Politics: Student Loans aren’t the issue (IMO)

I’ll be honest, part of my silence on my blog has been because what I want to talk about is politics and at the same time I don’t want to talk about politics… And I have a toddler and a full-time job. But this one, is driving me a little crazy. And it isn’t about the student loans themselves. The “Fact sheet” the White house put on the website reads like a liberal article on what needs to be done. I don’t know 100% this is all true, but I also can’t say they are lying. In the interest that smarter people than me say it’s true, I’ll trust the data listed (like “Since 1980, the total cost of both four-year public and four-year private college has nearly tripled, even after accounting for inflation.”). And yes – this shit needs to be addressed. Colleges are expensive. Loan rates are too high for entry level income. Blah Blah Blah. Go read someone

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SCOTUS:  Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

I started over the weekend trying to write about this opinion. I couldn’t. I was too angry. My post was just angry. This decision was ugly and awful for a lot of reasons. And the one I AM going to talk about is the one which someone tried to use saying “it’s just like Brown v. Board overturning Plessy vs. Fergusen.” No. No, it really isn’t. In case you forgot, Plessy vs. Fergusen (in 1896) proposed that “separate but equal” was allowed. Racial segregation did NOT violate the Fourteenth amendment’s equal protection clause. By the 1950’s, this had been…. let’s called it “pushed the max.” Then we get Brown vs. Board of Education which is actually a collection of cases all arguing the same thing. “The plaintiffs contend that segregated public schools are not “equal” and cannot be made “equal,” and that hence they are deprived of the equal protection of the laws. ” (Brown vs. Board) They covered previous cases

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Something: Thoughts on Uvalde

This might be politics, it might be life events, it will contain some memories. I didn’t post anything on any kind of social media for days about this because it was painful. I am going to begin by saying this: I went to a school with a shooting. I went to Heritage High School, which in the spring of 1999 (1 month after Columbine) had a shooting. We were… blessed. 6 people were wounded and no one died. At the time, I was across the street at the middle school and we got locked down because… no one knew what to do. In high school I was friends with upper classmates who were there, and have PTSD (and yes, that’s present tense because decades later they keep seeing more children get shot and killed). The school itself was not a safe place for us. The building was dangerous. It was a giant potential concrete trap. We discussed how if a

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Politics: Hiring Politicians

You know what I wish? I wish candidates couldn’t know who else was in the running for a position. I wish we could treat politicians like we treat job candidates. When I interview for a job, I have no idea about the other candidates. I have no idea if they are older, younger, more or less experienced. If they can just interview better – all I can do is present myself the best I can. I get to answer the questions and ask my own about the role. Then I leave and the people hiring me make the decision. I want to do that in politics. I am so sick of attacks on the other candidates. And I know this year is going to just be awful. I have no idea how to accomplish this, it very well might be impossible. The only way I can think to make it happen is this: if you want to be a candidate

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Politics: Healthcare solutions I want

The big discussion on the left to implement universal (single-payer/government/whatever) healthcare does not address a few issues I have with the current system. This isn’t to say there aren’t valid argument in favor of universal (single-payer/government/whatever) healthcare, but this post I want to lay out some other aspects I believe need to be solved for. For the rest of this post I will just call the concept “universal healthcare” since there isn’t a more accurate term I know. Universal healthcare isn’t going to solve these and I think they are ALSO problems seeking good solutions. People Problems Universal healthcare doesn’t address the issue we have with getting high quality doctors, specialists, and nurses into the eco-system of the healthcare world. Every country I have looked at (Germany, Canada, Netherlands Japan, and the UK) ALL have issues with doctor shortages. I have heard for years and years how we can’t go to universal healthcare because “in the UK and Canada you

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Politics: Failure of the voters

This is a conversation I’ve been mulling on lately. The idea actually was seeded from an issue I’ve had at work my entire career. I’m in corporate training, and a wall I have bashed against many, many times is the “incentive issue.” To give an example I think most people have experienced – you call customer service for a company who provides you with a service (electricity, gas, internet, water, etc.). They will not listen to your issue until they have found you in the system. They keep having these long pauses of silence. They say they are scheduling a technician to come and address the issue and…. long, long silence. On the other end the customer service call center manager probably is pissed off too. Why do customers keep complaining about bad service? WHY ARE YOU UNHAPPY?!? Because the call representatives are given bad incentives. They are told to prioritize chatting instead of being able to silently search for

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Politics: Death Penalty

I am against the death penalty. I decided to write about it this week because yesterday the Governor of Oklahoma commuted a man’s death sentence hours before his scheduled execution. Seriously, he commuted the sentence at noon for a 4pm execution. And this is after a lot of protests, including school walk outs. God, I kind of wish I was teenager right now because these kids are so cool. When I was in ninth or tenth grade I read Dead Man Walking by Helen Prejean, a catholic nun who ministered to death row inmates. It opened my eyes to some serious injustice in the death penalty. And it’s really simple: We keep killing innocent people In 2014 a study concluded approximately 4% of the people executed were innocent. That doesn’t sound like a huge percentage – but some of the people were innocent. That is morally unacceptable to me. This isn’t a long point because I don’t know what else

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Politics: Non-compete order

If you haven’t heard, President Biden has asked the FTC to ban non-compete contracts for workers. (Click here to read AP’s piece on it). THANK GOD. I have had a non-compete at almost every job I’ve ever worked at. Retail is probably the only exception. And I think for every job it has been BULLSHIT. I worked for a company that did helpdesk phone work. With a non-compete. Theoretically, I wasn’t allowed to take any other phone-based helpdesk role. Now, how enforceable was it? Probably not very, but there were a LOT of people hired at this company at 19 or 22 while they were in college or just after and they were extremely anxious that they weren’t allowed to look at other helpdesk roles when they were ready to look for better pay or benefits or commute…. Several took advantage of the “50-mile” rule (if you move more than 50 miles non-competes are harder to uphold?) and I only

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SCOTUS: I missed one

I missed a case being 9-0! Lange v. California. Again, this one is pretty clear-cut. A police officer turned on his lights to pull over a driver. The driver (Lange) was almost home and pulled into his garage. Lange then tried to claim the officer doing a sobriety test in his garage was a warrantless search. So the question became does the fourth amendment protect someone “fleeing” categorically justify a warrantless search? Especially a misdemeanor? The syllabus describes it thus: “The Fourth Amendment ordinarily requires that a law enforcement officer obtain a judicial warrant before entering a home without permission. But an officer may make a warrantless entry when “the exigencies of the situation,” considered in a case-specific way, create “a compelling need for official action and no time to secure a warrant.”” All of the justices voted the same, but most of the conservative men each had to give their own opinion… I wish I was kidding. Kagan (generally

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SCOTUS: Unanimous

So there have been 5 cases to have opinions put out in June 2021 with 9-0 (unanimous) decisions. Considering how much the media expects the court to be always and forever divided by political leaning/affiliations/appointment – what are the issues which the court stands all together on? I find these to be both relieving and enlightening. As of today (I think) these are the unanimous decisions. Some of them are “well, that seems obvious” for the decision. UNITED STATES v. COOLEY Issues: A tribal police officer has authority to detain temporarily and to search non-Indian persons traveling on public rights-of-way running through a reservation for potential violations of state or federal law. Background: Joshua James Cooley was pulled over and the tribal officer (James Saylor) who saw guns and a glass pipe and methamphetamines (all in plain view). Now, Saylor was not a federal or state officer and there was a question if he could stop and hold non-Indian people.

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