Saturday, May 30, 2015

Law and Disorder

Photo: NY Daily News, May 9, 2015
The day following Officer Brian Moore's funeral.
Crime is up in Baltimore, you say? Well, imagine that.

You can't have it both ways, people. Either cops do their jobs with community support, or they hold back from fear of negative consequences to themselves, their families, and their careers. And when cops hold back, criminals step forward. It's not rocket science; it's a predictable combination of common sense and human nature.

Occasions of police brutality are real, but these unfortunate incidents are not racially motivated. If you're resisting arrest, attacking or threatening an officer, or otherwise acting with aggression that threatens the peace, you might get roughed up while being arrested. It doesn't matter what color you are; it's the cops' job to subdue you and prevent harm to themselves and to others. No surprise there, at least to any thinking person.

In all of the strident protests, nobody ever holds a sign reading "Stay Safe--Surrender Peacefully!" So much conflict and grief could be prevented if that were the message. But arriving at that rational conclusion requires critical thinking and honesty, two characteristics in short supply these days. Emotional reaction and political agendas always seem to trump intelligent thought nowadays, a fact that makes me fear for our country's future.

When there's trouble or danger in our lives, who are we to call for help if not the police? It's a hard question that many US cities are being forced to face.

Earlier this month, NYPD officer Brian Moore, age 25, was shot and killed by a career criminal when Moore approached to question the shooter. Moore and his partner had seen the murderer adjusting a gun in his belt. There were no riots, marches, or protests over Moore's death. He was just a cop doing his job. Cops know that any shift they work could be their last. But a group of children standing on a sidewalk to salute Moore's passing hearse wore T-shirts that proclaimed "Blue Lives Matter."

It's a message that surging crime rates in besieged cities might now be willing to consider.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Low Expectations

Although it makes me ill to think of it, the US is already deeply immersed in the ramp-up to the 2016 presidential election. Victor Davis Hanson has some sobering thoughts on the international difficulties that will face our next national chief executive.

At the rate things are deteriorating at home and abroad, I hope we make it to the 2016 election intact as a country. I also hope that yet another pathological liar doesn't become the next president. But maybe I'm setting the bar too high.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015


I've previously mentioned some of my beefs with "Obamacare," euphemistically called the Affordable Care Act. Since first signing up on January 1, I've learned that the federal subsidies that lower my premium to a payable amount each month are actually considered taxable income. So for 2015, I'll owe taxes on an additional $5,000 of income that I've never seen.

Only the government could call this "affordable." (Maybe they mean it's affordable for them?)

Today, more surprises were in store as I researched finding a new physician. It seems that my healthcare organization--one of the largest in California--doesn't cover my Obamacare policy. I asked if it was because I had the cheapest (excuse me, the most "affordable") version, the "Bronze" plan. The representative in the hospital's insurance registration office gave me an airy "No."

"Bronze, silver, gold, or platinum, it doesn't matter," she casually informed me. "None of our doctors participate in that plan." Well, pardon me while I go drop dead.

I suppose this is one sure way of reducing healthcare costs: make sure that no one gets insurance coverage to see a doctor. Brilliant in its simplicity, stunning in its stupidity. NO-bamacare--a prescription for American healthcare's total collapse.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Free School

If you're not reading Victor Davis Hanson on a regular basis, you're missing out on a free education about the reasons our society appears to be collapsing in on itself. Treat yourself to some knowledge and visit VDH's webpage at least once a week. I promise, you'll be surprised by how much you will learn.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

Mom, c. 1945 - she was what Dad would call "a real tomato"
Happy Mother's Day!