The Reasonable Person Rule…Can it Apply to a Person’s Recollection? Congressional Activity?

The Reasonable Person Rule is used as a tool in legal proceedings.  The rule can establish standards and interpretation of an individual’s version of a specific action.  As I researched some actual cases that included the use of the rule, I found it to be  commonly used in cases that involve the accusation of negligence.  I copied the following from Wikipedia.  Other groups explanations and descriptions are too complicated for my simple mind.

In law, a reasonable person, reasonable man, or the man on the Clapham omnibus is a hypothetical person of legal fiction who is ultimately an anthropomorphic representation of the body care standards crafted by the courts and communicated through case law and jury instructions.
Strictly according to the fiction, it is misconceived for a party to seek evidence from actual people in order to establish how the reasonable man would have acted or what he would have foreseen. This person’s character and care conduct under any common set of facts, is decided through reasoning of good practice or policy—or “learned” permitting there is a compelling consensus of public opinion—by high courts.

Why couldn’t we apply this rule to a litany of issues and stories in our world today?

Roy Moore maintains that he did not have an inappropriate relationship with any girl or young lady at anytime in his past.  With 6 woman accusing him of the doing so, as well as the number of people who vouch for them, wouldn’t a reasonable person be led to believe that at least one of the accusers claims are credible?

Today, the Republican party in all three branches are using their majority status to introduce a tax bill that most likely doesn’t favor the average American.  Since they are trying to proceed by taking their versions for a vote without any input from the Democrats or the American people, wouldn’t a reasonable person be lead to believe that they fear the bill would never be signed into law if they were to follow the established process?  Couldn’t the same be applied to healthcare repeal?

Is it also possible for a reasonable person to believe that the Democrats may not have a viable alternative for tax reform?

In the case of healthcare, wouldn’t  a reasonable person support the legislative efforts of Patty Murray a democrat and Lamar Alexander, a republican, relative to their bi-partisan pursuit of a plan that does not include the financial suffering and exclusion in the bills that their individual parties are trying to peddle?

With regard to the Russian investigation, wouldn’t a reasonable person be compelled to believe that based on all of the information in the media plus the obvious deception and deflection, there has to be some truth to theory that the Trump administration was involved?

In the case of the testimony from people like Jeff Sessions, wouldn’t a reasonable person believe that by them saying that they didn’t recall to every specific and important question they are actually showing a deliberate effort to lie or deceive?

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You get the idea.  If you look at relatively recent history, there are examples of similar situations that have played out by the accused eventually coming clean and accepting responsibility.  David Letterman, for examplewas accused of having sexual relationships with coworkers and colleagues.  He eventually admitted his wrong, apologized and asked for forgiveness.  His viewers accepted his discretions at face value and moved on.  If I didn’t bring it up, how many people would even remember him for what happened?  The same goes for Bill Clinton’s escapades and Rush Limbaugh’s pain killer addiction.

It may be a stretch, but it did get me thinking.

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Education and Government

There are bloggers that who have posted fascinating pieces that are far more enlightening and reflect more expertise than I with regard to the public attention that we are being overwhelmed with when it comes to government and politics.

I thought that I would take a little time to write about the working parts of government that are not being included in any public discussion.

Today I will share my thoughts on education and the branch of the government tasked with oversight and actions related to such an important topic.

I have always been one who has thought that we have a dropout crisis in this country.  As a matter of fact, according to National Center for Education Statistics, the dropout rate for K-12 youth is approximately 8%.  This encouraging percentage doesn’t include those who are being homeschooled or those who acquire a General Education Diploma (GED).  The steady decline started in the late 60s with an accelerated decline during the Bush and Obama administrations.

Not surprisingly, minorities, including Blacks and Hispanics do make up a disproportionate part of the drop out rate within these statistics.  Interestingly, the dropout rate of those within these minority groups is also significantly on the decline.

It should be unacceptable that a high percentage of the American drop out population live at the poverty level and have to depend on Social programs such as welfare to exist. As a country, we need to work on this.  Even if you drop out of high school and move into the workforce, it is reported that you will make approximately $11,000 a year less than graduates.

Betsy Devos, Education Secretary, has been under fire because of her lack of knowledge related to how the Public School systems in this country work.  It stands to reason that she is not all that effective in representing the needs of our public schools.  The amount of time she spends promoting for profit charter and private schools demonstrates her lack of expertise.

Importantly, The Department of Education is still very understaffed and has been since she was sworn in.  As a citizen and as a cabinet secretary, she needs to appoint knowledgeable and effective professional staff into her department in order for her and the American public to have experts playing roles to better American education.

As a positive and long before it was a popular topic, philanthropists like Bill and Melinda Gates have been preaching and putting their money where their mouths are in order to provide material and intellectual resources that enhance our educational ideology.  Their involvement will help our country succeed and will help place technology on the top of the list of educational priorities.

Work groups including the construction and the automotive trade vocations are still very important, yet training in the ever-evolving technology fields must continue to grow or we will fall behind globally.

We are also susceptible to not keeping up with this country’s employment demand related to the technology fields.  It would not be good for the future of jobs if American technology companies have to import a qualified work force.  No matter who represents education in our government, we need to make sure that our students are keeping up.

To me, continuing education is a whole different animal.  Private, public and online colleges tend to do a pretty good job of adapting.  The unfortunate part is the fact that a large percentage of our youth cannot avail themselves to the benefits of college.

I believe that our Secretary needs to stop spending so much time focusing on private, charter and religious education.  These groups will do just fine on their own.  We need focus more on the needs of our public schools.  As well as public schools as a whole, I think we need to be more aggressive in addressing the needs of our large urban public schools.  On the same coin, we need to address the issues that are important to our rural school systems.

I beleive we need to standardize country wide, the core curriculums in our schools.

Personally, I think that prioritizing and promoting the growth of charter and private schools could result in an environment very similar to the days of segregation directly effecting some of our poor and minority populations.

To me, It doesn’t make sense to offer the proposed vouchers and tax credits in order to provide a choice for youth to have an alternative to free public education.  Tell me how the lower income American is going to translate a tax credit in to money for a non-public supported education.  Current federal funding for the public school system is very important.  I think we could improve on how we provide the resources.  Even though there is an ongoing debate about local community school improvement being funded by grants of which are typically paid for by homeowners, I don’t see this changing anytime soon.

Since the graduation rate in this country is becoming so high, it makes sense that something is working.  Why not focus on the programs that are in place now.

At the very least, government should be doing a lot more than they are currently doing.

I can’t find any current legislation that is significantly improving education in America.  There has been some movement on issues such as the repeal of the law that effects how sexual assaults are reported at universities.  Even though the topic is a hot potato, I guess they have to start somewhere.  As a positive, I think that the ongoing discussions on how best to incorporate both private and public resources to help with school loan debt is good. I just don’t see any meaningful movement.

Next, my thoughts on the EPA, Interior, health and human services and more.

Medicare for All?

I wanted to weigh in on Elizabeth Warren’s statement.

Elizabeth Warren on September 21st:

There is something fundamentally wrong when one of the richest and most powerful countries on the planet can’t make sure that a person can afford to see a doctor when they’re sick. That’s why I’m co-sponsoring Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill. The American people have made it clear that they believe health care is a basic human right–
but it will be a tough fight. Add your name to join me and show your support.

Just a few of my thoughts:

I am concerned that a single payer healthcare plan through Medicare may not be the best idea in solving the nations healthcare crisis.

First off, Medicare is a fairly well run bureaucracy in our country.  The coverage is good and fairly inexpensive.  Premiums typically run around $120 per month.  You can add a optional supplemental coverage plan and drug plan at a reasonable price.

My fear is that adding 180 million people will tax the system to the point where the non-social security members will not receive the health care that Medicare provides now.  Healthcare providers as it stands now need the revenue from private insurance companies in order to honor the discounts they must extend to participate in Medicare.

There may also be an increase in the amount participants pay for co-insurance.  This is the charge by providers that reflects the difference between what Medicare pays and the provider charges.

Socialized healthcare does exist in most countries.  What is not being reported is the fact that these programs tax these countries economies.  Also, these plans are  inherently inefficient causing it’s citizens to often face unreasonable delays in being able to see their provider.  This would be a significant reason why we should not have socialized healthcare or in my opinion, socialized anything.

Another thing to consider is that the United States economy identifies with a free market system with few government controls.  There are four different types of economies in our world, our system by far is the strongest.  Medicare, defense, national parks, justice, and infrastructure are just a few examples of the limited government controls within our economy.  A market economy relies on private citizens and private companies in order to provide the wealth and tax revenue that run the country.  Our economy also allows for its citizens to have ownership of property, business and even a free press.  Capitalism, free enterprise and our constitution are the keys.

In our two party government system, the republican party principles are based on fiscal balance through the relaxation of regulations and controlled spending.  The democrats principles reflect a more liberal, inclusive and entitling platform.  This is why it is so important that the two parties work towards compromise in order to ensure a balance.  This is also why in the Trump era neither party’s values are being applied.  The programs including healthcare have no thought out plan to fit in to either parties culture.  You can’t be supporting the values of the right if every significant piece of proposed legislation costs a ton without a plan to pay for them.  Conversely, you can’t legislate entitlement programs without a plan to pay for them either.  What is happening now is that we are legislatively functioning with every program based on political agendas.  This practice is what perpetuates the compounding struggles of programs like the ACA.

Here are Just a few thoughts on how I see healthcare for Americans:

First off I would repeal any programs that provide coverage for government employees.  This would level the playing field for the rest of America.  This would also provide a larger pool of insureds.

We would need to allow for insurance companies to provide policies over state lines.  As it stands, most larger providers operate in multi-state regions. If they can’t, I am afraid the costs for coverage would be unstable and non-competitive being subjected to coverage loss in some areas.

The mandate needs to stay in place. No matter whether the system is socialized or not, everyone’s participation is important.  If we allow the mandate to be repealed,  some insurers will fail and be forced to pull out of certain markets or go out of business which  doesn’t help anyone.  The thought that the healthy would only be paying for the unhealthy is narrow minded.  I’ve never met anyone who planned on getting sick, but most of us and our families do at some point in our lives.

Given the fact that almost all of us will need medical attention at some point, what  would not covering existing conditions accomplish?  It doesn’t make sense to me that a congress and President who want to nurture job growth and middle class opportunities would even consider programs that could bankrupt millions.  For instance, why would you allow the financial demise of a family that should celebrate the birth of a child, not go broke doing so.

Block grants are a stupid idea.  We are not naïve enough to think that states that are struggling financially wouldn’t pick pocket funds from the grant for other state expenses.  The effect would mean unreasonable cuts to the healthcare provided to their citizens.

It may make sense to expand Medicare to allow for healthcare for those that can’t afford it.  Before we just started pumping more into this program, I strongly believe that we need welfare reform.  I am sure that there is millions if not billions of dollars in Medicaid provided to those who commit fraud or for those who don’t really need the coverage.

Prescription drug coverage is out of control.  We need to hold the drug companies to agreements that reflect the lowest possible drug costs.  We also need to stop brand name manufacturers from paying the generic manufactures not to produce lower priced drugs.  We also need to provide low cost drug coverage plans that eliminate coverage gaps or the doughnut hole.  This is when the drug insurers stop providing coverage for the balance of the year when a person reaches a predetermined dollar amount of drug coverage.  This can leave Medicare patients for instance, from being able to afford the drugs they still will need.

We also need to consider the idea of streamlining a drugs approval process.  There are countries that seem to approve drugs much faster than the FDA.  One challenge for the US is the sheer number of drugs in the approval pipeline.  This particular bureaucracy could use some rehab.

If you take out the politics, it is very possible that the existing ACA program can be tweaked and modified to meet all of the goals that the government needs to achieve.

Anyway, I am no expert,  I just suspect that we are going to get a plan shoved down our throat that will probably not meet America’s healthcare needs.  Isn’t our government supposed to look out for us?

 

 

Government Control and Military Surplus

On Tuesday Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the repeal of a bill passed by the Obama Administration to regulate the transfer of some specific types of military surplus to local law enforcement agencies, schools, parks etc.

The original program was established by the Clinton administration to allow local law enforcement and government agencies to obtain several articles of surplus equipment from the federal government.

The list of items include a variety of things from clothing, safety gear, aircraft, land vehicles, tactical gear even military weaponry.  There is even musical instruments and big screen televisions.

It makes sense that the local agencies that qualify for the surplus transfer can find value in obtaining things like clothing, aircraft, construction equipment, communication equipment etc.  Equipment such as tractors, snow cats and benign vehicles of all types can enhance a departments resources, especially the smaller departments that just don’t have the financial resources to afford some of these items on their own.  As an example, major beneficiaries of acquiring such gear could enhance their search and rescue efforts.

The controversy as it stands now is the part of the transfers that include military weaponry, high powered military rifles, hand guns, armored assault vehicles, grenade launchers and even bayonets are the main concern. These were items that were to be reviewed and restricted by the Obama administration.  Many law enforcement agencies around the country are returning many of these items because the philosophies and principles of these departments do not include the use of purpose built military weapons and military tactical equipment.  The idea is that most, including law enforcement groups in places like Chicago, LA and Seattle are not interested in establishing a military presence within their communities.

Earlier this week the Trump administration lifted all of the restrictions imposed by Obama because according to Attorney General Sessions, this type of equipment can improve security, safety and combat the rampant lawlessness in our country.

Sarcastically, I have a conspiracy theory that puts all of these components including unrealistic immigration restrictions, foreign policy and border security together to create an autocratic and military society.  Manipulating and eliminating the free press is a perfect way to get the message out to the citizens that these policies would protect.

Although this theory has not been independently evaluated,  I am sure that most people will see the logic.

By building the wall we will divert drug trafficking from land to the open ocean.  Since the government is cutting funding to the Coast Guard, the new plan is really to apprehend  these bad hombres after they successfully navigate the waters off our sovereign shores without detection and land on American Soil.

By allowing local law enforcement  to arm themselves to the hilt, we can establish check points at all city, county and State lines.  There, we can capture anyone who appears to meet an arbitrary nefarious profile.  The best part is that we could stop, search, check for citizenship, confirm the identity, religious allegiance and social media activity of everyone including law abiding citizens and their passengers who are just passing through.

These check points will be manned by heavily armed officers dressed in military uniforms adorned with appropriate technology.  These tactics will ensure that undocumented border jumpers, drug traffickers and minorities (only the bad ones) would be caught and taken down.  Should you try to escape the check points you will be brought to justice by a very large caliber bullet, a grenade or be run down by an armed assault vehicle.

The benefit to our country is that these tactics will reinforce the President’s promise that he will not tolerate any “lawlessness” in our country.

Although these practices will require minor changes to our constitution, it makes perfect sense.  In order to ensure these methods work, our country will need to make a seamless transition to a government run by the government for the government which will require the dismantling of our pesky congress. We will need to expand the president’s role to include a governance more reflective of a dictatorship rather than a democracy.  Putin and Russia can be the perfect model to build from.

Problem solved, we will all be thrilled that our government will take these steps to make our country great again.

Ok, I made all of this up.  Actually, I am truly concerned that some parts of these ridiculous concepts could really happen and even be supported by some Americans.

We do not live in a disastrous and lawless society riddled with economic and monumental security shortcomings brought on by previous leadership.  America is already great.  Maybe we need to rethink who we allow to represent us.

 

Who Says it’s So

Print       When I was much younger and full of opinions and factual commentary(in fact you couldn’t shut me up), my parents bestowed on me a bit of wisdom. “Just because you say it is so doesn’t make it so”. I don’t think the president had the same conversation with parents.

We all believe that when we say something, it is fact or we wouldn’t say it. (unless we are purposely lying.

Who says that Jack fell off the bean stock 3 times before making it to the top?   Who says it is so that a majority of Americans believe that the President is going to live up to his campaign promises?   Who says that is even possible or a good thing?   Who says the coal industry is the single biggest jobs issue in our country?   Who says that Mike Pence would make a good President?   Who says that Jennifer Granholm,former Governor of Michigan wouldn’t be a good President?   Who says that congressional leaders including Senate Minority Leader Schumer, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, House Speaker Ryan and House Minority Leader Pelosi are representing their parties in the best interest of America?   Who says that there aren’t Congressmen and women who would be more effective or qualified?   Who says that alternative facts are even close to real facts?  Who says it is not the responsibility of the President to plug the leaks within the ranks of government?   Who says that the President even knows the Constitution?  Who says that congress even knows the specific details of the ACA and AHCA?  Who says that the division within the two parties in congress,who spend most of their time criticizing each other rather than endeavoring to compromise is good for the people?  Who says that the wholesale repeal of every regulation imposed by President Obama is good for anyone? Who says that Congress and Americans even know what is being repealed and what their effects are on everyday life?  Who says it’s so that it is common and sometimes good for administrations to set up back channel communications, especially with our adversaries?  Who says that media propagates fake news?  Who says that the media’s Whitehouse sources don’t include the Whitehouse gardener and service staff?  Who says that Steve Bannon isn’t actively trying to dismantle our democracy?  Who says that President Trump isn’t Bannon’s personal mouth piece?  Who says their is such a thing as the swamp on capital hill?  Who says that the president’s past shenanigans will not effect his ability to staff the Whitehouse with quality cabinet and professional level people? Who says that insurance companies like Humana should be able to pull out of some markets yet continue to reap the benefit of covering government programs such as Medicare?  Who says that the president even knows what a market economy is?  Who says there is such a thing as a “grey” area?  Who says that reducing taxes for the wealthy would result in more tax revenue?  Who says that the federal,state and local municipalities are providing the tools for the development of the middle class using the principles of Free Enterprise?   Who says that cutting important funding and eliminating regulations would benefit anyone other than the effected businesses?  Who says that Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio represent the views of the rest of the country?  Who says that gangs and gang violence shouldn’t be a higher priority?  Who says that Climate change is not real?  Who says that reducing the budget of the Coast Guard will improve their ability to enforce the boarder and catch drug runners?  Who says that Americans that make up the Trump “base” are the most important segment of our society?  Who says that lying to and misleading the public will benefit anyone?  Who says that green energy will replace shale energy in the not too distant future?  Who says that the current curriculum in America’s public schools is the best prescription to educate our young people?  Who says that there is a difference between Right Twix and Left Twix?  Who says that many billionaires aren’t the most significant philanthropists in the world?  Who says that being condescending to our allies will allow us to maintain credibility and respect as world leaders and stewards?  Who says that the average shareholder would be ok with a decline in the value of their stock investments in order to reform wall street? Who says that President Trump has a clue of what the specific benefits and restrictions are for the lawmaker’s bills he supports?  Who says that cutting the budget for National Parks and allowing for oil companies to prospect and drill isn’t the most disgusting financial position the President can take?  Who says that trying to force South Carolina to clean up and pay for the hazardous mess at his son’s failed business demonstrates the President’s passion for the environment and jobs? Who says that the President’s jobs agenda is going to help put all Americans back to work?  Who says that the United States isn’t the most powerful country in the world?  Who says that the 12% of Americans (according to the 2010 consensus) that are Hispanic are illegal or bad hombres’?  Who says that the National Enquirer deserves more credit? Who says that cable news isn’t into using “breaking news” too much and leaving viewers to roll their eyes? Who says that the 110 billion dollars in weapon purchases by the Saudi’s is real and that we should sell them sensitive American technology in the first place?  Who says that the quality of life for most Americans’fds is desperate?

I could go on for days…The message is that we need to stop and ponder what the real facts and effects are for all the things that we believe, contemplate, express and feel strongly about.