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The Cost of War

Recent Books I have Read and Recommend

  • "John Adams" by David McCollough
  • "Traitor to His Class" by H.W. Brands
  • "FDR" by Jean Edward Smith
  • "Truman" by David McCollough
  • "Thomas Jefferson Passionate Pilgrim" by Alf J. Mapp, Jr.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Citizens United Anniversary

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of arguably the worst Supreme Court decision ever. Of course I am referring to the Citizens United case. Without going into great detail this was the case that basically gave corporations the same rights as people in the electoral process of the United States. Corporations can now participate in the process the same as individuals with only one exception, the right to vote.

There are many groups trying to fix this gross example of legislating from the bench. There is even a movement to amend the Constitution. In the last election we saw first hand what this can do to our political process with corporations pouring millions of dollars into the election of Republicans. It is time to reverse this decision or change the laws to thwart this blatant misuse of power by the right!






Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sarah Palin and the Far Right


On Friday Sarah Palin took to Twitter to direct her followers to read a recent op-ed from conservative columnist Thomas Sowell that compares President Obama to Hitler and warns that establishing a BP escrow fund could lead to further embrace of Nazi-like dictatorial powers. I don't know about you, but I am sick of this woman. Why do people continue to listen to her when it is obvious that her severe lack of knowledge in most every subject is completely noticeable whenever she opens her mouth? Her 15 minutes of fame is over people!

The piece from Thomas Sowell proves that he is totally on her level of understanding. Here is an excerpt: Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere. And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Sowell, just where in the constitution does it say that corporations have a right to exist: it doesn't. The constitution does not say anything at all about corporations; therefore to use his logic, corporations have no right to exist. Once more the far right has slipped further down the slippery slope of missing reality!

Some information for this post taken from Palin Gives Thumbs Up to Op-Ed Suggesting BP Escrow Fund Will Give Us a Nazi State by Tara Lohan from Alternet.org


 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Maybe We Should Learn to Listen

Many people are disappointed because they don't believe that the president is doing what he promised in his campaign. When he was campaigning he told everyone that he was a moderate, but people all over the United States did not believe him. The people on my side, liberal/progressive heard "I will fix all the bad things that Bush/Cheney did for 8 years and make America the Center-Left Nation it is again. The people on the other side conservative/libertarian heard "I am so liberal and progressive that I will take away your guns, I will take all the money from the rich and give it to the poor, and I will be your worst nightmare. Obviously, neither side listened to him at all; they only heard what they wanted to hear.

The crises created by Bush/Cheney et al, called for a president such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the kind of man that has bags of charisma and a kick butt attitude, the kind of man who rolls up his sleeves and makes things happen. What we got was an academic like Woodrow Wilson. Wilson was a former university president and Obama was a constitutional law professor. Academics tend to study a situation and then make a decision. Obama is such a good speaker he made people believe that he was more like Roosevelt when in fact, he wasn't. He has a lot of good ideas and at some other time in history maybe he would have been much better, but at this time, with all these problems we have, we need more doing and less studying.

I think a lot of the things that should have already been done by Obama have been put on the back burner while he tries to get his agenda done. Once that is finished, I am hopeful we will see some of the fascist ideology, put into practice by Bush/Cheney and the Neo-Cons reversed. The big problem is that we have the "party of no" in the Senate that is blocking everything he is trying to do just because they lost. Basically, it appears that the order has been given out by the Republican leadership in the Senate to block every piece of legislation that is put on the floor by the Democrats. A democracy cannot function when an entire party becomes completely uncompromising.

Of late, the president has started to roll up his sleeves and get tougher and I am happy to see this as I am sure that many of you are as well. We will just have to see if he continues on this course and if it is not too late to ruin his chances for another term. We can rely on the Republicans to do everything they can to knock him down and keep him from doing his job to the best of his ability. We should be supportive of our president and help him to beat the Republicans.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

Founding Fathers and Religion?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. These words were written, by Thomas Jefferson, in the Declaration of Independence; a document that was meant to show our grievances against a tyrant king and parliament who was taxing us without representation. That document was not part of the Constitution, nor is there anything within it that is binding law of this nation. Yet, the actual Constitution does not mention God anywhere within its articles. There are a growing number of people who are using this statement and others to try and revise history and intimate that the founding fathers were all extremely religious men and they meant for our laws to be biblically based and our country to be a "Christian Nation;" Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there were many of the faithful who often regarded our early presidents as insufficiently pious.

There are many on the right who would like to see this nation brought under biblical law. In 1773, the Rev. Isaac Backus , the most prominent Baptist minister in New England, observed that when "church and state are separate, the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other: but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued." Don't these idiots get it? We can see all around in the Middle East and other places where religion is mixed with government, people have almost no civil rights; the state does such things as execute people for adultery and homosexuality. These things happen on a daily basis in Iran which is run by Clerics of the Islamic faith. Even in Turkey, which is not totally Islamic ruled yet, I read of a family being upset that their daughter had talked with a boy and they buried her alive!

Of course, the people who espouse these beliefs believe that if Christianity were the religion of choice for our people and government enforced this choice, the results would be totally different than in Islamic ruled nations. The truth is much darker. One can read through history, when Christianity was the religion of choice forced upon the people by governments of the time, the result was horrific. The same things that happen in Islamic run nations of today happened in those nations where Christianity was enforced. People were stoned to death, hanged, racked and other horrible, tortuous acts all in the name of God. So, in my opinion we do not need biblical law in this country, nor did the founders intend that we should.





Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Too Big to Fail?

One of the major causes of the current economic crises is the repeal of most of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. This law was passed to fix the problems that caused the Great Depression. Since at least the 1980s, the banking industry had wanted the act to be repealed in favor of a more lucrative law that would allow them to merge with investment banks and insurance companies. In 1999 the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 was passed and did just that. Many economists believe that repeal of Glass-Steagall was directly responsible for a major part of the financial crises we currently live with.

There is a new bill in Congress sponsored by Senator Christopher Dodd (D) Connecticut, which will bring back some of the regulations that are needed to get a handle on these banks that are "too big to fail." However, the bill does not do enough to prevent another disaster like the most recent one. Banks are so big now that they are roughly 60% of GDP. This is up from less than 20% in 1995. Taxpayers cannot be responsible for bailing out these monstrous behemoths. There has to be some way to break them up and make them much smaller so they can be controlled. As is, they have way too much political power and are way too big. As shown in this press release, Senator Ted Kaufman has an idea on how to break up the gigantic banks.

We as responsible citizens need to contact our representatives and let our voices be heard. We do not want to bail out the banks ever again. The banks need to be smaller so they don't become "too big to fail."




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