Libertarianism in a Country of 313 million is anarchy…a fairy tale…a nightmare!
What are “Conservative Values” in the 21st Century?
I became a Republican in 1978. At 18 I was attracted to the message of “out of the boardroom, out of the bedroom and out of my pockets.” Smaller government seemed to make perfect sense, why do we need so much government? Simple succinct and relevant. After all I was only 18 years old, naïve and certainly not worldly. I had no experience in business, life or love. That simple message seemed to resonate it made common sense to a selfish and self-centered teenager. I was about to embark on the rest of my life, I didn’t want to pay my hard-earned dollars on taxes; I certainly didn’t believe that the US Government should be in my bedroom at 18, I understood that literally; and it made sense to an 18-year-old that too much government intrusion in business was bad…what did I know at 18.
I changed my affiliation to Independent (in California that is declined to state) because at 52 I saw the world through a different prism. I had been a manager for 30 years; I had seen human suffering; I had experienced love and loss; I had lent my support to friends and family though tough times; I experienced economic downturns and a great recession; I witnessed the devastation of 30 years of “trickle-down” economics had on the American Middle Class. I no longer was a believer in the “Conservative Values” of the 1970’s.
However the “Conservative Values” of the 21st Century make no sense, are divisive, destructive, immoral, selfish, anti-women, racist, xenophobic, homophobic and un-American. Yes I said it, I know Progressives have been on the other end of that label and are uncomfortable using it. But I am an Independent, so I dare say that the “Conservative Values” of the 21st Century are un-American bears repeating. I can’t even relate to these values at all. Corrupted by money the GOP simply manipulates its membership with hate to continue passing legislation that helps only those at the top…the infamous 1%. The “Conservative Values” of the 21st Century as I see them:
- Take back the Country for White Americans
- Union Busting
- Outsourcing of American Jobs to increase profits to shareholder
- Keep American Wages low to improve the bottom-lines for shareholders
- Deny “Climate Change” to improve the bottom-line for oil company shareholders
- Fight “gun safety” regulation to improve the bottom-line for gun manufactures
- Make Christianity the official Religion of the United States
- Prayer in schools
- Privatized education
- Privatize prisons
- Privatize roads and bridges
- Privatize Social Security
- Leave 40 million Americans without health insurance or affordable access to healthcare
- Cut taxes for the 1% while raising taxes on the American Middle Class and the poor
- Cut food assistance to Americans that would go hungry but increase subsidies to corporate agriculture to improve the bottom-line to shareholders
- Cut the social safety, but keep corporate welfare to help Wall Street make more profits for shareholders
- Ban abortion
- Ban Contraception
- Ban gay marriage
- Suppress the votes of Women, Minorities and the Millennials
- Cut Medicare funding
- Cut Medicare Benefits
- Cut benefits to Veterans
- Do not compromise with the Democratically elected President
- Do not pass any new legislation regardless if it is good for Americans
- Continue the failed War on Drugs
- Spend more on wars and the military instead of on the American people
- Do not fund disaster relief of hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires or earthquakes
- Cut funding to the Nation Institutes of Health
- Pushing for a Christian belief in “creationism” over the accepted science of “evolution”
- Refuse to fund new infrastructure projects to put Americans back to work
- Fight any regulations on Wall Street to keep profits high for shareholders and stick the taxpayer with the bill to bail them out
- Fight “Consumer” protections to keep profits high for corporate America
- Disregard the wishes of the American voter to pander to a narrow GOP base
- Game the voting system to stay in power instead of coming up with new ideas
- Fight comprehensive immigration reform to keep America White
- Cut government programs to the poor and middle class in the guise of making government smaller, then give the savings to the 1% via tax cuts
Honestly I don’t know why “ANYONE” would be a Republican in the 21st Century except the 1%…time to grow up America, I did!
Paul Ryan Spending Cuts Face Backlash From Moderate Republicans
By ANDREW TAYLOR 08/12/13 03:11 AM ET EDT
WASHINGTON — Midway between the 2012 and 2014 election campaigns, moderate Republican conservatives are beginning to foment a revolt of their own – a backlash to anti-spending tea party shrillness as budget cuts begin to significantly shrink defense and domestic programs.
Tea party forces may have dominated the House GOP’s approach to the budget so far, but pragmatists in the party have served notice they won’t stand idly by for indiscriminate spending cuts to politically popular community development grants, education programs and even Amtrak.
Voting in the spring for the tea party budget developed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who was Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate last year, was one thing. But as long as a Democrat occupies the White House, Ryan’s budget is little more than a nonbinding wish list – cutting Medicaid, Medicare and food stamps and slashing budgets for domestic agencies funded annually through appropriations bills.
Many tenured Republicans, particularly members of the House Appropriations Committee, have viewed Ryan’s sweeping cuts as unworkable all along. When more than $4 billion in entirely new cuts came to the House floor in the form of an actual bill for funding transportation and housing programs, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, confronted shaky support from less ardently conservative Republicans and decided to pull the $44 billion package on July 31.
That sparked a frustrated outburst from the committee chairman, Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky. He called for abandoning the Ryan budget and starting bipartisan negotiations that would provide appropriators with “a realistic spending level to fund the government in a responsible – and attainable – way.”
“Attainable” is code for something that can pass the Senate and get signed by President Barack Obama. That’s rarely a recipe for tea party fun.
It seems that the Presidential hopes of an Ayn Rand 1% utopia are being dashed for Paul Ryan. As the Republican Party does that math, some of them have finally figured out that 1% of the votes is not a sustainable strategy? Ryan Budget’s draconian cuts to programs that help keep the American Middle Class strong would spell doom as those in the Middle Class figure out that they are the ones being targeted and screwed by the GOP.
The self-serving 1% who continue to pour money into campaigns have not figured out that “Tivo” is their worst enemy. Costly TV ads did not work in the Presidential Campaign of 2012 as technology allowed those tech savvy Americans to just cut out the ads. The Primaries and Debates seem to have made a comeback and that is surely why Reince Priebus is trying to game the cable networks who will carry the Republican Primary Debates.
Paul Ryan’s budget aims to usher in an 18th Century America in a 21st Century world to undo the 20th Century gains that the Roosevelt Administration implemented to end the Great Depression. Programs that worked to strengthen the American Middle Class. As Pope Francis re-directs the Catholic Church to focus on social issues (world hunger, injustice, the poor, racism and tolerance) and lighten the Church’s tone on the divisive issue of homosexuality; Evangelicals push for immigration reform; the backlash of Reagan’s War on Drugs; the push back on Bush’s surveillance state; Women’s reaction nationwide on issues that affect their pay and health; acceptance of marriage equality; and the abject failure of free market and trickle down solutions to help bring prosperity to the middle class are only serving to brand Paul Ryan and his budget persona non grata. The shiny youthful and creative image of Paul Ryan the young boy wonder is showing his age and beginning to tarnish.
If the Republican Party is to remain relevant, they need to start coming up with ideas that help a majority of Americans prosper instead of catering to those rich in wealth but poor in votes, 1% of the voting public to be exact. The future of the Republican Party hangs in the balance, continued bleeding of support with women, minorities and Millennials is not sustainable for a national political party. Even Senior citizens seem to be turning on the GOP. “Just 28 percent of voters 65 and older had a favorable view of the Republican Party in a national survey conducted last month by the Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, versus 40 percent who had a positive view of the Democrats. That’s a reversal from a poll Greenberg conducted in early 2011, when 43 percent of seniors saw Republicans favorably and 37 percent saw Democrats that way.” according to an article in the National Journal.
The 1% is spending billions of dollars to keep White Middle Class men from voting their interest, cynically creating strategies to keep the Middle Class White Males angry at everyone else but the 1% that has systematically extracted their wealth through Wall Street graft; busted Unions that provide pensions, healthcare benefits and job security; the outsourcing of good paying American jobs to third world countries to line the pockets of the investor class at the expense of the American Middle Class. Cutting governments programs designed to help keep the Middle Class strong and viable like student loans, Medicare, Social Security, Veterans Benefits and the Social Safety net to cut taxes further for the very rich.
The Republicans in Congress have waged war on the institutions that keep our Country strong and provide stability to the markets. The short-term profit taking strategies of Wall Street create a continued stream of bubbles that burst, the system rigged so that the wealthy win even when the market crashes, as they support government guarantees for their reckless gambles at the expense of the middle class tax payers and their 401K retirement plans.
It is time for the American Middle Class to fight back, enough is enough, “We the People” must unite regardless of race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious belief, age and focus on the economic interest of a “MAJORITY” of Americans. Just remember Corporate American has lobbyist fighting for them in Washington, Wall Street fights for the Investors, CEO’s fight for the Executives and Marketing, the Board of Directors fight for the CEO’s….Stop and think who is fighting for me?
Regardless of your race or ethnicity, when you sit down at the kitchen table to pay your bills, ponder these questions. How does stopping gay people from getting married help me provide for my family? How does English only legislation help me pay for braces for my teenager? How does overturning Roe vs. Wade provide me with job security? How does voting 40 times to repeal Obamacare help me get affordable health insurance for my wife with cancer? How do tax cuts for the 1% help me pay my mortgage or rent? How does prayer in school help my children get a good ACADEMIC education so that they have a better life then I did? How does busting Unions provide me with a living wage? How does reducing funding for food assistance help me feed my family? How does shutting down the government help me send my kids to college? Ask yourself these questions America don’t let Republican talking points lead you down the path of destruction…Throw the TEA PARTY into the metaphoric Boston Harbor!
GOP hold America “hostage” at your own risk!
Defunding “Obamacare’s” is not a jobs plan!
American Unions….Come Home America!
What is Corporate Management’s dirty little secret? We are human beings! Management are not immune from disliking an employee; from getting angry with an employee; from wanting to get rid of an employee and retribution; from making decisions that are bad for employee’s; profits and productivity are first and foremost our objective.
I became a manager at 24 years old for Southern Pacific Communications, parent of Sprint Long Distance, starting my career with a staff of 30 customer service representatives. The communications industry was changing from year to year, as the divestiture of AT&T and the local phone companies were in full swing to open up the industry to free market competition.
In the 1980’s long distance companies like, Sprint, MCI, Alltel, Global Crossing, Argo Systems, were springing up overnight. GTE bought, SP Communications and became GTE Sprint Communications. Management was called into a meeting and told that GTE would be opening a regional customer service hub call-center in Dallas and that we would be laying off our staff in 6 months. In order to keep our call-center fully staffed until then, we were asked not to say a word to the staff until two weeks before the lay-off. We needed to keep productivity up and keep the staff from looking for a new jobs until then.
I had developed a relationship with my staff, I knew them as peers and as their manager. They would share their lives with me. I knew that some were buying cars and homes, increasing debt, but I could not warn them of the impending lay-offs. They trusted me, but I was management and my job was to make sure the company’s priorities and goals were being met. Did I think it was unfair? I did but I understood my role and did my job. On the day that I announced the lay-off, my staff looked stunned and betrayed, the first question out of their mouth, “How long did you know?”
When you are a manager you see all kinds of characteristic among your management peers, mean, nice, unethical, self-serving, good, bad, productive, lazy, hardworking, truthful, dishonest, harassers and manager’s that are respectful and caring…every human trait is represented. But one thing they all share is their dislike for “UNIONS”. “UNIONS” make it hard to manage. We can’t just fire a Union member. We can’t just lay them off without notice. We can’t harass them with abandon. We can’t fire them because we simply dislike them. We can’t make them work overtime without paying them overtime wages. We can’t treat them unjustly. Because the Union is there to speak for them we need to be mindful of good labor relations.
My advice to non-management staff after 30 years of managing! Unionize! Trusting your job security to a non-union company manager is basically at will, and that is the way “WE” like it. We will tell you that unions protect bad employees and that is unfair to you. We will tell you that those lazy union members make $25 an hour to put seatbelts in cars and isn’t that “unfair” it makes it very expensive to buy cars. We will tell you that your union dues will be used to campaign for “Democrats” and you should be resentful. We will tell you that the unions don’t do anything for you they just collect your dues. I am here to tell you those are all lies that “WE” tell you so that you will not unionize, because selfishly it makes “OUR” jobs harder and it increases labor cost for the Corporation reducing profits to shareholders. Neither of those two objectives are something you should be concerned with because that screws you out of job security and a “LIVING WAGE”.
As union membership has declined; so has job security and with it so has the standard of living for the American Middle Class. Corporate America is there to sell products and services and create profits for shareholders. There are great companies out there that understand the value of their human resources and their affect to the bottom-line, there is no doubt about it. But all too often there are bad managers even at those companies that will not do right by the employee. What about the Human Resources Department you may ask don’t they speak for the employee’s? NO NO NO, we have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the company from suits and liability. Of course that sometime benefits the employee but all too often we protect management first. In a non-union company you are on your own.
When “WE” tell you the downside of “UNIONS” consider the source, we are not objective, we have an agenda and that agenda is profits and giving as much of those profits to shareholders. Unions have done much for the American Middle Class over the last 100 years and don’t let Corporate America or it self-serving CEO’s and management teams tell you different:
1. Founding of the Committee for Industrial Organization, later the Congress of Industrial Organizations or CIO (1938)
After the American Federation of Labor voted against organizing workers “across trades” in a factory, preferring to group workers by individual craft or trade, the CIO and its visionary leader, John L. Lewis, recognized the potential power of mobilizing workers across occupational lines in a given industry. The approach opened the union door to what would become labor’s core constituency — mass production workers.
2. Passage of the Social Security Act (1935)
This New Deal legislation provided workers with unemployment insurance, aid to dependent children and rehabilitation for the physically disabled. It also improved public health and provided pensions to workers in their old age. Today, AFSCME is leading the fight to strengthen and preserve Social Security — a benefit to some 44 million people.
3. National Labor Relations Act (1935)
Also known as the “Wagner Act,” this law served as the foundation for current U.S. labor law, granting unions the right to organize and obligating employers to bargain collectively on hours, wages and other terms and conditions of employment. AFSCME has used the NLRA to secure collective bargaining rights for workers across the country.
4. GM Sit-Down Strikes (1936-37)
Anti-union sentiments in the fledgling auto industry in the 1930s triggered a sit-down job action by 50 workers at a Fisher Body plant in Flint, Mich., an action that inspired similar strikes by 485,000 auto workers across the U.S. and Canada in an 8-month period. The Flint strike lasted 45 days, with strikers winning a five-cent-an-hour raise and an agreement by management to rehire the strikers and recognize the union.
5. Civil Rights Act/Title VII (1964)
This landmark legislation prohibited discrimination by employers or unions on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion or gender. AFSCME’s unprecedented growth in the 60s and 70s was due in large measure to the union’s reputation for fighting for fair treatment for all workers, but particularly minorities.
6. Public Sector Organizing (1962-1980)
In 1962, President Kennedy signed Executive Order 10988, which recognized the rights of federal employees to join unions. This order spearheaded the rapid expansion of all public sector organizing. A key event of this period was the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., killed while in Memphis on behalf of striking AFSCME sanitation workers.
7. Fair Labor Standards Act (1938)
The FLSA granted sweeping protections to workers — establishing a minimum wage (25 cents an hour) and the 8-hour work day, providing for overtime, and prohibiting the use of child labor in all businesses engaged in interstate commerce. Despite breaking important ground, the FLSA excluded large numbers of workers, not the least of whom were public service workers.
8. “Bread and Roses” Strike (1912)
This sometimes violent strike at a Lawrence, Mass., textile mill was named for the song sung by strikers determined to win more than a subsistence life. The strike became synonymous with the struggle of workers to better their working conditions.
9. World War II Support
The trade union movement that was beginning to flex its collective muscles at the end of the 30s put those same muscles to work on behalf of the war effort. And, like the patriots they were, American unions pledged not to strike and received no-layoff concessions for the duration of the war.
10. Occupational Safety & Health Act (1970)
Providing a safe workplace had been a primary goal of the labor movement since its inception. Many years later, President Nixon — a conservative Republican — was convinced to sign the first comprehensive federal legislation covering safety in the workplace. Unions work daily to enforce OSHA’s regulations, and also to expand and refine safe protections for all workers.
Practically ALL the benefits you have at work, whether you work in the public or private sector, all of the benefits and rights you value are there because unions fought hard for them against Corporate America who did everything they could to prevent giving you those rights. Many union leaders and members even lost their lives for things we take for granted today.
The demonization of Unions was a strategy to bust the Unions so that “WE” the Executive and Management Teams could reap the benefits of “AT WILL” working conditions, increasing productivity without impunity, taking your pensions, reducing your healthcare benefits, raiding 401k company stock and taking those profits for “Ourselves” in the form of outrageous bonuses, CEO salaries and “Shareholder” payouts. American Unions are not the enemy, 30 years of a right wing agenda focused on management priorities and bottom-lines profits have only served to hurt the American worker and your standard of living. It is time to come home America…Unions are good for American Labor… Look for the Union Label…
Pope Francis On Gays: Who Am I To Judge Them?
By Paul Brandeis Raushenbush posted: 07/29/2013 8:01 am EDT | Updated: 07/29/2013 11:34 am EDT Huffington Post
ABOARD THE PAPAL AIRCRAFT — Pope Francis reached out to gays on Monday, saying he wouldn’t judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returned from his first foreign trip.
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis asked.
His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis was much more conciliatory, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.
Francis’ remarks came Monday during a plane journey back to the Vatican from his first foreign trip in Brazil.
He was funny and candid during a news conference that lasted almost an hour and a half. He didn’t dodge a single question, even thanking the journalist who raised allegations reported by an Italian newsmagazine that one of his trusted monsignors was involved in a scandalous gay tryst.
Francis said he investigated and found nothing to back up the allegations.
Francis was asked about Italian media reports suggesting that a group within the church tried to blackmail fellow church officials with evidence of their homosexual activities. Italian media reported this year that the allegations contributed to Benedict’s decision to resign
While stressing Catholic social teaching that calls for homosexuals to be treated with dignity and not marginalized, Francis said it was something else entirely to conspire to use private information for blackmail or to exert pressure.
Francis was responding to reports that a trusted aide was involved in an alleged gay tryst a decade ago. He said he investigated the allegations according to canon law and found nothing to back them up. But he took journalists to task for reporting on the matter, saying the allegations concerned matters of sin, not crimes like sexually abusing children.
And when someone sins and confesses, he said, God not only forgives but forgets.
“We don’t have the right to not forget,” he said.
“Who am I too judge them” a great question for Christians. For the past 30 years the Republicans have used “homosexuality” as a wedge issue and the Catholic Church was complicit in the persecution of the gay community. Today Pope Francis took the first step in pivoting the Holy Roman Catholic Church back to focusing on social issues, income inequality, hunger, healthcare and the plight of the poor. The comments from the Pope are Biblically rooted and for years have been ignored and overlooked by conservative Christian religions around the world.
Jesus Christ spoke for the poor, sick and disenfranchised. As Christians we are asked to be Christ-like and the Holy Scriptures are clear, we are not to judge each other:
Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”
Romans 14:1-23 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. …
Corinthians 4:1-21 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. ..
John 8:7 “And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.”
Matthew 5:22 “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire”
Romans 2:1 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.”
John 3:16 “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
One more “wedge” issue has fallen. Again I urge “ALL” atheist, agnostics, progressives, liberals and Democrats to hold the “Party of Christian Values, the GOP” to the tenets of the Holy Scriptures. Take the judgmental wedge issues from them and use the Bible to do it! The Republican time of division is over…
“As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him…”