Saturday, August 09, 2014

Too Many People Are Abusing Our American Flag


Don't abuse and misuse our American Flag and call it patriotic. How many times have you seen a dirty, faded, thread bare American Flag attached to a car antenna? Sometimes half the flag is gone; torn away bit by bit as it is whipped by the wind. How often do you see the American flag flying in the rain or flying at night without being illuminated. If you want to display the American Flag do it the right way and for the right purpose.




 

Don't stick flags in your flower bed so that they are touching the ground or draped across a plant and don't leave them out at night unless you have a light shinning on them.











A flag isn't supposed to be used for advertising. I won't do business with a company that flies the flag to attract the business of patriots. When a business flies several flags, every day, all night and in the rain, it isn't to honor our flag.

 





Don't wear the flag around you neck, on your forehead or as a scarf. Just because a company makes and sells flags for that purpose doesn't make it right. Don't wear it as a patch on you coat unless you are in uniform and you are military, police or firefighter.

When a flag is no longer in presentable condition it must be properly retired. Tossing it into a trash can is not an approved method. The flag should be burned. If you don't or can't retire it properly, take it to your local VFW or American Legion. They will do it for you.


Eric Garner's Death Due To Homicide

Eric Garner regularly sold individual cigarettes, called loosies, for 75 cents or 2 for a dollar. Eric bought the cigarettes for $5 a pack and sold them for $7 per pack up to $15 a pack sold individually. Eric's profit was about $150 per day. In Midtown, a pack can cost $12.50 so there was a demand for Eric's cigarettes.

Eric has been arrested several times for selling untaxed cigarettes, which is a misdemeanor. He pays a fine and goes home.

Eric was recently arrested again. The policeman in this situation should have issued a citation or a summons and ordered Eric to stop selling. Instead the policeman called for backup with the intent of taking Eric into custody.

Eric knew that being arrested was improper and he protested civilly. The police decided to use force and wrestled Eric to the sidewalk. One policeman, with a record of excessive force, put Eric in an unlawful choke hold that is specifically banned by police regulations.

Eric complained repeatedly that he could not breathe but the police held him down and cuffed him. Eric lost consciousness. The onlookers called on the police to help Eric but they were ignored.

Two emergency medical technicians showed up and checked for a pulse but did nothing else.

While the police and EMTs stood by, Eric died.

The EMTs have been suspended or fired. Some of the police have been placed on modified duty. The medical examiner has ruled that Eric's death was a homicide.

At least one policeman is expected to be charged with 2nd degree murder or manslaughter.

Manslaughter, in my opinion isn't enough. Charging one policeman is not enough. All of the police and the EMTs stood over Eric as he died at their feet. Each of these professional guardians of our safety chose to ignore Eric's medical distress. Had they attempted to relieve his distress in any way and he still died, I would charge all but one policeman with manslaughter and the policeman who choked Eric with 2nd degree murder.

But not one of them acted to prevent Eric's death. They knew he was having difficulty breathing and did not act. They knew when he lost consciousness and did not act. They knew his heart had stopped when the EMT checked Eric but none of them took any action. They knowingly allowed Eric to remain in a state of stress that could and did kill him.

They should be charged with premeditated murder because they decided, at a time when Eric was still alive, to withhold assistance that would have saved Eric's life. Assistance that they are entrusted to provide.

Eric's death was not accidental. It was not unintentional. Eric was intentionally murdered for selling cigarettes for 75 cents.

No Place For The Confederate Flag

Americans shouldn't honor the flags of traitors.

The current flag of Mississippi contains the confederate flag on a background of the bars and stars confederate flag. Until this century the Georgia flag contained a confederate flag. The current flags of Georgia and North Carolina have backgrounds containing portions of the confederate bars and stars flag. Flags of the confederacy or one of the confederate states are the flags of traitors and enemy governments.

Flying any of these flags or a flag that honors them is disrespectful of the United States, its Constitution and its citizens. 

Some Southerners call the Civil War the War of Northern Aggression. This is untrue. The Confederacy started the Civil War when it seceded from the Union and attacked Fort Sumter.

Ugandan Anti-Gay Legislation Overturned! Sad Day For Some Evangelicals.



 
The three American evangelical Christians who encouraged the Ugandans to enact a law that made the persistent practice of homosexuality punishable by death must be very disappointed that the high court of Uganda has struck down that law.

The evangelical Christians were Scott Lively, an author who has written several books opposing homosexuality; Caleb Lee Brundidge, a self-professed former gay man who conducts sessions to heal homosexuality; and Don Schmierer, a board member of Exodus International, an organization devoted to promoting "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ". The three men held conferences in Uganda with the theme being the "gay agenda": "how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how 'the gay movement is an evil institution' whose goal is 'to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity' "

These claims are untrue. Homosexuals do not recruit heterosexuals. Homosexuals are not pedophiles; pedophiles are pedophiles! The gay movement is not out to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity. They want to expand society's definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. As for promiscuity, these evangelicals need to refer to Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" The divorce rate of evangelicals is highest among major U.S. religions, including atheism. The Bible Belt leads the nation in the consumption of Gay and straight internet pornography. The majority of states with a high percentage of gay viewers is in the South. According to internet site data, Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia lead the South in gay porn consumption, and the state with the highest percentage of gay porn viewers in the nation is Mississippi at 5.6%.

Does President Obama Favor Amnesty for Undocumented Immigrants?

President Obama does not intend to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. He has asked Congress to enact immigration reform. But the House Republicans are committed to blocking anything that the President wants and anything that the Senate has passed.

The Dream Act, which is NOT amnesty, was passed by the Senate 2 years ago. The House Republicans won't put it to a vote in the House. Since the Republicans will do nothing, the President instructed the Justice Department and Homeland Security not to deport any youth that the Dream Act would apply to.

Currently, the President is considering a similar temporary order that would apply to adults who meet very strict requirements. The order would halt deportations, grant work permits and allow some to get drivers' licenses.

The President and the Democrats would prefer to pass immigration reforms but the House Republicans, who appear to be taking their instructions from Senator Ted Cruz, will not vote on any reasonable reform legislation. The only bills they have passed on immigration won't pass the Senate. One such bill would accelerate deportation, especially the deportation of the children, many of whom are qualified for asylum.

Less than one year ago Senator Marco Rubio and other prominent Republicans had proposed a bipartisan bill for immigration reform, which was expected to pass both houses. Later Rubio advised his Republicans to oppose the legislation. I suspect that Rubio changed his mind because he did not want to upset the Tea Party and their far far right base.

As the President works to accomplish something in spite of the Republicans, the Republicans have shifted from working on a bipartisan reform to suing the President for doing what they now refuse to do.

Anyone who thinks that President Obama has been soft on undocumented aliens is reminded that he has spent more to secure the border than previous presidents, he has deported many more people than any other president and he has prosecuted more employers who persistently employ undocumented aliens than any other president.

Before condemning what the administration has done or is considering, make sure you know the facts.

Thirteen Years in Afghanistan

Many of our troops in Afghanistan were in preschool when the Afghanistan War began.

How many more of our children and grandchildren will we lose in Afghanistan?

The Ignorant American Voter

Kentuckians were asked if they disapprove of Obamacare. They were also asked if they disapprove of Kynect, the Kentucky Health Care Insurance Marketplace.

57% disapprove of Obamacare
22% disapprove of Kynect

Kynect is Obamacare!


Whose fault is it that Kentuckians don't understand the Affordable Care Act?  Many say that the Democrats haven't communicated adequately about the ACA.  If you're an Obama supporter then you probably like ACA, aka Obamacare.  But, I'm not convinced that you know as much about ACA as you should.

On the other hand, if you don't like Obama then you probably don't like ACA and definitely don't like Obamacare.  How should the Democrats reach these people with the truth about ACA?

I suspect that most people don't pay attention to any news coverage about the ACA.  Those that do watch the news are watching Fox News.  Viewership data proves this.  The only information that these people will get about the ACA will be misinformation generated by Fox, the Republicans, the Tea Party, conservative pundits like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.

The Democrats and their supporters are all over MSNBC reporting on the successes of the ACA but the 57% of Americans who disapprove of Obamacare never watch MSNBC and wouldn't believe anything they heard if they did watch it.

This isn't only true about the Affordable Care Act.  The majority of Americans - Democrats, Republican, Independents, etc. - know very few facts if any about their representatives in the local, state and federal governments.  They don't know what bills are proposed.  They don't know what laws are enacted.  What they think they know is more than likely wrong.

President Obama was twice elected by a majority of the voters, however, he is almost as unpopular as the US Congress.  Congress is less popular than a bad cold and yet, about 90% of the incumbents in the last election were reelected and that is likely to repeat this November.  The Republican/Tea Party has openly done everything they can to prevent the Obama administration and the Democratic Party for accomplishing anything.  But, the experts predict that the Republicans will keep control of the House and take control of the Senate.  The only thing the Republicans are in favor of is another tax cut for the Rich.

The only way to explain the above is to assume that the majority of American voters don't know their asses from a hole in the ground and are happy to leave it that way.

Many, if not most, Americans are concerned that the government is taking away their Rights.  If they actually lose any Rights, they only have themselves to blame.

Do Native Americans Have The Right To Be Offended?

I posted a picture of a Kansas City Chiefs fan dressed to mimic a Native American alongside of a couple of pictures featuring black face.  I said that they are all equally shameful.



An old friend commented, "My grandmother on my dads side was full blooded Indian. I have a lot of Indian blood in me. I am not offended one bit by the Indian costumes. Maybe I'm not the norm."

I think a person has to have more than Native American ancestry. According to my DNA analysis my mother and father come from Irish ancestors but I'm not personally offended if a Brit demeans an Irishman but I disapprove of such comments. My wife is as Italian as Trevi Fountain but she often refers to things uniquely Italian as "quinea" this or that. I don't like it when she uses that word in that way but it means nothing to her. That's not true of all Italians. If an Italian is offended when she says guinea it is not the Italian's fault, it is her fault.

Just because the offender doesn’t see the problem with his demeaning language doesn't disqualify the feelings of the person offended.

Too many of us act and speak without any consideration of the impact they have on the people around them. They claim that they are exercising their personal freedom. But doing so without considering others is irresponsible and a violation of the rights of others. Operating a motorcycle or a car with inadequate exhaust muffling or, worse yet, a muffler designed to accentuate exhaust noise is considered a personal liberty by some but most people are annoyed by the unnecessary noise and feel that their rights are being violated. I think such noise is illegal and I think an adult that takes pleasure in making excessive noise is immature and offensive.

If you were a Native American that observed Native American traditions and practiced one of the many Native American religions, you would be a Native American in spirit, which you would not be simply because one of your grandmothers was a Native American. Then you might very well be offended when someone said "redskin" or wore makeup and a costume to mimic the appearance of a Native American just as "black
face and big white lips" mimicked African Americans.

Phony 'Victims' of Obamacare


Karl Rove's propaganda machine is running a new ad featuring another "victim" of Obamacare. As with all the previous attack ads this victim's claim, that her family is hurt by Obamacare, doesn't agree with the available facts. The ad blames Democratic Senator Mark Udall for voting for Obamacare. The victim, Richelle McKim, is an employee of an energy company which is one of the largest donors to Senator Mark Udall's opponent in the upcoming election.

 



McKim claims in the ad that she had to go back to work because of Obamacare but in an interview with a local news reporter she said that it was not due to the Affordable Care Act. McKim's husband has high blood pressure and until the Affordable Care Act, he could not get affordable insurance. McKim claims in the ad that health care reform has hurt families in Colorado but the facts indicate that the number of uninsured in Colorado has dropped significantly due to the Affordable Care Act.

Mark Udall is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a strong advocate for developing renewable energy sources and reducing our use of carbon based fuels. This is the reason that Karl Rove and McKim's employer want to defeat Udall. However, instead of attacking Udall's position on renewable energy, Rove is attacking his support of the Affordable Care Act.

And, since the Affordable Care Act is doing good things for Coloradans, Karl Rove has to create phony victims who are willing to tell lies.


Capital Punishment; How Many Innocent Victims?

Three arson cases are in the news. A man jailed 42 years ago at the age of 16 has been released because the latest arson science proves that the fire was not arson. A second man, jailed for 24 years, may soon be freed for the same reason. Arson experts found that a fire for which a third man was sentenced to death in Texas was not arson. A special commission in Texas found that the man should be retried. The Texas governor dismissed the commission and their recommendation and allowed the man to be executed because a prison inmate testified that the accused confessed that he was guilty. However, 10 years later investigators have found that the prosecutor concealed the fact that the inmate was promised a reduced sentence if he testified that he had heard a confession. The jailhouse witness has also admitted that his testimony was a lie.

Three innocent men. They were in prison a total of 77 years in prison. One is still in prison. One was executed. All were innocent.

Hundreds of convicted people have been found innocent and released. Now there is significant evidence that at least one innocent person was executed. How much longer will the US allow states to execute people, when we know that our legal process convicts innocent people, sometimes because of misconduct by the prosecution?

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Why aren't the existing laws prohibiting pay discrimination adequate?

Equal pay for equal work should have been protected by the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act, both enacted in the 60’s. But each had a weakness that the courts allowed employers to take advantage of.

The Civil Rights Act was interpreted by the Supreme Court in a way that made the protection impossible to use. The Supreme Court said that the victim must identify the discrimination within 180 days of its first occurrence. That’s not a practical possibility and it was not what the legislators had intended. So, they changed the law so that the victim must complain within 180 days of the occurrence of any discrimination rather than only the first occurrence of discrimination. This correction was the Lily Ledbetter Act.

The Equal Pay Act also allowed discriminating employers to win in court. The Equal Pay Act said that every employee should be given equal pay for equal work except when the unequal pay is the result of a “factor other than sex.” There are factors that justify paying one person more than another although they perform equal work. However, the Equal Pay Act didn’t require that the factor, identified by the employer, must be a legitimate business reason, which is not discriminatory. Seniority is a valid factor. Being unmarried is not a valid factor. So, the Paycheck Fairness Act is intended to ensure that the “factor other than sex” is a valid, non-discriminatory factor.

The courts don’t always decide a case based on the spirit of the law. Sometimes they are willing to ignore the original intent and accept arguments that are technically correct even though they violate the intent of the law. The Supreme Court is always asked to rule on the “intent” of the law, especially when dealing with the Constitution.

Republican Health Care Reform Strategy - Doubledown to Repeal

The GOP reminds me of a compulsive gambler. A compulsive gambler keeps telling himself that his losing streak is going to end with his last bet. He doesn’t want to quit playing while he’s losing. He knows his luck will change; he just has to hang in there until it does. It usually doesn’t. He stops gambling only when he doesn’t have a penny left to bet with.

The GOP is handling Obamacare just like the compulsive gambler deals with a losing streak. The public may not love Obamacare (mostly because they don’t know what Obamacare is…really). But, most of the public wants to keep Obamacare and improve it. The GOP wants to repeal it and by GOD they aren’t going to change their minds about that.

A couple of years ago most of the Republican lead states decided that they would not expand Medicaid to close the gap between the state’s existing Medicaid program and the Public Exchange. Most states cut off Medicaid below the minimum income to qualify for the Public Exchange. The federal government committed to pay 100% of the cost of expanding Medicaid for the first 3 years and 90% of the cost thereafter. You have to make more than 138% of the Federal Poverty Level in order to qualify for the Public Exchange. Everyone who earns 138% of the FPL or less will be covered by Medicaid. Many states didn’t qualify people up to 138% of the FPL, some states cut off Medicaid if you earn more than 25% of the FPL (about $6,000 for a family of 4). The federal government would pay for the cost of Medicaid for everyone whose income falls between each state’s existing Medicaid maximum income and 138% of the FPL.

However, most Republican lead states like my state of South Carolina, refused to accept the additional federal funding. Consequently, about 11 million people will not have health care coverage in those states. Many of those people will use hospital emergency rooms when they are sick. That cost will be in the billions and will drive up the cost of health care for everybody.

Now you would think that the GOP would accept the federally funded Medicaid expansion if not so that 11 million people have adequate health care, then in order to prevent higher health care costs. But, most of the Red States said no.

Now that Obamacare is up and running successfully and the majority of Americans do not want to repeal Obamacare, why are the Red States not expanding Medicaid? Why are GOP congressmen still calling for the repeal of Obamacare?

Is this a winning strategy or will the GOP lose like the compulsive gambler?

I think they will lose if they keep resisting Obamacare but I could be wrong. Most Americans don’t understand Obamacare, the Public Exchange and Medicaid Expansion and refuse to learn about them. If they did understand, I think they would disapprove of the GOP’s strategy. If enough of them don’t do their homework and know only what the neighbor tells them or what they hear on Fox News then the Republicans may get away with their strategy.

What do you think most Americans will do?

Who are Cliven Bundy's Defenders?

Defending Cliven Bundy: A family activity!
No one too old - no one too young.
Bring the kids and stand guard together.

Shelley Shelton, her son, Chris Shelton, and her one-week-old grandson are in Nevada defending Cliven Bundy. I wondered who would bring their new-born grandchild to an armed conflict with the federal government, so I looked for this grandmother and her son and found that they own and operate a power washing business in Las Vegas. They look like a typical family - next door neighbors. But, they aren't typical. How many families do you know that would grab up the grandkids, lawnchairs and assault weapons and spend a few weeks confronting the federal government to defend an anti-government racist militant rancher who is ripping off the government and the taxpayers? This family has a serious problem. I think that they are guilty of criminal endangerment of the grandchild. They are not courageous patriots.



Why America Has Inadequate Mental Healthcare

America has a serious problem with untreated mental illness. Prior to 1981 the federal government maintained mental institutions throughout the country. In 1980 President Jimmy Carter authorized funding to continue those institutions and added research programs.

One month later Carter was defeated by Ronald Reagan the federal funding of those mental institutions was discontinued. The mentally ill who were neither homicidal nor suicidal were eventually released from care. They were either cared for by relatives or became homeless and still are.

Under Ronald Reagan, who also ignored the aids epidemic and the need for aids treatment research, care for and the treatment of the mentally ill all but completely ceased under Reagan.

My Down Syndrome son was born in 1982. My son entered early intervention treatment when he was only 3 months old to encourage gross motor and mental development. That treatment is critically important. Ronald Reagan saw this as an opportunity to cut federal spending in order to fund his massive tax cuts. The programs were terminated. The teachers and therapists that had worked with Jon and his peers disappeared. Funding of the Department of Mental Rehabilitation has never fully recovered.

Inadequate mental health services is a contributing factor to the violence in America. Let us all thank Ronald Reagan for that inadequacy and so much more.

Is Voter Suppression Racism?

Changes to voter ID requirements and reduced access to polls and absentee voting is intended to suppress Democratic voting, not to prevent voter fraud as claimed by Republican lead state governments that are enacting the changes. The Republicans are making changes that disproportionately affect Democratic voters. The voters affected are the poor, the elderly and the young.

Urban areas are predominantly Democratic. Therefore, making changes that only affect urban areas and disproportionately affect the poor can significantly reduce Democratic voting and give Republican candidates a winning advantage in swing states.

I believe that racism is still a significant issue in the United States, however, even though the African American population is impacted the most by voter suppression, the suppression is not racism. The urban African American vote is being suppressed because it is predominantly Democratic not because the voters are black.

Even though suppression looks and feels like racism because the population most affected is black, I think Democrats should be careful not to call this racism because it is a weaker argument that is easily attacked.

Confederate Memorial Day

Confederate Memorial Day will be celebrated this week where I live in South Carolina.

Confederate Memorial Day is observed in 14 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. It is an official state holiday in 11 of the states. Arkansas observes Confederate Memorial Day on Martin Luther King Day.

I think it is shameful to celebrate the war started by the Confederacy to defend its secession from the Union in order to continue slavery. Secession was an act of treason and the leaders of the Confederacy were not heroes and do not deserve to be honored by any state or any American.

The Confederate states had an agricultural economy that was totally dependent on the labor of slaves, who were almost 40% of the population. Those slaves were owned by only 6% of the population. The plantation slave owners were wealthy, politically powerful aristocrats whose way of life would end if slavery were abolished. The aristocrats were only 1 in 9 of the white population. Almost 90% of the white population did not own slaves and did not enjoy the wealthy lifestyle of the aristocrats but they were more than 90% of the Confederate military. These men were wrongly lead to believe that they were fighting to defend their home states from Northern aggression. In fact, the only thing at stake was the lifestyle of the aristocrats. Volunteerism soon was inadequate and a draft was used to man the military. The draft did not apply equally to all males; sons of aristocrats were overlooked.

Confederate casualties totaled almost 500,000, which includes 200,000 killed. Union casualties were 660,000, which included almost 400,000 killed. More than 1 million casualties were sacrificed to defend the lifestyle of 300,000 aristocrats. The Union soldiers fought to protect the Union and to end slavery. The Confederate soldier was sacrificed for the aristocrats.

The states that annually honor their Confederate heroes and war dead, should instead curse the traitors that caused the deaths of 600,000 Americans. Many Southerners daily fly the Confederate battle flag instead of the American Flag. The state flag of Mississippi includes the Confederate battle flag. Out of ignorance that has persisted since the Civil War many Southerners still refer to the Civil War, which was started by the Confederacy, as the War of Northern Aggression.

In my opinion, the Confederate flag and Confederate Memorial Day are un-American.

The Bundy Ranch Standoff Has Gone Too Far

The Bundy Bunch has gone too far. Previously, I thought the government should only lay siege to the Bundy property. During the siege anyone can leave. Nobody can enter and no materials, food or water can be delivered to the ranch. Anyone leaving the property would be disarmed and detained for questioning, if that person is a member of the Bundy family they should be detained until everyone has left the Bundy property and law enforcement has determined whether to charge them with a crime.

But, the Bundy Bunch are now endangering neighbors and travelers that must cross the checkpoints established by the Bunch. This is intolerable and if this continues the Bunch will eventually harm someone. Therefore, the government should order the Bundy Bunch to leave the area and surrender to the government, or abandon the check points and withdraw onto the Bundy property. When the whole Bunch has withdrawn onto the Bundy property, the government should lay siege along the Bundy property perimeter and wait for the Bundy Bunch to surrender. All utilities, if any, entering the property shall be turned off and left off until the Bundy ranch has been evacuated.

If the Bundy Bunch refuses to abandon the check points and withdraw, the military should clear the check points by force. Anyone who resists will be shot and everyone on the Bundy property will be charged with resisting.

Lord, do you know what your Followers are saying and doing?

Lord, I'm confused by what many of your followers say and do.
  • Did you tell them to execute people in cold blood and laugh about it when they botch it?
  • Did you tell them to hate the poor if they ask for food?
  • Did you tell them to hate people who worship you in a different way?
  • Did you tell them to persecute homosexuals?
  • Did you tell them to carry guns and shoot anyone that gives them the slightest excuse to do so? It's shocking how proud they are when they do kill someone.
  • Did you tell them that they can dictate how everyone else should live and love and to persecute or imprison those who do not comply?
  • Did you tell them that the faithful will prosper on earth?
  • Did you tell your followers that the Beatitudes no longer matter?
  • Did you retract "The Sheep and the Goats?" Most of your followers are not heeding that message.
  • Do you really tell Pat Robertson, Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly what you want us to know? Their messages are always hateful instead of loving and forgiving as you always were.
 I'm sure you already know all this. The good news is that some of your believers don't believe as they do. But, they make such a loud noise that no one else can be heard...except by you.

Twitter discussion with an Obamacare Opponent



My discussion with an Obamacare opponent named M* M*:

M* M*: Majority Disagree w Obama on Foreign Policy, ACA, Economy but Don't Worry People Still Like Him Personally! Democrats R A Joke

JoeNavy: Spoken like a Fox fan. People opposed to ACA know nothing of ACA. Experience will change their minds but not yours.

M* M*: I Don't use healthcare & refuse to pay for anyone else's.  When I Need It I will buy a Reasonable policy.  Ppl Don't Like Buracracy

JoeNavy: Buying insurance after you're sick causes others to pay higher premiums. That's like buying car insurance after an accident.

M* M*: Auto & Health Vary Greatly, I Support Auto Insurance to protect others from Loss & I Do take Responsibility for MY Healthcare Costs

JoeNavy: Who pays if you are disabled in an accident and cannot pay for your healthcare? The taxpayers will; not you.

So I started searching for M* M*.  He’s in his early 30’s.  He’s separated from his wife and living with another woman; they just had a child in March.  In the past 10 years he has been sued 7 times by creditors.  One of the creditors was a non-profit Healthcare Provider, which was paid by garnishing M* M*’s wages for a couple of years.  One of the creditors was his mortgage bank who foreclosed on his home.  He finally filed bankruptcy.

This doesn’t sound like a person that will take responsibility for his healthcare costs.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

What are we?



I’ve always thought of myself as a six-foot overweight man with a middle income lifestyle.  But that’s not the real me.  I am memories and lessons learned.  The physical body without my memories and learnings is no more me now than it will be after I die, which would be like a computer that has been turned off.

The living me is still a computer with memory and an artificial intelligence operating system.  The body has some built-in unintelligent functions but they are not me.  If you took my memories and learnings and installed them in another body, I would essentially be the same person – the same personality – in a different body.  The computer analogy would be to move the hard drive from one computer to another.  Everything that the hard drive, with its memory and operating system, could achieve in the first computer chassis, it can do in the second computer chassis as long as it has the same accessories (printer, display, camera, etc.).  Changing the computer chassis doesn’t change me, any more than I would be changed if one of my legs were cut off or my body’s eyes went blind.
When the computer is turned off its hard drive can be removed and installed in a different chassis.  When the hard drive in then turned on, we have the same computer – the same memories and operating system - within a different chassis.

Likewise, if my memories and learnings were moved from one body to another body while I was asleep, I would be the same person in a different body after I woke up.  With our current technology my memories and learnings could only be moved to another body by moving my brain to the new body.  But, the physical brain, like my arms and legs, is not me.  Only the memories and learnings that are stored in the brain are me.  In fact, to move a computer from one chassis to another I can move the hard drive or I can transfer the information stored in one hard drive to another hard drive as long as the capacity of the new hard drive was equal to the capacity of the old hard drive.  In the same sense, I would be essentially the same in the new body as long as the new body has the same accessories and the same brain capacity.

It would also be true that my memories and learnings could be copied to more than one other body and upon waking, there would be two of me with the same memories and the same learnings.  Both of me would cease to be the same as time goes on and each has different experiences, thinks and forms new memories.  However, the instant we wake up there are two of me who are exactly the same person.

With every passing moment both of me become more and more unique.  We rapidly become two different persons who have the same past up to the moment that I was copied into a two new bodies.
It’s also true that my memories and learnings could be copied into a second body but not erased from the original body.  Again, when both awake there are two of me, with the same memories and learnings.

Now assume that my memories and learnings are copied into a second body and the original body – the original me – allowed to die.  When the second body awoke, I would still exist but in a different body even though the original body with which my memories and learnings were formed was dead and the memories and learnings it contained are lost.

Since I exist as long as my memories and learnings are intact, then I exist no matter what my memories and learnings reside in as long as I can think and access the memories and learnings.  I don’t need arms and legs or eyes and ears; I only need the capacity to think in order to be me.  So, I don’t need a brain – human or otherwise.  I only need a device that can store my old memories and learnings and think.  Today that is a computer equipped with artificial intelligence.  Compared to the human brain it is significantly limited but in time man will develop computers with greater thinking capacity.

In the future, any of us will be able to exist forever by keeping our memories and learnings in a computer.  That form of existence might not be nearly enough for most people but it’s not hard to imagine a manmade body in which the brain containing one of us resides.

Many may argue that I’m ignoring the human soul which they believe cannot be moved or copied.  It is God-made and all of them are one-of-a-kind.  We think of the soul as something that can and does survive death, God permitting.  Perhaps it’s like the one-of-a-kind serial number that accompanies a computer’s software.  There can be many copies of the software but each will operate only when a serial number is provided and each serial number can only be used in one computer at a time.

Can we be duplicated many times or are we dependent upon a single user serial number?