Third Party & Independents Archives

GOP Out: Voter's Defense Guide

OK, now that the GOP is out, how can voters protect themselves from the Democratic Party? GOP out I say? OK, let me count the ways so we can move on to the Voter’s Defense Guide.

GOP Out of power:

The easiest way to evidence this claim is to simply reference this week's news headlines and accompanying articles.

Nuff said!

Unless someone wants to discuss the difference between Obama's middle name being Hussein while Mrs. McCain believes in investing in Husseins or, Sen. McCain's GI Bill Political Games. The GOP is out for the count, may they rest in great discomfort for their transgressions.

Voter's defense against Democrats:
The majority of voters are moving to Democrats this November. Whether it is a repudiation vote against Republicans or a validation vote for the Democratic Party can be debated till the cows come home between conservatives and liberals. But, with a Democrat led government, voters will be swapping one set of problems for another, retaining some common between the two Duopoly parties, and remedying some problems created by Republicans. Voters know what Republican problems they are voting to remedy, and they don't need to be told what those are.

What they may not know is what common problems with the GOP won't get solved with Democrats, and what new problems Democrats are likely to create. After outlining these, a straight forward voter defense guide will be presented.

Common Problems with the GOP.

First among these will be deficit spending. It won't be as bad as under Republicans who pulled out all the stops in charging up our children's taxpayer debt to the tune of 10 trillion dollars. But, the Blue Dog Democrats (fiscal conservatives) will be outnumbered. Fortunately it does not appear the Panderer in Chief Hillary Clinton will be the president, trading deficit spending for popular support ala gas tax holidays. Still, with all in America that needs repair and investment after 8 years of being Bushed and Whacked, plus all the pork barrel projects and desirable, but not affordable programs which Democrats having been lusting for in their wilderness from power, Democrat's only salvation from voter wrath in 2010 and 2012 will have to be Obama's veto pen, if he has any better luck finding it than Bush did.

Entitlement crisis. It's here. The first baby boomers, those conceived by returning soldiers at the end of World War II, are eligible for early retirement and the subsequent Social Security and Medicare benefits this year. From this year forward, the surpluses in the Soc. Sec. program dwindle each year before morphing into deficits. And the Medicare/Medicaid system becomes a tax anchor weight on a drowning economy and consumer class.

The Republican answer was to let everyone fend for themselves amidst the insurance and medical provider wolves, or failing that, ignore it entirely. Raising the taxes to help pay for these shortfalls was never a Republican option, nor was reducing the debt so we would have credit and borrowing power when needed.

Democrats on the other hand, will reform Soc. Sec. and Medicare. Of that there is no question because failing that, they will be turned on by the public in a fashion not dissimilar from what is now happening to Republicans. The question is, will they come up with reforms that are any more viable, sustainable, and supportive than the GOP Congress and President devised? Raising additional revenues must become part of the solution if these programs are to be retained. The majority of the public demands they be retained as insurance against poverty and the indignities of becoming indigents at the mercy of limited charitable resources. But, raising revenues as the only answer to the problem will just as surely torpedo America's listing economic ship as Republicans attempt to ignore it.

National Security. Republicans abdicated much of national security despite the so-called Homeland Security Agency, and chose foreign aggression and intimidation and saber rattling overseas instead. The most obvious and logical first priority of national security was one Republicans found abhorrent: secure our borders. It wasn't until they got booted from power in Congress, that Republicans began taking up the 'secure our border' war cry against Democrats. Republicans were conflicted. They needed the support of business to donate to their reelection campaigns, and businesses were demanding cheap illegal and imported labor.

Democrats have a very similar situation except that it is not businesses which are their constituency insisting our borders remain wide open to terrorists, illegal alien labor, criminals, and cheap imported work forces. For Democrats it is Mexican, South and Central American immigrants who are insisting the borders remain wide open. And make no mistake, the Democrats view these people as their constituents, which is why amnesty is still the centerpiece of Democrat's immigration reforms. With amnesty, Democrats become their champion and they in turn, after becoming American citizens, will dutifully and gratefully vote Democratic. It is the ultimate pander, and in the most Un - Constitutional manner conceivable.

One of the most fundamental roles of federal government is to protect the sovereign borders of these United States and its citizens from invasion and enemies both foreign and domestic. But, Democrats are too willing to turn a blind eye to the potential terrorists, criminals, and illegal invaders into our homeland, culture, and jobs in the hopes of securing their power hold on government for decades to come. The very act of coming here illegally is a demonstration of contempt for our laws and sovereignty. Not a concern for most current Democratic politicians.

Voters thinking this problem will be resolved by switching parties in control of government are in for a rude awakening.

Different Problems than Republicans gave us.

Democrats will create policies with absurd federal spending. They will seek to remedy social and individual ills to the last person. They will do this because as the Big Tent Party of diverse factions and splinter groups, their power rests upon holding such a diverse coalition together at election time. The only way to do that is by legislating in behalf of each of those factions and splinter groups. The only way Democratic massive pandering of this kind is likely to be checked from within the Party is with a strong willed and clear visioned communicator Democrat in the White House. Hillary Clinton was never going to be that president. Her entire political experience is as an old school Big Tent Democrat. Pandering to factional interest groups is her forte'.

There is a definite potential in Barack Obama to be the kind of President to check his Party's bank busting pandering. He has an educational background in the study of our Constitution. That provides him with the potential to see that it is the nation and its unity and strength that are the foremost responsibility called for by our Constitution. It can provide him a priority set that will not permit pandering to minority voter constituents for votes. His priority set for fiscally responsible budgets, effective internal and foreign affairs management, and legal matters essential to preservation of our nation and its posterity may veto such pandering by his Party's old school incumbents. The Constitution's priorities are a tall order for any president in today's politics, but, it has not changed in over 230 years.

Time will tell if Obama is up to it. Few persons ever considering occupancy in the White House have ever been, or ever will be faithful to the Constitution's priorities. Presidents get to the White House through politics, and politics has a corrupting and compromising influence upon those who see the role of President as the Constitution defines it.

A great many, if not most Democrats currently in government, by virtue of having been in government for decades, are jaded and blinded to the new realities challenging Democratic Party values and ideology. Traditionally, Democrats valued domestic issues more than foreign, it was their strong suit. They valued safety nets over citizen sacrifice. They valued compromise over unrelenting principle.

However, America in this century is not the America of the 20th century. America today is a net debtor nation instead of net lender nation. America is now a service provider instead of a manufacturer nation. America is a money changer nation instead of goods producer and exporter nation. America today is accustomed to a degree of freedom and wealth, and entitlement to these which were only being striven for in the 20th century. America was a leader and chief competitor amongst nations in the 20th century. However, in the 21st century America must witness a growing number of emerging nations taking first place over America in a wide array of measures, thanks in very large part to the generosity and leadership of America toward the world in the 20th century.

Far too many Democrats will work to reinstate the benchmarks America owned in the latter half of the 20th century. But, that will be largely a futile effort and expensive to boot in many areas of endeavor. America achieved so very much in the 20th century because she had vast untapped natural, human, and creative-educational resources to muster to the call of growth, expansion, and innovation.

America in many ways is tapped out of a great many of those and other resources, like trust in government. As America continues to increase its two parent working family society, her labor force faces difficult choices. Among them are working longer for the same returns, accepting growth through imported labor forces with the large costs that accompany such population growth or, learning to live with very much less in the way of consumption and discretionary choices. America is still a very wealthy nation. But, for most of the 20th century there were 200 million or less people sharing that wealth. In this century there are 50% more people, and growing, trying to share the wealth. Which would be achievable if America's real asset wealth (vs. paper wealth) were growing as in the 20th century. But, it isn't.

America is a net debtor nation. Her government and her people are going to carry a debt load unprecedented in America's history since the post Revolutionary War decades. What this growing American population will share more of in the 21st century is debt and responsibility for service payments on that debt to net asset growing nations like China, Malaysia, India, and possibly Africa and Russia in the latter half of this new century.

America has witnessed a growing net trade deficit with other nations for almost 30 years running now. The piper is going to demand to be paid in the 21st century. More Americans today service other people instead of their own needs than ever before in our history as their primary occupation. And that paradigm shift will extend ever wider to servicing the needs of people in other nations, through interest payments on our debts, and exchange of our human and creative resources for non-discretionary necessities for every day living from other nation's .

These facts of the 21st century for Americans need not spell doom and gloom for our children and theirs in the 21st century. To be sure, the peoples of other nations have maintained national, cultural, and personal dignity while being dependent upon and servants to the American economic dynamo in the 20th century.

However, it is going to require governmental leadership with the capacity to both accept and honestly deal with the facts of our situation in this new century. Having faced these facts squarely, that leadership must then be relied upon to do that extraordinarily American thing Americans have always done; turn adversity into opportunity with resolve, perseverance, and creativity. America can transition to a player amongst many in this global economy as a debtor instead of lender, partner instead of trailblazer. America can transition to an interdependent member of a United Nations dedicated to collective security from and for its members. America can transition to a role of servicer and innovator for other nation's growth needs with pride and a sustained broad middle class intact.

All these things America can do. But, only if she has leadership that can squarely face the new realities and chart a course of opportunity and principle in the face of them, much as Abraham Lincoln had to do with the Civil War, and as George Marshall and Harry Truman had to do in the aftermath of WWII. The majority of Democrats in leadership today lack the comprehension of our newly defined role in the 21st century. A deficiency shared by nearly all Republicans in office. They lack the appreciation of the precarious fork in this centennial road, one path leading to an endless string of failures to recreate the past, the other toward redefinition and new opportunities to remain a major productive player in the world while maintaining control and ownership of our future.

We are no longer a young country. We have grown very rapidly by historical standards of empires and great civilizations. With vast untapped resources and relative isolation from the rest of the world, providence granted us forbearance for our youthful errors, hubris, and cockiness. But our youth as a nation is behind us. We now face mature decisions and responsibilities for our debts, our education, and our future as a united and interdependent people.

Our time of squabbling like siblings over desserts, whose skin is prettier, and what we want to be when we grow up, is over. America has very adult challenges before her. And we as Americans must meet those challenges as experienced and learned adults, responsible for our past though our youth and inexperience failed us at times. And far more importantly, we Americans must assume the responsibility for our future as a mature nation amongst other nations both, responsible and maturing like us, and inexperienced and cocky as we once were.

Lastly, we must become crime fighters of the first order, both inside and outside our borders. Rule of law, just law, is one of America's great weight bearing foundations. It has been crumbling for decades.There is no future if our foundation fails.

We must commit to erasing laws which cannot be enforced, and which breed contempt for law and order by absence of strict enforcement. We must find other means of addressing those behaviors. And the laws we can enforce justly and equally, we must enforce without exception. America cannot allow criminals to come and go across our borders at will. Americans cannot allow criminals to be rewarded with power in our government offices or, the benefits normally afforded upon leaving those offices after crimes were committed, high crimes, or misdemeanors.

That is as sure a path to downfall as any ever imagined for America. No president, no congress man or woman, no civil servant can be permitted to violate our laws and walk away unpunished. No murderers of innocents from foreign or home soil can be permitted the satisfaction of knowing they got away with it. It is anathema to the American spirit, American ideals, and undermines the very foundations of our Constitutional system of justice and law.

The Voters Defense Guide

The voters defense guide then is simply this. Vote for leadership oriented to this century and able to see it for what it is and portends. Boot those government politicians who are still living in the past, squabbling over outdated and divided power games and ideologies. Vote out those elected officials using deceptions aimed at voters designed for the last century's preoccupations. And vote out and insist upon prosecution of those in government who circumvent our laws and violate them, or behave as though the laws that apply to the rest of us, do not apply to them. America overthrew King George of England's rule here, for just such acts of his government. Law defines who we are, and our just laws define why we are a special people in a special nation.

Voter Defense is Mandatory

Some of our youthful challenges were never met. Some of our opportunities are now closed. We should vote for leaders who can let those go, and respond to this century's challenges and opportunities within our ability to accomplish as a united people. Not for ourselves, as children are preoccupied with themselves. But for our children, and theirs, that they may benefit from the parentage of a nation more experienced, mature, and wise.

America was a magnificent idea at its founding, pregnant with idealism, potential, and daring. America became a great nation despite failing to perfect that idealism and fulfill all that potential. In the 21st century, with a little less daring and greater ability to respond appropriately as a mature and experienced nation of the world, we can yet further perfect the realization of that magnificent idea that was, and is still, our birthright. A birthright bought and paid for with the difficult, but proud industry of youth, blood, and sacrifice of those Americans who preceded us.

Posted by David R. Remer at May 16, 2008 12:43 AM
Comments
Comment #252956

Thanks David,

Your post inspired me to find out who my representative is and who my senators are. Now to familiarize myself with their voting records and policy, and if inconsistant with my ideals vote against them in the next race. That is something I have never done before.

Posted by: Jason Ziegler at May 16, 2008 12:34 PM
Comment #252959

GREAT THREAD!!! One of your best.
This great nation certainly has some very big challenges facing it. And leadership that can see these challenges and work with those of opposing views on how to meet them is definitely needed.
Unfortunately I don’t see anyone now or in the near future that will even come close to addressing these challenges, much less work with opposing parties to meet them. I believe that the future leaders of this country, those now under 30, will be the ones that will face these challenges and overcome them. They are going to have to in order for this country to be a contender in the world economy.
I just hope and pray that The United States can hold out that long.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 16, 2008 12:56 PM
Comment #252960

Jason
Good for you. That’s certainly a step in the right direction.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 16, 2008 12:58 PM
Comment #252962

Jason, thank you for letting me know that the time and effort put into this article together were worthwhile.

Change comes about by individuals such as yourself altering the way they do something. Often in our instantaneous gratification culture we get discouraged by the time it takes to change enough to make it matter. But, all change is incremental, and usually unseen until it does matter, to the surprise of some who weren’t working for it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 16, 2008 02:12 PM
Comment #252963

Ron Brown, thank you, very much for the encouraging words.

We share the same hopes and prayers.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 16, 2008 02:14 PM
Comment #252979
More Americans today service other people instead of their own needs than ever before in our history as their primary occupation. And that paradigm shift will extend ever wider to servicing the needs of people in other nations, through interest payments on our debts, and exchange of our human and creative resources for non-discretionary necessities for every day living from other nation’s .
America can transition to a role of servicer and innovator for other nation’s growth needs with pride and a sustained broad middle class intact.

Or, we can use individual resources and ideas to regain our independence from this problem instead of resigning to it and becoming a whore for the rest of the world.

The constitution didn’t say our money should be zinc, copper, nickel, or a unique, finely woven, cotton cloth backed up by a promise! The constitution said only gold and silver! We could let the rest of the world play with our finely woven cloth and our zinc and nickel. Let them have with it all the fun they want.

We can build another economy for ourselves and our neighbors completely independent of the world using our own gold and silver. It certainly won’t be done tomorrow or in our lifetime, but it can be done and it’s easier and much more secure than to resign to a reasoning that leads us into national servitude.

You’ve written a great post, Mr. Remer. You’ve hit the nail on the head as far as our current situation is concerned.
I take great exception though, to the idea that we have made our bed and we and our children must now sleep in it. We are not a mature country and we have pissed our bed. We are going to have to live with that until it gets cleaned up, but continually pissing in our bed and getting used to it is not the answer.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 16, 2008 06:05 PM
Comment #252990

Is it really real?

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 16, 2008 09:13 PM
Comment #252998

Education is part of the solution.

One way or another, the majority of voters will get they education, whether it is the smart way, or the hard and painful way. Pain and misery can also be a good teacher and motivator too.

Already, these 10+ abuses have resulted in these 17+ deteriorating economic conditions, which have never been worse ever and/or since the 1930s and 1940s.

A new UN report suggests a World downturn: www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=26686&Cr=&Cr1=

Either way, the voters will have the government they elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 17, 2008 12:12 AM
Comment #252999

Weary Willie
I agree. We don’t need to become the whore of the world. We can overcome the problems facing this country and be the world leader we have been in the past.
But it gonna take the voters demanding it before we get it. It’s also it’s gonna take some sacrifices by the people in general.
The question is here is, are we ready to demand it? And are we willing to make the sacrifices it’ll take?

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 17, 2008 12:15 AM
Comment #253001
Weary Willie wrote: We are not a mature country and we have pissed our bed.
we can crap in our own nest only for so long, until the branch it all rests upon finally snaps.

Numerous serious problems have been growing in number and severity for 3+ decades, and the painful consequences are already in the pipeline. Some painful consequences are already unavoidable, even if some are still years and decades away. We did not arrive here over-night.

Lawlessness, illegal immigration, unfair trade, wars, inflation, unfair and regressive taxation, usury, inflation, declining quality of education, costly and dangerous healthcare killing hundreds of thousands per year, and massive debt are all taking their toll, and will be for many more years. Where will the money come from to pay the interest on the current $53.2 Trillion of total nation-wide debt, much less the money to pay the principal (LOAN = PRINCIPAL + INTEREST), when that money does not yet exist? Future generations are getting cheated, with so much debt being piled onto them.

Voters want change, but it’s not enough to merely wish for change. Change certainly ain’t gonna come about by blindly pulling the party-lever and repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

Perhaps voters will finally vote more responsibly when enough of the voters are jobless, homeless, and hungry (or worse)?
It is quite possible that things will get much worse, before the deterioration can be halted (if ever).

At any rate, the voters will have the government that they elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 17, 2008 12:52 AM
Comment #253005

Weary Willie, there is a reality with inescapable consequences denied in your comments. We are a net debtor nation. We are beholding to the Chinese, OPEC, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, and others.

In specifics please, provide a path toward independence which pays down our debts instead of increasing them, personal, corporate, and national, which also insures unemployment does not exceed 8% and which insures sufficient public confidence in the path as to avoid political or social upheaval and economic collapse as a consequence. Please be specific.

I assure you, economists of all political persuasions are crunching the numbers of a number of the best plans so far, and the numbers continue to come up short in support of any of those plans. That is the reality, to date, which I am acquainted with. If you can provide another potential reality going forward that meets the criteria above, I truly will give it an unprejudiced critical analysis.

I do hope there is an answer, and I have held for years, as you do, the hope that we can become a zero growth, zero loss, balanced society relatively independent of the rest of the world for our daily necessities insuring our future is self-reliant.

GDP growth requires increased population growth and continuing exports. How do we achieve that without also relying upon other nations for non-discretionary daily goods imports which other nation’s labor forces can provide at a lower cost than we can?

I assume you insist that the private enterprise system not be abandoned, so answering the previous question is essential to any route leading toward independence from the rest of the world.

How do we reject foreign imports creating these 30 year ongoing trade deficits and transfer payments of U.S. dollars overseas? Tariffs on imports? What of the consequences to our exports?

If we stop shipping our food production overseas, what do we do with the excess grains and commodities and lands now used to cultivate them? What do we do with our farmers and farming states so dependent on foreign exports for their livlihoods?

We are in a direct bidding war with India and China for Oil. Their economies are growing giving them the potential of continuing to bid higher on oil without significantly degrading their economic growth. Our economy is already stagnating and moving sideways this summer due to Oil and gasoline prices. How do we resolve this? ANWR, if we began drilling today, would not produce a barrel of oil for 10 years assuming there is oil there. Oil companies are not drilling on a large percentage of the oil leases they have obtained in the last 7 years on federal lands - i.e. they are hoarding the leases in anticipation of drilling 5 years or 10 years from now when the price of oil will be 4 or 5 times today’s price and profits on each barrel drilled commensurately higher.

How do propose our government respond to this non-productive lease hoarding by American oil companies, which in turn is forcing our annual transfer of payments debt to foreign oil producing nations ever higher, making us an ever greater dependent net debtor nation beholding to other nations for what we need to continue as a nation?

Any discussion of an alternative future from the one I describe in the article must begin with answers to these questions, which do not create greater problems than the one’s they currently solve.

I look forward to your suggestions and a dialogue on this because I truly do seek a viable alternative course.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 17, 2008 04:59 AM
Comment #253013

David, excellent article. To answer your alternate future question we must look to space and colonization of other planets as an answer. The population bomb may not have exploded in the 80’s but we are seeing and feeling the effects of population growth today.

The GDP demands to be fed for us to consider ourselves to be successful, so we must continue to grow even though substainability should be the economic model we attain to. Small business not big business. Real beneficial competition not the near monopoly “competition” we see today in many areas.

To even out the trading we need to revisit and revise the NAFTA style trade agreements that do not include provisions for maintaing high standards of labor and environmental quality. These agreements look to bring us down to the level of the 3rd world countries instead of bringing the 3rd world countries up to our level.

To continue to trust monopolistic corporations with the control of natural resources is rather self defeating and should be revisited.


We did the right thing by sharing the advanced education and technologies with other countries that has helped them to raise the standard of living for themselves. But as we have heard many times here at watchblog there are always unintended consequences and that is what we will need to deal with when we come to terms with infinite population growth and finite resources. Seems we rely upon technology to do our labor as we continue to increase the population of people. Maybe we need to look at using less labor saving technology that doesnt pollute nor use up valuable energy resources as much as the current technologies. Seems strange to me that we would create a robot to do the job of 10 people and save a little bit on the cost of the product yet put the 10 people out of work and unable to afford the product while the robot uses non renewable energy to do the work. If we looked at all the expenses involved in the robot perhaps it wouldnt be as cheap as we thought.

Back to space, Its fairly obvious that when we as a country decide to do something that is beneficial to all we can do it. Recall that President Kennedy albeit for the wrong reasons challanged us to put a man on the moon. No one since that time has been able to challange us in this way. Certainly there are energy resources off planet that we could gain, certainly the technologies developed to habitat space could be put to use here. As important as the technology and resources is the abilities to work as a team for what is best for all is as important as the technologies and resources. I would have used WWII for this example except we as a people dont really need WWIII.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 17, 2008 10:02 AM
Comment #253019

Unequal Protection by Thom Hartmann

Unequal taxes, unequal accountability for crime, unequal influence, unequal privacy, and unequal access to natural resources and our commons— these inequalities and more are the effects of corporations winning the rights of persons while simultaneously being given the legal protections to avoid the responsibilities that come with these rights. Hartmann tells the intriguing story of how it got this way— from the colonists’ rebellion against the commercial interests of the British elite to the distorted application of the Fourteenth Amendment— and how to get back to a government of, by, and for the people.

This is a good start!

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 17, 2008 01:10 PM
Comment #253029

Weary Willie, all important ends to achieve. But, hardly a starting point. What you suggest comes later, AFTER electorate education has been broadened and deepened and the electorate demand the reforms advocated by Hartmann in your reply with a one, two punch consequence at the polls to those politicians who stand in the way of those reforms.

The people have to teach the politicians that the voters are an equal partner and of equal priority for reelection when politicians sit down to the legislative and policy issue drafting table. The voters have to stop being so reliant upon the words of politicians at election time and critically evaluate whether the government they run is what the voter expects of it.

That is why Obama’s education emphasis impresses so many to follow him. He is dead on right that civics and history and current events education must be restored to our public and accredited private schools if the direction this country is headed is to change.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 17, 2008 05:55 PM
Comment #253030

j2t2, thanks for the comments.

There is great merit to your ideas and questions as to the value of automation in various areas of our society denying people employment and small business alternatives to working for international corporations servicing other nation’s people.

Americans serving and producing essentials for Americans eliminating dependency upon foreign workers and governments for those essentials to greatest extent possible, is a concept corporations will fight tooth and nail.

But, the path of global interdependence in a world of diminishing resources needed to sustain healthy productive life is a prescription for disaster going forward. Wars over those diminishing resources skyrocketing in price are inevitable. Iraq was a perfect example.

One extremely promising sign is that the American people are no longer enamored with corporatists for elected roles in government. That is a great starting point from which momentum can be built to seat the American people’s and nation’s interests at the legislative table.

The defeat of Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton stands as evidence to this loss of trust by the electorate in promoting corporatists to high levels of elected office. That is a very hopeful sign. America needs corporations with responsible corporate leadership, but, corporations and government are two entirely different organizations with very different purposes and obligations to the people and nation. Mixing them with leaders common to both organizations is a very, very bad idea with just the kinds of consequences we have witnessed these last 7.5 years, and much further back in lesser degrees.

The concept of a self sustaining population, a self sustaining economy in balance with the needs of a stable population number, and a self sustaining environmental program that minimizes risks to beneficial living organisms while maximizing utility for a largely self sustaining nation, is a very foreign concept.

Folks like you and I are going to have to dedicate a part of our lives to promoting thinking, examination, and familiarization of an ever widening audience to these concepts whose time is returning.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 17, 2008 06:13 PM
Comment #253031


How We Can Change Our Failing Education System
by Steve

Why do we believe that only government can deliver educational services to children? It’s an outdated concept. Even modern models for universal health care don’t resemble our antiquated education system. They don’t propose that all medical workers in the United States become unionized government employees in government owned hospitals and clinics. Even socialists know such a proposal would be an unmitigated disaster. But that is exactly the model we have in American K-12 education.


Posted by: Weary Willie at May 17, 2008 06:26 PM
Comment #253075

Right Weary Willie, the KKK should have their own private schools funded by public dollars. The Catholics and S. Baptists do. Let’s see, the Communists should have theirs, the militant Blacks their own, etc.

One problem with that theory, WW, it undermines the entire concept of a United states and people. But, keep supporting those who want private schools for private agendas if you want war in American streets again. Desegregation has been an enormous success in diminishing the racial violence and overt hatred and increasing tolerance and trust between the races.

Moving back to segregated schools based on religion, race, affluence, political philosophy moves America backward. Fortunately, those who agree with you in office are going to be leaving in ever greater numbers, including the master of moving backwards to repeat the mistakes of history, GW Bush.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 18, 2008 02:44 PM
Comment #253080

I don’t see where, if you read the link I provided, the KKK comes in to play.

You are instigating a problem by introducing the kkk and religion into this discussion. You should be above this type of behavour, Mr. Remer.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 03:10 PM
Comment #253087

WW, of course you don’t. Which is why I brought it up. Private and segregated education, even by choice, has many pitfalls. We have already witnessed them. The LDS ranch in Texas, the Jim Jones community, and the Charlie Manson school for runaways.

You can refuse to see the implications, but, they remain, nonetheless.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 18, 2008 05:42 PM
Comment #253151

Honest to goodness, Mr. Remer! I can’t understand your motives when you say..

I look forward to your suggestions and a dialogue on this because I truly do seek a viable alternative course. Posted by: David R. Remer at May 17, 2008 04:59 AM
and then…
One problem with that theory, WW, it undermines the entire concept of a United states and people.

What theory, Mr. Remer? The one you interjected into the conversation? Why do you offer your support for a dialog and then become the obstructionist when a dialog is offered?

David, excellent article. To answer your alternate future question we must look to space and colonization of other planets as an answer. Posted by: j2t2 at May 17, 2008 10:02 AM

How is j2t2 to achieve the task of colonization of other planets when public schools today kill creativity?

You’re response of

WW, of course you don’t. Which is why I brought it up.

is exactly how the public school system crushes souls.

Read the article I linked to, Mr.Remer. If you don’t relate to it in some way then I can understand why you and I cannot relate. If you read this and don’t remember the twinge of embarrassment and inferiority then I can understand why you insist on being the obstructionist.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 19, 2008 08:23 PM
Comment #253155

Weary Willie, answer my objection! Will private schools each with their own version of science, history, literature, and perspectives on government take America to a divided or united future.

Your citation answers this question, to a divided future. Their are political and legal realities that will twist theory to their own purposes, WW. Private education as the mainstream does not result in a United States, but a divided America.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 19, 2008 10:25 PM
Comment #253243

Schools will teach what is written in the published textbooks. Urban public schools have already given up on education for all, and should refund taxpayer dollars raised based on inflated enrollments. Arne Duncan is proposing boarding-schools in Chicago, to literally capture the school age population. If you closed all the private schools, people with school age children would move to the districts with better schools, in fact, they have already been doing that for decades. From the linked article:

“Chicago Public Schools chief Arne Duncan said he does not want to be in the “parenting” business, but he worries that some homes and some neighborhoods are unsafe, making education an afterthought.

“Some children should not go home at night; some of them we need 24-7,” he told the Tribune. “We want to serve children who are really not getting enough structure at home. There’s a certain point where dad is in jail or has disappeared and mom is on crack … where there isn’t a stable grandmother, that child is being raised by the streets.”

Chicago school officials are still working through details of the plan, and it’s not clear whether the schools would be run by the district, outside agencies or some combination of the two.

It’s also not certain how the schools would be funded, who would shoulder the liability of keeping students overnight or how students would be selected.

In April, as part of its Renaissance 2010 new schools program, the district will put out a formal request for boarding school proposals. Officials have already met with interested groups in Chicago…”

Posted by: ohrealy at May 20, 2008 04:30 PM
Comment #253267

ohreally shortsightedly said: “f you closed all the private schools, people with school age children would move to the districts with better schools”

In general, there are many exceptions, the better schools lie in higher taxing districts and wealthier communities. What you propose would have the effect of taking us back to pre-bussing days where income determined quality of education for one’s children.

America has moved well past that along racial or income status lines. America must provide a quality education for all, or America’s future will be bleak indeed, including for those with quality education who will have to bear the brunt of attempting to rescue a failing nation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 20, 2008 10:39 PM
Comment #253283

Using tax dollars for private schools undermines public eduacation.

Also, we don’t need more minor differences to emphasize, rather than similarities and common goals to pursue.

We don’t need more ways to emphasize our differences, rather than unity.

That is also one of the great myths about the two-party duopoly.
The similarities far out-number the differences.
Yet, far too many voters believe the politicians in THEIR party are a lot better than the politicians in the OTHER party, when the fact is, BOTH are so bad, any actual differences (which they love to emphasize) are meaningless. They are meaningless when these 10+ abuses continue to go ignored for decades; ignored by most (if not all) politicians in BOTH parties.

Stop Repeat Offenders.
Don’t Re-Elect Them.
Vote more responsibly, or suffer the consequences (some of which are already in pipeline).

Anti-incumbent sentiments increase as the voters’ pain increases.

Start _ End __ Congress _ Re-Election _ Party Seat-Retention
Year __ Year ____ # _____ Rate ________ Rate
1989 __ 1991 __ 101 ____ 90.1% ________ 99.6%
1991 __ 1993 __ 102 ____ 87.7% ________ 98.3%
1993 __ 1995 __ 103 ____ 73.5% ________ 98.1%
1995 __ 1997 __ 104 ____ 79.8% ________ 88.2%
1997 __ 1999 __ 105 ____ 77.4% ________ 98.7%
1999 __ 2001 __ 106 ____ 89.2% ________ 99.3%
2001 __ 2003 __ 107 ____ 89.2% ________ 98.7%
2003 __ 2005 __ 108 ____ 87.9% ________ 98.1%
2005 __ 2007 __ 109 ____ 88.6% ________ 98.7%
2007 __ 2009 __ 110 ____ 84.9% ________ 93.1%
____________ AVERAGE = 84.8% ________ 97.1%

Why prolong the pain?
Why continue to sow the seeds of more pain and misery for several years to come?
Why continue rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with re-election?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 21, 2008 08:58 AM
Comment #253301

Weary Willie, That was an interesting link (e.g. www.steve-olson.com/how-the-public-school-system-crushes-souls).

True. There are problems in our schools (both public and private).
Private schools will not eliminate all of the problems?
Some of those things mentioned in the linked article (at Steve-Olson.com) can happen just as easily in private schools.
Also, while many studies have shown BOTH (i.e. private and public) to be better or worse, on average, they all appear (on average) to be about the same (with some exceptions; some private schools are better, and some are worse).

There’s definitely room for a lot of improvement.
But it is not yet clear that private school will improve the situation. In fact, it could make it worse, since private schools may stray from well established and proven methods, without any accountability.

Private schools are fine. But are they still private schools when public funding is funneled to those private schools?

Posted by: d.a.n at May 21, 2008 12:00 PM
Comment #253335

Pardon my absence, all. I’ve been working overtime keeping up with orders for manufacturing our 100% petroleum based products in this lousy economy. $:)

Thank you, d.a.n! The links did point out many of the failings of the public/private school system. I want to point out the experience of Gillian Lynne. Her experience with her teachers could have lead to the experiences many students have today. Drugged, chastized, ostrisized. It is fortunate for her she had the private school experience to fall back on. Fortunate for us as a culture as well.

Sir Ken Robinson had some interesting observations of how the student is un-taught creativity in the current system, whether it be private or public education. His pointing out the fact that students are being educated for jobs that are no longer available is an example of how the education system is failing. He points out that there is no way to anticipate what type of environment will be reality in sixty years and our education system is not preparing students for these unknowns. They are not being prepared to deal with an unknown future. They are being educated for the 19/20th century industrialized society that, as Mr. Remer pointed out in his original post, is no longer an option.

Students need to be encouraged to try without the worry of failing. They need to learn how to think independently and to try new things. They need to be encouraged to solve problems with inovation, not replication.
I also think the idea of private schools dividing America is a preposterous notion born in negativity. The private school industry has been decimated in the last 30 years and our country has been divided as well in those years. It simply does not follow reason that private schools divide this country.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 21, 2008 05:49 PM
Comment #253349

The example I always use is the difference between New Trier and North Shore CDS, both in Winnetka,IL, a prosperous community. The students are all from the same economic background, but you can tell which school they attend instantly. A private school emphasizes education. Even in the suburbs, most public schools are way too large to pay attention to the individual, and have more of a social agenda than a religious school. These are the published purposes and goals of the Maine township high school district where I live, which has an operating budget of about 120 million:

“All students will read, write, speak, and listen effectively in English.
We will prepare all students to be constructive members of a family, the school, the community, the nation, and the world.
All students will recognize and be prepared for their responsibilities as stewards of the environment.
All students will demonstrate an understanding of and be prepared to apply the important concepts in mathematics, languages, social science, and natural and physical sciences, the fine and/or applied arts and will recognize their interconnections.
All students will demonstrate an understanding of the American heritage and other cultures of the world.
All students will develop the habits necessary to conduct research, engage in problem solving, and make informed decisions through experience, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
All students will demonstrate cooperation, respect for themselves and others, commitment to quality performance, and will recognize the value of teamwork and leadership.
All students will demonstrate an understanding of the principles and applications of technology.
All students will develop the skills of self-direction which they will use to engage in life-long learning, prepare for one or more careers, and pursue physical and emotional well-being.
All students will be given the opportunity and be encouraged to participate in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, interscholastic competitions, and community service.”

I don’t think they are going to get all that done for 7000 students in 3 high schools. They might succeed better if the schools were smaller, but they used to have 4 high schools, and closed one after the baby boom busted.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 21, 2008 09:25 PM
Comment #253421

WW, one factor schools are incapable of dealing with is parenting. If a child is berated, yelled at for mistakes, and told repeatedly they are screw ups, that child is NOT going to perform well in any school system, and at best can be perform better if they are given one to one teaching which is also therapeutic.

What parent is going to waste private school tuition on their child who the parent believes is a screw-up? This is why the public school system proportionally has to deal with a lower performing and less prepared student than most private schools. Many of the measures in which private schools perform better can be attributed in part, if not in great part, to this particular variable.

Private school’s performance would drop precipitously if they were forced by law to take a random proportion of the students in any geographic area. Private schools are no panacea. And they pose other problems in the are of standards and indoctrination - much like Madrassas. Fortunately, in America, so far, the private schools failing to provide the nationally recognized standards for education (which are dropping) are few. But, that number will grow if private school education is to replace substantial numbers of public schools.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 22, 2008 04:14 PM
Comment #253431
Weary Willie wrote: It simply does not follow reason that private schools divide this country.
True.

The existence of private schools is not a problem.

The 1st issue is which is better? Public or Private education?

The 2nd issue is whether public taxes should go to private schools? (some with religious agendas)? The problem with that is that we now have private schools competing for tax dollars. That undermines public schools. Competition can be a good thing, but I’m not so sure pitting private and public schools against each other is wise, and it doesn’t appear to be improving either.

Also, there are many other factors that skew the studies on private/public education. Clearly, many that go to private schools usually come from wealthier families. This indicates some other advantages and factors. But even then, several studies have show the results (in general) and effectiveness of private and public schools to be roughly about the same. If private schools are not providing better results, then why go down that path?

This does not mean there can’t be private schools.

It merely raises the question as to whether private schools should be receiving public tax dollars? I might say yes if it could be definitively proven that private schools are better; a fact that has not really been proven yet. And once private schools start accepting public funding, whose to say whether private schools would continue to provide equal or better education?

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 05:26 PM
Comment #253446
If a child is berated, yelled at for mistakes, and told repeatedly they are screw ups, that child is NOT going to perform well in any school system, and at best can be perform better if they are given one to one teaching which is also therapeutic. Posted by: David R. Remer at May 22, 2008 04:14 PM
Very True, Mr. Remer. As my link explained, the constant peer pressure, boredom, mezmorizing memorizing, will get a student in trouble. It will happen in a large group of people. In any large group of people, one sect is not going to relate to another. Mistrust and shunning occur. Children are vicious. Mix in an absence of serious dicipline and you have a “Lord of the Flies” senerio. One on one instruction may be needed after an episode that can occur in our current educational system. But, what is that one on one instruction, Sir? It’s private education.

d.a.n


The 1st issue is which is better? Public or Private education?

ED currently administers a budget of $68.6 billion per year—$59.2 billion in discretionary appropriations and $9.4 billion in mandatory appropriations—and operates programs that touch on every area and level of education.
http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/index.html
The Department’s elementary and secondary programs annually serve more than 14,000 school districts and approximately 56 million students attending some 97,000 public schools and 28,000 private schools.

I think the question should be: Which is better, local or federal control of education?
ED may have a small budget and may not have grown much but it’s expectations put a very heavy burden on the state and local governments. What is education? Isn’t it the decimination of information? Information is free on the internet!

The 2nd issue is whether public taxes should go to private schools?

Public taxes should go towards education. Not towards administration, tennis courts, football fields, swimming pools, ect, ad nauseum. These things channel thought.
Education should stick to educating, stick to deciminating information.


Posted by: Weary Willie at May 22, 2008 07:37 PM
Comment #253491
Weary Willie wrote: Public taxes should go towards education. Not towards administration, tennis courts, football fields, swimming pools, ect, ad nauseum.
Agreed.

Education solutions …

Posted by: d.a.n at May 23, 2008 10:51 AM
Comment #253540

Interesting post.

I do not think that education is the principle problem in America. I do not think a publicly funded private school system makes any sense. I don’t think colonization of outer space is likely. Funding of schools must be allocated in proportion to the need of students as a whole rather than the economic distribution of their individual families. Free College is something we need to consider. A public post high school system is needed.

We must become a manufacturing and technology center, again. A services based economy. is dependent on the wealth of others. Developing renewable energy is key. China and India will need these technologies eventually. Clean coal and Nuclear is something we may have to come to terms with near term. Drilling in Anwar will come to be, also. There will be no political will to watch people starve while we sit on resources.

The internet and energy is making geeky cool again. In the 40’s being a pilot, mechanic or engineer was cool.
Being a computer geek is cool. Being a wind, or solar engineer is cool. Ed Begley is cool( OK maybe not)
Need being the mother of invention, and the wealth and education that comes with wealth, will lead us out. Freedom of the mind, freedom from enslavement, and that eternal pursuit of happiness are the keys to success in America.

Freedom from energy enslavement, freedom from corporate oneness, and being cool like Google by doing something positive rather than raping and pillaging is key. Corporatism will die if a major recession hits. It will die off as more understand the cost that it has left us with.

Obama is a leader of vision, or he purports to be. He needs to stay high minded in the knock down drag out fight over how the wealth and resources of America are spent.

Posted by: googlumpus at May 23, 2008 11:20 PM
Comment #253586

Jeesh, your name freaks me out!
Please!
Explain googlumpus.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 24, 2008 05:36 PM
Comment #253589

WW,

Some things have no explanation. It’s gibberish. Perhaps a conflation of Google and Snufflelumpagus the hairy elephant muppet from Sesame Street, and a distant relative to my real name.

Posted by: googlumpus at May 24, 2008 06:21 PM
Comment #253590

I am a fisherman.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 24, 2008 06:24 PM
Comment #253631

David,

As usual, an excellent article. I don’t have time to fully study or critique it. A couple things pop out at me.

You wrote:

voters will be swapping one set of problems for another, retaining some common between the two Duopoly parties, and remedying some problems created by Republicans.
Agreed, within the context of this article. In a more general context, I think it is in some way more accurate to say that it is swapping the same problem. Because the problem is that our representatives, (Democrats, Republicans, and Independents) do not represent us. They represent the $$$people$$$ who got, and get, them elected. The Democrats are clearly better - overall in general (thanks to union money) - and especially in particular at this time. But that is like saying that horse crap is better than pig crap because it tastes better, smells sweeter, and washes off easier - true all true - but it is still crap… Given the choice, I will shovel horse crap every time.

You also wrote:

There is a definite potential in Barack Obama to be the kind of President to check his Party’s bank busting pandering. He has an educational background in the study of our Constitution. That provides him with the potential to see that it is the nation and its unity and strength that are the foremost responsibility called for by our Constitution.
Let’s hope that this is true. The absolute first and most important thing that must be done in order to restore the Constitution is to make: “We the People of the United States,” mean: “We the People of the United States,” not: “We the Corporate personhoods of the United States.” We cannot even make it through the first sentence without the Constitution being subverted and perverted. The preamble, coming first, is the most important and fundamental aspect of the Constitution - the foundation, the ground upon which the rest of it is built… For profit corporations must be stripped of all personhood, political, and free speech power - all of it.

Corporations are not people. Seems obvious. Why must I scream it from the roof tops and still not feel heard? Corporations are amoral, superhuman, sociopathic entities that take on a life of their own. They are extraordinarily powerful so their power must be extraordinarily limited.


Posted by: Ray Guest at May 25, 2008 02:17 PM
Comment #253632

Correction: I will shovel donkey crap rather than elephant dung - same reasons.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 25, 2008 02:19 PM
Comment #253637

Ray Guest,

Corporations are not people. Seems obvious. Why must I scream it from the roof tops and still not feel heard? Corporations are amoral, superhuman, sociopathic entities that take on a life of their own. They are extraordinarily powerful so their power must be extraordinarily limited.

Wow, and I thought I hated corporatocracy. Just curious who do you work for? I think some of the tax advantages should not exist for corporations and that a corporation should not have a political agenda. The persons advocating one view or another shouldn’t hide behind a corporate logo, nor presume to represent all their employees. Corporate contributions to PAC’s or other political entities should not occur.

Posted by: googlumpus at May 25, 2008 06:09 PM
Comment #253645

googlumpus,

Thanks for your response. I thought I was mild here. After I left, I thought that I should have stated the case more emphatically.

I am UAW skilled trades for GM engineering (Experimental 12 volt Electrician Product Engineering - a dead trade), soon to be retired.

GM is a great American corporation employing many great people, but all corporations are souless and sociopathic. They are not capable of anything more. They can combine the cunning, and intelligence of hundreds of thousands of people - but not their souls. They can be in many places at once, and exist beyond human life spans. They can agglomerate wealth, influence, raw physical power, awesome weapons, and military might loyal only to their boards of directors (KBR / Haliburton). Their powers are literally nearly demonic in form, function and capacity and by law their powers are focused on one thing and one thing only - profit - at all costs - profit - no matter the consequences. To kill, to corrupt, to destroy the earth - none of it matters as long as profit is made.

Many corporations, like GM, have excellent corporate ethics and governance… …because, and only because, they think that it is the best way to profit - for now…

You wrote:

I think some of the tax advantages should not exist for corporations and that a corporation should not have a political agenda.
For Profit corporations will have political agendas that they think will support their bottom line. That is the only consideration that drives their political agendas and that is why their political power must be stripped. If their political power was stripped, if our elected representatives actually represented us, then we might give tax credits to certain corporate beasts of burden according to our actual best self interest and needs…

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 25, 2008 11:26 PM
Comment #253681

I think it was in the 70’s when everyone could be a corporation. It was a shield against an objection. A shield an owner used to protect his home and family against the lawyer who disagreed with his product.

Nine gods rule. Not the president or the congress.

Focus on the nine gods.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 26, 2008 07:36 PM
Comment #253696

Ray Guest adroitly and succinctly said: “Corporations are amoral, superhuman, sociopathic entities that take on a life of their own. They are extraordinarily powerful so their power must be extraordinarily limited.”

Well said, indeed, Ray. Oversight and regulation of corporate influence in government is mandatory to a better future. It should be our representatives seeking counsel from experts in the private sector, not the private sector controlling the outcome of legislation through all manner of subtle and ‘legal’ intimidation, bribery, and implied blackmail.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 26, 2008 10:04 PM
Comment #253772

David,

You wrote:

It should be our representatives seeking counsel from experts in the private sector, not the private sector controlling the outcome of legislation through all manner of subtle and ‘legal’ intimidation, bribery, and implied blackmail.
Exactly. We want our government to understand the needs of corporations so that corporate beasts of burden can meet our societal needs, but our government must be in control, and “We the people” must have the ultimate power.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 27, 2008 08:19 PM
Comment #253773

Weary Willie,

Enjoyed your blog but I am not sure what the Nine Gods reference is about unless it is a reference to China although it seems to relate back to the Etruscans in Italy.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 27, 2008 08:37 PM
Comment #253824

Ray, well that was the plan of our Founding Fathers. Appears We the People just aren’t living up to their expectations as the ultimate accountants of political and government official behavior.

Of course, Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams and others presumed that those who vote would be motivated to stay abreast of actions of government, literate enough to understand what those actions mean for them, and mistrustful enough of those in power to remove them from office in a heartbeat if they betray their office or the people with that office.

You know, it is ironic that today most Americans judge government by their wallets, instead of the Constitutional prescriptions and preamble. When this country was founded, economics was not government’s primary function, economic justice was. Far too many Americans see the government as the manager of money and economy, and ignore so much of the rest of the pie it has its fingers in.

All of which comes with a price tag for someone, of course. But, the Constitution was about balance of power, restraint of power, and justice for all persons regardless of wealth or station and preserving the union of the people of the many states, primarily. Its role in economics was to insure a fair and just opportunity for all players in the economy with redress for unfairness and injustice in the courts.

But how could we in America even begin to hope to reeducate the American people to these self-evident truths contained within the founding documents? With each State and Local School district deciding individually what those founding documents ‘Should’ have said, their is absolutely no hope of now teaching Americans what it actually said and meant in order to unite a common sense on our nation’s government design, intent, purpose, and function.

And nation without common sense on these, is a nation embroiled in internal conflicts and destined to incur the costs, both consequential and opportunity, that attend such conflicts.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 28, 2008 04:43 PM
Comment #253909

Nine gods are the Supreme court justices. If they can create persons ie. corporations then they must be “supreme beings”.
They decide presidents, they make the rules, ie. line-item veto. They decide who lives or dies/Roe V. Wade.

And you really don’t hear about their job performance percentage like you would the President or Congress, do you?

How do you rate the nine gods? 1 is pure fakery, 10 is bow to them and pray.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 29, 2008 05:42 PM
Comment #253932

David,

Thanks.

Weary Willie,

Nine Gods, should have been obvious to me - the Supreme Court, of course. I still have some faith in the Court. I think that it was corrupt in 2000 - Bush v Gore. Person hood status corporations was wrong. It has made many mistakes and gone astray many times. It is a human institution and prone to failure, but over all, I think that it has done well. Nine Gods is good metaphor for it though.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 29, 2008 11:27 PM
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