Jeronimo Yanez – Not Guilty

The verdict is in:

ST. PAUL — A Minnesota police officer, whose fatal shooting of a black motorist transfixed the nation when his girlfriend livestreamed the aftermath, was acquitted of all charges on Friday.

Tragic.

Insufficient words, to be sure, to describe the events that unfolded that day when Philandro Castile was shot and killed by Officer Yanez.  By all accounts, a fantastic example of a human being was lost that day.

I’ve watched this trial more closely than some of the others.  Part because it was another in a long chain of such tragedies, part because it was in Minnesota, part because I thought that the cop might have been wrong.

Additionally, I’ve been back and forth on my feelings  of guilt or not guilt.  It really seemed that Castile did all the right things.

In the end, before the verdict, I had come to the conclusion that I felt the verdict should have been as it is – Not Guilty.

Officer Yanez suspected Castile of being involved in a robbery, he knew he had a license to carry a gun.  And, by his account, felt that Castile didn’t follow directions.  In the moment, the officer felt his life was in danger and he had to protect himself.

I resonate.

I don’t know if Yanez acted illegally, or with undue force or out of bias.  I don’t.  But I do know that traffic stops are inherently dangerous to officers.  That suspects fire on cops often enough that cops are right to be worried.  It took the jury days to come to this decisions.  We’re asking cops to make that same decision in a split second.

Finally, the publicity of the case cannot be ignored.  This case received national attention due to the fact that Castile was black during a time when the Black Lives Matter movement was in the national discussion.  I don’t know how this verdict is going to be received by the community in St. Paul.  Or the nation.  However, I think that it is important to notice that many people of multiple races lost their lives in confrontations with police in 2014 and 2015.

None of those cases resulted in a conviction of the officer.

 

 

 

Tyrant

I’m afraid.  Trump withdrew from the Paris Accord walking away from a commitment that we made with virtually every nation on earth.

The science of climate change – global warming – has been debated here and else where for years now.  I don’t wanna get into that now except to say that for the purpose of this post, I have settled that we are not in danger of catastrophic warming.  Because of that, I am fine with the reasons for rejecting Paris.

But before we rejected Paris, we agreed to it.  And that should mean something.

Now, as for the world without American leadership?  Screw ’em.  I am less and less inclined to care what a Parisan sipping coffee at 2.00 pm thinks of America while the rest of the world refuses to act in most cases.  We’re a handful of days away from the anniversary of America’s leadership.

No.  What scares me is that without Obama we don’t have Trump.  But we had Obama, and now we have Trump.

Barack ruled with his phone and his pen.  Paris was illegal.  GM’s bankruptcy was illegal.   His immigration policies were illegal.  Libya?  Illegal.  And the list goes on and on.  So, mostly, as Trump undoes Obama’s work with equal executive orders, I am conflicted.  We are removing oddles and oodles of illegal and wrong minded policy.

But I don’t believe that Trump is going to stop.  He’s going to get used to ruling, aka Barack, and will simply, and horrifically, continue on the trajectory.

The President never should have pulled out of Paris.  But the President never should have entered Paris.  Without the first, we never have the second.

Pre-Existing Conditions – Who Should Pay

And the debate rages over health care again.  And the left is going to lie again.

I’m seeing many posts decrying the new health are bill being moved through congress.  Gaining special attention is people’s opinions of the concept of pre-exisiting conditions.

Before I go further, it is my position that government has no role in health care, medical care or health insurance.  None.  It’s also my position that insurance companies treat pre-exisiting conditions within the context of actuarial science.  That is, if an individual has a condition prior to obtaining insurance, either the cost of that insurance is higher or the condition isn’t covered.

That being said, the narrative being trotted out by democrats is absolutely false.  Namely that Trumpcare will do away with the requirement that insurance companies must offer a policy to anyone who applies.  If you had a pre-existing condition during Obamacare and were able to obtain a policy, so too will you be able to obtain a policy under Trumpcare.

So, that being said, who SHOULD pay for such pre-existing conditions?  I found a nice article and they explain it this way:

We have a tendency to use “pre-existing conditions” as a euphemism for “expensive health care needs” but the two aren’t quite the same.  If you and I are both healthy today, and both participating in the same insurance plan, the pricing of our insurance should already factor in the probability that one of us will someday face a health problem requiring expensive treatment – and the plan should be able to handle it when we do.  But a sick person without insurance (or looking to change plans) is in a different situation; their need for health treatment is a certain problem rather than a merely possible one, and hence the average expected cost is much higher.  Technically, what they need is not insurance against a possible, unknown problem, but rather help paying for a certain, known problem.

There’s no way around a simple truth: treating an expensive health condition costs (someone) lots of money.  There are four basic approaches that can be taken to this problem.

1)    Leave sick people to face the costs of their own treatment, whether out of pocket or through high-cost insurance, no matter how ruinous those costs become.

2)    Mandate that other, healthier people overpay for the value of their own health insurance, so that sick people can underpay for the value of theirs.

3)    Spread the costs of paying expensive health bills throughout society, for example by having taxpayers pick up the tab.

4)    Require a targeted group to shoulder the costs.

The aspect that I like about this article is that they take no position on the policy.  Only that there are a limited number of options – options that describe who pays.

An important note – if you are someone that already has insurance, are healthy and then gets sick, you will be covered under that policy.  You will be provided the medical care you require and do not have a pre-existing condition.

 

The Left’s Lack of Independent Thought – And They Don’t Believe in Science

I’ve recently been engaging in climate science, the settled nature of it and the implications it has on politics.

For me, my take remains the same:

CO2 is a green house gas
Man contributes to increasing levels of CO2
Green house gases contribute to a warming world

Man has warmed the world more than it otherwise would have.

I am not convinced of catastrophic global warming.   Neither are 97% of the world’s scientists.  In fact, the IPCC itself states:

The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.

Most skeptics I know and read are of the same position.  We agree that the world is warming, that man is contributing but doubt the degree and future catastrophic consequences – the science isn’t in.

You would think such a position could easily be mainstream.  Admitting past actions and waiting for the science to come in on future actions.  But we’re dealing with the Left here, a group of people completely unhinged from reality.  For evidence, ask yourself, given that climate science  is complex and that we admit to not knowing all there is to know, look at two groups of people.

One group is made up of a population totally and completely in lock step.  Not one member of the group doubts the group thought and not one member votes against this group thought.

The second group is made up of diverse opinions.  There is debate.  There is an element of open mindedness.  Politicians in this second group do not vote in a block.

The first group are made up of folks on the left – they claim they believe in science.  They don’t.  They believe in the near religion of man made catastrophic global warming.  The second group is made up of those on the right.

We believe in science.

As evidence of this fact, we were given a demonstration this week:

In the latest sign of what some see as growing rigidity of thought among American liberals, new New York Times columnist Bret Stephens has been skewered online by readers of the paper for his first column. The subject of that column was a growing rigidity of thought among American liberals.

In a recognition of how serious the situation had become, executive editor Dean Baquet appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday morning, asking host Brian Stelter, “Didn’t we learn from this past election that our goal should be to understand different views?”

Apparently not. It’s unclear how many people have dropped their subscriptions over Stephens column, and how much of the outrage was amplified by social media. Either way, the anger is a sign of a deeper struggle on the American left over what, exactly, are the core values of the Democratic Party. There are many competitors: identity politics, wage equality, reproductive choice, renewable energy. Which are central, and which can be treated as ancillary concerns? Liberals are painfully, publicly asking themselves that question.

Liberals are cancelling their subscription to the New York Times becuase they are forced to share ideas in their safe space.

Tolerant left indeed.

Test

Testing

Happy May Day

Yesterday was May Day around the world – the one day when the world’s most social/commun-ist minded people celebrate the forms of government that renders the common man so much worse off than they otherwise would have been.

Consider two neighbors and their divergent paths:

While both Chile and Venezuela are democratic republics with mixed economies, Chile has a far greater level of market integration. HumanProgress.org’s ranking of economic freedom (based on the level of government intervention) lists Chile as the 10th freest economy in the world, leading South America. Venezuela, however, ranks last in the world.

Venezuela and its Chaveznistas have been so successful that the oil industry is in shambles, people are starving and even toilet paper is scarce.

Never to be ones to be satisfied with their poor reputation, these gentle souls of the people continue to make news:

A May Day march in Portland, Ore., “devolved into a full-scale riot with random acts of vandalism” by anarchists late Monday, police say. Attacks on police and emergency personnel resulted in 25 arrests.

Molotov cocktails, smoke bombs and other items were thrown at police, according to member station Oregon Public Broadcasting.

“Various fires were set in the street and in garbage cans, a police car was spray-painted and vandalized, and there were attempts to set at least one business on fire,” according to Portland Police. “Numerous projectiles were thrown at or launched at police and firefighters including rocks, bottles, ball bearings, fireworks, smoke bombs, and road flares.”

I leave you with The Sage:

 

Doing Minnesota Proud

Young man haulin’ the mail!

Derek Onserio, a senior at Providence Academy in Plymouth, was accepted to eight Ivy Laegue schools. Onserio has four siblings, two of which also attend Ivy League schools. He is the son of Kenyan immigrants.

You go boy!

Budget Implications to Meals on Wheels

Updated below.

In short – virtually none.

The budget proposal Trump delivered did call for a reduction in the money that eventually makes its way to Meals on Wheels.

Here is the impact in Wake County:

A spokesperson for the administration said federal dollars only account for about 3 percent of funding for Meals on Wheels.

“For every dollar in public funding that we get from the federal, state and county government, we do raise about $2,” said Alan Winstead with Wake Meals on Wheels.

I get the idea that a ‘compassionate society’ doesn’t neglect the most at risk and vulnerable.  And I agree that a society Ought care for its own.   However, the nobility earned by such a sentiment is lost when such care is obtained by force.

Much better this:

Winstead said even though the official impact of the budget cuts on Meals on Wheels is unclear, they are using the time to advocate and raise money for the program.

UPDATE:

All of this doesn’t even mention the staggering fact that an organization can’t increase efficiency by 3%.

Pino’s Response to the NCAA Ban on North Carolina

If I were in position to craft state law here in Raleigh, my response to the NCAA and their ban on NC* would be this:

Simply restrict restroom and locker room access in the exact same manner as the NCAA restricts access to sporting teams in their leagues:

The following policies clarify participation of transgender student-athletes undergoing hormonal treatment for gender transition:

1. A trans male (FTM) student-athlete who has received a medical exception for treatment with testosterone for diagnosed Gender Identity Disorder or gender dysphoria and/or Transsexualism, for purposes of NCAA competition may compete on a men’s team, but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing that team status to a mixed team.

2. A trans female (MTF) student-athlete being treated with testosterone suppression medication for Gender Identity Disorder or gender dysphoria and/or Transsexualism, for the purposes of NCAA competition may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment.

Any transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate in sex-separated sports activities in accordance with his or her assigned birth gender.

  • A trans male (FTM) student-athlete who is not taking testosterone related to gender transition may participate on a men’s or women’s team.

  • A trans female (MTF) transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatments related to gender transition may not compete on a women’s team.

The NCAA itself discriminates based on gender.  FURTHER, the organization differentiates between MTF and FTM.

Opposition to HB2 indeed.

South American Dictator

 

Look, Trump is no shiny nickel.  As they say, ‘Elect a clown.  Expect a circus.”

But at least we don’t have to be subjected to boilerplate South American Dictator skreed.  It’s a Netflix show – I get it.  But I was struck by the fact that it could very well have been Obama on that stage.