Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

163. Current Issues, Briefly, #4

18 Apr

This is the 4th of a series of blogs  with brief discussions of current issues. The material is based on my Tweets, unpublished thoughts, and descriptions of various publications that I feel are worth repeating and emphasizing.

Here is the very latest info regarding the Mueller Report presentation. Tomorrow, Thursday,  A.G. Barr will have a news conference at 9:30am. About two hours later, the redacted report will be available. Having the press conference before the report is provided, is illogical and without precedence — it is shameful. Reporters will not have the report to allow appropriate questions. Bill Barr is a feckless puppet of the President. Barr was hired to protect the President and obscure corruption.

In a TED talk by Carole Cadwalladr 2019, Trump’s relationship to rich people dedicated to corrupting voting in USA, UK, and other countries is described. Watch this talk to see how this works and see the suspect names involved. We must develop ways to protect voting from illicit influence.

Facebook role in BREXIT is the subject of TED talk by Carole Cadwalladr. Misleading covert Facebook ads turned a very close BREXIT vote, similar to how Trump was elected. Certain vulnerable voters are targeted. 2020 elections are vulnerable! Fight lies that influence voting!

Republican leaders want you to believe that “socialism” is bad. True, it is bad for millionaires (and more) as they would lose money, but good for you as you would gain. True socialism means everyone earns the same. Democrats  believe in capitalism mixed with a little socialism, like Medicare/caid. No one believes in pure socialism.

Rebuilding marvelous Notre Dame? Spending a billion or so, and decades of time in total restoration is questionable. There are reports that the whole structure is not optimally sound.  Perhaps it should just be cleaned up and its great workmanship preserved and exhibited in some way. What would exact restoration prove?  The money saved could be used in a Christian way to help poor people and to improve infrastructure. Another plan would be to fix the roof and other unsafe areas in an attractive way,  without an expensive attempt at exact duplication.

Bernie Sanders was attacked (on Fox) for not paying more tax, because he advocated a specific tax increase. Here is the logic: if everyone applicable pays more tax then no party has an unfair advantage. If only Bernie or Democrats pay more, then Republicans have a political financial advantage.

“Devil agent” Steve Bannon, who spawned Trump, is now attacking Pope Francis. His child-abuse argument is a deception. The attack is really based on the Pope’s liberal values. The Pope spoke against “trickle-down economics” and other bad ideas that affect the non-rich. The Pope that most favors ordinary people, and should be commended, is Pope Francis.

Republicans have been on a downward track for a long time. But it was bizarre and dangerous Trump that really triggered a broad and powerful Democrat effort for positive change. The new Democrat presidential candidates and elected officials provide us with a lot of realistic hope. I might add that a traditional Republican, Bill Weld, just declared his presidential candidacy. History suggests that this challenge to Trump could be very significant.

According to Itep, itep.org/notadime/, the Trump/Repub 2017 TAX cuts have allowed numerous highly profitable corporations to pay ZERO (or less) federal TAX. Examples are: IBM, Netflix, Amazon, GM, Delta, and MGM. The tax cuts by Republicans have greatly increased the national debt and greatly favored the rich, while the non-rich received only temporary small benefits. Because of the loss of income, Trump is now talking about reducing popular social programs like Medicare. In a short period after the cuts, the economy improved somewhat, but those gains are disappearing. In the end, it is only the rich Republican donors that benefitted. 

“Spies”, says Attorney General Barr, attacked Trump and staff. Hmm? How could “spies” get indictments, confessions, and convictions of the Trump crew. The biggest record of Trump is the amazing number of CRIMINAL associates, and staff turnover. Finally, Trump has a real A.G. puppet. Research has shown that Barr’s inaccurate summaries were also perpetrated many years ago. Barr is doing great disservice by undermining the FBI.

L. O’Donnell on MSNBC said that on the last day of office, Trump would pardon himself, and escape prison. But, what about STATE criminal charges. He can’t pardon them, and I will bet there are some.

Eric Swalwell is running for USA President. I have thought about his candidacy for some time. He is less experienced, but has many winning qualities, such as intelligence and charisma. He would be 40 at time of taking office. Although I like many of the candidates, Swalwell could have the best chance of beating Trump. Other candidates would lose some votes of racist folks. I hate racists, but it may take some to beat one.

Trump is threatening the “Mercury and Air Toxics Standards” rules. If modified, many people could suffer and die from toxins. We must impeach Trump or nullify him ASAP. He is a danger in many ways.

The childish method of Trump is simplistic and ignores all facets of a problem. He is mostly ineffective in what he does because he only relies on his instinct and ignores experts. Even worse, he imitates and befriends tyrants. His gutting of our government leaves it barely functional.

Trump’s main method of negotiation is deranged. He builds up our military and then uses threats to achieve goals. For example, instead of threatening Central American nations he should be supporting them. Obama knew that and he was better able to control immigration from there.

Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen resigned. Just another sad event in the defective Trump admin. Choosing staff only on the basis of loyalty to him, and then attacking them is just madness. Actually, some of his choices were not too bad, but the good ones were conflicted and left.

Right now, I am waiting to see the citizen-paid-for Mueller Report tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

54. Free Public College

6 Apr

Recently, there have been proposals of a free (or low-cost) college education system. Having the government support the costs of a traditional college would be far too expensive. However, with some restructuring and innovations, three or four years of quality education and a degree could be provided for motivated high school graduates.  Different ways of developing a free college system could be explored in several localities and then generally implemented in the best way.

The goal of a public college would be to make the participant an “educated” person. This person would have reasoning and logic skills, could further self-educate, could research and fact find, would have good reading, writing and speaking skills, might acquire some specialized work skills, and would have a good understanding of the world that he/she lives in.  If the student has high grades in public college and is motivated, he/she would be eligible to enter a graduate or professional school. Transcripts of course-work and grades would be available, the same as traditional universities. Every public college would need to have USDE-recognized accreditation.

Here are some ideas that could be used in the first trials.

1. The public college could be an add-on to high schools. Administrators and space could be shared, with huge savings in cost. For example, high school ends at 2:30pm and college takes over for the late afternoon and evening.

2. The overall program would be federally administered, but state and/or local agencies would also participate. Nearby traditional universities might also provide help. Although some would consider free college a competition, most well-educated people are quite sympathetic to more education for the general population.

3. The public college would be focused on education and would not include research, sports, and other social programs, unless they were cost-free or paid for by students or contributions. Only courses in traditional subjects, such as mathematics, anthropology, physics, chemistry, computer science, economics, biology, business, history, etc. would be provided. Very specialized new departments such as found in some universities would not be included. To save money, art and music courses could be eliminated and would only be available from private institutions.

4. A small number of well-credentialed professors would be in charge of the courses. Most of the actual teaching would be done by advanced graduate students from nearby universities. Private universities also use graduate students for much of the teaching. The professors would provide some lectures. Volunteers from industry and elsewhere could provide additional lectures.

5. Duration. There would be three or four years of public college education. A student could choose an ordinary four years or a condensed three-year program by taking courses in the summer. An alternative would be the first two years tuition free and a low cost for the next two years. I have no special ideas at this time, about graduate school.

6. Instead of requiring students to pay for expensive textbooks, material for study could be a collection of Internet sites. Resources such as Khan Academy and Internet-published college lectures could be used without cost. I have logged thousands of hours of research using the Internet and am certain there is much more than enough free information to provide a complete four-year college education in every traditional subject. Existing “Federal work-study” programs would also help support the students.

7. There would be the usual regular testing in classrooms, administered by the professors and/or advanced graduate students.  Course grades would be recorded in the usual college transcripts, which would be available to potential employers.

The first trial of this low-cost Public College should be located next to a large state university. This would provide a supply of advanced graduate students for help with teaching, and if desired, students could take specialty courses as special students at the university. A source of administrators and professors might be retired university staff, that would help out at little or no cost. Recent Ph.D’s that have not immediately found jobs could spend a year or two teaching at the Public College — similar to the Peace Corps concept. Many foundations interested in improving education, would probably want to provide grants for this endeavor. There are brilliant young people that want to make contributions that benefit the world (and are not overly interested in wealth), that could start a project like this. To get this rolling, location in a desirable vacation area would be a good way to attract staff.

44. Is Trump a Spoiler?

14 Feb

Its Saturday, 2-13-16 and I have just seen a Republican candidate debate. This debate was probably the meanest of all their debates. The insults and accusations were flying so fast that the debate actually heated up and I swear I saw smoke emerging from my TV.  One wonders whether the GOP can survive such a disaster.

If you look at all the debates, tweets, and comments by the candidates thus far it seems that the worst agitator is the Donald. He gets very angry over different events and is most disturbed when any other candidate approaches his polling score. Other candidates are not blameless, but most of their aggressiveness is defensive.  To read more about Trump’s abuses, look at several of my previous blogs.

While pondering the debate, a funny thought emerged from the deepest realms of my brain.  Perhaps Trump is a Democrat spy who penetrated the Republican world just to cause it to fail. His utterances and attacks are so crude and bizarre that they just don’t make sense.  As I thought more and more about Trump and his destructive debate, I began to hear music and see dancing — OMG, its Hilary and Bernie dancing for joy.

42. Questions for Trump?

12 Feb

I have watched numerous interviews of candidate Donald Trump and I usually feel that the important questions are not asked. Mostly he is asked about his relationship with other candidates and bizarre statements like baning all Muslims from the U.S. Fundamental ideas like his general economic orientation or his general foreign policy are neglected. Here are a few questions that should be asked:

1. In your published proposed budget, you provide lower taxes for rich people. Does this seem right, given that rich people have done exceedingly well, while the rest of us are stagnant or at serious poverty levels.

2. Do you advocate a “trickle down” economic policy? For several decades we have had just that, rich people and corporations getting more and more money, but it never seems to trickle down to us non-rich folk.

3. You keep saying that you want to make “America great again.” What does that mean? We already have a military that is far superior to that of any other country, so it can’t be that. Would it be improved education, infra-structure, health-care for all, abolishment of poverty, better movies, more fashion shows, healthier people, lower cost of living, or what? It seems that greatness for you, is just a more powerful “Royalty Class.”

4. You criticize your fellow candidates, brag about your successes, ridicule anyone who opposes you, criticize Democrats, Obama, and many others — but we hear very little about how you will help and improve the lives of ordinary citizens. We can get some idea about your values, because you do not want to raise the minimum wage of $7.25. You have very little understanding of poverty, because you started life out with a “small” family loan of only one-million ($1,000,000). I guess you regret disclosing that “small” gem.

5. Like all GOP candidates you hate ObamaCare, but none of you make specific proposals or present a detailed replacement plan. And if you abolish ObamaCare, what will happen to millions of people who have gone from uninsured to insured, and are now covered with “pre-existing conditions” and with exceeded life-time limits, and all the other vital improved coverages? And even more important, why do we need a third party, the private insurance companies, who make fortunes by withholding benefits from unfortunate patients. How many people will die as a consequence of losing ObamaCare benefits? Does this make America great?

6. I suspect your best answer about America’s greatness would be: better manufacturing, better balance of trade, and lower national debt. But to achieve these goals, would the middle-class have to provide all the sacrifices?

7. You emphasize that being already extremely rich, you cannot be bought or corrupted by rich contributors. But commentators never say: so what! you already have “royalty class” values and it is clear that you will implement their goals. No need to corrupt you.

Final thought: Could it be that TV moderators and commentators are all part of media systems run by the rich Royalty Class.  And so are reluctant to ask questions, such as: should very wealthy people pay more in taxes (increased tax rates and/or closing loopholes)?   Being rich is Ok, but extreme wealth for the one percent, while many others are in poverty, is unconscionable.

39. Dem Dual Debate

5 Feb

I am an ethusiastic supporter of Bernie S. but I figured the debate to be a long snooze. Well I am really glad that I tuned in, because in spite of the fact that there really were no new ideas, the interaction between the two was well worth observing.  There was some competition, a lot of respect, and some warmth.  And that satisfied my main goal, which was to have a debate where both sides to showed friendship.  If these two were not competing, you can imagine them working together to promote progressive goals.  The contrast between the Democratic Party debates and the vicious, inane Republican debates is incredible.

I should also remark that I like Hilary Clinton and think she would make a good President, but I really like the optimism and idealism of Bernie Sanders.  Sanders and everyone else knows that he might not succeed in dramatic progressive changes, but it is nice to know that someone is willing to make a great and innovative effort to do this.  I think Sanders has some exciting ideas about implementing his goals, but feels this is not the time to describe them.

Overall  Bernie has done really well in speaking and debating.  I think he would have done better if he had avoided certain difficulties.  One is labeling himself as a “socialist.”  “Social Democrat”, which he later used, is better.  Regarding ObamaCare, he should have made clear that it would not be abolished until a “Medicare for All” plan was formulated and made into law.  Logically, there should be some overlap to avoid loss of insurance.  In spite of some minor imperfections, many of us feel that Bernie offers more hope for substantial positive change.

 

 

 

28. Bernie Sanders on the Mark

11 Oct

The best political interview I have heard recently, is Bernie Sanders appearance (Oct 11, 2015) on Meet the Press. He made real and intelligent answers to the questions, rather than the typical avoidant “speech”.  He has a long history of supporting legislation that advances the economic goals of the American non-rich. His arguments are clear and sound — and reflect the views of most Americans. The long history of consistent viewpoints proves his sincerity.

He would be a shoe-in for the nomination if he looked a little more “presidential”, and was a little younger. I think all of the major Democratic contenders would make good presidents. But maybe a relative newcomer like O’Malley would be more likely elected, because he has the right “look” and voice. When Sanders became a candidate, I thought he would be popular, but could not be elected. But given the polling, perhaps he has a chance. If actually elected he might be more likely to succeed in his “progressive” agenda; than the others. I was wrong before: I instantly liked Obama, but at first thought he could never achieve the office.

25. Bernie Sanders’ Interpretation of “Socialism”

23 Aug

When Bernie Sanders calls himself a “Socialist”, his various statements on
the matter indicate the following interpretation.

Government should promote “social” programs that lead to a fair distribution
wealth. He does not say that capitalism or free enterprise should be abolished,
merely that they must be regulated to promote the economic concerns of non-rich people. This can be acomplished by a reversal of the taxation trend that
for years has been directing money away from the middle class and towards the
very rich; and by promoting programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
He does not say that enterprising people cannot acquire wealth.
It is the extremes and corrupt policies that must dealt with.

He points to the social successes of Scandinavian countries, which could be a
model for ourselves. Bernie’s ideas are not unusual and many Americans have
promoted similar thoughts. Critics have used certain strict definitions
of the term “socialist” to ridicule his ideas, but the specifics of what he advocates is the majority view.