this election was a self proclaimed social democrat who resisters as an independent and the most popular republican isn’t really a republican.

If the Democrats can’t embrace their progressive side and make a few changes to their platform, they will continue to lose votes. Stop worrying about the labels, think about the issues that are important to you. Vote your conscience.

Article that inspired me to write this post.

We the People Petitions

Written April 16, 2017 by Winston Crockett Fredrickson

We the People Petitions were created in 2011 by the Obama Administration as a way for people to express their concerns to the president. Although the Trump administration did keep this part of the White House website going, they have yet to respond to a single petition. As of this writing, they have a total on nine petitions that have crossed the threshold of 100,000 “signatures” needed to receive some sort of official response. The top petition, called Immediately release Donald Trump’s full tax returns, with all information needed to verify emoluments clause compliance received a total of 1,090,439 electronic signatures, more that ten times the threshold required within the time limit between its creation on January 20th and the deadline of February 19th. Several others have received numbers far higher than this threshold also, such as the second most popular with more than 300,000 supporters demanding that the president divest his financial assets or put them in a blind trust, which he has not done of yet. Three more have over twice the required number: Repeal the NFA, Preserve the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and #ChineseLivesMatters Calling a federal investigation into the United Airlines incident on 10th April 2017 which was started and received all of its votes within just the last week. The NFA is the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the petition says it is to remove regulations on 2ndamendment rights, among other things. Others that have exceeded the threshold also request that the president not defund the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, resign from office, release tax returns, lift a ban on growing hemp as a material for use in products such as cloth and rope, and officially name the sea between Japan and Korea both the “East Sea” as it is known in Korea, and the “Sea of Japan” as it is known in Japan.

It should be noted that the Obama administration also sometimes took quite a while to come out with a response to petitions from the website. According to Wikipedia, who cited the White House website (which has been reset), as of October 16, 2016 the Obama administration had answered 321 petitions with an average response time of 117 days. Currently, according to the White House website, the waiting time on average is 39 days.
Sources:

We the People Petitions site: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov Accessed 16th of April, 2017
Information on petitions past the threshold: http://whpetitions.info Accessed 16th of April, 2017
Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_the_People_%28petitioning_system%29 Accessed 16th of April, 2017

photo credit: Geoff Livingston <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/9397412@N06/32567287266″>A Fence Divides Us</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Donald’s Border Wall Sticks in My Craw

I came across an article in The Hill about how Democrats are perhaps winning the fight against the wall Trump wants to build. It’s nice to have a bit of good news. 

While I realize the need for border security, this wall thing really sticks in my craw, as my Texas Gram used to say. Expensive, ugly, unnecessary. Just another thing that the Donald wants to pin to his chest and show us how great he is.

I tend to agree with what Senator John McCain said in this article about the wall just making the Mexicans very angry at US. It would be nice if we could reach out hands out to our neighbors with some aid and friendship instead of installing a barrier. We could find a friendly solution to the illegal border crossings if we were of a mind to do it.

photo credit: acase1968 Plaza de Mexiamora via photopin (license)

Empowerment Scholarships for Students: What Does That Even Mean?

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Arizona now has passed legislation that will begin the destruction of public education. If you haven’t already heard, the so called empowerment scholarships program will take money from public schools and allow parents to use it for whatever school, be it public, private, charter, or home school they choose.

It’s being touted as giving “choice” to parents as to where they send their children, but parents could already choose where to send their children. This bill takes money from public schools, and doesn’t provide enough money to lower or middle class people to allow them to choose anything better than what they’ve chosen before.

Essentially, this law will give a little extra money to wealthy people who we’re already going to pay to send their children to expensive private schools.

The people at the very conservative Center for Policy Arizona are thrilled as well as Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Secretary of Education, who tweeted Thursday night calling it a “big win for students and parents in Arizona.” And here is our Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s news release. He’s just proud as a peacock of the beautiful egg he has layed.


Here’s an interesting article about school choice from a parent’s perspective that a friend of mine shared with me today .

We Don’t Need Vouchers for Education

IMPORTANT EDUCATION ACTION from AZ Senator Steve Farley’s Facebook page today.
URGENT: Governor Ducey is pushing hard on House and Senate Republicans to support the ESA voucher bill to give away $5,400 debit cards per student from our public schools to partially pay for their private school or homeschool, and make all 1.1 millions students eligible. This would destroy our public education system.

Start today, and do not stop until this session ends: Please contact all House and Senate Republicans and urge them politely to hold firm and reject any ESA voucher program bill. We cannot allow this to happen. Share this widely!

Senator Worsley could be the deciding vote:

(602)926-5700

bworsley@az.leg.gov