Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Albuquerque Public School District is proposing a 351 million bond issue for a new high school. We have a suggestion. Have the architect build in a nurse's station and a dental technician's station, state of the art.

Prophylaxis and feasible on-site care for the school children, paid as part of the science program. No more worry about what dentist to send the poor to [Medicaid is too stingy and full of red tape (!!??)].

We can all feel good. Who would begrudge a first grader or (especially) a ninth grader getting a tooth cleaning, instruction in proper dental care and personal hygiene, check ups regularly for cavities, minor filling work, etc.? If this be socialism, so be it. Raw recruits in the miilitary get the same; and all of our children are bound by law to do such military duty when needed. The duty to serve is the consideration for minimal heath care (dental here) in advance, when most needed. This makes sense, because we need healthy young people to do the fighting.

Take the crime of mayhem. The King had the right to the services of every man as a fighting man. Cut off a limb of a vicltim, and you have committed mayhem, because the male victim can no longer fight for the King when needed. Same with putting out an eye, or knocking out some teeth. Deprive a King's subject of the ability to fight and you commit mayhem.

This is conservatism. The principle is ancient, mellowed in the crucible of time.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


We believe it is possible to have a civil, rational dialogue, even debate, on three major issues. They are healthcare, immigration and privacy rights.

Healthcare [not health insurance, but care]. Perhaps we could start off with the basics. In health care, we need to ask the question whether the taxpayers should pay, under a compulsory plan such as Medicare. More basic, is whether the government should get involved in the provision of any medical care. And another basic is whether, if the government does get involved, does it use the funds paid by affluent taxpayers, to pay for the health care of the poor. President’s Clinton's finest [but lost] hour was when he held up his pen and told Congress to send him a health care bill that was universal. He said "this pen" will veto any bill which is not universal!

Socialized medicine? Any person who served in the military lived under it. Are there some things that are not for sale? Dialysis? Vital organs? Priority of heart transplants? A right to languish in dignity in your old age?

Immigration. What if we negotiated a treaty with Mexico. It would go something like this. United States entrepreneurs would be allowed to open shop in Mexico, with their investments guaranteed by the USA from being stolen by the people or the Mexican government. These shops (farms, factories, nursing homes, etc.) could hire only those 11 million illegal immigrants now in the USA. Promoters could be benefactors or exploiters, but would use the formerly illegal labor, as a condition of the guarantees of the USA and tolerance of Vicente Fox.

Or consider another variation on the handling of illegal immigrants. Punish them by rewarding the next 11 million. As the next 11 million come in legally over the years, give them a fast track to citizenship. No need for a stick for the illegals; use a carrot for those who are and were law abiding.

Privacy rights are relative. The government has the delegated power (right) to invade our privacy under certain conditions. Can't be "unreasonable." The question that should be debated, if any, is whether there ought to be a warrant requirement, as well as a probable cause ("reasonableness") requirement. The President and Vice President argue that the probable cause, or reasonableness, requirement is all that is required by law, including the Constitution, under these wartime circumstances. They may be right, and even if they are right, is that the way we want our Fourth Amendment interpreted?

Can we say that the rule for criminal cases, that generally requires probable cause and a warrant, is unworkable in the fight against terrorism? On May 7th Sean Hannity said words to the effect, "I don't know any conservative who opposes [our listening in on Al Quaida]." Nor does any liberal, as far as I know. The question is whether the executive should generally have to get a warrant when the rights of our citizens are invaded.

Let us sit down together and discuss these matters; or stand up and debate them in a civil manner. Some ideas which seem outlandish at first glance can stir thought and thus be helpful with discussion, however brief. President Nixon said we should stop yelling at each other, so that we can hear each other.