Archive for February, 2010

American Healthcare: Laugh Till You Cry!

February 28, 2010

 American Healthcare: Laugh Till You Cry!

Political Cartoon by Steve Breen

By Steve Breen,  from www.Townhall.com

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

By Chip Bok, from www.Townhall.com

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

By Michael Ramirez, from www.Townhall.com

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

By Michael Ramirez, from www.Townhall.com

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

By Micheal Ramirez, from www.Townhall.com

Today, they said it for me.

VTM, 2/28/2010

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America Needs Term Limits IV

February 26, 2010

America Needs Term Limits IV

I have wondered how the poor starving people around the world who fight with each other over a limited supply of food or water dropped in their midst after some disaster or holocaust differ from us, as we fight for limited federal monies through our political representatives.

 I have also wondered how any of this is different from the hordes of hungry squawking sea gulls that fight with each over the limited supply of stale bread that I have thrown to them on the shores of my beloved Lake Michigan.

The principles are the same, desperate creatures fighting to get at a limited supply of sustenance (rewards or, more technically,  reinforcers). What do you expect?!

What do you think the old phrase, “All politics are local means”?

It means that, normally, people are primarily concerned with their own best interests. Put in pejorative terms, people are selfish and self-centered. So, what’s the big news about that? Our founding fathers designed our government, best they knew how, to take this basic fact of human (animal) nature into account. They really did an amazingly great  job of it!

However, they could never have imagined a technological, communication/ information, or economic-based America and world as it now exists.

One of the reasons that incumbents in congress virtually always win elections is because if they throw enough “bread” to their constituents (the sea gulls), their constituents naturally will “peck the keys” needed to keep the bread flowing. Why should they ever vote for someone who has not demonstrated the ability to keep the bread flowing into their pockets or projects?

A principle of behavioral psychology is the Matching Law. Simplified, it would predict that people will pull the voting  levers, at higher rates, for those individuals who provide them the highest rates of rewards, I.e., money and power to them and their locals. That is exactly what long-term incumbents are able to do best. Think of them as the keys that we pigeons peck maximize our rewards. This is truly a mutually addictive parasitic relationship, masquerading as a beneficial symbiotic relationship. The way to tell that it is an addictive parasitic relationship is that neither party can ever be satiated and  the relationship is killing the host, America.

In all of this, it would be better if our representatives (the money/power dispensers) were less effective.  It would seem good if they were just effective enough to make decisions that would be only moderately beneficial to their home regions and more beneficial to America as a whole.

This will require more than curtailing great contributions to politicians from special interest groups and implementing term limits. But, these appear to me to be very important steps in the right direction.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

America Needs Term Limits III

February 25, 2010

America Needs Term Limits III

I am focusing upon term limits because I believe them to be the only available method for fighting what modern American Government has become, irrespective of the prevailing poliltical party.

The way I look at it:

Government for the Government and special interests, By the Government and special interests, and of the Government and special interests shall perish from this earth.

Yes, I imagine that Abraham Lincoln is rolling in his grave. God rest his soul.

For a brief statement of the history and the  problem under consideration, please read the quoted excerpt by William A. Holscher from Right Side News, which I have provided just below my name and the line that follows. 

Sampling that, I hope you will open his full article and read it all. The term limit issue is a critically important one that merits your time and full consideration.  

http://www.rightsidenews.com/200904234490/culture-wars/constitutional-convention-term-limits-and-right-to-referendum.html

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 2/24/10

_________________________________________

Begin Quote.

Historical Perspective

Every government has a source of its sovereignty or authority, and most of the political structures of the U.S. government apply the doctrine of popular sovereignty. In previous centuries the source of sovereignty in some countries was the monarchy and the divine right of kings to rule. Americans place the source of authority in the people who, in a democratic society, reign. In this idea the citizens collectively represent the nation’s authority. They then express that authority individually by voting to elect leaders to represent them in government. “I know no safe repository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves,” wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1820, “and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.” 1

Technology, geography, time, and distance mandated the representative structure our Founding Fathers established. However, they were much attuned to potential change and future unforeseen problems. Had Thomas Jefferson lived today, and saw the power and speed of technology, communication, and exponential societal interaction, he and our Founding Fathers would be considering a few structural government modifications.

Recognizing that future eras would face different sets of issues, challenges, and priorities, the Founding Fathers created an amendment process by which the Constitution could be altered. Article V of the Constitution grants this right, stating:

The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid, to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress.

The founders offered two mechanisms for changing the Constitution. The first is for the proposed bill to pass both halves of the U.S. Congress (House and Senate) by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it then goes to the states. While the Constitution does not impose a time limit on states for which to consider the amendment, Congress frequently includes one (typically seven years).

In order to become an amendment, the bill must receive the approval of three-fourths of the states (38 states). This approval can be generated through either a state convention or a vote of the state legislature. In either case, a majority vote is necessary for passage. Often, the proposed amendment specifies the route which is necessary.
 
The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the state legislatures (34 states), and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. As of April, 2009 this method has never been used.

The Problem:

  • Government “…..of the people, by the people, and for the people” (Abraham Lincoln) has been replaced by special interest, ideology and political affiliation.
  • Career Congressional representatives utilize powerful financial support, special interests and political connections to maintain power while using public funds and influence to reward these supporters.
  • The free press has joined the list of ideological special interests to circumvent the will of the people. This professional group, who use to be governmental watchdogs for the general public, has abandoned their historical integrity for greed, ideology and political power.
  • The press, TV news commentators, academia, powerful corporate interests, unions, political parties, and other special interest lobbyists have joined forces to ideologically and politically direct the future of the United States of America.
  • Government will not correct these problems that keep the status quo and their political futures secure.
  • No constitutional mechanism currently exists for the US Citizen to collectively address and modify the lack of representation issue or overturn abusive special interest legislation.
  • People feel totally alienated from the governmental process. Too many US citizens feel their votes do not count and their voices unheard. Voting statistics support this issue.

America Needs Term Limits II

February 24, 2010

America Needs Term Limits II

Please  take time to consider these Pro and Con arguments regarding term limits in government. I believe that requiring term limits in Congress would greatly improve our representational government by returning more power to the people, where it belongs.

The information that follows is from http://tenurecorrupts.com/arguments.html

I hope  you will visit this site and carefully consider the following arguments.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.   2/24/10

The following is a direct quote.

__________________________________________________________________

Discussion of Arguments in Favor:

1. Overwhelmingly, voters prefer term limits.

Whenever statewide term limits is on a ballot, it wins overwhelmingly. This phenomenon may be due to the voter’s native common sense. This may be the most powerful argument in its favor. In other words, it appears that voters instinctively know that term limits is better for voters than  unlimited terms. In the 23 states that have the Initiative Process (where voters can petition to place issues on the ballot), 21 states have voted for and won statewide term limits. Whenever politicians have tried to end term limits, they have been resoundingly defeated, and repeatedly so.

2. Term Limits downgrades seniority, favors meritocracy.

Unlimited terms creates a need in the legislature for a seniority system, in which mediocre politicians thrive. If they can be reelected a few times, thereby earning the ‘right’ (by seniority, not by merit) to serve in important committees and chairmanships, they cement their chances of being reelected continuously, not because they deserve it, but only because of the power they wield and the media exposure they receive, enhancing their name recognition.

3. Term limits increases competition, encourages new challengers.

Seniority systems now in place in Congress discourage truly talented individuals from running for office, because even though they can win, they know they will have to wait years before they will get any recognition for their bills, or a seat on a good committee (much less a chairmanship!). With term limits in force, all legislators will be relatively new arrivals, and therefore seniority will be meaningless. Merit will become the selection method of choice.

4. Term limits builds a ‘citizen’ Congress, vs career or ‘professional’ politicians.

After a few years of term limits, both voters and politicians will recognize that the legislature is made up of real people, not just those ‘lousy career politicians’, and the quality of legislation by a ‘citizen Congress’ will begin to change for the better. It may not be perfect, but it will certainly be better. Elective office should not be a livelihood or career job, simply because it involves a fundamental ‘conflict of interest’. An
incumbent who fears for his job cannot vote honestly for the good of his constituents or the country.

5. Breaks ties to special interests.

The breaking of the cozy connections between long tenured pols and their various special interests and lobbying organizations will force those interests to try to reconnect with a new breed of legislator who is not a career politician, but one who thinks differently, and more often with common sense and integrity, and is less often concerned with reelection.

6. Improves tendency to vote on principle, vs backscratching.

A substantial number of these new legislators will be ordinary people who do not intend to make a life in politics, but who want to improve the system. These people will be the source of truly new thinking, and far more likely to vote on principle, considering the right thing to do, and what is best for the country, rather than trading votes with other legislators or special interests (‘If you vote for my pork, I’ll vote for your pork’)

7. Introduces fresh thinking, new ideas, eliminates the  ‘old bulls’.

The large number of new legislators will introduce a breath of fresh air into the halls of Congress, in which the old habits of the legions of Congressional staff and department bureaucrats will face considerable skepticism and questioning about “This is the way we’ve always done it!”. Common sense will get new life in legislation.

8. Reduces the power of staff, bureaucracy, and lobbies.

Contrary to the claims of opponents, the new blood in Congress will not be influenced by the old staffs (many of whom will be replaced). Neither will they lean on, or be led by, bureacracies or lobbyists. More likely they will be offended and put off by the arrogance of those
groups


9. It will create a natural reduction in wasteful federal spending.


Another serious effect of unlimited terms is the growth of pork in our spending bills. Every Congressman and Senator up for reelection has a major incentive to get some Federal spending passed for some more or less ‘useful’ item for his constituency, whether it is needed or not, paid for by the country at large, just to show his voters he is ‘doing something’ for them. And all other Congresspeople return the favor because they are doing the same thing. Term limited politicians do not have this bad incentive.

10. Encourages lower taxes, smaller government, greater voter participation in elections.

The inexorable increase in taxes and in the size of government is a direct result of voter apathy caused by voter hopelessness about their inability to ‘throw the bums out’. Enough other voters keep voting by ‘name recognition’ and their legislator’s ability to get ‘goodies’ for their district, that attendance at the polls keeps falling to new lows. Term limits will bring a fresh crop of new challengers and issues which will make voter participation in elections surge to new heights, once the voters realize that the ‘bums’ are  gone.

11. There are more reasons in favor of term limits than reasons against.

It seems to me that the number of reasons in favor of term limits so far outnumbers those against (as shown on this page), that it is difficult to understand why term limits has not long ago been adopted, and why I believe in the inevitability that it will be passed eventually. This is borne out by the history of state term limits, mentioned in #1 above. And considering the opposing arguments which follow, which are easily rebutted, we should carry the Congressional Term Limits Amendment (CTLA) campaign to a successful conclusion more easily than is currently expected.

12. Gets reelection rates closer to 50% vs current 99%.

Finally, for almost 200 years, our Congress has lived with reelection rates close to 50%, just as our Founders expected. Only in the last 30 years or so have reelection rates started to soar, as politicians have learned to ‘game the system’, and more voters have become impatient with long ballots, relying on ‘name recognition’ to do their voting. In the last few elections, reelection rates have topped 97%, and in 2004, went over 99% ! Who in his right mind would think that all those incumbents were worthy of reelection ?

Discussion (and Rebuttal) of Arguments Opposed:

1. Term limits terminates the ‘good’ politicians along with the ‘bad’.

This appears to be one of only two valid opposition arguments, but it is fully counterbalanced by the fact that, with unlimited terms in place, an unknowable number of talented individuals never run for office in the first place, or if they do, they lose, because incumbents ‘always’ win! Furthermore, getting rid of the ‘bad’ incumbents is a definite ‘plus’ in itself, besides making room for new, probably ‘better’ challengers.

2. Reform of Congress’ procedures would be easier than passing a term limits amendment.

Better ways to avoid the abuses of entrenched power, and to improve the quality of Congressional performance, would include such ideas as:

     a. Prohibiting the use of seniority for awarding chairmanships or special assignments.
     b. Limit subchairs to two years, and fullchairs to six years.
     c. Or rotate all chairs more frequently.
     d. End the power of chairs to bury bills in committee.
     e. End the power of Senators to arbitrarily put a ‘hold’ on nominations.
     e. And so forth. I’m sure there are many other ideas out there.

The added attraction of such reforms is that there should be a far greater number of Congresspeople who would be very much in favor of these changes  (vs those in favor of Term Limits). Many in Congress in both houses and both parties chafe at the need to wait out their seniority turn before getting to where they can exercise some real power on political issues.

I would guess that this idea has not gained any headway because the number of freshman has been dwindling for many years, while the number of old timers and ‘next-in-liners’, plus the ‘drones’, has been increasing. This kind of reform should be easier to accomplish than a Congressional Term Limits Amendment, if given vigorous support outside the Congress. I would support this effort too, but for now I favor term limits because, obviously, the great weakness of this idea is the fact that Congress could pass it, and Congress could easily rescind it.

3. Term limits reduces voter choice.

Obviously a false argument, since as incumbents reach reelection rates of 98%, most voters are being deprived of real choice!

4. Term limits causes a loss of knowledge and experience.

The President and and his staff have been effectively term limited for over 200 years, and yet the country has prospered enormously. Why should Congress be any different? The knowledge and experience of people who have spent 20-30 years in the real world, outside of Washington, DC, is every bit as valuable, perhaps more so, than that of a career politician who never earned a dime outside of government..

5. Term limits increases the power of staff, bureaucracy, and lobbyists.

When term limits takes effect, the influx into Congress of a great many fresh ordinary Americans as legislators, with the native intelligence and the basic common sense we have in our country, will be more than a match to face down the arrogant, entrenched staffs and other bureaucracies and lobbies.

America Needs Term Limits

February 22, 2010

America Needs Term Limits

The following historical information about the use of term limits in government is taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_limits_in_the_United_States

Historical background

Term limits, or rotation in office, date back to the American Revolution, and prior to that to the democracies and republics of antiquity. The council of 500 in ancient Athens rotated its entire membership annually, as did the ephorate in ancient Sparta. The ancient Roman Republic featured a system of elected magistrates—tribunes of the plebs, aediles, quaestors, praetors, and consuls—who served a single term of one year, with reelection to the same magistracy forbidden for ten years. (See Cursus honorum) Many of the founders of the United States were educated in the classics, and quite familiar with rotation in office during antiquity. The debates of that day reveal a desire to study and profit from the object lessons offered by ancient democracy.

In 1776, rotation experiments were taking place at the state level. The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 set maximum service in the Pennsylvania General Assembly at “four years in seven.”[1] Benjamin Franklin’s influence is seen not only in that he chaired the constitutional convention which drafted the Pennsylvania constitution, but also because it included, virtually unchanged, Franklin’s earlier proposals on executive rotation. Pennsylvania’s plural executive was composed of twelve citizens elected for the term of three years, followed by a mandatory vacation of four years.[2]

In 2 October 1789, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of thirteen to examine forms of government for the impending union of the states. Among the proposals was that from the State of Virginia, written by Thomas Jefferson, urging a limitation of tenure, “to prevent every danger which might arise to American freedom by continuing too long in office the members of the Continental Congress….”[3] The committee made recommendations, which as regards congressional term-limits were incorporated unchanged into the Articles of Confederation (1781-1789]). The fifth Article stated that “no person shall be capable of being a delegate [to the continental congress] for more than three years in any term of six years.”[4]

In contrast to the Articles of Confederation, the federal constitution convention at Philadelphia omitted mandatory term-limits from the second national frame of government, i.e. the U.S. Constitution of 1787 to the present. Nonetheless, due largely to grass roots support for the principle of rotation, rapid turnover in Congress prevailed by extra-constitutional means. Also George Washington set the precedent for a two-term tradition that prevailed (with the exception of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s four terms) until the 22nd Amendment of 1951.

However, when the states ratified the Constitution (1787-88), several leading statesmen regarded the lack of mandatory limits to tenure as a dangerous defect, especially, they thought, as regards the Presidency and the Senate. Richard Henry Lee viewed the absence of legal limits to tenure, together with certain other features of the Constitution, as “most highly and dangerously oligarchic.”[5] Both Jefferson[6] and George Mason[7] advised limits on reelection to the Senate and to the Presidency, because said Mason, “nothing is so essential to the preservation of a Republican government as a periodic rotation.” The historian Mercy Otis Warren, warned that “there is no provision for a rotation, nor anything to prevent the perpetuity of office in the same hands for life; which by a little well timed bribery, will probably be done….”[8]

The fact that “perpetuity in office” was not approached until the 20th century is due in part to the influence of rotation in office as a popular 19th century concept. “Ideas are, in truth, forces,” and rotation in office enjoyed such normative support, especially at the local level, that it altered political reality.[9] For a detailed study of the 19th century concepts of rotation let the reader consult Political Science Quarterly, vol. 94, “House Turnover and the Principle of Rotation,” by Robert Struble, Jr. See also his Treatise on Twelve Lights,[10] chapter six, “Rotation in History”. Consult also, James Young’s The Washington Community, 1800-1828.

According to Young, the tendency to look with mistrust upon political power was so ingrained into American culture that even the officeholders themselves perceived their occupations in a disparaging light.[11] James Fennimore Cooper, the novelist, described the common view that “contact with the affairs of state is one of the most corrupting of the influences to which men are exposed.”[12] An article in the Richmond Enquirer (1822) noted that the “long cherished” principle of rotation in office had been impressed on the republican mind “by a kind of intuitive impulse, unassailable to argument or authority.”[13]

Beginning about the 1830s, Jacksonian democracy introduced a less idealistic twist to the practice of limiting terms. Rotation in office came to mean taking turns in the distribution of political prizes.[14] Rotation of nominations to the U.S. House of Representatives – the prizes – became a key element of payoffs to the party faithful. The leading lights in the local party machinery came to regard a nomination for the House as “salary” for political services rendered. A new code of political ethics evolved, based on the proposition that “turnabout is fair play.”[15] In short, rotation of nominations was intertwined with the spoils system.

In district nominating conventions local leaders could negotiate and enforce agreements to pass the nominations around among themselves. Abraham Lincoln was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1846 under such a bargain, and he returned home to Springfield after a single congressional term because, he wrote, “to enter myself as a competitor of another, or to authorize anyone so to enter me, is what my word and honor forbid.”[16]

During the Civil War, the Confederate States constitution limited its president to a single six-year term.

The practice of nomination rotation for the House of Representatives began to decline after the Civil War. It took a generation or so before the direct primary system, civil service reforms, and the ethic of professionalism worked to eliminate rotation in office as a common political practice. By the turn of the 20th century the era of incumbency was coming into full swing.

A total of 8 presidents served two full terms and declined a third and three presidents served one full term and refused a second. After World War II, however, an officeholder class had developed to the point that congressional tenure rivaled that of the U.S. Supreme Court, where tenure is for life. “Homesteading” in Congress, made possible by reelection rates that approached 100% by the end of the 20th century, brought about a popular insurgency known as the “term-limits movement”

—————————————————————————————

There is much more to the term limit discussion. For those who want to read on Please see the rest of this quote and much more in

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_limits_in_the_United_States

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

If I Died Tonight

February 21, 2010

If I Died Tonight

I am flying back from my address in Winnipeg, on my book tour. I have done well-enough for a boy who nearly failed to graduate from highschool.

If I died tonight I would go peacefully knowing that I have done, since my adulthood, all that I know how to do.

It is a cool, clear autumn night as I peer through thousands of feet of darkness down to the warm glimmering lights of thousands of homes, streets, and automobiles. Lights of thousands of pin-prick names and lives at a glance–“ant colonies” of human endeavor. I feel tiny but I am not alone in my tininess.

We matter to ourselves and to our loved ones but we, as individuals among the millions, do not matter very much.

Although we may protest that this should not be, it is so. And we show a child-like egocentrism when we protest, scream, and tantrum into the void in denial.

Let us not leave our small families, our few friends, and our towns in search of self-deification. It is with these people and in these places, that most of us can experience all that any human has a right to hope for: As much love, kindness and perfection in an imperfect world as any one in any age has ever enjoyed.

V. Thomas Mawhinney,Ph.D.     3/25/89

Corporations Are A Person?!

February 20, 2010

Corporations Are A Person?!

I found a reference to a book that I thought would be good for me to read, so I ordered it. It was to be a book that I would take on a cruise through the Panama Canal and Latin America.

The title appeared to be right up my alley: Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture. As you might know, I am very interested in things that strengthen and weaken the viability of sociocultures.

I was in for a surprise. As I began to read the first sentence of the book the following assaulted my senses:

” The election in 2008 of Barack Obama as president of the United States has already led to dramatic changes in policy and process both within the United States and around the world.” The author was so very happy.

I nearly fell of my chair. The very liberal author, Thom Hartmann, was sitting in my lap and lecturing me about the evils of conservatism!

After a few moments of stunned recovery, I decided to spend some of my vacation with Thom and to read his book cover-to-cover. After all, I am in favor of a “liberal education”. Also, this commitment was in keeping with my desire to be exposed to all of the arguments in areas that are important to my decision-making.

After reading this book, I have concluded that Thom Hartmann is a good and well-intentioned man. His book is worth reading. I was in agreement with many of his facts, but in disagreement with many more of his conclusions based upon those facts.

One major point of agreement is that we both object to a particular Supreme Court ruling. Based upon a 1886 case, the Court asserted that Corporations are entitled to the same voice in Washington as are individual citizens. Thom points out that “Our nation is built upon equal protection of people (regardless of differences in race, creed, gender, or religion), and corporations are much bigger than people, much more able to influence the government, and don’t have the biological needs and weaknesses of people”.

He then explained that corporations, once equal to persons, have claimed the First Amendment Right to free speech. Under this protection and even though they cannot vote as individuals, corporations vote with their money. He points out that they are able to “spend hundreds of millions of dollars in order to influence elections, prevent regulation of their industries, and write or block legislation”.

Without question corporations must be protected from predation and micro-management by our government. But we the people must also be protected from corporation’s power to overshadow our will. Corporations are not people, but they are made up of countless people who already have a vote. Because corporations are comprised of citizens, and citizens can vote and make contributions, a balance of individual and corporate interests have always had representation.

 But, when corporations can overshadow the power of the public, they can stand our political system on its head and gain hegemony over both the body politic and the Nation State.

Current spending on the part of corporations to induce governmental officials to behave in ways that primarily benefit themselves will frequently work against the general welfare of the public. This  remains a major source of corruption in our government.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D. 2/20/10

When “Human Capital” Is Not Enough

February 19, 2010

When “Human Capital” Is Not Enough

The development of human capital is commonly identified as one of the prerequisites to sociocultural and economic success.

Normally, building human capital is presented as educating our people in science and technology, as well as in marketable skills.

But something is missing from this modern conception and it is not a small thing: It is a suicidal  omission. 

The citizens of a socioculture that plans to live long and well, must also teach their children an accurate history of their own culture and a system of guiding ethics with which to maintain it. As importantly, these future citizens must also be taught to love and respect their own history and comply with societies moral/ethical guidelines.

In America, these critical ingredients of human capital  were once taught by schools, churches, families, Boy and Girl Scouts, and the like. Though it may be hard to believe,  America’s entertainment media once, long ago, also  provided a strong assist to teaching these form of social capital to our children and youth.

At the present  in Post-Modern America, who now teaches these ethical virtues to our children? It is not the schools, our government has greatly impaired that function. It is not the church, as families are much less intimately involved than they once were. It is not the families who are working two jobs or more,  reduced, reconfigured, geographically split, and who are often divorced into four parents and eight grandparents (or more). In this last problem “too many chefs” often spoil the brew. It is not in our other strong organizations dedicated to acculturating our youth in  the values and ethics of Americans.  Boy Scout and Girl Scout (also Cub and Brownie Scout) enrollments have been diminishing. America’s  entertainment media have savagely betrayed it’s parents and children to wreak moral and ethical havoc upon them.

Who is teaching our children the essential moral/ethical components of Social Capital in Post-Modern America!?

Thank God some folks are, but their numbers are diminishing.

If something is lost, the  most effective to way to  find it again is to retrace our steps to the place that we once possessed it. 

True, we cannot turn back time. But we sure as hell can begin to teach ethics and values as we  once did, even if we do it in many different and new ways. It is just a matter of  admitting the lethality of one of our own stupid oversights in America,  the will to work and sacrifice as a nation, and the drive  to survive in a very hostile world.

Many of us are wondering if we have what it takes anymore.

Our youth will probably  know the answer within their life-time.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.    2/20/10

Science and Global Warming: A Joke?

February 17, 2010

Science and Global Warming: A Joke?

My good friend, Frank Fujita,  responded to my posting  Al Gore and Global Warming jokes posted on this blog with the following remark and URL.

“The problem with jokes is that people mistake them for arguments”. http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1962294,00.html

I hope you will check-out this article that Frank submitted.

I have withheld my judgment on this important matter of anthropogenic global warming for a long  time.

Of course, it is only appropriate that we try to keep our enviroment as clean as we reasonably can, independent of the global warming debate.

But this area of scientific inquirery has been highly politicized. From the far left comes “Cap and Trade”,  a thinly veiled vehicle for world-wide income redistribution and murder for our own capitalistic enterprises. From the right, comes the specter of a total disregard of our ecological responsibilities. At least, those seem to be the polemics surrounding the global warming debate.

I will agree that a joke is not an argument. But I will also assert that some arguments are jokes.

This increasingly appears to be the case with the science surrounding the current global warming scare.  It was big news this week when leading climatologist,  Phil Jones, confessed to significant problems with the global warming data.

Check it out for your self.

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=1h&oq=&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4ADSA_enUS357US357&q=scientist+confesses+no+global+warming

Of course, I am open to more data on this matter. But, as a socioculture,  we must conduct our business as best we can—-in the here and now.  

What do you think about this important issue  of Anthopogenic Global Warming?

For the time being, I have made my decision:

 Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

By Gary Varvel, from Townhall.com

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

By Chip Bok, from Townhall.com

V. Thomas Mawhinney, 2/17/10

Where’s Al Gore?

February 16, 2010

 

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

By Gary Varvel, from Townhall.com

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

By Chip Bok, from Townhall.com

V.T.M., 2/15/10


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