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2016 ELECTION: ISSUES AND QUESTIONS
A respected journalist friend on Facebook asked if I support Trump or Clinton in this year's presidential election. Rather than answering with typical Facebook superficiality, I responded with 10 issues and five critical questions.
Issues (AKA Reality)
Foremost on my mind are issues, not personalities:
1. Our national debt, $19.4 trillion and growing, now exceeds our annual $18.4 trillion gross domestic product (http://www.usdebtclock.org). When interest rates rise to normal levels from their current record lows, the gap will rapidly widen even further.
2. Our unfunded liabilities exceed $103 trillion, an unsustainable level not unlike that which has toppled other nations.
3. Ruinous International trade deals have created unsustainable trade imbalances and have drained well-paying manufacturing jobs from our nation, devastating many of our cities.
4. More than 90 million Americans are out of work and millions more are underemployed.
5. Porous borders have allowed an invasion of aliens to enter our country illegally, taking American workers’ jobs, keeping wages low, and draining community resources.
6. Porous borders also have allowed a flood of illegal drugs, criminals, and terrorists to flow into our country, creating havoc in our cities.
7. Health care costs are out of control and getting worse under flawed provisions of the ironically misnamed Affordable Health Care Act.
8. Common Core has replaced local control of education with federal control, including control of curriculum and testing inimical to the interests of students, teachers, and parents. a bureaucratic system replete with political indoctrination components, and spawning increasing numbers of citizens unable to concentrate for a sustained period on a complex subject and come to rational, logical conclusions.
9. Our national defense is challenged and mocked by nations around the world.
10. Several Supreme Court vacancies are pending, with ramifications for the future of our nation’s Constitutional government.
Five critical questions
1. Who is better qualified to deal more intelligently and effectively with our national debt, our unfunded liabilities, the ruinous international trade deals, and widespread unemployment and underemployment? If I must choose between a person with experience in business, building structures and creating real jobs, taking real risks with personal resources, not government funds, or a mere lawyer-bureaucrat who creates nothing, I choose the business leader. Expecting a lawyer-bureaucrat who has spent years contributing to our nation’s problems to now suddenly solve our nation’s problems is not realistic. Business leaders are trained to solve problems and get results; lawyers are trained merely to win contests. To continue on the course we are on with more of the same policies and with leadership by the same kind of person who has gotten us into this mess would be akin to thinking like the alcoholic who says, “One more drink will make me sober.”
2. Who is more likely to close our porous borders? If I must choose between a person who vows to control our borders and admit only those who are not determined to destroy liberty and kill us, or a person who wants to make the borders even more porous, I choose the person who wants to control the borders. Controlling admissions is common sense, not xenophobia or racism, and is a long-standing, common practice of all nations throughout history. My favorite writer, GK Chesterton, once told about the questions he had to answer when he applied for a visa to be an author in residence at Notre Dame University in the 1930s. He said he was given a form with basic questions about national security concerns and policies: “1. Are you an anarchist? 2. Are you a communist? 3. Are you a bigamist? 4. Do you want to use force of arms to overthrow the United States government?” (The third question reminds me of President Teddy Roosevelt’s response when he was asked if he thought Utah’s Senator Reed Smoot, a former bigamist, should be seated in the Senate: “I would rather have a bigamist who doesn’t bigamize than a monogamist who doesn’t monogamize,” Roosevelt said.)
3. Who is more likely to restore local control of education? If I must choose between a person who vows to terminate the curriculum-controlling, teacher-scripting policies of the federal government's Common Core or a person who goes along with it, I choose the candidate who favors local control of education and freedom for parents to select the schools of their choice for their children (http://keepingfirstthingsfirst.com/index#scholarships).
4. Who is more likely to strengthen national defense? If I must choose between a candidate who vows to strengthen national defense or a candidate who has participated in national defense fiascoes, even to the point of being “careless, extremely careless” with national security communications, I choose the candidate committed to strengthening national defense.
5. Who is more likely to nominate Supreme Court Justices who will uphold the Constitution, not legislate from the bench? If I must choose between a citizen-business leader or a career lawyer-politician, I choose the citizen-business leader. Thomas Jefferson warned that the greatest threat to our liberty comes not from foreign powers, but from lawyers and judges who undermine liberty by circumventing our Constitution. It's never wise to put the fox in charge of the chicken coop.
I respect others' perspectives and realize it is possible for intelligent and informed citizens to come to divergent conclusions on given issues. From my perspective, Donald Trump is a better choice to lead us in a new direction and to redress the anti-establishment grievances expressed by so many millions of Americans in their primary support for Trump and for Bernie Sanders. -- John Gile
|Teachers and parents:
Shootings and other violence
in our communities are created by
violent TV programming and movies."The data is irrefutable."
Virtually all of the talk about violence in our communities ignores the real culprits responsible for the violence: the producers of violent TV programs, movies, and video games that promote and glamorize murder and mayhem. They saturate viewers, particularly the young, with around the clock violence, then shed crocodile tears over the savage brutality their productions perpetrate in our communities. Meanwhile glib politicians sanctimoniously rail against guns and wring their hands over shootings in reports aired by news media owned by the same corporations that make money promoting violence -- and then make more money decrying it. Their politician-accomplices make no reference to the culture of death created by corporate media and contributing to the monstrously evil acts now too common in our communities. Perhaps these observations by former Lieutenant Colonel and West Point Psychology Professor David Grossman can shed light on what is happening to us -- and motivate us to do something about it:
"Data linking violence in the media to violence in society is superior to that linking cancer and tobacco. The American Psychological Association (APA), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Surgeon General, and the Attorney General have all made definitive statements about this. When I presented a paper to the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) annual convention in May, 2000, the statement was made even then that: 'The data is irrefutable. We have reached the point where we need to treat those who try to deny it as we would treat Holocaust deniers.'
"Classical conditioning is like Pavlov's dog in Psych 101. Remember the ringing bell, the food, and the dog could not hear the bell without salivating? In World War II, the Japanese would make some of their young, unbloodied soldiers bayonet innocent prisoners to death. Their friends would cheer them on. Afterwards, all these soldiers were treated to the best meal they've had in months, sake, and to so-called 'comfort girls.' The result? They learned to associate violence with pleasure. The media is doing it to our children. Kids watch vivid images of human death and suffering and they learn to associate it with: laughter, cheers, popcorn, soda, and their girlfriend's perfume.
"Today the media are providing our children with role models, not only in the lawless sociopaths in movies and in TV shows, but in the transformation of these schoolyard killers into media celebrities. Thus we get the effect of copycat, cluster murders that work their way across America like a virus spread by the six o'clock local news. No matter what someone has done, if you put their picture on TV, you have made them a celebrity and someone, somewhere, may emulate them. This effect is magnified when the role model is a teenager, and the effect on other teens can be profound.
"The American people need to be informed. Every parent must be warned of the impact of violent visual media on children, as we would warn them of some rampant carcinogen. Violence is not a game, it is not fun, it is not something that we let children do for entertainment. Violence kills. The media are selling violence, and we do not have to buy it. An educated and informed society can and must find its way home from the dark and lonely place to which it has traveled."
Can anything be done about the sociopathic corporate media creators of violence? Yes. Stay tuned to CityDesk.us for more -- and for what you can do about it. -- John Gile
|"I never looked at it that way before!"|
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