Domestic Concerns Separate from Legislation

Abortion Issue

  In regard to this dividing issue my own personal perspective is that to remove it as a dividing and unresolved issue the solution is to work together to establish a situation where, as much as possible, every pregnancy is a WANTED ONE.   

Neither those that support Pro Choice and those that support Pro Life want abortions to happen. What history has proved out is that it makes no difference if abortion is illegal, legal, or just non legal. Demand creates supply. As with Prohibition against alcohol, what always develops is a source of supply that incorporates societies less desirable elements. With abortions the cost was in loss of life to backroom butchers. Those lost were always someone's daughter, sister or mother.

Our Constitution is always under challenge between the values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing compromises that more then when the production of a new life is happening. To me this means that we must allow those who would avoid unwanted birth via birth control access to the best means available. And for those who feel such methods are unacceptable we must insure their right to have those of the same belief be able to observe abstinence as their method.

As a male I am not the best one to judge how to mesh these two approaches. In my mind it should only be women who should chair this discussion and assemble the solution. Certainly the ones who should not be doing this are a bunch of old white guys behind closed doors trying to force out a health bill that reflects only their own designs.

This is an issue that needs as much input from as many perspectives as possible. A full solution will have to include how those that are birthed when abortions are declined will be supported for all aspects of their raising to adulthood.

I look forward to all contributions to this resolution.    

I find nothing as specific as what I present here on opposing sites. The good intentions are there. But true solutions are in the details. Please pass on to me any contradictions to these first sweeps. 

Preventive Health Care

  I am setting this out as a separate issue because I feel it holds the answer to many problems that need collective attention and resolution. Most prominent of late is the matter of mental health and gun violence. But also applicable as a tool to deal with the drug crisis. Spousal abuse and child abuse would be aided in suppression through establishment of a universal preventive health care system.   
What I suggest happen is that preventive health be made a stand alone compared to the rest of health care. It could be paid for in part by a transfer of what is already consumed under existing coverage methods. The insurance industry would benefit not only from the reduction in coverage expenses, but by promoting a healthier client base. Likewise taxes assigned to Medicaid and Medicare that cover preventive activity could sustain a large part of the operation.

The basic preventive care could be provided through cooperation with medical schools and trained supervisors so that personal get even better hands on training. Tax deduction tie ins to business and health sources, gyms and the like, would also defer costing.

A new role for Medicaid would be to provide basic health services to those with poverty level incomes. While the free enterprise system would be encouraged to compete for the market shares of those with surplus income. Medicare would continue for those who have not provided better for their extended survival. Perhaps in the end, if the competition among insurers was bold enough, Medicare would just evolve into a common fund to cover catastrophic cases.

Once such a platform was in place there would be the obtaining of a massive amount of data that could be used, if properly regulated, to spot mental health issues early on. As well as flu epidemics and any other social threats. For drug abusers there would be early detection of misuse showing in their lab work. And with integration with the right support groups addiction could be countered early on instead of in a reactive manner.

Again all input into this approach is welcome and encouraged. 

School Safety Issue

  When I was in Elementary School way back when we had drills in case of a nuclear attack. By the time I moved on to Middle School they ended. Apparently kids crouching in the hallways was realized as rather ineffective given the degree of the threat. The recent Russian ICBM plus announcement seems to have prompted at least one media outlet to put videos  of those times up. Just pointing this out to mention that now is not the first generation that had to live under serious threats.  And we were not even marked as the “Greatest Generation”. That was then.

These days, as recent events have once more sadly illustrated, drills of a similar nature are now needed. The weaponry students and teachers are threatened with can at least be countered to some extent by duck and cover. But these days students are rightfully demanding more. No doubt it is because they are closer to being taught the way it should be. And have not yet been distracted and discouraged by daily life.

To quote a line from a favorite Tom Selleck movie “This ain't Dodge City and your not Bill Hickok.” This is not the Wild West days of yesteryear. This is the 21st century. In all the repeating of old arguments and diverting excuses after every shooting there seems to be a path to a solution that seems to get missed. I hope you will embrace any of my following suggestions that have any validity to them.

If you want to talk about arming teachers consider in this age non lethal weaponry is available. Making it a priority to enhance its stopping ability would be timely. But given protocols already have reactions that shield the endangered in limited access classrooms and the like, several tazers, powerful mace dispensers or other non lethal devices on the market would be a much safer alternative then putting students in the middle of a shootout. Maybe even a directional flash bang like device a teacher or staff could discharge if a shooter does break through.

At such choke points the edge goes to the properly instructed and prepared defender. Such training and government supply of such equipment would be many millions less then the levels required to produce qualified gun users. Seems to me even NRA owned politicians could back this in a proposal.

Bullets are apparently masters of Murphy's Law and seem to always find someone somehow. If you spray enough of them around.

The record for trained police officers when facing their first such engagement is not promising. Fact is they miss more often then they hit. There is a reason most are trained to fire in three shot sets. The taking of another life is a strain on our best. PTSD anyone? To ask it of our teachers, who empathy is at the heart of their dedication, seems an approach loaded with inherent faults.

The idea that an armed presence would deter assaults seems a little weak as well. Most of these shooters seem intent to end up dead after their moment of destruction. Would be nice to capture more of them alive and learn more about the underlying issues that motivate them. Letting the CDC study gun violence with the same vigor they apply to other deadly activities would be a nice start. Saw a possible future colleague bring that up at the end of Trump's otherwise meaningless and apparently once again unproductive, photo op gathering.

One of the most important aspects of countering an assault is knowing where the bad guys are so you can be elsewhere. Tying in enhanced security monitoring to an app made specifically for each campus so that at the sound of an alarm each student, each staff and each responding officer with a smart phone can track the location of a suspect tagged by central monitoring. And students know where not to be and the security people know exactly where to be.

If guided to do it tech companies could quickly develop software that could tag suspects tracked on surveillance and put that location out there. For outside the schools drones could be used to actually tag a shooter with  tracking substances like those put in bank robbery satchels. No disappearing into the crowd the. A few kamikaze drones might even take down the shooter, or certainly distract the shooter long enough to buy responders more time.

Short term reactive proposals should be explored and implemented, certainly. But a longer term approach needs to be committed to. Prohibition does not work. Like any mechanism that can cause harm when misused there must be regulation. And if the danger lies with the user then training and certification must be required. Under the better safe then sorry precept put all the approaches of any merit out there in play. Then take back the ones that do not prove out.

In a country where one is innocent until proven guilty just tagging someone as possibly a mental health risk is just not going to cut it. To detect a progressive disorder of that nature requires time and a base line. We have a similar major health threat in the overdose crisis as well. Perhaps both could be tackled together. Like all health threats it is best to catch the problem earlier rather then later.
How about the nation separate preventative health care from the overall and currently dysfunctional health care system we currently endure? Make that universal. Its not something the insurance companies make much on anyway. And its a fair bet their employees all have children going to those schools. Provide preventive health and monitoring to all. All those who benefit could certainly be fairly tagged in some way to pay for the program. Team with schools, hospitals  and clinics so that medical students do most of the base work under a few skilled supervisors.

If we had the exceptional and functional Congress we desire and deserve it could be paid for. Integrate it with the existing programs out there dealing with the drug crisis and other assorted issues that are better dealt with through prevention. 

Challenging the Two Party Shortcomings

 As I have written previously I do think there is a real place for opposing perspectives, Conservative and Liberal, in the overall political conversation. I am hoping that all those who read through my observations and agree with the basic concepts will whenever the opportunity arises challenge my opponents to explain what they will do differently this time around to actually solve the issues that divide us as a nation.

But to put real passion into their efforts I suggest all voters, even those that will certainly vote their party in November, will consider registering before November as an Independent. In NH this would have little effect in regard to gerrymandering, as we only have two districts. But for those that see wisdom in my game plan and adopt it in states where gerrymandering is a problem it would be a possible countering move.

One thing I learned in high school was about the old Roman Senate. And how one senator wanted all the slaves to wear one colored uniform. Other senators objected, pointing out that if the slaves saw their numbers they would know they could overthrow their oppressors.

In the spirit of the pink pussy caps of the woman's march, I suggest that all those to be represented in a district, not just the registered voters, consider a silent vote every Tuesday until Congress starts producing solutions. My suggestion is to wear something obviously green.

That is why I am wearing green in my web site photos. I elected green as at a stoplight it is the color for getting in gear and going forward. We have been sitting on Red long enough and getting nowhere.

To further put the parties on notice that they need to up their game would be to hold up signs that say something like “I am an Independent” “Now EARN my vote”. If I get around ti having campaign caps, as seems the rage, in addition to the above on one side mine would have “Demand Better” on the front. On the other side I would go with “E Pluribus Unum”. The guiding motto from the founders to remind us that building from many views one solution is the way to go.

Follow the media, as now the legal challenges to gerrymandering are in process. Also many from both parties, even many in Congress right now, admit that a serious remake is required. My approach is just a simple warning shot across their bows.  

News Media Failings

 An informative Free Press is a vital component of making our experiment in democracy work. In the 2016 elections they missed on a few points and also suffered from attacks on their credibility. Additionally we now know social media was compromised by the Russians.

The election of President Trump was totally valid. As a part of the equation it is up to the Electorate to vet what they accept as information they use to determine who to vote for. Also the Democrats failed to learn from the 2000 elections and get the compromised Electoral College either eliminated or put in sync with the times.  

 The College was put in at the start of the experiment, when it was unknown if having the general public determine office holders would work. The system was expected to advance and improve as time went on. Now clearly the system has been too castrated to fulfill its intended function. My conclusion is that it is time to go. But others may feel differently.

To me the main failure of the media was that they allowed the illusion that one person elected as president could fix Washington. They almost completely ignored that Congress is the first among equals. They are the source of most every challenge we face at the national level. And the ones to be held accountable for fixing things.

Beyond the two failings listed above the news media allowed candidates and surrogates to promise the influence of special interests would be cut off. Yet not once did I see an interviewer press until the “how” was defined. So instead of the swamp getting drained we are up to our ass in gators.

The legitimate media do their best to vet their sources. That lesson from the recent past they are addressing. But as I pointed out that was not their only failing. Let us hope that this time around their due diligence pays off. But in the end the voter, (buyer), must beware.  

Adding Substance Abuse as a Specific Issue

It has taken time for the matter of substance abuse to come up as an issue. To date I have incorporated the issue as a part of the Universal Preventive Health Care concept covered above on this page. It is only as a result of a podcast done with a Recovery counselor and her Groups program that I was exposed to the details needed to include more coverage. As always in this never ending Town Hall all who wish can contribute their perspectives to the issue in pursuit of that collective solution that removes this from the concerns that need immediate attention. I did scan my fellow applicant's sites. But this is not an issue any are dividing us on. Just not that kind of issue. Too many know too many others, or are, victims if some form of substance abuse. The best for solutions so far seems to be to throw more money at the programs that have some signs of success.   Here is a link to my guest's site. The podcast is current accessed at WSMN via the Home Page. If you have a problem yourself, or just know someone needing help, realize that it is just going to be very tough and the odds against you to go at it alone. The groups are out there. If one try does not get it done keep searching. Trust to your family and friends as well. Provided they are not the source of your motivations to seek relief. And if they are exposing you to the very substance doing you in take a time out from them until you get your own act back on track. On the broader political side there has to be a recognition that there is a correlation between supply and demand. As long as there is demand there will be supply. And we know prohibition does not bring a solution that endures. It imposes punishments and social stigma to the victims. As well as the motivating dealers. And the product when not monitored and provided through legal channels is often deadly in its own right. Many of the abused substances like alcohol and tobacco prove that out. Now marijuana. Time to expand the tax producing product lines. Open to opposing arguments on this point. So far none that I have found out there seem connected to a path to resolution. The matter of drugs is where the illegal elements find their notch. No matter if the source is foreign or domestic the authorizes already exist to deal with that element. They just need to be properly coordinated through correct oversight by that functional Congress that seems to elude us election after election,. Covered elsewhere on this site. And agencies dealing with Immigration are not a part of that process. A proper Immigration policy enacted that removes Immigration as a dividing issue will give them more then enough to to do. And match what they can recruit for manpower fitting their employment demands. Right now they cannot find enough people up for it. There still must be debates on a common consensus arrived at in regard to where does individual responsibility mesh with public safety. The two can often be in conflict. And how much pursuit of happiness through the use of substances that are legally supplied is acceptable. Again alcohol and tobacco come to mind. Many of the foods we consume also are in the same abused and harmful category. Or do you think sugar highs are an urban legend. Bet not if you have kids or are a teacher. And diabetes as a self inflicted wound is no myth either. So, I covered Under Preventive Health Care for all, separate from the Health Insurance fiasco we endure. Our health care is the best. Its paying for it that requires a final solution that works for all. And its being proper funded to assist recovery and sustaining that recovery must be enhanced. This, of all the issues that are covered in this Town Hall format is one that people should want to contribute their thought to. So contribute, comment or criticize away.