Thursday, March 20, 2014

Let's Rein In The Super PACS

Politics have always been fraught with attacks on competitors, but since the Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations, as well as individuals, to contribute to campaigns, the attacks have reached the level of character assassination.  No doubt the justices did not intend to grant permission to commit libel and slander.  The level of maliciousness and outright lies that have been exhibited since the decision have gotten totally out of hand. 

Let's take the lie that candidate -- now President -- Barack Obama was not born in the United States, therefore is not a natural citizen and not qualified to run for President.  Of course the purpose of the lie, however incorrect, was to bring a cloud of suspicion over the candidate.  Those who wanted to believe it, especially Donald Trump, jumped on that bandwagon in a heartbeat.  The ones who wanted to believe the worst, forwarded PAC e-mails and called for investigations over and over.

Then there were the lies about the Affordable Health Care Act.  These were also meant to scuttle the law as well as taint the President and his party.  In fact, some conservative Republicans are telling each other that the best plan to take the Presidency next time is to continue to attack what is commonly called Obamacare. 

What's really interesting is that far less attention was paid to the information that John McCain was born elsewhere.  And nobody is squawking too much about Ted Cruz.

Now perhaps you are thinking at this time this is too late to raise such issues.  How true.  A Congressional committee already met concerning this and deemed it okay for McCain to run.  No doubt Ted Cruz qualifies also.  But that should not be debated in the press or on the internet.  It should probably be another Supreme Court decision anyway.

This isn't about the actual eligibility of one candidate or the other.  This is about manufacturing out and out lies in an attempt to steal an election from another party.  It is about sabotage of people and laws that have been passed and signed.  It is about libel and slander which are both against the law.  The laws are being consistently broken on the internet in written and live stream coverage.

"Libel, per the Revised edition of the Random House College Dictionary is 1a. defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures.  b.  the crime of publishing it.  2.  anything that is defamatory or that maliciously or damagingly misrepresents 3.  to publish a libel against.  4.  to misrepresent damagingly."

"Slander per the same source is 1.  defamation; calumny  2.  a maliciousness, false, and defamatory statement or report  3.  defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.  4.  to utter slander, defame . . ."

Now folks, the laws are already in force, but they are being ignored by many, many individuals and organizations, especially the Super PACS.  Let's rein in the offenders and law breakers.  We need to put a stop to it before the next Presidential election.

Even though we espouse and have a legal right to freedom of speech, we are not exempt from the laws meant to protect others from character assassination.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Hopefuls

It's hard to tell just how many of the Republicans being touted as Presidential candidates are hopefuls -- or hoped for by others.

No matter how hard some of us beg the media to wait before starting the 2016 campaign, they just keep on lighting sparks anyway.  The Republican conference last week got attention riveted on a handful of potentials -- Paul Ryan (44), Ted Cruz (43), Rand Paul (51), Jeb Bush (61), Marco Rubio (42), Chris Christie (62).  Average age (50.5).  Give us a break!  According to media reports a few months ago, experts have decided that men don't mature until they are 43.  And some of these want to be President already?

Picture Paul Ryan while campaigning.  Remember the pictures of him with his hat on backwards like a gang member?  Earphones -- listening to music and sparring with Mitt Romney about which was better, noise or elevator music.  Working out.  Carrying Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand around and praising it like it was the second Bible.  He is said to give copies of it to staff members whom he asks to read it.  He didn't back off until the Catholic Church objected.

Then there is Rand Paul telling the whole Republican Party they won't win the presidency again in his lifetime unless they completely change their positions.  Fat chance of that!  There is hardly anybody harder to change than a died-in-the-wool Republican.

Even Jeb Bush's mother thinks it's time for the Bush dynasty to be retired.  Oh, Lord, please!  Were satiated.  Too much of a thing -- good or bad.
How sweet it was for Ted Cruz to hold story time for his kids while holding up progress in the Congress.  But doesn't he realize that Mr. Smith already went to Washington?  Besides, that Mr. Smith (the actor) was better looking.  By the way, do you think Donald Trump will keep raising the citizenship question for Cruz?  There is bona fide evidence he was born in another country.  But then he says it is okay because his mother was a U. S. citizen.  How come the issue was raised with Obama, then?  His mother's citizenship was never in question.  Does that just work for Republicans? 

And Marco Rubio, your time will come.  Just not yet.  You need to wait until 2025 when it is predicted there will be no more majority and until we've forgiven a few million more Hispanics for crashing our party.

Poor Chris Christie.  We were all set to love the big Teddy bear if he won the election.  Then he got run over by his own team.  Or did he authorize the traffic jam himself?  Seems government agencies are having trouble getting hold of the memos. 

See what you cause by starting the campaign too soon?  Everybody is already getting weary of politics.  There is dirt flying as usual. You've already gotten me riled as well.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Do We Need More Unions?

Many years ago, one of the outcomes of business owner greed was the formation of unions.  These organizations protected workers from inadequate wages as well as hazardous working conditions.  If management didn't behave well, the workers were called out on strike.  Negotiations ensued and deals were struck -- often favoring the workers.  The company had to comply or risk losing the business. 

While taking the Circle Island Tour on Oahu -- during the early seventies -- we were introduced to the ill effects unions had induced there.  Per our guide, the unions had priced the pineapple business right off the island.

At home on the Mainland, the graft in some of the union organizations was calling their value into question.  Some really strong unions still remain, but there is movement afoot to get their influence reduced or neutralized where possible.

Certainly it gives one pause to wonder why a factory worker has the potential to earn almost twice as much as the average teacher.  How can we pay more for factory line work than we pay for the education of our precious children?  Well, we can do it because they have a stronger and more effective union.  The good of the unions versus the bad is brought to mind.

According to Rana Foroohar (Time Magazine, March 3, 2014), Republican legislators, the Koch brothers and Grover Norquist have been fighting the formation of a Union for the VW plant in Tennessee.  Their efforts were productive, as the vote went against the union.  Some of the workers said they voted against the union because they were being paid $15 per hour -- the amount minimum wage would be if it had increased at the same rate as inflation.  What would they begin receiving if they had voted for the Union?

So, is that a good thing?  It seems unrealistic to create unions for every kind of worker, but American businessmen and Republican conservatives continue to reign unchecked.  We wouldn't be having the current minimum wage debate if there were unions for all levels of workers.  Scary thought, isn't it?  But it's even more scary to think of all the children in America who grow up in poverty because the Koch brothers and their ilk think it is okay for the business owners to exploit their workers.

So, do we need more unions?  Need?  Well, probably.  Why?  Because the greedy will not consent to paying their help a living wage without a struggle equivalent to a war of the classes.  But, there may be an alternative.

Why don't our businessmen just do the right thing and quit exploiting everybody else?  After all, you can't take your money to heaven, but if you should somehow luck into getting there, you will need the good will of the Almighty.

Of course, businessmen (and their friends in congress) don't want unions or any more regulations that constrict the rights of  the affluent.  But why do they continue to behave in such a disgraceful manner?

Sharing the wealth with those who earn your wealth is a really good thing.  It offers the workers the opportunity to participate in purchasing food, clothing, shelter and a few luxuries.  To let them participate, will bring this country back to its former position as the financial leader in the world economy.  It will also go a long way toward showing us as a moral leader to the world.