Coupon Care on its way
Re: “3 things to know about health secretary pick Tom Price” ( Nov. 29) ... Here’s a fourth thing to know about Price: He promised to change Medicare into a voucher system within six months of a Trump presidency. Yes, if he has his way, Medicare will be replaced with Coupon Care. If you’re on Medicare, you get a voucher with which you purchase private health insurance and hope you get the same coverage you did with Medicare.
The Dems have promised to fight it, to throw themselves on a grenade to stop it. Mitch McConnell, however, has the means to circumvent a filibuster in the Senate and put the bill on President Trump’s desk, where it will become law.
Hang on to your seatbelts and remind yourself that voting has consequences, some dire.
Seeing red ... and blue
In the last decades many pundits have weighed in on the political divide of the “flyover” region of the U.S. and the coastal communities. In general, the Midwest tends to be conservative or “red” (with the exceptions of Illinois and Minnesota) while the coastal states tend to be liberal or “blue." It is the same here in California with the coastal areas and the rural inland areas as Jon Coupal’s essay in Tuesday’s Daily Press emphasized.
One of the great truths about rural versus urban life (and largely unrecognized by all media) is that Urbanites are getting farther and farther away from the realities of how resources are produced. The flyover parts of the country, like the Central Valley here in California, are known as the farm belt for a reason. Like the red states of Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Montana and South Dakota, the red counties in California are all resource-producing counties. Americans involved in farming and mining are acutely aware of where all our resources come from and what it requires to produce them.
Mining is heavily regulated and farming is constantly derided for the use of water resources and fertilizers or even the farming methods used! Urban dwellers seem to have a hard time realizing that milk does not come from the supermarket, but from cows that need to be bred and fed, watered, and need a place for their waste. In a nutshell, red or conservative states and counties are resources producers; blue states and counties are consumers.
The national election results of 2016 perhaps reflect these realities: Blue urban counties 500, Red rural counties 2,600.
The Pied Piper of D.C.
The Obama administration parallels so many of the old children’s novels and nursery rhymes, it is difficult to pick just one.
The title character (clean, articulate and charismatic), from Robert Browning’s "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," was my first choice, primarily due to two of Webster’s definitions, as follows: 1: One that offers strong but delusive enticement, and 2: A leader who makes irresponsible promises.
The short story by Hans Christian Anderson, titled "The Emperor’s New Clothes," has bothered my mind off and on, as well. I play the part of the young boy who finally gets the populace to see the emperor as he did, and renounce him as an arrogant and narcissistic fool, but that speaks only of his personality flaws — and not at all about his failures as the leader of the free world.
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," by Lyman Frank Baum, is another one that has captured my imagination now and then. More characters are certainly useful when assigning parts to some of those making up the Obama’s administration — and some wouldn’t even need a script. Good and bad witches, along with lead characters touting empty heads, missing hearts and stunted courage. Washington is full of these types, and (at times) I just leave Dorothy and Toto at home, and imagine the anointed one as the wizard (naturally), and all the other characters as mindless robots doing his bidding. As much fun as this mental exercise may sound, it gets a little unruly when there’s more than one with the ability (magicians plus witches) to usurp and dismantle constitutional laws that have served us so well for 230 years and more.
Which brings me back, primarily, to the Piper, who is still the easiest for me to picture, and relate to the current fairy-tale being played out (but very soon over) in D.C. Recently one of my liberal friends was notified that her health insurance policy had been cancelled. She suggested that I was probably “thrilled” by all of problems plaguing the Obama administration. I assured her that was not the case, and, in fact, I held no animosity toward either the Pied Piper, or the 60 to 70 million people who were duped by him. I feel just as sorry for Obama — who was duped into believing that he was capable of doing the job — as I do all of the Lemmings who blindly followed him over the cliff.
A recent posting on AOL shows safety ratings of all 50 states. Stats for 2015 listed total violent crimes per 100,000 residents in each state. Alaska topped the list as the worst, but its murder rate, as well as total murders, was low. California came in as 13th worst, but its total number of murders (without regard to population) were the highest in the nation. Keep a sharp eye out.
Burning the flag is showing, in a graphic manner, how much contempt you have for our country , our people and our Constitution. "And to the Republic, for which it stands"....! This is not just a simple Free Speech issue. I see it as the same as shouting "fire" in a theater. It is sure to provoke to violence anyone who is ex-military, or police that have taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution with their very lives.
There should be consequences, punitive consequences, for burning the flag. Donald Trump is right again!
Michael A. Pacer
In an interview, President Obama told Rolling Stone Magazine that he told President-elect Donald Trump to realize that this is not about you. I don't think Mr. Obama realized the irony in that statement. Here he is finishing up eight years of it being all about him. Remember, "I have my phone and my pen"?
Amazingly, when the shoe is on the other foot attitudes and concepts may rapidly change.