RobbDogg's Rips

Serving the online community to bring awareness to political and social issues affecting Liberals and Progressives. Podcasts are posted every Monday morning and original commentaries are posted throughout the week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Globalization Paper on Brexit

Globalization is one of the most important topics that affect our world. One of the more recent problems in the world has been that of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, known as Brexit. The U.K. held a vote to decide whether to stay in the E.U. or leave, and with a 51.9 percent majority they decided to leave. Rita Ricketts Director of Blackwell Projects said, "People voted for Brexit because they were angry and felt marginalized." This led to unrest in the population, due to uncertainty of the future and the potential downfall of the United Kingdom. This paper will discuss some of the economic and political issues that the United Kingdom now faces.

First, there is no doubt that the economic state of the U.K. will be affected greatly for leaving the E.U., with respect to trade and currency. Trade will be affected because in the E.U. there is a provision known as the European Free Trade Area, which allows the members of the E.U. to trade with each other without having to pay tariffs. Some reasoning behind wanting to leave the E.U. was that they wouldn't have to pay into the membership, and would therefore have more money in which they could cut taxes. However, with them leaving they may now have to pay fees and additional taxes for trading with E.U. members. Sean Milmo states, "The U.K. governments objective in the Brexit negotiations is likely to be an agreement that allows the country access to the E.U.'s single market without tariff and above all non-tariff barriers." This would prevent U.K. corporations from having to pay tariffs which would greatly cut into profits for corporations and create barriers to entry for small businesses.

Now, another drastic impact on the economy will be that of currency. The U.K. leaving the E.U. creates political and economic instability, which would decrease the values of the pound and the Euro. The pounds decrease would be the result of enormous amounts of debt that the U.K. has, as well as its unstable stock market. Many investors in the stock market may pull their investments due to the instability in the nation, which would result in a recession. Many economists predict that the U.K. will fall into recession due to its high debt, political instability, and decrease in value of currency. Another currency that will be affected by the U.K. leaving the E.U. will be the Euro. The U.K. leaving hasn't just created economic and political instability in their own country, but the entire E.U. This may in turn decrease the value of the Euro compared to the American Dollar. However, it will see an increase in value in comparison to the pound.

Next, one may ask how these two issues can affect one another? They will affect one another because; with decreasing value of currency the U.K. won't be in a position to import as many goods. This is because they simply can't afford to, their value of currency is decreasing with respect to the Euro and the Dollar. Therefore, they will be purchasing less from other countries, which then effects trade. Instead of a country that is mainly concerned with imports they will be more export driven. Being more export driven will result in more manufacturing jobs and less service jobs.

Second, the political effect of the U.K. leaving the E.U. is a troublesome issue. Shortly after Brexit, Conservative Prime Minister of the U.K. David Cameron resigned, and Theresa May took his place. Under the provisions of Article 50 it takes two years for the U.K. to leave the E.U. and no longer be applicable to the E.U.'s treaties. Now that the U.K. will be leaving the E.U., there is a good chance of Scotland leaving the U.K. The last referendum in 2014 was a close vote in which Scotland decided to stay with the U.K. However, now that the U.K. is leaving the E.U. it creates economic, political, and social instabilities. Scotland has already disapproved of the decision to leave the E.U. as its export economy is greatly impacted by free trade within the E.U. As Alisa Henderson states, "over half of individual polls in England show 'Leave' majorities (2/5 in Wales). By contrast, Scotland and Northern Ireland are firmly in the 'Remain' camp." This shows that there are major differences in opinion within the U.K. on whether to stay or leave the E.U. Another troubling issue is that the main opposing party to the Conservative party, the Labour party, is having major problems within their own party. Jeremy Corbyn who was elected less than two years ago has encountered lack of support from his party, due to his lack of leadership. To call the U.K.'s current political situation poor would be an understatement.

In conclusion, Brexit has been a huge disaster with regards to the economic and political state of the U.K. It has led to uncertainty, instability, and unforeseen consequences. The economies of the U.K., the E.U., and even the U.S. will be affected, some for the better but mostly for the worse. Only time will tell what exactly will happen after the U.K. is disbanded from the E.U., but things are looking bleak.

References:

Henderson, Ailsa, Charlie Jeffery, Robert Liñeira, Roger Scully, Daniel Wincott, and Richard Wyn Jones. "England, Englishness and Brexit." The Political Quarterly 87.2 (2016): 187-99. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.

Milmo, Sean. "Brexit Sparks Uncertainties." Pharmaceutical Technology Europe 28.8 (2016): 8. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.

Ricketts, Rita. "Brexit: A Long March." New Zealand International Review 41.5 (2016): 2-6. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Smart Leadership in the 21st Century

Although we may claim that the world has gravitates from authoritarian rulership and that most countries in the world operate under a democratic ambience, but in certain parts of the world and over certain organisations preside some leaders who still lord over their followers without giving them a say at all in the affairs.

Every nation and society has its own leader, but what distinguishes the smart leaders in the world today from the bosses and the not-so-smart leaders? Consider the following traits.

The first trait of the smart leader in the 21st Century is that the leader has to EVOLVE. He should keep up with the times, with the latest techniques and updated information. Knowledge is power and the knowledgeable leader is not one that can be easily deceived or pushed about. The societies that use the most advanced methods in everyday life are the ones that lead the pack in today's world.

In addition, the SMART leader is:

S- Simple/Straightforward: The good leader has to mean what he says, and say what he means. He must not be deceitful. His followers must be able to trust him and take his word for it in every circumstance. What he does not intend to do, he should determine not to say it. Also, the smart leader in this century must be a man of simple ways, words and lifestyle.
Gone are the days when leaders were marked by 100-foot billowy robes, with twenty servants carrying the clothes from behind. This can be tolerated from a bride in a wedding ceremony, but not from the world-class 21st Century leader. He should not live a complicated lifestyle or be unnecessarily extravagant. Simplicity does it these days.

M- Malleable: As mentioned earlier, the smart leader must be malleable, not rigid. He must be able to bend his views when it is necessary. He should be able to lower his standards when it is necessary.
Compromising your views at certain times is not a trait of the weak, but that of the intelligent. He should not insist on the status quo, or cling to ideas just because "that's the norm here!" The norm is usually dumb. He must have a teachable heart that can learn new information at every opportunity. He must be malleable enough to learn from both young and old, rich and poor, male and female-anybody.

A- Accountable: Aha! Did the smart leader expect I won't add this? It is inescapable for the smart leader to be accountable for all the human and other resources committed to his care. He must not be corrupt. Every penny in his administration must be accounted for. He must guard his citizens and his domain with the same intensity as well.

R- Resourceful: The leader must also be one with a limitless river of ideas constantly flowing for the betterment of his organisation. He must be very creative and actually SMART. As in, really intelligent. If a dumb leader is put over a domain, he will mismanage and diminish it. The leader must be able to multiply the little he has been committed with, and multiply it. He must commit to being constantly trained in order to further equip his intellectual arsenal.

T- Technology Literate: Finally, in this Internet Age, many wars are won or lost on social media. The smart leader in the 21st Century must be one who is very much versed in at least some high-tech devices. He must not be an illiterate with the computer or with the internet. He must make it a point of duty to learn the use of one new technological gadget every six months. That will set him apart and make him the man/woman to beat by the other leaders. He will find out pretty soon that he is a trail blazer in leadership. It does not matter whether he is presiding over a family or over an entire nation, such person will be a trail blazer.

Emmanuel Sokefun is a freelance article writer, in addition to being a novelist, poet, hymnist, songwriter and a lover of the academia.

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Sunday, January 08, 2017

Plastic Guns To Be Outlawed - But Why?

Perhaps you are a supporter of the Second Amendment, and do have much a problem with our citizens owning guns - or perhaps you are tired of listening to the TV scaring you about gun violence, and just wish all hand guns in the US would go away. It's hard to believe that I or anyone else can convince you of the other perspective, most everyone seems to side with one side or the other, and some perhaps have caveats to their middle of the road "gray area" view of it all. Something like; All Law Abiding Citizens In A Good State Of Mind Should Have The Right to Own A Gun. Okay so, let's talk about this debate for a moment shall we?

If you search the second amendment on Google you are liable to get something like this from the Cornell Law Library: " The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: 'A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Such language has created considerable debate regarding the Amendment's intended scope."

Now then, what if a gun is not detectable by airport security, metal detectors at government buildings, etc.? Should it still be allowed? Some say no, because people could take guns into big events, stadiums, and schools undetected. Yes, maybe so, but they might soon be met with someone else who had if they try anything, which is another debating point on the pro-gun side of things.

The New York Times had an interesting article published on November 28, 2013 titled; "Law Limiting Plastic Guns Set to Expire," by Jeremy W. Peters and Michael S. Schmidt and it reminded us of a Hollywood Movie "In the Line of Fire" about the Secret Service trying to deal with an assassin trying to get an American President. Still, I have a question for this fear of plastic guns, namely;

Why is everyone so paranoid?

We should be allowed guns of any type, the government isn't to make any laws restricting gun ownership, that's what the Constitution says - the government is paranoid, and wants to protect itself from the people - but why, the government is supposed to be the people - one and the same - and if it were to remain such, there wouldn't be a problem - the problem is power greedy people trying to harness the strength and wealth of the nation for their own dishonorable accords you see? Philosophically speaking any fourth grader gets it, why can't our leadership?

Why does OUR government want to take away OUR guns, maybe there are factions in OUR government that doesn't want it to be OURS anymore, they want to make it theirs and in that case, perhaps we ought to not have any more this attack on our Constitutional Rights. What is the government afraid of? It appears they want to have complete control but to do that they must get us to Fear, they must get us to fear them. Again this is only philosophy, and the entire dialogue is based on a question of why? Think on this.

Lance Winslow is the Founder of the Online Think Tank, a diverse group of achievers, experts, innovators, entrepreneurs, thinkers, futurists, academics, dreamers, leaders, and general all around brilliant minds. http://www.WorldThinkTank.net - Have an important subject to discuss, contact Lance Winslow. Lance also writes eBooks on all sorts of topics including this one, check out the selection.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2017

A Reflection Of The Future Republican Political Party Under Donald Trump

A Now Revamped Republican Party Is On The Horizon That Is Pushing Out Its Past Failures And Putting U.S. Citizens Over Business, Government And Immigrants.

As the new Republican Party forms under the leadership of Donald Trump we must make certain all of our efforts do not go to waste and build a never ending effort that cannot be broken. Taking back our political party that was taken from us is underway. Spokespersons that speak for our efforts must be vetted and maintained in the near Donald Trump voice so when we are ready to step down the next generations of us can keep up the effort that our generation created and put into play.

The purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to maintain a set of rules that allow for citizens within its defined borders to conduct their lives as they see fit freely without hurting others. Over the decades movements within defined groups of citizens have been making strides to alter the meaning of what the U.S. Constitution was set forth to really mean as their group thought has been pushed forward as superior to the creators of the U.S. Constitution. The reality of what the creators of the U.S. Constitution created it to reflect is that all gains in life have to be due to, "Luck".

The only way to govern peoples lives is through "Luck". There's no other way to maintain a persons freedoms. Any passages in law that define what people can have and can't have "Dictates" through a single dictator or a group of communist dictators. The founders of the U.S. Constitution were extremely intelligent individuals and except for technology advances they saw in their time the same issues we see in the presence day and into the future. Any gains in life through acquired skills or social status can only come though "Luck".

One political party winning over the other isn't a win for the prevailing political party unless the prevailing political parties rule is to govern in a way that lets U.S. Citizens decide their own way in life through the luck provided for them by the architects of the U.S. Constitution. Freedom is, "Finding Your Own Luck" and U.S. Citizens can only find luck if they are allowed to build their skills and have the freedom to go out and find their luck.

What is luck you ask? Luck is an endeavor that leads to good fortune that comes your way. There are odds of anyone getting lucky in their endeavors of wanting good fortune or as it's commonly called, "The American Dream". So you have to built your skills in a trade of your choosing. What are the odds of luck coming your way that leads to good fortune if you allow 12 million illegal immigrants into the U.S. overall and an additional 1 million legal immigrants to gain citizenship each year that want some luck and good fortune too? Your odds as a U.S. citizen finding your luck that leads to good fortune goes way down because the illegal immigrants want a chance at your luck also. If you remove all the illegal immigrants and cut back on immigrants gaining citizenship each year the odds of you finding your luck that leads to good fortune improves drastically because the competition to find the luck goes down.

The non libertarian base of the Republican Party fought really hard to get one good candidate out of a flock of 17 candidates, 14 that were extremely bad and 2 that would have been alright. The one candidate that was decided on was in fact in tune with the non libertarian Republican Party base. The non libertarian Republican Party base was in fact leaderless with only very few media outlets to broadcast their voice and having a hard time finding their way without a great media presence to broadcast their voice.

The new Republican Party rising under the leadership of Donald Trump must build their media presence and reject the failed ideology of the libertarian republican leadership that has consumed the Republican Party and came close to destroying it with their constant push to a business run United States. The near death of the Republican Party came from within with the never ending cycle of electing the same old congressional leadership that promotes businesses and their personal wealth over U.S. Citizens financial stability.

A formidable foe that believes persons who live in reality should stand down to the less educated that get themselves elected to live in their non reality was at hand that needed to be put down. They want to create a country based on a communist type government that takes away the large financial gains of persons that have the natural ability for large financial gains to pay for those with less natural mental abilities and very little "Luck" with financial gain. This foe of reality will always go to no ends to achieve and promote their goals as reality that are in fact non reality. The opposition political party imposing their non reality on the population of the U.S. isn't an option. Even though with the heavy losses the opposition political party sustained they march on in the same direction of their non reality agenda. The New Republican Party must grow itself to be the wall against the opposition party's march.

A Republican Party that puts U.S. Citizen personal wealth over business, government and immigrants is the new focus of the Republican Party base to lessen financial hardships that lead to a problematic society that's constantly at odds with each other with the electing of leadership to government that rarely has the answer. The only answer is to get rid of the politicians that are leading us to a failed libertarian business or democrat communist run society and elect representatives that make it easier to find our "Luck" in the economy through acquired skills, knowledge and reduced competition for jobs from outside foreign poverty.

Managed immigration is good in a vibrant economy but U.S. Citizens must always be given the first chance to make and maintain their financial gains in their own economy so financial and social "Luck" within the borders of the United States will increase as poverty decreases.

A new energy exists within the Republican Party at this time with only some that are in rejection of this energy for the reasons of their established ideology being torn away from them. This new energy is rejecting the old failed ways that has created decades of failure and hatred towards the Republican Party of then, that was a political party of self and not for the people.

The Republican Party base propped the established leaders of the Republican Party up under the falsehoods fed to them for the purpose of the old established Republican Party keeping their self gains in constant movement. With the constant failure's of the other political party the old propped up leadership of the Republican Party is being taken down with the opposition political party. A new Republican Party is emerging that is set in the reality of U.S. Citizens first over business, government and immigrants.

Jim Allan's Sea Dogs Beach

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Sunday, January 01, 2017

Donald Trump Didn't Win the Election, Hillary Clinton Lost It

And all the liberal media pundits still don't get it.

Because they still live and think in same ingrown, myopic, and insulated world that Hillary Clinton and all the rest of the elitist Democrats live in. (And by the way, this article is being written by a writer who has even more contempt for the Republicans, if you can possibly wrap your head around that concept.)

The media analysts are still scratching their heads wondering what went wrong in the advanced polling predicting Hillary Clinton would win. When the answer had nothing to do with polling (which is obviously subjective to whatever standard of whoever is taking the poll), and everything to do with looking into the mirror and realizing that much of the problem resides with them and their disconnect with the American public and its problems. And when they try to figure out "what went wrong," who do they seek the answer from?- but from among the very group of individuals that have been helping to cover up the problems for decades. Themselves.

And like the media, Hillary Clinton can likewise see no responsibility in her election loss with her disconnect with the public, but rather blames it on the head of the FBI, who apparently didn't remain paid off long enough for her to win the election.

The arrogance displayed by Hillary Clinton and her completely supportive media insiders in their comfy round table discussions is painfully obvious to everyone but the media. Apparently the media believed they could do whatever they pleased (because they had the power and the connections) and cover for every infraction and crime committed by any member of the Democratic Party they chose to protect, who they have been bending over backwards to cover for decades, while all the while convinced the public would just take it (because the public had no power or political connections to challenge any of it).

Apparently the media believed that their liberal agenda allowed them the right to protect any and all infractions and illegal actions committed by the members of like-minded thinkers who they gave their imprint of respectability to- for an end justifies the means rational of supporting a liberal agenda. And guess who honed that particular insane "ends justifies the means" rational to its perfection? The Nazi Party.

The media will never "get it," because they are "it," and will continue to blame everyone but themselves- like those who voted for a third party candidate.

What the media doesn't get is that the people in this country who voted for a third party candidate, didn't like either Trump or Hillary Clinton and were sick and tired of voting for the same Republican or Democrat second rate jokes to head the country. And Hillary Clinton would have made one of the worst presidents, maybe only second to Al Gore, who also thought he was entitled to the job.

What the media doesn't get is that the American public finally woke up and told them to go stick it where the sun doesn't shine; that they weren't going to continue to play by the same set of rigged rules dictated to them by the media and the incompetent Democratic Party that was doing nothing to help the American public and everything to sustain a non-working status quo arrangement in which the liberals were able to continue to get filthy rich, while pretending they were out saving the world through their support of multi-national corporate monopolies, whitewashed as charitable globalism.

And while on the subject of whitewashing, let's just get one thing very straight about the distortion that has been laid at the door of the public concerning global warming. Yeah, global warming is occurring, but what's causing the vast lion's share of it is the production and use of high-tech products, which require a massive amount of electrical energy to create and use- the very products Al Gore is massively invested in, while he waxes poetically about saving the global warming world and gets his PR team to get him a Nobel Prize to prove it.

The liberal agenda ought to get an education in biology before the world dies and reforms again. But given the arrogance that pervades every level of that agenda, they probably think they know all the answers, and no one else could possibly enlighten them on anything.

If and when they choose to remove their heads their arses, they should try reading a pages from a few PhD-educated individuals who know a hell of lot more than they'll ever know- like the late Robert O. Becker, or Sam Milham, or Reba Goodman, or Debra Davis, or Martin Blank. And if and when that day ever comes they might begin to realize that the sun doesn't rise and set on being expert regurgitators of the U.S. Constitution, which wasn't written in stone, and in fact doesn't mean diddly-squat anymore- in the grand scheme of things.

That there are more important relevant things in life than waxing nostalgically about events that happened two hundred years ago- like surviving in a modern economy that is not at the same time continuing to decimate American jobs and Americans' health, and America's environment.

The amount of things the liberal left is completely out to lunch on could fill a few volumes. And heading up that ignorance are people it most respects, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

What is blatantly apparent to everyone except the media and all the protestors now railing about the "unjust" presidential outcome, is that they both love to dish it out, but neither of them can apparently take it. If things go their way, everything's Jake, but if things go the way they don't like, then suddenly they don't like the way the game is played and the outrage is unleashed.

They see nothing wrong with making the most disparaging remarks about anyone who doesn't believe as they believe (with the media remaining "professionally" silent on the sideline), but go ballistic when one tenth of the same disparaging remarks are leveled back at them (with the media suddenly going ballistic along with them.) And guess what? The public has had a front row seat to all this hypocrisy for decades. And they finally said, screw you, when they voted.

And of course those that are now outraged are outraged over the real important issues facing the society.

Like that apparently getting cancer in your teens and twenties, getting strokes and heart attacks in your twenties and thirties- are all normal, right? Watching the autism rate soar 900% since the 1970s (before computers and now the near complete exposure of the public to completely abnormal manmade electromagnetic fields from manmade EMR emitting devices like cell phones and computers, which disrupt all biology, from the molecular level on up), watching the steady increase of immune system disorders and neurological disorders in the old and young alike- are all normal right? All of which are a direct result of a neo-liberal agenda (and a conservative agenda, and ones supported by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders) and their enthusiastic support of all things high-tech, with no safety regulations to constrain corporate profits to serve the needs of the global economy- nah, that's not worth getting upset over.

But someone making a disparaging remark about you, or heaven forbid, possibly criticizing your self-indulgent behavior or actions, whatever they may be- now that's cause for a downright revolution!

Forty some years ago the public took to the streets to protest the polices of a president that was causing the murder of thousands overseas. Now the public takes to the street to protest a newly elected president because he has hurt their feelings. My, my, my, American's have sure come a long way baby.

If all the upset individuals in this country really wanted to do something about things, they'd organize into a real third party and start looking at the real problems facing this country and the world, honestly. But to do that, they'd probably have to look at things honestly for the first time in their lives, and not through the distorted lens of a liberal agenda.

Because amazing as it might seem to the over-educated and the politically correct ill-informed, the world, and life, is not about one thing; it's about the balance of all things. Something the liberal party doesn't get, and will likely never get. And because it doesn't get it, and apparently never will be getting it any time soon, it will never solve any of the real problems facing this country, but will continue to just bitch and moan about the problems as they continue to paint them as just one kind of social injustice or another- the only thing they think life revolves around- while continuing to delude themselves that in the process they are doing something constructive, when nothing constructive ever gets done.

And if any of you geniuses out there want to get a fresh idea of how you start to solve some of those problems, you can check out the companion piece to this article, "Why you shouldn't vote in the upcoming presidential election." That is, if you can handle the truth.

Oh, and just for the record, I think both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are total incompetents, for different reasons, and I didn't vote for either of them. And I don't blindly ascribe to the viewpoints of Democrats or Republicans. I happen to look at each issue rationally and without prejudice. Something the liberal agenda also doesn't get. Though it loves to point the finger at everyone else not getting it, which I believe it about where I came in. By Gary Friedman.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Burden of Patriotism

Patriotism is defined as a devoted love of one's country, many people feel "patriotic" when they wave American flags on the Fourth of July but, it should be understood that patriotism is something that is not limited to America's border. Most countries have a strong sense of patriotism and each of these countries see themselves in some way superior to the rest of the world. So one might ask, what's wrong with patriotism, isn't it a good thing? Well to answer that I would have to use a quote from Guy de Maupassant, "Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched." To that many would say de Maupassant is not describing patriotism but nationalism explaining that patriotism is the love of a country because of its values it represents and nationalism is the belief that one's culture or nationality is superior to the rest of the world. But the love of a country or culture because of its values breeds a sense of superiority which breeds war. After all Albert Einstein once said, "Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind."

To prove my point I will use examples in modern history. The most recent being Al-Qaeda's attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centers in New York on September 11, 2001. Al-Qaeda, more specifically Osama Bin Laden, believed that it was unholy that U.S. troops were in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and believed Americans were trying to take over the Islamic Holy Land. Because his followers believed that their values of Islam were superior to the rest of Islam and other religions, they saw the Americans in the World Trade center as evil Americans and not as simple human being who had wives and children much like the followers of Bin-Laden. Another example would be the Japanese bombings of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In Japan a strong sense of nationalism was growing and thus justified its rapidly expanding conquest throughout East Asia. Because the Japanese people, generally speaking, believed they were superior to the rest of the world they adamantly followed their governments order to bomb Pearl Harbor and start a war with America. Had the Japanese soldiers and pilots seen the American as simple human beings much like themselves a war would have never started. This same principle could be applied to Hitler's followers in Germany. To further prove my point I must ask the question. In most countries it is illegally to end the life of another human being, but why is it acceptable to kill another human being that simply lives in another country in the name of war? This same thought is explained in of Blaise Pascal's Quote, "Can anything be stupider than that a man has the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of a river and his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have not quarreled with him?"

Our species unity and end of meaningless bloodshed would allow us to rapidly advance towards the future. To help explain this we must understand our meaningless when we are divided. Earth is but a tiny island floating in a vast dark ocean spotted with billions of stars. In the same context how could any tiny, inhabited island in the middle of a vast ocean on Earth ever be successful if they were divided? We should respect our individual cultural history and beliefs but we should not use them to justify our superiority over the rest of the world. We as humans should join together as a species to explore our technological possibilities and ultimately our future.

Trevor A Hurst

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Why Americans Have No Rights

Why do the American working class not protest? As I have mentioned before, no society can function without laborers. We can not all be business owners, for who would mind the store? The Europeans have understood the power of the working class united to enforce change, and they enjoy a great deal of work/life satisfaction because of it. They protest, and they most often win. Why do they win? They win because they recognise that their society depends upon them to function. Why do the Americans not recognise this?

Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck. My last article discusses the psychology of spending that entraps us into a pseudo-submissive state. We fear for our jobs, we fear poverty, sudden disasters, and instability. But mostly, we fear our employers. And it is because of this fear/vulnerability that we say nothing when our rights are violated and/or slowly and insidiously taken away from us. They, (we), suffer from chronic low self esteems. Just in case you haven't noticed it, many bloggers through out this country are voicing their dissent amongst themselves, but is it all talk and no action? Imagine, if you would, the working class suddenly going on strike. That's right, all of us! The middle class hosts the largest majority of people and yet we fail to take advantage of this. For if they/we did, our society would finally truly understand the real meaning of the word 'democracy.'

Let us look back in history and review the successes of past revolutions: from the Boston Tea Party to the Civil Rights Movement to Women's Rights. The people spoke. They united, and were heard. And yet, here we are now, in 2008, and not one of us is making so much as a dent in political policy. Slowly, but surely, the middle class is under attack by the likes of employee rights violations such as the establishment of 'will to work' states; the absence of pensions, the dwindling away of employee benefits, extraordinary expensive educational institutions, HMO's ( if you are even lucky enough to obtain group health insurance ), the impossibility to apply for bankruptcy via the new bankruptcy laws enforced by, guess who? Yes, the creditors. The very creditors who have relentlessly manipulated us into debt by allowing lines of credit far above what they knew our incomes could sustain. The very same creditors who used the psychology of spending to their advantage, and won. And now finally, even Medicare is exploiting our senior citizens by cracking down on what they will or will not cover. And social security? Do you feel secure? I, for one, do not.

Speaking of HMO's and Medicare, do you know what health care providers are or are not in your network? Let me tell you an enlightening story. You have a medical emergency and you call 911. You are taken to the nearest health care facility that is, "Thank god!" you say, in your list of 'in network' providers. You trust that all will be taken care of financially, as you are rushed off to surgery. You are hospitalized, and your life is spared. A few months later, you are sent a bill, or two, or three; and you are utterly perplexed that your health insurance has denied much of your claim. "Why" you ask? You followed the rules, the hospital was in network, "What's the problem?" you ask yourself. The problem is this: although Hospital x is 'in your network', the emergency room physician who treated you is not. The surgeon? "Phew!" you say. Luckily, he is employed by the hospital and his services are covered. "But what is this? The anesthesiologist is not? No!" That is your third bill. And it is an enormous one because the anesthesiologist bills not by the hour, but by the minute. " How could I have possibly known this? " you ask.

Honestly, my intention is not to scare you, but to enlighten you. But these things can change if we would only protest it! It is really that simple. These things are very literally, life threatening.

What then must we do?

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Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday's DSM Senate Targets

TARGETS FOR FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2005

In honor of the last day of this campaign, we have listed every member of the Senate Intelligence Committee for your letter-writing, phone-calling, and emailing pleasure.

Take some extra time today and this weekend to please contact the following Senators (even if you have already in the past contacted them) and if the senator's direct email
does not work, use the Chief of Staff's email address provided:

Senator Evan Bayh, Indiana
webmail: http://bayh.senate.gov/WebMail1.htm
463 Russell Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-5623
fax: 202-228-1377
Chief of Staff: Tom Sugar
email: tom_sugar@bayh.senate.gov

Senator Christopher S. Bond, Missouri
274 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2503
webmail: http://bond.senate.gov/contact/contactme.cfm
email: kit_bond@bond.senate.gov
phone: 202-224-5721
fax: 202-224-8149
Chief of Staff: Julie Dammann
email: julie_dammann@bond.senate.gov

Senator Saxby Chambliss, Georgia
webmail: http://chambliss.senate.gov/Contact/default.cfm?pagemode=1
416 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-3521
fax: 202-224-0103
Chief of Staff: Krister Holladay
email: krister_holladay@chambliss.senate.gov

Senator Jon S. Corzine, New Jersey
webmail: http://corzine.senate.gov/contact.cfm
502 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3002
phone: 202-224-4744
fax: 202-228-2197
Chief of Staff: Heather Howard
email: heather_howard@corzine.senate.gov

Senator Mike Dewine, Ohio
webmail: http://dewine.senate.gov/request_form.cfm
140 Russell Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-2315
fax: 202-224-6519
Chief of Staff: Laurel Pressler
email: laurel_pressler@dewine.senate.gov

Senator Dianne Feinstein, California
webmail: http://feinstein.senate.gov/email.html
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-3841
fax: 202-228-3954
Chief of Staff: Mark Karesh
email: mark_karesh@feinstein.senate.gov

Senator Chuck Hagel, Nebraska
webmail: http://hagel.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Offices.Contact
email: chuck_hagel@hagel.senate.gov
248 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-4224
fax: 202-224-5213
Chief of Staff: Lou Ann Linehan
email: louann_linehan@hagel.senate.gov

Senator Carl Levin, Michigan
webmail: http://levin.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm
email: senator@levin.senate.gov
269 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2202
phone: 202-224-6221
fax: 202-224-1388
Chief of Staff: David Lyles
email: david_lyles@levin.senate.gov

Senator Trent Lott
webmail: http://lott.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Email
487 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-6253
fax: 202-224-2262
Chief of Staff: William Gottshall
email: william_gottshall@lott.senate.gov

Senator Barbara Mikulski, Maryland
webmail: http://mikulski.senate.gov/contactme/mailform.html
503 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
phone: 202-224-4654
fax: 202-224-8858
Chief of Staff: Julia Frifield
email: julia_frifield@mikulski.senate.gov

Senator Harry Reid, Nevada
webmail: http://reid.senate.gov/email_form.cfm
528 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-3542
fax: 202-224-7327
Chief of Staff: Susan McCue
email: Susan_McCue@reid.senate.gov

Senator Jay Rockefeller, West Virginia
webmail: http://rockefeller.senate.gov/services/email.cfm
531 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
phone: 202-224-6472
fax: 202-224-7665
Chief of Staff: Kerry Ates
email: kerry_ates@rockefeller.senate.gov

Senator Olympia Snowe, Maine
email: olympia@snowe.senate.gov
webmail: http://snowe.senate.gov/Webform.htm
154 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1903
phone: 202-224-5344
fax: 202-224-1946
Chief of Staff: John Richter
email: john_richter@snowe.senate.gov

Senator John Warner, Virginia
webmail: http://warner.senate.gov/contact/contactme.cfm
email: senator@warner.senate.gov
225 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
phone: 202-224-2023
fax: 202-224-6295
Chief of Staff: Susan Magill
email: susan_magill@warner.senate.gov

Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon
webmail: http://wyden.senate.gov/contact.html
email: senator@wyden.senate.gov
230 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-5244
fax: 202-228-2717
Chief of Staff: Josh Kardon
email: josh_kardon@wyden.senate.gov

And as always, be sure to contact the man who reneged on his promise to the American people for an investigation into how intelligence was used:

Senator Pat Roberts R-Kansas, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee
email: pat_roberts@roberts.senate.gov
webmail: http://roberts.senate.gov/e-mail_pat.html
109 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-1605
phone: (202) 224-4774
fax: 202-224-3514
Jackie Cottrell, Chief of Staff
email: jackie_cottrell@roberts.senate.gov

Thanks to everyone who participated in the campaign!
Stay tuned for the next step....

My Op/Ed on Duncan Hunter

Okay readers, this Op/Ed is going to shock you. This time, I'm playing nice because Duncan Hunter (R-CA) did something unpredictable Thursday morning during the CAFTA vote.

He kept his word.

The following Op/Ed will appear later this morning on Radio News America, and was recorded for a future NorthSouth broadcast on Unfiltered News Network. It explains everything.

Common Ground
Original Op/Ed by Robbie Michaels
July 29, 2005

It’s not often that I agree with Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA). As a matter of fact, I could almost go as far and say I’ve agreed to disagree with him on just about any political issue. However, Thursday marked a special day in our relationship. For the first time, we found common ground on an issue we are both passionate about.

On June 29th, I posted a link on my blog for readers and listeners to sign Care2’s petition to urge their representatives to vote no on CAFTA. I was among over 15,000 people who signed the petition, and two weeks later I received a form letter from Duncan Hunter.

When I arrived home from work and opened my mailbox, I instantly recognized his letter on top of the pile of fast food restaurant coupons and unsolicited credit card offers. The “U.S. House of Representatives” printed in boldface on the left-hand corner, as well as Duncan Hunter’s signature on the opposite side, drew my attention as I laid the mail on the kitchen counter.

I leaned against the counter, reached for a steak knife and sliced the envelope across the top so I could grab the letter. I unfolded it, expecting to read the usual drivel about how Duncan’s happy to hear from me, and then explain in detail why he voted for a bill that I opposed.

I read the contents of the letter, and the first two paragraphs sounded the same as the previous letters I’ve received. However, the third paragraph made my heart stop. While I read each sentence, my hands went numb with shock, and the letter nearly slipped through my trembling fingers into the kitchen sink. After I regained my composure, I couldn’t hold back the smile that crossed my lips.

In his letter, Duncan stated he was very concerned with CAFTA and the effects it would have on American jobs in the textile and agricultural industries. He also stated the fact that CAFTA is based primarily after NAFTA, and he believed that this trade agreement should be opposed.

After all the dissenting form letters I’ve received from Duncan Hunter in the past, I finally got one in which we agreed on a political issue. I was pleasantly surprised to read Duncan’s words that evening, but I was still concerned about the possibility that he would not keep his promise when it was time to vote on CAFTA.

Just after midnight Thursday, the House passed CAFTA by a narrow margin. Immediately, fellow progressives wanted to know the names of Democrats who turned their backs on their constituents and voted for the trade agreement. On the other hand, I wanted to know how my state’s representatives voted.

On Yahoo! News, I found the House Roll Call on CAFTA and scanned down the alphabetized list of states until I found California. As expected, every Democrat voted against CAFTA. On the Republican side, all but one representative sold out the future of blue-collar America.

Duncan Hunter cast that one dissenting vote.

Although Duncan and I are polar opposites on the political spectrum, it is satisfying to know that a Republican who represents me in the House of Representatives had the courage to vote with their conscience and not tow the party line. Even though we didn’t stop CAFTA from passing, I appreciate Duncan Hunter’s efforts, and I won’t forget he kept his promise to me and other constituents who voiced their concerns on this issue.

To show my appreciation, I’m serving lemon-baked fish, fresh fruit, steamed vegetables, and rice pilaf at my friend’s upcoming dinner party. No pun intended.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

More Rick Santorum Hypocrisy

The following appeared in the "Letters To The Editor" section of the Opinion page of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on July 21, 2005...


Not moral messages

As a teacher for the Diocese of Pittsburgh for 14 years, one important lesson I learned was that no matter what I said to the child, whatever the parents said superseded my message. What parents say and how they live sends a message stronger than any teacher's voice no matter what the issue.

Sen. Rick Santorum and his wife have taught their children a powerful lesson on civic responsibility by refusing to pay any tuition money to the Penn Hills School District for their children who attended the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School ("
Penn Hills Loses Bid to Charge Santorum," July 12). Released from that payment on a technicality shows that even an upstanding, moral gentleman like Sen. Santorum teaches his children the following lessons:

1) Take advantage of the system whenever you can.

2) The little guy pays while the rich and powerful guy gets away with it.

3) As a Catholic, you have no obligation to pay your share to the common good in spite of Catholic social doctrine.

Finally, I am shocked that our religious leaders who see Sen. Santorum as some sort of faith-and-morals hero have not spoken up on this issue at all.

SISTER LIGUORI ROSSNER
Sisters for Christian Community
Bloomfield
http://post-gazette.com/pg/05202/541074.stm

My Op/Ed On Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Lawsuit

This is another Op/Ed I wrote for both Radio News America and Unfiltered News Network. The text version will be posted on RNA later today, and the audio version will be part of a future UNN broadcast.

It's also the main reason why I didn't update the blog until an hour ago.

Opportunistic Bastards
Original Op/Ed by Robbie Michaels
June 28, 2005

I was expecting this. Seriously, I was. The only thing I find surprising with this case is that it wasn’t filed in Southern California, the land of the frivolous lawsuits.

Wednesday afternoon, an 85-year-old grandmother sued Rockstar Games and its parent company, New York-based Take Two Interactive Software Inc., for her own negligence. On behalf of consumers nationwide, Florence Cohen sued the manufacturer of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for engaging in false, misleading, and deceptive practices.

Before you pass judgment on this subject, let’s get a few facts straight about this case:
  • The practice of placing hidden scenes within video games is commonplace in the industry.
  • An adult in a position of authority purchased a product for a minor that is clearly intended for mature audiences.
  • No one has publicly stated whether or not the 14-year-old accessed the hidden scenes via a cheat code or any other type of game modification.

I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. The hell with it, I’ll play the devil himself.

This lawsuit stinks like a rotting fish exposed to oxygen and direct sunlight. We have a credibility issue here. First, the timing of the suit is questionable, especially since it comes on the heels of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-NY) request for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Rockstar Games.

And I’m going to ask the golden questions no one else will.

Why did someone in an obvious position of authority purchase a video game for a minor, when the package was clearly marked on the front “M”, as in, “For people age 17 and over”?

Since the game was clearly marked “M”, is it now possible that a district attorney could prosecute Florence Cohen, and other adults who purchased this game for their children, for contributing to the delinquency of a minor?

On behalf of today’s children, I’m telling you it’s time to tell their parents to take responsibility for their own actions and quit blaming others for their own mistakes!

Rockstar labeled the game appropriately upon its release last year. With the number of adults purchasing and playing video games increasing, the retailer selling the video game cannot determine if the person on the other side of the sales counter will actually play it or not.

Unless of course, the adult looks like an 85-year-old grandmother who may no longer have the dexterity to push a sequence of buttons and simultaneously maneuver a couple of joysticks with their thumbs.

What this class action lawsuit suffers from is the same problem that afflicts all class action lawsuits. Who wins here? The plaintiffs, who may split a headline grabbing, multi-million dollar settlement? The defendants, who may get to keep their profits from sales of the video game but pay up the nose in attorney fees in the process?

No. The attorneys will be the winners. They always win in class action lawsuits, regardless of the outcome.

While millions of consumers fight over their miniscule shares of the financial judgment, and Rockstar counts their blessings they reached an agreement to sweep everything under the rug, some Manhattan attorney who filed this lawsuit will be laughing all the way to the bank with the lion’s share of the settlement money at their expense.

And that’s why I call attorneys opportunistic bastards.

Thursday's DSM Senate Targets

TARGETS FOR THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2005

Please contact the following Senators (even if you have
already in the past contacted them) and if the senator's direct email
does not work, use the Chief of Staff's email address provided:

Senator Jay Rockefeller, West Virginia
webmail: http://rockefeller.senate.gov/services/email.cfm
531 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
phone: 202-224-6472
fax: 202-224-7665
Chief of Staff: Kerry Ates
email: kerry_ates@rockefeller.senate.gov

Senator Dianne Feinstein, California
webmail: http://feinstein.senate.gov/email.htm
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-3841
fax: 202-228-3954
Chief of Staff: Mark Karesh
email: mark_karesh@feinstein.senate.gov

And as always, if you wish, contact the man who reneged on his promise to the American people for an investigation into how intelligence was used:

Senator Pat Roberts R-Kansas, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee
email: pat_roberts@roberts.senate.gov
webmail: http://roberts.senate.gov/e-mail_pat.html
109 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-1605
phone: (202) 224-4774
fax: 202-224-3514
Jackie Cottrell, Chief of Staff
email: jackie_cottrell@roberts.senate.gov