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Mickey, My last comment for a few days, have a busy 10 days ahead of me. To your comment about the Declaration of Independence "quoting the most libertarian document every written" It's all about perspective, the Declaration of Independence is one of or possibly the most progressive enlightened document ever written. If only one day we could realize the dream of the ideas behind the document. Here is where libertarians and progressives meet in the road, civil liberties and natural law.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2012 on A Meditation for the Fourth at Rebane's Ruminations
Russ, I can agree on wasteful spending but you have not convinced me yet that global warming/ climate change is a false flag operation to milk tax payer dollars from the government. Again just this year a little over six months into it we have set I don't how my records and many firsts in weather patterns. Enough years go by into these crazy shifts in weather we will be able to officially call climate change. Unfortunately for those of us under the age of 50 when it officially becomes climate change it will be too late. The process will be in full motion and as a global society we will be paying a huge price for not taking swifter actions sooner. The US being a global leader and the largest economy on the planet will take much of the blame for the delay.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2012 on A Meditation for the Fourth at Rebane's Ruminations
Mickey, I can't let your post go without a response. On $1 or $2 a day go ahead and purchase your own property, set up a rain capture system, store it in purified tanks, and dig your own well without electricity for a pump. Lets compare it to a time when these ideas were common in the US, 1920. The equivalent of $2 in 1920 would $0.17 a day. Good luck champ. I seriously doubt you have done hard labor for any extended amount of time in your life. Don't forget your about paying for rent, food, clothes, and I know you would have health care savings and retirement accounts set up as well because you're responsible.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2012 on A Meditation for the Fourth at Rebane's Ruminations
Mickey, I guess it needs to be spelled out for you. Many if not most of the nations that are the poorest, lowest living standards, don't have access to drinking water, and promote very authoritarian form of governments hold many of the tenets of your ideology. What they really represent are the remnants of kingdoms, feudalism, and caste systems.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2012 on A Meditation for the Fourth at Rebane's Ruminations
Mickey, Safe drinking water in general correlates with government infrastructure and regulation. It is an essential piece in becoming a developed nation. The more we go down this road the more you expose the limits of your knowledge and understanding with the planet from which you live and the fellow human being inhabitants (I don't include corporations as a human being). During the depression (which was caused by unregulated housing market and financial sector) through the 50's the US federal government did massive infrastructure projects that paid themselves back tenfold over time. Many of those same infrastructures are used today. It was these very policies that set up the accomplishments of the "Greatest Generation". The GI Bill of Rights or Serviceman’s Readjustment Act (Roosevelt policy) allowed millions of returning military to be the first in their families to get a college education and own a home. Unfortunately over the years the law got more and more watered down. "You worship governments/guns/violence/FORCE as the answer to poverty despite facts proving the opposite." I believe in a democratic republic form of government, which elects those among the governed to govern. The rest of the statement is so ridiculous it doesn't justify any further comment. Our wedding anniversary was purposely picked to celebrate along with our nation for this document and its sentiment. "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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2012 on A Meditation for the Fourth at Rebane's Ruminations
Mickey, The numbers and statistics you cite are a very inadequate way of measuring a undeveloped society, which shows the little understanding you have of how much of the world lives. One third of the worlds population lacks access to clean drinking water, which is 2,300,000,000(billion) people, many who are children. 3 billion people live on $2US a day and 1.5 million of those live on less than $1US a day. I think here is the great divide continued in my opinion. I see the number 3,000,000,000 and I envision 3 billion people who are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and friends who have feelings/ souls that live in abject poverty. I get the feeling you never get passed the numbers, which allows it to be calculated as a mathematical statistic. I will try and download some pictures I can link that shows what rural life looks like. For now here is an image of better looking home in rural parts of the country. Most homes are on stilts for flooding during the wet season.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2012 on A Meditation for the Fourth at Rebane's Ruminations
Paul and George, I picked Cambodia due to my brother living there the last 6 years, has a wife, speaks Khmer, and is the only foreigner in the organization he helped start. I have visited before and plan on going this fall again. I know the conditions and my brother knows how the government works or really doesn't work for the people. The government services are very similar to what American Conservatarians claim they want. I think Haiti, Somalia, and the Philippines fit the description of very little government services, infrastructure, safety nets, ect.. to give some more examples.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2012 on A Meditation for the Fourth at Rebane's Ruminations
Mickey, I will be more specific of a nation in mind, which as one of my brothers American Libertarian friends called it a perfect illustration of libertarian success. The nation is Cambodia. No taxes, no water, no electricity, no government services outside downtown in the city regions. One in three children will die before the age of five due to a water born disease. I believe in good government, which means representative government of the people not special interests a.k.a. American Interests. I would expect more coming from a private Lasallian educated person. FDR had it correct on many policies (too many to start naming) and the biggest problem we face today is that we have had a 30 year assault on those very policies. The banking regulations is one of the big economic policies I am talking about. 112th congress is the newest version of the do nothing congress. I will not be voting for President Obama again but do understand the economic woes of our nation have been made much worse by obstructionist republican party to win an election. Unfortunately for our nation the republican party will bring down the US government and the democratic party is too weak to stand for the people of the United States of America. I wish President Obama would talk and act like the man giving this speech.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2012 on A Meditation for the Fourth at Rebane's Ruminations
Mickey, "History has shown us that the FORCE of various governments have killed hundreds of millions more and imprisoned more than the agenda of the freedom loving pro individual agenda of those on the right." Go to any third world country (no government infrastructure in place) and try to measure the childhood death rates on one issue alone (drinkable water) and your numbers will be absolutely dwarfed in comparison. That is one issue. Here is a good speech from a man who somehow understood the needs of average women and men.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2012 on A Meditation for the Fourth at Rebane's Ruminations
George, It is a two comment challenge to liberals. Given a false equivalence between the natural world and unregulated or minimally regulated free enterprise. I would argue negative feedback for homeostasis would be a more suitable comparison to your argument of a self regulating system. To take a market/ economy in the purest perfect form a free market might work but the fact is there has never been a perfect pure market except on very small scale. Just like communism on paper it works or in small communities where anonymity doesn't exist a free market and totally privately owned business could function well. Much like trying to find a pure communist system a pure free market is just as difficult to find because on a mass scale it cannot exist. Communism is a totally failed form of political system just as laissez-faire capitalism or when ever we try to move towards it fails due to corruption, which becomes crony capitalism, which in turn becomes monopoly capitalism. There was very little regulation in the US until the last 50 years and what we saw are many many species brought to extinction, forests harvested to the last tree, rivers overwhelmed with pollution, and business's hiding the horrific health dangers associated with asbestos for decades to give a few examples. In every one of these examples a small few profited and the vast majority suffered from the after effects. Remember in 1960's we just tipped the 3 billion mark for global population. As development and populations grow the importance to reign in reckless behavior grows due to it affects more and more people. Here is where I feel you gave the burden of proving a negative. 9:12 "Throughout evolution, Nature has minimized that problem through what is called 'distributed control'. "The closest Man has come to that approach is with minimally regulated free enterprise." "FYI, I have yet to find a liberal who can grok the content of my 912am, whether offered by me or anyone else comfortable with the concepts (of an admittedly technical nature). But the search goes on, so not to worry."
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2012 on A Meditation for the Fourth at Rebane's Ruminations
George, How about you proving your model with examples of your beloved economic policies on an economy scale larger than a million people that spanned over a decade. Putting the burden of proving a negative is a weaselly and weak position. A separate issue, what was your costs to attend UCLA in the 60's? When compared to today's generic projected student budget by the University, a resident would have had to pay roughly $4,000 in 1960. I seriously doubt that you paid anything close that amount to receive a higher education in one of the best university systems on the planet at that time. Just wondering? B. Emery
George, Your ideology is getting in the way of critical thinking skills, again. From the Washington administration until the Hoover administration there was a banking "panic" at least once every 15 years. Roosevelt put regulations in place and the US had a 50 break from the banking "panics" until Reagan started deregulation of the banks in the early 80's, promoting the merger and acquisition era, and the stoppage of enforcing Sherman Anti Trust Laws. The Savings & Loans crisis was the return of cowboy banking/ monetary policy that has created the hyper trough and peaks of the markets of the last 30 years. Savings and loans in the 80's, .com early 2000's, and housing 2007. All bubbles that didn't need to happen. Those who suffer most with these bursting bubbles are the pay check to pay check worker. B. Emery
Russ, Reagan put in place and every administration has continued the policies of boom and bust. Clinton just happened to be in a boom part of the cycle. Clinton administration pushing free trade agreements and deregulating the banks had a huge role in the 2007 banking induced depression. The Clinton administration is why I left the democratic party. The Clinton administration and the Democratic Party leadership embraced the corporate friendly "third way" or "triangulating" form of politics securely creating a duopoly or ending the essential part of a two party system, an opposition party. Labor or the average citizen was left without representation. The rhetoric remains different but on major policies the two parties are very similar. I am glad Obama talks about same sex marriage in a positive light and some of the policies eliminating some of the second class citizen status but I personally am more concerned on the numerous free trade agreements the Obama administration has promoted and signed. I am concerned about having thieves like Ruben, Geithner, Summers, Paulson, and Bernanke either advising or having positions in the Obama administration. I am concerned that Max Baucus the chairman of the finance committee who was in charge of the Affordable Care Act and at the same time the number one recipient of health industry contributions allowed lobbyists at the table but had single payer advocates (MD's and RN's) arrested. I am concerned that Obama has kill lists, Guantanamo is still open, dropping bombs from unmanned drones, bypasses due process, signed extension of Patriot Act, signed NDAA, ignored habeas corpus, has the USDA under the control of big corporations, Dodd/ Frank didn't reinstate Glass Steagall or repeal CFMA 2000, and I will stop there because the list can go on and on. The difference between Bush and Obama, Obama puts a friendly face and much better spoken word on atrocious policies.
Billy T, There is a time and a place to use military force (in defense) but the US has become a military empire and we seem to think we have different rules of engagement than the rest of the world. I think Zinn was as much opposed to the glorification of war as war itself. Here is the main reason why I am pro-peace/ anti-war and why I am an advocate of taking care of veterans, those still serving, and their families . The soldiers for any army whether it be national or ideological are taught their mission is just and god is on their side. A vast majority of soldiers are ordinary human beings that want the same basic things in life. Don't we all want to be able to earn a living, feed ourselves and family, have clean drinkable water, have shelter over our heads, receive medical treatment when needed, and at least provide an equal lifestyle if not greater for the next generation. Those who profit off of war greatest are the very ones who create war and convince the masses the “enemy” are less than human and inferior that want to strip the very foundation of the others culture. This is nothing new. Those asked to kill or be killed would most likely be friends in different circumstances. As the Christmas Truce during WWI exemplifies. Here is a good song by Bob Dylan touching some of these ideas. With God On Our Side
Doug, It was actually many of the policies Reagan put on steroids that created the huge debts, job loss, and income inequality we enjoy today. The Reagan administrations were antithesis of the Roosevelt administrations and it is easy to look the 30 year record of which one worked out best for the most Americans and the nation as a whole.
Billy T, I am not voting for Obama for numerous reasons and can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am with the leadership of the democratic party and the absolute spinelessness of the members of the democratic party. The republican party leadership and congressional members are flat out disgusting in their policies. A couple things you left out is the ability to work with congress. The republican party has obstructed since day one of the Obama administration in fact they had a meeting on inauguration day 2009 planning on how they will play with the lives of the people to make sure Obama is one term president. The other since the Carter administration both party's have become 100% owned by big business and can no longer govern in the interest of the people. Obama and Romney are just the frontmen puppets for a group of multinational corporate businesswomen and men guaranteeing private sector profits. We are in the middle of the worst form of government, when government and big business are one and the same. We need to remember government is us and until the people take the controls of campaign funding we will continue to go down this corporatist rat hole. From Carter administration to Clinton first administration campaign spending increased by 10% from Clinton first administration to Obama administration campaign spending increased 400%. From 2008 to 2012 is projected to increase another 100%. It can no longer be denied we have the best government money can buy (best for those with the money). B. Emery
Todd, Thanks for the soapbox opportunity with your comment of "Mikey, that BenE comment certainly was long. Since BenE is a politician, having run for high office and being trounced, I can now see why. When a paragraph would suffice, he does a novel." First, my comment was long due to it was an entire published piece from Howard Zinn on July 4, 2009. You had no opinion on the content of the piece and you didn't realize it was written by someone else despite the posting of the date, author, and title- those are some sweet critical thinking and observation skills. Second, about losing in the 2010 US Congressional 4th District. Out of 665 third party nationwide candidates we received the second highest vote total, top ten percentage and fundraising. Our campaign spent roughly $13,000 and incumbent McClintock spent $1,800,000 and didn't show up to a single public forum (nice representative). It has very little to do with issues but almost everything to do with party affiliation. I refuse to be associated with either of the duopoly and wasn't running for a political party but running for the average citizen to have a choice and possibly a representative in congress. No Tea Party congressional candidate that ran outside of the republican party were elected or received higher vote totals than our campaign. 2010 US Congressional 4th District registration numbers were 48% republican 31% democratic 19% DTS 0.8% Green
George, Are you saying Zinn isn't a credible historian? Also Zinn was part of the US military in the European Theater during WWII, maybe you should show him some respect of his perspective on the affects of war.
I guess the title and acknowledgement didn't require a conspiracy map so it threw everybody off. The piece was from Howard Zinn from 2009. Just throwing out another way of looking at the American Revolution. Doesn't mean I totally agree with it but it means there are many ways at looking at historical events. July 4, 2009 Howard Zinn Untold Truths About the American Revolution
George, Good post and lets hope as a community we can come together to help those most in need. B. Emery
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2012 on Reinette on a Roll at Rebane's Ruminations
Mickey, My wife and I chose July 4th to get married on because we both know despite all its warts is still an amazing nation. The Declaration of Independence is one of the most incredible political documents ever written. I attached a piece I am sure you will love to hate but I challenge you to actually try to answer the questions honestly. Consider it a critical thinking exercise. B. Emery July 4, 2009 Howard Zinn Untold Truths About the American Revolution There are things that happen in the world that are bad, and you want to do something about them. You have a just cause. But our culture is so war prone that we immediately jump from, “This is a good cause” to “This deserves a war.” You need to be very, very comfortable in making that jump. The American Revolution—independence from England—was a just cause. Why should the colonists here be occupied by and oppressed by England? But therefore, did we have to go to the Revolutionary War? How many people died in the Revolutionary War? Nobody ever knows exactly how many people die in wars, but it’s likely that 25,000 to 50,000 people died in this one. So let’s take the lower figure—25,000 people died out of a population of three million. That would be equivalent today to two and a half million people dying to get England off our backs. You might consider that worth it, or you might not. Canada is independent of England, isn’t it? I think so. Not a bad society. Canadians have good health care. They have a lot of things we don’t have. They didn’t fight a bloody revolutionary war. Why do we assume that we had to fight a bloody revolutionary war to get rid of England? In the year before those famous shots were fired, farmers in Western Massachusetts had driven the British government out without firing a single shot. They had assembled by the thousands and thousands around courthouses and colonial offices and they had just taken over and they said goodbye to the British officials. It was a nonviolent revolution that took place. But then came Lexington and Concord, and the revolution became violent, and it was run not by the farmers but by the Founding Fathers. The farmers were rather poor; the Founding Fathers were rather rich. Who actually gained from that victory over England? It’s very important to ask about any policy, and especially about war: Who gained what? And it’s very important to notice differences among the various parts of the population. That’s one thing were not accustomed to in this country because we don’t think in class terms. We think, “Oh, we all have the same interests.” For instance, we think that we all had the same interests in independence from England. We did not have all the same interests. Do you think the Indians cared about independence from England? No, in fact, the Indians were unhappy that we won independence from England, because England had set a line—in the Proclamation of 1763—that said you couldn’t go westward into Indian territory. They didn’t do it because they loved the Indians. They didn’t want trouble. When Britain was defeated in the Revolutionary War, that line was eliminated, and now the way was open for the colonists to move westward across the continent, which they did for the next 100 years, committing massacres and making sure that they destroyed Indian civilization. So when you look at the American Revolution, there’s a fact that you have to take into consideration. Indians—no, they didn’t benefit. Did blacks benefit from the American Revolution? Slavery was there before. Slavery was there after. Not only that, we wrote slavery into the Constitution. We legitimized it. What about class divisions? Did ordinary white farmers have the same interest in the revolution as a John Hancock or Morris or Madison or Jefferson or the slaveholders or the bondholders? Not really. It was not all the common people getting together to fight against England. They had a very hard time assembling an army. They took poor guys and promised them land. They browbeat people and, oh yes, they inspired people with the Declaration of Independence. It’s always good, if you want people to go to war, to give them a good document and have good words: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Of course, when they wrote the Constitution, they were more concerned with property than life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You should take notice of these little things. There were class divisions. When you assess and evaluate a war, when you assess and evaluate any policy, you have to ask: Who gets what? We were a class society from the beginning. America started off as a society of rich and poor, people with enormous grants of land and people with no land. And there were riots, there were bread riots in Boston, and riots and rebellions all over the colonies, of poor against rich, of tenants breaking into jails to release people who were in prison for nonpayment of debt. There was class conflict. We try to pretend in this country that we’re all one happy family. We’re not. And so when you look at the American Revolution, you have to look at it in terms of class. Do you know that there were mutinies in the American Revolutionary Army by the privates against the officers? The officers were getting fine clothes and good food and high pay and the privates had no shoes and bad clothes and they weren’t getting paid. They mutinied. Thousands of them. So many in the Pennsylvania line that George Washington got worried, so he made compromises with them. But later when there was a smaller mutiny in the New Jersey line, not with thousands but with hundreds, Washington said execute the leaders, and they were executed by fellow mutineers on the order of their officers. The American Revolution was not a simple affair of all of us against all of them. And not everyone thought they would benefit from the Revolution. We’ve got to rethink this question of war and come to the conclusion that war cannot be accepted, no matter what the reasons given, or the excuse: liberty, democracy; this, that. War is by definition the indiscriminate killing of huge numbers of people for ends that are uncertain. Think about means and ends, and apply it to war. The means are horrible, certainly. The ends, uncertain. That alone should make you hesitate. Once a historical event has taken place, it becomes very hard to imagine that you could have achieved a result some other way. When something is happening in history it takes on a certain air of inevitability: This is the only way it could have happened. No. We are smart in so many ways. Surely, we should be able to understand that in between war and passivity, there are a thousand possibilities.
David, So you supported the Obama stimulus trying to bring the US's infrastructure up to 21st Century and stop the hemorrhaging of the US economy? The problem is our infrastructure is around $3 trillion in disrepair from 30 years of neglect. Here is another link of lack of infrastructure.
Billy T, One world believes government provides services to its citizens and the other is so far removed from what life would be like without those services they say they do not want them or their costs. I encourage all of you to visit a third world country and do not stay at tourist destinations. Then come back and make the same claims how you do not want government services such as roads, bridges, education, drinkable water, affordable energy, ect.... B. Emery
Nothing to do with this topic other than I am appalled and am a liberal/ populist/ progressive. Just another liberal point of view I guess. Other than being a black man what was his crime and could this murder been avoided? B. Emery
George, I have limited time to participate in blogs due to work hours. I have set times to check voicemail/ emails per day and swing over to comment if I feel my opinion could add to the topic. I don't like bullies of any kind and your clique of blogosphere friends seem to be cyber bullies. I spent my childhood fighting for those kids who were picked on and wouldn't fight for themselves. That fighting has shifted from physical to political/ intellectual. Bullies in my opinion are cowards who are afraid and lash out towards those who are the most vulnerable or those who cannot fight back for various reasons such as personality type or economic status. Steve F. can handle his own on RR but I wanted him to know he was not alone. I am sorry you have such a limited mental capacity that is seems to be absent of independent/ critical thought and so dependent on regurgitated opinions of others. B Emery