Day: February 24, 2012

The Republican Party Establishment In Panic: Jeb Bush, George Will, Haley Barbour

The Republican Party Establishment is fully aware that the party is doomed if it follows the crazy path being tread by Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul.

These candidates are absolutely a calamity big time.

Mitt Romney spends time talking about the height of the trees in Michigan; the fact that his wife has two Cadillacs; the concept that he likes firing people; jokes about being “unemployed”; suggests a tax plan that would be worse than that under George W. Bush in cutting taxes on the wealthy; and continues to say that the auto industry bailout was a bad idea even though it saved between one and two million jobs.

Rick Santorum talks about Satan taking over America; attacks public education and higher education as promoting secular humanism; advocates the end of contraception availability to women; condemns homosexuality in the most extreme language; advocates religion in government; and calls for war on Iran immediately.

Newt Gingrich says that Barack Obama is dangerous to American security; calls for immediate action on Day One to wipe out everything Barack Obama has promoted; calls for a moon colony despite no funds available for it anytime soon; brags about his own brilliance and intellect and knowledge; has no shame about his moral lapses; and enjoys stirring a “hornet’s nest” and being a “flame thrower”.

Ron Paul calls for the elimination of the Federal Reserve; the immediate withdrawal of our troops from all nations overseas; the ending of five federal government agencies; is for massive immediate cuts in the federal budget;
believes in no regulation of corporations; and is a total advocate of libertarianism.

All four are a true disaster, and we have heard the lament from Establishment figures.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush deplores the promotion of fear and emotion; while George Will, of ABC’s THIS WEEK and also a Washington Post columnist, states that none of the candidates have made a good case for the nomination; and former Mississippi Governor and Republican National Chairman Haley Barbour also is critical of the performance of the candidates for the Republican nomination.

Whether anything can be done to avoid electoral disaster is very hard to predict at this point, but a sense of foreboding is clearly evident in Republican circles!

Rick Santorum Critical Of Public Education And Higher Education As Promoting Indoctrination

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has now criticized public education and higher education as promoting indoctrination in what he considers liberal, secular, humanistic thought and learning.

Santorum touted the advantages of home schooling, which all of his children have experienced, as the way to counteract public education and promote parental values.

He complains that higher education institutions advocate challenges to religious values, and are out to propagandize liberal, secular values and concepts.

It is clear that Santorum does not see organized religion as indoctrination, promoting obedience and acceptance without open analysis, evaluation, and interpretation. He is disturbed that many young people move away from organized religion as they get older, and blames it on the secular humanism which challenges men and women to THINK, to come to conclusions, to JUDGE, to refuse to accept dogma, whether religious, political, or any other type of learning.

Santorum would rather have people accept religion without challenge, reject a worldly view, accept authority of all kinds without question, and keep women in a subservient role, as all religions promote.

The answer is that IF someone wishes to follow what Santorum advocates, then send your children to religiously based schools and universities, or keep them engaged in home schooling below the college level. But if one chooses to isolate his or her children from contact with others of a different religion, race, or ethnicity, those children are losing a valuable opportunity to learn about the real world out there. And if they do not learn to think, to evaluate, to analyze, to interpret information and challenge established institutions, then they are not able to accept the responsibilities of adulthood in a full sense!

Above all, separation of church and state, when it comes to public schools and public colleges and universities, must be maintained, as we are not a theocracy.

Religion is appropriate in churches and synagogues, but not in public education, and religion should not be taught in public schools or forced at the college and university level, unless one chooses independently to study it as a subject of inquiry.

This does not mean that religion as part of history should not be introduced and taught, but no indoctrination or advocacy can be allowed, despite the desires and wishes of Rick Santorum!

The Impeachment Of Andrew Johnson In 1868: The Beginning Of Presidential Decline For A Third Of A Century!

On this day, in 1868, President Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives for “high crimes and misdemeanors in office”.

Although Johnson was found not guilty by one vote short of the two thirds needed to remove him from the Presidency, his impeachment trial, based on accusations that he had defied an unconstitutional law which he had not defied, and charges that he had a foul mouth in his attacks on Congressional opponents (which he did), undermined the Presidential office for the next third of a century until the rise of Theodore Roosevelt to the Presidency in 1901.

Impeachment as a weapon had been attempted unsuccessfully against Andrew Jackson and John Tyler earlier, and would be threatened against Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush later, but was only actually utilized against Richard Nixon on a just basis, with Nixon resigning after being impeached by the House Judiciary Committee; and Bill Clinton, whose impeachment trial was politicized as much as Andrew Johnson’s trial was.

Impeachment has even been suggested by some irresponsible Republicans against Barack Obama, but it is something that should NOT be employed or threatened unless it is clear that the President has committed “high crimes” on the level of Richard Nixon.

Weakening the Presidency on flimsy grounds is an idea that undermines the safety and security of the nation, and takes our mind off important issues and problems.

Republican Presidential Candidates And “Day One”!

Throughout the Presidential campaign so far, we have heard incessantly the statements of Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and others who have dropped out of the race, that on “Day One”, they are going to repeal this and accomplish that, as if a President can walk in and magically transform the nation overnight!

This is so preposterous, and it is time that the American people expressed in polls and otherwise that they are tired of constant silliness and pledges that cannot possibly be accomplished on “Day One”, and really, in most cases, probably never!

Many conservatives accuse Barack Obama of promising too much in the Presidential campaign of 2008, but NEVER did he say it would be done on “Day One”, or overnight, or in a week or a month!

This rhetoric by Republicans demonstrates that they have no clue as to what the Presidency is all about, and all they are doing is practicing demagoguery with gullible voters, who assuredly would be disillusioned by a President Romney or a President Gingrich or a President anyone else!

A “Brokered” Republican Convention Possible? YES!

With the struggle going on for the Republican Presidential nomination, a scenario of a “brokered” convention looms.

IF Mitt Romney does not win Michigan and Arizona next Tuesday, and/or loses Ohio and other states on March 6, the “Establishment” Republicans, terrified at the thought of Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich as the party nominee, COULD work together to prevent a majority for either of them, and create a “brokered” convention.

If that were to occur, the first contested convention since 1976, when Gerald Ford defeated Ronald Reagan by fewer than 100 delegate votes (a losing campaign, by the way), then former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, or Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan COULD emerge as the nominee.

It is clear at this time that trying to predict what will happen politically this year is still very much up in the air, as foreign policy or economic crisis could transform the race not just for the GOP, but also for President Barack Obama!

Another Moral Lapse: Syria Added To Cambodia And Rwanda

Any decent human being, witnessing the horrors of a Holocaust in Syria, as the world sits by and takes no action to stop the massacre of the citizenry by the government of Bashar Al Assad, feels helpless.

This massacre has been going on for almost a year now, and yet no nation or group of nations is doing anything other than to express horror at what is going on. In America, there is a feeling that we cannot intervene, as Barack Obama did in Libya, because of lack of international support and the exhaustion felt in this country about our interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iranian influence in Syria, which also prevents intervention, as Russia and China side with both nations, is in itself an alarm bell, that could be looked upon in the future as a tremendous mistake that causes a worse overall situation in the Middle East, and endangers Israeli national security.

No one is saying that it is an easy decision to think of American intervention in Syria, but the feeling of helplessness is disturbing.

We must not forget that the world stood by as the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia slaughtered 2.5 million between 1975 and 1978, during the administrations of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

And we must not forget that the world stood by as we had the mass murder of about two thirds of a million in Rwanda in 1994 during the administration of Bill Clinton.

Will we be able to keep our heads from being in shame when we look back at this time in the future?

Major Landmark In Education: Over 30% Of Americans Over 25 Have Bachelor’s Degree

For the first time in American history, over 30% of Americans over the age of 25 have a four year bachelor’s degree from a college or university.

As of last March, 30.4% of Americans have a bachelor’s degree, and 10.9% have a graduate degree.

Women are nearly equal in attainment of bachelor’s and graduate degrees for the first time, and will soon surpass men in attainment of college degrees.

Asian Americans remain the most educated in our society, with 50.3% having bachelor’s degrees, and 19.5% having graduate degrees.

Whites have 34% with undergraduate degrees; African Americans 19.9%; and Hispanics 14.1%.

Somewhat surprisingly, science and engineering degrees are the largest fields with college degrees on the bachelor’s level, reaching 34.9% of the total of all degrees. The percentage of women in these fields is up to 45.9% among the age group 25-39. And more such majors are found on the east coast in the District of Columbia and Maryland, and on the west coast in California and Washington. The lowest percentage in this field are found in Southern and Great Plains states.

It is better for the long range future of America that more of the population is attending and graduating with a college degree. And it is not only for economic reasons, but also, a better educated citizenry is good for improving one’s life and the understanding of the world we live in!