California Reinvents Medical Tourism

Until very recently medical tourism was traveling from your home to find less expensive medical care, usually overseas. Medical tourists were leaving the warm embrace of the American Medical Association and the FDA to journey far from home. There were three motivations: Elective plastic surgery not covered by insurance, wanting to try an experimental procedure not covered or getting surgery done without benefit of any insurance at all.

That’s why breasts were being lifted in Brazil and hips replaced in India. Particularly courageous patients scheduled foreign heart transplants. I know all about this because I was almost a medical tourist myself. A few years ago we had what was laughingly called health insurance. Our deductible was so high you had to have been on life support for a week before coverage started.

I had a sports hernia, which meant the problem was on my dime. While pondering options, I devised an effective, temporary solution for the gym. After carefully folding a washcloth over the leak, I’d wrap myself with a giant Ace bandage.

Frankly, I liked my new slim waistline with only a hint of bulge in the intestinal wall. There were days when the Ace came loose and I trailed spandex out of my shorts like toilet paper stuck on a shoe, but it was a small price to pay.

The wife didn’t agree. Janet said it was gross and told me to quit procrastinating and get the hernia fixed. The medical tourism broker’s choice was Thailand or Oklahoma City. I couldn’t see paying $1,000 for an airline ticket on top of the procedure when the Okies were so much closer. Even then the procedure would set me back about $4,500.

That was still too much. In the end I opted for Dr. Amazon and bought a 12–dollar truss, which didn’t make me look as slim, but kept my lower tract in place.

California politicians have a proposal before the legislature that would totally eliminate my worries about cost. Instead of patients traveling overseas and paying for medical care, California politicos will have foreign patients coming to the Golden State and it won’t be to consult with me about trusses.

After the airline ticket or the coyote’s bill is paid financial worries are over. California taxpayers will cover the rest.

That’s just one of the disasters awaiting passage of what the LA Times terms “government–run universal healthcare.”

The Times description: “SB 562, would establish a publicly run healthcare plan that would cover everyone living in California, including those without legal immigration status…The state would pay for all medical expenses, including inpatient, outpatient, emergency services, dental, vision, mental health and nursing home care.”

Talk about no “pre–existing” condition worries. One doesn’t even have to be a pre–illness resident. Just make your way from the airport or border crossing to the hospital and watch the doctors scrub up. California welcomes Anchor Babies and Anchor Patients!

Lefty politicians claim the program will be paid for by what is nebulously described as “broad–based revenue.” This sounds ominous to me. California’s tribal Democrats oppose rounding up illegal aliens, but they have no qualms about corralling taxpayers and squeezing them until their wallets pop out like hernias.

Supporters of the bill were the usual suspects: Unions looking for guaranteed taxpayer–financed positions with permanent job security and clueless members of “Our Revolution,” a Bernie Bros conglomeration.

The support of the Saunders’ crowd is particularly interesting because Vermont tried a version of single–payer healthcare and it was so expensive it collapsed before it was implemented, which must be a record of some sort.

In Vermont the bill was passed and prior to the program’s kickoff the legislature got cold feet and commissioned a financial projection study. It found the cost would be $4.9 billion a year, which would double the state budget. To pay for it payroll taxes would have to be increased 11.5 percent, individual income taxes would jump 9 percent and a border wall would be built to keep rich people from fleeing to cheaper states.

The governor and legislature were so taken aback the plan was shelved.

Cost estimates for the Golden Fleece, I mean Golden State plan put the yearly total at more than double (there’s that word again) the state’s current budget of $180 billion. But there’s no need for California single–payer fanaticists to worry, their legislature never learns. They plan to seize the $50 to $100 billion the private sector currently spends on employee health insurance and then wait for the rest of the money to turn up.

In the meantime many trips are anticipated at taxpayer expense. Legislative “fact finders” are planning trips to Canada, Taiwan and Maryland to learn “best practices.”

The only place they won’t visit is Vermont.

NFL End Zones Now Sponsored by Jackass

Sophistication functionaries all across the nation are in a tizzy. President Trump’s budget calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, which is a festering legacy of the Johnson administration.

From the program’s beginning in 1965 until 2015 bureaucrats at the NEA made 140,000 grants totaling over $5 billion. Outright NEA elimination could set off domino effect warnings like we haven’t seen since the last chopper lifted off from the embassy in Saigon.

The people squealing the loudest aren’t necessarily artists; it’s the arts infrastructure. The culture claque that doles out taxpayer money will suffer a double whammy. First their social life will take a tremendous hit. Since these bureaucrats will no longer control the distribution of free taxpayer money, there’s no reason for the culture combine to comp their tickets.

They’ll be queuing up at the cash bar with the rest of us common folk.

Trump won’t be fighting just federal sophisticate swamp denizens. State level leeches will attack, too.

In the past state arts organizations could finesse elimination by offering gullible legislators a deal: An across–the–board budget cut for all state agencies. The state police lay off 10 percent of their troopers and we’ll lay off 10 percent of our mimes.

Outright elimination in DC could ripple all the way down to Des Moines.

Still, there may be a glimmer of hope for interpretive dance. It looks like the NFL is preparing to grasp the torch and allow self–absorbed athletes to “get down” in the end zone.

Or as one puerile columnist for NFL.com put it, “NFL is putting the fun back in football. 


Thank goodness Roger Goodell has decided to end the unrelieved tedium football fans have suffered through from 1939 until 2003 when Joe Horn made a spectacle of himself during a Monday night game.

Goodell made the announcement using the same robotic corporate–speak he’s made famous: “We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown.”

Only the exhibitionism isn’t “spontaneous.” Players rehearse their little dances in practice. And performances aren’t confined to “spectacular” scores. A player that trips over a referee and falls into the end zone gives us the same “look at me” exhibition that comes after a 50–yard TD run.

Sportswriters who may secretly yearn to be gymnastics judges are all lathered up about the return of approved exhibitionism. Their consensus is toddler–style “look at me, look at me!” antics are just what the game needs. The Washington Post is looking forward to “showmanship” while I yearn for a return to professionalism.

If fans like those little end zone jigs so much, why isn’t modern dance more popular?

Players that want to express individuality can enter American Idol. Football is a team game. Only these dancing machines spell it “teaME.” Former running back Jamal Anderson calls the new rule, “the Odell Beckham freedom clause.”

What a great example for young players! Beckham is the teaME–first receiver who convinced the NY Giants’ receiving corps to join him for party time in Miami before their first playoff game against Green Bay – which NY lost.

This year the coach’s dream is skipping practice sessions in favor of nuzzling with his new girlfriend. A fresh influx of self–important, selfish players is just what Dr. Goodell ordered.

The only sensible coverage comes from Cameron DaSilva and even he supports this teenage showing off. DaSilva reminds us the NFL will start the play clock after the official signals a touchdown. Teams have :40 to snap the ball or be penalized.

He put a stopwatch on the last seven games of the season and all the playoff contests and found teams are taking :45 seconds between the call and the snap. So without any festivities teams are five seconds late.

For just a moment there was a glimmer of hope for mature fans that are tired of freestyle egomania, then DaSilva dropped the bomb. In 119 games he evaluated there were only 32 touchdowns that weren’t followed by a booth review, penalty or injury. That comes out to one quarter of a TD per game that will be affected by the snap clock.

After the vast majority of the scores there will be time for the entire team to rumble into the end zone and form a chorus line like the Rockettes.

Even worse, if the NFL allows cut–rate choreography the decay will soon travel from college to high school to Pee Wee football. Pushy parents will be sending junior to a dance teacher in the off–season to get his YouTube on.

Horn, who has some investment in showing off, says kids “like seeing the guys act a fool.” That may be correct, but the kids aren’t buying the tickets.

Montana Candidate Opens Can of Whup–ass

Rumor has it that like President–elect Trump, Congressman–elect Greg Gianforte is creating Montana jobs before he’s been administered the oath of office. The personal security industry is experiencing a mini–boom as reporters are said to be hiring bodyguards to accompany them on interviews.

Gianforte is the candidate who got all up close and personal with Ben Jacobs — a reporter for the biased, lefty British paper “The Guardian.”

According to the campaign, Gianforte was in the midst of a private interview with a Fox reporter when Jacobs opened the door and barged in. This is where the story becomes confusing for me. I formerly had honest work as a journalist. My career included small TV stations, large radio networks and the Dallas Morning News.

If I had arranged a private interview with a candidate in a race that had national attention focused on it, and another journalist butted in to my interview, the candidate wouldn’t have had time to do a thing.

I would have personally tossed the jerk out on his ear.

That’s not the way it works in today’s kinder, gentler media that reserves its attacks for conservatives. Which in this case includes the particulars of what happened. To find out details of the encounter and my insight into what probably happened, please click on the link below and visit the rest of the column at Newsmax (featuring another inexplicable headline).

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/acuna-election-gianforte-jacobs/2017/05/31/id/793304/

The Theater’s Alive With the Sound of Chewing

When it comes to punishing customers, movie theater owners are in the same league as airlines. Just as airline CEO’s rarely travel commercial, theater CEO’s evidently never attend a matinee.

And there lies the explanation for the repeated failure of theater owners to understand anything about their customer base. The list of management missteps includes dividing large theaters into very small “multiplexes,” where the size of the screen was only a bit larger than what families used to watch home movies.

Followed by continually increasing ticket prices and then complaining how yearly movie attendance continues to decline. And eliminating ushers and wondering why people didn’t want to buy a movie ticket to eavesdrop on someone else’s conversation.

The only positive development in the last 40 years is the cup holder armrest. Everything else – larger screens, more legroom, reclining seats – are efforts to undo the damage caused by earlier bad decisions.

Adults want a large screen, comfortable seat and no distractions. If management attended movies it would know just before the movie begins seniors make one last trip to the bathroom and then the lights go down.

The idea behind darkening the interior is not to make it harder for gunmen to draw a bead on the audience – it’s to reduce distractions.

So why does theater management believe the secret to success is offering more distraction?

In the case of AMC Theaters it could be the CEO’s background. Adam Aron came from Starwood Hotels. Their movie business consisted of discovering the maximum the company could charge for cable pornography, while the customer’s movie watching experience was subject to, how shall I put this, self-imposed distractions.

Aron’s first distraction was to allow texting in “select” theaters. This is like encouraging smoking in “select” rows. Aron barely had time to bask in the glow from his announcement before AMC’s customer base rose up in revolt. He quickly withdrew the proposal, but at the time I wrote: “One can only wonder, with more than a little apprehension, what Aron’s next bright idea – no pun intended – will be.”

Now we know.

Aron’s latest innovation makes Donald Trump’s foreign policy look like it was designed by Bismark. This is fitting, since one of the centerpieces is “the Bavarian Beast.” The New York Times describes it as “a pound-and-a-half salted pretzel the size of a steering wheel.”

It’s part of Aron’s strategy to turn AMC into a food court that also to shows movies.

Patrons will long for the days when the rustle of cellophane and the occasional box of M&M’s hitting the floor were the worst annoyances.

If Aron gets his way patrons will be chowing down “a juicy chicken sandwich with waffles as buns” and “a new jalapeno-flavored Southwestern dog that’s to die for.” Lip-smacking at AMC will no longer be a descriptive term for flavor, it will be a movie-watching reality.

What he calls “Feature Fare” includes cheeseburger sliders, stone-fired pizza, chili dogs, salami bites, chicken tenders, three new popcorn flavors and hot and cold running bicarbonate.

Think of it this way. If you believe riding in American Airlines economy class during mealtime is stinky, wait until you go to the movies! I’ll bet you can hardly wait to sit next to a gourmand chowing down on an onion-chili-cheese hotdog or savoring his salami bites.

And God help us if Aron adds frijoles to the menu.

Theater management had to set movie sound systems on “stun” to overcome the clueless fools that talk during the feature. Are they going to turn the A/C up to “hurricane” to disperse odors?

It’s tough enough to eat on a plane when the lights are on, what’s it going to be like at AMC in the dark? How much of the “Bavarian Beast” is going to wind up in your lap? People won’t be wearing ponchos to keep dry in the rain, they’ll be wearing ponchos to stay clean at the movies.

And what about trash? Is the satisfied diner going to babysit meal debris until the feature is over? Heck no, he’s either going to disturb you once as he gets up to go to the garbage can and again on the return, or he’ll simply dump all the trash on the floor.

Which brings up another question: How does Aron intend to clean the theater between meals? It’s going to look like the decontamination scene in the movie “Arrival.”

It was bad enough when there was so much gum on the floor of a theater your shoes felt like magnetic boots. The day I sit in jalapeno dog droppings is the day AMC loses me as a customer, but gets my cleaning bill.

Congress Can’t Be Bothered to Close 9/11 Security Loophole

Security–conscious citizens will be startled to learn that 16 years after Saudi Arabian jihadis crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the woman who approved visas for 11 of the 19 hijackers is still on the State Department payroll.

Even better, PJMedia.com reports, Shayna Steinger now works as a Foreign Service officer for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. There her crack diagnostic and investigative abil

ities will be put to use preventing “the spread of weapons of mass destruction.”

Something tells me both Iran and North Korea are lobbying to have her assigned as their nation’s senior case officer.

Steinger may a clueless cog in the machine who didn’t have the decency to resign, but her departure would have only been symbolic. The resignations we really need are the 535 members of Congress that allowed the visa loophole the Saudis exploited on 9/11 to remain open until today.

AP reports 740,000 foreigners overstayed their visa in the period from October 2015 until September 2016. And that only includes travelers that arrived by airplane or ship. It doesn’t include foot traffic.

That’s approximately 200,000 higher than in 2015. And it’s an incredible 314 percent increase over the number in 2001 when the US first learned cost of not monitoring those who begin their residence in the US by breaking the law.

 Is there a solution? Yes and it may involve people who answer to the name, “Dog.” To find out more, please click on the link to my complete Newsmax column:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/ap-loophole-visa/2017/05/24/id/792044/

 

Sometimes Saving Money Is Rocket Science

It’s ironic Elon Musk, one of America’s premier subsidy farmers, is also a perfect example of the difference between the private sector approach to cost and the government’s. Musk differs from earlier entrepreneurs like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford who became wealthy by building a better mousetrap. Musk became wealthy by harvesting government subsidies.

The LA Times ran the numbers and Musk’s Tesla Motors, SolarCity Corp and Space X “have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support.”

The best part about subsidy farming, as opposed to wheat farming, is that Musk isn’t required to make a profit. Tesla and SolarCity have been in business for ten years and neither has made so much as a dime.

Even more galling, much of Musk’s subsidies go to benefit one–percenter Global Warming hobbyists. Tesla buyers receive a $7,500 federal income tax credit for purchasing a new hummer that costs up to $135,000. One reason the average household income of Tesla customers is $320,000.

The one company that isn’t a subsidy vacuum is where Musk wields a sharp pencil. SpaceX has received a paltry $15 million in subsidies and much of that came from Texas when it built a launch pad. Sure Musk has $5.5 billion in government contracts with NASA and the Air Force, but he has to perform to get the money.

Musk’s lesson is his approach to recycling. When NASA was king, boosters were fire and forget. That works fine with a mortar, but applied to sending men to the moon, costs add up fast.

If you tossed the station wagon after every visit to see grandma it wouldn’t be long before the kids had only a hazy memory of what the old girl looked like. The same applies to the moon. Space priced itself out of even the federal market.

Reusing boosters would have saved money but the suggestion was viewed as crazy talk. For the bureaucrat a reusing boosters is all cost and no benefit. There are no awards in the federal service for saving money. Someone looking to spend less is not a team player, since leftover money in the budget means Congress won’t give the agency as much next year.

Recognition in the bureaucracy goes to the functionary that invents a new program with new spending, not the green–eyeshade who finds a way to do more with less. Besides the potential for bad publicity should a recycled rocket cause a mission to fail was a risk not worth taking.

That’s why SpaceX’s March 30 launch was such a milestone. It successfully launched a communication satellite into Earth orbit perched atop a Falcon 9 rocket with a first stage that had already been launched once and recovered.

Ray Lugo, who directed NASA science missions, told Florida Today, “It’s potentially a big cost-saver and it will make a difference, provided you can re-fly multiple times. If this works, over the long term it will be difficult for anyone that throws boosters away to compete.”

At least as far as SpaceX is concerned, Musk is now a money–saving fool. That launch also saw a first time recovery of the nose cone. Musk evidently had to fight NASA thinking. According to the Daily Mail, Musk ordered his engineering team to make the attempt, “Imagine you had $6 million in cash on a pallet flying through the air that’s just going to smash into the ocean. Would you try to recover that? Yes, you would.”

Maybe in the private sector, but the feds would be worried about Greenpeace activists if a fish died during recovery.

This is what competition does. Musk launches now have a cost advantage over those of Jeff Bezos, who has yet to recover a booster. Another former NASA administrator estimates SpaceX can cut 75 percent of the cost of a rocket by reusing boosters.

Musk is already offering launch discounts to customers who opt for recycled boosters.

His goal is for each booster to be used between 10 and 100 times with an additional goal of being ready to launch after a one–day turn around. That’s three times better than the turnaround time of an F-35, which under Pentagon management requires three days between sorties.

The case against privatization is always put in terms of there are just some things that only government can do, like space flight. Only, our government isn’t doing space flight anymore, because it priced itself out of the market.

The market rewards efficiency and innovation, while government rewards government employees.

It’s not rocket science to conclude if the market can bring down the cost of space travel, it can certainly bring down the cost of health insurance.

But if Congress won’t give the market a chance, the solution isn’t Musk’s recycling. It’s NASA’s fire and forget.

Trump “Enemies List” Should Include the Staff

Many Trump supporters have been dismayed by constant Opposition Media attacks on the president. Trumpistas worry that potential administration accomplishments could be undermined or defeated by leftists before Trump has served even a single year.

My advice is to save your fretting.

The left has already won and they did it by seizing the high ground in the administration’s Human Resources office. Why spend millions on political organizing and TV ads when a new Trojan Horse reports for work every week?

Trump’s apparent failure to get political appointees submitted to the Senate for confirmation begins to finally make some sense. The hundreds of vacant positions aren’t a symptom of Trump mismanagement, inefficiency or a desire to shrink the government.

The slow–walking must be plot on the part of the leftist cabal that runs the White House HR department. Their first goal is to get the moles into place and ready to leak, before supporters are nominated to implement Trumpismo initiatives.

Trump administration hiring decisions have completely reversed the newsgathering dynamic.

There’s a scene in the excellent new movie “The Case for Christ” where courtroom reporters rush madly to a bank of pay phones to call in a breaking story. This was a common occurrence before the invention of cell phones.

Today, when there’s momentous news, Trump’s White House staffers pretend to need a smoke, a vape or attend to their bowels as they rush off to find some privacy so they can call a reporter and be the first to drop administration linen before another ingrate beats them to the punch.

Trump’s administration isn’t draining the swamp; it’s restocking the swamp.

 So what is it with Republicans? Why are they such self–serving snakes and Democrats to loyal? My thoughts on the matter continue in the rest of my column found at Newsmax.com. Please click the link below:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/fbi-leakers-republican-yates/2017/05/16/id/790518/

 

The Car Dealership Solution to Health Insurance Costs

Bloomberg reports Obamacare premiums are scheduled to skyrocket up to 59 percent in Maryland, 38 percent in Virginia and 34 percent in Connecticut. A Baltimore 40–year–old would pay $715.00 a month for a plan with a $2,500 deductible.

Health insurance is costly for three reasons: Government interference, lack of price transparency and consumer overuse.

Here’s what would happen if we used car insurance like health insurance.

We’d expect oil changes to be covered after our $20.00 co–pay. There’d also be a long list of routine checks and diagnostics run each time your ride was in the shop, because the Dept. of Transportation requires mechanics to treat every vehicle like it was a 1961 DeSoto that had never had the oil changed.

Your $250.00 invoice would have itemized charges for GoJo, shop rags, coveralls, disposable ratchets, oil, opening the oil, oil filter and about a hundred other entries.

But that doesn’t matter, since after the co–pay, everything is free! Besides you feel sorry for DeSoto owners.

Later the car breaks down on the highway. You tell the CarFlight pilot to drop it off at the Mercedes dealer. Cost doesn’t matter once the deductible is paid, but you do demand a nice loaner while your car is in surgery.

Before leaving, you tell the mechanic to check the tires and see if they need replacing, because after all that’s what insurance is for, isn’t it?

Car insurance usage at that level would end our obesity crisis, because we’d soon be a nation of pedestrians. Obamacare would be joined by Obamacar.

Real Obamacare reform would require the health market to operate like the auto market.

I don’t mean the patient goes in the doctor’s office, negotiates for six hours and agrees on a price have his appendix removed. Then, in his weakened state, the finance manager pressures him into breast implants for the wife.

What I do mean is allowing consumer choice and provider accountability.

Smart consumers get an estimate before their car is serviced. If it’s too high, they talk to another shop. If it’s too much money to sink into an old car, you start shopping for new.

That’s price transparency. In health care we have price opacity. If you ask the hospital what it costs to have your appendix removed you get one of three replies: Uproarious, table–pounding laughter. Dead silence. Or thinly veiled contempt at such an ignorant question.

Price uncertainty might make sense if it was a brain transplant. Plenty of variables there, but that’s not the case with appendectomies.

The Annals of Surgery estimates 280,000 are performed each year. Producing a reliable cost estimate should be routine — give or take a sponge left inside.

Yet you can’t get an estimate because consumer knowledge is consumer power.

One way to begin imposing market discipline would be to require any hospital taking federal money to post turnkey prices for the 25 most common hospitalized surgical procedures; the 25 most common out–patient procedures and the 25 most common tests. All charges must match the best price offered insurance companies.

The howls this would generate from the medical–industrial complex prove how useful the information is. (More details on this in an earlier column here.)

And speaking of sponges, if you take your car in to the shop for an engine overhaul and a mechanic leaves a wrench in the crankcase, that car is going back to the shop. The subsequent repair–to–fix–the–repair is free.

That’s not the way it works with hospitals. Hospitals make money on their mistakes and get away with it because consumers send the bill to the insurance company.

That means higher premiums in the long run and it encourages incompetence. If the guy who works on your car has to fix his mistakes for free, the guy who works on your heart should, too.

People should pay for routine doctor’s visits out of their own pocket and save insurance for major expenses. When my family was between insurance policies I negotiated the cost of doctor’s appointments and lab tests by offering to pay in full right before I left. I saved 30 to 40 percent by taking the insurance company out of the equation.

Putting a middleman between the provider and the patient adds another layer of cost and bureaucracy. Hiding the cost of medical services encourages overuse.

Consumers can choose health insurance coverage options just like they can choose auto insurance coverage. Government “experts” requiring coverage simply guarantees a lifetime income to lobbyists and treats citizens like serfs.

My car market analogy isn’t perfect. Legislators protect in–state auto dealers from out of state completion, just like health insurance companies are protected now. It is certainly a start, though, and a vast improvement over what we have now.

Why Expecting Subway Passengers to Pay Is Racist

A select group of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) passengers discovered what happens when government ignores the “Broken Windows” theory of policing in favor of the left’s “Let It All Hang Out” philosophy.

Bart with gun Logo“Broken Windows,” introduced by James Wilson and George Kelling, held that a community starts to deteriorate when political leadership de–emphasizes enforcement of “quality of life” ordinances.

Wilson and Kelling used the example of a building with a couple of broken windows. If the windows aren’t repaired, vandals will continue to break windows until there is no glass at all. Failure to repair the first few signals that there won’t be any consequences for breaking more in the future.

Deterioration continues until vandals break into the building and destroy the inside, too.

The social scientists contended the same thing happens in cities. If law enforcement ignores “quality of life” crimes like public urination, drinking in public, littering, graffiti and vandalism then disorder spreads and escalates.

By 1990 William Bratton, chief of New York City’s Transit Police, was tired of supervising the transit equivalent of Subway from Hell so he ordered his troops to crackdown on quality of life offenders. Plainclothes cops started arresting fare jumpers, aggressive panhandlers and vandals. Crime plummeted as a result of enhanced enforcement.

New York’s subway system became safe enough for politicians to ride.

In 2017 BART discovered it, too, has a problem with fare jumpers. The San Francisco Chronicle reports “22,000 people a day may be illegally riding BART for free — and depriving the transit system of as much as $25 million a year.”

For most of us that’s a lot of money, but for some BART board members it was a small price to pay if it kept BART cops from harassing minorities.

BART board member Lateefah Simon — a former fare–jumper herself— is convinced there are just as many upper–income seniors jumping fares as there are minority leapers, but BART cops will someone concentrate their enforcement on “teens, minorities and the homeless.”

“We don’t want to create more problems than we solve,” she explained.

So while the board was dithering a problem created itself.

Five days after Simon pooh–poohed a plan for fare enforcement, a mob hijacked a BART train. As reported by SFGate, “A mob of 40­60 young people streamed onto a BART train in Oakland Saturday night, robbing multiple riders of bags and cell phones and injuring at least two people.

“Juveniles jumped the fare gates and rushed aboard at least two cars of a Dublin-bound train at Coliseum Station shortly before 9:30 p.m. Some members of the group held doors open, stalling the train, while others ran through cars and some robbed and assaulted passengers.”

BART management was contrite: “Before all else, our hearts go out to the passengers who were victims of Saturday’s robbery.”

Once the sympathy was out of the way, BART reverted to best practices for leftists that put a higher priority on political correctness than keeping the peace. It lied.

“Overall, crime has been on the decline, and we want to stress that this robbery is neither reflective of the safety of our system nor of public transportation generally. We strive to provide a safe place for our passengers….”

Only crime isn’t down. Crime is up 22 percent in the first quarter of 2017. In fact crime is so obvious and out of control that acting chief Jeffery Jennings has declared a state of emergency.

Sympathy after the fact would not have been necessary if BART management practiced competence before the incident. Ignoring an obvious and expensive problem like rampant fare jumping only encourages the practitioners to push the limits and escalate their law breaking.

A sensible solution would be to let the data determine where to enforce. I think the term for that is science and the left claims to be the party of science.

The system has cameras in the stations and it can determine which stations are hotspots and at what time incidents occur. This common sense research might have prevented the taking of the BART train, since it occurred right after a juvenile–heavy event ended.

There is no indication the board will even try to mine the data. Adopting a “Broken Windows” policy might result in too many minority arrests, so the board is willing to risk a few broken heads.

I’m not so sure passengers on the Dublin–bound train agree with that choice.

Quality of life laws aren’t designed to inflict discrimination; they’re designed to establish a baseline for public behavior. These laws protect the elderly, the infirm, the young, the female and the wimpy, while restraining the unruly.

Regardless of whether government tolerates broken windows or broken turnstiles, it always leads to broken heads in the end.

Moral Instruction From the Opposition Media

How accurate is a poll based on a set of facts that don’t exist?

The WaPost’s Greg Sargent is excited about a new CNN poll claiming a vast majority of Americans essentially support open borders. But before we decide to delete the 4th of July from the calendar and add Cinco de Mayo, it’s crucial to know the entire question, so as to judge the accuracy of the result.

It reads:

Now, thinking about how the U.S. government should treat illegal immigrants who have been in this country for a number of years, hold a job, speak English and are willing to pay any back taxes that they owe.

Would you favor or oppose a bill that allowed those immigrants to stay in this country rather than being deported and eventually allow them to apply for U.S. citizenship?”

CNN may as well have asked respondents their view on the commercial viability of unicorn ranching. A more accurate question would have included the qualifier “and meet only one of the following four conditions.

An accurate question is both longer and more truthful:

Estimates of the number of illegal or undocumented immigrants currently living in the US range from 9 million to 19 million. One approach to dealing with those who have lived here a number of years is to offer amnesty or a path to citizenship. [Rotate description]. Supporters say it’s morally right that illegal or undocumented immigrants who have a job, speak English and are willing to pay back taxes should have the opportunity to become productive and legal. Opponents say the jobs illegal or undocumented immigrants hold are taken from citizens, bi–lingual ballots prove the requirement to speak English is not enforced now and depending on immigrants to admit to owing taxes is unrealistic and back taxes won’t be paid. [Rotate arguments]

Knowing this do you favor or oppose a bill that allowed those immigrants to stay in the country rather than be deported and eventually be offered amnesty or a path to citizenship?

That balanced question reflects reality and produces an answer that would merit news coverage and analysis, rather than the 90 percent approval CNN’s fantasy question got.

So what did the media make of these results and how were they wrong? You guessed it, click on the link below and go to my complete Newsmax column:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/bannon-california-cnn/2017/04/27/id/786847/