Category Archives: Government

Why America’s Obsession over Gun Rights

Another in as string of mass shootings took place on July 16th as Mohammad Abdulazeez killed five people at a Marine recruiting center and Naval Reserve in Chattanooga Tenn. Guns are so incredibly easily to acquire over the internet and elsewhere in the United States. It is the only nation where the right to bear arms is a Constitutional right. However “Every day in the U.S., an average of 289 people are shot. Eighty-six of them die: 30 are murdered, 53 kill themselves, two die accidentally, and one is shot in a police intervention, the Brady Campaign reports. Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 335,609 people died from guns … Continue reading

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US Iranian Agreement and the Lifting of Sanctions

I feel really good about President Obama’s agreement with Iran to lift US/UN sanctions. Assuming it is not stopped by Congress this will be another legacy to Obama’s credit. I have been quite critical about Obama in the past and continue being skeptical. But in his second term he is starting to really get things done. My criticism with him is that he is not proactive. He is often not in favor of something until it becomes more mainstream then he changes his position on it. He is very cautious about his image. He was not proactive about the open gay in military and gay marriage issues until it became more widely accepted. Continue reading

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Separation of Church and State

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States begins with: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This was the vary first sentence in the Bill of Rights written by the original authors of the Constitution because of its importance. Many people such as the Pilgrims came here to escape religious persecution by the Church of England which was part of the British Royal Crown. The question is how important is the separation of church from state in the context of today’s world as many fundamentalist Christians want their moral and religious values legislated into law. Continue reading

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The Price of Freedom is Vulnerability

A primary consequence of a free society is vulnerabilities to attacks. Autocracies are the antithesis of free societies and are expert at hiding their vulnerabilities by denying their citizens the basic freedoms of an open press and unrestricted speech and mobility as well as hiding it from the outside world. There are many political conservatives here who would like more of that here. But vulnerability, respect, and unobstructed openness are at the very heart of a free society. Freedom is a sign of strength because it sets one free to be creative and unhindered enabling one to reach their potential. Continue reading

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Dealing with Iran

I know there are many people including our President and Congress who feel that lifting sanctions against Iran must be strictly dealt with tit for tat regarding nuclear inspections to assure they are not making more weapons grade fissionable material. My contention is that it is in part our sanctions against them that created an atmosphere of hostilities between them and us that created the need, in their minds, for nuclear armament. Israel’s nuclear threat also plays a significant role. Had we not imposed sanctions on them in spite of their government’s religious leader’s distrust of the U.S. I honestly feel that they would not have perused nuclear capability as vigorously as they have and relations between us would have improved over time. Continue reading

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Is the Price of Peace necessarily the Cost of War?

I have always wondered why we spend so much money and sacrifice so many young and aspiring lives on wars in the guise of peace. It is almost as if peace was an afterthought and war the goal. If war is the means to peace and stability then why do we wage so many wars and achieve so little peace? It is more likely the wars we lose end up in peace and stability than the wars we win. If one is so the antitheses of the other, how is it possible that it can bring about the other? Continue reading

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Another Mass Killing this time in Charleston, S.C.

On Wednesday June 17, 2015 nine human beings were massacred by a young White gunman at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during a bible study. Though this mass murder received much press coverage, gun killings are all too common in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 81,300 nonfatal injuries and 31,672 deaths every year from guns. 112,972 people are shot in this country every year with a 28% fatality rate. Continue reading

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To Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States

All American solders swear an oath “..to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic” because that is the primary purpose of our armed forces. Yet since the end of the Cold War almost all of our foreign conflicts have not involve people who posed a direct threat to the United States or its Constitution. And as for enemies, we made them enemies of us when we took it upon ourselves to interfere in their affairs to protect the oil interests of Saudi Arabia, a dictatorship that share none of our values of freedom, equal rights, and democracy. Continue reading

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100 Years from Now: The Complete Series

In the past year I have given some thought to what the future would look like a hundred years from now given the state of science today and the effects of global warming, diminishing natural resources, and a populations of over twice what it is today (population control will be in effect). One thing is clear, the word Sustainable will be far more than a buzzword. It will be a way of life. Continue reading

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100 Years from Now: Part 15 – Crime and Security

What can be said about crime and security 100 years from now? Keep in mind that in 100 years two significant and remarkable things will have occurred. Technology would become our willing slave meeting most of our needs making jobs obsolete and making us happy and content at the cost of privacy. But in 100 years privacy may not be nearly as important to us as it is today. Technology will also make committing and getting away with crime extremely difficult. Continue reading

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100 Years from Now: Part 13 – Government

Social norms and values will be very different 100 years into the future as today’s values are very different that those 100 years ago. So will the function of government 100 years from now. The purpose of government is to protect the individual rights of its citizens. In a society 100 years from now where everyone’s needs are taken care of are everyone’s rights also taken care of? It largely depends upon what are everyone rights. Continue reading

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100 Years from Now: Part 8 – Jobs and Economics

It is questionable in my mind whether jobs for people will even exist 100 years from now. Most certainly there will be far fewer of them. We see many signs of automation reducing the number of jobs in just about every profession today. In the not too distant future technology will largely make most if not all jobs obsolete. Continue reading

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US-Iran Nuclear Deal is a Good Thing

I view the framework of the nuclear agreement between the presidents of the United States and Iran as a very positive beginning. Getting two enemies talking is always better than rattling sabers. I think these talks between alien enemies continents apart are going far smoother than dialog between our two alienated parties only feet across the aisle from one another. What is the alternative? Iran continuing its production of fissionable uranium and plutonium at the rate it is? Continue reading

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Moral Values

My all time favorite Post is Imposing Human Rights and Moral Values on Others.  It is also my most read post since its publication in December 2013.  It gets to the essence of my values as outlined on the Home page. … Continue reading

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The Consequences of Pulling out of the Middle East

The Middle East is a very confusing place with complex political, religious, cultural, and boundary disputes. It is this very complex multidimensional aspect that is so difficult for anyone to understand making peace so problematic for the U.S. and even people living in that region. It is the U.S. failure to appreciate the complexities of such human behaviors and interactions in the Middle East that has led to our continuing attempts to unsuccessfully solve the problem of stability over there using primarily military means. The best thing we can do is withdraw all our troops from that part of the world. Pulling out of the Middle East will be no different. There will be a power vacuum that needs to be filled. Various militant and religious factions such as ISIS will want to fill that vacuum. Continue reading

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What do we have to fear from ISIL and Al Qaeda Terrorist

Let us suppose the U.S. government decided that enough was enough and totally withdrew all military presence in the Middle East. What proponents of the war here fear most is that this would allow ISIS to increase (start) terrorist activities in the U.S. because they hate us so much for killing so many of their countrymen that all they want is revenge. Let us consider how reasonable this assumption is. First of all I am assuming that ISIS leaders are smart and rational men as we have seen of Al Qaeda leaders. Though there are some here who do not believe this the evidence is quite strong. One must wonder why ISIS terrorist have not yet struck on U.S. soil. Continue reading

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Do We have a Moral Right?

Since the 1950s we have had political/economic interests and a military presence in the Middle East. It is no secret now that we are there because of Oil. In our self-interest we have attempted to maintain stability in that region so that the price of oil would remain under control. In spit of our claim of being civilized we seem to have a proclivity towards war and violence. I am sure that those who have been victimized by our civilized manner do not see us in the same light. So what Moral Right do we have for spending more money on killing people than education or any other worthy cause at home? The question of Moral Right begs an answer. I am Not asking if Arabs have a Moral Right to terrorize us. I’m asking does a civilized nation such as the U.S. have a Moral Right to impose its military might on other nations abroad who originally posed little danger to our nation? Continue reading

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POT Controversy

POT is becoming increasingly accepted in various municipalities and states throughout our nation, just as with many other taboo issues such as LGBT rights, as social acceptance standards and mythical perceptions are dispelled. It has been argued for decades that POT will lead to more serious drug use, but research has shown that this is no more true than alcohol leading to harder drugs. The medical harm and addictive effects of POT have been proven to be less than alcohol and cigaret smoking and highs experienced by users to impair their senses far less than alcohol. It is time to decriminalize it and treat it just as we do cigarets and alcohol. Billions of dollars are spent annually on cost with no revenue opportunities that could better spent on education just enforcing senseless marijuana laws. Continue reading

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Ebola: Fight-or-Flight

Survival by flight when confronting an unknown threat or overwhelming foe is one of man’s strongest survival instincts. In the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa there are many who demand that the only course of action is to contain this deadly disease by isolate the nations where it is ravaging by closing boarders and ban flights from these areas or even the entire continent of Africa. On the surface this seems reasonable. Closing the boarders to Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will simply cause people in fear of contracting Ebola to cross the borders to other African nations illegally and spread it unchecked not knowing where it is coming from or going. As it rapidly spreads throughout there were be not enough world resources to contain and treat it from spreading throughout the world. Continue reading

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Obama’s Weakness and Failures

My favorite presidents are Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. What these presidents had in common were a very turbulent presidency, the skills to work behind the scenes with an often hostile congress to barter for legislation important to them, and figuring how best to get very difficult things done. When President Obama was first elected he had a much less hostile congress to work with. He was able to pass the Affordable Care Act, something other presidents had failed to do. But he was not an especially skilled politician familiar with the art of negotiating. His skills were far more adept at going out to the public to ask for their support. This won him the Presidency in two elections. But this alienated him from Congress. Legislation is at the heart of making government work which Congress owned. Continue reading

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Mixing Religious Moral Values with Government

The 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States clearly states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” This is referred to as the Separation of Church from State and Freedom of Religion. Interestingly the separation of church from state is the very first Right of all rights listed in the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately some fundamentalist Christian groups still do not believe in the separation of church from state as defined in the 1st Amendment. They believe that the laws of God takes precedence over man’s laws. Continue reading

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Legislators Not Doing their Jobs

This election we have five state initiatives on our ballot. There are elections in which we have many more. Some of these initiatives are submitted by our legislature to voters to vote on and are often quite technically complex and beyond the ability of an average literate voter to understand. With all the deceptive political ads by special interest groups constantly bombarding voters they are often thoroughly confused about what they are voting on. There are simply too many problems letting the public vote on legislation. This is largely a problem with legislators who are too lazy to take responsibility of doing their jobs of legislating. Democracy is all about being informed voters. When voters are uninformed or make decisions based upon false or deceptive information then Democracy fails because government no longer represent the will of voters. Continue reading

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Terrorism: Pure Evil or a Matter of Perspective?

According to the dictionary terrorism is “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.” Wikipedia expands upon the definition as “those violent acts that are intended to create fear (terror); are perpetrated for a religious, political, or ideological goal; and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants.” Most ordinary people living in Iraq simply want to be left alone to make a humble living. They don’t know what freedom means nor is it important to them. They simply want to be left alone to live out their lives. Being shot at and bombed terrorizes them to death. So there are some who hate us and want to rid their nation of these foreign terrorist who killed and maim their family member. Some have lost their families and have nothing to live for so are willing to fight evil Americans to the death. So they join al-Qaida or ISIL and practice that form of jihad against American terrorist. Regardless of who is terrorizing who on whose homeland people who are being terrorized will consider the other side terrorists and pure evil. Continue reading

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Saving the World to Death From Itself

For some reason we Americans often feel the need to save people in third world countries from their religions or cultural beliefs and traditions by imposing our Christian-Judaic values and form of government, which even fails us, upon them. We too often view their social and moral values as barbaric, morally corrupt, and inhumane. Even in our own country we likewise view religious practices that do not conform to our social standards and moral beliefs as cults, not to be tolerated. I am a strong advocate of human rights but I am opposed to changes under military threats or any forced action. Human rights must be dispensed with the same humanity, human rights practices, compassion, and respect that is being espoused. Otherwise it is hypocritically forced upon unwilling people with no consideration of the feelings and culture of the vanquished. Continue reading

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Is the U.S. Truly a Democracy or Republic?

So often we Americans refer to our nations as a Democracy. But this is not entirely true. If it were a true Democracy everyone would vote on every law and there would be no need for a legislature. The United States is closer to the true meaning of a Democratic Republic as it is a hybrid between the two concepts. Our founding fathers cleverly took the best of both concepts to devise what they hoped would be a perfect nation. To keep it honest they created three branches of government and divided the power equally among them with checks and balances to limit the power of any branch from overwhelming the others. They also devised elections to be held frequently enough to make it difficult for any one person or group of people to become too powerful. Yet over the years and centuries legislators and those in power have found workarounds in the power limitations designed by the founding fathers. Continue reading

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