Is It Really Democracy?

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College of Political Knowledge

Subject:  Democracy

I have had enough of this Fiscal Cliff and the debt drama crap!  I will go back to writing about government and such….at least for now…….

Seems that this is a reoccurring theme and no one wants to learn what they are really talking about, instead they just revert to name calling and insults……personally, I have started just glossing over these types of comments…..to me it shows no idea what the person is talking about…they cannot tell me why they feel the way they do……their answer is that I am just a no good liberal and that is all they need to know….a shallow mind swims in the shallow end of the gene pool…..

Let’s be honest……democracy was never the intention of the Founders…….republicanism (small “r”) was………but for the sake of argument we will call what we have as democracy……….

Democracy is a wonderful thing and many around the world try to achieve it….few succeed….but in these times it has become a catch phrase or slogan or ………..few know it and even fewer know why they think it is a wonderful thing……….first, we do not have a democracy…..we have a republic…there is a difference….no matter how much you embrace the term….we do NOT have a democracy in the US……

Democracy is a much maligned and admired word or concept…….and in the last couple of years it appears as if it is under assault from a couple of directions….some say from the Left and then others say Right…..but if their assumptions are correct where is the danger coming from and how do we avoid it?

First, my ideal democracy is what some people call “direct democracy”….that basically is where the people are in control of the government….kinda on the lines of ancient Greece……unfortunately it will not work!  The people are not what this is all about…..it is about power…..achieving and retaining……..

One of the prerequisites of democracy is voting…….but in the US it is more about the way the votes are allocated not who voted for who…..(or should that be ‘whom’?)……..I am talking about gaming the electoral college……I have written in the past that I am all for getting rid of the electoral college altogether and go with the vote and the vote alone…….I could cite the 2000 election….but why?  We all are aware of the debate on that election…….the new plan of the GOP for the way the electoral votes are handed out is a game……a political power game.

From a piece written by Joshua Spivak for The Week…………

Since Obama’s landslide victory in November, all of the talk about changing the system — and there has been a lot of it — has been on the Republican side. Thanks to the GOP’s big wins in the 2010 elections, Republicans control the legislatures and the governors’ offices of a number of states that voted for Obama, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Virginia. These states are now targets for a switch to the district-based method.

This would clearly damage Democrats’ short-term political prospects. For example, under the system proposed by Virginia, the state’s electoral votes would have gone from 13 for Obama to 9-4 in favor of Mitt Romney — because he won a bunch of congressional districts despite decisively losing the state’s popular vote.

Such rule changes would immediately nationalize state legislative elections. Thanks to their role in gerrymandering, state legislative elections are already receiving increased attention from national figures. If states started fussing with the rules of the Electoral College, this attention would skyrocket. Consider this: In the 2011 Wisconsin recalls of nine state senators, total campaign spending topped $44 million. Imagine how much would be spent if the presidency were thought to be on the line.

From the point of view of federalism, this would destroy the ideal of state governments as “laboratories of democracy.” These state legislative races would no longer focus on local issues — instead, they would be decided by national topics that have nothing to do with an average legislator’s job. We could also expect an increase in recall elections run to gain a majority in a closely divided legislature.

Basically, a candidate could win a majority of the popular vote and still lose the election……I am not talking about a couple of votes in a close election…..but rather 100,000s to millions of votes……and still be the loser……

This is a try at gaming the so-called “swing states”……….and in doing so could very well make the days of the electoral college numbered (an idea that I am all for but not in this context)……..that is if all these attempts are successful…….

Addendum:  Since I wrote this post draft most of the states that were thinking and talking about this move have had a change of mind…..but there are a couple that are still trying to influence the vote of their citizens…..will they succeed?

Poem #3–1969

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This will be my last poem……since it has not generated much interest or discussion….there is no need to continue…I do hope that my followers enjoy this brief look into my past…….

This poem is my reaction to the news of a fellow recon guy that I had served with in my first tour…..his death on the streets of San Francisco…he was homeless and addicted to drugs and had violent bouts of combat flashbacks……..he needed help and no one cared.

(Untitled)

Come on down to the sea

For you will see

All the beauty

Of a beach of debris.

On this day a young man cries

The pain forces tears into his eyes

And speak softly before he dies

“Thank You”

Then slowly closes his eyes.

A long haired “creep” has died

But none of the “straight” sighed

The men from homicide

Laughed it off as suicide.

If you are a freak

And reality you seek

Look into the eyes of a homeless vet

Possibly one could find the true meaning of “regret”.

CHUQ                     25Apr1969

What Is This “Mythical” Beast?

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College of Political Knowledge

Subject:  Economics/Political Theory

The beast I speak of this that beast that rears it’s ugly head during and just after any election…….(pause here for thought)……..Free Markets!  A cute slogan that is hammered into the mind of potential voters…..hour after hour….and yet few have any idea what is meant…..

I realize that this is economics and everyone’s eyes will glaze over…….it is so much easier just to go about throwing one slogan after another without ever knowing what the f*ck you are talking about…….oh so much easier.  Back in the day my grandfather gave me great advice and when it comes to economics it is the best advice…..”Never write a novel when a paragraph will do”………K.I.S.S.

One point I would like to make is………government CANNOT be run like a business!  It is a Government NOT a business.  Got that?  And please stop using states as how the federal government should be run…..it cannot be run in the same manner…..it is a country not a state…another point you need to grasp whenever possible……

Back to the mythical beast……….

What does free markets refer to in these times?  In today’s world this is not the idea of laissez faire of the Adam Smith strain……okay……Smith believed that selfish and unrestrained pursuit of self-interest will improve the general welfare….other words greed good…..and he foresaw that there is a natural order in which government has a minimal role……..

But in today’s world……the slogan “free markets” has been moved to the forefront by good old Milton Friedman……that would be the Chicago School of Economics……good old Milty was an economic adviser to Thatcher and Reagan (go figure)…….and he became famous for his free market ideology…….say that again, professor……his free market ideology.

And his ideology consisted of opposition to taxes, dislike for “big” government.  Regulations, according to Uncle Milty,  were an insufficient imposition on markets….he saw government only needed for defense, justice and basic legislation.  He also wanted the allocation of resources left up to business and not the government……does any of this sound the least bit familiar?

These are the basic planks of every GOP presidential platform in the last 25+ years…..free markets are a slogan for a political ideology……it is not about the economy so much as about the running of the country….slogans aside…it is a political ideology and should be treated as such and not some magic pill for the reviving of the economy.

It Finally Ends–2012

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Mercifully this year is ending and ending on a sour note……after all the total bovine fecal matter leading up to the vote and then the very brief time when all looked bright for some sort of working together and then that bubble burst into a continuation of the hyper partisanship of the past year…..it can finally be buried in the pages of a history book, to be written at later date…….

As a tradition I look back on things that happened with the blog and pat myself on the back…a bit……and then I sign off to enjoy the last day of a despicable year….to watch it die and hopefully buried……and buried deep……

There have been 257,412 spammers blocked……..12,241 comments………124031 hits and 5440 post (I knew there was a reason that my fingers were stubby)……..

I have enjoyed the year of readers, followers and those that participate…….I wish all those friends a very Happy New Year….please go enjoy food, family, fun and football and I will be back on 02Jan2013………….it will all begin again!

A Very Happy New Year To All!

Why Have We Evolved?

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Sciencey stuff is always a joy to write about……and I look for the topic of climate change to find its way back into the political discourse……and this article was a good find….it may help the debate (something I doubt very seriously)…….what causes climate change?  Will it effect humans in a good way?  Maybe a bad way?

A recent piece of research has found a possible link to why we, as a species, evolved to the point we are at today……

(Newser) – Early humans evolved in fits and starts due to rapid environmental changes—not gradually as scientists used to think, according to a new study. Analyzing lake sediments in northern Tanzania, scientists from Penn State and Rutgers University concluded that climate change altered the landscape back and forth from grassland to woodland five or six times over 200,000 years, the Telegraph reports. That would have changed food availability, diet, and means of acquiring good—which “can trigger evolutionary mechanisms,” says Penn State professor Katherine Freeman.

“The result can be increased brain size and cognition, changes in locomotion and even social changes—how you interact with others in a group.” Several factors may have triggered the climate changes about 2 million years ago, including changes in sea temperature and the Earth’s movement around the sun. Any change in the amount of sunshine, for example, would have altered rain patterns that in turn affected plant patterns. “The research points to the importance of water in an arid landscape like Africa,” says a graduate student on the project. The findings conflict with the “Great Drying,” the view that Africa gradually dried out over 3 million years.

Will we evolve again into abetter species?  Or will we totally destroy our chances of continuing?

“Frankenfish”

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I could do a review of a campy scifi movie made a couple of years ago…a movie about a genetically alter fish that becomes uncontrollable…..but why when there are more real things to write about……

Newser) – Americans will likely be digging into the first meal from a genetically modified animal—a salmon—in about a year. The FDA has declared that salmon engineered by AquaBounty Technologies is safe to eat and poses no threat to the environment, reports the AP. The ruling makes it all but certain that the agency will grant final approval for the creature that critics call “Frankenfish,” reports the New York Times.

Those who partake will be eating an Atlantic salmon that has a growth-hormone gene from Pacific Chinook salmon. Scientists also added a gene from a fish called the ocean pout that keeps the growth-hormone gene on constantly. The upshot is that these salmon get big in a fraction of the usual time. They will be raised in farms and all will be bred to be sterile females, though the AP says a small percentage might be able to breed. That has critics worried about what might happen if they escape. The FDA review was actually completed months ago, and the White House has been accused of delaying its release for political gain. Slate has an investigative piece on that angle.

This is where I part ways with scientist……I do not think that genetically altered anything is a good idea…..there is always the chance that it could turn on us and bite us in the ass……

Any thoughts?

2012 Anal-Ocity Award Winner

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The votes are in and tabulated by the accounting firm of  Wee, Phukim and Howl…..but before I announce the winner I would like to thank all my readers and friends that voted and to give a recount of the past winners…….

2007–Paris Hilton

2008–Sen. John McCain

2009–Sarah Palin

2010–an anonymous Muslim cleric (could not send an email…he was in Iran and had NO idea the addy)

2011–Newt Gingrich

There we have the Hall of Shame of past winners….and now for the 2012 winner of the coveted Anal-Ocity Award…….(insert drum roll here)………..the first runner up is…..

NJ Gov. Christie………

“The fact of the matter is, I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South.”

And now the moment I have been waiting on all year……to see who has made the most anal statement of the year and wins the much coveted Assie Award……..(trumpets blare……peasants dance……and drums roll)……..

Head Up Ass

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson——-

“It was a big mistake…these women are voting in the wrong people. They’re voting in people who are evil, who agree with them…Men in the good old days understood the nature of the women, they were not afraid to deal with them.”

“Wherever women are taking over, evil reigns.”

Congrats to the right rev. Jesse Lee Peterson for his anal statement………an email will go out in the next couple of days congratulating him on his lame statement…….

I wish to thank my friends, readers and commenter for their participation in choosing the winners of the 2012 Anal-Ocity Award, the ASSIES………..I look forward to next year and tha anal-ocities they will spout……

Thanx everyone……..

It’s The Climate, Stupid!

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AS 2012 roars to an end, I have been writing about a few issues that I see will be more in the public’s eye than in the past…….issues like immigration,debt, spending and the one that should get some play…..climate change.

I have been to a couple of seminars with scientists from LSU, U of Miami and a few others and the subject was this mystical thing called climate change…..you know these people gave a good presentation of what and why this was happening…..and the one thing that had been missing from these seminars were the deniers…..why is that?

But yet the nay-sayers are everywhere in the media.  Explain that…..why not go to these scientific inquiries and present the data and have a real discussion….but NO they had rather run to a camera and spout their crap and then slink away without being challenged…..is there a good reason for that?

Demos.org has a piece……

Can you think of any other topic in which the opinions of 0.17 percent of experts is given equal time and weight? Desmogblog posted the chart that shows of 13,950 peer-reviewed climate articles, just 24 reject the idea of global warming — a mere 0.17 percent.

Yet, as we highlighted a few months ago, the U.S. gives a significant amount of media attention to climate deniers — far more than any other country. Over one-third of articles on climate change in 2009-2010 contained viewpoints from climate deniers, even though only a fraction of the scientific community questions the existence of climate change.

There is no scientific uncertainty about whether or not climate change is occurring and there is no scientific disagreement that climate change is caused by humans. The fact that so much of our media is unable to grasp this reality is embarrassing and a real indictment of the quality of media in the U.S. today.

Personally, I want to believe that this is just a natural thing that is happening…..but so far I have seen NO real evidence that the deniers are correct…….and you?

A Xmas Tradition

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 GOP Mistletoe

Happy Holidays

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Actually I was going to entitle this post as “Merry Christmas”…..but then I thought with Fox’s war on Xmas bullshit I would give the trolls something to make their ears bleed……

The good news is that to my rabid right wing readers….I will take a couple days off…..so they have time to stop the bleeding from their eyes……………….you’re welcome!

It is holiday time and I want to wish all my followers and participants, both old and new, to have a joyous season….enjoy family, fun and food….

Please take some time and vote for the 2012 Anal-Ocity Award….I will be awarding it on 30 December…..the winner is decided by my readers and the winner will be sent an email congratulating them on their win……

Enjoy your day and I will be back  26Dec12………… just as opinionated as ever….that is my gift to my readers…..LOL

Merry Christmas all……..or Happy Holidays………and to all a great day.

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