Tag Archives: liberal

Not on My Dime

Once upon a time, a high school girl and her boyfriend found out they were expected a child in her junior year. She dropped out to have the baby while he dropped out to get a job. They struggled to make a life for their little family for a number of years while living with her parents before he left to find a better life elsewhere. She never graduated and lived off of her parents and what little support the baby’s father did provide. Once the child was old enough, she tried to find a job, but without a high school diploma, no one would hire her at a pay level to afford day care and provide for herself and her child. She lived on welfare and the generosity of others until the child entered high school. The young mom finally got her GED and found a grant and several college loans to pay for college, which she attended regularly until she earned her degree. She found a job making enough money to pay back her loans and provide for her life and family.

The baby’s father found a manual labor job working in the oil fields making pretty good money. He paid his child support and was an attentive father when he was able to spend time with his child, which wasn’t often, as he had to work a lot of over time to make ends meet. He advanced at his job until one day when his supervisor asked to speak with him about his future. The young man was capable and reliable and the company thought he would be a good candidate to move into a leadership position. The only problem was that he didn’t have a degree. He had not even finished high school. In order to keep his job, he did manage to get his GED, but he was unwilling to go to college. He enjoyed his job as it was and had no wish to take on more responsibility.2015-01-09_1246

Today, the president of the United States made a proclamation that every American should have two years of free college education. Of course, it won’t be free. It will have to be paid for by taxes. He did magnanimously offer to let the states split the cost, which will just mean state taxes will help the federal taxes pay for it. Either way, it is coming out of the pockets of every American. This is wrong on so many levels, but I will try to narrow it down to two or three key points. First, not every American wants or should have a college education. Second, the history of this nation is based on individual sacrifice for individual success. Americans who scraped and saved and worked their butts off for a college degree should not have to pay for everyone else to have one handed to them. Third, once the government gets involved in education, it will turn colleges into degree mills with success being measured by the number of degrees issued rather than the quality of the education offered.

I taught freshman composition for two years at a state supported four-year university. It was a major turning point in my life; putting me on my current career path in corporate training. After fifteen years in front of a classroom I can say with no reservation that the colleges are already filled with thousands of students who have no business being in college. I had at least one student in each of my comp classes who was in school only because it was either that, or get out of their parent’s house and find gainful employment. Neither option appealed to most of these kids and their work and attendance showed it. They were wasting their parents’ money and my time—taking my attention away from other students who needed it.

Even now, in my role in learning and development, I meet adults who just do not possess the mental capacity to learn complicated thought processes or critical thinking skills. They are simple folk who know how to do what they need to do. Why should they be bothered with higher education? Just because it’s free?

America takes all kinds of people. Some are thinkers and some are doers. There are plenty of jobs that still need to be done that require no degree. In fact, even a high school diploma is wasted on some of these jobs, but they still need to be done. TV host Mike Rowe highlights many of these jobs in his cable TV show. These jobs require hard labor and a good work ethic. Many of them are not pleasant and not many people want to do them. Those who do, do not need formal education to perform them. Having the workers spend two years of tax payers’ dollars to get an associate’s degree would be a fundamental waste of money. But then again, that is what government is best at, isn’t it?2015-01-09_1245

Public education has been the law of the land since before the Constitution was written, and many of the most successful people throughout history have benefitted from state-sponsored learning. The flipside of that is the millions of people who drop out or barely pass gaining absolutely no benefit from 12 years of coerced mandated attendance. Many schools are merely churning out as many kids as the state requires in order to maintain their funding. The quality of the education is secondary to the process of moving the kids along the conveyor belt to graduation. Now the administration wishes to extend that process another two years on taxpayer’s dimes. Nothing will improve.

The utopia that the progressive leftists dream about is a land where every person in the land has a college degree, is in peak physical condition, does not worship any one diety, does not think or believe in any way that is contrary to the populous and does not question the authority of the state, since after all, the state is doing such a good job taking care of them. This ensures that every citizen is able to contribute to the welfare state with the taxes collected from the high paying jobs they get after graduating. The unfortunate reality is that the state cannot take care of the populous, since many humans are not lemmings willing follow blindly the leadership of others. Not every person is cut out for college. Not every person will benefit from a college education. Not every job requires a college education.

In his address, Obama started off making a broad generalization that, on the surface, is easy to support. “I think everybody understands that it [education] is the key for success for our kids in the 21st century.” I have already poked holes in that assertion.

He went on to say, “It’s not just for kids. We also have to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to constantly train themselves for better jobs, better wages, better benefits.” This is so Americans can earn more, thus providing more tax revenue for the nanny state programs.

“It’s something that we can accomplish, and it’s something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anybody in the world,” he said, adding “So that it benefits everybody and not just some.” Again, this is the socialist agenda at work, absolving the citizen (drone) of any personal responsibility and by extension, initiative.

There are already many programs in place to help those who wish to get a college education if those people are willing to work for it. The GI Bill pays for a full degree for those willing to serve in the military. There are grants available for those lower income families who wish to improve their situation. Many corporation offer tuition reimbursement for employees who wish to go to college. The reality is that many people who don’t have a degree don’t want one.

Those who do complete college feel a great sense of accomplishment in doing so. A four-year degree requires dedication, hard work, discipline and a significant investment in time and money. Not so many high school graduates feel that same level of accomplishment because while high school does take four-years, even the laziest student can complete it with the least amount of effort. In fact, it is almost impossible to fail at this point. High schools all over the country are turning out kids with diplomas who cannot read past a seventh grade level.

Obama would have us believe that every American is like our young mom; willing to work hard to make a better life for herself with a college degree. This is not the most common case. We have several citizens who cannot read, not because they didn’t go to college, but rather because our public education system does not work properly. If we wish to fix the problem of literacy in our country, if we wish to have a generation of educated citizens, sending the illiterate to college won’t do it. We have to stop graduating illiterate kids from high school, and we have to imbue a sense of responsibility in our young. The welfare state is the exact opposite way to do that.

Do not support this initiative. If people want education opportunities, let them work to pay for them as people have done for generations. They will value them more and work harder to be successful at them.

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Pitching the Vote

As we head into the big election week for the congressional midterms, the media is all aflutter trying to predict the outcome well in advance of actual voting. This is ostensibly in keeping with a trend of trying to be the first media outlet to accurately announce the winners. I think it is more than that, however. I believe that the media—ever so left leaning—is trying to use the cover of prognostication to actually effect the election results.

It is human nature to want to be on the winning side in any contest. No one wishes to be associated with a losing team, or losing effort, and those who find themselves in this unenviable position often try to distance themselves from the team to avoid embarrassment. If a candidate is predicted to win, this prediction may actually swing undecided voters to support the candidate based on their chances of winning, rather than voting for a candidate that more closely aligns with the voter’s ideology.  No one wants to vote for the losing side.

Look for numerous ads paid for by campaigns and political action committees designed to sway voters, but also, be on the lookout for articles run in newspapers, magazines and on TV that ostensibly are trying to cover the race, but are actually casting one side or another in a negative light—even if it is only saying something banal such as “this campaign is struggling with funding” or “this campaign is x number of points down in polls.” Those supposed news stories are nothing more than attempts to get voters to vote against those campaigns by painting them as losing propositions.

Also, look for stories that tout as successes that which has previously been panned as failure. An article on Yahoo from Business Insider this morning praised the successes of Obama Care even though it is pretty much recognized as an abysmal failure by both parties. The article says that it is a success because more people have insurance than had it before. It doesn’t mention any of the controversial issues that have arisen from the measure.

The most egregious issue with campaign ads are the blatant lies and obfuscations that campaigns issue during the elections. One candidate has taken an opponent’s words on abortion out of context to make it appear as if he supports rape. Ridiculous. Another ad for another candidate tries to intimate that the opponent would be a bad representative because he made millions as an insurance salesman. I’m sorry, but I think a person who earns millions of dollars in their job is a success and would probably make a pretty good representative. If he were running in my district, I’d vote for him.

People have been calling for campaign reforms for decades. Unfortunately, this will never happen. The first amendment provides for free speech and, aside from some case law that prohibits out-and-out lying, a candidate can say pretty much whatever they want in an advertisement and can buy as much air time as they can afford. What this means for you and me is that we get deluged in political advertising from TV, radio, internet, mail, email, and even phone calls from all directions until election day filled with some of the most inflammatory statements of dubious veracity ever imagined.

I would love to recommend a law prohibiting such commercials, but again, it is provided in the first amendment and I am an unrepentant supporter of the constitution and the bill of rights. The only way to combat this onslaught of lies is through education. Research the candidates and find out through their voting record what is fact and what is fiction. Caveat emptor applies to the electorate. Do not blindly accept the advertisements of political candidates any more than you would blindly accept a salesman’s pitch. But also, do not listen to the news media telling you who will win. You determine who will win only when you vote.

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Look For the Label

I have really been wrestling with blogging lately. It seems as though there are a million leftist blogs supporting every issue that I find either disagreeable or downright offensive, but there are also a few conservative blogs that I can find some agreement with, but they get some issue wrong, or they espouse a middle-ground mentality that appeases the left in efforts to try to please everyone. I am long past trying to make people happy, and I have come to the conclusion that no amount of logic can sway a die-hard leftist from adopting the force-fed media blitz ideology that inundates all of us. That is why I don’t blog as much anymore. That, and I am still working on my academic assignments and trying to finish my novel before the new year.

Having said all of that, my wife said something to me the other evening that got my hackles up. She works for a school district and said her district is labeled “majority-minority.” This because their student demographics are diverse; so diverse that Caucasian children are outnumbered, or underrepresented, in the student body. Now let that percolate for a minute. I realize that not everyone is a writer and the nuances of the English language might escape them, but as a writer, words are important to me. I like to use the best word to effectively convey the idea I am trying to communicate. If one group of students is smaller than the other groups, that group is the minority. Think about it. Minority, according to Merriam-Webster, is the smaller in number of two groups constituting a whole. Therefore, a smaller group cannot be a majority, even if one hyphenates it with the word ‘minority’. Conversely, a minority is the smaller number. So if the smaller group is white, that group is the minority. If the larger group is Hispanic, or any other non-white race, then that group is the majority. Period.

The leftist school board, not wanting to admit that Caucasians no longer have larger numbers, need that minority label on all non-Caucasians in order to get federal funding for their programs, or promote their socialist agenda. If Hispanics or blacks outnumber whites, that means whites are now the minority and should, God-forbid, qualify for those same programs. But that cannot happen. It would fly in the face of 40 years of affirmative action and social justice programs designed to help those races held down by centuries of white-dominated society. Or so they say.

What needs to happen is the school board, and the state board of education, and the federal Department of Education all need to come to the realization that after 40+ years of civil rights, mixed race breeding, natural migration patterns, and forced bussing, the whole race issue needs to be put to bed. Stop prioritizing children based on the color of their skin. Stop assuming that just because a child’s skin is white, they are “majority” and because another child’s skin is not white they are a minority. Those labels are not accurate, not beneficial and not worthwhile, but they are demeaning, insulting and erroneous. It only serves to perpetuate and reinforce the racist ideologies that the left purports to oppose.

Far be it from me to hold up a celebrity as an example, but actress Raven Symone recently spoke in an interview with Oprah wherein she eschewed these labels, to the chagrin of Oprah and other Hollywood liberals. The Cosby Show actress told the host that she did not wish to be identified as an African-American. “I want to be labeled a human who loves humans. I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American.”

Needless to say, this didn’t sit too well with Oprah. “You are going to get a lot of flack for saying you’re not African-American. You know that, right?”

I don’t know why she would. She’s from Georgia, not Africa. While I do not agree with everything the young actress espouses, I give her props for hitting this nail squarely on the head. Racism can only stop when everyone stops looking for it. If anyone of any race defines a person, or group of people, by the color of their skin for ANY REASON—beneficial or not—racism continues and thrives. If the left truly wants equality, they must stop lumping people together as a majority or minority and take people as one label…Human.

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Porcine Problems

As I travel the country, I am exposed to many different kinds of people. Some of these people share similar ideals and tastes as me and we get along quite well. Others have differing viewpoints and we deal with each other in a cordial manner as often as possible. Whenever people congregate, it is important to be respectful of other’s sensibilities. To that end, those in polite company try to avoid intentionally and deliberately offending others. This was a lesson I—and many of my peers—was taught growing up. It is the polite thing to do. It is not, however, mandated by law. Imagine a world where anything found to be offensive to anyone could subject one to stiff penalties including flogging or death. No one would ever interact out of fear for their life. Thankfully we live in a country that protects free speech. Or do we? The media is filled with stories of people taken to task for the crime of uttering their personal beliefs. Perhaps we will soon face the troubles plaguing other countries. A family in the UK had to deal with a particularly onerous issue when confronted on a bus by an Islamic woman wearing a hijab.

According to a story in The Daily Mail, the young couple was trying to comfort their autistic 15-month-old by singing the theme song to the popular children’s show Peppa Pig. The show is about a family of pigs and the song features snorting sounds. The Islamic woman approached the couple and expressed her offense after which the bus driver told the couple to leave the bus two miles from their stop.

In a land that celebrates free speech, who is in the wrong here? Is it the couple trying to comfort a child? Or is it the woman expressing her outrage at what she deems an offensive song? In my opinion, it is the bus driver for sticking his nose in the matter. Both parties have the right to express their opinion and they did so, but to eject a person from a public bus for inadvertently offending another is the real crime here. If the couple intentionally sang the song knowing that in doing so they would inflict emotional harm on another, then some kind of sanction might—and I stress MIGHT—be in order. But even then, free speech is protected by law, so the sanction could not be by the state or any representative of the state.

Now, as this happened in the UK and I am not up to date on British law, I cannot address the legality of speech in that country. If this happened in the US, however, I would recommend that driver be removed from his post and the Islamic woman be strapped down and forced to binge watch Peppa Pig episodes until she sings the song in her sleep. But I digress.

Lately it seems that people are so self absorbed that they cannot acknowledge others. So self absorbed that they focus only on their own sensibilities to the exclusion of everyone else. What this means is that they feel their needs supersede the needs of others, and that they are more important than anyone else. This creates a morbid sense of entitlement that threatens to shatter social decorum.

If something creates any degree of offense, no matter if it was intended or not, it is the equivalent of committing a mortal sin worthy of death. People have opinions and just as no two people are exactly alike, no two opinions are the same. A collection of opinions forms an ideal. Quite often the ideals are diametrically opposed to the point that they may cause offense. This is where the problem lay.

A lot of progressives and liberals will shout the mantra of inclusiveness and diversity from the rooftops until they encounter someone whose ideology runs afoul of theirs. They cry for society to be tolerant of Islam while they browbeat Christians. When Muslims cry out in offense, liberals demand that society accommodate them. When Christians express offense, liberals slap them with separation of church and state.

Now we face situations where one group of people is trying to dictate what the rest of the world can and cannot do. While Christian students are banned from praying in school, Muslim students are given a special room to use to pray. Students in many schools have to abide a uniform policy that dictates what they can and cannot wear; Muslim students are exempted from this. Soon, schools may be forced to remove food items from the menu that offend Muslims. We may find our entertainment dictated by the auspices of these ideologues. Peppa Pig may get cancelled by Sharia law.

If a mother cannot comfort her child by singing a song because it offends one person, then we are already on the path to the end of our society. The best that we can hope for is that liberals realize the door swings both ways. Tolerance does not apply only to Muslims. Everyone has to be able to express themselves as they see fit, even if that way is to sing a song about pigs on a bus full of Muslims.

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Patriotism or Party

The smoke has cleared and the debris has been collected and the ringing in the ears may fade in another 24-48 hours. Many people will be treating numerous mosquito bites and some may be treating burns. The nation has just finished another holiday and yet again, has shown that most people do not know the reason for the occasion. July 4th is the day that Americans celebrate their Independence. The holiday is called Independence Day and most calendar services automatically label it as such in personal devices. It is hard to find someone who doesn’t know that it is a holiday and most can accurately name the holiday. But, as one comedian pointed out, there is a surprising number of people who cannot tell the reason why, or what the holiday means.

The sad reality is that most Americans (especially those who say “‘Mericans”) don’t care why we celebrate holidays anymore. They only need an excuse to grill food, drink alcohol and party. If they get a chance to blow stuff up, so much the better. This problem is compounded by those people who feel that it makes is OK to party to excess if they post “Support our Troops” on social media as they tap they next keg.

More than 200 years ago, thousands of men fought and died on the battlefield in order to break away from England and form a new nation built on the principles of individual liberty. They fought and died to secure the freedoms we now take for granted, which made the United States the first nation on Earth to have those freedoms provided by government declaration. They fought and died to create a place where people from different backgrounds, cultures and creeds could find the opportunity to determine their own future. Their sacrifice is honored on the anniversary of the signing the Declaration of Independence.

This is Independence Day.

It is unfortunate that so many progressives are now trying to depict this historical event as a terrorist act and attempting to characterize the birth of our once-great nation as oppression. This portrays our history in a negative light which gives progressives an excuse to apologize to the world for our “oppression and domination” and spread hatred of our country in the liberal bastions of academia. The definition of patriotism is now being separated from nationalism in schools so that people can still say they’re patriotic yet decry nationalism as a rhetorical fallacy.

Our country’s birth should always be celebrated. Our forefather’s sacrifices should always be remembered. Patriotism should always be lauded as a term of national pride. Most importantly, however, our freedoms should always be cherished and protected. Enjoy your hot dogs and ribs. Drink your beer. Light your fireworks. Enjoy the day. As you do, remember that the holiday is not about those things. It is not about honoring veterans or service members. It is about remembering the reasons why we have the freedoms to do those things. It should shame anyone who doesn’t know that the 4th of July is called Independence Day because we fought a war for our independence from a repressive government in England in order to procure the individual liberties and freedoms we enjoy today.

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Matters of Corporate Faith

The Supreme Court, in a rare and splendid example of getting it right, affirmed a principle that most people—especially liberals—overlooked in its recent decision concerning Hobby Lobby. Justice Alito even called it out in his majority opinion: corporations are people; groups of individuals. The problem with liberals is that they do not want to recognize the individual. Liberals have long tried to marginalize the accomplishments of the individual in favor of the group. This has led to the complete bastardization of youth sports where teams no longer keep score and everyone gets to play no matter the level of their athletic ability. It also leads to open enrollment where individual academic achievement is no longer a determining factor in college admissions. Liberals want a utopia wherein every citizen gets a shot at every benefit regardless of skill, talent or initiative.court-PQBG

This stems from a skewed interpretation of the old mantra “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.” This derives from the basic democratic principle of majority rules. Liberals extend this idea into the absurd by saying that individual liberties are extraneous when considering the overall good as they see it. While there exists some applications wherein the idea has merit, overall the concept is a fallacy. Mom and pop stores, big box stores, corporations and even the government itself is comprised of individual people whose rights are protected by the constitution.

Despite the cries of “war on women” and “right to choose” (all of which are blatant lies) the Court’s decision is not refusing women the ability to use birth control, not forcing them to have unwanted babies nor forcing them to convert to Christianity. It merely states that the Government cannot force employers to pay for four of the twenty means of contraception that the ACA covers, when those means are counter to their professed religious beliefs.

This country was built to protect individual freedom and specifically religious liberty. This is why the very first amendment in the Bill of Right specifies that congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof. Liberals are very quick to cite this amendment to deny religion in the public sphere crying “separation of church and state,” but hate when the faithful cite it to protect their rights to practice the tenets of their faith.

The Supreme Court, after a string of decisions that limit religion, held that publicly held for-profit corporations, just like non-profit corporations, do come under the protections of the first amendment. Liberals immediately cried out in outrage, claiming that a company is not an individual and that the owners of the corporation should not be able to “force their religious views” on their employees. They wish to treat corporations as though they had the same limitations as the federal government. This is a fallacy as the court has upheld by saying “protecting the free-exercise rights of closely held corporations thus protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control them,” and “Business practices compelled or limited by the tenets of a religious doctrine fall comfortably within the understanding of the “exercise of religion” that this Court set out in Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Ore. v. Smith, 494 U. S. 872, 877. ”

Liberals have also used the argument that if one religion is respected by law, then all religions should be which would be unsupportable and unreasonable. Alito addressed these concerns as well by saying “It is not for the Court to say that the religious beliefs of the plaintiffs are mistaken or unreasonable. ”

The most important comment in the majority view is the one defining a corporation: “A corporation is simply a form of organization used by human beings to achieve desired ends. An established body of law specifies the rights and obligations of the people (including shareholders, officers, and employees) who are associated with a corporation in one way or another. When rights, whether constitutional or statutory, are extended to corporations, the purpose is to protect the rights of these people.”

This does not mean only some of the people, like employees or shareholders, but all of the people in the corporation. No one should be forced to surrender their religious freedoms by mandate. “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.”

So, despite George Takei’s missive in the Huffington Post denouncing religion while asserting that businesses and governments have no place for faith and Senator Reid’s announcement that Democrats will not let the decision stop them from covering all forms of birth control, the Court did the right thing on this one.

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If It Ain’t Broke…

Reform is a word that has long been the bitter pill of society and politics.  It has three forms: verb, noun and adjective and how it is used makes a bit of difference.  In its verb form, it means to “make changes in something (typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it.”  The very concept is based on the need to change something, which is predicated upon the idea that something is substandard or needs to be improved.  There are two camps in the change debate: those who think that everything can be and should be constantly improved and those who subscribe to the maxim “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  Given these competing notions, the real question seems to be how one decides what needs to be reformed, what would constitute improvement and more importantly how should the improvements be implemented.
In the health care debate, people from across the political spectrum uniformly acknowledged that the system was far from perfect and that improvement was necessary.  The debate ignited over what the reformed system would look like.  Unfortunately for most Americans, the democrats put forth a plan that was impractical and based on the incorrect assumption that health care is a right afforded by the constitution.  They refused to enter into discussions of any plan that did not provide coverage for every person regardless of ability to pay.  This is indicative of the real problem with reform.  The democrats had a different idea of reform than the republicans.
In the immigration debate, again the democrats and republicans are looking at the issue for different perspectives.  Both parties acknowledge that the current system is ineffective and inefficient and needs to be overhauled.  The difference is that democrats seem to think that anyone who wishes to live in our great nation should be able to do so with no barriers or borders while republicans want to maintain border security.
In the great Cohen brothers’ film “O Brother Where Art Thou?” Charles Durning is running for reelection and bemoaning the success of his opponent’s reform platform.  One of his campaign managers suggests that he “get some of that reform too.”  The media loves reform.  Society screams for reform, particularly when the incumbent administration is unpopular.  But as we learned with Obama’s “Hope and Change” reform platform in ’08, reform only works when there is a logical and well-considered plan for what needs to be changed and how it should be changed.  Without specific steps in an organized plan, reform may only serve to make matters worse, or possibly bring things to a grinding halt as we have seen in this administration.
These are not novel ideas.  They are an integral part of project management, one of the most besought careers today.  Problem analysis is supposed to lead to a project roadmap that leads to specific outcomes that can be measured.  The plan is supposed to be considered, tested and approved before implementation.  Unfortunately, nothing that has come out of the current administration or the senate has passed these simple steps.  When the house tries to slow things down in order to test the plans and consider them, they are accused of stone-walling and being obstructionists.
Why the rush?  Obama wants his legacy.  He wants to go down in the history books not only as the first black president, but also as the one who made universal health care and immigration reform realities and the democrat-controlled senate is lock-step behind him.  What we should see in government is open public discourse of the issues before they are enacted.  Whatever plans the house or senate develop should be published for public review before voting.  We cannot tolerate “we have to pass this bill in order to see what’s in it” rhetoric.
When we change things without due and proper consideration, we risk creating a whole slew of new problems that could be worse that the problem they were expected to fix.  Imagine dealing with the problem of icy bridges and overpasses.  The ice is slippery and creates a lack of traction for cars that drive over.  The fix?  Put down something that creates traction.  Gravel.  Gravel would be good.  But suppose that no one considered what size gravel to use.  Or how much.  Now there is the new problem of oversized gravel being flung by the tires and breaking windshields.
Change for the sake of change is not a good thing and should be avoided like the plague.  While I am solidly in the “if it ain’t broke” camp, I do admit that health care and immigration are two broken systems.  But I advocate for a slower more thoughtful consideration of both problems before rushing to implement “fixes” that can cause more harm than good as we are seeing with the healthcare law.

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