More Things that Must Be Said, More Questions that Must Be Asked

January 19, 2015

Dr. Jonathan Gruber, PhD, Harvard, and Professor of Health Economics at M.I.T. should receive the Nobel Prize for Economics. The award should read, “For the manipulation of economic principles to deceive the American electorate.”

If physicians are required to take the Hippocratic Oath shouldn’t politicians be required to take a “hypocritic” one?

Speaking of hypocrisy, Congressman Steve Scalise, (R-LA) is being pressured to step down from his position as House Majority Whip because he once addressed a group linked to David Duke, the notorious Ku Klux Clan member. In fairness to Representative Scalise, shouldn’t President Obama be equally pressured to step down from his leadership position (albeit from behind!) because he served in the U.S. Senate with Robert C. Byrd (D-WV)? Senator Byrd organized a KKK chapter in Sophia, WV and was unanimously elected its Grand Cyclops (leader).  President Obama served his three years in the Senate with Senator Byrd (who served until 2010) and, no doubt, as a fellow Democrat often voted with his senior colleague on many occasions if, of course, he abandoned his Illinois Senate practice of voting “Present.” 

In fairness to Senator Byrd, it must be said that eventually he expressed regret about his KKK activity.  But hasn’t the Congressman expressed his regret about his one speech to the white supremacy group linked to Duke?

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he gave his biracial son special advice on how to deal with police should he be stopped by an officer. He said he told his son to be very careful, make no sudden movements and not to reach for his cell phone.  I also hope he told him not to engage in criminal activity, avoid places where drugs are dealt or used and if encountered by an officer to be courteous, cooperative and respectful. If Eric Garner and Michael Brown had followed this advice, they would both be alive and we wouldn’t be talking about any of this. Truth is, Mr. Mayor, your son has a much greater chance of being shot by another young black male than he has of being shot by a police officer.

California has started issuing licenses to illegal immigrants.  The dumbest justification given for this new policy was by a Fox News panelist, of whom good manners dictate I not name. He said issuing licenses to illegal immigrants was for the benefit of the rest of us, because driving a car in California without having liability insurance is against the law (as if someone illegally living in California in the first place would be squeamish about driving without insurance!). He then indignantly (his favorite discussion technique, by the way) asked his co-panelists how they would like being hit and having to charge their own insurance company for the damage (I am so tempted to use his name!).  

Those of us who live in the real world inhabited by irresponsible people of all nationalities include Uninsured Motorist coverage in our policies. It is more cost effective than trying to force those having a tenuous relationship with legality in the first place to comply with the law.  Hell, in the long run, it would be even be more cost effective to buy them all cars if they would use them to go home!

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Burt Brody is a retired law professor living in Palm Desert CA.