Day: May 6, 2010

Ted Deutch A Worthy Successor To Robert Wexler as Palm Beach/Broward Congressman!

South Palm Beach Country and Northern Broward County in Florida were fortunate to have Robert Wexler as their Congressman from the beginning of 1997 to the beginning of 2010! Wexler chose to leave and become engaged in the promotion of Middle East peace through leadership of a Middle East organization dedicated to that endeavor!

But as of April 15, the Congressional district I am a resident of has been blessed to have former State Senator Ted Deutch as its new Congressman, and already he has been successful in pushing through rebates for homeowners nationwide who have been victims of nature, including hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and other natural disasters!

Imagine, it has only been three weeks since Deutch took the oath, and already he has had an impact! ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has appointed Deutch to the same committees that Wexler was on, Foreign Affairs and Judiciary, arguably the two best committees to be a member of in the House of Representatives!

Deutch has pledged to work against Iran and for Israel’s security, and also to support civil rights and abortion rights!

This is fantastic news, and Deutch will be a worthy successor to Robert Wexler and represent his district in an exceptional manner! ๐Ÿ™‚

HAHA! Positive Views Of “Progressivism”, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights In Pew Poll! :)

In a Pew research poll just released, it is discovered that the terms “Progressive”, “Civil Liberties”, and “Civil Rights” have very positive images as concepts, despite the cynicism and broad criticism of many conservatives and Republicans to all three terms!

The concept of “Progressive” is favored 68-23–imagine that, by two thirds of those polled! ๐Ÿ™‚

By 76-14, the term “Civil Liberties” is supported, despite constant attacks on the American Civil Liberties Union by those on the Right! ๐Ÿ™‚

By a 87-10 margin, the term “Civil Rights” is backed as a good concept, despite the thought of many on the Right that only minorities are represented by that concept!

The term “Militia” is seen negatively by 65-21, and the term “Libertarian” is positive only by one point, 38-37!

Meanwhile, “Capitalism” has only a 52-37 positive image, not surprising after the many abuses by banks and corporations in recent years, causing the Great Recession!

So just maybe the idea that the “Progressive” view lacks support is a total falsehood! ๐Ÿ™‚

As a “Progressive”, this has been a good day indeed! ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL Hooray!

“Real” Educational Financing Reform Is Needed In Higher Education!

As Barack Obama is encouraging more college attendance and promoting support of community colleges particularly, there is something that needs to be understood as we pursue giving financial aid to poor and lower middle class students who have financial difficulties that often prevent the concept of college attendance.

We always hear that many students are unable to afford low cost community college tuition and fees, and to buy books and other supplies. But I think it is not acknowledged that it is often a question of priorities as to what one can afford when beginning college!

As a community college professor, I have seen many students who seem to be able to afford a fancy car, have a constantly used cell phone, and do not deny themselves tobacco and liquor, and insist that entertainment and fun are more important than education!

It is a fact that the present system of financing discriminates against middle class college students who must borrow thousands of dollars in loans, while the lower middle class and the poor are subsidized up to around $10,000 per year, and often more, to attend college, with the middle class taxpayer footing the bill!

If all students understood that their education is being funded for the purpose of education, and not just collecting money by being “marginal” students, then there would be no problem with supporting their education with taxpayer money! But many students, I have observed, have no intention of gaining a degree, and are just cheating the system and collecting money without achieving results!

At the danger of NOT seeming to be “progressive” or “liberal”, I propose changes in the education funding law as follows!

If any student who is unable to afford college wishes to get taxpayer aid, my suggestion is to do what many other students past and present have done–sacrifice pleasure and materialistic goods and lay out two courses tuition cost. Then really work hard and achieve a grade of C, B, or A and get paid for your efforts! If one chooses not to attend class regularly and fails to study or do work required in the course, and gains a D, F, or W, he or she would not get reimbursed! One gets rewarded for accomplishment, not economic status!

The system, as it is now constituted, encourages absences, failure to do any work, just show up enough to beat the system, and to cheat taxpayers, with many students knowing full well they have no real goal to achieve success! With so many F’s, D’s, and W’s, the whole student financing system is wasting billions of dollars on students who just wish to exploit it for financial gain, not for educational and occupational goals!

If students understood the purpose of attending college, they and the country would be the better for it! And if they have no intention of having the work ethic, then they should be shown the door and made to understand there are no “free rides”! You want opportunity, prove your willingness to work, and sacrifice for your future!

Time For Banning Off Shore Oil Drilling Permanently!

If the recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, with the leak from the British Petroleum oil rig, leading to what will probably be the greatest environmental disaster in American history, is not enough information to tell us that off shore oil drilling around our coast lines must be banned, then nothing will! ๐Ÿ™

It is time that senators such as Mary Landrieu of Louisiana stop catering to oil companies, and start representing the many struggling poor and middle class people of her state, many of whom will be impacted by the environmental disaster now taking place!

This is the moment finally to start promoting wind power and solar power and other alternative sources of energy, and get away from the pollution caused by both oil and coal!

This is the opportunity,ร‚ย  when the “iron is hot”, to promote the permanent banning of off shore oil drilling, while the Democrats have the opportunity to push the issue, which should be a winning issue with the American people, particularly in the crisis atmosphere now existing!

Jimmy Carter, much maligned in many ways, still stands out as the courageous President who was willing, over 30 years ago, to push the idea of alternative sources of energy,and it is time we started to listen and follow his lead on this issue! In the long run, it will make us finally NOT dependent on foreign oil, which affects our national security in a threatening way!

The Incongruity Of Terrorists And Gun Rights Versus “Miranda Rights”!

Everyone is in agreement that terrorists are “terrible” people who must be kept track of so they cannot get on planes, but if the suggestion is made that such people on a “watch list” should not have the right to buy arms or weapons, forbid the thought, as it means the loss of “gun rights”! ๐Ÿ™

How could anyone in their right mind think it is alright for people being tracked by the FBI to have the ability to buy weapons and explosives that could be used to attack Americans on the streets of our cities? What is it about “gun nuts” that they cannot see the craziness of unwillingness to limit ability of such people to buy arms, when it is for no good purpose? ๐Ÿ™

That is exactly what Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, often quite reasonable on many issues, has declared! Don’t dare touch the Second Amendment, even for dangerous people, who are being tracked because they are thought to be a threat to all of us! ๐Ÿ™

But at the same time, if terrorists are American citizens, as the Times Square terrorist is, Graham says that they should not be read their “Miranda rights”, and Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut wants to strip citizens who commit terror of basic citizen rights after the fact! ๐Ÿ™

How loony these senators are, and how inconsistent they are! ๐Ÿ™ Rather than use common sense, and stop angling for votes and to please extremist constituencies on the right, they use irrational thoughts which do great harm to our Constitution and Bill of Rights and national security! ๐Ÿ™

The Coming Collapse Of Print Newspapers And Periodicals! A Sign Of Reading Decline And Loss Of The Work Ethic!

As part of the economic recession that America has been experiencing for the past few years, we are, tragically, witnessing the rapid decline, and in many ways, collapse of print media in America! ๐Ÿ™

After seeing earlier the disappearance of daily newspapers in Seattle and Denver, and the rapid loss of advertising revenue and circulation of many other daily newspapers, causing major layoffs at even leading newspapers, such as the NY Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune, we are now also witnessing the apparent end of the Washington Times, and even of news magazines on a weekly basis. ๐Ÿ™

The Washington Post is out to sell Newsweek, which it has owned since 1961, and which has been in publication since 1933. Time Magazine is also losing its advertising and circulation base rapidly, and US News and World Report went from a weekly to a monthly in 2008. ๐Ÿ™

It is not just the economic crisis, but also the rapid growth of cable and the internet and blogs which has caused the deterioration of the print media.

But also, there are signs that the decline of daily newspapers and weekly news magazines in print is due to the accelerating downturn of READING by millions of Americans, not only the young who would rather spend time on social media and listening to music, but also their parents and older people in general. ๐Ÿ™

With this rapid collapse of reading, we are in danger as a nation of becoming more ignorant and dumb, and that is a danger sign for democracy, as demagogues can more easily manipulate those who are ill informed! ๐Ÿ™

It is also a threat for the work ethic and the sustainability of a society, in which the motivation to work and contribute is lost to many younger people who care more about fun and entertainment than work and responsibility! ๐Ÿ™

When the work ethic and ambition and desire to learn is lost, as it is rapidly occurring even in the colleges of the nation, the United States is entering a crisis of massive proportions! ๐Ÿ™

How can a nation advance and progress, and remain a world leader, if educational standards and reading are in rapid decline, and it is considered that it is, somehow, good, to be ignorant and dumb? ๐Ÿ™

The Greek Crisis Just The Tip Of The Iceberg! :( Europe In Crisis!

The Greek economic crisis, leading to widespread riots and looting over the past two days, is an alarming development, which is likely to continue and to spread to other European nations which have debt crises and weak economies!

The Greeks are so overextended in debt that if it were not for the assistance of Germany, the strongest economy in Europe, it would go bankrupt and into chaos and anarchy. As it is, with Germany insisting on harsh cutbacks in the Greek economy, including dramatic cuts in pensions and benefits, the Greeks are involved in massive demonstrations that are rapidly getting out of control, with three bank workers killed after a bank building was set on fire.

The problem with Greece and, really, with many other nations, including the United States, is that too many wealthy people have been successful in evading taxes or paying far less than they should be expected to pay, and the middle class is becoming the victim, as well as the underclass, as a result of their selfishness and greed! ๐Ÿ™

And in the midst of all this, the Republican party continues to be demagogic and promote lower taxes, acting as if government can exist without proper collection of taxes based on ability to pay. It is that party, under George W. Bush, which had a lot to do with the economic crisis this nation and the world faces! ๐Ÿ™

The problem is that the so called PIIGS nations (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) are all in financial crisis, and it is affecting the value of the Euro currency, and now causing a stock market crisis as I write this! ๐Ÿ™

The biggest irony of all this is that Germany (once the nation of Frederick the Great, Bismarck, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Adolf Hitler), and the nation that caused two world wars and represented autocratic and dictatorial governments in its past, has become the savior of the nation which represents the emergence of democracy in the Western World in ancient times! Who would ever have imagined such a scenario?

The danger is that this European economic crisis could spread elsewhere, and already, there are hints that Great Britain, having its parliamentary elections today, may face a somewhat similar economic crisis, for the prime minister who is elected to head the House of Commons. It might be a mixed victory, something that might be regretted for the man who faces the future economic crisis in the United Kingdom!

And, ultimately, if this economic crisis goes ballistic, it will affect the economic future of Barack Obama’s presidency, and the fortunes of all Americans! ๐Ÿ™