As I said weeks ago the people around the U.S. peacefully protesting in parks and public areas are now being subject to the violence I predicted. This violence will get worse as the public gets more frustrated from the continuous bullshit from all sides.
We criticize other governments for dealing with their protestors with violence and then hypocritically do the same to our protestors.
The press, especially the press led by Rupert Murdoch and his phone hacking band of merry men have continually set a tone of nastiness that benefits no one. The headlines in the NY Post and the commentators on Fox News do nothing to inform people of the real news.
I have no problem if Fox News or MSNBC have partisan bent if the tone is civil and the reportage of the news is fair and informative. Leave the opinions to an editorial part of the news and identify them as opinions. Even with that the tone should be civil. There is no gain to inflaming people who are frustrated anyway.
The real news has to be the economy, jobs, education, healthcare, and foreign policy as opposed to Lindsay Lohan, or Kim Kardashian.
Obama has been a disappointment even to his supporters. He has not been a real leader.
George Bush Jr. inherited a country that had been at relative peace for twenty years with minor actions in Grenada, Kosovo and the Gulf. The Gulf war was an act of genius by George Sr. A strong coalition of twenty countries with a specific goal to get Saddam out of Kuwait and into the desert, destroy that army in the desert and go home.
Bush Jr. inherited a budget surplus and turned it into a trillion dollar deficit. He inherited peace and put us in two wars we couldn't win and should never have been in. Condeleeza Rice's book shows how we were manipulated in the wars.
I am not a pacifist and wanted to kill everybody responsible for 9/11.
We have seen how surgical strikes by elite forces and drones have accomplished what the wars have not, the decimation of Al Qaeda and the killing of Bin Laden and his leadership.
Obama had the mandate that George Jr. did not, yet George Jr. knew how to use his power to accomplish his goals whether I agreed with them or not. I admire him that he knew how to use the power.
Obama does not use the power bestowed on him but rather has become a Neville Chamberlain, putting us closer to chaos one compromise at a time.
The first really Presidential thing he has done is to declare an end to the War in Iraq. He must do the same in Afghanistan.
The Republicans are responsible for blocking any and all legislation good or bad if it emanates from Obama, and it disenfranchises the millions of people who voted for Obama and have watched him betray their agenda. The Republican voice while not right is the clearer and simpler voice and led to the debacle for the Democrats in the mid term elections.
My guess is both Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan are turning over in their graves.
I said over and over that in order to move forward both parties need to agree to keep religion out of politics. If the Republicans are such strict constitutionalists,they then should respect the Constitution's very clear mandate to separate church and state. If the Tea Party want less government than take abortion, same sex marriage off the table as a national issue. It is personal issue and should remain that way.
We now allow gays in the military and it has not signaled the end of the world. Some states have legalized gay marriage and again it has not led to millions of people changing their sexual orientation.
We make TV shows depicting gay couples with Children, (Modern Family) huge ratings hits and again the society is not going to hell. If people object don't watch the show. That is why the TV comes with an on/off button and a channel changer.
If we are Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Taoists, or atheists does not mean we are automatically going to hell if there is a hell.
I respect all opinions as long as mine are respected. We must encourage and embrace our diversity, it is what makes us Americans. The ability to accept people from all countries is what made us the most innovative and successful country in history. Unfair immigration policies pushed by people who claim to be "real Americans" is a farce because except for our native Americans we ALL come from immigrants. Most of our immigrants were persecuted when they arrived, be they Irish, Chinese, Jews, Latinos and the involuntary immigrants from Africa.
Our first generation immigrants always took the jobs that the previous immigrants no longer would do. If we bar the Mexicans or other Latinos it will have a negative impact on the economy not a positive. I have seen over the past forty years how hard working they are and how like the groups that preceded them they only care that their children do better than they.
Now we must discuss what could bring us together.
The Tea Party and the Wall Street Occupiers 99% people have many things in common. They both see the system as broken.
No New taxes is not the answer. Tax the rich is also not an answer. It is easy to have the economists and pundits who got us into this mess to dismiss the people wanting a flat tax. With our existing budgets they are right it will not work. Therefore rather than dismantling government and doing away with the functions that government should be doing we must examine the budget in detail.
We must abolish the lobbyists at both the state and national levels. We must publicly finance our elections and shorten the campaign time. We must neutralize the impact of both the unions and big business.
We must deal with the fact that schools are more important than prisons. In order to do that we must get rid of those laws and regulations that do nothing to advance the society, but rather impede our progress.
Ken Burns just did his usual brilliant job and did a documentary on the 14 years we had prohibition. He showed how it started as well as the impact on our society and how and why it was reversed. Contrary to the people who pushed prohibition it did not turn us into a nation of alcoholics. The same number of people drank all through prohibition making millions of people technically criminals. It also led to incredible violence as the real criminals fought for their slice of the pie.
Here we are 75 years later and have not learned our lesson. We have spent a trillion dollars on the War on Drugs and filled our prisons with 74% non violent drug related offenders. The cost of the actual incarceration averages $30,000 to $50,000 per year per prisoner, not counting court costs, impact on families and impact on the prisoners who are more than likely not able to get jobs.
We spend about $8500 per student and we do not even rank in the top 20 countries in our ability to do math. Our lifespans are not in the top ten and the quality of our lives gets worse every day.
Legalizing drugs will not turn us into a nation of drug addicts. In fact our biggest drug problem is the 40 million plus people addicted to doctor prescribed legal drugs.
Instead of wasting money on the war on drugs we can't win we can turn a minus into a plus by taxing the drugs.
The same thing applies to gambling. Laws have not stopped betting on Football or poker internet sites. Again turn that minus into tax dollars. Almost every American bets on a pool during the Super Bowl, buys a lottery ticket, has a fantasy league, plays poker for money at home.
We have an FDA who hasn't done their job in protecting us from listeria from Cantaloupes, Salmonella from lettuce, mercury from fish, poor health conditions in slaughter houses. Yet this same FDA wants to ban Menthol cigarettes in spite of being opposed by almost every police organization in this country. How will we enforce it? Will police stop and taste people's cigarettes? What will happen is the companies will manufacture overseas, (more loss of jobs), and create a whole new group of violent smugglers. We have put a notice on cigarettes that they are harmful to health and limited the advertising, (you can lead a horse to water,etc). I almost forgot the group that wanted to put on the ballot a limitation on circumcisions before the age of 18. I can see the flag created like the one in the revolutionary war except this one would be a penis with the same slogan don't step on me, can't wait.
If we want to change the tax code and every sane person agrees it needs to be changed, again change the budget.
These are our tax dollars at work: The US accounts for 48% of the entire world's military spending. NATO spends 18% of the worldwide military spending. China is next with 6 1/2 %. East Asia and Australasia 7%. Middle East and North Africa 6%. Russia 4.9%. Latin America 3.34%. Central and South Asia 2.4%. Sub Saharan Africa .70%. These numbers which I have rounded off come from the International Institute for Strategic Studies dealing with military balance in 2010.
We have also spent one trillion dollars on Homeland Security. The Homeland Security people have been asked by both the congress and the GAO among other agencies request a cost-benefit analysis as is done for other hazards such as earthquakes or hurricanes. In the book Terror, Security and money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security it was found that to justify the current expense Homeland Security would have to deter, foil, or prevent 1667 otherwise successful attacks per year, (4 per day) like the Times Square incident. Mayor Bloomberg said publicly that an American has the same chance of being hit by lightning as getting killed by terrorism.
In the two biggest acts of terrorism upon America pre 9/11 were the suicide bombing in Lebanon where 241 Marines were killed. It resulted in President Reagan bringing home the remaining American troops. The great Republican icon handled it with no costly over reaction. The Lockerbie bombing resulted in America demanding compensation, and in great police work by the US and UK and oncer again a reasonable approach by a Republican President.
Methodical police work was the response to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 2001 Anthrax scare as well as the 2005 London Underground bombing.
All these were cost effective measures whose results satisfied the public.
9/11 as we know could easily have been prevented by better communication and coordination between FBI, CIA, and local police. The actual perpetrators were actually a group of uneducated morons who telegraphed their every move and hid in plain sight.
I have burdened all of you with these details so that everyone should know the real cause of these deficits. A trillion on Iraq, a trillion on Afghanistan, a trillion on the war on drugs, a trillion on Homeland Security. To paraphrase a famous senator and well known billionaire, "a trillion here and a trillion there, and now you are talking about real money.
Others have written about other billions wasted by the government in subsidies and tax breaks given to businesses and other special interests.
A well crafted flat tax that took into consideration the working poor and was consistently administered would work if we had a reasonable approach to budget. To me Homeland Security should be vehicle and road safety, flood and earthquake protection and preventive health care. All of those are more cost effective and of greater benefit.
Next we must totally bring the banks, credit card companies, oil companies, and Wall Street under strict fair regulation.
At the same time we need to get rid of the real petty regulations that so impede business. Let's bring call centers back to the US so people are less frustrated and feel that someone listens to them. Frustration leads to nihilism, which leads to random violence which in turn leads to chaos.
Americans can be reasonable if told the truth and saw fairness in government. They would pay more for items made in the US if it meant a huge reduction in unemployment which increases our tax base naturally and benefits the whole society.
I see nothing wrong with a Steve Jobs becoming a billionaire or any other person who creates jobs and new industries. I object to people who push paper selling worthless derivatives and other worthless paper getting rich. I object to the Super computers that trade and manipulate stocks in nano seconds with no regard as to the quality of the company or it's management.
I contacted my friend Andrea Eastman whose Senator is the Democratic head of the finance committee to get his opinions. The semi personal form letter she received was more bullshit.
The Democrats and Republicans need to get together for the benefit of the country as a whole or we wind up with the ex CEO of a second tier pizza company as our President. I understand his popularity because he is the most plainspoken of all the candidates and dares to put forth ideas that at least should be looked at and not summarily dismissed. Obama is a well intentioned man of great intellect and not much leadership ability. LBJ, Reagan, both Roosevelt's, Lincoln and Jefferson understood how to use the Presidency as a true bully pulpit.
If we don't get true conversation from both parties and continue to get violent response from the police I would recommend that since it was shown that a million man march was organized we should have a five million or more person march on Washington. Tie up every Congressman and Senators phones. Start boycotting the really offensive credit card companies by not using their cards, paying their bills on time and other legal civil disobedience. The police would dare not attack 5 million people just like they didn't attack the million man march.
We need to open up dialogue between the Tea Party and the Wall Street Occupiers. Again I suggest Clinton, George Bush Sr.,Jerry Brown and Gov. Christie to act to bring some order to the march and to help articulate what we want that works for the majority. We need to keep the agenda broad based, improving infrastructure with emphasis on education, stopping the wars including war on drugs, a fair and equitable transparent easily understandable tax code. We need to create jobs improving our housing, health care, air and water. Keep it simple.
We can do this if we want. This country has accomplished so much this is not impossible.
Please forgive my spelling as I am a product of the public school system.