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R.I.N.O. Has No Meaning

The term RINO (Republican In Name Only) once referred to those Republicans who did not follow the Republican philosophy. But that term is meaningless today because Republicans have lost their philosophy. The best examples at the national level are trade and deficits. There was a time not too long ago when Republicans believed in free trade and balanced budgets. But that was before Trump. Now trade is used as a weapon (which usually winds up hurting Americans) and government debt is continually increasing.

The same thing is happening at the local level. One of the few remaining conservative columnists in Arizona, Bob Robb, recently (Mar 30) published an opinion piece that outlined the many ways Arizona Republicans have fallen off the track philosophically. The most recent example is a classic case of crony capitalism by the major electric utilities (APS, SRP, TEP). They felt threatened by a potential competitor who was relying on a law passed more than 20 years ago which allowed such competition but had never been tested. As soon as a real competitor proposed to test it, the big guns rolled out their checkbooks to hire a record number of lobbyists to repeal the legislation which allowed the competition. Not only did most Republican legislators cave into the pressure but so did other leading Republicans, some of whom were (erstwhile) vociferous supporters of free markets.

Therefore, please don’t call anyone a RINO. It has lost its meaning.

Ukraine-North Korea: Lessons

Ukraine-North Korea: Lessons

The United States likely could have prevented the tragic bloodshed and mayhem in Ukraine by simply agreeing to vote No on Ukraine’s application to join NATO. Think about that tradeoff. Then, when North Korea offers to end its nuclear program if we will simply stop military exercises on the Korean peninsula and get our troops out of South Korea, let us swallow our pride and agree.

I Was Born White: I Am Sorry

I was born White, and I am sorry. My birth certificate even has blocks labeled “Color” for my parents; and the block lists “W” for both. I cannot even claim to be partly Black or Brown. I am sorry for that because, for that reason, I cannot claim to be free of racism. If I do, I will be cancelled and criticized. I am doomed to be categorized as “privileged.” After all, if a White person claims he is not racist today, that is supposedly evidence of his racism. If I had been born Black or even a darker shade of brown, I probably could claim to not be racist.

To make things even worse for me, I was “privileged” to be born with other characteristics in addition to my white skin. I was born with good vision, and good hearing, and four limbs, and good health and taller than average. I was privileged to be born an American and not born in some third world country. I was born with so many privileges that I guess I must spend my life apologizing.

Of all these “privileges” why is it only skin color that we whites must atone for? Is there not prejudice against short people and against disabled people and people not born in the United States? Race is not even a characteristic that is determined by science.

Can’t we just treat everyone as individuals and recognize that we are all different in many ways. Let’s stop putting people in groups, especially not in groups that have no scientifically identifiable features. Let’s just be kind to each other. Live and Let Live.

Don’t Draft Women; End the Draft

Our penchant for fairness is running amuck. This is lately expressed in the form of proposals to draft women. A much better idea would be to abolish the draft completely. If the government can take over the life of a person who has committed no crime, this is akin to slavery. The United States should not enter any war that its citizens are unwilling to fight. If we did not have the draft during the Vietnam War, it would likely have ended much earlier and thousands of American lives would have been spared. Let’s make sure that we have no more unpopular wars and, at the same time, ensure that we do not enslave American citizens, men or women.

Racial Justice is just racism

Racial justice is just racism. There is no special category of justice based on one’s skin color. No matter how good the “intention” might be, racial justice is just code for reverse discrimination based on race. It is similar in that regard to “social” justice, which is just code for socialism, that is, using guilt to promote outcomes based on one’s social status and not on merit or hard work. The focus is on “equity,” not on equality. Equality is the proper term which has nothing to do with one’s race or social status.

There was a time when our government fought against racism through various laws such as those preventing government entities from using race as a factor in hiring. Now, however, government is promoting racism by requiring every form that government touches to include a person’s race. Instead of a color-blind society, our government promotes a society focused on race.

We should ask the question; what properly describes a person? The only meaningful characteristic is their choices. You are what you choose. A person is not properly described by their skin color any more than they are described by their height or weight or any other physical characteristic

“Critical race theory” is at the opposite extreme. It purports to describe a person, not as an individual, but rather by their skin color. This is a very pernicious trend. We should treat people as individuals not as members of any group, unless that group is one, they CHOOSE to be part of such as a church or civic club or charitable association. That kind of choice legitimately describes a person.

Let’s work toward justice, not racial justice, and not social justice.

Mosquitos: The Plague of Minnesota (and Arizona)

My sister-in-law is visiting from my home state of Minnesota, the capitol of Mosquito Land. Prior to landing in Phoenix, she had only one mosquito bite in Minnesota. Since coming here she has had many bites. If Minnesota can control mosquitos, why can’t we?

Where Are The Fathers

Whenever needy families are pictured on the news there is something frequently missing in these pictures and that is fathers. You usually see mothers with children or children alone. Where are the fathers? But, even more important, where are the questions from the press about the absence of fathers? I contend that it must be simply politically incorrect to ask these questions. Why? Revealing these inequities, would reveal the failure of our welfare system which incentivizes fathers to leave their families so the family can receive larger welfare benefits. Also, there is insufficient pressure on these fathers to act responsibly. This problem is not new; Senator Moynihan’s study over 40 years ago was clear about this. Why don’t we change our policies?

Hikers/Walkers Save the World from Litter

Hikers and walkers can save the world from litter. Here’s how: Whenever you walk or hike and see a piece of trash, if there is a trash receptacle within a reasonable distance, pick up the trash and deposit it in the receptacle. To be even more effective at this, buy one of those hand litter picker uppers at Target or Walmart. They are only a couple dollars and, if you carry a bag to put the trash in, what you can accomplish will be amazing. What if we all do this……………….a cleaner world awaits.

To Be Honest

How many times have you heard someone begin answering a question by saying “Well, to be honest” or “in all candor” or something similar? The only logical interpretation of such a response is that the person is not normally honest but will make an exception for this question. That may not be their intention, but my suggestion would be that we all speak honestly all the time so that none of us ever have to start the answer to a question with qualifying phrases like “to be honest.”

Traffic and speed cameras are good

Regarding the much hated and often vilified speed cameras and traffic cameras, the problem exists, as it does with many problems, because the government owns the roads. As a way of deciding whether these cameras make sense I often ask myself what kinds of procedures I would support if I owned the roads. I think we all know that one of the main danger factors in highway accidents is inconsistent speeds, not so much just high speeds. The cheapest and easiest way to monitor traffic behavior is with cameras, not full-time enforcement officers. If there were enough cameras to ensure that almost everyone who drove too fast or violated other traffic laws, would receive a citation, rather than the random system today which makes driving a matter of taking your chances, I think it would very quickly result in consistent driving and a dramatic reduction in accidents. Makes sense to me. I think that, if I owned the roads, that’s what I would do.