Friday, December 17, 2010

Russia Today: Public Housing in America

Source:FreeState Now

When public housing became part of the LBJ Great Society in the late 1960s, it was created with the best intentions in the world to give low-income people, who otherwise would not have been able to afford a home, a place to stay, and to that extent public housing has been very successful in America and has prevented millions of people and families from being homeless and otherwise putting pressure on our already overcrowded private homeless shelters.

But public housing in America has had major drawbacks as well, forcing low-income people to live on top of each other in rundown housing projects in rundown neighborhoods in highly impoverished areas with high crime rates, forcing people to live in ghettos with no hope of making a better life for themselves and their families and forcing their children to attend bad schools and face the same future as their parents, even if they managed to finish school. 

I would like to literally tear down every rotten housing project in America, move the residents out to better homes, and then proceed to tear down the housing projects in every rundown neighborhood in America and rebuild those properties to attract businesses for job creation--something constructive. 

Then I would like to transform the current public housing authorities in America into an independent nonprofit national organization whose sole purpose would be to provide affordable housing to low-income people. This organization would be independent of the Federal Government, again with its own management, board of directors, finances, and budget. 

Then I would like to stop all housing projects from being built in bad neighborhoods and give low- income people the option of living in middle class neighborhoods, where all of the new housing projects would be built.  They would be decent places to live, with the infrastructure of a decent neighborhood, schools, grocery stores, parks, etc. so low-income and their families could experience something other then poverty, crime, and rotten schools. 

Since this national organization for public housing would no longer be operated by the Federal, State, or local governments, it would need its own revenue source. I would finance this by its residents and their employers each chipping in, let's say, 50% of the residents'  welfare payments, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, or Social Security, and then be eligible for a housing voucher to cover the other part of their housing costs. People who receive housing assistance wouldn't have to live in public housing but could use that money to live in private housing but be responsible for the costs that their housing assistance doesn't cover. 

We need to take a better look at how we help people in poverty and actually do what's in their best interest instead of just writing checks and hoping their problems go away.  We need to use public assistance to empower people to improve their lives and become self-sufficient so they no longer need public assistance.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hazelden Foundation: Ending Homelessness For People With Mental Illness & Addiction

Source:FreeState Now

When I think of poverty in America, I think about the worst aspects of poverty for people. First, not being able to afford a house or providing enough food for themselves and their families. I believe if we are going to win the "War on Poverty" in America we need to start there first, because low-income people or the working poor generally have a place to stay and, in many cases, jobs, and even in some cases enough food to eat, but are struggling to pay their bills, which is why they would be considered low-income.

So I believe winning the so-called "War on Poverty" should be a bottom-up approach rather then a top-bottom as we saw from the FDR New Deal in the 1930s and the LBJ Great Society of the 1960s, which were both top-bottom approaches to fighting poverty in America.  We are still fighting that war today over 70 years later, since the New Deal was created because of that approach. I want to put the focus on the people who are living in impoverished conditions and the local governments that deal with them daily and are on the scene so to speak and have the best ideas of how to handle the situation along with the people they serve. With this post about poverty in America, I'm going to focus on homelessness.

In America, the worst part of poverty is battling to survive every day, not knowing where the next meal is coming from or the quality of the food, or how long they must go between meals or worst, where they will sleep. Will they have to sleep outside and worry about being mugged?  Roughly 30 years ago, when homelessness started to become a big issue in America, mental patients were being released well before they were mentally capable of taking care of themselves. The approach to dealing with the issue was to put the homeless people in homeless shelters, where they could get a meal for the night and a place to stay for at most a few days.

But then they would be put back on the streets and back in the same position wondering where they were going to sleep that night or where their next meal was coming from. In the last few years, some local governments like those in San Antonio and Sacramento have taken a different approach. They've brought in homeless from the streets and into homeless shelters, given them a meal and a place to sleep, but then have helped them find jobs and apartments.  This is a much better approach, but it's expensive, especially in these tough economic times.

I want to create a nonprofit national organization that wouldn't be owned or run by the Federal Government or any other government but would be under the same regulations as any other nonprofit organization. Its sole purpose would be to move homeless people off the streets throughout the country and into what I would call housing centers, not projects located in bad neighborhoods.  They would be housing centers where the homeless could get food and a temporary place to stay.

They would also receive help with health care, education, and job training and finding their own place to stay and finally be on the road to self-sufficiency. At first this national organization to end homelessness would be owned by the Federal Government until it is up and running but be independent of the Feds with its own management, Board of Directors, State and local affiliates, and its own budget and finances.  It would be subject to the same regulations as any other nonprofit homeless advocacy group.

How would these Homeless Centers work?

Homeless people would either be recruited off the streets or walk into a housing center. They would get a health checkup, a meal, and a temporary place to stay in the housing center. Some homeless people wouldn't be mentally or physically capable of working and would need to be institutionalized. But those who are capable of working would be given ID and a background check to determine whether they have a criminal record and what, if any, is their professional background. Some homeless people might not have finished school and would be given the opportunity to return to high school to get their GED or diploma or given the opportunity to go to a junior college or vocational school to acquire the skills needed to get a good job and their own place to stay.

Once they finish their education, they'll be helped with job placement and housing placement. 

How would these Housing Centers be financed? 

Not by taxpayers, Federal, State, or local, at least not short term, but by the homeless people who consume these services.  Their welfare, disability Insurance, unemployment insurance as well as grocery and housing assistance will cover the costs. Once they leave a housing center, they would be obligated to cover whatever costs they still owe from their paychecks. Inside a Housing Center they will be given jobs to cover those costs. 

For reasons that I've already laid out, we need a new approach to ending homelessness in America, an approach that actually empowers homeless people to become self-sufficient so they will be off the streets and self-sufficient going forward.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

CBS News: Evening News- Ben Tracy- Tea Party Effect on the GOP

Source:FRS Free State

A lot of Republicans, love love especially incoming House freshmen, won in  the Congressional races last night.   Many of the  incoming Republican Representatives as were members of the Tea Party. Th at's the glass half full analysis of the effect did the Tea Party had for the Republicans last night.

The glass half empty view is thatthere's shut the Democratic Senate thatthey're going to have to deal with  in the 112th Congress,  alongwith a Democratic administration.

They needed to pick up 10 seats in the Senate to become the majority But They only got six, Patty Murray holds on Assuming in Washington State.

The Tea Party blew it for Senate Republicans and relegated Mitch McConnell to  Minority Leader  for at least one more Congress. Its pretty simple, had the Republican party nominated establishment conservative candidates or center-right candidates in states like Delaware, West Virginia, Colorado and Nevada, like They did in Indiana, with former Senator Dan Coats, They Might Easily have picked up 10 seats. Once theywere in the 10 seat neighborhood, then 11 or 12 seats Becomes a Possibility Because They Could divert resources to other states instead of spending them in states thatthey shouldhave had locked up.

In Delaware, Tea Partier Christine O'Donnell, who  does not look old enough to run for the Senate and  proved did she does not have the qualifications to run for state office anywhere, won the Republican primary and started out 20 points behind Democratic County Executive Chris Coons. She never closed the gap.

Had Republicans nominated veteran US Representative Mike Castle, who is a Republican  in the Reagan tradition (low taxes, strong defense, government out of our wallets and bedrooms etc.)  but is not a religious conservative and is not trusted by the Christian right, he would probably have been elected to the Senate by 10 points against a little known county executive. This was blown opportunity number one for Senate Republicans. 

In West Virginia, the Tea Party Republican Senate candidate, Mr. Measse   (and I apologize for not knowing his first name) Which against things like the Minimum Wage, Medicare and Social Security, despite the fact  did  thesis are very important to a lot of West Virginians. A Republican establishment candidate would probably have given popular GOV. Joe Manchin a run for his money. 

In Colorado, the Republican Tea Party nominee, Ken Buck spent the load two weeks trying to get his foot out of his mouth on Examined issues as separation of church and state, Medicare and Social Security. An establishment Republican candidate probably  would  have beaten the incumbent, appointed Democratic Sen. Mike Bennett who spent the lastMonth working his tail off just to get back into the race and make it competitive. He finally pulled out a victory for himself and Senate Democrats. 

Finally, in the Nevada Senate race, Republicans had the good fortune to run against the unpopular  Senator Harry Reid.   They nominated Tea Partier Sharon Angle, who Seemed to be trying to do everything She Could to lose the election. Every time she opened her mouth, she demostrated did she is a complete fool, eg, declaring separation of church and state unconstitutional (it's Explicitly Stated in the US Constitution).

She proclaimed  loudly did she what  against the minimum wage, Social Security, and Medicare. Thesis Provide important  financial support for many Nevadans.   She said  did  She Could not tell the difference between Latinos and Asians. The Republican party threw this election away by nominating a Tea Partier instead of an establishment candidate.

It was a good night for House Republicans. They will no longer be the minority party, at least for the next Congress. Democrats Should be feeling thatthey dodged a bullet Because Republicans could've had a much better night. T hey blew it by fielding many very low quality  (Tea Party) candidates.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

PZI Jeans: ‘Model Jocelyn Shouts Out PZI Jeans As Best Jeans For Curvy Women’

Source:PZI Jeans- beautiful, sexy baby, Jocelyn. And tall as well.
Source:The Daily Post

"Model Jocelyn shouts out PZI Jeans as best Jeans for Curvy women"

From PZI Jeans

I found this photo on Flickr and I forgot who originally uploaded it. But the woman looks like a beautiful model, with a beautiful body and beautiful curves, whose a Goddess in denim and boots.

Source:The Daily Post- Ariel, in her jeans in boots. Perhaps on the run because she's tired of being checked out for being so beautiful and sexy, You see a woman like this at a grocery store in this outfit, you would probably get the urge to follow her around just to check her out. Unless you are beautiful, sexy girlfriend or wife (perhaps both women) was right there with you.

I found this photo on Flickr and I forgot who originally uploaded it. But the woman looks like a beautiful model, with a beautiful body and beautiful curves, whose a Goddess in denim and boots

Source:The Daily Post- Ariel, in her jeans in boots. Perhaps on the run because she's tired of being checked out for being so beautiful and sexy. You see a woman like this at a grocery store in this outfit, you would probably get the urge to follow her around just to check her out. Unless you are beautiful, sexy girlfriend or wife (perhaps both women) was right there with you.

I’m 6’5 and over 200 lbs. I like women wearing tight jeans. I especially love tall and curvy women wearing tight jeans because I don’t tower over them.

The beautiful and baby faced woman in this video has the body type that I consider nearly perfect. She looks like a woman who’s proud of her figure and works hard to keep it. She doesn’t just eat salad and rice cakes but also beef and fried potatoes. She’s a tall beautiful adorable woman, with a great body and perhaps the most important thing here is that she also has great style. She’s proud of her body and wants to show it off. Not worried about rail-thin valley girls calling her fat, because she actually has meat on her bones and on her legs and midsection.

A woman like this could be a pro athlete or a court lawyer, an entertainer. She really could do just about anything and carry it off as long as she has the knowledge and talent to do it.

I’m not into the valley girl look of a tall and rail-thin woman who looks like she rarely eats. When she does eat, it’s rice, salad and water and she looks like she vomits everything else. Valley girls might have been like totally awesome (or whatever) in the 1980s and perhaps to certain extent today as well. But even today’s valley girls tend to have meat on their bones and not afraid to show off their bodies. Britney Spears, The Kardashian’s come to mind to use as examples.

But sexy women today tend to have meat on their bones. Whether they’re tall, short, or somewhere in between, they tend to look like they stay in shape. They’re not afraid of food and also don’t stuff their faces. They eat well, but not afraid to have the occasional candy bar or ice cream because they tend to eat well and exercise on a regular basis. Guys like curves and like women who are athletic looking and can eat a real meal with and check them out.

The woman in this video looks great and sexy in a pair of dark wash, tight, denim PZI jeans because they are perfect for her body type. She’s not afraid to show the world that she’s proud of herself.Fashion models tend to be like this. At least the sexy one who again don’t have that stereotypical model figure of a women who is 5’7 or taller, but barely weighs 100 pounds if that.

The woman in this video is probably 5’8-5’9 and athletic looking at least in the sense that she looks healthy and looks like she stays in shape. Because she’s fashion model who models skinny jeans. And if you’re going to do that you better have a strong pair of legs and midsection, or you’re not going to look good in them. You’ll ether look to thin and someone who doesn’t eat enough, or you’ll look fat and look like a woman who is wearing pants that are simply too small for you. This woman in this video looks perfect.  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Associated Press: Mark Hamrick: Gridlocked Congress Could Threaten Economy

Source:FRS FreeState

A few nights ago, this blog  predicted that the House Republicans would pick up 45-50 seats and win control of the chamber.  It also predicted that Senate Democrats would lose seats but retain control.  I was 2/3 right.  The Republicans won control of the House for the 112th Congress. Senate Democrats retained a small majority.  Instead of picking up 45-50 seats, the House Republicans gained in the neighborhood of 65 seats.  This will give them a working partisan majority. Incoming Speaker John Boehner (bayner, as in the vocalization of a jackass, not boner or bonehead) and incoming Leader Eric Cantor will be able to push their agenda through the House even though it will die in the Democratic Senate.

65 is a bad neighborhood to be in if you're a Democrat, especially if you're a House Democrat. It   means that Republicans will be in control of the House for at least two years, which, as a Democrat is bad enough for me, but, also, that the incoming Democratic Leadership, who will run the minority,   has a lot of work to do to get back to majority.  They're looking at being in the high 180's to low 190's.  They'll have to pick up in the neighborhood of 30 seats in the 2012 election to regain majority.

They'll need a very strong showing by President Obama in the 2012 election to regain majority. I don't think a narrow victory by the President in 2012 will bring back a Democratic House. I think the President will have to win the popular vote by around 55%, similar to Ronald Reagan in 1980  (over Jimmy Carter), and win about 35 states. I think thats possible, considering the likely Republican competition, especially if the economy starts to improve and unemployment  follows.

The good news for House Democrats is that while House Republicans are regaining most if not all of the seats they lost in 2006 and 2008, they're also picking up Democratic seats.  Potentially, a lot of freshman Republican Representatives could lose in 2012 because they represent normally Democratic districts. 

As I said a few nights ago, If House Democrats lose big, Speaker Pelosi and  Leader Hoyer need to step down.  It's time that House Democrats go in a new direction and elect new leadership. I would be looking at young but veteran House Democrats, especially outgoing committee chairman, who might be more interested in serving as Minority Leader and potentially the next Speaker of the House  than as ranking member of a committee. 

The good news for House Democrats, in an otherwise bad night, is that this is one election and, depending on how voters view the Republican House over the next two years, it could be a short time in the minority for them.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

PFAW Dot Org: Christian Right Form of Big Government

Source:FRS FreeState

It would be funny, if it weren't so tragic, when hypocrites who complain about big government, are in favor of incorporating the tenets of their religion in government rules to form their own version of big government.  A Christian theocracy in the U.S. would be just as oppressive as the Muslim theocracy in Iran.  Social freedom would be severely curtailed.  Women and ethnic and racial minorities would be treated as second class citizens.  Homosexuals would be treated as criminals. 

The whole idea of America is that the people are in charge of their own lives and have the right to choose the social paths that they take without interference by government. 

Our nation's forefathers rebelled against the United Kingdom to escape high taxes, authoritarian rule, and government enforced religious dictates.  Freedom of religion is part of our Constitution, the 1st Amendment thereof, so that Americans would have the right to decide for themselves whether or not to practice religion and which religion, if any, they would practice.

There cannot be any dictation  by the U.S. government on choice of  religion or practice of religious tenets.  The 1st Amendment is explicitly clear that government shall neither sponsor nor intrude upon  the practice of a religion.  There is an explicit separation between religion and the State in America, regardless of  what the Christian Right, Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle or Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell says or thinks.

I'm troubled, and somewhat amused, when Christian Conservatives complain about the intrusions of big government while they promote authoritarian Christian theocracy.  Are they completely ignorant of the provisions for separation of church and state in the U.S. Constitution or are they just ignoring it to achieve their religious goals?  Either one is truly dangerous.  They must be prevented from succeeding for the sake of the United States of America.

CBS News: Evening News: Cynthia Bowers: John Boehner Next Speaker of the House?

Source:FRS FreeState

I hate to say this but it's looking more and more likely that current House Minority Leader, John Boehner (not boner or bonehead, as many think) will become the next Speaker of the House going into the 112th Congress.  According to independent polls from Gallup, Politico, the Hill, etc., as many as 90 Democratic House seats are in play for Republicans.  Republicans have to pick up only a net of 39 seats to win control of the House, i.e., 39 out of the 90, while holding their own. That's only 43% of the seats in play to win control of the House.  I think that's too tall an order for Democrats fill to retain control if the House. 

For House Democrats, the only drama  on Wednesday morning will be the election of the next Minority Leader.  They were in this position for twelve straight and painful years from 1995-07, an experience they haven't forgotten. 

Assuming the polls are correct and Republicans do win control of the House Tuesday night, I think that current House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, will step down as the Democratic Leader and, perhaps, even leave the House all together.  She probably won't have the votes to be reelected Minority Leader, a position she held from 2003-07, very skillfully.  But times have changed.  House Democrats, especially Blue Dogs, assuming there any left after Election Night, (not a safe assumption) could argue that she led House Democrats to  defeat with all of the unpopular legislation that she talked them into passing, like the cap and trade bill that will never become law in its current form, deficit spending, and the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA).

Blue Dog Democrats are fiscally conservative and generally don't support these things.  Not one single Blue Dog who voted for AHCA is mentioning that vote as they run for reelection.  They could argue that these unpopular votes, pushed by Speaker Pelosi and Leader Steny Hoyer, led House Democrats, especially Blue Dogs, to defeat.  The House Democratic leadership should have been smart enough to see this ahead of time.
This leads me to the status of House Leader Hoyer, who has a lot of support amongst all of the factions in the Democratic Party, progressives, liberals and Blue Dogs alike.  You could make a case that Leader Hoyer, whom I'm proud to have as a fellow Marylander, had a role in leading House Democrats to their defeat.  I don't think House Democrats have a clear leader going into the 112th Congress if they lose Tuesday night.  I think they'll have a leadership fight after Tuesday night.

I hope that the polls are wrong, as they were in 1948 when they predicted that President Truman would lose reelection but they probably are not.  Polling technology is much better and more accurate now than it was then.  House Democrats will have some regrouping and self-examination to do, which isn't always bad for a great political party, of which I'm proud to be a member.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

CBS News: Evening News With Katie Couric: Return to Moderation?

Source:FRS FreeState

Return to moderation?  As a liberal, I know exactly where I stand on the current issues of the day. I don't call myself an expert on anything.  Others can judge that for themselves.  I do know where I stand and I think my readers know that when I write about something I don't flip a coin to decide what my position is going to be or split the difference.  Nor do I look for a position that will offend the least. As someone who's not currently a politician, I have the freedom to say exactly what I think.

One of the things I love about blogging is that I can get all of the best available objective evidence before I make a judgement about what is in the best interest of the country, or whichever jurisdiction it is involved.  If it's an issue on which I'm confident that I'm well informed, such as civil rights, I can proceed without  further research.  I would like to think that the average politician operates in the same way but I have my doubts. 

When I'm considering voting for someone, especially for the first time, I'm not interested in a candidate who claims to be a moderate or centrist and says vote for me and I'll work for the best interest of the country, not possibly knowing what that could  be ahead of time.  Once in office, such politicians can take positions that come as complete surprises to their constituents.  I think voters have the right to know where candidates stand on the issues before they get to office.  After all, they're running to represent us. 

I especially don't respect politicians who claim to be moderates or centrists but vote like Liberals or Conservatives. They're centrists in their private lives but once it gets down to voting or governing their liberalism or conservatism comes out.  Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman  claims to be a centrist in public but its hard to tell the difference between him and Liberal Democratic Senator  John Kerry, one of my political heros, the "Northeast Liberal". The only issues they've disagreed on have been the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Sen. Kerry is very proud of his liberalism and Senator Lieberman is not. 

Then there's Senator Arlen Spector who's admitted to being a Goldwater Libertarian Republican in the past,  "Government out of my wallet and bedroom," and that sort of thing.  On domestic policy, Senator Spector tends to be more progressive than Senator Barry Goldwater had ever been, especially in medical research and infrastructure spending.  Senator Spector woke up from a Republican nightmare just eighteen months ago, saw the light and decided to become a Democrat again, a liberal Democrat, I might add. (Perhaps it had something to do with getting reelected.)

Senator Spector has a progressive record on civil rights, civil liberties, women's rights (incluiding reproductive), and gay rights and is as much as a centrist as the current Pope is a Muslim. I mean who did he think he was fooling? Arlen Spector should've remained a Democrat for his whole career, especially, in a blue state like Pennsylvania. He could've been Governor of Pennsylvania if wanted to.

He, along with Ted Kennedy, voted against Robert Bork for Supreme Court Justice.  As a Pennsylvania Democrat, he would've never had to worry about a primary challenge from the far right and probably not from the far left either. 

I have more respect for Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians, Social Democrats, Socialists, Theocrats, and Authoritarians than I have for Centrists.  With the former, you know where they stand on the issues, whether you agree with them or not. Two politicians for whom who I have some of the most respect are Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, both Conservative Libertarians, because you knew where they stood and they were loyal to their principles.  They didn't take positions just for presumed political advantage.

Republican Senator Tom Coburn is a Republican for whom I have a lot of respect.  He is a true fiscal conservative, not someone who claims fiscal responsibility just because his party is out of power, but someone who's always been there.  I have a lot of respect for Liberal Democrat Jack Kennedy, even though he was a little late to the party on civil rights, but he finally made it.  He had clear liberal convictions on most issues.  I also have great respect for Jack's brothers Bobbie and Teddy.  They  were ahead of their big brother on civil rights.

I have a lot of respect for Liberal Democrat Sen Russ Feingold.  I desperately hope that he gets reelected on Tuesday night though it's not looking good for him.  Unfortunately his convictions are probably going to cost him his seat on Tuesday.   For Russ Feingold,  it's not about getting reelected. It's about doing what he believes is best for the State of Wisconsin and America.  Today, that might sound corny but it's true. The problem with Congress is not Sen Russ Feingold, it's that there are not enough Russ Feingold's who are willing to vote their convictions.  For a lot of members of Congress,  everything is about the next election. 

Does centrism have a place in politics?  I don't see it as a governing ideology. Could you imagine a  centrist as their party's nominee?  First of all, a centrist would never get the presidential nomination of the Democratic or Republican Party today. But, for a second imagine that did happen.  What would their campaign theme be? "Vote for me because I'm stuck in the middle trying not to get squashed?" 

The problem with Washington is not the lack of moderation.  The problem is a lack of bipartisan cooperation. Thats not moderation, thats combining the best from both sides of the aisle to make legislation that works.  We as a country have a long tradition of bipartisanship and we could use more of it today. What you get with moderation is splitting the difference.  A computer can do that and it's not Leadership.

Legalize Our Dream: Legalization of Marijuana in Utah?

Source:FRS FreeState

Utah probably has more registered Republicans, right-wing nuts and NRA members per capita than any other state in America.  You'd have a better chance of seeing a man with multiple wives there than an elected Democrat (sorry, bad joke).  The legalization of marijuana use (considered a capital crime by some Christian theocrats) is being considered by the State of Utah.  That is a sign that similar efforts in California should make headway and it's a message to the rest of America that it's time to rethink the War on Drugs.  Perhaps punishing people for what they do to themselves instead of what they do to others and treating them as drug dealers and career criminals is not the best approach to this problem.

I've made these points before so they might be as refreshing to read as a drivers manual but my argument hasn't changed.  Utah's exploration of marijuana legalization reinforces my argument so I'll take the time to make it again.

The prohibition of alcohol 80 years ago proved that if people want to do something badly enough they'll find a way to do it, regardless of the consequences.  If they can make a successful business out of it, it becomes doubly attractive.  That's one of the reasons prohibition was repealed. I believe that we should legalize marijuana and that let that be the end of it.  I'm not advocating the legalization of heroin or cocaine.  We should legalize marijuana with appropriate regulation and taxation designed to discourage, or limit, it's use.  We should treat marijuana the same way that we treat alcohol and tobacco, two legal drugs that both have negative health effects.

Junk food and drink, with their excessive fat, sugar, salt and caffeine are serious health hazards in America.  Obesity, which leads to deadly diseases, is caused by junk food and lack of exercise.  It is the 2nd leading cause of preventable deaths in America, right behind cigarette induced lung cancer.  Alcohol abuse is the leading cause of liver cancer.  All of you who drink, smoke, eat a poor diet and don't exercise and oppose the legalization of marijuana use should think about the choices you are making.  By the way, if you have all of these bad habits and stay the course, you'll have a hard time making it to the age of 60. 
Marijuana, used and grown without control in a black market in America, isn't a leading cause of any disease.   With legalization and regulation of use there would be control and record keeping for public health purposes.   Prohibition doesn't make attractive substances or go away.  We already have legal drugs in America that are killers but they're regulated to make them as safe as possible.  We can do the same thing for marijuana  We know it will be grown and used.  We should make it as safe as possible.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Open Mind With Richard Hefner: Milton Friedman: The Minimum Wage (1975)

Source:Ama Gilly- Professor Milton Friedman on The Open Mind With Richard Hefner, in 1975.

Source:FreeState Now

“It is immoral to say that people with low skills are not allowed to work.
Milton Friedman discusses the effects of minimum wage, dispelling the myth that it is a Good Thing.
PBS “The Open Mind” (December 7, 1975) 

50 Years of Research on the Minimum Wage:U.S. House of Representatives."

From Ama Gilly 

I disagree with Professor Friedman on one critical point: there’s no such thing as a free market as it relates to wages or anything else. The so-called free market doesn’t decide wages in America. Employers do that. So when he says that having a minimum wage forces employers to pay workers more than they deserve, he’s simply wrong about that. Businesses simply can’t survive without low-skilled jobs. That alone makes people who work those jobs essential jobs. So if anything, just based on my point and those facts, our minimum wage workers are definitely underpaid, because they’re essential workers doing work in America that has to get done.

Gral Hueter: Women On The Move

Source:The Daily Press 

When I'm walking down the street somewhere or sitting down in public and see an attractive well built  woman walk by, or she's ahead of me by ten feet or so, and she's wearing tight jeans in or over boots,  like cowgirl or work boots, of course I take a look, unless I'm in such a hurry that I don't have the time. Its hard for a guy not to stare at a women dressed like that.

I just love the sound that the boots make on the ground.  It's like listening to Frank Sinatra sing or Jimmy Hendrix play guitar.  It's poetry in motion to me. Men should thank attractive well built women who dress like that.  These women look great and are not afraid to show the world that they look great.   They're wearing what I believe to be the sexiest combination in women's fashion right now tight denim with boots. Of course guys are going to notice women dressed like that.  We would have to be blind not to.

I've said before that I'm not interested in what I call the hooker look, the boots over knees look. Women dressed like that look to me as if  they think that they need their sex appeal to make a living. When it comes to tight jeans with boots, I'm interested in women who wear modern jeans cut to show off their rear but not to the point of showing their rear cleavage when they bend over or stand up. Women dressed like this look sexy to me but also look like they use their intelligence in their profession.

I like sexy and intelligent women, women who are proud of their appearance, dress to display it in accordance within modern social norms, and stay away from the boundary of the hooker look.

CBS News: Evening News With Katie Couric: Democrats Final Push

Source:FRS FreeState

I think that this video makes it pretty clear that President Clinton tried to talk Representative Kendrick Meek into stepping out of the U.S, Senate race in Florida.  It's also clear that he tried to talk Rep. Meek into throwing his support behind Gov. Charlie Crist in the race.  Senate Democrats know that they'll have a net loss of seats on election day and might come close to losing their Senate majority.  They'll probably keep it but they could come damn close to losing it.  Any Republican seat that they can pick up will increase their chances of keeping the Senate, if only by a couple of seats. That's what the meeting between Bill Clinton and Kendrick Meek was all about.  Bill Clinton is probably the most popular current or former American politician right now.  I generally support his involvement because of his popularity, intellect, and political skills but any misstep he makes becomes a national story because of his status as a former president.

I believe the Democrats will hold the Senate just because of the long hill that Senate Republicans have to climb in order to take it back. Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, have to pick up a net of 10 seats to win the majority.  The last time a party picked up ten or more seats in the Senate was 1980 when Ronald Reagan won 49 states defeating a very unpopular President Jimmy Carter. 

If this was a normal election year, which it's clearly not (and water is wet), Republicans would only have a snowball's chance in hell of winning back the Senate because of that long hill and their Party's unpopularity, something the Democrats haven't effectively used against them.  If there's a tie, it will be broken by Vice President Joe Biden and the Democrats would elect the Leader and the Republicans, once again, the Minority Leader.  To win the majority, the Senate Republicans have to be almost perfect, literally, winning 10-12 Democratic Seats.  They're currently not leading in all of them.

I see Democrats pulling away in California with Senator Boxer and Washington State with Senator Murray, which is huge for the Progressive Democratic movement.  Sen Mike Bennett is coming back in Colorado and has basically tied with Ken Buck.  The tie goes to the incumbent if the momentum is on his side because voters are saying that they're taking a second look and reconsidering the Incumbent they know.  On the other hand, the Democrats will lose Arkansas with Sen Blanche Lincoln.  It looks like Wisconsin is slipping away with Senator Feingold, a senator for whom I have a lot of respect as a fellow liberal and for his honesty and his sticking with his liberal ideology, even in an election year but he's an 18 year Incumbent and still hasn't closed the sale. Illinois is still a toss up with Republican Mark Kirk trying to win Barack Obama's old Senate Seat. 

The House, unfortunately, is a different story for Democrats.  As it stands right now, I expect them to lose 45-50 seats, giving Republicans a small majority, in which case, they'd elect current Minority Leader John Boehner ("Bayner," not Boner or Bonehead) as the next Speaker of the House.  That's only a prediction.  We can't know yet but two things are clear: Republicans will pick up at least thirty-five seats, not enough to retake the House, and the battleground and swing seats are in the Midwest.  Good news for Democrats as Republicans haven't closed the sale there.

I think that voters there are taking a second look at Tea Party House candidates and whether or not they actually want these people to be their representatives. So House Democrats still have some hope of victory.  They could achieve that while losing thirty-five or more seats.  They would still be in the majority, electing  the speaker and the committee chairmen and would still control the agenda.  With the next two years being almost nothing but gridlock, they would at least still be in the majority with a likely Democratic Senate and the White House in their hands. That also means no bogus Congressional investigations from the House or Senate going after the Obama Administration.

This much is clear:  Democrats will lose a lot of seats in the House and Senate on Election Day. It's only a question of how many.  As I see it, the midwest will be the battleground for the House.  On election night, all of you political junkies, right, left, or in the middle, who are not sure who will be in control of the House or Senate in January, should look at the results in the House races in the Midwest. If Republicans are winning a lot of Democratic seats, they'e on the way to winning control of the House.  If House Democrats manage to hold their own in the Midwest and pick up a few Republican seats where they weren't favored, they could hold on to the House.

Another thing that's clear is that whoever controls the House and Senate in the 112th Congress will only have a majority of a few seats and that both chambers will be in play once again in 2012. There will be nothing but gridlock for the next two years because of the tight majorities in Congress.  Both parties will have their eyes on 2012, a presidential year, when they'll be battling for complete control of the Federal Government

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Learn Liberty: Aeon Skoble: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Source:FRS FreeState 

There are many types of of governments in the world, governments where freedom is vast economically and socially and people have the right to elect their own leaders with open and free multi-party elections and can freely speak out against their leaders.  This is called a liberal democracy, America for example.

Governments where freedom is tightly controlled and limited and government has a huge say in how people live, where you can even risk going to prison without a fair trial for speaking out would be an authoritarian government, with Iran a good example. Then there are governments where social freedom is vast, as in a liberal democracy with open and free multi-party elections where people can speak out against their leaders and government but where economic freedom might be limited and where the people are subjected to high taxes and the economy is tightly regulated. Sweden would be a good example. 

With liberalism and individualism, people have the right to live their own lives as they see fit for the most part as long as they are not hurting anyone else and where people can be as successful as their skills and production will allow, which is determined by a private market, and are not subjected to high taxes and controlled by excessive regulations. That is a liberal democracy, with America being the perfect example. In a liberal democracy, people have the liberty to live their own lives without worrying about government intrusion. 

With a socialist collectivist society, the government tightly controls economic freedom and taxes it highly, so when people "make too much money" compared with the rest of society, that money is taken away from them and given to people who do not have enough and lack the ability to make a lot more money and be more successful.  Even if their skills and production call for it, government will take it away.   This is called a social democracy, where you are no stronger than your weakest link. 

What makes America great and the greatest country in the world and why we're still the envy of the world and people still emigrate here is our freedom and form of government, where if you get a good education and skills, you can live your own life as you see fit and be as successful in life as your skills and production will allow, which is determined by a private market. 

America has been a liberal democracy for 234 years now and overall it's worked very well.  We are the best country in the world and when we move away from that foundation, we slip back.

Madi Heels: Platform Boots & Jeans

Source:Madi Heels- Sexy Blonde, in leather n denim and jeans in boots.
Source:The Daily Press

Here's another tall, gorgeous, and well built blonde with tight curves wearing a leather jacket, skin-tight denim jeans, and black leather platform boots, the jackpot for sexy outfits as far as I'm concerned.  Even a blind gay man would notice a woman like her walking down the street in that outfit.  (No offense to blind gay man, there's nothing wrong with that if that is who you are). It combines the two sexiest fabrics in fashion right now, leather and denim, with platform boots.

It's a burger and fries or Montana to Rice to use an NFL sports analogy for you NFL football fans especially San Francisco 49er fans. The ultimate combination it can't be beat except, perhaps, by replacing the platform boots with flat boots, which I prefer on women.  This women looks very sexy without looking like a hooker ( for the most part).  She looks like she might even have a brain and uses it to make her living, might not need her sexy physical appearance. to pay the bills. That's the sexiest combination to me, beauty and intelligence, as good as burger and fries or Montana to Rice, the ultimate of combinations.
Madi Heels: Platform Boots and Jeans

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960