Friday, November 6, 2009
Alot of things should have happened in a heavily armed base with roughly twenty thousand soldiers on it that didn't. Many people have asked the question about what is better, keeping weapons in the house with the chance of that weapon being used against me and my family or taking the chance that we could be attacked while we are defenceless. Well I don't think a better point could be made than to mention that you can't really stock more weapons than Fort Hood.
America doesn't need more or fewer small scale gun control laws. It needs an actual system to regulate gun producton and ownership in the country. I have always made the argument that --
"if you think that a person should be allowed to keep guns in their house as long as they are willing to accept the possibility that it will be used on them instead of a criminal, then you should also be willing to allow a person to use any narcotic he wants to as long as he doesn't hurt anyone else while he is intoxicated."
-- and i stand by that. People should be allowed to protect their homes, but every weapon in the country should be registered and resale would be prohibited except through properly documented transfers of ownership. Every gun crime should be traceable to the owner of the weapon and we should take the risks involved in gun ownership seriously. Remember, if you think that more guns can protect you from gun crime, ask yourself if you can out-gun the army.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Recently AL Franken introduced an amendment to the defence appropriations bill for 2010 that would essentially prevent companies who want to suck on the sweet tit of government defence pork from preventing employees from suing their employers if they are the victim of rape, assault, or false imprisonment. 30 Republicans voted against it. This effort to stop such an easy to support amendment is pathetic. Not only because its almost indefensible, but also because there excuses are complete humbug.
Republicans have claimed this would prevent arbitration from resolving labor disputes in businesses large and small and in matters involving much more that just defence contracts. Oh really? Well its a good thing your stopping it. I mean if all we have to do to preserve the long tradition of arbitration is allow a few women to be gang raped and locked in a container while the company takes absolutely no action to prevent/punish the behavior then I don't see a problem. If this bill did prevent allowing disputed parties from trying to settle tort disputes out of court, which is all that arbitration really is, you would think it would be longer than a freaking paragraph! The whole "let's claim a bill is something it really isn't because no one is going to check our bullshit" plan isn't going to work when smucks like me can post the entire actual amendment on their lame ass blog.
section 8014. (a) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any existing or Federal contract if the contractor or a subcontractor at any tier requires that an employee or independent contractor, as a condition of employment, sign a contract that mandates that the employee or independent contractor preforming work under the contract or subcontract resolve through arbitration any claim under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision, or retention.
I guess Thomas.gov forgot to add the part about how they are eliminating a 3000 year old legal practice that can't really be effectively prevented anyway. Well I'm assuming the 30 republicans who voted against it actually read the bill and being senators actually have a good idea what this light legalese means. SOOOO what the "flip" guys? Do you not have a problem with rape or a company's refusal to enforce a sense of discipline on their employees? Do you refuse to consider the feeling of VIOLATION a woman must feel when raped?(note: im a male) Or do you draw your legislative line at any government regulation of contracts at all, even when a company so willingly neglects its employee's welfare? Thanks for reassuring my faith that conservatives have never had the interest of the people living in America involved in their voting habits.
here is the goverment website which posted the ammendment
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
For decades, democrats have wondered why they have to compromise so much on big issues. The civil rights act took decades to pass even after large majorities supported it. And today a majority of Americans support most of the liberal platform. Every democratic president since FDR has been elected with promises to reform health care. But in every encounter, with the exception of LBJ'S medicare victory in the wake of the 1964 election, they have walked away with little or nothing for their efforts. The Senate has successfully obstructed every effort to stabilize the health care market in the Untied States.
This has little to do with democracy and everything to do with how the territories were organized a long time ago by the same legislators who decided slavery was ok as long as it was only done where it was really profitable. The western United States was divided up into a series of mid sized territories which became rural states with a nominal population. As the country became more industrialized, states were divided sharply into densely populated modern industrial societies and rural conservative societies. This creates a political problem that has stymied every progressive effort since the industrial revolution. Conservative rural states, which I'm defining as states which have voted for the republican presidential candidate in every election since 2000, can brag about having 22 states with 44 senators even though they have only an estimated 30% of the population. In these "red states" there are 9 of the senators that make up the democratic majority in the senate. This is a list of them-
Mark Begich- Alaska
Blanche Lincoln- Arkansas
Mark Prior- Alaska
Mark Udall- Colorado
Michael Bennet- Colorado
May Landrieu- Louisiana
Clair McCaskill- Missouri
Ben Nelson- Nebraska
Tim Johnson- South Dakota
Robert Byrd- West Virginia
Jay Rockefeller- West Virginia
Now lets consider that these 11 senators are in states that would go bananas if they voted for a public option, the center piece of the democratic health care plan, that means on the issue of health care we have only 49 senators. but we are assuming that these 49 senators are all in democratically friendly states. In the last election, a large number of independents who normally vote conservative voted for Obama and a lot of conservative voters stayed home. Recent troubles with the economy may work against the democrats rather than work for them in the 2010 elections. So there are states that may intimidate other democratic senators from making on more liberal reforms. senators like -
-Bill Nelson - Florida
-Tom Harkin- Iowa
-Harry Reid- Nevada (hes the majority leader so I'm sure he will not block anything but his state has been conservative traditionally)
-Kay Hagen- North Carolina
so that knocks down the 49 votes to 46 (screw it I'm counting Reid as a vote). But I'm afraid we are not done routed out all the liberals quite yet. Just being in a state that could elect liberal democrats doesn't give a senator the ability too support big liberal reforms like the taxes on the rich, ecological preservation, climate change and/or anything having to do with health care. Some senators are in swing states that could go liberal or conservative at any given time on any given election. As a result these senators have too portray the image of a moderate and non Parisian or at least be pretty good at being liberal. these senators are-
Evan Bayh- Indiana
Barbara Mikulski- Maryland
Ben Cardin- Maryland
Jeff Bingaman- New Mexico
Tom Udall- New Mexico
Sherrod Brown- Ohio
Jim Webb- Virginia
so we started with 60 senators and now we are at 38 senators who are in states that vote democratic constantly for president and who also elected democrats to the actual senate. The reason i find that information important is that we end up with roughly 1/3 of the senate who could vote for a quality overhaul of the health care system "safely" 1/3 who would have a hard time voting for a health care reform that damage their moderate image. The longer it takes to bring a bill to the floor on congress the harder and harder they make it for the 22 senators who are in a tough spot.
Not only do democrats from rural and swing states have to worry about potential opponents criticizing any big time reforms they help pass, but the smaller their state the smaller the pool of voters too draw campaign contributions from and the more they rely on special interest and business donations to survive their reelection campaign.
Liberals and progressives are seriously underrepresented in the senate. This fact has slowed some of America's most important reforms for almost a century now. The states which have always voted for the democratic presidential candidate in the last three elections have 36 senators and represent 47.2% of the population. As a result of this fact, Americans will almost always have to wait for public problems to be overwhelming and extreme for anything to get done. Maybe god just wants the sick to suffer and the earth to die.
sources- U.S. census population projections and common sense.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
If something is different than here in America, then it must suck by comparison. Just look at me. I live here and I'm satisfied with my life enough to spend an hour of my free time trying to disparage the well organize well designed institutions of my nation's closet ally.
Well even if there is a large amount of evidence claiming that Canadians are happy with their government and their communist health-care system, I want people to give me credit for providing a logical paradigm for explaining away any evidence that refutes the "deathers" claims about socialism's plots to kill people for no rational reason. Just for good measure lets have a look at the facts I considered reasonably accurate in the conservative American paradigm.
-Canadians have to request permission to have children up to ten years in advance. In many cases, requests are made by children hoping they will receive a licence before they retire decades later.
-Canadians often sneak into America and get health-care here. Then they return home and tell their friends they got excellent service from the Canadian system. Socialize education has trained them to do this without even realizing it.
-Canadians regularly launch their elderly off into ice floats in order to avoid end of life costs. Even though they have more advanced form of euthanasia they kill people this way because they are dicks who like too see people suffer.
-Canadians hate America. They are filled with livid jealousy toward our awesomeness and the knowledge that if it wasn't for the US they would be speaking Russian instead of . . . umm whatever language they speak now.
-No Canadians are funny and when they visit America they are so overwhelmed with your freedom the immigrate here at a rate of negative 850 persons a year.
-And finally Canada has never done anything important to world history EVER! they didn't have troops at Normandy, they didn't have any impact on the war of 1812 and they certainly don't beat our economy in any exercise, like lumber production for example.
Just deal with it Canada, you suck and we rock.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Conservative political ideology, in the post goldwater era at least, is centered on the belief that smaller government and lower taxes will always help society. In an indirect way, that is the case. The more state level governments cut back on our most basic societal needs the more the public is going to look to the federal government for help.
Once upon a time people looked at the rates of poverty in seniors and found that it just wasn't right for people who were productive their whole lives to have to live in poverty, as a result social security was passed. as a result the rates of poverty among seniors plummeted and now a day even archetypal libertarian conservatives (hello Joe the Plumber) will not touch social security. Social welfare programs started under Johnson's Great society in the 60's have proven just as long lasting and successful. Medicare and Welfare have provided societal needs that conservatives fought hard to ignore.
Fighting social programs is a lot like digging your way out of quicksand. Our country was founded with a small federal presence and over the past two centuries people have had to fight over just about every service the federal government now provides. The more successful conservatives have been at defeating social programs the deeper in the hole we get and the bigger the need becomes.
For those reasons i just wanted to thank conservatives for all they do on a day to day basis to help their country! I certainly recognize the need to have a political faction that tries to cut the port and excess out of federal programs, but ill never understand why that faction can't make its arguments with respect for an honest political debate. I would have a lot more respect for conservatives if their arguments against obamacare demanded action on medicare fraud, the underfunded and mistreated VA, or thousands of people who have health insurance coverage but go bankrupt anyway due to the inability of private insurance providers to have a soul.