Change Lee Elementary, but What About Washington?

Recently, I engaged in a Facebook debate on the issue of changing the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary school in East Wenatchee, WA. It was a good debate and except for one person making the inference that I was “casually racist” it was a good, focused debate. No name calling, etc. Not one of those shit heads cussed! If any of those people are reading this, I say thank you!

This issue is another situation where I look at people, their zeal to make the world right and wonder “Where do we stop?” Folks in East Wenatchee want to change that school’s name for fear it may remind some of racism, slavery, and because Robert E. Lee defended slavery. My arguments are that this won’t make a difference in the big picture and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars—money that won’t be spent on education.

Why did this just now became an issue? Wasn’t Robert E. Lee the same guy since…well his birth? We’ve known about Lee and his life for several years, now. Lee Elementary was named decades ago. And just now in 2017 it’s an issue? Does this mean our educational system is getting better? Or did we run out of things to clutch our pearls about?

Some people believe very strongly that this issue. I asked, who was willing to take out a $100,000 loan to pay for the name change? All I got was a bunch of muttered “Well, I think someone started a collection…” “I think there’s a fundraiser….” But no one believed enough in this to take it on themselves.

So, now we’re renaming things to cleanse ourselves of guilt over slavery and racism. Again, how far do we go? Who wants to take the lead to change the name of Washington Elementary? How about changing the name of Washington state? University of Washington. Washington State University?

Any takers?

I’m waiting.

Oh? Am I being silly? How so? All y’all stupefy me! You’re trying to ban tobacco yet you’ve legalized  marijuana. I can’t smoke a cigar in a cigar shop, but I can go smoke whatever weed I want in a hookah bar. We task our legislature to pass laws (costing millions of our tax dollars) regarding texting while driving and distracted driving (with adequate laws on the books already) yet we can’t wait to get that new car that has the display screen that’s bigger than the TV I had in my bedroom as a young teen.

By the way, at the time of his death and through his presidency, Washington owned over 300 slaves. So, shall we make changes? Or can we accept that, at that time, slavery was universal. Of course that doesn’t make it right, but at that time, those guys hadn’t grasped the change or need for change. Just yet. But they did. They evolved. And it was those Founding Fathers (some of whom owned slaves) who started to bring slavery to an end.

Maybe it is a good thing to change those egregious names. I mean, imagine getting off the plane in Berlin and seeing a statue of Adolf Hitler. So maybe a man like Lee shouldn’t be memorialized–except in history books. Washington probably should be memorialized. He did some pretty cool shit. And while you’re at it, bring Pappy Boyington’s statue back to the UW campus! (If you get that one, let me know!)

My arguments are usually around the truth and the education. People seem to believe slavery didn’t exist until our Founding Fathers. They seem to believe racists are only white. And sadly, for them, they seem to think that changing a name, removing a monument or removing a flag is going to end racism. I hurt for those people. They’re going to be so disappointed, when, the next day, the sun comes up, the birds sing and the local Hammerskins are marching down Main St. undaunted.

When it comes to the vote on changing the name of Lee Elementary, I won’t be voting. I don’t live in that school district. They still get some of my taxes, but I only hope my money buys books or a new mimeograph machine. So all y’all go vote. It is your right as free, non-slave owning Americans. As for me…

I’m still here you bastards!

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Who’s Responsible for My Safety? (And yours, I guess.)

Mandaly Bay. School shootings. Acts of terrorism–Islamic and domestic. Plain old murder. Each time, every time a gun is used, people cry out for more gun legislation.

I’ll stipulate that most of those demands are not for banning guns outright. Those demands are more regulation on obtaining a firearm. More mental health screening and background checks. So, don’t send me hate mail or call me stupid because I “can’t get it.” I got it. Now, without me calling you stupid, try to get this point:

When congress or legislatures debate anything, it costs money. That money comes from taxes. We pay taxes in hopes that money will be spent on national defense, schools,  highways, other infrastructure, police and fire protection and other very worthy things. But now we ask government to debate and enact legislation for more gun control. This will cost money.

“But, Scott, isn’t it a worthy expenditure if it saves even one life?”

NO! It is not! I’m sorry to those who have lost, or will lose their lives to gun violence, but no. It is not a worthy expenditure if it saves only one life. “But what if it’s one of your family that is the next victim?” My taxes pay for hospitals, the coroner and cemeteries. Now go get the bad guy! (Also paid for by my taxes).

Now try to understand this: More regulation will ONLY affect you and me…those who do not commit, nor want to commit crime. People who are already “in line”, lawfully compliant and do not commit gun violence. We wake up in the morning, scratch ourselves, stumble into the bathroom, brush our teeth and get ready to go to work and we obey the law. That’s why we get to go to work instead of out to the yard for exercise time (a reference to prison for those of you in Rio Lindo).

So who are the targets of new laws and regulation regarding guns?

Those who would do evil. The problem is, they don’t give a shit what the existing laws are and care less what new ones come. They get up at noon, grab a beer or bong or whatever, scratch themselves and they watch TV or go hang somewhere and maybe plot to do harm to someone. Those people do not see the world the same as you and me. They don’t think like you and me. They do not obey laws nor do they care that laws may disallow certain things they do. Some would call them criminal.

Look back over your lifetime. How long has it been illegal to transport, possess, sell and/or manufacture drugs (cocaine, marijuana, meth, heroine, etc.)? Now, for how long has their been people willing to transport, possess, sell and/or manufacture drugs? Do you think at some point, they were talking to police and said “You mean this is illegal? Shit! I never knew!” There are laws in place. We have treatment available. We have education in place…way back to elementary school. And yet…

Another problem with regulations like more mental health screening is that not all mental health issues are apparent all your life. There are millions of people who would pass mental health screening on Monday and then on Wednesday they have a psychotic break and then all hell breaks loose. And pending mental health issues don’t always give even the most aware people any hint. The sweetest, most responsible, loving, father, grandfather, brother, mother, son, daughter can become an evil monster nearly over night. It can be that fast.

So, what do we do? Who keeps us safe?

There’s one person (at least) suing the Mandalay, and the concert venue because those entities “should have done more to keep people safe” from such occurrences. WTF?! Did that person ever consider she and her friends could be rocking out to music then someone might open fire on the entire crowd from a hotel room? According to this lady, someone else is suppose to keep us safe from anything that might hurt us?

Bullshit! I want a safe world, but not one where hotels search my luggage, run background checks and mental health checks on me at check-in. Besides, what would this do the prostitution industry? Those felonious, crazy beechez can’t pass those checks!

I’ll boil this down to the sad point. Those who would do evil exist. Those who commit crimes exist. Those who do not do evil exist. Those who do not commit crimes exist. We’re all here together. It isn’t government regulation; it isn’t hotel policies; it isn’t the police; it isn’t karma that is responsible for our safety and happiness. Oh, they all have a part, but ultimately, I am the only person responsible for my own safety and happiness. I am a sheepdog and I’ll watch out for you too. I believe there are three types of people: Sheepdogs, wolves and sheep. Sheepdogs are protectors of the sheep. Wolves are those who would do evil to sheep. Most of the population are sheep. The sheep get to pick who they want to protect them, but they sometimes pick wolves over sheepdogs. But that’s okay. Us sheepdogs are still here just like me…

I’m still here you bastards!


Why Do People Commit Violence? (Check it Out! I Inserted a Pic This Time!)

First I want to urge–strongly–each of you, to read the book “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger. I have read this book and found it amazing! It’s a look at our society and offers, maybe, some answers to all the “whys” we ask. I’ll likely butcher the book in this blog, but again, read it! I’ll do my best paraphrasing here. The second thing I want you to do is continue reading this blog…

As you all know, a lone man committed an attack in Las Vegas. We all ask “why?” We’ve seen the obligatory cries for gun-control; the memes about Godless society; pleas to bring prayer back to schools, etc. Again, more arguments, friendships being tested and more polarization of our society.

Fine. Have fun folks, but check your horse-shit at the edge of the road before you come sip corn on my back deck. (Sipping corn: Whiskey, rye, bourbon are made of corn. I sip it. I sip corn).

So why do these violent events take place? Why do seemingly good people commit such terrible atrocities? Why do seemingly good people turn to Militant Islam? Why do our kids bring such evil to their schools?

Mental illness is one answer. As with everything else, it isn’t the only answer. Gun control isn’t the answer. People have used box knives, planes, trucks, cars, kitchen appliances, even poison to carry out mass attacks. Why, in this nation, with so many laws on the books and so many people in prison, do we think more laws will do anything more than…put more people in prison? How long have cocaine and meth been illegal? Do you know of anyone who uses either?

Sebastian Junger shows that part of our problem today is the size of society. Some of us get lost and question our personal value. I’m not advocating population control. That’s kooky talk. But Junger shows that in old, American Indian tribal life, the tribal clans were small enough that each person in the tribe had a purpose, had a reason to be in the group. Each person was important to the survival of the clan. They never had to sit and ponder their place or reason to live. Even the children had jobs they had to do–not for allowance, but for survival of the tribe.

Today, we have very little of that. We have adults who have no apparent reason to be alive. They wake up, pop a 40 and start getting their buzz on. They have nothing, no reason for being. And this takes a toll on that person. In their soul they feel their life is worthless and they have no purpose.

Today we have schools full of kids. As teens, each is trying to find their place in the “clan”. Sadly, some of those kids are targets of bullies and pranks and jokes that may embarrass that teen. So what does he do? He secludes himself in his basement and hates life. He finds no acceptance. No support. No peer group. He believes, in his soul, that he has no purpose. Or maybe I should say, he’s given no purpose. You get my drift.

The search for acceptance and need is innate. It happens whether they know it or not. So in their search, they see stories of Lukaitis, Harris and Kliebold; maybe they’re handed a flyer, or surf the net and find the website that tells them Allah loves them; has a purpose for them; needs them. Now these people have a reason to be. They belong to a group. They have value. They have acceptance. They are worthy.

(Note: I am not saying the Vegas shooting–or any school shooting was Islam motivated. Nor do I intend to say ALL violence is Islam motivated. This is just an illustration. So shut it!)

Another way to see this idea is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I was introduced to this when studying street gangs as a police officer. I probably learned it in high school, but I was busy with other more important things…like that “sex” part of the bottom tier of the pyramid.

Maslow

It was a theory that kids gravitate to criminal gangs to fulfill these needs…needs that weren’t being fulfilled at home and school. Look at this pyramid, then think about what we hear about many of the school shooters: Loners; not accepted by peers; into activities they can do alone (like video games). Or the people who are being raised in “non-Islamic” households who turn to Militant Islam? Since each level of the pyramid needs to be fulfilled before one can move on to fulfill the next, I’m thinking we, as a society, as friends, as peers, and parents are dropping the ball when it comes to Safety, Love/Belonging and finally Esteem.

These people, kids and adults, in their search to fulfill Maslow’s needs pyramid, turn to violence. It fills the voids now. It’s immediate. It provides instant “success”; forces to people to respect them (there is a difference between fear and respect, but who teaches this?); it gives them recognition.

Vegas? The Gray whale, the largest mammal on earth eats only the microscopic plankton. Why? No one knows. And I have no clue why Stephen Paddock did his deed.

So maybe, rather than asking our government to spend money and time debating gun control, we—you and me—can start helping those around us. Open our eyes and ears. Stop this “Don’t judge” bullshit and start seeing what’s going on and then do something! If “it” doesn’t look right, “it” probably ain’t. You see someone who might be on the edge? Help bring him back! Try! Call the school and let them know. Judge! How many times have cops heard: “Well, I saw something but I didn’t want to get involved…” Or, “I try not to judge.” Those comments should win a Taser application!

I don’t know. I got away from Junger’s book. “But, don’t you judge me, Paul Blart!” (that guy cracks me up every time!) Keep your eyes and ears open always. Prepare for the worst. Enjoy the best. Watch out for your neighbors. Keep your family close. Pray if you want. Keep ‘em cocked and locked if you’re so inclined. As for me…

I’m still here you bastards!


Protests: Boon? Or Boondoggle?

The 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. That was drafted and ratified in about 1776. That amendment gave us the right to “peaceful assembly” which is another way of saying “peaceful protest.” It’s been the American way since before the Constitution and today, we carry on that tradition with great zest! Sometimes we even let evolve into the second most wonderful American tradition: The riot. I’ll deal with riots later, but for now, let’s just talk about protests.

Does protest work? I’m sure it makes the participants feel as though they’re standing against something or for something. I’m sure it makes them feel good about themselves to have done something positive to try to bring change. I know it gives some the opportunity to get all hoity-toity when the turn their nose up and say “At least I DID something!” And I’m sure the majority of them feel terrible when their once peaceful protest becomes a violent riot.

Many players in the NFL and other professional teams, are now protesting by kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem. Seems to me it started in the 2016 season when Colin Kaepernick sat on the bench during the anthem in protest of police brutality against blacks. The last time I heard these pre-game protests explained, it was police brutality, racism, and inequality. At the rate it’s growing, soon the exploitation of Puxatonni Phil to determine the end of winter will be added to the list.

But is this going to work? Or will it just polarize a nation and society that is already torn and separating quickly?

One of the first results of these protests has been to question the patriotism of those participating. The cry “What about all the veterans who fought for you?” There has been little discussion about racism, inequality, police brutality or who’s going to replace Phil. Sides have been drawn. People alienated.  Names were called. Hype was made and if the newspapers are right, the NFL audience is dwindling.

Sadly, the one thing that has made our country the greatest in history and the strongest, is the same thing that is leading to it’s apparent demise. I’m speaking of the Constitution of the United States. We all fight about it. Many have fought for it. Some attack certain parts. But It’s the Constitutional guaranteed right to “peaceful assembly”, aka protest, that seems to be tearing the country apart now.

As usual, I’m not going looking it up, but if memory serves me well, that amendment says PEACEFUL assembly. The NFLPA is participating in a peaceful protest when they kneel, raise their fists or refuse to say “Hi mom!” when the camera zooms in them.

When the NFL players kneel during the anthem, the whole reason for the protest is lost when the audience, the receivers of the intended message, bristle and question the patriotism of the players. So the protest does nothing more than ruin a game’s atmosphere and nothing is improved. However, the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals did their pre-game protest in such a manner that the protest could be heard and a show of patriotism could be seen.

Yet, still nothing has changed.

Protests seem to divide the country into three groups. There are the ones who support the cause. There are the ones who are against the cause. And there’s the ones who just don’t give a shit either way.

For me, if the players want to protest, fine. It’s their right. The same people we shove in their face to condemn the timing of the protest are the same men and women who fought to keep and provide the right to protest. The biggest thing for me and I hope many others is that we watch sports to escape. It was a sanctuary where we seldom if ever had to hear about the issues of the day. We were all, almost united in cheering for a team…okay, two teams, but at least were kind of united, but you get my meaning. Of course, dickheads like Bob Costas has to come on during one game and give his two-bits on gun control and gun violence. And MNF dropped Bocephus because he professed his love of guns. So politics did bleed in, but the players were mostly there for the purity of the game.

We’ve lost that now. I worry the players will now, forever be protesting something as a group.

By the way, Kaep, when he started all this, was facing a season where he was losing his status as a starter. Kaep needed to up his hype and probably figured he couldn’t do it on the field, so he grabbed the best place on the bench and called it protest. He also got his name mentioned, before and during every game when some player knelt “…following the lead of San Fransisco 49er quarterback, Colin Kaepernick…” This way, in the following offseason, when Kaep made his tour of NFL teams trying to find a job, no one upon meeting him every said “And you are who? Who did you play for?”

 

Anyway, friends and neighbors, I’ll be watching football again tonight, Sunday and Monday night. Will these protests work? Or will they just piss people off? And do you really want to piss people off when you protest or do want to win people over, or just bring light to an issue? Mostly, these protests have made me think more about the use of protest to affect an issue than they’ve made the consider the issues. I just hope the exploitation of Puxatonni Phil hasn’t hurt him too much. And as Kaep fades into the sunset, just remember friends and neighbors….

I’m still here you bastards!


From “Traitors” Across The Nation

A Letter to Ron Smevik

Dear Ron,

In a recent Facebook post you stated, unequivocally, that I and other Trump supporters are “traitors” to America. I take umbrage with you and your statement.

Shortly after high school, as a “traitor” to this country, I signed up to serve in the United States Navy. However, and much to my regret, I had two available leave dates. Prior to my first leave date, I dislocated my shoulder and could not go. The day before I was to leave on my second date, I broke my wrist. That washed me out of Naval service (pun intended).

You know us “traitors”, always trying to serve the United States of America!

About two years later, as soon as I was age-eligible (and growing more “traitorous”), I joined my local volunteer fire department as a firefighter and EMT. From that day (first Tuesday in May of 1983) until Dec 31, 1990, I served every community I lived in as a “traitorous” volunteer firefighter and EMT: Cashmere, Dryden, Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Burien, Lacey/Olympia/Tumwater. In addition, I worked for Shepard Ambulance in Seattle for a couple years. In each instance, I put my life on the line to serve, protect, and rescue citizens and I brought aid, and hopefully comfort to the sick and injured–regardless of age, creed, color, ethnicity, race, language spoken, religion/non-religion, lifestyle–because that’s how us “traitors” do things.

In 1991 I started a 19 year career as a police officer. I served the citizens, community, state and nation as a protector and service provider. I arrested local criminals, drug traffickers and even got to help in investigations of criminals from outside the United States…and I’m not talking Mexican drug traffickers, although there were a couple of those as well. Retired Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman said it so well: “I’ve talked to our men and women overseas. The only thing they ask of you is keep their families safe here, while they’re away.”

I did that. As a “traitor”?

As a “traitor”, I served everybody equally, protecting their Constitutional Rights, their lives and their property. I served straight-up victims and provided the same service to known criminals, gang members and convicts–if and when they were victims of crimes. I even had two convicts ask for me specifically to investigate crimes against them and their families because they “…knew you’re [me] a good cop and you’d get it done right…”

I have served my community, state and nation with pride and without regard to a persons color, race, ethnicity, or even citizenship. So, you can take your assertion that I and other Trump supporters are traitors and you can shove that right up your ass, Mr. Smevik. As a former firefighter, I know how to use a pike pole and as a former EMT I have a knowledge of the anatomy so if you need help with this, let me know.

Proud to be here, happy to serve.

Now that’s from me personally. In the mix, you have called my friends and some family traitors. These include former Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard–active and veterans–and other public service professionals—active and retired—traitors. People who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan as well as other places.

They’d probably want to kick your ass for calling them traitors, but I bet more that they’d continue to defend your rights. We protected your right to free speech. But none of us want you to be stupid with it.

How about this: You, Ron, take your band (great performances by the way), take some of your female friends and some of your LBGT friends (assuming you have some—I do because it’s your right to choose that lifestyle) and go over to one of those Muslim countries who hate the United States of America, all she stands for and every God-loving (or Atheistic) one of us, and set up shop for a year. These are the same countries and people who come here and enjoy our freedoms, do their militant horse-shit and want to close us down—as well as get support from the likes of you.

I digress…

Go there with your crew, maybe have the ladies set up a school for the kids, maybe have those women drive your car and your band around, you sing your songs, let the LGBTs go do a rights march….

Yeah. Do that. And bring what’s left of the crew back the United States and let us know what it’s really like. Then maybe certain travel bans on certain people will make sense; maybe some of the things Trump is doing will make sense. One things for sure, you’ll have a greater appreciation for us traitors you despise so much.

Or you can just apologize and thank us for our service.

Either way…

I’m still you bastards!


End Racism: Destroy the History!

Maybe you remember these two recent events:

–S.C. Governor Nikki Haley signs bill to remove the Confederate Battle Flag (AKA “Stars and Bars”) from government facilities.

— New Orleans Mayor, Mitch Landrieu calls for removal of Robert E. Lee’s statue and renaming of “Lee’s Circle”.

These are two of a several steps taken to eradicate racism in America and stop the memories of slavery. These items in question (a flag and a statue) were deemed to, in some way, allow racism to continue and they also brought to mind the hideous act of slavery in the United States.

I’ve been wearing out on this crap for years! Somehow, “white America” owes “black America” because “we” brought black slaves from Africa and forced them to work on plantations.

I do not excuse the practice of slavery, but let’s go back to the Pilgrim’s landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620. At that time, numerous “civilized” societies throughout the world practiced slavery to include tribes in Africa and American Indians (wait…they weren’t “American” Indians then, but you know who I mean.) It’s not like 1770’s Americans in Philadelphia House said “Hey! Lets invent slavery! We’ll go over to Africa, get some Africans, and bring them over here to pick the cotton and all that!”

No. Slavery was practiced. It was as normal and natural as the NFL is today. Over time, in our forefather’s efforts to make their case to be free of England’s rule, someone at Philadelphia House said, “Hey! If we’re going to say ‘all men should be free’, how can we continue the practice of slavery?” Some others said “You got a point there!” Other’s said “Shut it! We need slavery for our economy!” (I’ll leave it to you to try to figure out who were the abolitionists and who were pro-slavery in that little scenario). In fact, while many like to point their fingers at Thomas Jefferson as a slave owner and call him a hypocrite, he was most bothered by the question of slavery and worked to end slavery. TJ basically invented “profit-sharing” by giving his slaves a share of the profits from crops sold.

But anyway…

I once watched a documentary about the song “Dixie Land”. You know, “I wish I were in the land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten. Look away, look away, look away, Dixie Land…” There were arguments on both sides to keep or abolish this song. One dufus, who was supposed to be some sort of anti-slavery expert said “I believe anything that may bring to mind memories of slavery should be removed and certainly never taught in schools…”

Seriously?

Okay. We started with removing the Stars and Bars and removing Robert E. Lee’s statue. But what else could remind us of slavery?

How about the phrase “The South.” Couldn’t that remind us of the Confederacy? The Confederacy would remind us of slavery. OUT WITH THE PHRASE “THE SOUTH”!

Here’s one…Hip-hop; Rap music; rock ‘n roll; the blues; R&B; and gospel all have to go. We’re left with Zydeco, classical and ranchero music. You see, slaves invented gospel and the blues, which grew up to be rock ‘n roll, R&B, and all the modern music we love today.

Good call on that one Dr. Dufus! You explain this to B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Bo Didley, John Lee Hooker, and Aretha Franklin.

What do we do with Fredrick Douglas?

And of couse, there’s…black people; African-Americans. So according to Dr. Dufus, they all need to be removed from America?

Of course, these are ridiculous, but then so was Dr. Dufus’ statement. The sad part is that so many out there believe Dr. Dufus’ statement to some extent. And it is in glaring contrast to the wisdom of some, like my neighbor, Jon Magnus who wrote in his book: “S.H.I.N.E. Life Lessons Revealed”: “Education and knowledge are the most effective weapons in fighting ignorance and guarding against the repetition of ugly historical events.” 

While Magnus is writing about a horrendous event in WWII, that statement is so true to so many events! Slavery; the poor treatment of the American Indian; the poor treatment of Asians building the American Railway; WWI; WWII; Pearl Harbor; the Holocaust; Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

9/11.

Don’t remove those statues. Don’t remove those flags. Don’t remove the monuments. Use them to stimulate conversation! Educate! Build knowledge! And mostly, BE HONEST ABOUT IT! When it comes to slavery, it wasn’t just white America–it was the world. However, it WAS white America who FIRST CALLED FOR THE END OF SLAVERY! (Well, I’m sure a black slave or two may have had a thought or two on the subject…)

Another tidbit I love thinking about: The old “slave blues” were songs by the slaves. On their face, they’re songs about a woman who does her lover wrong. The songs usually follow a line like “I’m mistreated, but I can’t leave her, blah, blah, blah…” and they end with some kind of pay back, or get-even. These songs are a type of code and they are about the slave master!

Is that ingenious? And they sung those songs right in front of the master!

Okay. Now I’ve ranted and rambled. This was going to be blog about the 2017 NFL season, but I got sidetracked…

Folks, instead of ignoring the painful things in our past we should all be ashamed of, teach those errors. Not to promote them, not to continue them, but to avoid making those mistakes again. I’ll be out voted on this, but while you’re ripping down Robert E. Lee’s statue, remember friends and neighbors….

I’m still here you bastards!


Privileges vs. Rights

“I’m always so amazed when I hear Americans say shit like “healthcare is a privilege not a right.” Like how do you reach a point in your life where you think it’s okay for people to die because they can’t afford healthcare…” Have you seen this meme on social media? I did, obviously, and it got my fingers to dancing on the keyboard. Again. Obviously. Otherwise you’d be reading a blank page.

At least your lips wouldn’t be moving…

First, I think we need to go over some terms. Healthcare. What is healthcare? Is it health insurance? Is it the ability to see a doctor? I think what the argument is over, is the ability for a person to get health insurance. So let’s go with that. Because if you’re using healthcare as in going to see a doctor, then your argument is over. Anyone, from any country, regardless of immigration standing, can walk into any medical facility and request treatment for illness or injury regardless of ability to pay. Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime. So for that purpose, we’ll refer to it as medical care.

Argument done?

Of course not. Because, that’s not what the left wants. The left wants free health insurance for everyone. That’s different. And that’s where I have a problem. One reason medical care is so expensive is the fact that so many go into emergency rooms for basic care and cannot pay for the treatment. Those costs get passed on to the next patient, and the next, and the next, until finally there’s a patient who pays his bills or has medical insurance.

Maybe we should go over the term “free” as in “free healthcare”. “Free” would mean no one pays for it. So does that mean healthcare would just appear out of thin air? Or would there be taxes, charges, fees, etc. for the working American to pay so that the unemployed, impoverished, unwilling to work American can enjoy medical insurance?

Now to whip some people up…

Medical care is a right. Medical insurance is a privilege.

I want medical insurance. So I made my wife go get a job that supplies medical insurance for us both. We pay for some of that premium. We also have a co-pay and out-of-pocket expenses we have to meet. We pay those and we pay our bills. We work for that privilege. Now you want me to pay for medical insurance for someone who is unemployed, or won’t work?

Why is that fair?

Those without medical insurance can already walk in to a clinic and get medical care and skip on the bill leaving me to pick up the slack. Now I have to pay for the insurance?

Besides, after 4 years of the “Affordable Care Act” I know more people now that cannot afford medical insurance than ever before. Oddly enough, they’re in the same demographic the ACA was supposed to help. Oh, I feel so much better now! Now I’m paying more for my insurance, I’m paying for your insurance and you can’t afford to get the insurance that I and others like me are subsidizing.

So again, medical care is available to everyone. Go get it. You have a right to medical care. Medical insurance is a privilege. If you can afford medical insurance, then go get some. If you can’t afford it, but want some, then get a job and buy some.

The last thing I want to say on this is, rights are free of charge. You have a right to free speech, religious choice, bear arms, etc. Other than those veterans sacrificing so very much (and thank you!) those rights are free of charge. If you have to pay for something, then it is not a right, such as education, healthcare, burial, driving a car. We have options on some things like, food. We have a right to eat. We can grow our own food, or we can buy our own food. Suitable shelter is a right. Housing is a privilege. Finding a suitable shelter, such as under an overpass, or other public access ground, is a right.

I have the privilege of living a beautiful home, with a pool and hot tub and well stock liquor cabinet. You do not have the right to enter my property without the privilege of my invitation. I already pay for your healthcare. That’s your privilege. So now, I’ve spun some of you up. Go outside, it’s your right, and take some deep breaths, that’s your right, and check back later to see if I wrote another blog. That, my friends, is your privilege. But as for me…

I’m still here you bastards!


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