I really would prefer to like the Republic Party, but I can't. The Republic Party makes it impossible.
Normally, I don't like to discuss my personal political views, but this article forces me to, so here are the political issues that are important to me :
- Education - Every child deserves a quality education. It shouldn't matter if their parent is a millionare or homeless. The child had nothing to do with the choices of the parents. If the child lives in a poor district they should get the same education quality as children living in rich suburbs. Quality education should be free for primary and secondary schools, and because the country needs skilled workers, trade schools and university degrees that directly lead to employable work should be available at low cost, with grants or loans available to everyone who wants/needs them.
- Medical - Countries with so-called "Socialized" medicine have proven that it is much cheaper to insure everyone than to insure most people and leave the rest out. Canada has "Socialized" medicine, and better health care at a third of the cost as in the USA. It should be noted that only the health insurance in Canada is socialized. The government controls the health insurance, but the doctors, and clinics work the same way as in the USA, with the exception that every doctor in Canada is in your "network" because there is only one network. It's a much better system for patients. In the USA medical bills are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy; In Canada, there are almost no bankruptcies due to medical bills.
- Gun Control - I used to do a lot of hunting, and enjoyed it. I love being out in the wilderness and eating what I catch. Despite that, I refuse to have a gun in my house because the true statistics are overwhelming that having a gun in your house increases your odds, and more importantly, your family members' odds of dying on the wrong end of a gun. Yes, you might be able to use it for protection, but your odds of dying are lot more, than if you get out of your house if a burglar enters. If someone breaks into your house, get the hell out of the house, and use your cell phone to call the police. A cell phone keeps you much safer than a gun ever will.
Despite the above, I really would prefer to like the Republican Party, but I can't. The Republic Party is full of crazy people. It's great to have a fantasy life, but I don't want crazy people that can't tell what is fact and what is not running the country.
- Mike Huckabee of Arkansas blames the economic downturn, crime and high school drop-out rates on our "morality." He wants America to "rediscover God" and worship evangelical Christianity.
- Birthers - Donald Trump and countless others (up to 51% of Republicans) still insist Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. despite the release of his birth certificate, and confirmation of it by the Republican governor of the state of Hawaii
- A GOP legislator in New Hampshire recommends sending the disabled and homeless to Siberia where it's cheaper to live.
- New Hampshire Republican Rep. Bob Kingsbury claimed at a county party convention that according to his own “research,” “kindergarten programs lead to higher crime rates.”
- Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, said it was “God’s will” if a woman was impregnated during rape.
- Todd Akin (the legitimate rape guy)
- Paul Broun, from Georgia says that evolution and embryology are lies from hell, and the earth is 9,000 years old. The Republicans put him on the science council.
It's almost impossible to find positions the Reblican party doesn't have some crazy idea about, so add these crazy ideas to the list:
The Republicans almost universally reject the idea of climate change, despite overwhelming evidence (Hurricane Sandy anyone); The party sponsors candidates that believe a woman's body shuts down when she is raped; The party promotes politicians that believe the United Nations is ready to send in troops to take over the United States; believes that creation (and the absurb Intelligent Design Theory) is just as valid as evolution and the big bang; allows candidates to spread the believe that the president is a secret muslim; adamatly opposes abortion, gay marriage, immigration reform, and social welfare; and the party refuses to increase tax rates even on the wealthy despite the huge deficit and overwhelming public support and even the support of many of the wealthy.
Yeah, I'd prefer to like the Republican Party, but I just can't embrace the idea of crazy people running the country.
Hard to have any sympathy for the mother. Nancy Lanza was the registered owner of all the guns used, was reputedly a "survivalist" who had a fascination with guns, had regularly taken her awkward loner-son to shooting ranges, knew her son had problems, and obviously did not take proper care of the weapons. It might seem to be speaking ill of the dead, but Nancy Lanza setup the conditions for the entire massacre, and it only seems fitting she was the first person killed.
Unfortunately, when it comes to guns, it's not only the idiots that get killed
One of the most disgusting (and stupid) comments I heard on some blogs was this: "Well, if the teachers would have had a gun they could have stopped him". I can't believe that any moron could actually say this, but there is a grain of truth to it. A very small, very moldy grain of truth. If the teachers in the classrooms the shooter entered had a handgun in their purse or desk, it is within the realm of possibility they could have stopped the shooter. I put the possibility at about 0.5%. The shooter had a semi-automatic weapon, and a bullet-proof vest. He was ready to shoot everyone and anyone. There is almost a zero chance that a teacher could have stopped him.
Just to drive the point home, on August 20, 1982, a junior high school teacher Carl Robert Brown, 51, opened fire inside a welding shop. Total injured and killed: 11.
According to MotherJones :
And again, according to MotherJones :
As of the time I wrote this, the NRA has been silent since the massacre at Newtown, Connecticut. Not surprising, they are politically astute, and realize the outrage this latest massacre has created. Besides when the NRA arguements make absolutely no logical sense, the last thing they want to do is to engage in real debate. They are much better at working behind the scenes and using money to buy their Senate and Congressional votes.
Oh... did you know that since 2009, the NRA and allies have managed to get 99 laws passed effectively rolling back restrictions on possession of guns? You didn't really think it's just coincidence that the number of gun massacres has increased dramatically in the last couple of years did you?
If you think it's time for action to fight the NRA agenda, please do something now
Join the fight against the NRA at Fight the NRA
On Saturday, January 8th, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner walked into a Tucson, Arizona Safeway and opened fire with a 9mm Glock killing 6 people and wounding 12 others (some are still in the hospital and not out of danger yet, so there may be more casulties). The apparent main target of the attack was Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was holding a town-hall type meeting with some constituents. She was shot in the head, is currently in critical condition in the hospital; is expected to live, and her long term prognosis is uncertain at this point.
Killed at the scene were federal judge John Roll, Christina Greene (only 9 years old), Gabe Zimmerman (who worked with the congresswoman), Dorwin Stroddard, Dorothy Morris, and Phyllis Scheck.
The suspect in the shooting Jared Loughner has apparently posted against government mind control and has made threats in the past. He's only called a suspect because he hasn't been convicted. He was tackled at the scene by two people when he tried to reload. Apparently, he hadn't killed enough people to satisfy himself yet. He was suspended from Aztec Middle College after several “classroom and library disruptions” and in at least some cases the police were involved. Apparently a follow-up letter from the College stated that in order to return he would need to present a note from a doctor stating that his presence at the school would not present a danger to himself or others. There's not much doubt that there were warning signs that this was a troubled 22 year old who could become violent. Of course, under current U.S. Gun laws he would have had no problem obtaining any guns he wanted.
Lawmakers have put on hold other important legislation until they can figure out how to protect themselves.
And Sarah Palin issued this comment: “There is no place in our society or discourse for such senseless and unconscionable acts of violence”. Really Sarah... even when you promoted it? Sarah Palin posted a map of 20 Congressional districts being targeted by her political action committee. And how did she depict it? With crosshairs! The victim herself, Gabrielle Giffords commented at the time: “When people do that, they've got to realize there are consequences to that action”.
A New World Order
Common Sense ideas for the 21st Century
We are now 10 years (almost 11) into the 21st century and the truth is that so far, it's hard to tell the difference between the way we live now and how we were living before the change of the century. If our political process was working properly shouldn't there be very clear differences after 10 years?
What are the problems we should have solved? How about hunger? How about education for everyone? There are others, but these have been supposedly top priorities by hundreds, thousands and even tens of thousands of our politicians for at least 100 years. How is it possible that we haven't solved them? And why? I don't think it's that tough a problem for any country that is in the Top 25 richest countries in the world. And the truth is that if the Top 25 richest countries all got together they could solve the problem for the entire world.
But let's look at just North America. Canada and the U.S. have comparable standards of living, both of them are in the Top 10 richest countries list. So... how do these two countries solve the hunger problem? It's actually fairly simple... and how do we pay for it? That's not hard either.
Despite the title, I want to start off by assuring you that I am a Free Enterprise enthusiast. I've been self employed almost my entire life. In reality, all my life except for a couple of very brief periods. I started several companies from an idea and have been mostly quite successful. I have raised venture capital to start a much larger company than I ever could have done on my own, so have benefited greatly from the financial markets and I appreciate what Free Enterprise does for the economy and the people who know how it works.
Notwithstanding all it's benefits however, there is a terrible downside to Free Enterprise, and total, unregulated Free Enterprise would be a disaster for most people. Most of the civilized world has thrown off the chains of Hereditary rule (Kings, Queens, Emperors etc.), and allowing the large, multinational companies who have gained a virtual monopoly on their area of products or services to dictate the terms of those products or services would have horrible consequences for average people. As an example, just think what AT & T would have been able to charge if it had not been broken up many years ago. Or... imagine how much banks would gouge their customers for credit card interest and fees of all kinds if there weren't a few laws in place (personal note – we still need more laws here, but imagine how bad it would be without any at all). We just can't allow people or companies who have beaten the Free Enterprise system to rule over us and become the new Kings, Queens and Emperors of the 21st Century.
So, it's fairly obvious that some regulation is needed to keep the worst side effects of Free Enterprise under control, at least to any truly thinking person who doesn't let blind greed rule their thoughts.