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Category: politics

04/20/09 09:22 - ID#48446


Our government has admitted to torture, in general, but hasn't "named names" or prosecuted it. In my opinion, the Obama administration is failing to do its' duty here. While the "low-level" guys MIGHT have an excuse, the higher ups do not. Prosecution will be difficult, but if we do nothing, there is no deterrent to future torture.

To avoid trials, I would be willing to offer amnesty for all people that made a full reporting and apology for any involvement in torture. Following that period of amnesty, there should be a full investigation and trials.

To me, this is not a left/right thing. It's a humanity thing, a security thing, and a rule of law thing. There is never a reason to torture a person. Every time we condone torture, we gain enemies and alienate allies. Every time we ignore our laws and our values, we weaken them.
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Category: politics

03/01/09 03:59 - ID#47915

An economic stimulus proposal

So next year, quite a few military personnel will, if all goes according to plan, be returning from Iraq.

This could be bad news, or good news.

Of course, it is always good news if there is peace and safety, but the possibility of bad news is this: an economy that already has high unemployment will have a glut of new workers--workers that have spent at least a year outside of our culture (more for most), and who's skills may not have an equivalent in our economy.

To make matters worse, quite a few have suffered trauma. Historically, re-adjustment to civilian life has not been easy.

Here's the good news. Many of these service people will be flush with combat pay. They will want new homes and new cars and furniture and clothes without camo and all sorts of things.

As long as we are throwing around all sorts of cash, I think we should make an investment in this area. In addition to regular veterans benefits, I would provide an additional bonus for veterans to take a class on starting a business. Another bonus for attending a support group. We should pay them to rehab houses and give them affordable mortgages to buy them. I would also love a bonus paid to veterans who stayed drug and/or alcohol free, or pledged not to own a gun.

So much can go wrong when veterans return. More Vietnam veterans have died of self-inflicted wounds than died in the conflict. This, however, is not only preventable, but by making the right choices, the end of our current war can be an integral part of the economy's jump start.
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Category: politics

01/21/09 04:23 - ID#47474

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Category: politics

11/05/08 12:54 - ID#46556

It's amazing how much cooler . . .

. . . candidates get when they lose.

Comments on McCain sparked this, but I also remember watching Dole on Letterman after he was defeated and thinking he may have one if he acted more like that.

Gore got a lot more friendly after he got beat--grew a beard, put on weight, smiled more, and started talking about global warming more.

Maybe the conventional wisdom about how to behave in a campaign isn't so wise!
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Category: politics

10/31/08 01:26 - ID#46450

Redistribution of Wealth

I know that some people are coming out against it, but I have to think that in reality, they are not. If you are not in favor of "redistribution of wealth," than why do you work/invest/by/sell/trade? If you hope to receive an inheritance, than you expect your parent's wealth to be redistributed to you. If you have an interest-bearing bank account, then a borrowers' wealth is being redistributed to you. A lottery ticket is redistributing many small pieces of wealth, in the hopes of receiving a large redistribution.

Most people, when they say this, really mean that they prefer a "market-based" redistribution of wealth. Most of the time (because some people enter a market with advantages), in a completely open market, wealth becomes re-distributed by becoming concentrated. A concentration of wealth is the opposite of what is commonly referred to as "spreading the wealth around."

Nobody wants their wealth to be redistributed into somebody else's concentration, but everybody wants their concentration to grow.

If people do not think they will enjoy their wealth, than people will lose the incentive to work. Sometimes, high taxes discourage them from working. Other times, a market out of control discourages people, (as in "I owe my life to the company store.") Both must be checked.

I could go on regarding the different ways that tax policy encourages the re-distribution of wealth in different directions, but that isn't my point right now. My point is: everybody wants wealth redistributed. The only question is, how?
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Category: politics

10/15/08 09:53 - ID#46123

700 Billion

I really should be working, but I found this and had to share it:

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What will $700 billion buy? The South Florida Sun-Sentinel provides some interesting answers. Some examples:
Gasoline for a year for every adult in America. (175 billion gallons of gas)

You could literally buy the world a Coke. One 2-liter bottle per week for a year.

You could buy a 60-inch HDTV for every man, woman and child in the U.S.

Sounds like Monopoly money? It should. You could buy 10 Monopoly games for each of the 6.7 billion human beings on planet earth.

You could buy everyone in America 2200 McDonalds apple pies. What's more American than that?

You could buy a brand new Hummer for each of the 11 million people on the island of Cuba

You could buy 2 mountain bikes for everyone in China.

You could buy 438 pounds of rice for every single person in Africa.

You could buy a Caribbean Island for every single person in the state of South Dakota.

Entire population of South Florida could cruise around the world continuously for 8.4 months.
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Category: politics

08/29/08 08:22 - ID#45494

Dream come true?

This morning I heard an NPR commentator ask if Obama's candidacy meant that Rev. King's dream had been fulfilled.

The guy that they asked didn't say yes or no, but instead hemmed and hawed about how this is historic but really there is a long way to go.

I wish he would have said: "Has the dream come true? What are you nuts!? King said, "we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."

The candidacy is great. The election will be a major step forward. But we have a LONG way to go.

More on the dream, still deferred, not only for black Americans, but for most Americans:

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."²

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Category: politics

04/10/08 11:47 - ID#43980

No way Clinton wins

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Category: politics

03/05/08 12:38 - ID#43561

What if?

About 30 years ago, the parties flipped. Republicans used to like abortion, and Dems did not. If you think about this callously, it makes sense. More poor people have abortions, more poor people vote for Democrats. More abortions = more power for republicans. Democrats were always for "the little guy," and that once included the unborn.

I don't know why Democrats flipped.

The point of this is not to advocate for or against any abortion law. I understand both sides of that argument. I just want to point out one thing:

Many Christian voters, including many in my family, only vote for Republicans because of abortion. The rest of the platform doesn't matter.

For whatever reason, torture and war don't matter, but abortion does.

Once upon a time, the whole Roman Catholic church voted for Democrats.

I wonder, if that "flip" never happened, if the war would have happened? I wonder if Ronald Reagan would have been elected president?

Today, A pro-life democrat may never get the party's nomination, but he or she would walk in the general election. It would be a Reagan-style blow out.
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Category: politics

09/27/07 08:36 - ID#41350

I am a one-issue voter . . .

. . . much to my surprise. I also never thought I would be in agreement with so many celebrities, but they are right on this one:

Some people are tired of Bono preaching, but he's a really good preacher!
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