Posts Tagged ‘Politics’
President Obama is currently embroiled in three situations labelled as political scandal. The IRS scandal is the most problematic in that it involves a highly disliked arm of government that affects almost everyone’s lives. But I agree that the REAL scandal in the IRS issue is that there are lots of political groups on both ends of the political spectrum getting tax-exempt status, when that designation should be limited Read the rest of this entry »
Annette Funicello, who appeared on the Mickey Mouse Club, was my first TV crush, as I have previously noted; I was hardly the only one – e.g., see Ken Levine’s piece. Heck, my wife said she had a little crush on her. Abnd it wasn’t just my generation: Cheri remembers her as well.
I watched Annette in a number of Disney programs, and almost certainly in Make Room for Daddy with Danny Thomas. Read the rest of this entry »
Americans like to think that our elected officials are beholden to Us, The People. We have spirited elections, and if we don’t like Candidate X, we can vote for Candidate Y. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about it.
Then why does the FAA have a “no fly zone” over Mayflower, Arkansas being overseen by Exxon Mobil? “In other words Read the rest of this entry »
The intrepid Chris asked: If you could start a political party, what would be its planks?
Let me first make it quite clear that I have zero interest in actually running for political office.
When I was in high school, I was president of student government. Someone wrote in my yearbook that I was a great President, and she was looking forward to when I was President of the United States! [Her exclamation point.] THAT’S not going to happen.
It’s odd that being a political science major has made me LESS likely to seek elective office. Meanwhile, one of my classmates at New Paltz, Kevin Cahill, has been in the NYS Assembly for a number of years, and doing a fine job, it appears.
Anyway, I started writing down my values and positions, but discovered that it was TOO HARD for writing a blog post. Coming up with the right verbiage was WORK. So I’m cheating.
I looked up the platform of that political party named after me, the Green Party. I found the 2012 platform, and found that much of it I agree with. This begs the question, why am I a Democrat, rather than a Green? Because the way the system is shaped, a Green can’t win very often. Indeed, that is one of the issues.
I’m going to excerpt parts of the Green platform. My non-inclusion of other parts doesn’t mean I necessarily DISAGREE, but that it wasn’t a primary issue for me in the time I was compiling my positions.
Democracy: Our citizens must not permit usurpation of their authority by acts of individuals and government agencies that isolate or insulate government from their oversight and control. Citizens of a democracy must have the information and ability to determine the actions of their government. Vast concentrations of wealth and power that have occurred in recent years are inherently undemocratic. The deregulation of corporate activity and the decentralization and underfunding of the regulatory structures that remain – accompanied by the centralizing of big money – has been a disaster for our country. The true owners of the public lands, pension funds, and the public airwaves are the American people, who today have little or no control over their pooled assets or their commonwealth.
A. Political Reform:
*Comprehensive campaign finance reform, including caps on spending and contributions, at the national and state level; and / or full public financing of elections to remove undue influence in political campaigns.
*A rejection the present method of election without a majority. Accordingly, we call for the use of Instant Runoff Voting where voters can rank their favorite candidates (1,2,3, etc.) to guarantee that the winner has majority support and that voters are not relegated to choosing between the lesser of two evils.
B. Political Participation
*A call for citizen control of redistricting processes and moving the “backroom” apportionment process into the public light. Give the 10-year redistricting process to the Census Bureau or an independent agency.
*All persons convicted of felonies shall regain full citizenship rights upon completion of their sentence.
*To protect against fraud, previously proprietary voting machine source code must be open for public inspection and verification before and after an election.
*Support for Head Start and Pre- and neo-natal programs
*Seek opportunities for citizens to serve their communities through non-military community service, such as a Civilian Conservation Corps
D. Free Speech and Media Reform
*Provide broadband internet access for all residents of this country, so that access to information is a right, not a commodity.
*Ensure net neutrality, so that Internet users can access any web content they choose and use any applications they choose, without restrictions or limitations imposed by their Internet service provider.
*Ensure free and equal airtime for all ballot-qualified political candidates and parties on radio and television networks and stations.
*Provide generous public funding for Public Broadcasting System (PBS) television and National Public Radio (NPR) to ensure high-quality news and cultural programming with the widest possible range of viewpoints.
E. Foreign Policy
*Our government does not have the right to justify pre-emptive invasion of another country on the grounds that the other country harbors, trains, equips and funds a terrorist cell.
F. Domestic Security
*Strict enforcement of our First Amendment rights of speech, assembly, association and petition. Federal, state and local governments must safeguard our right to public, non-violent protest.
*End torture, such as in prisons like Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and other U.S.-controlled facilities.
*Restore habeas corpus, a legal action to obtain relief from illegal detention. End the use of indefinite detention without trial.
*Revoke the USA Patriot Act.
*Enact a constitutional amendment affirming that the rights outlined in our Bill of Rights are human rights and do not apply in any way to corporations.
*Oppose the death penalty in the United States and worldwide.
Geez, that’s just the DEMOCRACY section! I agree with most of the SOCIAL JUSTICE section, with special emphasis on consumer protection, a single-payer health insurance, and alternatives to incarceration; re: abortion, I quoted Hillary Clinton’s “safe, legal and rare” mantra. Ditto ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY, focusing on recycling and also transportation’s mass transit, bicycles and pedestrians. I don’t necessarily disagree with the ECONOMIC JUSTICE AND SUSTAINABILITY section, but none of its tenets made my first draft, except the elimination of hunger.
The rest of your questions will have to wait, Chris.
Local judge removes 5-year-old from grandparents to live with mom and known child abuser. “Local” being in Michigan, with the child being moved to Utah with a mother who had never been part of her life. This particular case involves Troy, the grandfather in question, who’s contributed the ABC Wednesday team. He’s not thrilled with the way the actual story came out – I’ve seldom liked stories I’ve appeared in myself – but the “justice system” is SO wrongheaded in this case, which, as I’ve linked to before, is not an isolated incident.
KunstlerCast #215: Nicole Foss Interview. Economic contraction and the fate of the nation.
Blogger Alvin McEwen has published a booklet called How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America, which deftly exposes the most common anti-gay propaganda. Also, conservatives file amicus brief in a case before the Supreme Court; they are supporting the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenge to California’s anti-gay marriage referendum.
I mentioned Melanie LAST month; I COULD mention her weekly. This month, she talks about 17 years of defying death and fulfilling longed-for dreams, and for futures that are better than what we have known.
Amy’s 600th post is about Frickin’ Frackers.
Arthur remembers C. Everett Koop, the former Surgeon General, “an unlikely ally in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
Shooting Parrots, on juries: “Has it come to the point where a group of citizens have failed to grasp the basics of the legal system or even a working understanding of the English language?”
Recovered suitcases from an insane asylum; this is a Kickstarter project I backed.
Why does bottled water have an expiration date? We HAVE some 2007 water in our emergency kit. Hmm.
I want THESE people to move my stuff; too bad they are in Japan.
One of many reasons why people hate Disney: Disney Refuses To Allow Epilogue To Appear In The Don Rosa Collection. You may not know the name, but if you ever read the Disney ducks, you’ve probably seen his work. The publisher Egmont has agreed to publish a link to career-end.donrosa.de in the final volume, which leads to the now unpublished text, a scathing indictment of compensation practices. (Mark Evanier clarifies this, but does not dispute, in Rosa’s case.)
A fine letter to DC Comics objecting to the hiring of hatemonger Orson Scott Card to write some Superman comics.
Colleen Doran, comic artist, says: Fandom, You Deserve Better Friends.
You can NOW hear my buddy, comic book artist Steve Bissette blather [his word] with Robin at Inkstuds: PART 1 and PART 2. Steve also noted on Facebook: “Note to self: NEVER FORGET Read the rest of this entry »
After the 2012 Presidential election – thank every deity it is over – you may recall that only a handful of states were crucial to the decision – Ohio! Florida! Virginia! The Democratic “blue” states – New York, California – were not in play, nor were the Republican “red” states such as Texas. Candidates didn’t campaign in those because of most states’ “winner-take-all” mechanism when it came to the Electoral College. All the electoral votes of a state would go to one candidate. (The upside is that I missed the vast majority of the political ads.)
So the recent Republican plan to change states from winner-takes-all, the way every state, except Maine and Nebraska, does it, to awarding electoral votes by Congressional District, seems to be more fair. And it would be, if Congressional boundary lines were drawn equitably.
Edward I. Koch died recently. He was the brash, outspoken mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989. You should watch this interview conducted in 2007, where he “reflected on his life and political career, and talked of how he would like to be remembered.” I would agree that he brought some fiscal stability to a city on the brink of bankruptcy, “turning a $1 billion budget deficit into a $500 million surplus in five years. He restored the city’s credit, doubled the annual budget to $26 billion and oversaw $19 billion in capital improvements.”
The year 1977 was tough for both NYCNY and me. The city had a blackout that led to widespread looting. A guy dubbed Son of Sam was going around shooting people. I had graduated from college the year before, and was underemployed in my college town the the autumn of 1976. In desperation Read the rest of this entry »