Since the Democrats foisted the Affordable Care Act on America in 2010, through questionable legislative tactics, Republicans have seen huge gains at every level of government. The House went red in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and the White House last year. State legislatures and governorships have also seen huge swings towards the right. Is cause and effect in play?
I think the answer is a clear yes. I believe Americans feel like the country is spiraling out of control and Obamacare is the poster child for this sentiment. A 2000+ page bill that then Speaker Nancy Pelosi said we’d have to pass in order to know what was in it. The law motivates businesses to hire fewer people and cut hours of those they already employ. It adds complexity to filing tax returns and involves the IRS in healthcare. People did not get to keep their healthcare plans or sometimes even their doctors as they had been promised. Costs did not go down, they skyrocketed. And then there were the additional taxes you had to pay if you didn’t have government mandated coverage. There is nothing affordable or caring about this mess.
And so people voiced their outrage at the ballot box. At long last the barriers to repealing Obamacare have all come down. Republicans control the House, Senate and Presidency. A month and a half in the GOP offers us their solution in the form of the American Health Care Act. It is not what I was hoping for.
The AHCA does away with Obamacare’s individual mandate. There will no longer be a tax levied on people without insurance. Instead it charges a 30% premium penalty, to be paid to insurance companies, on anyone who goes 63 days or longer without coverage. I ran the numbers on my own policy. A 30% penalty for me would be $1749. My penalty under Obamacare would be $695, and I could avoid some of that if I had coverage for part of the year. So my penalty would be over 2 ½ times higher under the new plan. And I wouldn’t even have the satisfaction of knowing that it was going to the treasury where it might offset some of the health care subsidies since it goes to the insurance company.
There is some logic to this. Under both the ACA and the AHCA insurance companies are forced to insure pre-existing conditions. If everyone let their insurance lapse until they got sick it would undermine the basic math of insurance. No business can succeed if they are receiving hundreds of dollars in premiums and sending out thousands of dollars in payments. But looking at the other side of the equation it makes no sense. If you do not have insurance for 63 days, and you are healthy and don’t particularly feel like you need it, having to pay a 30% penalty is going to motivate you to put off that purchase for as long as possible. And, obviously, a 30% penalty will make it virtually impossible to buy insurance if you let it lapse because you can’t afford it.
The AHCA eliminates the subsidies Obamacare paid to people who bought their insurance through the exchange. Instead it creates refundable tax credits. That is like saying I’m going to take away your cat and give you a kitten. Like the subsidies, this is a huge new entitlement program. These credits will be available to people who have “eligible health coverage.” Which means, in addition to spending money we don’t have (we are, after all, almost $20 trillion in debt), the government will continue to require reporting from its citizens on their health care choices.
I don’t see anything in the bill that gets to the root of the problem with healthcare in the U.S. It is still a complex system of government entanglement with insurance companies. It does nothing to increase transparency or competition between healthcare providers. It provides little or no relief to anyone trying to navigate the process of obtaining or providing medical care. It doesn’t even allow insurance to be sold across state lines, which was the only healthcare specific Donald Trump campaigned on in his presidential bid.
I had hoped for better. I guess I’m naïve. I suppose a tip of the hat is owed the GOP because their bill is only 123 pages long instead of over 2000. And six of those pages are devoted to the huge problem of high dollar lottery winners trying to stay on Medicaid. So way to go!
If you are also disappointed in this Republican offering I urge you to call your representative and senators to oppose it. They are simple calls, only take about 15 seconds. Congressional leadership is trying to rush this abomination through so act now!
After the November election things were tense in the United States to say the least. That being said, I saw things that contradicted the narrative given by the media almost daily. My favorite example was one day when I was walking my dog and passed a man who was from the Middle East struggling to start his car. The car had been sitting for quite some time and was covered with at least a foot and a half of snow. He eventually got it started and drove it a very short distance across the street where the car got stuck on the icy slope leading to a parking lot. It was a fairly busy street as far as foot traffic goes and I continued walking past as did others. When I came back there were now two men helping the dude push his car up the slope. They were blonde haired blue eyed Mormons, name tags and all. As I rounded the corner there were two more on bikes making their way to the scene. “They called for backup,” I thought to myself smiling. It was a tiny moment but it made my eyes a little watery.
There’s a weird double standard regarding religion in America that continues to puzzle me. Certain religions are praised while others are close to demonized (no pun intended). Some are mocked regularly in Family Guy skits while it’s a hate crime to make fun of others.
In America there are “cool” religions and uncool religions, at least as exemplified by the media, and I mean all media, not just the news. You meet some folks at a coffee shop in Seattle and tell them you’re Buddhist and you’ll get respect, tell them you’re Mormon and the reaction probably won’t be the same.
Now all religions have some wackiness to them and the Mormon faith is no different. This religion is particularly fascinating to me, not just in their inner workings but in the way society treats them.
I think the best comparison I can make is to Islam. Around the world Muslims far outnumber Mormons but in the U.S. they are closer to comparable. There are roughly 3.9 million Mormons in the U.S. and roughly 3.3 million Muslims, so as far as population goes they are similar in the U.S.
They are also similar in the way they both spark controversy. Ask random people on the street what they think about Islam or Mormonism and you are likely to get an emotional response. Ask folks about either religion and you will encounter positive and negative reactions and a lot of false stereotypes as well. Both faiths are generally against gay marriage but very pro-traditional marriage, meaning both religions lead to large families and more traditional gender roles. They both have a male founder who claimed to have revelations and created new religious text. Both religions usually promote socially conservative beliefs. Yet on the social issue of religious tolerance the two couldn’t be treated much different.
The greatest example of this is the very popular Broadway musical called “The Book of Mormon.” This is not a show that celebrates the missionary work Mormons do or their commitment to helping thy neighbor or their general polite and respectful culture. No. It’s a play that mocks the whole faith. And to be honest it’s not difficult to mock Mormons. But let’s try wearing the shoe on the other foot…what if there was a play called “The Quran” that mocked Islam and the beliefs that accompany that faith? Can you imagine the reaction? Well, actually we don’t really have to imagine the outcome as it’s already been tested.
In 2005, a Danish newspaper ran a cartoon featuring the Prophet Muhammad. Eventually, protests broke out all over the world, the artist received thousands upon thousands of death threats, a fatwa, and worldwide leaders took action denouncing, investigating and holding meetings over the series.
Now as far as I know, after The Book of Mormon premiered not a single major protest took place, there weren’t death threats, the playwrights did not need to go into hiding or hire security and the only question being asked around the globe in regards to the show was “when are you going to go see it?”
What’s funny is refusing to make fun of all religions equally is in itself a form of discrimination. When you refuse to touch Islam for fear of what may happen afterwards, the assumption you are making is Muslims are wild humans with no sense of humor. Gays, Blacks, Christians, Jews, atheists, crossfitters, we all get mocked and it’s sort of a badge of honor when it happens. Kind of like when Weird Al covers your song. SNL refusing to do a skit poking fun at Islam is sending the message Muslims can’t take a good-natured joke. It’s an odd parable few like to point out.
And Mormons have seen their fair share of persecution and massacres. Do you know why Mormons populated Utah so abundantly? It’s because they were being persecuted and driven out of New York, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, usually violently. The founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith and his brother were killed in an angry mob while jailed in Carthage, Illinois. Haun’s Mill Massacre resulted in the death 17 Mormons and their are many other cases of Mormons being injured and sometimes killed in mob like fashion. Even today, Mormon missionaries are attacked for their beliefs, but these instances get little news coverage, if any. Utah was a place no one else wanted, so Mormons were essentially forced to flee there.
I reached out to a couple of folks I know who are Mormon and even today they face discrimination, harassment and general hate despite being law abiding citizens who just happen to be Mormon. One friend had someone yell loudly “YOU’RE A MORMON NOOOOO” when they found out her faith. Another spoke of how sports were more difficult because even though his faith had nothing to with it, his teammates constantly brought it up. Another friend relayed certain people don’t want to be your friend when they learn of your faith. These are similar stories I hear Muslims telling.
People in the LDS church express the same frustrations that Muslims do when it comes to the actions of a few changing the public perspective of the faith as a whole. Muslims get frustrated when a terrorist hijacked their faith to commit acts of terror. Mormons get frustrated when a handful of people who claim and tarnish the LDS name (specifically Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) participate in underage polygamy despite the Mormon faith officially denouncing everything related to such behavior over 100 years ago.
I’ve always viewed the Mormon faith as a little preposterous but well intentioned and worthy of respect (just like pretty much any other faith out there) but my appreciation grew tenfold for the Mormons after the last election. Conservatives were called out for supporting a candidate who was barely that. Those who claim to have Judeo/Christian values but supported Trump were called hypocrites and rightly so. But if you want to play identity politics (which I hate doing) there was one group that held true to their principles, one group you couldn’t call hypocrites… you guessed it, the Mormons.
If conservatives were looking for options outside of Trump, they essentially had two, Gary Johnson and Evan McMullin (who was only on 11 state ballots). Funny enough, the two states with the greatest percentage of voters voting for either of these candidates are also the two states with the highest percentage of Mormons. 60% of Utah’s population is Mormon and 24% of the votes went for former Republican third party candidates. Mormons make up 19% of the population in Idaho and 11% of the votes went for McMullin or Johnson. Despite being told by the masses that they aren’t “real Christians,” the LDS church appears to be one of the only groups that voted according to Christian values.
As one Mormon said about Trump, “That’s not the kind of person that I want representing our country. I would hope that our leader would be honest, civil, kind, open.”
It seems many in his church agree.
I want to thank the Mormons. Thank you for being intellectually honest about Trump. Thank you for putting up with mainstream mockery by holding your head high instead of rioting. And thank you for that one time you helped me pull weeds in my yard, appreciate it.
*This letter was greatly condensed in a version that was submitted to the Daily World in accordance with their word count standards.
Horseback riding on the beach has been an Ocean Shores draw for decades and is part of what makes our beach experience so special. It’s been brought to my attention that the City of Ocean Shores is doing everything it can to get rid of the business my father owns (Honey Pearl Ranch) while doing nothing to infringe upon another horseback riding business (Chenois Creek). If there was a movement to get rid of all horses on the beach fine, but it seems only Honey Pearl Ranch is being targeted and there is a history of unfair mistreatment of my father’s business.
Every year the mayor adds new requirements to the contract HPR must sign making it increasingly more difficult for my dad to stay in business. For example, one year she wanted to make it a requirement for HPR to clean up all the manure left by the horses along the beach. HPR already cleans up all the manure near the trailers and horse lines but it is simply not feasible to send someone walking miles up and down the beach behind the horses cleaning up all the manure. The horses walk close to the water so the manure is washed away by the sea. What’s more is that to my knowledge, no requests have been made of Chenois Creek to clean up their manure. Seems odd.
The request wasn’t feasible and HPR expressed these concerns in front of the Ocean Shoes City Council. Thankfully the requirement was voted down. What’s interesting is that this year (and last year too) the mayor gave HPR less than a month’s time to question, adjust and sign the new contract. In 2016, HPR had from December 5th to December 29th to sign. Worth noting is that there was no council meeting in this time frame meaning HPR had no opportunity to dispute the contract in front of city council….again, seems odd.
This year, the mayor is demanding HPR get special immunizations for its herd. These immunizations would cost $5,000 to $10,000. These immunizations are not required for any other horseback riding business in the state. There is no public health or safety issue being addressed. These immunizations are simply not important or needed, (my father has confirmed this with multiple vets) they are just another financial burden to impose upon HPR. No other horses need be immunized. This means tourists and locals can bring their horses to the beach without the immunizations just fine, only HPR horses must be immunized. How does this make any sense? Why is HPR being specifically targeted? What’s more is that just outside the city limits is the other horseback riding business, Chenois Creek. Chenois Creek horses are not required to be immunized and Honey Pearl Ranch’s horses walk along the same path. Why must only one set of horses be immunized?
Apparently the mayor is getting advice from an anonymous equestrian group. This group only lobbies against HPR even though their powers are not restricted by city limits like the mayor’s are. My father told me that he has not been allowed to meet with the equestrian group nor know who is amongst it’s members. My father told me he would be more than happy to talk with the group but their identity has remained a secret and all meetings are closed door. This equestrian group has never lobbied against, sued or made complaints about Chenois Creek which is essentially running the same exact business as my dad.
These are just a few examples of the city and said equestrian groups attacks on Honey Pearl Ranch. These attacks are made on Honey Pearl ranch alone.
Look, I’m a vegan with no problem calling out anyone including my own father. The last thing I want to see is abused horses but there is no evidence that my dad is abusing his horses or that they are sick. In fact, he has more land and barn space for his animals than Chenois Creek. That’s not to say Chenois Creek is abusing horses, I have no reason to believe they are, I’m simply pointing out the flawed logic backing these one-sided accusations.
I am not quick to come to this conclusion but the only difference between Chenois Creek and Honey Pearl Ranch operations that I can find is the skin color of the one in charge of the operations. It is with great shame that I even consider that people in my community are targeting a man because of his skin color. It’s disgusting and not something I take lightly. If someone can point out a fair reason why one business is being targeted while another is not that would be greatly appreciated. Why does this equestrian group take such great interest in HPR while ignoring Chenois Creek? Why does the mayor want to enact laws that would only effect my dad’s horses and ignore others? I trust the people of Ocean Shores and Grays Harbor County are with me when I say racial injustice will not be tolerated here. I hope this is not the issue but until someone can show me why my father is being specifically targeted it is the only logical conclusion I can come up with.
The goal of a tax system is to bring in revenue for the powers that be; federal, state, county, or city. Since the income tax was first instituted in1913 (allowed by the16th Amendment) it was to be used for funding the country during war time. As the federal government expanded and needed more revenue for its programs, so did the tax system. This began withWoodrow Wilson who created the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Trade Commission, tariff reduction, and a graduated income tax. Since then the tax code has grown to enormity, a document between60 and 75,000 pages long. Considering it started modestly in 1913 small enough to fit in a 400-page textbook, it is easy to see how disputes have grown and loopholes are evermore apparent.
Today, there are seven differenttax brackets spanning between 10% and 39.6% based on income and marital status. The bracket most called into question is the highest, where if you make $413,201 in a year you pay the samepercentage as someone who makes $4,132,010. Liberals believe this is unfair and point to former Forbes wealthiest man, Warren Buffett, who claims to pay a lower tax rate than hissecretary. The “fair share” belief was the rallying point of the Occupy Wall Street movement and is echoed by liberals on the campaign trail as recently as the 2016presidential election.
It’s not just liberals who take issue with the tax system either. Conservatives disagree with it as well, especially upon the news45% of Americans do not pay federal income taxes. Conservatives believe in a simplified and more balanced system. One thing both sides can agree on is with its confusing language and colossal size, the current tax code cannot remain in control of the lives of millions of Americans.
One approach to tax reform with a history of support is the fair tax. The goal of the fair tax is to replace all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment. The tax rate as set by the fair tax is a loophole free,23% consumption, or, sales tax. Establishing a sales tax would ensure everyone contributes to the federal fund equally to how much you spend; so if you’re buying expensive goods and luxury items, you’ll be paying more than the low income family buying necessities. In fact, the system is designed so if you’re living only on necessities, you won’t pay anything at all compliments of the prebate. The prebate is like it sounds, money you are given from the government before you give any up; the opposite of a rebate. The objective is to cover the costs of basic essentials everyone must have to survive. Because the government would be giving money away rather than taking it, there would be no need for the IRS which would mean more federal savings which subsequently leads to a more balanced budget.
This plan has had many supporters, most recently Libertarian presidential candidateGary Johnson, but was made famous by the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee hopeful and former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, Herman Cain and his9-9-9 plan; a plan calling for a 9% income tax, 9% sales tax, and 9% corporate tax. With the fair tax or the 9-9-9 variation, the system is simplified so everyone knows what they’re paying and, as Herman Cain put it, “it’ll save all of us, collectively, $430 billion a year that we spend to fill out the stupid tax code.” The fair tax also has the added benefit of taxing those who otherwise do not pay federal taxes such as illegal immigrants, drug dealers, and others who come across their money without it being reported.
The fear with a federal sales tax is when the government needs more money it will raise the rates. So conceivably, a simple 9-9-9 plan could become a 15-15-15 plan, this coming fromMike Franc, former Vice President of Government Studies for the conservative Heritage Foundation. Another problem with enacting a consumption tax is any income made prior to its passage would be taxed again when used to make a purchase. Not a desirable outcome for those living on a fixed income, i.e. retirees.
The second tax reform option is the flat tax. The best perspective to view this simplified system is through the eyes ofDick Armey; a PhD in economics, who served in the United States Congress from 1985 to 2003, and was House Majority Leader from 1995-2002. In a brief editorial toUSA Today in 2011, he describes how the simplification of the tax system would save Americans time, money, and stimulate the economy. He compares the 60,000-page tax code of today with a flat tax return form that would fit on a post card. Today, theaverage American spends 26.5 hours a year on their income taxes; compare that to five minutes in postcard form. His flat tax works as follows: an individual reports their gross income minus personal allowances to give taxable income. In thebill he pushed in 1996 as House Majority Leader during the Clinton Administration, therate was established at 20% falling to 17% two years after the bill’s enactment.
The loss of certain deductions such as the ability to deduct interest payments on mortgages could cause some dissent as it could dramatically decrease home values. With the housing market’s recent history, there are already thousands with upside-down mortgages who are unable to refinance to match the decrease; muddying the housing market waters could for a short period leave homeowners in turmoil. However, after the market adjusts to the new tax, estimated at three years post-passage, the time and money saved with the new tax plan would balance out the expense of lost deductions, as well as boost GDP. As the Armey plan calls for phasing in the rate, conceivably deductions could be phased out to ease the transition as well.
To get to any agreement the tax code must address the term used by many liberals, “fair share.” The apparent choice for fairness would be the aptly named fair tax. However, as economistWill McBride claims, the wealthy do not spend an equal percentage of their income as the poor. This makes a consumption tax inherently regressive, not something anyone desires.
If the question of fairness comes down to a percentage, the flat tax is the clear winner. It is difficult to argue with a system where, if someone makes ten times as much as you, they pay ten times as much. Such a system would make it impossible for Warren Buffett to say he pays a lower rate than his secretary because there would not be any loopholes for him to utilize to reduce his taxable income. Furthermore, Dick Armey’sFreedom and Fairness Restoration Act pushed by the Republican Congress in the 90’s allowed astandard deduction. For example, at the initial rate of 20% a family of four making $50,000 a year would take a $36,800 deductible and end up paying only $2,640 in taxes, or 5% of their total income. A family of four making $150,000 per year would pay $22,640 after the deductible, or 15% of their income. Under the Armey plan, a family making more money actually pays a higher percentage of their income, and Americans earning less than the deductible pay no taxes. No matter how you slice it, the greater your income, the larger percentage of your income you pay when compared to a family of the same size.
As it was during the Clinton Administration, the flat tax with a standard deduction is the most viable option for meaningful reform of the American tax code. Not only is this a balanced approach but it will end any criticism of the wealthy not paying their “fair share”.
The period before starting a road trip is always the most stressful. You feel as if you have everything squared away but inevitably forget something. Over the past few years I think I have developed a thorough mechanism with which to minimize such failings but still, there’s one that gets me. I’m the type of traveler who likes to hit the road hard and fast but more times than I care to remember I’m merging into traffic when it hits me; I should have pooped. I have the same feeling of regret about the fast-starting Trump administration.
After Trump became our President-elect I said alright, let’s do this – well, my actual words were: f%&*, s@#t, donkey teeth! For the most part everything started out fine, sure there was some shoddyjournalism and the expected riotingfollowing his election but he was the one, and one way or another he would take charge of the country. Then came inauguration day. Not one for ceremony, I did not watch and according to themedia I was with every other American. However, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, I was the only person on the planet who didn’t watch it. Seeing this and the “alternate facts” trend, I felt like I was stuck in traffic after eating at a $1 Chinese restaurant.
Now, when you’re on your road trip and realize you’ve forgotten to evacuate your body, you don’t just pull over at the next exit, you push on and hopefully forget about the potential fecal fiasco altogether. Being diligent however, you plan ahead to make sure you won’t be left in the middle of nowhere with no toilet paper to be found.
So now I’m looking ahead to see what comes next on the roadmap of President Trump. With the firstmedia turf war of his presidency finished (underway?), it’s looking like I may be stranded in the desert for some time before the next rest stop. Not only is there the childish and narcissistic actions of President Trump, but there is his (and Ivanka’s) proposed childcare plan costing taxpayers an estimated$300 billion, his tariffs up to45%, his healthcare plan which is strongly reminiscent of the Affordable Care Act in itspromises, and his appointment ofRex Tillerson; who has some curious ties to and opinions about Russia, as Secretary of State.
Of course, after every bleak and barren landscape there is an oasis to be found. You know the one; cheap gas, well stocked mini-mart, clean bathrooms, and maybe even a McDonald’s. If you can only make it there to take your number two everything will be fine.
There is such an oasis in the policies of President Trump, too. Most importantly, retired Marine General James Mattis is now theSecretary of Defense; if that’s not water in a desert I don’t know what is. Then there is Trump’s support ofIsrael andTaiwan, and his plan tocut regulation andlower taxes. This oasis certainly has some merit, if only we can make it there. Just gotta breathe steady and think about things other than toilets and Twitter pettiness.
The moral is simple, America; whether you’re liberal or conservative there is something for you in this presidency. You can protest and riot about whatever it is that makes your sphincter tremble or we can move on together; one watching for cops as the other speeds to the next pit stop. Then maybe next election we can, I don’t know, nominate candidates who aren’t so full of shit to begin with.
Abortion is a topic that frequents our headlines and newsfeeds. Most recently Ohio’s 20-Week abortion ban is bringing the debate to the forefront of our conversations once more. This topic is extremely important because it involves life, both in terms of the fetus and mother. I’d like to showcase two points of view on the subject in debate style. Laura Jones will be arguing for legal abortions at any point in the pregnancy. Dylan Morgan will argue to make abortion illegal after week 20. Both had up to 650 words to use to defend their view and 300 words to respond to the other’s statement.
Pro-Choice Argument By Laura Jones A woman has a right to bodily autonomy. Always. An unborn fetus cannot survive outside of the womb, essentially making it a parasite. It will not survive without her body, but it is HER choice whether to donate that body to another. If someone dies and they are not an organ donor, their body cannot be used to save another life. A dead person should not have more of a right to their body than a pregnant woman. It doesn’t matter how far along the pregnancy is, what the circumstances of fertilization are, or what the father thinks. It is her body, and always her choice.
In this country, we have freedom of religion. That means that you are free to believe a fetus is a person, in which case you can choose not to abort a fetus. It does not mean you are free to force that belief on other people. You are free to believe that a fetus is a person as soon as the man ejaculates. I am free to believe that it is not a person until it exits the womb. It’s a difficult boundary to tread when it is something that so many people are so passionate about.
I don’t like the idea of using abortion as a form of birth control, but the rights of my fellow women are more important to me than that. Pregnancy is a huge burden on a woman in every way imaginable. It’s a ridiculous commitment to devote your entire life to bringing a person into the world, not just for 9 months, but for the next 18+ years. The average overall cost of having a child and taking care of it is over $300,000.00. There is absolutely no way that a woman should be forced to give this much of her life and fortune to someone else without her consent.
Now that we have established a baseline, I want to dive into reasons and time frames and why they are problematic.
First: Reasons. Many people are in favor of abortion in cases of rape or incest, but not in cases of consensual sex. Problem: Rape and incest are not only incredibly difficult to prove, but bring up difficult memories, family tensions, and cost money to prosecute. It is incredibly financially and emotionally unfair to make this requirement a law.
Second: Time frames. A common argument is that abortions should be allowed before a certain time frame in the pregnancy, but not after. Problem: Many women go a LONG time without knowing they are pregnant. I personally know someone who was not aware she was pregnant until literally the day before she gave birth. Now, in that case, the child would have been viable outside of the womb. No doctor in their right mind would abort that healthy fetus. It would instead just be born alive and if not wanted, would presumably be given up for adoption. Another problem is that it puts incredibly unfair restrictions on women who have late-term complications. Even with those loopholes included, if a fetus dies at 35 weeks, but is not a danger to the mother, she could be forced to live with the dead fetus inside of her until it is at full term, because removing it would be considered an abortion, which would not be legal if these laws were enacted. This is not only incredibly traumatic, but also completely unnecessary.
A man does not have a right to be inside me if I do not consent. Neither does a fetus, whether it is a person or not. My body is my body is MY BODY. It does not belong to a man, a fetus, or the government.
Pro-Choice Rebuttal By Dylan Morgan The time of viability is important even to you as you claimed, “no doctor in their right mind would abort that healthy fetus;” a great conclusion to my opening statements. I question your statement, “an unborn fetus cannot survive outside the womb.” If by unborn you mean it remains in the body outside the womb (ectopic pregnancy) you would be correct and it would necessarily be aborted as should be the case any time the health of the mother is at risk or the fetus is no longer viable i.e. dead. If you are claiming because it is in the womb it is not viable you would be incorrect as nearly 1 in 10 babies are born premature indicating viability occurs before the 38-40-week term. Your entire line of reasoning makes a viable fetus hostage to the mother, contrary to your parasite argument.
Your statement, “many people go a long time without knowing they are pregnant” is misleading. About 1 in 450 women do not know their status until week 20 or later. This is about 0.22%, not what I’d call many. Even still, because you don’t know your status after 20 weeks’ does not give you the right to terminate viable life simply because you do not believe it is so; especially when science has proven it to be. You yourself claimed “person or not;” person meaning personhood meaning bodily autonomy. Why then do your rights supersede those of a viable fetus?
You do have a right to your body, but should you consent to allow a man inside you are also consenting to allow a fetus; even with the necessary precautions. Both consenting adults need to be prepared to take responsibility for their actions. I only propose the decision-making be complete before the time of viability.
Pro-Life Argument By Dylan Morgan Abortion. Because I am a man some would say I have no right to broach the subject but that’s ok, I don’t mind. Before beginning a discussion on this topic I need to make some acknowledgements. First, scripture is not nor should it ever be the basis of policy. Second, though statistics on the subject vary and data on the matter doesn’t exist in this modern scientific era, if abortion is made illegal at conception it could potentially lead to abortion practices putting the health of the mother at risk. This is unacceptable. Finally, I believe the health of the mother is paramount and takes precedence throughout the pregnancy and there should be no law inhibiting this.
Now down to brass tacks. I believe abortion – except for cases of rape, incest, and health of the mother – is a blemish on any society. The ability to create life is a great responsibility and should be treated as such. The ending of life, starting at conception, should not be justified simply by a lack of desire/ability of the parents. According to a Gallup poll from earlier this year, the country is split with 47% pro-choice and 46% pro-life. This narrow margin and steadiness of the statistic is indicative of the political steepness of the issue. A scientific approach with the knowledge of who is actually affected may go a long way in clarifying the issue.
The argument by pro-choice proponents claims it is the body of the woman and therefore her choice whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. To argue a fetus is not a part of woman’s body to do with as she pleases, a distinction needs to be made. Fortunately, a distinction was made by the Supreme Court in theRoe v. Wadedecision in 1973.
Justice Blackmun stated in the opinion of the Court, “regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications.” The key term is viability, described as the point at which a fetus is capable of living outside the mother’s womb. At this time, logically we can say the fetus and mother are two separate entities as the fetus is no longer dependent on the mother, though modern medical science would then carry what was the mother’s burden. The distinction of viability demonstrates the fetus is not a part of but merely inside the mother’s body.
The traditional time of viability is in the 24th week of gestation however, there have been cases in which a successful birth has been achieved before the 22nd week. This is why I support a 20-week abortion ban similar to those enacted by numerous states. The ban does not conflict with the Roe v. Wade decision allowing regulation at the time of viability and, according to statistics from the CDC for 2013, only 1.3% of abortions took place after that time. Taking into account health of the mother, presumably some of that 1.3% would still be able to legally terminate their pregnancy indicating a low impact of the law while adhering to the time of viability.
Thusly I claim a 20-week abortion ban, taking into account the health of the mother is both legal and logical. Such a ban serves only to protect the viable life inside the mother and therefore is not a “war on women”. Should a person fall into the small percentage who decides after 20 weeks they are not ready for parenthood, pregnancy does not have to lead to child rearing. The child can be put up for adoption and every state has safe haven laws. By informing pregnant women of their options, hopefully we can more easily end the needless termination of viable life in the womb.
Pro-Life Rebuttal By Laura Jones Making abortion illegal at any point in time is a violation of a woman’s rights to bodily autonomy. At no point in life should a woman be forced to have something inside her body that she does not want there. That is the equivalent of rape, which in my opinion, is the most revolting crime one could commit. I agree with you that bringing life into the world is a gigantic responsibility, and as such, is one that should not be undertaken by those who are not ready for it, under any circumstances. The only person able to determine that is the mother.
If you really want to reduce the number of abortions, illegality is not the way. As you stated in the beginning of your argument, illegality leads to unsafe medical procedures. An arbitrary cutoff when a fetus might be viable outside the womb is yet another obstacle for women’s rights. One that I would argue will not change any abortion statistics.
If only 1.3% of abortions happen after this cutoff, some of which will not be illegal due to danger to the mother’s life anyway, what is the point? The remaining small portion will just turn to unsafe measures. I suggest better policy for sex education, access to birth control, and access to affordable prenatal care. These policies have been proven to reduce abortions by as much as 40%, without violating anyone’s rights.
About the Authors Laura Jones Laura has a Bachelor of Music Education from Pacific Lutheran University. She is passionate about politics, the rights of the oppressed, and fighting social injustice. She was a teacher in Seattle and Lakewood for three years before deciding that teaching was not for her. She now resides back in her hometown in rural Washington State, living blue in a county that turned red in the last election.
Dylan has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Washington. He now attends the College of Dental Medicine at Roseman University of Health Sciences. In his spare time Dylan enjoys hiking, reading science-fiction and he recently picked up his saxophone again.
Although I am not a Trump fan, although I am not a Hillary fan, like nearly everyone else in the world I was shocked when Trump beat Hillary and beat her soundly. Trump’s victory and the resulting coverage confirmed a feeling I have had my entire adult life. The left is full of hypocrisies. Not to say the right isn’t hypocritical, they certainly are, but the way in which the left (and 65% of this comes from the media) has become too much for voters, especially those specifically hurt and attacked as a result of these hypocrisies. Here’s an easy to read list of examples.
Love trumps hate, is what they say. But the instant Trump won my newsfeed lit up with Hillary supporters spewing tweets and statuses that reflected everything but love.
The “When they go low we go high.” When Michelle Obama said this in a powerful speech everyone went nuts. These words were put on bumper stickers and t-shirts and displayed everywhere you looked but did the dems go high? No. They lost an election and decided that vandalizing cities in response would be a good idea..
Liberals are the champions of owning your curves and embracing your flaws. Call a beauty queen fat and you shouldn’t be president. Make Naked Trump statues and place them in cities around the nation, totally cool. Comment on Trump’s skin and hair, totally fine. Refer to Chris Christie as the “elephant in the room,” hilarious!
The Democratic Party claims to be the worker’s party. If you truly believed in worker’s rights you wouldn’t wear any brand that is a part of fast fashion.
The left claim to care about the environment while they and their leaders own million dollar homes, eat factory farm animal products, sport fast fashion, smoke cigarettes and fly around in private jets.
It’s only Republicans who want to go to war. Wrong. No, Bernie isn’t in the clear either. In 2013, Obama promised he would not put boots on the on the ground in Syria…guess what’s happening now.
The left advocates for sub-populations but rarely mention that the VA has become an absolute trainwreck under Obama with veterans literally dying because they can’t get in to see health professionals as part of a socialist healthcare system. They’re concerned about mental health issues but do not mention the suicide hotline failing veterans.
Women are anti-feminist if they don’t support Planned Parenthood, but it’s feminist to support a candidate whose foundation receives donations from Saudi Arabia (where women have no divorce rights and need a male guardian) the United Arab Emirates (where women need male approval for marriage and husbands are permitted to assault their wives and children), Qatar (where women need male approval for marriage, women must obey their husbands and marital rape is permitted) and Oman (where women face discrimination when it comes to child custody and divorce). All this according to Human Rights Watch.
Cultural appropriation is disgusting…except when Elizabeth Warren claimed she was a minority when she listed herself as a Native-American (because of the stereotype that American Indians have high cheekbones) in an Association of American Law Schools directory.
The left explains that white people voted for Trump because his racial and anti-women tones wouldn’t effect them, but the left doesn’t call out celebrities who are so wealthy and famous that they can vote for economic policies that won’t affect their lifestyles in the slightest.
The left is blaming “fake media stories” for Trump’s win but don’t point out that almost half of consistent liberals trust The Daily Show as their news source. Hillary is now complaining about “fake news” but what about when she lied about Benghazi and Bosnia? Oh and also when she blamed right wing conspiracies for the Lewinsky scandal. Brian Williams even had the gall to call out “fake news” when he’s built career/persona out of lies.
Trump appointing three generals (Mattis, Kelly, Flynn) is scary…but when Obama appoints Jones, Shinsheki and Blair no one says a word…
The left praises Canada and jokes about moving there…a country with border laws and strict guidelines on how to become Canadian. Interesting that no one wants to go to Mexico or really any country whose main inhabitants are non-White.
All cultures should be valued and heard…except for farm and rural culture which essentially would not be represented if the electoral college was completely abolished. Even Hillary tells us to “cherish our democracy.”
The left points out the people that will no longer be insured if Obamacare is repealed but don’t point out those that are punished via a fine because they can’t afford their premiums, or those that have insurance but their premiums/deductibles are so high it’s as if they have no insurance.
The leftist media puts pressure on Trump to condemn the riots (and when he did CBS held onto the tape for two days) but didn’t pressure Obama or Clinton to do the same with the Black Lives Matters or post-election riots, despite innocent people being hurt in both cases.
Trump loves hate. But a large number of the reported Pro-Trump hate crimes post-election have proven to have been fabricated.
No one on my feed expressed any concern about the electoral college…until their candidate lost. I can’t back up this theory with stats but no one believes for one second that the left would be up in arms if the results had been the other way around…in fact they would’ve called Trump supporters out if they had reacted the way they are now.
The left wants to give the government virtually unlimited power, but never stopped to think what would happen if that power went to someone they didn’t like. Conservatives have warned of this for a long time.
Even when people are arrested, the anti-Trump protests are referred to as “largely peaceful,” not exactly how the Tea Party protests were reported.
Actually ALL Republicans are racist and sexist and homophobic…but a Republican nominated Clarence Thomas, the two highest ranking Black cabinet members and the first ever female Black secretary of state were under a Republican, a woman has been nominated for Republican VP, the first Black secretary of housing and urban development was under a Republican, the first Black secretary of transportation was under a Republican, the first secretary of education was under a Republican, the first female secretary of the interior was under a Republican, the first female secretary of agriculture was under a Republican, the first female secretary of housing and urban development was under a Republican, the first Asian female to serve in the cabinet was under a Republican, the first woman to serve in two different positions under two different administrations was under a Republican, the Republican Party has had more foreign born cabinet member than Democrats, there have been a handful of gay Republican members of congress plus this last election the Republican presidential ï included an Indian-American, Black man, woman, two Latinos and a pumpkin.
The moral of the story is that everyone must be called out. Liberals need to call out conservatives but they need to call out other liberals too and vice versa. We all should be held to the same standard. That’s one of the biggest lessons this election should teach us but it’s one that seems to have gone right over the left’s head. When a negative story is breaking on your favorite candidate, honestly ask yourself how you would feel if the candidate you didn’t like was accused of the same mistake. Your reactions to each should be the same.
Donald Trump has flip-flopped and fallen victim to a large number of hypocritical criticisms and rightly so, but I think voters felt like they always know what Trump is thinking even if it’s different from what he thought a week ago. Donald Trump has gained respect even from those who are part of #NeverTrump because he calls out the media. The large number of conservative Never Trumpers may have actually helped Trump and the Republican party because it showed that many on the right can see past party lines.
There are things Democrats believe in that I can get down with, but I can only take so much silliness…and apparently millions of Americans feel the same way.
You know what grinds my gears? Making group decisions. My friends and I take forever whether it’s picking a weekend activity or finding a place to eat. I’m sure others can relate. We all have our grading criteria for nutrient consumption; most important of course is the food, if it tastes like the inside of a meth-heads trash can then I probably won’t be eating there. There are other intangible aspects as well; are they quick, is the service friendly, what’s their health rating, and clean bathrooms are always a plus. But what if the restaurant chose for you? We’ve all seen the sign: “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason.” What if they simply said, “we don’t serve your kind here?” That would just make my life that much easier.
That’s right folks, I’m advocating racism. No I’m not. I’m advocating to allow private businesses to do whatever they want within the demesne of their private property. Before anybody jumps out of their seat and claims everyone deserves the same equal treatment by all – after all it’s 2016 in the US of A – let me ask you this; don’t you deserve to know who your money is going to? Think about all the decision making taken off your shoulders when you show up to your favorite diner and see “Muslims get out” on a sign outside. Hey, if they don’t want money from a demographic who are you to demand them take it?
Does anyone have a problem with this? There’s no reason to get upset someone doesn’t want your money. If I went to the Peckerwood Café and they told me no Niggers allowed, fine. If their food was really good I may try to weasel my way into a half plate, but barring that I would be more than happy to give my money to someone who isn’t going to put it towards something I despise; like snacks for their next Klan rally. Not what I want my 15% tip to go towards.
I said don’t jump out of your seat! Hear me out! Do I think any private business should be able to deny service to anyone for any reason up to and including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and gluten allergy? Yes. Simply because the free market would work around said business. If Burger King banned members of the LGBT community from their restaurants I bet you 100 chicken McNuggets McDonald’s mascot would change from a clown to a unicorn and the golden arches would become rainbows and the execs would ride that horned horse on their private jet to their private island and early retirement. It’s simple supply and demand, which doesn’t stop at our fine eateries either; if a photographer doesn’t want to work at the wedding of a gay couple, another photographer will step up and receive the business from those turned away as well as people who aren’t gay but want to support LGBT equality.
It’s not difficult, either! With the plethora of social media platforms information spreads so fast you canTweet before takeoff and be fired before landing. Take Sweetcakes by Melissa for example. This was a bakery that politely declined a gay couples request to serve their wedding. Next, they got sued and there was a bunch of hoopla and anger against a bakery that any other day would have served the couple but due to religious reasons chose not to cater a wedding. What if, rather than attacking the business and eventually ruining a law-abiding citizen’s livelihood with a lawsuit, the gay couple had simply posted on social media the event that occurred and let the free market decide the fate of the business? Proponents of marriage equality would join in the boycott. People who didn’t agree or were indifferent to the issue may still shop there. Maybe the business would take a hit and be forced to change, maybe not; the free market would decide. But until then, go somewhere else to buy a damn cake. It’s. Just. A CAKE!!!!! Why would you want to force a company to work for you in the first place? Are you willing to pay full price for a reluctantly made cake?
Boycotts are not a novel idea either and they do have an impact. Target lost an estimated $20 million from a boycott due to their gender neutral bathrooms. And there was a boycott of Chick-fil-A following the news they donate to anti-LGBT groups. Ok, the Chick-fil-A one kinda backfired on the protesters but, I would argue, the reason isn’t because of the protest per se, but the rhetoric. When people areattacked for peacefully saying what they believe it generates sympathy. So don’t give the haters a chance for sympathy! State your case in plain terms to friends and the internet and go on about your life. If you let your hate consume you the terrorists win; when they go low we go high or some such.
Note this argument advocating the increase of freedom of speech to include refusal of service only applies to privately owned businesses. Anything public is paid for by everyone and therefore everyone has a right to. No I don’t think this would have worked in the 1950’s or maybe even as recently 2003 before the advent of Facebook, Twitter, and other major social media platforms. But here we are, almost in 2017 and we have the world at our fingertips in the form of a smartphone – if you have one of those, and there’s nothing wrong if you don’t. I know in a perfect world everything would be rainbows and free smoothies, but since Michael Bay is still making Transformers movies that day is years away. So the next time you get denied service at the ol’ Peckerwood Café, slap the owner on the ass and give ‘em a big wet one because now there’s one less ignoramus using your money for their foul deeds. Thanks racism.
What is most frustrating about talking politics is there is a line drawn in the sand that everyone knows not to cross or their point of view has failed. The reality of it is the two sides often come to the same conclusions for different reasons and at different times.
The greatest example of this is government powers. Remember when conservatives were up in arms about the use of executive action by President Obama? And the filibuster-proof(ish) congress? Of course if you’re liberal leaning this was no problem at all. Maybe you didn’t mind the funding of private companies, the overhaul of healthcare, the increase in regulation, the invasion of privacy via NSA spying. To you maybe that was the perfect government. There’s nothing wrong with liking the government that has been elected, but be weary of the power exclusively coming from one end of the spectrum.
And here, we, go. 2016, President-elect Trump with his radical plans for wall-building and Muslim banning and a continuing Republican majority in the House and Senate. At least in the Legislative Branch there will be minimal resistance to his policies, so long as they’re constitutional. Then again, what is constitutional? He will appoint at least one Supreme Court Justice – and with three that will be over 80 by the end of his first term possibly a total of four – people will want a more even hand on the tiller.
So now I assume people on the Democratic side of the aisle may want to jump aboard the limited government train. Everyone should already be on this train to begin with, and I’m certainly not sad to have an extra cart added to the track; but what if everyone had heeded the warnings from small-government backers a long time ago instead of waiting for what they thought they contained turned on them.
The issue is not disagreement, but why we come to the conclusion. If you look at the arguments against Democrat-controlled actions, they can all in some way be linked to Republicans as well. It shouldn’t take a red-hot poker by the name of Trump to make these connections. Look at the issue at hand and ask yourself if you’d like the same done to you. The golden rule right, simple enough. Conservatives don’t want the government funding Planned Parenthood any more than liberals want government funding of Lockheed Martin.
The point of all this is simple, next time you’re in a conversation of a political nature, take the time to understand the other side. Focus in on the issue, and find some common ground to build from rather than just try to burn the other side down; because who knows, maybe you’ll end up wanting the same thing, if for different reasons.
Accountability –We are responsible for our thoughts, our feelings, our attitudes, our words, our actions, and our reactions Values –Directions on a compass; our principles – who you are. Mindfulness –maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Positivity – the state or character characterized by the presence or possession of features or qualities rather than their absence. Attraction – Positivity is associated with increased success, Positive people attract other positive people and tend to get better jobs, have more successful careers, and better relationships. Dominoes – This is a mindful approach to goal setting that focuses on process over outcome and gain over blame. Divine Visualization – A goal achievement technique invented by Mark Divine. Inspired Action –Action inspired because it is deep-seated and meaningful to you.
This list we’ll be revisited.
Thanksgiving day got me thinking. We all know the story about the Mayflower leaving England, landing on the shores of Plymouth, Massachusetts. The pilgrims had no idea how to take care of themselves in the “new world”until Squanto taught them the agricultural ways of the new world which resulted in a celebratory feast between natives and pilgrims known as the first thanksgiving.
While the story of pilgrims paint a picture of happy co-habitation between white people and natives we know this isn’t really reflective of the entire Native American experience. For example, many people protest the celebration of Christopher Columbus who enslaved, diseased and generally mistreated natives. 80 – 90% of the Native American population was killed between Columbus contact and today.
Pequot War, 1637 – Around 500 Pequot killed or enslaved The Trail of Tears, 1838 – 1839 – 4,000 Cherokee died Bear River Massacre, 1863 – 450 Shoshone killed Sand Creek Massacre, 1864 – Around 400 Cheyenne and Arapaho killed The Camp Grant Massacre, 1871 – 118 Apache killed Wounded Knee Massacre, 1890 – 146 Siox killed
This is just a shortlist of notable moments in native to white people interactions. I’m sure you can think of many more, because there are many more.
The Trail of Tears was the beginning of the establishment of Native American territory. The Indian Removal Act was signed by Andrew Jackson in 1830 and tens of thousands of natives were forced to move to a territory in Oklahoma. Next came The Indian Appropriations Act of 1851 which authorized the creation of Indian territories in what is now Oklahoma. The Dawes Act of 1887 followed that but it wasn’t until the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, also referred to as the “Indian New Deal” that progress was made in protecting Native rights and tribal sovereignty while reducing some of the early privatization of native land. What this means essentially is that reservations were finally allowed to govern themselves. They became nations within a nation with representatives who operate as liaisons to the American federal government. In 1934, American Indians were finally allowed to govern themselves within their tribal borders of course.
So the American government and non-native Americans felt/feel really bad for what had/has happened to American Indians. Most people have come to know that a beautiful, wise and underappreciated group of people were wrongly treated by early settlers of North America. As a result various freedoms, exemptions and laws specific to American Indians have peen passed, created etc.
American Indians pay federal income taxes but are not subject to state taxes, although tribes can decide within themselves to tax residents. Tribes get special hunting and fishing allowances. There are countless grants, scholarships and other forms of aid available to American Indians to the extent that as long as they get into a university, school will be paid for. Additionally there is funding for trade schools and tech education available to American Indians as well. Apprenticeship programs for American Indians are offered and facilitated by the government and private organizations around the country. American Indians now have the opportunity to get whatever kind of training or education they desire, cost free to them.
This is what so many of us are dying to have right? A free education? Tax free employment? Housing grants? Congressional internships? Indian Health Service? And so many more government subsidized opportunities. Of course this doesn’t undo the damage done to the Indian population but at least modern day Indians should be thriving right? Well…not so much. This is what the situation looks like for American Indians:
They die at higher rates than other americans from alcoholism (510% higher), diabetes (189% higher), vehicle crashes (229% higher), suicides (62% higher).
Indian youth have the highest suicide rates among all ethnic groups and suicide is the second highest cause of death for Indians age 15 – 24.
The rate of aggravated assault among American Indians and Alaska Natives is roughly twice that of the country as a whole. (600.2 per 100,000 vs 323.6 per 100,000).
5% of Native Americans receive a graduate or professional degree compared to 10% for the U.S. population.
Only 9% of American Indians have earned a bachelor’s degree compared to 19% for the U.S. population.
Natives are overrepresented in prisons. For example, in Hawaii, natives make up 10% of the overall population but 39% of the incarcerated.
In 2014, 67% of American Indians graduated from High School. This compared to the national average of 80%.
Despite government assistance, American Indians are not doing well. The unemployment rate at Standing Rock reservation was over 60% as of 2014 and the poverty rate is 43.2%, almost three times the national average. It’s a recurring theme with minorities.
In order to make up for what had been done, United States government decided to start giving Native Americans everything. Education, health care, casino rights (through the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act). And with casinos came per capita systems where many tribal members receive a stipend simply because they have Indian blood. These stipends can range from a few hundred dollars a year to more than $100,000. Put all of these benefits together and essentially you are set. College, health care, social security, and for many a steady paycheck for doing nothing at all. Considering all things done to the American Indians seems like the least we can do right? Well, on paper perhaps, but you’re ignoring reality and human nature if you believe this system to be a good idea. If all the opportunity is there, why is the situation for native so miserable?
Imagine you’re a father. You find out your girlfriend is pregnant and you panic. You leave town. And on your way out of town you take all the money out of your joint bank account with your girlfriend. So now she has no money, no partner, can’t afford car payments anymore, can’t afford house payments anymore and she moves back in with he parents to raise your baby alone.
Then you have an epiphany. You realize you have royally messed up. You feel terrible and you really want to be in the kid’s life so you go back. By now the kid is five years old but you’re determined to make things up to your kid. So you promise the kid you’re gonna pay for his health care, his education, and even if he doesn’t go to college you’ll give him a yearly stipend and you’ll give him a place to live. You promise this kid all kinds of security because of the terrible thing you did. All he has to do is…exist.
Using your intuition how do you think this would turn out? Would you apply to college if you knew you’d be financially stable without going? Would you care about your grades in high school if you knew you didn’t have to get grades to be set for life? Would you still get a job if you knew you didn’t have to in order to get by? Would you make an effort to learn how to be self-reliant if you literally did not have to rely on yourself?
Of course, some people still would do these things and that’s the 5% of American Indians who go to college. But most people need more than pride to motivate them. But let’s talk about that “pride.”
This relates to the opening of this blog. What does it take to be successful? What does it take to have self-esteem? What does it take to have pride in oneself? There is no accountability when you can be a terrible person but still receive your benefits. How do you even develop a personal value system if you are never faced with a challenge or forced to fend for yourself? Mindfulness isn’t needed when all your medical bills are covered. There’s no need to have a positive attitude when you’re positive your necessities are covered. While surrounding yourself with your culture has it’s merits, any new train of thought is unlikely to find it’s way into your life if your family has run in the same circles on the same piece of land for decades. If there is no need for goals there is no need for Dominoes. Divine Visualization, or visualization if any kind would be waste of time if your needs are being met. Where do you find inspiration in a place where no one has to overcome anything to live a decently financed life?
I am not saying the government provides a millionaire lifestyle for Indians. It certainly doesn’t. In fact there are ongoing battles between natives and the federal government ranging from the Dakota pipeline to to sacred volcanoes in Hawaii. But what it does provide is a safety net that’s near impossible to cut a hole in.. I consider myself to be a pretty self-motivated person but if I knew my bills were paid for regardless of what I chose to do with my life I am not sure I wouldn’t get comfortable.
I am not forgiving what has been done to American Indians and I certainly don’t want anyone to forget it. But the method in which we have tried to right our wrongs has only lead to weaker Indian Nations. I believe it comes down to this; achievments fuel pride, pride is the root of self-esteem and self-esteem is the fuel to success. Giving things away for free takes away the foundation for building pride, promotes mediocrity and takes away any need for inspiration.
There’s a reason why good parents know not to spoil their children. What do you teach people when you give them everything? You teach them that hard work isn’t really necessary.
You feel good about the things you earn. You respect that which you worked for. You take pride in overcoming obstacles. You value items your saved up to purchase. Think about saving for a year to buy a car and having a car given to you by your parents. Which one would you cherish more? Think about the 3rd place medal you won with your team vs the participation medal everyone got. Which one are you more proud of?
American Indians did not deserve what happened to them. Our country surely owed them something. We all know there is no excuse for the way they were treated and unfortunately the United States tried to right those wrongs in perhaps the worst way possible. When you abandon your child and come back five years later you don’t offer them the world, you offer them the opportunity to have the world. Reward hard work and offer to teach the skills needed to be able to work hard and excel in something.
The government is bad at everything. This includes territorial expansion, righting wrongs and taking care of their minority populations. The “let’s give everything away for free” method has been tried. The American Indian population is the result. In the words of Poe, “It’s a wonderful idea but it doesn’t work.”