Monday, August 27, 2012

We Can Build a Mars Rover But...

America needs high-speed rail access throughout the country and mass transportation in all metropolitan urban areas, like every other major nation. We also need to replace the automobile industry, which is based on a century-old technology, pollutes the environment, has created massive sprawl, and ties us to oil -- a commodity controlled by our enemies. The only ones benefiting from it are the oil companies and the car manufacturers. The government gives subsidies and tax breaks to the oil industry, though God knows why. It's not like they need the money; they are among the most profitable businesses in the world. Exxon reported $9.4 billion profit in January 2012 and earns $104 Million in profit (not revenues) every day! Let's use those government funds not as givebacks to Big Oil, but to build American infrastructure and employ out of work Americans.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Natural Disaster Imminent, But First, A Word from Our Sponsor

Way to go, local TV! The station interrupted a TV show to broadcast a tornado alert and then interrupted the bulletin to broadcast a commercial.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Who Watches the Watchmen?

The TSA, which spent $2 million of your tax dollars on equipment it has sitting unused in warehouses, is now outsourcing to private firms at 16 airports! Instead of government employees, our security is being outsourced to... whom exactly? Who are these private individuals (not government-screened employees) who are patting down passengers and rifling through their belongings, and how do we know they are not thieves, child molesters, or terrorists themselves? Unlike the government, these private firms are solely concerned with hiring cheap labor and maximizing profits. Who's watching the watchmen?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Rewards of a Classical Education

Alex Wagner is showing her chops! Commenting yesterday on a discussion of Mitt Romney's chances of winning after alienating black, latino, women, and elderly voters, she described the task as Sisyphean. When John Heilman said her knowledge of Greek mythology was greater than his, Wagner shot back "That's why I got the (MSNBC achor) job." Go Alex!

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a king in ancient Greece who offended the god Zeus. His punishment was to roll a huge boulder to the top of a steep hill; each time the boulder neared the top it rolled back down and Sisyphus was forced to start again.

It's rewarding to see a well-educated person succeeding in her chosen profession. It's encouraging to see a news organization hiring educated people. If only we could make a traditional education a requirement for politicians and voters.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Voting is a Right, Not a Privilege

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is trying to cut early voting from 12 days to 8 days to depress Democratic voter turnout. Only one state supervisor of elections has stepped forward to challenge Gov. Scott. Republican (yes, I said Republican) Harry Sawer, Monroe county supervisor, stated his intention to offer early voting for the traditional 12 days. Gov. Scott has threatened to remove the supervisor. Monroe is one of only two Florida counties with a plurality of Republicans that voted for Obama, a Democrat.

Florida is not alone in this shameful, unAmerican action. In Ohio, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted planned to allow weekend voting in rural (more Republican) areas but not in urban (more Democratic) areas. Pennsylvania House Republican Leader Mike Turzai told a GOP gathering, “Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor [Mitt] Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania" by disenfranchising Democratic voters.

Shame on you, Gov. Rick Scott and your GOP comrades. For 236 years, Americans have fought and died for the freedom to vote for their leaders of our republic. They fought against dictatorships that denied their citizens the right to vote and elect their own governments. By seeking to limit or deny citizens the right to vote, Gov. Rick Scott  and his GOP comrades have aligned himself with the likes of Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Castro, and other totalitarian and communist despots of the past century. Voting should be made as easy as possible, for all Americans. It is the basis of our democracy and any public official who fails to understand this or actively seeks to limit voting rights should be recalled from office.