Wednesday, July 23, 2014

THYME Magazine: Seeking Solutions

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume VIII, Issue IV

Let's Try Solving REAL Problems

This is an open letter to everyone who aspires to leadership in the political process. Let's talk about America's REAL problems for a change. It is time to face real issues with real resolve and restore the very REAL promise of this great land. Let me explain. The last political cycle began with the proclamation of one party that the other party was guilty of waging a so-called "war on women." Never mind that women in America enjoy far more opportunity and freedoms than their sisters in places like Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, there's a "war on women," and we'd better make it a priority to fight it. Most telling was the poster child of this so-called "war," a Georgetown University law student who claimed she was having an undue hardship placed upon her because her school, run by the Jesuits, wouldn't pay for her recreational contraceptives!

Come on! This woman will make more money in a year, upon graduation, than I make in several. Seriously? She can't afford nine dollars a month at Wal Mart? Ahh, such must be the burden of student debt. That a national party would have her as a featured speaker at their national convention makes my point: We are being manipulated to respond to manufactured crises while true dangers lie neglected. The true crisis is the very real fact that structural flaws in our economic situation remain unaddressed while people likely to vote for the party "get their goodies." This cannot go on. It is the road to Greece, economically speaking and we're careening down it at a dangerously fast clip! Politicians are notorious for telling us: "You don't understand it. We HAVE to do something and you have to trust that we know how to do it best."

That was essentially the argument used to force the 2000+ page so-called: "Affordable Care Act" down our throats. The grain of truth is that healthcare spending and insurance premium costs ARE a very real problem. Pre-existing conditions do not fit the definition of "insurance," yet a compassionate society needs to find a way to provide care for these individuals. In many cases market forces could lower costs and make healthcare more affordable. Tort reform and other legislative means could as well. But rather than openly address these individual issues, Congress was pressed to ram through the bill that: "we had to pass so we can see what's in it," per Nancy Pelosi. Altough we were promised by the President himself that: "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan!," the results of this legislation to date have actually been quite disruptive.

Included in the legislation was the creation of staggering new bureaucracies, a 600 MILLION dollar "Marketplace" website that didn't work, contracted to an old school chum of Mrs. Obama! and the very real cancellation of thousands of plans that didn't meet the "standards" of Obamacare. Rather than promote "Choice and Competition," the new law actually regulated minutia about what an "acceptable" plan would cover. Fortunately for some people, older individial plans that were "grandfathered" in were not affected. But the legislation ran afoul of the Constitution when it REQUIRED employer provided plans to cover abortion inducing drugs. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Products sucessfully mounted a challenge that was decided by a narrow margin in the Supreme Court.

While the law MANDATES coverage of contraceptives and a number of issues considered important to young voters, it provides for bureaucracies making decisions about when to end care for older people. It empowers the IRS to 'fine' people for not having insurance. Many analysts see it as simply a preliminary framework for a future single-payer system like they have in Great Britain or Canada. It has already had the very real effect of ELIMINATING coverage for many responsible people who kept their insurance and needed it to pay for cancer treatment or heart problems. Sure, a few individuals have been able to obtain subsidized policies (with much regulated coverage and fewer options than what they replaced), but that begs the question: "Couldn't that have been accomplished with tax credits without taking apart the whole system?"

In fact, we SHOULD have been having a discussion of high deductable policies, medical savings accounts, tax credits, competition and true portability all along. Each of these issues, coupled with an understanding of how insurance companies negotiate discounts with hospitals and doctors, could STILL give us the means to give Americans access to the best health care system in the world. We NEED to repeal Obamacare, but we need to REPLACE it with a system that utilizes TRUE market forces to provide for most people while providing real protection for those who fall through the cracks. We've done this as a society before, and if we will place the discussion of PROBLEMS over POLEMICS, we will do so again. Make no mistake, Obamacare is not "too big to fail," it is too cumbersome to work. There needs to be a trustworthy replacement crafted in the open by honest statesmen.

We need to limit the size and scope of government to its Constitutionally mandated functions and allow for economic opportunity if we are to survive. We need to exploit our own energy resources as a part of a strategy to maintain our national security in a very volatile world. We need to secure our borders and maintain an orderly immigration policy that favors those seeking the freedom and opportunity of this great land. We do not need to use illegals to dilute the vote of the people who have built this country!

We need to stop legislating away "being offended." If you don't like the fact that there are Christians and Jews openly living in the dictates of their Faith in the public square (alongside Sikhs, Hindus Muslims and people who have no faith), you have options. If you desire to be bound by Sharia Law, there are options. If you want to live in a totally secular state, simply migrate to Europe and choose the degree. We began this nation with "An Appeal to Heaven."[1.] The First Amendment was crafted in light of that freedom. We cannot create a state church, but we cannot stop our citizens from BEING the Church. We, as a nation, have always respected CONSCIENCE. That overrides your "offense" at some baker or photographer refusing the job of your wedding!

We face some very real problems. We need to become energy independent and produce our own goods again. We need to strengthen our dollar with real value. We need to train our own replacements and render obsolete a University system that tears down the fabric of our culture. We need to protect the environment from REAL threats and produce good food. We need to pass along to our children and grandchildren the great nation that was given to us.

The Middle East Problem

Dennis Prager Explains the Region's History

The Biggest Obstacle to Peace

In The Nakba Obsession [click to read] Sol Stern in City Journal presents a clear-headed analysis of the Palestinian problem and why it needs to be better understood.

"There is only one just compensation for the long history of suffering, say the Palestinians and their allies: turning the clock back to 1948. This would entail ending the “Zionist hegemony” and replacing it with a single, secular, democratic state shared by Arabs and Jews. All Palestinian refugees—not just those still alive of the hundreds of thousands who fled in 1948, but their millions of descendants as well—would be allowed to return to Jaffa, Haifa, the Galilee, and all the villages that Palestinian Arabs once occupied.

Such a step would mean suicide for Israel as a Jewish state, which is why Israel would never countenance it. At the very least, then, the Nakba narrative precludes Middle East peace. But it’s also, as it happens, a myth—a radical distortion of history." --Sol Stern

Read More [click to read]

Apollo 11: The Untold Story

Forty-five years ago men landed on the moon. Neill Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins faced a few unforseen challenges in their mission. Aldrin, at one point, used a ball point pen to repair a broken fuse on the Lunar Excursion Module. Without that inventive repair, the crew might not have been able to leave the lunar surface to return home.

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