Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Big Issues in PA, and Elsewhere

I wrote this back in mid-May, long after I'd stopped teaching (before any crazies jump on me for trying to "indoctrinate" young minds with my Democratic demonics). I took it down for a while because I didn't want to feed the trolls. But now my platform is bigger and more influential. So here goes again.




Ah, the upcomiong PA Senate battle between Joe Sestak (Democrat) and Pat Toomey (Republican)! Should be an interesting race, and you can probably guess for whom I'll be voting. But is there actually any debate as to who cares more about Pennsylvanians and will work to help make things better? I think not.

To enlighten yourself on the specifics, here's a good read: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126990200

Let me now just break down the race even further. I'll do it by the big issues:

To regulate financial instituations or not to regulate?
Why is anyone even asking this question? Clearly, de-regulation did not work and, in fact, led in large part to the recent (massive and still ongoing) recession.  Trickle-down economics has never actually worked in any measurable fashion. Tax cuts didn't and don't work; if they did, we'd all be sitting a lot prettier than we are right now. We've tried it the conservative, pro-business way for decades; now it's time to give it up, already, free marketers. What's needed are politicians who will work to protect the little guy's money, not the financial monopolies or the richest one percent. How does keeping the majority impoverished and financially sort of helpless benefit America?

Gun control
Who could be against controlling guns? Honestly? I could argue that hardly anyone has a true need to hunt, but I won't even bother. Why do Americans still really need the "right to bear arms?" Isn't this an antiquated Constitutional remnant from the days when citizens actually had to worry about an evil dictatorship pushing them around? I don't want to bear any arms, and I definitely don't want my neighbor to have guns. Guns are for killing; that is their only purpose. Voting against gun control is like playing Russian roulette with your family. You wouldn't let your child hold a gun to his or her temple, would you? So why would you vote for less control over these weapons of personal destruction?

Smshortion: The Elephant in the Room
I find it interesting that voters who are deeply concerned about eradicating abortion could be, at the same time (perhaps they don't even realize it), voting pro-gun, pro-war and anti-environment and in opposition to helping save lives through expanded and lower-cost health care.

I understand that abortion is a touchy issue, and I actually don't like it, either, but I think that other issues need to be considered, also. Voting for the "pro-life" candidate could also mean voting against gun control, voting against public health care, and voting for a politician who helped drag us into unjust wars that have killed hundreds of thousands of children (and adults). This absolutely negates the fact that these same politicians somehow aligned themselves with anti-abortion forces.

Seriously. Think about it: what good is done by voting for the anti-abortion candidate if he or she is for killing in so many other forms?

"Single issue" voting is a huge, huge problem. You can't be pro-gun, pro-war, pro-unchecked pollution, and opposed to healthcare reform and still be truly, honestly pro-life. The world just doesn't work that way, and to think it does is called hypocrisy (not to mention ignorance of all the facts). There are many Catholic Democrats (and some nuns I've met) who completely agree with me on this.

The Environment
What is each candidate pledging to do to help curb pollution and rehabilitate our battered environment? If we're talking about the pro-big-business candidate, the answer is: "Nothing useful." It's very difficult to be on the side of manufacturing and big business and also manage to effect any meaningful environmental reforms or protections. (Consider Rand Paul's recent statement claiming that Pres. Obama is being--paraphrasing--mean to BP, and to criticize that big oil company is "un-American!")

I am not saying that people/businesses should not be allowed to make money; what I am saying is that businesses should be allowed to be as profitable as they can be, but just not at the expense of our environment or our childrens' future. Do business a little differently, but do business. It IS possible; just try it. With a few tweaks and precautions, it can be done. It's too expensive (in terms of future cost) NOT to conduct business in a green manner. Again, voting to help the environment and save the Earth for humanity is the only true "pro-life" stance.

Health Care
This is one of my pet subjects. Thousands of people in PA alone lose their health care coverage each day. (I am one of them.) COBRA costs more than I can make now; health care costs have been going up 20% a year. That is not sustainable; it is not affordable; it is unconscionable, and no, we do not in the U.S. have "the world's best healthcare." We have the world's most expensive healthcare. Politicians need to help fix this problem.

Is your candidate doing anything to help? How can families survive without lower cost options for healthcare?

More later, perhaps. That's all for today...must write my book.

18 comments:

  1. Mind if I share this piece? Sharp and to the point, and well worth wider dissemination.

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  2. TeachersAreGreatMay 20, 2010 at 11:02 PM

    Boy, this will like their a**es on fire...you invoked ABORTION and that is just unacceptable...LOL! You are too great! Thanks, great blog writing; the truth.

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  3. Thanks Tony and TeachersAreGreat. I appreciate the reads and, of course, am always heartened by likeminded people.

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  4. Morten JohannessenMay 21, 2010 at 9:59 AM

    Agree with you about Rand Paul. With any luck, he will disappear from the political scene very soon. He seems to be suffering from Palin-itis, or as it will now be known, Paul-itis.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

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  5. I've been steamed about R. Paul (sr and jr) for a while now, but I am enjoying watching Paul talk himself into an indefensible corner. And I am glad I don't live in KY right now.

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  6. By the way, thank you for reading and commenting, Morten!

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  7. It is indeed a great resource to obtain information on this subject. Keep posting. Thanks.
    bba india

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  8. You're welcome. You might be in India, but I think Joe Sestak's name is one you will start hearing more about---at least, you will if I have anything to do with it.

    Best,

    EC

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  9. EC,

    You are my new hero.

    And you're so funny and very cute, especially for an older woman.

    Good luck with everything. Those Philly people seem like savages.

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  10. I am conservative and don't vote pro gun, pro war or ANTI environment.

    I instead vote for liberty and freedom from my government taking my arms if I choose to have them.
    I vote for a strong national military defense and for candidate who understands that currently radical Islamic terrorists are trying to kill Americans and our allies and would do something about it.
    It has been proven time and again throughout history that diplomacy does not work with terrorists.

    I also vote against the right for people to kill unborn children for convenience. Medical emergencies are something entirely different. Either way I will fight to the death for my belief that the government has absolutely no business using tax monies to pay for abortions. If you want one pay for it yourself and live with the guilt.

    I am an avid mountain biker and trail advocate. Your assumption that all conservative vote "Anti" environment is way off base as are many of your views. I do however tend to believe that we can drill for oil more safely on land and in shallower water than if we have to drill a mile+ down way off shore. The environmentalists are partially to blame for the BP accident in that respect. On one hand they decry that we need energy independence but refuse to look at petro products and other natural resources that are fairly readily available as a part of the solution.
    Wind and solar when tapped to fullest potential may be able to produce 20% of what we need, and that is a good way off. Nuclear power is clean but since 3 Mile the enviro-nuts have put a pretty heavy lid on the Nuke potential bucket. Coal is much cleaner than it used to be yet is frowned upon because burning it produces carbon. Carbon dioxide is not a harmful gas. Period. If so stop breathing out you are killing us all. Also BTW global warming is a farce. The earths temp is cyclical and has everything to do with that huge flaming ball of burning gas in the sky that we float around.

    I'm glad you got fired. If you had been teaching my kid I would have been the parent to call you to the carpet.
    Even when discussing current topics it is your job to teach while remaining neutral politically. If that is too much for you maybe you should just be a community organizer. Don't knock it I have heard it is a great place to begin training for the presidency. If Obama can win surely you can. Pfft.

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  11. Regarding health care. Where does it say in the constitution that We as Americans have the right to government supplied health care?
    Why, oh why do you think that the government which can't even protect our shores from an oil accident can run anything efficiently. When is the last time government involvement in ANYTHING led to price reductions? In this country we have had all of the freedom we need to be successful and prosper. Some disadvantaged souls have even more freedoms than the rest of us as far as the entitlement programs that have been created over the years.

    I gues it all comes down to whether or not you believe that this country's constitution is a "living" document open for modernization and re-interpretation. I believe that it is not and that everything it needs to have in it is already there and if there is something missing from it at this point, it probably has no business being there. I think the founding fathers got it right. Want a more socialistic way of life? Move to Europe or Canada for that matter. You could probably be a hero there bashing the US.

    Also wanted to weigh in on the AZ illegal immigration bill. It is pretty much the same law we have on the federal books. I say we just adopt the exact same immigration laws for our southern border as Mexico has for their borders. Case closed. That and gun towers every 3000' along the border.

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  12. Kevman,

    If you choose to keep your head in the sand and not admit that the hawkish candidates you seem to prefer don't give a damn about the world or the environment, then so be it.

    Did you read the most recent issue of Newsweek--Jonathan Alter's article about how wrong McCain is/was about Iran is a particularly well-done piece. You should read it and enlighten yourself a bit.

    I am not interested in political debates, however. I am interested to making people realize that one-issue voting can lead to a host of other, even bigger, problems. And no, I do not believe for a second that your candidates have not and would not sell out the environment. Global warming is definitely real. I have many Harvard and Stanford-trained scientist friends who know all the horrifying details (the ones Faux news tries to hide).

    Furthermore, I have never in my life heard of any woman using health insurance for an abortion, unless it is a mother's-life-at-risk situation (which you seem to be ok with, as you should be, especially since you are not, apparently, a woman). That is a terrible twisting of the universal health care argument. Do some research: that plan works rather brilliantly in other countries. Why should we live in the Dark Ages here? What did the Founding Fathers think about health care? I think they said everyone has a right to health...

    EC

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  13. Everyone has a right to health? Sure thing, then YOU go ahead and feel free to PAY for everyone to have health.

    Health care on the other hand is not a guarantee nor should it be.

    Whether or not you agree that everybody should have health care ( I think everyone who choose to buy a plan should have the right to it)you have to admit that having the government force it's own system on you is not a good thing. Not like you are open to posting this or my last reponse to this subject anyway.

    I hope you don't get sick while in between jobs I know it's tough out there. Take comfort in the fact that if you do get sick Obama's grand plan of socialized health care will leave you with inferior care at a greater cost (to our country) than if you had been left on your own to find a plan. Perhaps with a medical spending account. Closed minded liberal is closed minded. Spend all day preaching about being progressive but in reality are unbending, unreceptive and intolerant to anyone who has views that are different than yours.

    If it makes you feel good you could mark up my posts for grammatical errors and give me an F for being conservative. :)

    Kev

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  14. I have no problem paying (contributing) via taxes to ensure that everyone has health care coverage. No problem at all. I am selfless and caring that way.

    How could you, Kevin, let other people--especially children--simply die for lack of health care because you are personally too greedy/stingy to help them?

    Universal health care works very well in other nations. I have Canadian friends and British relatives and friends who absolutely rave about their nationalized health care systems.

    My health care is totally unaffordable, plus it goes up 20% a year. That is not sustainable. We need government to force the private insurance cos to make health care affordable.

    I would sign up for the govt plan in a heartbeat.

    If you don't want it, don't sign up for it. Keep paying through the nose for ever-increasing in cost health care coverage that can be dropped on you at any moment, lest you actually really need it.

    We must get out from under those companies who do not care about our health, but rather only about making money.

    Why don't you see that other people will benefit, even if you don't want change for yourself?

    That's called being openminded.

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  15. It is simply no job of the government to ensure the absolute comfort of the entire citizenry, period.
    The government was not designed to be a nanny state. The government's job is to protect our liberties not take them away.
    The government's job is to ensure that it's citizenry is allowed to prosper if they so desire.
    Prosperity on an individual level is determined (or should be determined) by the will and hard work of the individual. It it those individuals that choose to lead and prosper that the government needs to protect the rights of most earnestly.

    Of course I don't want children to get sick. That is just silly. If the medical insurance industry were left open to an honestly regulated free market it would prosper and there would be price points for everyone who wanted to have a plan. No Cadillac plans for welfare recipients? So? Perhaps they will work hard to advance so that they can afford a better plan. The group plans that the insurance industry could provide for lower income folks would be better that state run care and there would still be room for profit. Just like there are Mercedes dealerships and " Joe's used cars for under $1000". If you are in a heap of a car don't blame me. Use the freedom afforded you by our forefathers and the men and women in our service to achieve success.

    I am glad that my child went through his cancer while there was still a free market medical system. He is alive because of it. I can't say that things would be different if the socialized plan had been in place for the past 5 years but I do know that it would have been difficult.

    At what point does personal responsibility ever even enter your thought process? There is nothing more open minded than to live and let live. Do whatever you want in order to achieve success as long as your actions are legal. Just please don't ask the government who is paid to protect all of or liberties to redistribute wealth. Taxes that pay for the day to day operation and defense of our country are fine, just need to be set at a flat rate for everyone.

    Are the governments services worth more to me than to someone who pays no income taxes at all? Tell me how the government provides me with the 20+% of tax services for me. Could you then tell me how many government services are offered for folks who work and or are receiving some sort of federal monetary aid. All the same services I get plus a check every month or perhaps subsidized housing. Who gets more for my money? Is that live and let live? Is that the freedom to pursue individual happiness without fear of the government taking my reward and distributing it to lord knows who. Some nice folks I am sure, but also some folks I'd rather not give money to.

    I guess I appreciate your viewpoint on most subjects. I just have a difference in opinion on the role of the federal government. I think that if the framers of the constitution were brought to modern day America that they would be devastated at the grossly over sized, over powered government.


    Kev

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  16. Kev,

    I do think it is government's job to protect us from unfair business practices/decisions made by greedy companies. I want MORE regulation, not less.

    If health insurance companies (and credit card companies) had been better regulated and not left to their free-market whims, then people wouldn't be as sick or poor as they are in many cases.

    I understand the "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" mentality. Still, don't you see that the rich get rich oftentimes by making other people poor?

    I am fine with the idea of a flat tax. Really. I think in some cases, though, we are hurting for federal money and social program funding because some groups aren't paying their fair share, and middle-class families are paying too much...

    If there is one thing i am telling my own children, it is "work for yourself if you can."

    I was very sorry to read about your child's cancer. Thank God he or she got good medical care.

    Again, I am all for the Obama idea of "if you like your health insurance, then keep it." I believe, however, that people who can't afford private insurance need something, some affordable option. No one should be without health insurance, and I understand that people need to pay for it, but some people are really struggling and we need to help them.

    As I point out in my latest blog post, we help ourselves when we also help others.

    Best,

    EC

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  17. Help yourself and let me fend for myself. Thanks.

    More regulation until what? You put way to much faith in politicians. If you want to trust government trust the documents that they are supposed to be governing from. They rarely do anything with the constitution other than try to rape it.

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  18. Kevin,

    Communicating with you on these issues is like trying to make a zucchini appreciate foreign film.

    Can you not see that lack of regulation (under R presidents, mostly) has led to the massive problems we're experiencing now?

    If you don't trust government, perhaps you should live off the grid in a lawless land somewhere...as a survivalist?

    That's not America. And besides, like our language, the Constitution needs amendments, additions and adjustments in order to stay relevant to all our needs.

    I've had enough on this now. Have a good summer.

    EC

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