Issues Begging For Common Sense

The Confederate soldier statue. Photo courtesy City of Reidsville

A dollop of common sense and compromise could solve many of our social conflicts. Alas, those are two rare commodities these days. Here and four examples:

* Medicare/Social Security. Not a hard fix if politicians would set aside that feeding-at-the-trough ideology. Keep payments on both going through all levels of income of any kind. Restrict access to both for high earners, whether it be wages or investment income. Start SS later in life.

* Tax reform. The easiest way is through a progressive flat tax. The more you earn, the higher your bracket. All income taxed. Eliminate deductions. Ah, but naysayers insist that the very rich keep more money so they’ll create more jobs. OK. Top out the rate at 38 to 40 percent.

* We could have everybody-in national health insurance without so much screaming. Don’t mandate that you must be insured or pay a fine. Just that you cannot get any hospital treatment aside from most dire emergencies unless you show coverage or pay cash. No more using emergency rooms for coughs, colds and sprained fingers and pawning it off on Medicaid. It’s your right not to have medical care.

* Reidsville, N.C., is going bonkers over re-installing a monument to its dead Confederate soldiers that was toppled by a car accident. It was there for 101 years without complaint. A monument to the losers who fought for something that’s politically incorrect today. But they did die so why not acknowledge that and quit quibbling?

Common sense, people.

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HECO’s PR guy Peter Rosegg e-mailed me that I’m a “geezer” on a “rant” for knocking the utility so many of us love to knock and wish would disappear. Gee, and I thought early 76 was prime of life!

Readers can reject my “rant” and choose those TV-commercial homilies by HECO chief Robbie Alm about using less electricity by turning off electricity, and why using solar power makes everyone else’s electric bill go up.

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The Star-Advertiser runs Doonesbury and Prickly City on the editorial pages. Good move. Those are not comics. They are visual commentaries. Putting them on the opinion pages removes any reason for readers to object to them as editorials rather than traditional funnies such as Blondie and Beetle Bailey.

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A University of Texas student newspaper cartoon on the subject of the Treyvon Martin killing in Florida created a firestorm. UT fired the cartoonist.I agree it’s not in the best of taste and probably would not pass MidWeek’s standards.

But firing the cartoonist?

I’d love to hear from UH editors and advisers.

Is there to be no room in America for the politically incorrect?

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One of the hottest new dinners is the weekend outdoor barbecue at Queen’s Surf Cafe & Lanai by the old Queen’s Surf Waikiki site. Great food, live music, sunsets and Friday fireworks for $15. Sakara Blackwell and Gilbert Sakaguchi run this city concession we can be proud of. Not a hotdog in sight. Try the New Caledonian Blue Prawns in shell, fresh ahi and rack of ribs. Rice, corn and salad.

Serving breakfast and lunch, too.

No, I don’t get to eat for free for writing this. I think you know me better than that!