Trump and Immigration

He’s wrong.

America is a nation of immigrants.  We pride ourselves on the fact that the world sees itself and then it sees America.

The world immigrates to America.

Racists and Affirmative Action

What’s Wrong About the “What’s Wrong With America” Narrative

A black cop shot a white woman.

And there is something wrong with America.  Or so says this article from CNN.  My thoughts.

There’s a predictable pattern to the aftermath of too many deadly police shootings: Neighbors and anti-police brutality groups take to the streets. Groups supporting the officers stand up for them. Social media lights up over whether the victim “did something” to provoke the officer.

This hardly ever happens.  Cops kill hundreds of civilians every year and we see protests rarely.

But none of that holds true in the case of Justine Ruszczyk, a white Australian bride-to-be who was killed by Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American black police officer in Minneapolis.

All of that held true.  Protests happened and the chief was fired.

Because the race and nationality of the victim and police officer aren’t what has typically garnered headlines, people who normally speak up aren’t saying much.

The race of the victim is the race most often killed by cops.  As for who aren’t saying much – it’s because even though white people are most often shot by cops, white people don’t think cops are targeting white people.

New York Daily News writer Shaun King wrote a column in which he said “Police brutality jumped a racial fence.”

See above – most victims of shot by police are white.

Love theorizes a different group of people may take the lead in rallying for the victim in this case: “people who may not have emphathized with the victims (in police shootings in the past) because the victims have been mostly black.”

The lack of fact based reporting is staggering.  Most of the victims are not black – they are white.

Too often in cases involving unarmed black men, Chatelain says, information on the victim’s criminal history or prior arrests makes its way into stories — even when they are irrelevant to the case.

Criminal history ABSOLUTELY is relevant to interactions with the police.

So what does this say about America in 2017, where the race, gender or national identity of a victim or police officer can affect the public’s reaction to a shooting?

Uumm, the only, and I mean ONLY, time we have cared about the race of the victim is when that victim is black.

“We haven’t reckoned with our history,” Goff told CNN, “so it shouldn’t surprise us to see a different reaction.”

When the victim is black, we have seen mass protests and destruction.  When the victim is white we see muted reactions, if any at all.  What is Goff talking about?

 

 

Trump’s Transgender Ban

 

President Trump announced a ban on trans-gendered troops in the military this morning:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump abruptly declared a ban Wednesday on transgender troops serving anywhere in the U.S. military, catching the Pentagon flat-footed and unable to explain what it called Trump’s “guidance.” His proclamation, on Twitter rather than any formal announcement, drew bipartisan denunciations and threw currently serving transgender soldiers into limbo.

“Please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” the commander in chief tweeted.

I have multiple reactions:

  1.  How many transgendered folks do we have serving?  And then in combat roles?
  2. This is what happens when you support ‘your guy’ governing by fiat.
  3. This is horrible policy.
  4. Given that no one was talking about this as of yesterday – what conversation is Trump trying to change?

I honestly don’t think Trump cares whether someone is gay or trans.  I’d bet his companies are comparable to others when it comes to the demographics of his employees.  No – I think this announcement is meant to shore up a base he thinks he might be losing or he’s changing the dialogue.

Officer Noor: No Statement

 

Some people have been asking why Officer Noor hasn’t been forced to issue a statement or agree to be interviewed about the circumstances surrounding his fatal shooting of Ms. Ruszczyk.

My answer is this:  Because.

Because he is a citizen of the United States and is protected by the Fifth Amendment:

“Any lawyer that would recommend to him that he should give a statement to the BCA should be disbarred,” said Joe Friedberg, a Minneapolis defense attorney who’s not involved in the case. “Nobody should ever speak to law enforcement when they’re the subject of a criminal investigation.”

I would add that you should never speak to law enforcement.  Period.  Ever.

Police Shooting – Minneapolis

By now I am sure that you have heard of the woman shot by police in Minneapolis.  The tragedy is drawing national attention because, let’s face it, the race of the officer and the victim is reversed from the more common narrative AND the fact that the victim is a woman only adds to the optics.

You would have to be in a coma not to be aware of the conversation regarding the shooting of black men by police forces across America.  The narrative is that cops are killing black men indiscriminately and “getting away” with it.  Most recently is the case regarding Philando Castile, in the Minneapolis-metro area, and the cop that shot him.

In the case involving this young woman, I’ll take the stance that I’ve taken with other such cases.  Wait until the investigation is concluded.  And, as in other cases, I have questions.  Such as:

  • Why would Ms. Ruszczyk walk over 100 yards to speak to officers, with their lights off and dark, if she suspected a violent crime was being committed?
  • Why would Ms. Ruszcyzk, after having called 911 twice, not change into clothes?  She was wearing her pajamas.
  • Why would the cop in the passenger seat have his weapon drawn INSIDE the car?
  • Why would she have taken her fiance’s name before they were married?
  • Why would a 22 year old man refer to his father’s soon to be wife as ‘my mom’?
  • Why would you, given that the cops are investigating a violent crime, allow yourself to approach a police vehicle by surprise?
  • Why, after ALL of this time, were the body cams not turned on?

The whole thing doesn’t make sense to me.  Which, I suppose, is not surprising when things go so wrong so fast.

In the end, as always, I hope that justice is done here.  The tragedy that is the death of this young woman is horrible enough.  To wrongfully convict, if indeed not guilty, or to allow to walk, if indeed guilty, would only compound that tragedy.

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.