Third Party & Independents Archives

Seeking Justice For All

Saw Senator Tom Coburn, R-OK, on cspan this morning. He was holding a town hall meeting and it was clear his constituents thought highly of him as their representative. Coburn related that the reason people continue to immigrate to the U.S. is because we have a more fair justice system. People around the world seek justice and the more corrupt their environment the stronger is their desire to find a country where justice works for the majority.

He related that his ‘bones shake’ over the government choosing which laws to enforce or ignore. He mentioned immigration, shutting out the stockholders during the Crysler debacle, and Penn. not enforcing voting rights violations.

Says he has 41 basic conservative members in his camp and needs 44 to begin to turn things around. He is afraid that such behavior will become the political norm, disastrous for the country. I don’t know his voting record but sounds like a keeper to me.

The Wash. Post has a good article today on corruption and the lack of justice in India. Relates the story of a whistleblower who was abducted, had poison poured down his throat and dumped from a moving vehicle. The man, a weaver, had uncovered information indicating that a single family held a monopoly over the cooperative management of weavers in his district. Also, he had obtained evidence of embezzlement by the family. Seems, after heavy seasonal rain falls the government made subsidy funds available to the weavers through the cooperative leaders. The funds were kept by the ‘managers’.

India was ranked 84th out of 180 countries last year in the annual corruption survey by global watch dog Transparency International. Turns out the police force is the biggest offender. Eleven people have been killed or found dead in India this year after exposing corruption in schools and public utilities, illegal mining and unauthorized water and electricity hookups.

On a larger scale, and closer to home, the Post has an article about a woman, Martha Garncia who worked for the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CPB). In August she was sentenced to 20 years, a relatively stiff sentence, after pleading guilty to six counts of drug smuggling, human trafficking and bribery. After several years as a police officer she transferred to the CPB, ostensibly as a way to make money off the drug trade. She was known to the cartels and Agent Garnica, directing the movements of at least five men associated with the crime syndicate ‘La Linea’. In plying her trade she devised secret codes, passed stacks of cash through car windows and sketched a map for smugglers to move drugs and undocumented workers across the border.

Not so ironic that a whistle blower alerted authorities to Garnica. This after authorities, in 1997 had seized nearly 100 pounds of marijuana on a bridge in El Paso and an informant fingered Garnica as the contact. Again, in 2005 a van tried to enter the U.S. through Garnica’s lane at a checkpoint. She was not scheduled to work that day but someone had tampered with the schedule. It’s as sad as it sounds, IMO. Approximately 15% of CPB employees undergo a polygraph and of those 60% failed or were found to be not qualified. CPB corruption cases increased from 245 in 2006 to 770 this year. Immigration and Customs investigations rose from 66 to 220 over the same period. Mexican cartels have a big presence in the U.S. moving 50% of the marijuana and 90% of the cocaine which is a huge financial incentive.

The surest method of moving drugs is to corrupt a border official. I’ve blogged about this a number of times. It has to be that a good number of inspectors have been co-opted into the drug business. There is no other way to explain how the drugs coming from all over Latin America and funneled to the Southern U.S. border are moved across the border in such large quantities and with such efficiency. While we complain about corruption among Mexican officials the Mexican officials are rightly complaining about corruption on this side of the border.

As Tom Coburn says, it’s easy to stop immigration and the smuggling of drugs and people. Just requires the political will to put up a fence and police the border. Seems those who advocate for human rights would rather have their drugs when it comes to border violence.

In looking for justice which administration/congress following the 2012 elections will press for controlling the border, moving from free trade to a new trade policy, abolishing corporate personhood, flat income tax and a VAT trade tax, REAL campaign finance reform and, what about healthcare?
Think 3rd party, as represented by the Republic Sentry Party.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by Roy Ellis at September 12, 2010 3:24 PM
Comment #308359

Roy wrote; “Coburn related that the reason people continue to immigrate to the U.S. is because we have a more fair justice system.”

Not for long if these libersocialists get their way….

“The political intent behind Justice at Stake, the Open Society Institute and the entire $45.4 million judiciary campaign is readily apparent. Because the far left has been unsuccessful at persuading the public to elect judges who share its partisan ideological views, it is determined to end the public’s role in selecting judges. For proponents of judicial restraint, the question comes down to this: Are we going to trust the good intentions of the trial bar and other legal elites? Or are we going to put our faith in the wisdom and judgment of the people.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 12, 2010 7:24 PM
Comment #308365

“The Justice at Stake Campaign (JAS) is a Washington, D.C.-based non-partisan group whose stated objective is ensuring that courts in the United States are fair, impartial, and independent, and that judges rely only on the facts and the law.”

As usual the conservafascist automatically blame the left for every supposed conspiracy theory they can find. Do you have any proof that this group is liberal or socialist Royal or are you just blowing smoke as usual? Do you have any proof that “the far left has been unsuccessful at persuading the public to elect judges who share its partisan ideological views” or are you just blowing smoke as usual?

Seems to me the conservafascist have been deliberately trying to seed the federal court system with other conservafascist as they are stopping the current administration from appointing judges to fill the vacancies in the system.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 12, 2010 11:29 PM
Comment #308369

Roy, how is the India story different from the Madoff story? Are you trying to argue that the U.S. has less corruption than India or other countries. On a sheer dollar amount, I assure you the U.S. has far more corruption taking place than any other country on earth.

What the U.S. does have that many other countries don’t, is the perception that we hunt down and prosecute corrupters. But, that is just perception. Bush, Cheney, have yet to stand trial for the Iraq War, the most heinous corruption to have occurred in a country in the since WWII. More than 100,000 killed needlessly and more than 3/4 trillion dollars absconded from he treasury and tax payers on false pretenses.

Then their is the corruption of our government by the corporate and wealthy special interests. The greatest of its kind in the world, and all made legal by their puppets in the U.S. Congress.

I agree with Tom Coburn on some issues, but, don’t make the mistake of thinking Tom Coburn is anything special as an American politician. He is as corrupt as the others, he just has less visible puppeteers, CLICK HERE for a list of his top contributors. Who was a chief backer of the Banks that sent this country into the Great Recession? Tom Coburn.

Coburn takes credit for $578 million from D.C. to stabilize his state’s budget, while railing against the Obama stimulus package. That $578 million came from the Obama stimulus package. One doesn’t get more two faced, nor corrupt. To take credit for money one declares should never have been and voted against knowing it would pass, speaks to the grand canyon in Coburn’s integrity.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 13, 2010 1:02 AM
Comment #308370

Roy, we have two corrupt political parties in control of government. What makes you think a third party championing and end to the duopoly corruption would have a chance in hell of becoming viable, with the corrupt duopoly in control of the presidential campaign debates, the FEC, and ballot access measures in the States? They are corrupt. They will use that to prevent a Republic Sentry Party, or any other, from getting a foothold on power. And they have billions of dollars at their disposal to insure their efforts will be successful in that endeavor.

How much has the Republic Sentry Party raised to fight their billions? I refer you to New American Independent Party, (NAIP) which has organized itself around some of the same principles you tout for the non-existent Republic Sentry Party.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 13, 2010 1:09 AM
Comment #308376

Rich, Haven’t followed Soros to know his politic rather than he is a super wealthy liberal/socialist that came to this country seeking a more fair justice system. He has used his money to support the democratic agenda big time. We can have a good debate on whether appointed or elected judges is better for the states. A couple of urls:

David, not comparing more or less corruption. Just making points that people around the world are seeking justice, a big calling card for immigrates wanting to settle in this country. Coburn is right in having concern about govies ignoring or enforcing the laws as they choose. A slippery slope for the Republic.

Don’t worry about me falling for Coburn’s line. Solid in Nader’s camp here – unless a party like Republic Sentry comes to the forefront advocating for abolishing corporate personhood, axe free trade, adopt a flat income tax and VAT trade tax and REAL campaign finance reform.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 13, 2010 9:38 AM
Comment #308379

Although it would be nice to believe we lve in a world which automatically allowed every law ever written by mam, I am reminded that as a child I was told the Enforcement of the Law was to Serve and Protect. And while that lends itself open to the Charlatans and Vagabonds of the World, knowing that one could find fault in every Human I suppose it does seem strange that Justice ib Blind.

So why we can talk about corruption and the need for Americans’ Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders to be held to high ethics and morals. Which political party has the worst record of getting caught or how we would like to see existing laws enforced. IMHO, we should be talking about where are the journalists and reporters who in the past has help expose the worse of the worst.

Thus, looking forward as a Nation, a Society, and an Indivudal how much power do you want our Law Enforcement Agencies to have? Should they be allowed to pick and choose the laws they want to or turn a blind eye to corporate crimes? How about enforcing every traffic law or personal conduct through the use of technology?

Yes, time has changed what is important to us as a whole over the last 30 years. And while one can argue it has been for the better or worse, all I can say is 30 years from today the American Voter will question our efforts to create a Justice Department that Serves and Protects, but still allows the American Citizen to be Human.

Therefore, I hope you and others will realize the difference between holding Americas’ Democratic and Republican or any third political party Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders to the Highest Principles and Standards within our Founding Documents and the need to allow us the freedom to live within the Limited Powers of Government and Society.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 13, 2010 10:05 AM
Comment #308384

ROy said: “Coburn is right in having concern about govies ignoring or enforcing the laws as they choose. A slippery slope for the Republic.”

Absolutely right. Just read this morning that the FEC publicly made statements implying that the agency was no longer enforcing its own regulations regarding “express advocacy” in advertising. How very convenient for the Dems and Reps who want to abandon restraints in their duopoly fight for mid-term seats. The FEC is run by 5 Dems and 5 Reps, if I recall correctly. An equal number.

The Campaign Legal Center (for political reform) has sent a formal inquiry letter to the FEC asking for the FEC’s clarification and stand on this issue. The first step to a law suit given the FEC staffer’s statement that the word “help” applied to a candidate in advertising does not meet the express advocacy test (“vote for”) of the law.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 13, 2010 2:45 PM
Comment #308386

How about some international trade justice…

“Will U.S. policy makers let themselves be spooked by financial phantoms and bullied by business intimidation? Will they continue to do nothing in the face of policies that benefit Chinese special interests at the expense of both Chinese and American workers? Or will they finally, finally act?”

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 13, 2010 2:55 PM
Comment #308387

Why I can personally understand why the Democratic and Republican Canididates and Incumbents would like to see the narrowing of the regulation at this time. I do believe they will find themselve back at square one. For although the path is paved with good intention I do believe the politicians are going to find the “Help” hurting their ability to get the “Vote” as todays Elder and Youth are not as easily mislead as the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s.

Funny thing about the words “Help” and “Vote For” for why both hold the potential to add positively. They also by their very nature have to ability to “Help” or “Vote For” their opponent. For example; although Texas is heavly involded in the oil industry can you imadine some group coming out and stating candidate X supports the idea of shutting down the fire departments which service the oil refiners.

Or, how about a candidate who wishes to close all oil facilities? Care to answer if they would help get the vote? However, I do believe the blow back from such ruling would result in an increae of false support groups for candidates and incumbents. Because why I can imagine a Swiftboat Group in reverse, I’m not sure what the intended actions would have on future elections or citizens participating in a favorable manner. Especially since the term “Express Advocacy” would come under the same light as the Blame Game has in the past few years.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 13, 2010 3:21 PM
Comment #308391

Henry, its a clear case of politics and parties setting the intent of the law aside for their own benefit. You are right, there will always be ways for the unscrupulous to do an end run around the law. But, that is precisely the reason the vote was invented and implemented in this country by some very wise people, so that voters could hold accountable those who would do end runs around the law that everyone else has to subimit to or, suffer the consequences.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 13, 2010 4:01 PM
Comment #308395

Henry and others, let’s debate the immigration issue as it relates to the government ignoring or refusing to enforce immigration law.

First, let’s determine why the government feels so strongly about ignoring immigration law.

Could be because WTO regulations don’t allow fooling around with immigration.

Could be government feels it necessary to beef up Social Security ranks in an effort to keep SS solvent for the long term, take care of the retiring boomers, etc.

Could be to take care of corporations that want a supply of cheap labor.

Could be that in order to bring US workers wages in line with the globalized economy a heavy influx of immigrants is the best way to achieve wage parity.

Could be for the love of God and country, ‘shining light of lady liberty’, etc

Could be a mix of the above.

For whatever reason, the government is allowing an unknown number of people of foreign decent to enter the US illegally each year. Estimates are that 80 percent are from Mexico and 20% are from elsewhere.

Further, it is clear that drugs and people are being smuggled across the border. Drug violence is rampant north and south. Some 28000 people have been killed on the Mexican side of the border over the last 4 years. The 9th anniversary of the destruction of the trade towers just passed and still our borders are porous to all who wish to come.

Drugs from around the world are funneled to the Southern border yet we stop perhaps 1% from getting through the funnel. Likewise, some 5000 guns, mostly Romanian made AK47s and clones of the Bushmaster AR15, and some $30-100 billion dollars finds its way into the funnel going the other way. Some 62,800 of 80,000 guns confiscated by Mexican authorities since 2006 came from the US.

Large numbers of illegal people and stuff crossing back and forth, with an efficiency on par with that of UPS.

Henry, in seeking justice for all I don’t expect every traffic law to be enforced. For whatever reason(s) you choose from above does any/all rise to a level where gov’t should abrogate enforcement of federal law? After 230 years of a Democratic-Republic are we no better than N. Kor, Sudan, Libya, etc? Which way is our arrow pointing these last several decades? Maybe someone can help me out with an overriding reason, one of statesmanship and high merit.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 13, 2010 6:18 PM
Comment #308396

While an end run around the law has always been the mark of Charlatons and Vagabomds, I do believe most Americans would be surprised to learn what Principles and Standards our Elected Officials are held to. And why those seeking the Office or “Helping” candidates are beholding to another set of Primciples and Standards.

Now as you know I may not advocate for a political party; nevertheless, I do hold firsthand knowledge that most Americans find it anazing that their Parents Arguement of a Better World overides Americas’ Democratic and Republican Belief in a Better World.

So why it would be wrong of me to advocate the American Voter take the 2010 Election to ask their Candidate and Incumbent to explain their 100 year Vision for America. I believe it would be considered “Gray” for me to ask today’s Media how they see the “Help Ads” promoting the American Dream instead of the Inherent Best Interest of the candidate or incumbent. Any advice or suggestions?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 13, 2010 6:27 PM
Comment #308397

From day one America as a Nation and a Society has selected which laws take higher priority. And why there are several reasons found in history for such action, IMHO it comes down to which laws each generation demand total law enforcement and which laws Local and State Enforcement turn a blind eye to in order to keep the Peace and Serve the Community.

For example; in the 70’s pot was a problem and violated federal law; however, due to community pressure Law Enforcement turned a blind eye to the everyday users and focused on the major dealers.

Now as far as immigration, one would have to look at the fact America as a Nation and a Society has always had a Silent Law with Mexico allowing “Seasonal Workers” to cross the border freely in order to help the American Farmer pick their corps. And why this unchecked method worked great for years, it was not until the 1980’s which illegal imigration became a Government and Societal Issue.

Thus, over the years the debate has become more refianed to include the passage of illegal drugs. Nevertheless, up until 9/11 even the Idea of sealiing the borders in a Free Nation and Society would have resulted in one being laughed out of Washington.

So how can we secure the borders today still retain Americas’ Silent Law of allowing Seasonal Workers to come and go freely? Well, this is why someone will have to design a Comprehensive Immigration Plan which America and Mexico can live with over the next 100 years. Anything short of respecting our joint history on the subject, providing Americas’ Farmers with pickers for their corp. and addressing a whole list of problems faced by the Seasonal Workers from all sides IMHO will lead to the Charlatans and Vagabonds doing end runs around the Law.

Also, IMHO raising the punishments and addressing Americans their drug useage will help stop the violence at least on our side of the border. For is it worth smuggling guns and cocaine across the border if Law Enforcement is allowed to “Shot to Wound” anyone not stopping at the request of Border Patrol?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 13, 2010 7:02 PM
Comment #308401

Roy, here is an historical context for the illegal immigration issue.

Before the 1980’s, the perceived threat of a non-white majority in this country was relegated to fear mongering and associated with fringe groups like the KKK. Since, the 1980’s the reality of Caucasion minority has been rapidly becoming a reality, for a host of demographic, economic, cultural, and immigration reasons. Now that we have crossed over as the new Census will show, illegal immigration is an issue for those with some racial fears, who never gave it another thought in the Reagan years.

Second, before the 1970’s stagflation, the Middle Class in this country and suburbs were growing like wildfire. It wasn’t until the Great Recesssion of three years ago, that it dawned on folks that through all those decades since, the Middle Class was not growing at the rate it had been, and real wages were falling, and keeping one’s position in the Middle Class became a matter of credit - lots of it. With the Great Recession, the Credit burden came due with the threat of job losses.

Combined, these historical trends have now raised the illegal immigration issue to the top 10 concerns of Americans. Even the minor negative effects of illegal immigration are now felt like a cactus spine in one’s foot. Not a life threatening injury, but, every step is a reminder that this little prick ain’t going away. It is an issue. It is being dealt with. It will be resolved when the voters insist on voting out incumbents until it is resolved.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 13, 2010 8:24 PM
Comment #308406

Henry, we went down the road of ‘give them amnesty and we will secure the border’ before. This time the people want to secure the border and then talk about amnesty. Not likely to happen as the demreps/Corpocracy have no intention of changing the status quo. So long as the border remains open, people and drugs moving freely, the corpocracy is in a win-win situation for any/all of the reasons forementioned. And, fer shure, we can’t go shooting them in the leg. But, we sure could wrestle them to the ground, cuff and stuff them, and put them on a bus headed south, but we won’t do that either, IMO.

Agree with your pot analogy in that the ‘revenoor’s’ ran my grandpappies to ground and imprisoned many of them for making whiskey in the mountains while JFK’s father made millions bootlegging for the uppercrust, becoming Ambassador to England, etc.

David, you gave a correct history based on the personal aspects of the immigration/border situation. Agree, that since the 80’s immigration has been ramping up as an issue. Fer shure an issue when Regan promised security and provided amnesty. But, federal law has been ignored or not enforced, a policy continued by one admin after another for 25 years or so.

Henry suggested that cheap labor a reason the gov’t won’t enforce federal law. David believes historical trends will eventually have an effect on the issue. 28,000 people killed, murdered. After 9/11 how long did it take for the cops to show up?

I believe there is a mix of reasons why the gov’t refuses to enforce the law. All economical in purpose. If so, what a shame. And, the corpocracy will put the guilt on us by telling us we are all racists.

I suppose the Mexican corpocracy is way too corrupt to allow the US to support the Mexican farm industry, creating something like the Juaqin Valley in Mexico. And, the US corpocracy would fight it tooth and nail as well. Much like the ‘free trade’ Macquiladoras that were supposed to establish high tech and high wage jobs in the Mexico, now a breeding ground for crime as much as anything else.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Will take a 3rd party with a different political attitude to straighten it all out, abolish corporate personhood, abolish free trade, implement a flat tax and a VAT trade tax, campaign finance reform, etc.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 13, 2010 10:13 PM
Comment #308420

Why one could wait for someone in Washington to come up with a political solution to the problem, we could solve a lot of the problems at the borders by getting the American Farmers and Manufactures to create/develope a non profit organization which would assist Seasonal Workers find employment opportunities, housing, and travel. And why I will leave the details to those educated on the subject of Seasonal Workers and the issues they face. I do believe the quickest most human way to stop the smuggling of people across the border is to offer (even if it is in limited numbers) them safe passage at half the cost into the United States.

And than we can begin to secure the border by more forceful means since the innocence would be taking out of the equation. Because though it would be nice to believe shutting down the Human Trafficing would result in the end to all smuggling activities, knowing that we are dealing with criminals should allow our Law Enforcement a heavier hand.

So, you can claim a third political party is the best answer, but until we deal with providing the need for Seasonal Workers in a Human Manner and stop our corporations from exploiting them than Public Opinion IMHO will always win due to the fact it is almost impossible to seperate the smuggling of drugs and Humans across the border. For why I doubt if one would cry over the killing of a drig smuggler, let one person get shot for crossing the border in search for a job to feed their straving family and no amount of good is going to clam the public outcry for Justice.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 14, 2010 7:30 AM
Comment #308426

Roy, or, it will take a minority Party getting the anti-incumbent message and resolving that the only way to win again is by successfully addressing the top 10 concerns of the broad middle class. Little sign of that now. But, then the reelection rate remains in the upper 80 to lower 90% range. That has to change first to 50 or 60%. Then Party and political reform will follow. Might even open the door for a viable third party.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 14, 2010 8:38 AM
Comment #308437

lets see now…the US and world economy is trashed by by the greed and avarice of investment bankers given virtual free reign over the meager savings that people that actually do work for a living have been able to put together,mostly by the Republican Party. You are so right! To solve the problem we should obviously beat up some Mexicans!ITS THEM DAMNED CLEANNING WOMEN! That and we should not support anyone in the party that opposes the Republican Party because,after all,they did not manage to stop them last time. Makes perfect sense.(and now play the theme song from the Twilight Zone)

Posted by: bills at September 14, 2010 12:11 PM
Comment #308439

I agree David, what passes for good gov’t today more resembles a cesspool, IMO. Indeed, the ONLY non-violent alternative to the voter/taxpayer is to vote out all incumbents, everytime, and work to establish a new 3rd party with a different political attitude.

For things to improve the voter/taxpayer must stand up and accept some responsibility for the political situation. Instead, what we have is the Tea Party trying to revive the Repub’s who, IMO, represent the lion’s share of the Corpocracy.

Exemplar: we are told that billionaires are ‘necessary’ and ‘desirable’ to grease the wheels of progress. Why then, is it ‘necessary’ for the US taxpayer to fund a Japanese company to develop the lithium battery? Why do these big billionaire run corporations/monopolies sit it out while the US taxpayer funds their R^D?

The cumulative effect of decades of bad policies and corruptive practices such as free trade, derivatives and hedge funds, has felled some serious blows on the nation and the world. At some point, perhaps when the Carlos Slims of the world are making $100M a day compared to the workers $5 a day the knives will come out. Otherwise, ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ and ‘justice for all’ are just so many words on paper.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 14, 2010 12:37 PM
Comment #308454

bills, from MoveOn.Org: “But Republicans—and even some corporate Democrats—are demanding a $700 billion giveaway to the richest Americans in exchange for Obama’s middle class tax cuts.”

There is no effective difference between the parties anymore. Aside from Democrats proposing the same kind of counter productive solutions as Republicans would, getting the truth out of them is no longer possible. MoveOn is right about corporate Democrats insisting on tax relief extended for the very wealthy (including themselves). But, MoveOn lies in referring to the tax cuts as Obama’s. To be truthful, these were Bush’s tax cuts scheduled by law to expire. Obama cannot raise or lower taxes. That is Congress’ authority, not the presidents, except for the veto.

The Left and Right, Dems and Reps, now misrepresent the truth so routinely that they even think out solutions based on their misrepresentations, completely unaware of the fact.

If Reps were in charge this last year and a half, they would have bailed out the banks with deficits, they would have provided stimulus too small and spread out too thin to be effective in rescuing the unemployment situation. And if they had reformed health care they would have kept it a private sector solution which would have failed to address the heart of the problem for our nation, bankrupting health care inflation costs. If Reps were in charge, we would still have at least 50,000 troops in Iraq, and they would have escalated the lost war in Afghanistan.

All these things, Democrats did in the last year and a half. There is no substantial difference between the parties. The differences are insubstantial and cosmetic. They both dance the corporate puppeteers dance. They both put elections ahead of good governance. They both prize special interest donations over the will of the people. They both, to this day, still fail to acknowledge the real threat of deficits and debt, while promoting policies that just continue their increase.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 14, 2010 3:40 PM
Comment #308457

“Since 1800, the population of the world has multiplied six times, yet average life expectancy has more than doubled and real income has risen more than nine times,” Ridley writes. And, even with all those extra mouths to feed, “The United Nations estimates that poverty was reduced more in the last 50 years than in the previous 500.”

Why is that? Because humans keep getting better at producing and delivering food. Ridley is optimistic that we’ll keep right on feeding the multitudes, even as the human population peeks in the middle of this century.

Of course, Ridley is a rational optimist, so he admits there’s a catch: if big governments impose foolish policies, they may blunt international progress. Ridley cites biofuel mandates as an example.

“Between 2004 and 2007 the world maize [corn] harvest increased by 51 million tons. But 50 million tons went into ethanol,” he writes. So the extra food that should have been available to feed the hungry wasn’t there. “In effect, American car drivers were taking carbohydrates out of the mouths of poor people to fill their tanks.”

It’s the sort of policy that only a government could come up with.

“Strong governments are, by definition, monopolies and monopolies always grow complacent, stagnant and self-serving,” he writes. “They also fall for the perpetual fallacy that they can make business work more efficiently if they plan it rather than allow and encourage it to evolve.” Look no further than the “recovery summer,” promised by the Obama administration.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 14, 2010 4:00 PM
Comment #308463

RF, great comment, UPTO the last quoted paragraph, which errs substantially, in both logic and reality.

I refer to: ““They also fall for the perpetual fallacy that they can make business work more efficiently if they plan it rather than allow and encourage it to evolve.””

Government never sets as it goal, to make business work more efficiently. It sets as its goal to make business work more responsibly, more ethically, more and competitively. Not more efficiently. That’s the first error.

Our government doesn’t plan business structure, operations, or practices. It reacts to those practices which harm the nation or the people of our nation. With one notable exception, subsidies as encouragement for certain business endeavors which are planned to have a beneficial effect on the nation or people’s future, such as the Ethanol subsidies.

Ethanol for gas fuel was FIRST proposed by the private sector, and subsidized by the government in response to an energy crisis and extremely high petroleum prices which were restricting our economy. The fact that ethanol is still available, and large increases in food exports have been replaced by ethanol, reflects our government’s and our corporate farmer’s priorities. And herein lies the second error in the quoted statement above.

If there were more profit to be made from food exports than Ethanol, food exports would have replaced ethanol production. Even with subsidies, if increased profits were to be had from food exports equal to ethanol profits, the corn production would have grown even more to supply both ethanol and food exports. The trade off was a private sector decision based on profitability. The trade off was a government decision to constrain subsidy spending in preference for ethanol, as opposed to increasing allocations for foreign food aid.

It is dumb to critique the government for constraining spending on subsidies these days, which it clearly has by not allocating deficit spending to meet demand BOTH for starving populations overseas and ethanol production here at home.

As for recovery, it is occurring. Retail numbers (consumer spending) lifted the markets the last couple days. It is happening. Recovery from recessions take time - and cannot be rushed by wishful thinking. The irony is that conservatives rejected stimulative efforts to base a recover on, in order to blame Democrats for a “sluggish” recovery. Cutting off their noses to spite their face, so to speak.

Democrats didn’t spend enough quickly enough to put unemployment rises in check sooner and put an 8% ceiling on them. But, how much is enough before the fact is always an iffy bit of guesswork, the 1930’s and 40’s lesson notwithstanding. They are indeed responsible for not producing as effective a stimulus as was possible. But, they did cap unemployment at 10% despite this being the worst recession since the Great Depression, and for the 85% to 90% still employed, that is something to be thankful for. It could have been a whole helluva lot worse.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 14, 2010 5:33 PM
Comment #308473

This url alludes to a bad year for crops around the world.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 14, 2010 7:08 PM
Comment #308482

What does ‘social justice’ really mean?

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 14, 2010 9:15 PM
Comment #308500

Roy, all attempts to give social justice a bad taste definition are, in fact, attempts to turn back desegregation, government regulation of the private sector, and undo all manner of equal opportunity programs like public education guaranteed for all. If folks have a problem with a particular policy or program, they would objectively name that particular policy or program for critique. To attempt to define social justice as a bad term, is to attempt to hide an agenda bent on unregulated capitalism and/or turning back the hands of time on quality of life for all Americans.

Social Justice is a negative term for those on the right and code for the hidden agenda described above. Attempts to define it as negative is dead giveaway that a conservative agenda is hidden in the negative definition, usually attempting to equate social justice with communism, which of course is a false equation.

Not surprising, since, conservatives have a penchant for redefining everything to suit their needs in marketing their minority viewpoint, historically.

From Wikipedia and accurate:

The term and modern concept of “social justice” was coined by the Jesuit Luigi Taparelli in 1840 based on the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and given further exposure in 1848 by Antonio Rosmini-Serbati. The idea was elaborated by the moral theologian John A. Ryan, who initiated the concept of a living wage. Father Coughlin also used the term in his publications in the 1930s and the 1940s. It is a part of Catholic social teaching, Social Gospel from Episcopalians and is one of the Four Pillars of the Green Party upheld by green parties worldwide.

Social justice, as a secular concept distinct from religious teachings, emerged mainly in the late twentieth century, influenced primarily by philosopher John Rawls. Some tenets of social justice have been adopted by those on the left of the political spectrum.

This secular definition of the 20th century as a philosophy of John Rawls et. al. “is based on the concepts of human rights and equality and involves a greater degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution. These policies aim to achieve what developmental economists refer to as more equality of opportunity than may currently exist in some societies, and to manufacture equality of outcome in cases where incidental inequalities appear in a procedurally just system.”

Many conservatives are quick to seize upon the words: “to manufacture equality of outcome”, and ignore the context that follows: “in cases where incidental inequalities appear in a procedurally just system.” Many liberals are prone to ignore the same context, but for differing purposes, to insure against incidental inequalities, which of course, carried to its logical end, would result in command control economies like that of the failed USSR with all of the corruption that comes with it. Both are perversions of the original philosophy and doctrine of “social justice”, in much the same way as al-Queda has perverted the teachings of Islam for their own selfish and immoral purposes.

An excellent example of “incidental inequalities resulting in a procedurally just system” was the steep spike in unemployment in this Great Recession. Conservatives - Republicans opposed extending unemployment benefits. Those adhering to the original doctrine of John Rawls’ Social Justice voted for extending the unemployment benefits. Reason: the unemployment was not the fault of those unemployed by the Recession.

Conservatives now refer to the unemployment extensions as part of the “communist - socialist” agenda of the Obama administration and Democrats, while most Americans supported the extension of unemployment benefits. (There but for fortune go you and I). Americans are empathetic to those who incur misfortune through no fault of their own and don’t think of government aid to Katrina victims or 9/11 victims, or unemployed victims of the Great Recession as communist or socialist. Conservative - Republican doctrine however, lacks such empathy and sees only the potential for their taxes going up by yet another couple pennies as a result of unemployment extensions, encroaching on their choice to keep and spend all they earn as they please without government taxation.

So, be careful of the hidden agendas when either the left, or the right, attempt to redefine the entirely laudable concept of “social justice” having its roots in morality, ethics, and the idea of equal opportunity and equality in the eyes of the law. Social Justice is what differentiates modern civilized society from their more uncivilized Monarchic, authoritarian, unregulated capitalist, and Anarchic cousins of the past, as in the world which Charles Dickens wrote of.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 15, 2010 1:18 AM
Comment #308516

Mr. Remer writes; “Government never sets as it goal, to make business work more efficiently.”

Really? How about the main contention used to sell the health care legislation which was to lower costs of health care by government intervention and make it more efficient.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2010 11:54 AM
Comment #308521

“While America’s liberal elite have not reached the depths of tyrants such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Hitler, they share a common vision and, as such, differ only in degree but not kind. Both denounce free markets and voluntary exchange. They are for control and coercion by the state. They believe they have superior wisdom to the masses and they have been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. They, like any other tyrant, have what they see as good reasons for restricting the freedom of others.

Their agenda calls for the elimination or attenuation of the market. Why? Free markets imply voluntary exchange. Tyrants do not trust that people behaving voluntarily will do what the tyrants think they should do. Therefore, they seek to replace the market with economic planning control and regulation.

Why liberalism has become an ugly sight, as Krauthammer claims, is because more and more Americans have wised up to their agenda.”

Isn’t that the truth, Americans have wised up and we can thank conservative talk radio for much of the learning. It is the primary reason the libersocialists want to crush talk radio with harmful legislation.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2010 1:55 PM
Comment #308522

Here is some Cloward and Piven ‘social justice’:

Beck hurt my heart a coupla days back alluding that ‘free trade’ has benefitted the world.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 15, 2010 2:02 PM
Comment #308524

Roy, thank you very much for that link. It was very interesting and really nailed what the libersocialists are all about.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2010 2:28 PM
Comment #308525

Royal Flush quoted: “While America’s liberal elite have not reached the depths of tyrants such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Hitler, they share a common vision and, as such, differ only in degree but not kind.”

A matter of degree is what determines whether a substance is a healer or killer. By the logic above, we should ban ALL medications because if the amount (degree) taken is high enough, it can kill.

One can logically also say that the only difference between anarchy and Republican conservative philosophy, is a matter of degree. They share a common vision, least government is best.

RF, what has health care reform got to do with efficiency? Yes, Dems touted that it would lower health care costs, and it clearly DID NOT. But, Dems NEVER claimed it would be more efficient. Efficiency does NOT necessarily mean lower cost. The Public Option, which was never seriously considered, was advocated as being more efficient. And by objective measures on a number of measures, it might well have been more efficient AND stemmed the rise in health care costs at the same time. But, that is not what was proposed or passed.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 15, 2010 2:32 PM
Comment #308526

Mr. Remer writes; “Efficiency does NOT necessarily mean lower cost.”

Sorry, you’re wrong when applied to what dems were touting in the HCB. Their claims were that HC costs were going to bankrupt the nation unless their legislation was passed to lower costs. Spin away pal, but as Mr. Daugherty might comment…”facts is facts”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2010 2:41 PM
Comment #308527

Mr. Remer, my knowledge and logic inform me that neither Hitler or Stalin began as mass murderers. They achieved their infamous place in history by incremental degree changes in their murderous actions.

The first step was to sieze unlimited and unchecked power and then use it to further their vision of what was right and just. This is exactly what the libersocialists are attempting to do with this nation. Ask them and they will tell you that their goals are correct by virtue of their superior wisdom and nobility and must prevail over the “crazies” who object.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2010 2:55 PM
Comment #308536

The cost of Healthcare and Healthcare Insurance was projected to sieze up the market. For why it may make a company a lot of money if their customer never gets sick. Looking out over the next 20 years America is going to need every American to work in the medical field just to take care of the Baby Boomers.

So, why I do not agree with current Comprehensive Healthcare Plan because it still keeps the Adminstration in charge of medicine (a personal thing), the very fact Healthcare Insurance companies wanted to raise their premiums by 40% during the current economic problem should of had the Republicans yelling since the move would of taking away from other corporations having the opportunity and ability to make a profit.

Now, as for Government siezing unlimited and unchecked power and than using it to futher their vision. Do you think it would be fair of the Oil Companies to increase the price of gas to $10.00 per gallon or the Farmer to increase the price of eggs to $5.00 a dozen just so the CEO can keep making the big paycheck?

And why the “Crazies’ should object to things they do not understand; nevertheless, faced with the facts of superior wisdom accompanied with nobility will hopefully lead them to the knowledge of what is good for “We” and stop feeding the Ignorance of “I”

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 15, 2010 4:10 PM
Comment #308543

RF, your blinders are impeding your reading ability.

I had no idea that when I wrote: “Yes, Dems touted that it would lower health care costs, and it clearly DID NOT.”, that the literacy level of that sentence would be over your head.

RF wrote: “Mr. Remer, my knowledge and logic inform me that neither Hitler or Stalin began as mass murderers. They achieved their infamous place in history by incremental degree changes in their murderous actions.”

Well, your knowledge and logic fail you, yet again. May I remind you that America has employed socialist programs since its inception in the 18th century, and has never produced a Hitler or Stalin as its authoritarian leader. Socialist policy does not lead to regimes like Hitler’s or Stalins. The evidence of that can be reviewed across the globe in socialist policy democracies from Great Britain to Brazil.

It is a matter of degrees which determines whether a substance or policy implementation is a good or bad thing. The beauty of democracies is that the voters have the power to reverse course by selecting leaders with different policies when the former leader’s policies became extreme. Some socialist policy is a good thing, which is why social policy is implemented in EVERY successful nation on earth. Capitalism is a good thing when appropriately regulated and denied its monopolistic natural tendencies.

It is a matter of degrees. A concept and way of understanding the world which doesn’t sit well with black and white ideologues.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 15, 2010 5:18 PM
Comment #308552

It is a matter of degrees. A concept and way of understanding the world which doesn’t sit well with black and white ideologues.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 15, 2010

Well of course you’re right about a matter of degrees. After all, we learned nothing from the German gobbling up of Europe by degrees.

How silly to believe anything political happens in an instant, it is always by stealth, cunning and misdirection. Some learn from history and others just ignore it.

It’s the tired old worn out line used by the libersocialists…if a little is good, a lot must be better.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2010 7:41 PM
Comment #308587

It’s the tired old worn out line used by the conservafacists…if a little free market capitalism is good, a lot must be better.

Posted by: jlw at September 16, 2010 2:04 PM
Comment #308594

jlw…imitation is the most sincere form of flattery…thank you.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 16, 2010 3:06 PM
Comment #308628

RF, your argument couldn’t be more illogical. It takes the form of, Since in this instance this happened, in all instances with similar components, the same thing will happen. It is totally illogical - literally violating the rule of logic which stipulates that one cannot extrapolate from the anecdotal to the general.

Yes, socialism resulted in militaristic authoritarian fascism in the 1930’s and 1940’s. But, in the 70 years since, NO socialist nations have repeated the history of Nazi Germany. The overwhelming historical evidence demonstrates that socialism taken to its extremes can become a threat, but, many other ingredients are required for that outcome to occur, which have not been repeated in a host of other nations since.

Sorry, but your argument flunks logic 101. Big F.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 16, 2010 7:23 PM
Comment #308663

“How silly to believe anything political happens in an instant, it is always by stealth, cunning and misdirection.”

Well, considering nothing can happen until Congress send the President a bill and it is signed into Law does your argument have a flaw?

Sure, before and after th fact one can find dtealth, cunning, and misdirection; nevertheless, the instant something is signed into Law the timer starts. Because why some laws are instantly put into effect, others may take several years. And than there is Grandpas’ Clause and the ability of we to implement the law, law suits, and a whole list of hoops to jump though.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 17, 2010 9:02 AM
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