Monday, July 15, 2019

Federal debt ceiling could cause system to seize in early September if Congress doesn't fix it; this boogeyman is back

The Washington Post shouldn’t have to title an editorial this way today (Monday, July 15, 2019): “Congress Must Extend the Debt Ceiling”. In print (in your local 7-11) it says “Extend the debt ceiling Ideally Congress should do so before leaving for its August recess”.

We saw all this go on in the summer of 2011, and again at the start of 2013. Trump was ambivalent, but isn’t afraid to hurt people and take political hostages to “get what he wants”.

Now the Treasury Department says it could run out of money by early September, long before November. It might run out before Congress returns.

So Congress needs to fix this in August, while the French are on vacation, always.
Past analysis has maintained that the legal structure of the Social Security Trust system should still protect payments. But Congress could make a political deal to start means testing, for those who have inheritances, for example. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Vox cites new book and Oakland law group in arguing for "evidence based intervention" to prevent gun violence, and frankly reduce the count of guns in circulation

German Lopez, of Vox, argues for a focused strategy for gradually reducing the number of weapons on the streets among person who should not have them, as he argues in a Vox piece “How to dramatically reduce gun violence in American cities”.

He discusses a book “Bleeding Out” by a criminal justice expert Thomas Apt.
Lopez argues for “evidence-based strategies” with focused interventions in at risk families and neighborhoods.  He cites the Giffords Law Center, “Faith in Action” called “A Case Study in Hope: Lesson’s from Oakland’s Remarkable Reductionin Gun Violence”. 

This could lead to increase in the use of ideas of adult guardianship in some states with citizens, especially alone, who seem less competent.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Trump signs XO encouraging more kidney transplantation and more home dialysis, with less use of centers

The Trump administration has signed an Executive Order which would provide more Medicare “investment” in home kidney dialysis machines, as compared to treatment in dialysis centers, and would also favor more people getting kidney transplants.

CNBC reports on the business impact here

Trey Yingst, from Fox News, tweeted yesterday that some people have multiple transplants, as many fail.

But an increase in transplants would probably lead to more social pressure for people to make live kidney donations.
Organ generosity was not possible when I was growing up, so the social media climate surrounding it was not really possible then.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Virginia legislature punts on gun legislation in front of competing, if brief, demonstrations and protests on the state Capitol grounds in Richmond

A special session of the Virginia legislature adjourned after two hours and refused to take up a bill tightening gun purchase requirements after a May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach, AP story by Ann Suderman and Sarah Rankin, here

 The bill will be taken up in November after the next statewide election.
Gregory S. Schneider, Laura Vozella, and Antonio Olivo report for the Washington Post 

The Richmond Times Dispatch reports (Paywall, no free copies) here.

NBC12, Richmond television station, has a report here
There were competing rallies at the SW corner of the state capitol, including groups bussed from Washington by March for our Lives. But the rallies were short and over by noon.  The protests had been called just to pressure the state legislature to act today rather than procrastinate.
The Daily Press has a photo essay of the demonstrations yesterday here

But March for our Lives has a more personal photo essay on its Twitter feed here.  

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Extinction Rebellion holds climate change protest at Capitol

Extinction Rebellion held a protest in Spirit of Justice park on the Capitol grounds on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.

Protesters were ordered to stay on the sidewalks but sometimes disobeyed, but there were no arrests.
The group celebrated statements by OAC and Bernie Sanders of a “climate emergency” but they had intended more civil disobedience, as in New York City in June.

News2Share has some footage. The Washington Post has some scientific discussion of Monday morning's unusual cloudburst, which this time missed Ellicott City. 

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Buttigieg leverages his own post-DADT military experience to proposal national service

Pete Buttigieg has proposed a national service plan, which would emphasize ages 18-24 and would introduce new ideas like a Climate Corps.  Politico has a typical story.

As usual, you wonder if government agencies should supervise these, or if social service agencies (some of them would be faith-based and would have to agree not to discriminate), as is the case now with settling refugees, would be better.

Buttigieg relied on his own military experience (after the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell) in being motivated to make the proposal. 

Service would enable student loan payoff, but that benefit would be less valuable if the loan forgiveness happens anyway as under Warren or Sanders.  Maybe it would be useful for higher income students with less loan forgiveness.

There would be a productive question, as to whether periods of service could be proposed for retirees.
However, if I ever joined such a program all my own blogging and journalism would stop and could not be readily resumed when I returned (unless there was a solid business proposal, next paragraph).
In the future, if the ability to create citizen journalism channels on social media becomes more restricted (my main blog, June 27) a service period could be considered as showing evidence of “social credit”.  I wonder if that is in the back of Buttigieg’s mind.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Border crisis starting to affect the morality of individual Americans?

Reports of inappropriate posts in a closed Facebook group by some border agents surfaced Monday, and were discussed on AC360 Monday night (story).  Anderson was told that at least one remark was made about him for his homosexuality.

A closed group is supposed to be “whitelisted”, but the participants could have reasonably expected that their behavior would become public.  (Not so sure with Kyle and Harvard.)

Tonight Anderson interviewed a DHS (Homeland Security) watchdog (I did not get the name). Appalling conditions were described, and the speaker made the argument that Americans owe the people care despite their illegal entry.

Literally, that is normally true.  People who have been apprehended for crimes or law violations have injuries treated.

Here, masses of persons have apparently crossed the border, with some of the caravans organized by cartels and smugglers. Not all of them, but certainly criminal elements have exploited the politically volatile situation of polarization in the US.

Demonstrations and protests mount. David Hogg has entered the fray, Twitter stream   He supplied a long potential organizational donation list.

OK, what do we do?  We can’t release unaccompanied minors.  We can bring the parents back but that sounds very difficult logistically.  Besides the demonstrations and protests, does someone have a policy solution?

Congress, you haven’t done your job.  The Democrats have the House now.  Do your job.

I get the emails from Move On, to get stickers and attend protests, such as here, for "#ClosetheCamps".  But then, where do you send "them"?  This is beginning to sound like a wartime crisis. 
You can’t just release thousands of people (still separate from families) into the wild with no financial support.

You could push for private sponsorship, Canadian style. You could pressure people who inherited estates to offer to adopt or support the kids.  (Martin Goldberg raised the issue recently, is it our own personal responsibility to take care of other countries’ kids when we haven’t taken our own?  

 According to some quasi-Marxist theories of personal rightsizing, well, maybe yes. Particularly if you have any inherited wealth, and that is something I have to ponder. At some point, some of us become personally accountable for what our government does?? 

A Congresswoman told Chris Cuomo that non-profits should take care of the kids, but that is how refugee processing (not asylum seekers) works now. There are about ten large non-profits certified by DHS to supervise refugee placement (some are faith-based).  They don’t handle asylum seekers.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

SCOTUS backs out of settling gerrymandering, so it continues; census citizenship question dead

The Supreme Court has ruled that the courts have no role in stopping gerrymandering or drawing districts, and that this is a political process. Devan Cole et al has a detailed story on CNN. 

The cases were in North Carolina and Maryland, and the decision will reinforce political polarization, often to the artificial benefit of Republicans.

The case was Rucho v. Common Cause, pdf. 
Jeffrey Toobin noted that Roberts had suggested that states (like California) could set up independent commissions to challenges district boundaries, but that idea has been called unconstitutional in the past.

You can't gerrymander on the basis of race, but you can on the basis of political affiliation, which is not a protected class by itself. Gerrymandering is like trying to win all the one-run ball games and finishing ahead in the standing of a team with more blowout wins. 
The Court also struck down the Trump administration’s adding of a citizenship question to the Census, 5-4     Roberts sided with the liberal majority after the Commerce Department expressed concerns. 

Trump has said he may delay the Census.  Can he do that? 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Warren, Sanders, and various other House members "flaunt" student loan erasure programs -- and they could come out of estates some day

There are some student loan forgiveness programs (for federal loans) in place now.  For example, you can check into this here

Bernie Sanders wants to wipe out student loan debt.  It seems like all debt.  Maybe it will just be public universities. Ilhan Oman (D-MN) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) join in with different proposals.  The most important idea seems to be a tax on Wall Street transactions. 

Elizabeth Warren wants to pay for this with wealth taxes, probably only on larger estates. Hers might not be available to higher income earners.

This is turning into generational conflict.
It would be possible, however, to turn attention to inherited estates on a more modest scale,  and encourage them to use “special needs” setasides for educational purposes.
And Beto O’Rourke wants a “war tax” to pay for veterans.

Update: June 26

Matthew Zeitlin of Vox writes that "wonks" complain that Sanders's debt relief plan would help too many rich people by accident.  Maybe that's the point? 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Extinction Rebellion disrupts NYC with massive die-in near NYTimes over climate change; Journalist Michael Nigro arrested photographing it from PA bus terminal

A journalist, Michael Nigro, was arrested while photographing an energetic protest by a group called Extinction Rebellion, in New York City Saturday afternoon.  He was filming from a plank in the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd St.  It is not clear what the legal situation is.  News2Share has an account of his arrest and of the demonstrations.

Ford Fischer has a long Twitter thread showing much more of the demonstrations. 
Here is the central website for the Extinction Rebellion.

The group apparently plans a major demonstration at noon on June 24 at New York City hall.

The group contents that mainstream media, especially the New York Times, downplays the seriousness of climate change in order to get along with the establishment. Trump, of course, calls the mainstream “fake news media”.  I could say the same thing about the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) threat, but no one is organizing protests over that.

Here is CNN’s account (Madeleine Thompson et al). 

The New York Times does not seem to have a finable story yet on the protesters, but here is a May 1 account of the XR group by David Graeber.  The group is international and all over the world. 

Update: June 24

A different (American) journalist describes unwarranted search by US authorities when returning from Mexico, on the Intercept, here

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Law firm starts project to monitor inappropriate behavior of police on social media, which may discourage lawful protesters

This morning, attorney Emily Baker-White from the Plainview Project discussed police making inappropriate posts about protesters on social media, on Smerconish’s Saturday morning program on CNN.  In some cases police have promoted bigotry and violence, as in this story from Pennsylvania. 

The point was well taken, that a fear of profiling or inappropriate action by police may prevent legitimate public protests and freedom of assembly.

 Later Saturday, CNN interviewed (in Philadelphia) Rick Tulsky, with this report

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The idea of reparations is starting to get some real traction

How would reparations be assessed on people and redistributed?

Suddenly, the idea seems to have some traction with Cory Booker’s House Judiciary hearings.

It may be a long way off.  Generally, there could be various tax credits or extensions of some of Elizabeth Warren’s ideas and they would not necessarily have to be race dependent.

It’s also apparent there could be increased taxes on inherited wealth. 

On the other hand, suing families for the part of their ancestors in slavery would pretty obviously run into constitutional problems of due process (ironically).  I don’t think the Constitution allows penalty for something ancestors did. 

Mitch McConnell said as much yesterday – “there is not a person alive who is responsible for this.”  But many people may be privileged.

Should reparations include covering native Americans too if it were done at all? 

Quartz, in a series “The Power of the Past”, has an instructive analysis “This is what reparations could actually look like in America”. 

CNN has a similar article by Doug Criss.  

Update: June 22

David Hogg had said that the concept of illegal alien made no sense in a country who had stolen land from natives, back in January 2019.  That would argue for reparations for Native Americans (beyond the reservation system).  Of course, there is the fact of the casinos. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Should people risk jail to assist undocumented migrants? (Should people be expected to by SJW's?)

Here’s a story on Christian or faith-based service where the person assisting migrants knows he is breaking the law and is willing to go to jail.

It concerns a rather complicated trial in Tucson, AZ of aid worker Scott Warren with his group “No More Deaths.”  

The USA Today story is rather convoluted, but the Tucson story is more detailed.

Here is a bizarre story by James Allsup of an Uber driver fired and sued for refusing to help with an abortion. “Woke capitalism”.

Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Tucson suburbs, p.d.  I visited the city in January 1980. 

Update: June 23

Here's a story about the arrest of an Arizona immigrant rights volunteer. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Would ending summer break improve relative STEM test scores for lower income people?

John Fish, the 19-year-old Harvard Undergrad from Canada with 500000 subscribers and helpful videos about college and sometimes free speech, has a very interesting presentation on why the learning achievement of minorities and from parents with lower income gets farther behind every year of life.

He presents material from some peer-reviewed papers, and makes the argument that children of wealthier parents simply keep learning more during summer break.  I can remember summers in Ohio:  Pennsylvania Turnpike and tunnel trips, visits to father’s glass factory, Indians baseball games in Cleveland, and farmyard baseball and whiffleball (very creative rule making to make the scores come out to be reasonable).  All real world, physical, but pertinent stuff.  I remember a trip to Lorain Ohio on the Lake to watch coal being loaded from railroad cars to ships. Sometimes similar stuff to father’s relatives in Iowa and near St. Louis. 

So John makes the case for eliminating summer break and making the school year run continuously.  That would make it easier for less privileged kids to catch up.  But of course, longer breaks means opportunities for longer periods away from home, which were very good for me.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Charitable giving is becoming politicized and coercive

The Washington Examiner this week has a big piece by James Piereson and Naomi Schaefer Riley, “Injustice Finders: A left-wing protection racket is strangling philanthropy.” 

The article points out that in 2008 California’s house passed a bill (The Foundation Diversity and Transparency Act) requiring (or at least shaming) large foundations to pay attention to minority groups (as such).  The Senate backed down but only when some philanthropies agreed to follow political correctness voluntarily. But the legislation also wanted foundation board members to disclose race, age, gender, and particularly sexual orientation or gender status. 

There's another problem, too.  There are signs that social media companies, at least Facebook, want to prod users into public fundraising for obviously recognizable non-profits or causes as a condition for speaking. Here's a Twitter thread of my experience. 

What happened to privacy?

Friday, June 07, 2019

Wall Street Journal: strengthening health savings accounts and publishing prices could help lower health care costs.

The Wall Street Journal has a useful article on how to reduce health care costs:  allow prices of meds to be shown to patients if they pay out-of-pocket, and make Health Savings Accounts even more portable to other family members, and available to seniors.

Scott W. Atlas provides the article here. He also thinks we can have more less specialized doctors again. 

The video above shows we have something to learn from European health care systems, which are not as totally single payor as the public thinks.  I remember asking this question in Toulouse in 2001 of a family at a train station, and they said they liked the system they had. "It works for us." 

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Security Officer in Parkland case arrested essentially for "cowardice"

The former security guard Scott Peterson for major felonies for failing to respond properly to the shooter in the building during the Parkland shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, has led to legal controversy and raised ethical questions about the obligations of people to take risks to protect others – reminding me of the military draft controversy of the Vietnam era.
The NBC News story is by Corky Siemaszko, says that the Florida law usually applies to parents, not to law enforcement officials.

The law as written applies to “caregivers”.  But it is easy to imagine that having such a law might encourage gun ownership and proficiency by families and parents.  Could it apply to siblings, or to adult children with elderly parents?
There was a lively discussion on Chris Cuomo’s show on CNN last night. There’s no link to it yet on Cuomo Prime Time.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

House passes a form of DACA. but right now the Senate won't act on it

The House of Representatives passed a Dream Act, 237-187.  It had seven Republican votes.

The Senate is unlikely to consider it, and Trump would veto it “unless he gets what he wants” (like the wall, Mexico to stop illegal migrants, etc).

The bill would also make ending TPS (Temporary Protected Status) for certain Central American migrants harder. 

It is the first such measure since 2010 under Obama.

DACA recipients would be allowed to stay ten years if they met certain criteria, and would have pathways to citizenship through military service or some college or some employment.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Pakman provides a deeper perspective on the race and IQ "pseudo-controversy"

Tonight, The David Pakman Show did a very constructive followup on the race and IQ question, “The Final, Absolute Truth about Race and IQ

Pakman notes that comparing arguments about athletic ability may not be useful in evaluating claims about race and intelligence, because the latter would have much more dire consequences in affecting employment opportunities when evaluated for groups (generally).

Pakman notes that low IQ scores do predict problems in performing many jobs, but once you get to around 100 or higher, they don’t predict much.

He also noted you cannot identify race by appearance or amount of skin pigment alone.

Update: June 11, 2019

"The Alternative Hypothesis" in an hour long video offers "Refuting a Bigot: David Pakman on Race and I.Q.", link.  At 29:00 to about 39:00 it gets important;  it is politically OK to say that individual IQ is inherited, but not group. 

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Candidate Eric Swalwell proposes assault weapons buyback, national service to deal with student loans

In a spirited town hall Sunday night in Monterey, CA, Rep Eric Swalwell, D-CA and presidential candidate, proposed re-imposing an assault and military weapons ban, and in instituting a buyback program for banned weapons, prosecuting any found later to have them.

He mentioned Australia’s 1996 buyback, but his proposal does not apply to legally owned handguns.

He also proposed expanding national service as a way for college students to pay off college debt or avoid it. You wonder if such proposals could be lifelong, or apply to able seniors collecting Social Security.

Swalwell, 38, says he is still paying off his own loan.  He is only one year older than Pete Buttigieg.  
Will Chris Hughes (35) step up?  Maybe we really will see David Hogg in 2016.  Hogg plans a die-in demonstration in Washington DC June 12.  This is in memory of the Pulse shooting in Orlando in 2016, and such an event supports “conservative” views of who the enemies are (radical Islam).

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Washington Post reports on prostitution and sex trafficking in the core of the city despite FOSTA, which probably makes it worse

The Washington Post, in the Metro Section Wednesday, May 29, 2019, reports, in a story by Peter Hermann and Spencer S. Hsu, that the FBI has targeted a large prostitution ring in Washington spreading from Shaw to Dupont Circle, and that much of it has been conducted on Facebook with the company’s moderation not catching it despite its recent aggressive moderation and removal of “dangerous” accounts.  The story refers to an area as “The Blade” which has nothing to do with the gay newspaper. 

The prostitution appears to be heterosexual, exploit many PoC, and not particularly focused on the trans community.

But Facebook could get in trouble given the new FOSTA law signed in April 2018 and the subject of much controversy and some litigation.

It could be argued that FOSTA, however, has been driving sex workers into much more dangerous underground exploitation by pimps.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

A descendant of slavery says he would not want reparations, it is all about personal responsibility; PBS debate had said otherwise

Burgess Owens has an important op-ed in the weekend Wall Street Journal, “I didn’t earn slavery reparations, and I don’t want them”, link.

His ancestor Silas Burgess (like the name Silas Marner from English literature and in high school classes) came in chains from Africa (like in the movie “Amistad”, 1997). “But even he was able to live the American dream”.

Now, he says, some Democratic presidential hopefuls want to give him money.
I have to admit, with my own life and work experience, where African Americans and other members of minorities individually did well in professional settings, I did not begin to grasp the size of the resentment and despair in lower income communities until perhaps 2014 as with Ferguson and beyond.

Chip Somodrvilla argues in Truthout that reparations can be funded -- by wealth taxes.  This online leftist mag begs for money and threatens to go out of business every week.  Some articles are real good, and others are far-Left redistributionism.  The article refers to a well-known  Atlantic June 2014 piece by Ta-Nahesis Coates. 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Can entrepreneurial approaches work well with climate change? "Economic Invincibility" weighs in

Here is some horrific video footage on Reuters of flooding along the Cimmaron River in Oklahoma   where the flood has swept away land supporting homes, not only condemning the homes but reducing the land area of the property.
I would wonder if the homeowners had flood insurance, but I don’t know what happens with actual loss of land.

Such is the risk of climate change.

Martin Goldberg (“Economic Invincibility”) takes on climate change and suggests some unusual lower cost innovations that really might work, and criticizes the over-politization of the issue. “Everything is intertwined”.  Connect the dots.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Washington Post looks at the way social media spreads the anti-vaccine activism, damaging herd immunity; an example for other areas?


The Washington Post reports in a video on how social media still spreads anti-vaccine information online (especially for measles) and results of some communities having considerable numbers of children unvaccinated, reducing herd immunity and risking those who cannot take vaccines for genuine medical reasons. 

Yet a story by Lena H Sun and Ben Guaring today in the Post reports a few sensational incidents in the past, including a child severely disabled in 1980 (not really from a vaccine) and a Lancet study in 1998, as encouraging doubt in the expertise of public health officials.

The herd immunity issue is a serious one for social media, and Instagram, Facebook and YouTube are “cracking down” and at least demonetizing or shadowbanning posts.

The problem is that we can think of other issues where herd welfare is a potentially legitimate issue, and don’t want to face it.

You can start with climate change but go much further.

I had measles in 1950 just before my seventh birthday.  
I make it a point to remind college students to get both meningitis vaccines, especially B.  I don’t anyone I know to become maimed by this sometimes horrific disease.  Meningitis B can cause a kind of blood poisoning that leads to gangrene and amputations.


What if some day we do find a connection between childhood vaccines and some other autoimmune disease late in life?  At a policy level, what would we do? 

Update: June 9, 2019

Sharyl Atkisson, a "conservative" (somewhat) journalist who reports on Sinclair's "Full Measure", reported this morning on the case of "pro-vaccine" researcher Andrew Zimmerman had once questioned the absolute truth of idea that vaccines could never cause injury and thought he had found rare genetic cases where it could, and that his research was silenced.  There is even a secret "vaccine court".  "The Hill" carries her report here.  The matter was reported on her show on WJLA June 9.  Note that public health departments already do exclude children with a few known rare conditions from vaccinations, where herd immunity still protects them. 

Stat News also reports a recent study from Denmark (March 2019) confirming the safety of vaccines for practically all children. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Is "adversity score" on the SAT a preview of a future "social credit score"?

Natalie Escobar defends the “disadvantage score” that the SAT people want to implement, in an Atlantic article here

There is the obvious observation that on the surface it is race neutral but will tend to help some PoC more often.

There is a rather obvious concern that giving an “adversity score”, even within a private group like ETS, is a step toward a social credit score like what is going on in China.

Harvard, for example, is admitting students whose community activism and work show street smarts, even if SAT’s are not as impressive (as with David Hogg, who calls himself “good at protesting, bad at spelling” on Twitter). The videos by Canada-born undergraduate John Fish show just how demanding Harvard undergraduate would be. 

Here’s another account on CBS News.
As for the SAT, I actually considered the possibility of a job with the ETS near Princeton when I was laid off by RCA in 1971.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

SCOTUS might remain cool on attempts to overturn Roe v Wade from Georgia, Alabama; radioactive waste contamination in an Ohio school

Nate Chute, of the Montgomery Advisor, offers a comparison between Georgia’s fetal heartbeat abortion law and Alabama’s, just passed by the state Senate, which would ban all abortions after six weeks even after rape or incest. 

CNN says this will certainly make a fast track to the Supreme Court, and many analysts don’t think that the Roberts court, even with Kavanagh and Gorsuch, will be in a hurry to overturn precedence, Roe v Wade, which protects a woman’s autonomy essentially until viability.  Jeffrey Toobin, however, sounds very concerned. 

But the most extreme supporters in Alabama insist that even a minor 12-year-old girl has a moral obligation to deliver a human being if raped.  That is, a man can, with criminal intent, impose that on a minor female.

From a moral perspective, in my own mind, this reminds me of the question of whether military conscription violates right to life (which if it were every resumed would be likely to be changed to include women).  Selective Service Registration for young men (according to birth gender) is still a legal requirement.

Adam Liptak, in the New York Times, suggested that SCOTUS doesn't need a sensational law like Alabama's and might chip away at Roe more gradually. 
Another major story is the discovery of enriched Uranium and even neptunium have been detected inside a middle school building in southern Ohio near Portsmouth, and there are child leukemia cases in the area. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

CNN story connects "Run, Hide, Fight" to expectations of martyrdom; Zakaria calls for national service

Harmeet Kaur has a horrifying article on CNN Sunday morning, “’Run, Hide, Fight’ has become a mantra for how to act during a mass shooting. Here is what it really means”.

Experts disagree even on the what people in the public, most of all students, should do.

One official asked, “are we training our school officials and students to become a generation of martyrs?”  It’s a shocking question.  But many feel that in the most recent two incidents in North Carolina and Colorado, it was self-sacrifice by one person that saved everyone else. The "Fight" directive is the most controversial. 

What if this happens on a subway, or a shopping mall, or any soft target?

There is even the moral claim that someone has an obligation to give up his life to save others.  How does this fit into “right to life” and even anti-abortion arguments?

This brings back the whole issue of the military draft and the student deferment system of the 1960s.
There are speculative stories that one of the shooting suspects is transgender and that the other has ties to the LGBTQ community.  The best details I can find so far are in the Advocate

Sunday morning Fareed Zakaria offered an op-ed “National Service Can Bring Us Together as a Nation”.  His wording of the article even left open the idea that it could be mandatory.  The article shows a picture of Americorps volunteers in uniform shirts.