Friday, March 24, 2017

The Plan.

There is an idea.

How do we make it real?

First, I say we for a reason. I can't do it.  Nothing this big is within the ability of one man.

This takes people. But, I can help with a plan.

First, the idea needs to get out there. So, copy and paste, tweet, Insta, heck... Maybe even talk to somebody. Get the idea out in the world where people can say how much it sucks and we can make it better.

How many views does it need? I don't know. A million? A few thousand?

The more the better. So, if the idea seems good, share it.

Once there is enough momentum behind the idea, once people are aware, it will be time for action.

I don't think it would be wise to just start the party, but I could be wrong. I think the first step would be to form a PAC. The Center Party PAC.

The idea is to get money out of politics, but it won't be easy and it won't be cheap. The money is already in there and we would have to compete. The only way to do it with any integrity is like Bernie Sanders did, with lots of small contributors. So, start a PAC and maybe a GoFundMe or Kickstarter.

If we were to get that far, I think it would be fair to start talking about hiring staff. Again, in keeping with the ideals of the party, staff salaries should be linked to a metric, some percentage of median or minimum wage in the country so that the staff of the party would have incentive to raise the median wage. I think that would be a great way to set congressional salaries too, but I digress.

We have a PAC, we have a staff, we have a party.

But, if we don't share, it doesn't work. Talk to your friends. Talk to your enemies and make them your friends.

Share.

Friday, March 10, 2017

A new party

It has become apparent that the dominant political parties in the United States no longer accurately represent the American people. The fringe elements of both parties have moved further into opposition with each other in a battle to move the center. The parties exist more to serve their own interests and frequently do so by dividing the populace against each other.

This is in neither the best interest nor the character of the American people.

While the fringe elements work to propagate the established system in order to benefit a small number of people, the larger body of the population is neglected and treated as a resource to be accumulated with the aim of defeating the other party.

It is time to take back the center.

It is time to form a political party based on principle instead of charisma. It is time to represent the idea of mutual self-interest and compromise for the greater good.

In order to ensure that the party continues to serve the populace, instead of the other way around, there will be certain principles which candidates must adhere to or they will forfeit the right to any assistance, financial or logistical, by the party apparatus.

These principles would be as follows.

1. Individuals should be as unencumbered by government burden and is reasonably practicable. Our freedom to live as we choose is paramount.

2. Our environment is our home and must be protected as such. What damage is done to the environment spreads out as a burden to each citizen. Those who cause this burden, must be made accountable for it.

3. Each citizen should be, as much as possible, equally responsible for a part of the burden of government. If able to provide to the the common good, they should. If they do not, and they are able, they should benefit less.

4. There can be no provision for the elevation of one religion over any other religion.  All religions are equal with respect to the government.

5. We do not want a ruling class. Therefore, all candidates endorsed by this party will agree to term limits within and outside of the party. After serving a second term in an elected office, within the party or within the government, the candidate must leave that position. They may take up a new position in the government or party.

6. Regardless of identity (gender, religion, sexual identity, political affiliation) all citizens are equal with respect to the government and the law. As individuals, we will strive to be as respectful of the wishes and beliefs of other individuals as possible.

7. The United States military should adopt a primarily defensive posture unless actively attacked by a nation state or multi-national organization. Our interests abroad should first be protected economically and with diplomacy. The use of the military should always be a carefully considered last resort.

8. Smaller, less intrusive government is always better when it can maintain efficiency.

9. Government districts should accurately reflect the demographics of the population.

10. The party itself will not require candidates to declare a position on inherently divisive issues like abortion or gun control. The idea is to unify as many people as possible. Each candidate will have to decide on their own how they will deal with those issues. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Three-point plan for a better world.

It won't fix everything, but I think it would help.

Here it is, my long awaited three-point plan to improve the world.

Point One:
If you want to be a leader, you should work hard to be worthy of a leadership role. You, not a welfare recipient, should be held to a higher standard. Therefore, I propose that all elected officials be subject to a new law stating that they will be immediately removed from office for a felony conviction. If you think there are too many laws punishable as a felony, get rid of them. If you are a felon, you don't get to hold office. And, if you are found in breach of public trust (you misused public funds for personal gain, if you are fraudulent in your dealings as a government representative, if you knowingly lie to the public for personal or political gain, you are charged with a felony. Any conviction for a felony committed while in office is subject to a mandatory minimum three year sentence in the maximum security federal penitentiary nearest to their home of record. You are elected as a leader, act like one.

Point Two:
When you agree to a position as a government regulator of a business or industry, you agree to never work for that industry after your employment as a regulator of same. If you were a member of the industry being regulated, you are prohibited from occupying a position as a regulator of that industry. I understand that the use of industry people aids in understanding of the industry and aids in regulation. The point of a regulator isn't to make the industry easier, it is to protect the public interest.

Point Three:
The amount of inheritance allowable to any individual will be set to a maximum of fifty years worth of the minimum wage at a forty-hour work week. With great wealth comes increased political power. If you are unable to increase your own wealth and influence with a fifty year head start, you probably are not suited to exert that influence. If you can't win the hundred yard dash with a fifty yard head start, you don't get to go to the Olympics. If you want to increase the allowable inheritance, increase the minimum wage. Otherwise, donate the money to your favorite charitable organization.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

PTSD

I have thought of writing this for a while now.

In the interest of finding balance, I think it is important to attempt to gain a better understanding.  This is especially important in areas where there exists a social stigma that would predispose a person to forming certain opinions and judgements.  This is one of those issues.

I had the privilege to come upon a written transcript of a wonderful talk given several years back by a gentleman named Ralph Wexler.  He was a psychologist for the VA for 20 years.  In it he used a wonderful analogy that I would like to share because it has positively informed my practice as an ED nurse for many years now.  Imagine you are sitting in one of those fancy and yet nondescript hotel ballrooms listening to a man at a podium.

Think about it this way.  You are sitting here, in this ballroom, and suddenly a big Easter Island statue sized face looms out of one of the walls with its mouth gaping at you. At that moment, you are faced with a decision.  Either, you are really seeing this, and everything you thought you knew about the world was wrong, or you are seeing something that isn't real and you are crazy.  This is such a monumental, earth shattering, paradigm shifting thing that you cannot ignore it.  If decide you are crazy, you can no longer trust anything else in this world that you think is real.  Everything is questionable now.  If you are crazy, your mind can't be trusted to tell you anything related to the truth and you are lost and adrift now.  Forever uncertain and afraid.

If you decide you aren't crazy, you have just learned something about the world and subsequently your world has changed.  Your behavior will change accordingly.  If you accept that walls can harbor huge faces with mouths large enough to eat you, you probably won't hang out much near walls.  In a narrow corridor you might just take the very middle and keep a close eye on the walls on either side in case one of them starts looking hungry.  To people who have never seen the faces, and don't believe they are real...not really real anyway, your behavior seems abnormal.  What's wrong with that guy, he's such an asshole.  I was walking down the hall and he was just taking up the whole hall.  He even pushed me out of the way and wasn't even really looking at me.  What an asshole!

Of course, if you know about those faces, his behavior makes total sense.

But you don't.

So, don't think of PTSD as some disease that deserves pity or sympathy.  This is a person who is aware of the world in a way that you aren't.

Each of us walks around every day in a state of some degree of illusion.  We often think and act in ways that are totally irrational if you think about them too long.  We routinely pilot tons of steel at high speeds and in close quarters with other people of questionable training and maturity.  We frequently eat and drink things that we know are unhealthy and perhaps even mind altering with little regard to our personal well being or safety.  We do this because we only understand the danger and our own mortality on an academic level. There is a big difference between understanding that death and destruction exits and having death itself come up and give you a big kiss on the lips.

Some people live in a world where trash cans explode and kill all of your friends.

Some people live in a world where the people you most trust and depend on rape and torture you.

Some people live in a world where people of a certain ethnicity or race actually are trying to harm and kill them.

Each of these people will act accordingly, often rationally and perfectly logically if you understand what their life is like.

"Normal" people, who live under many benign and helpful constraints, see these behaviors and label them a disorder.  That does a disservice to both them and us.  We lose out understanding and they become something less of a person who is fit for our pity and our sympathy, but often not our understanding.

If you value that person, don't pity them.  Try to understand them.  Often they will explain it if you let them. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

The debate

In the interests of making it easier to read for all of the masochists out there that might like to see the full conversation, I am offering this easy organizational post.

It all started with me stating on Facebook that I thought we should take in Syrian Refugees.  My friend vehemently opposed this idea.  He has 20 years experience in the military and is currently an officer in the armed forces.  He has proven himself in the past to have an agile mind.  I figured this would be an interesting opportunity to see where my own beliefs and arguments might fall short.  If my ideas are not good enough to survive an encounter with a disparate belief, they need to be either refined or abandoned.  This process is ongoing.

So, here is my original post.

Post

Here is John's response.

Post 2

Here is my rebuttal.

Post 3

Here is John's return.

Post 4.

At this stage, I am not sure if there is any value in my responding or continuing the argument.  I think the ideology is pretty clear on both sides and the various strengths and weakness of the ideas are present.  Anything further than this threatens to devolve into a less illuminating process.  I leave off with my opposition having the last word in an attempt to remove all strains of bias due to home field advantage.  My hope is that anyone who reads this can get a better understanding of the positions taken by either side and use that understanding to build their own, more balanced opinion. 

John's response pt 1

I assure you, I'm not just ranting to myself.  All of this was inspired by a real argument with a real person.  With his permission I have included his part of the argument because I believe it is important to attempt to understand the arguments of the people you disagree with.

So, without editing and formatting (I gave him the opportunity to clean up the format to emphasize whatever he wanted, but he declined.  I am attributing the block formatting here to the limitations of Facebook.  He replied as a comment to my post.  I assume if he had a better forum, the formatting would be a little easier on the eyes.)

If you have stumbled upon this somehow and are wondering what the heck this is...

Click Here.

Eric, I will take the opposite tact and keep this simple. Would YOU (not America, not state X) take 10 Syrian male refugees between 18-30 years of age into your home today, no questions asked? Of course you wouldn't and here's why. You cannot provide for them economically, and you dont have a $18B and growing debt. Well you do, as do your kids but thats another topic. You dont have jobs for them, because we dont even have jobs for the millions of people out of work now. Again, we could delve into the dismal labor force particpation rates, but that too is another is another story. Most importantly, you have a wife and children to protect. Perhaps you could give your kids a bowl of M&Ms that contained 10% which were poisonous and tell them it was ok to grab a handful because "not all the M&Ms are posionous".. No you wouldn't do that either. As a travelling nurse, perhaps you could take the show on the road and go over to Syria and provide "frontline" medical care. please take the wife and kids so they can embarace the peaceful Muslim population over there and experience the tolerance and diversity that that exudes their culture. Make sure Sara is dressed approapriately so as not to offend anyone. The vast cultural divide aside, the simple odds you cited would indicate at least one of those men is a threat. To place your family in danger would be reckless irresponsible and I submit to you that you would not directly incur that risk, but by virtue of your position, believe others should incur that risk for the sole purpose of appearing charitable and compassionate in an attempt to break a stereotype that some people have. The problem is that this approach ignores common sense logic, and history. While your onion reference to Iraq is amusing, it too ignores the fact. At the risk of veering off topic, in simplest terms, the invasion of Iraq created a battlefield that did not previously exist. We were fighting an enemy with no country, no flag and no uniform. That war drew them Iraq where they could be identifed and killed. Obama made the comment that there was no Al Queda in Iraq before we went in. True statement, and he unwittingly acknowledged the success of that strategy. I will tell you in all honesty that I dont think there was ever an exit strategy, and that the architects likely envisioned a Korea or Germany like presence for decades to come. Politics as they are, we hastily left, including our equipment, which ISIS now uses to march through the region. That aspect aside, the reason for the current situation is not global warming/climate change or jobs like some clowns running for President want to believe. Those conditions have existed for decades. This stems from the intentional toppling of stable governments in the region, initiated, funded and directly supportes by the current administration. Regimes that had been pro western or at least not anti-western were toppled and ISIS filled the power vacuum. Syria remains. Yet the US (WH anyways) actively seeks Asaad's removal and actively supported a political campaign against the incumbent President of Israel. Tell me Eric, what threat does Asaad pose to the US that we need to topple his government? Is Iran not more of a threat goven they have nuke technology and have sworn to destroy Israel and the West? Or perhaps they are "joking" as you feigned in another post? I believe, no I KNOW, that you are a good man. I applaud your compassion and agree it is part of the human experience. What I believe your fundamental flaw is in your approach to this probelem is that you have ironically done exactly what Bush did; you applied western thought, values and culture to a situation that is utterly imcompatible with them. ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Muslim Brotherhood, whatver you want to call them, did not emerge from ressent ment over Amercian anything. You cited death tolls, but left out and important fact. Muslims kill the majority of Muslims, just like black kill the majority of blacks. So if you want to cite totals, be specific. Muslimns also kill far more Christians than the opposite. The fact is that these people have been warring for centuries without any help from us. You will not win a battle of idea with these people because you fundamentally do not undertstand them. Salon.com dailykos and HUFFPO are mouth pieces, as is Fox and CNN and the like. I have lived among these people for years, literally. They are VERY honest when there is no camera present. Why would we want to bring their balkanized violent, centuries long struggle here when they themsleves havent been able to fix it and we certainly havent either. So I never like citing problems without offering solutions, so here is mine. Since we love coalitions and globalism and the UN, I submit that we use NATO to establish "safe zones" within Syria. No fly zones and tropps to defend these poor people and prevent them from having to uproot themselves and their families from their beloved and historic homeland. People like me will go over there and do it. It is far cheaper, and the only Amercians that are in danger are the people we pay to take risks and put their lives at risk, the military. My plan ensures that not a single terrorist enters the country posing as a refugee. Your plan ensures the opposite, as has been demonstrated in Europe. My plan gets everyone involved (UN) so Muslims can see that the world loves and accepts them and are all willing to help them. Tell me Eric, why wont wealthy Muslim majority countries in the region take them in??? I would LOVE for you to answer that one my friend. Incidentally, one refugee in Louisianna disappeared and was found in D.C., their first declared target, and 5 more were captured in Honduras with fake Greek passports attempting to enter the US. I'm floored that you think we need a sliding scale of us death tolls to engage in military action. 200, we dont go in..? So you require a 9-11 type death toll to fight back? Perhaps we should just open the borders up to anyone and everyone from wherever, who claims to be a refugee and was somehow wronged by us or another "imperial entity" at any time in the past. Pu them all on welfare, create sharia courts fo them and allow shariah law to trump our laws where they hold majorities.. Gays will have to relocate of course, but surely they will view our "tolerance" and willingness to accomodate them in a positive light and limit rapes onlly their women and children and not ours. Do me a favor and google "Islamic thighing". Google "increasing rapes by Muslims in Sweden". In the end, people who support bringing these people here fele there is endless amounts of money, that we can just "take from rich people" and that welcoming them will somehow absolve us of past "offenses", despite the fact that we have shed blood and spent treasure to help Muslims. The ONLY thing these people understand or respect is the violnce that has been ingrained in their culture for centuries. It's far better to meet violence with violence somwhere other than the street of America. The liberals are of the opinion that if its good enough for Beirut its good enough for Nashville, and that is how to tell who really loves this country and who hates it to the point that they want to "fundamentally" change it to mirror the failure of Europe and commit national suicide. No thanks. But we'll just go with your plan instead and wait till a few shopping malls, staduims and Starbucks are in flames before we do anything other than open our arms and bury our heads in the sand in blind adherence to lef twing ideology.

John's Response Pt 2


In the interest of fair play and helping any readers understand what the heck I am ranting about, I am presenting the person I am arguing with and their entire, unedited, responses.

So yeah, I'm not just talking to myself.

If you just stumbled upon this and are wondering what the heck this is all about...

Click Here

Here's Johnny.

Eric,
I am not a blogger, nor do I have regular access, or much time to pursue it. Most of my posts are done via mobile phone in between meetings or during my brief lunch breaks. If the formatting is not up to par, I whole heartedly apologize to you and your audience. I’m also generally unable to peruse the web and cut and paste articles from reputable sites like salon and the onion, so again, please accept my shortcomings.

I’m glad you like my idea and agree that this should be a UN effort and Muslim majority countries in the region should take the lead. I find it interesting you don’t think we should take the lead in providing relief over there, but are all for "leading by example" here in the U.S.

Your “what does ISIS want” misses 2 crucial points. They want Muslim domination of the entire planet, and it’s already NOT a “regional conflict”. They’re in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and yes, here too. Totally agree. So let’s bring more?

I’d like you to do me a favor and stop insulting my intelligence with your Cloward/Piven and Alinsky tactics. I've read them, unlike most. You just reclassified “refugees” as immigrants. You do recognize the fundamental difference I assume? Or are they asylum seekers? Control the language, control the narrative. So do you support providing them temporary refuge until it’s safe to return them Syria, or are you advocating permanent residency? Perhaps the strategy we employ with the “immigrants” coming from South America will work? http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/report-90-of-illegals-skip-immigration-court-appearances-135000-will-go-missing/article/2550217 Maybe not….

Your dismissal of constructing a wall is further proof that your ideology prohibits you from actual critical thinking. Catapults.. HA. Take a look at this wall my friend http://www.businessinsider.com/saudi-arabia-is-building-a-600-mile-great-wall-to-shield-from-isis-2015-1 Quite a bit different than the one at Helm’s Deep no? As for airspace, google Aegis Ashore. We are employing it in Eastern Europe for anti aircraft and anit-ballistic missile defense. Israel has the Iron Dome. They work. I see the reports of Cubans coming by sea turned back daily. It takes money and effort. The border is securable and any country that chooses to can employ technology to do so. The issue is POLITICAL WILL. We lack it, and we lack it because enough people haven’t dies yet.

If your assertion is true regarding the “fizzle out” approach to dealing with ISIS, why has radical Islam endured throughout the ages, LONG before any naughty Europeans or American or Jews made them mad? I wonder, from where did you gain your insight into ISIS recruiting? Classified FBI reports? NSA field reports? Were you actively recruited? Actually you are simply regurgitating talking points that blame everything under the sun (the west, the economy, the climate, discrimination) instead of recognizing the real problem lies within Islam itself. http://thefederalist.com/2015/11/16/the-crisis-is-islam/#.Vk5IfK5Oq9k.facebook We cannot fix it, they must fix. Please read that with as open a mind as you do the “blame the west and capitalism” pieces you cut and paste from. I am not “after” or advocating for a war based on anyone’s religion. I am however, not opposed to war to crush an enemy who threatens us and cannot be negotiated with. Your question is typical of those with your worldview and attempts to mischaracterize my position.

Fun fact, on Iraq http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/04/revisionist-history-aside-we-were-greeted-as-liberators-in-iraq.php and while you may not “believe” there was an intent to stay, I’d encourage you to research a bit more. I’ve read OPLANS and understand the difference between policy and politics, particularly when it comes to the military. Bush’s “mission accomplished” is a political statement. It’s amusing that you despise and distrust Bush and Cheney (and in this case, Rumsfeld) but do not believe that there was long range occupation plan. Again, I have more insight into this than CNN or blogs. Look into a guy named Paul Wolfowitz. He was the architect of the Iraq plan, not Rummy, not Bush. Do you honestly believe that politicians or political appointees make policy? People in positions to make decisions do so based on what is put in front of them. Clearly you’ve heard about “the power behind the throne”. Paul is a real piece of work, world bank guy and recently admitted the flaws in the plan. He even despises Colin Powell which must mean he’s a bad guy and probably a racist too. Iraq would have made a nice forward operations base nearby to Iran and with strategic access to the entire region. Did you know that coalition forces did not pay dime for fuel (jet, ship, tank etc) during the recent Gulf War? I guess that was the infamous “Bush’s oil”. At any rate, do some digging and you will see Bush tried (well his DoD and DoS anyways) to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement. Not many details were made public and the attempt failed. To the credit of the Iraqis, they recognized the architecture in the SOFA and rejected it. Had they not, you would have a Ramstein AFB like or Chinhae, ROK like operations base in Iraq to this day. Again, I’m truly perplexed that you doubt that was one of the desired end states, given your love of Bush and his cronies. Ironically Paul conceded that his biggest mistake was underestimating the tenacity of the enemy. A mistake Obama’s advisors are replicating. You do oppose Obama putting boots on the ground back into Iraq and Afghanistan don't you? He's a lot like Bush I guess....

Your contention that we can't keep ISIS out is as off base as your rejection of “wall technology”. You can in fact significantly increase border security, then hunt down and kill ISIS members in the US as enemy combatants. You can make it far more difficult to enter, recruit and operate. Alas, your plan is to just let it happen, endure the attacks and it will fizzle out.The problem is that the left (who has no issue killing us citizens overseas without a trial using a drone http://www.cbsnews.com/news/who-were-the-4-us-citizens-killed-in-drone-strikes/ ) would cry foul and demand trials, file lawsuits to defend ISIS, and claim “profiling” when all ISIS investigations, arrests, convictions and/or executions were muslims. Cause they will be. Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but every member of ISIS is. Which is why people like SoS Kerry wan to start calling them something else, to remove the I from ISIS. Control the language control the narrative. Again, the issue not ability, it’s having the will. The enemy has it, our government does not. not yet anyways.

My argument wasn’t specious at all. I never implied forcing every family to take “2.5 times their number”. 10% could be terrorists, your figure (and arguably low) but not mine. I used your figure to highlight the fact that you would not accept that numerical risk when it came to your family, but you would when it came to this country.

There is no screening process Eric. The Director of the FBI, appointed by this President by the way, has clearly stated it. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/18/no-good-answers-allegedly-exhaustive-syrian-refugee-vetting-process/ The former Deputy Director of the FBI said the same thing.

Citing the immigration law process is not vetting for terrorist suspects. No Syrian database exists, no Syrian government or entity exists to confer with on screening (they aren’t that developed or savvy at present) so you can say it over and over again, but it simply isn’t true. You want to embrace the smoke and mirrors of previous refugees being screened. My friend, again, I know you don’t necessarily know this but we have over a decade of biometric data complete with family profiles, cell phone records, and a myriad of other data on the people who lived in Iraq. I’m sure some Cheney cohort’s company made a killing on that contract too, but, there is a substantial difference between the “process” used in the past with regard to Iraqi refugees.

Aside from the obvious national security risk, there’s a cultural one as well. Muslims by and large do not assimilate into western society. On the contrary, they reject and carve our enclaves which become balkanized from the rest of the country. Behold the “sensitive urban zones” your ideology has created in France. This article was written long before the current situation. http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2014/April/Native-French-under-Attack-in-Muslim-Areas/ They don’t come to assimilate, they come to occupy. This is engrained in their religion and their culture. Conquering new lands. Your immediate response will be to blame France. France let them in. But that’s not enough right? The benefit packages weren’t enough, they didn’t get seat in local governments or some other apologist nonsense. Tell me Eric, where is your outrage at the stoning of Christians in broad daylight by Muslims here in America? http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/dearborn-no-go-zone-where-islam-rules-and-christians-are-stoned# Still just a “few bad apples”? Tell that to Sweden. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=de1_1394099792
You can try to twist the narrative all you’d like but they don’t come here to be Americans. The traditions you allude to are based on assimilation and adoption of the culture, not carving out your own empire and demanding it be recognized as equal. Do some actual reading about it. It’s not isolated, it’s an epidemic. http://truthuncensored.net/there-are-muslim-no-go-zones-in-the-usa/#sthash.E4EckaE9.dpbs

You glazed over Taqiyya, but that is exactly what you are engaging in, knowingly or not. Incidentally, CAIR has access to the WH and is driving these policy decisions. Why has our Muslim ally Saudi Arabia, and others, declared them a terrorist organization but we have not? Why did a stadium full of Muslims recently boo and disrupt a moment of silence for Paris victims? They were Pakistani, always held out by the left as the example of moderate Muslims. There sure are a great many "isolated events" no? The only people who believe in your ideological world view are people who are ignorant of the facts, or simply unable or unwilling to embrace the painful and frightening truth of truth of what is really going on and why.