Archive for January, 2018

This January, I finally left the Republican party and switched to Independent. I’ve never felt like any party has ever matched my own thoughts, and the GOP has moved a long way from the ideals that President Lincoln started with when he founded it.

Frankly, I think the Democratic party more closely matches me than the GOP. I agree more with the Democrats when it comes to things like immigration, health care and living wages. However, there’s one thing that will prevent me from ever voting for a Democrat for President or Governor: the responsibility for those offices to appoint judges.

I think that generally, the executive and judicial branches of the government work fairly well. There are some big problems: such as the President going to war without the appropriate declaration of war from Congress. And there are problems with a President who will decide which laws to enforce, rather than enforcing all of the laws passed by Congress.

The recent marijuana enforcement shift by the Trump Adminstration is most welcome: they are saying that they will enforceĀ the law as passed by Congress. DACA is similar. Whether I agree with those laws or not, they are the law and therefore should be enforced.

The real problem lies with the deadlocked legislature. I recently saw a criticism of the decision to enforce the drug laws by a Congressman. I mean come on! You are responsibile for changing that law! If you think marijuana should be legal, then pass the law rather than criticize a President that chooses to enforce the law.

Same with DACA – it’s the responsibility of Congress to allow the dreamers to stay, and they should allow it. Stop worrying about huge sweeping changes in health care or taxes, and just do your jobs with the little things.

And speaking of Health Care, the President again should enforce the law as written. How can he just make a declaration and eliminate a law he doesn’t like?

We’re living in a crazy time, where the status of the wealthy defines the economy, where some laws are not enforced, and where the legislature won’t pass laws but will complain when the laws their predecessors passed are enforced. Judges are left to change the law to be better or more appropriate, or executives must sign what are essentially illegal proclamations that overturn existing laws.

We live at the crux of Inalienable Rights and Societal Rights. Inalienable Rights are those which are always there unless taken away. They are rights that require resources to remove, and don’t require resources to grant. Things like Freedom of Speech or the Press. Freedom to Bear Arms or practice Religion.

Societal Rights are often confused for Inalienable Rights – such as Health Care or Living Wage. You can’t just declare them to be a right and be done with it – such “rights” must be supported by a society dedicated to providing them. Obamacare is doomed to fail, because it attempts to provide a Societal Right to Health Care, and then depends on non-governmental organizations to provide that right. Companies are beholden to their shareholders, and they will discontinue programs like participating in the Obamacare exchanges that aren’t profitable. No, the only way to provide Health Care as a Societal Right is with a single payer system, paid for by taxes, and to the detriment of insurance companies. Properly providing health care for everyone will decimate the health insurance industry. We, as a society, must determine if it’s a “right” that we want to support.

And for crying out loud, climate change GOP? If 1,000 engineers told you that a bridge was about to fail, and 10 said it was okay to drive on, would you ignore the 1,000? It’s real, it’s measurable, and the science points to people as the major cause. Let’s make good policy while we can. If India or China or whoever is a big polluter and reducing our emissions will result in a weaker economy, then by all means create economic incentives for those nations, but stop pretending it’s fake.

One final rant on Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, which goes to my original assertion about judges: I believe that we can all agree that we cannot determine medically when “life” begins. Therefore Pascal’s Wager applies: when the consequence of choosing one path is disproportionately bad, then you should always choose the path that is less bad. If “life” begins at conception, then the consequence of abortion is murder. If “life” begins after birth, then abortion eliminates the temporary inconvenience and risks of pregnancy and lack of bodily control, and the permanent changes that can also occur. Clearly, murder is far and above worse than the temporary inconvenience, risks and lack of control. Does anyone seriously disagree with that assertion? Obviously Pro-Choice supporters don’t believe it’s murder, but they don’tĀ know it isn’t since they don’t know when life begins.

Of course, it only matters from a personal/societal perspective if there is no God, and murder is simply survival of the fittest, and society determines whether punishments are necessary for different types of murder. But again, Pascal’s Wager: can you afford to guess wrong?