Social Security

Social Security

54: SOCIAL SECURITY: Since bread riots are bad for the economy, it is important and necessary to a properly

functioning capitalist system to have a safety net so that people do not get so desperate that they riot. And, since we the people have a vested

interest in not letting people suffer on the scale that they would suffer without a social safety net, it is an appropriate role for the government to

pool our funds and administer this program for the good of all.

War on Terror

War on Terror


is unfortunately very necessary. The problem however, is not a physical war, but a war of the mind. Religious Fundamentalism of any kind (Muslim,

Jewish, Hindu, Christian, etc) is dangerous. We need to teach people to think critically about religious claims so that they are less susceptible to the

lies told by fundies about the nature of their religion, what god wants, etc. Since terrorism is a criminal act, it should be dealt with as a criminal

matter. Our world institutions are not currently sufficient to deal with this type of criminal activity effectively. We can deal with it, internally in

our own country, but inter-country terrorism must be dealt with by a global police force. The UN is inadequate to the task because the laws are only

enforced by majority vote of the Security Council, and that makes enforcement subjective instead of objective. And, whenever that happens, justice is

impossible. This is exactly why the US action against IRAQ was controversial. Certain countries had financial interests that got in the way of them

voting to enforce their own laws.

War in Iraq

War in Iraq

56: WAR IN IRAQ: It was clear

from the get go that the Bush administration was lying about their reasons to go to war. It was equally clear that the opposition to the war was

disingenuous. I was squarely on the fence on this one. I didn't like being lied to, but I don't approve of a philosophy that said. "We

don't need to go to IRAQ because we are not in immediate danger." In the meantime, the people of IRAQ were living under an incredibly brutal

regime, the likes of which had not been seen since Hitler. The massive environmental damage that was caused by the draining of the swamp alone was

worthy of international intervention, let alone the cultural loss of a 10,000 year-old civilization that was still living in the swamps. I think that

there are good strategic reasons why we went in to IRAQ, and it upsets me that we lost the public relations battle because this administration is so

fond of lying that they lied when they didn't have to.

See essay to understand Jen's plan to deal with the current situation in Iraq

(ie: the quagmire):

Jen's Plans for Iraq



57: WELFARE: Necessary to prevent food

riots. Food riots are bad for the economy. A reading of Das Kapital makes it clear that the main flaw with unrestrained Capitalism is that in downturns,

the suffering of the proletariat is immense. By having a mixed economy (Capitalism with socialist elements), we have been able to improve our quality of

live and simultaneously reduce suffering. The big question for me is not which is better, but what is the proper mix.

The Middle East

The Middle East


There is a very interesting essay available on the UN website that does a great job of describing the history of the conflict going all the way back to

pre-WWI. This accurate background information is essential for anyone thinking about creating a workable solution. Unfortunately our policy towards the

Middle East has been based on misinformation, and a complete unwillingness to understand the valid concerns of the Palestinians. I am in favor of a

single state solution. This state would have the accepted international boundaries set up by the British protectorate. It would be a secular state, with

secular courts. A 2-state solution, and or any solution that does not involve making a secular state will not be able to end the violence. The problem

is that any non-Jew in Israel as a Jewish state is by definition a second-class citizen. Same with any non-Muslim in a Muslim Palestinian state. It is

impossible to have a just society when people are discriminated against, and a state that practices discrimination of any kind (including religious)

should expect violence for the people being discriminated against. And, it is this religious discrimination on the part of the Zionists that is the root

cause of this problem.

Continue reading “The Middle East”

Concerns as President

Concerns as President

The following are answers to questions about my political interests should I be president (as taken from the American Candidate Questionaire).  This was written in 2004


This is a tie: I would join the International Criminal Court and pass legislation that properly and fully funds our obligations to our veterans. G. Washington was very clear that there were only a few things we needed to do to be successful as a country. 3 of these items involved making good on our commitments to our men (and now women) in uniform.

A repeal of the Patriot Act and all the niggly little bits of Patriot Act II that they have inserted into various other bills as of late.

25. IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Clean Elections. The oligarchs have too much power over our electoral system. Public financing of elections seems to be an interesting proposal for bringing down the oversized budgets that have become a staple of our system.

Religious Fundamentalists of any ilk. The Coalition on Revival scares the crap out of me. I am opposed to any group who seeks to replace our democracy with theocracy. I am also opposed to groups that seek to denigrate our freedoms for political gain.



59: TAXES:
Nothing is certain but

death and taxes. Theoretically, there is an optimal level of taxes that maximizes revenues, and minimizes the negative effects that taxes have, by

creating a disincentive to creating wealth. The conservative argument is that taxes are too high, thus creating a disincentive and therefore should be

cut. I believe that taxes are currently too low and need to be raised slightly. We had a progressive tax system but are in the process of reverting to a

regressive system. Our society can easily tolerate increased taxes on the wealthiest members of society (and prominent individuals in this tax group

have indicated that they don't mind paying more). Having myself been in several different tax brackets, I can honestly say that I don't mind

paying the higher taxes as my income level rises. It has been much easier for me to pay higher taxes and still have better quality of life as my income

level has risen. It is when I was poorest that I could not afford to pay taxes. I am thrilled to pay my taxes and to be in a higher bracket. Some of our

most prominent individuals in the highest tax bracket have said that we should not cut their taxes as they can easily afford to pay, and that a tax

break to them does not provide an additional incentive to spend more to move the economy, since they are already spending their capacity to consume.

The US and the World

US and the World

Issues and Concerns

I have about how the US is dealing with the rest of the world.


biggest role. I just attended a seminar on this last weekend. The number of people who get their news from the paper or radio is miniscule compared to

people getting their news from TV. And, with the rise of the conglomerate, the quality of TV reporting has plummeted. It is amazing what is not covered

on TV news despite the ready availability of it. They are not paying reporters to be independent; they don't like to do stories that tell the truth

because they are afraid of being sued. I no longer watch American news networks with the exception of ABC since the coverage and slant make it

impossible to get facts out of them. Instead, they pass off commentary as news. Just the other day, I saw an interview with John Kerry and Novack was

asking him about Michael Moore's comment at the Clark Rally. And, his producer let that question air. The only purpose that that question served was

to promote the concept that the Moore comment was out of line and untrue. Novack wasn't interested in interviewing Kerry or helping us the people of

America get to learn about him and his ideas and opinions. Funny, they have 24 hours to fill; you would think they could do something a little more in

depth and on the subject instead of allowing a partisan to inject the sound bite of the day onto the airwaves yet another time. The same problem is

occurring with Dean. If you watch the Dean Scream as it is being called, it is clear he was not upset, and was simply trying to rally his troops after a

disappointment. Yet, the spin that he was out of control and angry was the story, and no American TV news network bothered to take the other networks to

task about their obviously slanderous spin on the story. And then we wonder why the American people still don't believe that Bush lied to us about

IRAQ despite the fact and supporting evidence that they did. Why, because if they ran that story as anything other then someone else making an

allegation with the tone that it is inappropriate to point this out, they will get sued. And, they don't even have the guts to take the hit and stop

his tyranny over what and how they report. The problem I have been mulling is despite my feelings on the subject, how best could a valid candidate

manipulate this fear of loosing profits bias that the media has right now? If a candidate does not figure this out, they will not be able to reach the

mass of people who get their news from this medium that no longer cares to report the facts to the people.


AMERICAN? The values we hold. Our compassion for people all across the world.

Too often our

public policy is not made in the best interest of the people. This occurs for many reasons. Sometime politicians are too busy keeping their job to do

their job. Other times, we allow the smallest most annoying segment of our society dictate to the rest of us their prejudices because we don't want

to offend them by telling them their ideas are not only stupid, but also prejudiced. (I have an obligation to be intolerant of intolerance.) Sometimes I

think we get bad information, or don't want to deal with reality in a constructive way. We should not stop our forward progress to a peaceful and

just society just because a small number of petty people don't want to go with us. We need to create a society where everyone has equal opportunity

and equal rights, and not even give any time or credence to people who argue to the contrary. They are wrong, prejudiced, and petty, we should not be

allowing these people to dictate our public policy.

We should be a

leader and encourage the formation of a global government as we the people of this planet are struggling without one. All opposition to global

governance is a misguided attempt to turn back the clock. The nation state has gone the way of the city-state. It still has a role to play but is

inadequate to the problems our planet faces. As I see it, we can either be involved in creating a just and peaceful global society, or we can do what we

are doing now, and stick our head in the sands and be shocked as the world passes us by. America has a lot to offer. We are the country that managed to

get it right by shaking off the chains of religious persecution, and envisioning a society where everyone has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit

of happiness. We are the country that everyone else tries to emulate because our society is the freest. We should not abandon our vision of a peaceful

and just society because a small segment of our society is scared of the world we find ourselves in. The debate over whether we should embrace globalism

is pointless. We live in a global society and are currently dealing with the negative effects of not having an effective system of global governance. If

we don't develop a system of global governance soon, the people of this planet will continue to needlessly suffer because of our


Presidential Promises

Campaign Promises

My Five Most

Important Campaign Promises (from the American Candidate questionaire (2004))


(i) AS PRESIDENT I PROMISE TO: Uphold the wall of separation between church and state, which is essential to maintain our freedom of

religion or belief.

Engage America in the global community and regain our position as a leader in

creating a peaceful and just society.

Send important treaties to the senate for ratification. For far too

long we have signed international treaties and not encouraged our congress to ratify them. Some of these are important and by not ratifying these

treaties, we loose our ability to influence global politics. My first priority will be the ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of

the Child.

Find a solution to the health care crisis Americans are facing. We need to figure out how to

fulfill the promise of Health Care as a Human Right will maintaining the innovation that comes from health care being a commodity. This is one of the

most important issues facing our country and so far, we have not been able to come up with an effective solution.


Re-instate environmental protections that this administration took away and fully fund the EPA enforcement of existing regulations and give

them back their autonomy they need in order to properly protect Americans from environmental hazards.



44: ABORTION: While I personally

have not had one and am grateful I was never in a situation where I would have to make such a difficult choice. I staunchly defend a woman's right

to choose what happens to her body. People, who seek to prevent a woman from having an abortion if she makes that decision, have basically decided that

they have the right to force motherhood on her. That to me is akin to slavery. Having been pregnant I can attest to just how much it takes from a body,

and to force that on someone who is not ready for that commitment, let alone the commitment of raising the child, is cruel. To be pregnant is to give up

your body and your life to another person (your baby). If you are not ready, or not in a financial situation to handle this, etc, it can be a

devastating blow from which a woman and her family might never recover. The wonderful part of living in the modern world is that we have the ability to

plan when and if to have a family. Abortion is a tool of last resort in our ability to plan our families, but a necessary one. Planning is central to

financial health. No one has a right to interfere with the decisions that a woman makes on behalf of herself and her family.

See also Essays in My thoughts

My Choice

Choice is Key