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Random Thoughts on Immigration, College, Health Care, and More – 2018

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

On immigration

With an army of people marching toward the U.S. from Central America, let’s remember there was a huge controversy in America because the Trump administration was separating children from their parents and holding them after they illegally entered the country.  A court order stated that children can be held for no more than 20 days after crossing the border. This came from a 1997 case -- Flores v. Reno (as in Attorney General Janet Reno).  

Some of us were called heartless and worse because we sought to put at least some of the blame on parents who traversed a dangerous path from Central America with these children.  We also identified that once they got into the United States, the kids were being cared for infinitely better than in their homeland.

Where is the uproar that an estimated 13,000 minors, who, for the most part, came to the border on their own our government must now house and feed?  They traveled here under no supervision by their parents, risking their lives without food and shelter along the way, with full expectation they would be granted asylum in our country and cared for once they arrive.  Why aren’t those same people screaming about those irresponsible parents sending off their children, often in the care of coyotes, to risk their lives on this dangerous trek?  

Where are all those people accusing the Trump administration of being heartless now?  Where are they lining up to take these migrants into their own homes since they must be released to responsible parties.  It is easy to talk about what the government should do; it’s a very different thing to step up and volunteer.  

On healthcare

The big thing for Democrats regarding medical insurance is preexisting conditions.  They are attempting to scare Americans regarding this issue.

It certainly is an important one, but one that affects a small percentage of Americans.  First, anyone receiving Medicare or Medicaid is covered for pre-existing conditions.   Anyone with a corporate health care plan is also covered.  All of those combined add up to 91.6% of Americans, leaving a relatively small number of people potentially exposed to not being covered for pre-existing conditions. And many of those people have coverage for pre-existing conditions. Certainly not the huge number espoused by the Democrats.  

On framing issues

Democrats are great at framing an issue with appealing terms like the “Dreamers” or the “Affordable Care Act.”  After failing with the terminology “Single-Payer health insurance,” they recast that as “Medicare for All.”  Orwell was thinking of these people when he wrote 1984.

On jobs and the economy

A huge change during the Trump administration that is a very unreported story, but a great one, is that major corporations are dropping college degrees as a job requirement.  Corporations were blindly using college degrees as a minimum requirement for a job when often the job did not warrant the requirement.  Companies like Google, Apple and Starbucks are instead looking at the skills and experience of the potential employee.   The employees are now not forced to spend four years of their lives and tens of thousands of dollars obtaining a degree they don’t need and debt they don’t want.  

This is a hallelujah story that the Trump economy has brought to us.

On sports

There are two things about sports fans that mystify me.   The first is that they feel a compulsion to tell me what is going to happen in a game before it begins.  I don’t get it.  Why don’t they just watch and see?  The great thing about sports is its unpredictability.  Who would have ever thought the Dodgers would have beaten the mighty Oakland A’s in 1988 especially without their MVP?  Then Kirk Gibson hit a home run for the ages and they crushed the A’s 4-1.  The thing that makes me most excited about my favorite game, baseball, is the tension often up to the last out.  I don’t see why people want to take the best element out of the game -- whatever game is your favorite -- by diminishing the suspense.  

The second aspect of sports fans that leaves me baffled is their need to reminisce about an unfavorable outcome of a game.  When my team loses I leave it on the field.  I either walk out of the stadium or turn off the TV and move on.   Sports is a joyful thing.  If your team does not perform the way you want them to – that happens.  Why go over it again and again?  You are not going to change the outcome.  It is only going to bring you misery.  I realize some sports fans revel in their misery.  That is not for me.  

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