Are Preppers All Crazy?

Donald_Trump_official_portrait
POTUS

Maybe all Preppers aren’t totally screwy.  I think some preparation for the possibility of certain types of natural or man made disaster scenarios are somewhat reasonable.  Weather such as hurricanes have recently devastated significant amounts of our country.  Some people that ignored the hurricane warnings had hurricane parties instead of evacuating from the area.  Those people are now dead.  Even FEMA’s website has prepping instructions for various potential disasters so the government apparently takes prepping seriously.

It is entirely possible in my opinion that larger areas of our country could be affected for longer periods by similar disruption within my lifetime.  For example a simple electromagnetic pulse from a solar storm or from a North Korean nuclear bomb could shut down all of our technology instantly.  The solar storm of 1859 was a recorded event and it is almost certain to happen again.  Life without electricity would be different from the life we now enjoy.  It could take many years for our country to regain electrical power everywhere and that is only one example.

I think everyone should at least take a look at government recommendations for short term disaster prepping.  Most people are psychologically incapable of any type of prepping because they don’t want to admit to themselves that something seriously bad will probably happen.  Even if there is a disaster the government will always save you. Right?

Some major religious groups have organized prepping activities for all scenarios up to doomsday.  The Mormons have a lot of prepping information on the internet and they actively teach prepping for all types of disasters. I don’t believe in Mormon theology but if there is a country-wide disaster for several years their emphasis on prepping may help the Mormon religion survive.  Religious survivalist’s don’t seem to be entirely self consistent.  Money and time spent on prepping can’t be spent on converting other people to your religion during good times.  On the other hand if doomsday happens on schedule your religion would pick up converts.

Most individual non-religious preppers don’t really want to pick up converts after doomsday.  Your chances of survival in a doomsday scenario would go down if you had to take care of unprepared people.  There seems to be a fairly large pre-doomsday prepper industry on the web consisting of books, special food, weapons and other survival gear.   I have seen what is on the web and some of it is kind of entertaining.  It is possible to incorporate some of these items into more common activities such as camping, hunting, or even my favorite gardening.  Personally I’m not a big prepper because fear of the collapse of society doesn’t worry me.  I do kind of get a kick out of some of the items being sold online but I just can’t afford to buy the stuff for my own entertainment.

 

 

 

 

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Should Football Players Protest the National Anthem?

Anthony Balistreri in Uniform WWII
My wife’s father on left during WWII
Grandfather Marsh WWI
Grandfather Marsh on left during WWI

No one should be forced to respect our national anthem unless it is an integral part of their job.  Also, no one is forced to attend football games and pay outrageous money to watch over paid players who are disrespecting your country.  It is the right of football fans to protest  against the disrespectful actions of players by withholding their money from buying endorsed products and making their feelings clear during the game.  When owners feel a little sting in the old pocket book they may lose their enthusiasm for insulting our country.  Perhaps they could make a rule that if you disrespect the anthem you need to sit out the whole game.  Even excessive celebration and taunting are penalized so why not penalize disrespect for our country.

Hate Speech in Wisconsin

engelssmallA group of college students recently made a video showing their hatred of police.  Police were depicted as anti-black, pigs and were beheaded in the video.  It certainly looked like hate speech to me.  I don’t think hate speech should be totally prevented even if it is extremely vile unless it used to directly incite a riot.  We have freedom of speech in this country no matter how stupid and repulsive.  Hate speech needs to be opposed with reason and positive emotional arguments whenever it presents itself.  Suppressing any type of speech by law is a slippery slope that will backfire because whoever is in power will use those types of laws to limit their opponent’s ability to have free speech.  State resources should never be used to promote hate speech.  Hate speech can also be regulated because it is similar to shouting fire in a crowded theater.

Hate speech can come from people of any race.  Black hate speech is just as bad as Neo-Nazi hate speech and should be equally condemned.  The ability of our society to function is slowly deteriorating because we are so afraid to point out criminal black racist actions and the legal system is skewed to protect criminals of all races in many situations.  Excess political correctness is a great philosophy until someone starts looting, kills innocent people, wrecks your town and burns it to the ground.  Hate speech by students can incite violence in Wisconsin just like what has happened in other states.

The students producing the anti-police hate video have a constitutional right to produce such a video with their own money on their own time.  Were taxpayer dollars used to produce the video or was it some type of class assignment?  The university should reject and suspend any student or professor that engages in garbage of this nature using university resources.

The practical solution to any type of perceived police prejudice can only be to have a higher percentage of non-whites represented in the police force.  Hate speech against the police is not going to help anyone and it will discourage blacks from entering into police work.  Any professor that encourages anti-police or race related hate speech by students should be fired by the university because he is clearly damaging our entire society.  We need to accept the fact that people of any race are capable of being prejudiced and there is no way our society can overlook the criminal actions that result from this evil belief. Certainly professors should not teach college students to propagate hate with taxpayer dollars.

 

Do you want a Microchip implanted in you?

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A Wisconsin company is the first in the nation to begin voluntary microchipping of its employees. This allows them to buy things at the company and do various work related activities more easily.  Isn’t that sweet?

Would you like one of these lovely devices implanted in your hand?  It does have a similarity to the Bible verse from Revelation:

 “It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads,17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark….”

This Wisconsin microchip may not be “the mark” but it can obviously be abused very easily by those who control it once you are stupid enough to implant it in your body.  It makes it easier to monitor and control your actions.  Is that what you want?

How long do you think it will take before it becomes mandatory to have a chip embedded in you with your social security number, insurance details and other critical information in case you want to work, buy or there is a public emergency?

The Poor should Subsidize the Rich?

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Camel traveling down a road paid for by regressive taxes

 

The poor should subsidize the rich sometimes?  I have met very few people who like to pay taxes but they are necessary for the continuation of our society.  We all need roads, police, firemen and other government services whether we want them or not.  Everyone benefits from these types of government services so it seems fair that everyone should pay their fair share of the cost.  Some people benefit more from these types of services than other people and are getting a good deal. This is true of police and fire services which are really just a type of insurance because you are paying for a service you hope you never have to use .  No one wants their house to burn down or be burglarized but there is always a chance it could happen to you so you pay money just in case your number comes up.  There are simply not enough rich people to pay for all necessary government services by themselves so government usage fees (taxes) of less fortunate people became a necessity.  We have gas taxes, toll booths, wheel taxes, car impound retrieval fees, fines for speeding and other methods of generating revenue which place a disproportionate burden on the finances of less fortunate people.

An oversimplified example:  An ultra rich man named Bill Gates gets a $100 ticket for speeding or a poor working mother named Betty with two children and a dead husband gets a $100 ticket for speeding.  Neither person should have been speeding but is it really fair to charge Betty and Bill Gates the same fine (tax).   I would fine people an appropriate percentage of their income instead of an arbitrary fixed dollar value .  Bill Gates would not care if he had to pay some paltry fine so how will he ever learn a lesson from it?  If he had to pay even 4 percent of his income he might wake up and smell the coffee.  Betty should be charged less because monetary fines are a severe drain on her limited resources and she will learn her lesson easily.  Our current system makes it easier for the rich Bill Gates to speed.  Why not take a greater significant percentage of a rich speeders money and use it to fund police and road construction?  This would improve public safety and revenue collection.

Health insurance/treatment is similar in some ways because it is a necessity unless you want to take a chance on dying prematurely.  Few people choose to be ill.  Some people are blessed by God with good health and will never need a doctor’s service or at least not much service.  Other people may have severe illness such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, crohns disease or some other severe disease that is life altering and expensive to treat.  You pay an insurance company but you hope you don’t have to use their services to pay for some dreadful disease.  The insurance company distributes this horrible risk among many people.  The healthy people pay for the really ill people and most healthy people do not really directly benefit except by having emotional security from being insured in case the worst happens.  Health insurance in essence is a transfer of financial wealth from one large group of people to another small group of people who have done nothing to earn the money. Is that a good thing?

An oversimplified example:  Bill Gates gets Crohn’s disease and is insured by XYZ insurance company.  Bill will need about $200,000 per year in treatments over the remainder of his lifetime to keep his bowels operating normally.  Bill’s premium payments amount to $12,000 per year so XYZ insurance company is losing some big time money because Bill has a bad disease.  How should this money be recovered by XYZ?  Obviously they will either raise their rates on their other members or find someway to get rid of Bill from their plan.  It’s not Bill’s fault that he is ultra rich so I don’t believe it is right to eliminate Bill’s treatment and insurance.  Less fortunate people should subsidize Bill Gates in this condition because he paid his money into the system in case this type of thing would happen to him.  A single mom named Betty should be treated just like she was Bill Gates if she had the same condition.

What’s the point?  Some things require us to work together even when we don’t see the direct benefit to us because it’s for the good of our society as a whole. The United States needs some type of insurance plan that includes coverage for all citizens or it just won’t be fair.

 

 

 

 

 

Is universal health care a human right?

I personally believe that anyone who is a Christian is morally obligated to help people with medical care if it is within their ability.  Everyone needs healthcare at some point in their life.  It is cruel to deny someone healthcare based on a low income.  Universal healthcare should be the goal of any national healthcare plan. Congress especially should not have extra health benefits paid for by taxes. Congress should have the exact same health benefits as everyone else.

Achieving universal healthcare is difficult because our political leaders and their families are insulated from the results of their inaction.  If they and their families were denied all healthcare until they achieved a good healthcare bill perhaps they would expedite the job. A little incentive can do wonders for productivity.

Have you ever been to a Social Security office in a large city to collect a benefit? It’s as close to hell as I want to get. Government workers are constrained by a system created by politicians and this makes a pure government controlled healthcare system unlikely to be efficient or productive. Insurance companies need regulation by the government and poor people will need to be subsidized on a sliding scale by rich people. Competition between insurance companies should be encouraged. Everyone should be subject to the same basic insurance plan. Rich people can get additional types of coverage and some fraction of these additional payments can be used to provide poor people with basic coverage. What do you think about this type of plan?

Should Trump be removed from office using the 25th amendment?

grandfathernose - Edited
My Grandfather

Should Trump be removed from office using the 25th amendment?

Quote from a portion of the Constitution of the United States:

“Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President……”

President Trump was fairly elected by the laws and people of the United States.  Unfortunately his manners do not seem to have the same smooth political tact as past presidents.  His opponents are trying to use his rough edges to have him declared mentally unfit to be president and remove him. I don’t like his twitter activity because it is petty and demeans the presidency but I do agree with some of his presidential actions such as cleaning up the VA, appointing Mad Dog Mattis Secretary of Defense,  appointing conservative justices and taking military action against terrorism.

Unless President Trump commits an illegal action or is truly unable to discharge the functions of his office he should not be removed from office in my opinion.  The accusation of mental illness is the modern equivalent of leprosy.  The accused person becomes a leper that no one wants to associate with because no one wants the taint of mental illness to rub off on them.  It is an easy slur to throw around by mental health professionals with their own political agenda.  It is even easier for politicians and left wing reporters without any medical experience to smear someone with innuendo of this nature.  It would set a dangerous precedent for future Presidents to remove Trump without clear medical evidence that he has some diagnosis of mental illness severe enough to prevent him from doing his job.

I think Mike Pence would make a better President than Trump but the people of the United States elected Trump.  The liberals should just get over it and hope they can win the next election instead of trying to destroy our representative democracy.  Christians should pray for Trump that God would guide his actions and that he would stop demeaning the office.  Personally I think most politicians are unacceptable candidates to lead our country and the Trump presidency at least provides a little entertainment for me.  I must confess my fault that I enjoy watching liberals explode with their own righteous anger at Trump’s latest escapade.