Others who deserve our thanks
We’ve just passed another Veterans Day, and being a veteran, I was thanked for my service numerous times. I’ve always been a bit uncomfortable about this — I was well paid for my service and don’t feel in need of thanks — but it got me thinking about others who deserve our gratitude.
First on my mind are civil servants, ordinary people like us whose daily work keeps this country running in a hundred ways we often don’t think about. What do they get for it? Griping, abuse, and nutball “deep state” conspiracy theories. These people deserve some thanks.
Along the same lines — the Foreign Service. They are career professionals who represent us all over the world, including some of the most difficult and dangerous places on Earth.
Most Americans don’t even know they exist, much less consider thanking them for what they do. These people deserve some thanks.
Finally, having been a career soldier and a high school teacher, I will say right now that teachers are severely underappreciated in this country. We should be thanking them, and supporting them, regularly — and hardly anyone does.
Thanking veterans is a good thing — but there are many others who keep this country going, stand up for us around the world, and ensure our future, who deserve it at least as much, and I hope one day we will all remember them.
Those who served are special
Recently, we visited some of the Normandy beaches. It was humbling to walk where the thousands of D-Day heroes walked and died. It reminds us that since our country’s inception, generations of men and women have stood up to defend our way of life. They gave up self for the greater good. We owe them our gratitude and greater than that, we owe them our freedom.
To my friends, classmates, and acquaintances, that served, thank you for your contributions to the defense of our nation.
To all the great men and women I served with, thank you for being part of the fight against tyranny and totalitarianism around the world.
To my dad, uncles, aunts, cousins, my grandson who is in boot camp now, and other extended family members who served. Thank you, you did your part to help our country succeed.
There are those today who demean military service. I believe those who served are special. They are part of the small minority who serve so the majority can enjoy the freedoms their efforts provide. To paraphrase Sen. James Webb, “They heard their country calling and answered that call”.
Finally, I would like to borrow a couple of lines from a famous Lee Greenwood song:
“I’d gladly stand up next to all of you and defend her yet today ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt, I love this land. God bless the U.S.A.”
Clean energy has a real cost
While exhorting us to abandon “older polluting sources” of energy in favor of (unspecified) renewable sources, Susan Atkinson of Durango says that, according to a Yale study, nearly everyone in El Paso County is in favor of researching renewable energy. I’m sure that’s true. However, she doesn’t say how much more money people are willing to pay for a different source of energy. She does state — as though it’s a good thing — that renewable energy “actually creates more jobs . . . because it is more labor intensive.”
Atkinson fails to mention that every effort to produce cleaner energy has increased the cost. Even the conversion from coal to natural gas has the immediate effect of raising your utility bill. Wind and solar generation require taxpayer subsidy to “compete” with carbon sources (as well as being intermittent). She says we need to create rules to curb pollution and impose fees (carbon tax) on businesses “that pollute.” She claims that a majority of us want “regulation of CO2 as a pollutant,” ignoring the fact that it is necessary to support human life — and is generated by plants, animals and people. Nor does she explain how it’s to be regulated. Perhaps a “tree tax?”
A majority of us probably agree that we ought to be exploring new and better ways to generate energy. American scientists and entrepreneurs will undoubtedly continue to do that. And we will surely find better solutions — that pay for themselves.
Meanwhile, the only certain result of imposing taxes, penalties and regulations to force the adoption of less efficient sources will be higher costs. How much higher? If the Yale researchers know, they aren’t saying. But we are being asked by “green energy” advocates such as Atkinson (with the best of intentions) to “hasten the transition.” The “clean energy jobs” created to produce more costly power, she predicts, “can be the backbone of our state’s economy.” Thankfully, Colorado’s economy is based on jobs that add value, not just raising everyone’s cost of an essential service.
Change the health insurance market
Democrats used an MIT economist to help devise Obamacare. Obamacare deformed the medical care markets and the health insurance markets. Obamacare intended to force healthy and more well-paid individuals into buying health insurance where they would subsidize the health insurance of sicker and poorer individuals. After several years, the individual health insurance market became a high-risk pool for lower-income people as others refused to buy health insurance. The expansion of Medicaid was meant to give more employment for federal bureaucrats and state government bureaucrats, both of whom tend to vote Democrat.
This is a welfare scheme that deforms the individual health insurance market. There are six groups who need welfare to pay for their medical care: children with complex needs, nonelderly disabled, those with multiple chronic diseases, major complex chronic diseases, frail elderly, and those with advancing illnesses. A better solution would be to have the federal government provide money to the states where the states would issue contracts with medical providers to provide integrated medical care for each group. This would take the high-needs patients out of the health insurance market. We would see a more reasonable market for health insurance with this change — health insurance premiums by removing unnecessary mandates from Obamacare such as requiring elderly people to buy pediatric dental coverage and maternity care.
Richard R. Allen