ADVICE TO OWS-EVERYWHERE! AGENDA: CONSTITUTIONIAL CONVENTION 2

There comes a time in the life of a nation when it is time to make choices, how are we going to institute effective change and reform our badly broken government. We now have a Legislative Branch filled with spoiled schoolyard children, who would prefer to see the country slip past the point of no-return, where they would prefer their citizens to be destitute and desperate in order to gain more and more power.

We certainly cannot rely on our legislative branch to put aside their ideological differences in order to do something for the country. They refuse; we’ve seen them, over and over and over again. We could never get them to reform the gerrymandering of congressional districts; we will never get them to put money into the country, hell that money that they throw around in Iraq and Afghanistan and they give away to oil companies, is our money, why can’t we use it to stimulate our economy here, at home. And why do those bozos constantly get away with enriching billionaires and corporations even more, as if they don’t have enough, which has been to the detriment of the entire nation! What the hell, it is outrageous! They don’t even care, they flaunt it, they laugh in our faces and say cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations but and they say on the floor of the US Senate, the poor simply don’t pay enough. What????? What civilized nation has representatives like this? Oh, I don’t think they do. In a civilized nation those people would be laughed out of public office, not here though, they win another term in congress.

Well protestors nationwide, we have an opportunity to effect change ourselves, it is time we used the very document these folks go on and on about every day, we must make our state legislature call for a Constitutional Convention and we will amend our constitution without them, we have an opportunity, you’ve started something, let’s direct it toward fundamental change in our government.

The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the 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. This route has never been taken, and there is discussion in political science circles about just how such a convention would be convened, and what kind of changes it would bring about.

Suggestions for Amendments:

1. Amendment 28: The Public funding of elections,  30 days to campaign, advertising can only be through the public funding, no outside groups can run advertisements for or against candidates, you see what I am getting at,  no outside money, nothing, zero zip. Oh so yeah, add somewhere in this Amendment this is explicitly to repeal the citizen united ruling as well. So they can’t find some way around the amendment.

2. Term Limits for Legislators: 3 terms for H.o.R. 2 terms for Senators. They don’t need any more time than that.

3. Can we throw in the outlawing of the filibuster too? Cause these folks have simply abused the privilege to use this parliamentary tactic of obstruction.

4. We need to consider term limits for members of the Supreme Court. 20 years. No more. No one is grandfathered out.

Crossposted at DAGBlog

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The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be 2

Note: This is taken from TPM-aholics, where it originated.

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What do we want 2050 to look like?

We know a few things already.

It will be more crowded.  Estimates put us somewhere north of 9 billion people worldwide.  Maybe 14 billion by the end of the century.  I might make it to see the 9 billion, unappealing as that sounds.  The 14 billion, well, I’m glad I’ll be long gone for that.

Some nations will be much older, others will be younger.

It will be warmer.  Whether temperature increases stay steady, accelerate, or slow, they will continue for the foreseeable future.  As will weather instability, as we have seen in the last few months.

It might well be drier, and that’s not a good thing, as water is the one thing we absolutely, positively cannot live without.

Let’s leave the global aside for a moment and look at the national – and maybe even closer.

There are two main possible directions for the future.  One is to continue along the increasing corporatization of America, until we begin to resemble something akin to an electronicized feudal state, where ownership of most of the economy is concentrated in the hands of a very few, with the great numbers of people having almost no say or stake in anything.  This is the Libertarians’ ideal, of course, though many of their adherents are foolish enough to believe that they’ll somehow be on the ownership side of the fence.

They won’t.

They’re cannon fodder to the people really pulling the strings.  And they’ll resist that truth to the last breath.

Or we can set about reclaiming the concept of a public good, redefining ourselves in terms of a society rather than simply an economy, and relegating all religious discussion to its rightful place in the private sphere.

Something to work for, don’t you think?

What if that goal was even such a simple notion as that there is no good reason for anyone to have to go to bed hungry, or to not have a bed to go hungry to, or even a roof overhead?  That there is no good reason for a child to grow to adulthood unschooled?  That everyone having basic health care is a huge social positive in many more ways than there are room to list here?

We live in a society.  An economy is just a component of that society, and those who confuse the two shortchange not only this society, they also shortchange themselves.

It would appear that the choice is fairly clear – stark, even.  On the one hand, we can live in Rand Paul’s dreamland, an electronicized Somalia, with no functioning government to speak of and a tiny, cosseted elite exploiting everyone else for fun (more on this in the future) and profit, or we can change direction and realize that we will indeed do better if we all do better.

So, what do you want 2050 to look like?

Is Norm Dicks Signaling a Sooner End to Military Action in Afghanistan? 4

On June 11, 2011  Norm Dicks (D)  Washington State’s 6th district told constituents through reporters at his local paper The Kitsap Sun, that it is time for Afghanistan to “take care of herself”.  So the question becomes this, is Norm Dick signaling this administrations willingness to move up the timeline for removing troops from Afghanistan. Norm Dicks is a hawk, he is the senior democratic member of the defense appropriations committee and was Jack Murtha’s right hand man and successor to head up the committee under a Democratic speaker. Norm has been in government a very long time and was a legislative and administrative assistant to Senator Warren G. Magnuson, who was a well-known hawk during Vietnam. Magnuson believed the US should stop the spread of communism. Norm like many others in congress supported military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, although he eventually changed his beliefs, not unlike Magnuson did about Vietnam later on in his career. What I wonder is if Norm Dicks is signaling to the American people, that  this administration has plans to end the conflict in Afghanistan sooner rather than later.

Dicks said in the Kitsap Sun,

“We are cutting a lot of important programs for the people of this country, people who are unemployed,” he said Friday in a telephone interview with the Kitsap Sun. “If I’m going to spend money I’d rather spend it on trying to create jobs for these people through infrastructure expenditures.”

Does this mean the administration is ready to put together a firm timeline to withdraw from Afghanistan and they would be moving up the 2014 time line? Norm Dicks is a good Democrat and a very close ally of the Obama Administration, Leslie Gelb of the Daily beast seems to think so.  American’s have turned against the Afghan war and it isn’t politically tenable to not plan to withdraw from Afghanistan at this point. As we all know the Afghani’s are as tired of us as we are of fighting an endless war there.

On June 9th during a confirmation hearing in the senate he was cautious when describing his views on the Afghan war, but did say that he agreed with the President that troop withdrawal should begin next month and they should be significant withdrawals, although he added that the US should “provide sufficient stability so that the country never again becomes a safe haven for Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda’s militant allies.

Aside from being a hawk at times Dicks is a reliable progressive and votes accordingly.

Record of Norm’s votes

Norm’s Progressive Action Score

I am hoping Dick’s is signaling that the time tables for withdrawing from Afghanistan will be pushed up significantly and that many of our troops will be coming home sooner rather than later.

Cross-posted at DAGblog

Von Mises and Bachmann on a Beach 5

And no, von Mises and Bachmann on a Beach is not a hot new cocktail down at your corner bar, but it could be, maybe Rachel Maddow will work one up just to enjoy this 18 month-long election season.  Stephen Moore, Wall Street Journal douchebag writer sycophant, asked some questions of Michelle Bachmann  in his latest column.  Yes I reluctantly read the WSJ’s opinion guys to punish myself I think, but also to read about these characters from folks who love them, not just from folks like me who wonder WTF? Who elects these lunatics?  Von Mises is a star amongst Paultard libertarians, because they hate, hate, hate government and truly believe there should be no government. I find that ironic, given Ron Paul doesn’t believe in government yet has been in government since the 1850’s or something. So Bachmann is crazy like a fox when mentioning she reads von Mises, whenever his name is mentioned she gets 1,000 more rabid fans, all male, all frustrated by the serious Republicans running to win the Republican primaries, and no Tim Pawlenty is not one of them.

The article isn’t as enlightening so much as it is evidence of a woman preparing to run for the Presidency and is pulling out all the stops to attract every conservative vote out there, including the Libertairn vote. Although I think Paul and Johnson have that vote sewn up, but then again maybe they don’t and maybe Bachamann can use that dog whistle to attract those voters to her side.

According to Bachmann, when she goes to the beach, she brings with her works by Ludwig von Mises, especially the book on Socialism I am sure, but she mentions the book Human Action, too, yikes, really???  As a beach goer myself, even though sometimes it is just the Frenchtown pond I bring towels, sunscreen, and books by John Waters, Norah Ephron and Wil Wheaton and my IPod. Okay that is just me, but von Mises, really, it doesn’t seem like beach reading material, it seems like sleeping material, and sleeping on the beach can get you burned. But I guess reading and following von Mises can get you burned as well.  I think people should pay close attention to Michelle Bachmann as she  begins her campaign for the Presidency tonight in the first Republican Presidential primary debate.

I’ve done a little research on von Mises, although it ended up being pointless research since these are economic theories never used by any nation except maybe Somalia.  Von Mises is the leader of what libertarians and CATO intelligentsia call the Austrian school of Economics. Bachmann claims she loves von Mises. So she is saying she doesn’t believe in the central bank, she doesn’t believe in the government stimulus and most of all taxes are not needed!

Michelle Bachmann is gearing up for her run for the Presidency, and while people are obsessed with Sarah Palin, Bachmann skirts just under the radar, almost unnoticed, but saying all the right things to the Club for Growth crowd. Reading the Moore article gives one the impression that she is telling those hardcore libertarians she is going to dismantle the government if she gets control, she will put the Ryan plan on the table, Medicare, Social Security are ills of socialist Marxism. She will be debating tonight as well, while Gary Johnson another Republican Libertarian candidate was not invited to debate.

Those who follow von Mises are a strident bunch, they believe civilization will not survive unless this untried economic system is followed. They obsess non-stop about the Marxist take over of the US government. So now I understand why end-timers like Bachmann would read von Mises on the beach, they believe the end of the world is near unless we take serious action like no-government or something like that, but I wonder if they’ve been to Somalia?

I have decided I should record the Republican debate tonight even though it risks my sanity, and if Bachmann says anything crazy, and you know she will, this post will be updated with video.

Cross posted at The Angriest Liberal

Saving the Scotchman Peaks Proposed Wilderness Area 4

As you know I ride my bike all over Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and occasionally New England, this year it is Maine in September, where we go visit the ex-President Bush in Kennebunkport, he isn’t expecting us of course, but we will wave as we ride by their compound if we can see it from the road! And I am sure he will be thrilled that the Greatest Living Democrat will go out of her way to acknowledge his New England roots.

Well June 4th we were riding the CHaFE 150 in Sandpoint, Idaho. So far this was the most grueling ride of my life, mostly because it was 150 miles long and in the Kanisku National Forest. It was hilly, it no doubt wore me out, but it was a blast.

I learned a few things while we rode, I spent lots of time talking to Kenny who runs the cross-country area at Schweitzer. I learned about the Scotchman Peaks proposed wilderness area which is right in the middle of the Cabinet Mountains of the Kanisku National Forest, the Scotchman’s lie in both Montana and Idaho.

I took this picture at mile 97, we were stopped here:

Yes these people have an incredible sense of humor and at mile 97 I did feel like I needed a MASH unit!

Well what we learned  is there is silver in them hills, okay peaks and there is an epic battle going on between environmentalists in Idaho and mining interests in both Idaho and Montana.

According to the Friends of the Scotchman’s this area spans the Idaho/Montana border and one of the last, and largest, wild areas in that region. The group conducts education, outreach and stewardship activities to preserve the rugged, scenic and biologically diverse 88,000 acre Scotchman Peaks Roadless Area. They believe the Scotchman Peaks deserve congressional designation as Wilderness for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations.I believe that as well, as the earth continues to warm we must attempt to preserve these areas, as there are so few left.

It is going to be quite the fight over this area, Montana has not had a great economy as a state since the Anaconda company closed the Berkeley pit down in Butte which in 1982, and at that point the entire United States was still recovering from high inflation, interest rates and an oil crisis.  Silver mining promises to bring some life to an economy that has suffered for 30+ years. This area along with the new Drumlummon discovery could bring some life back to an economy that has been in nothing but decline.

Idaho on the other hand, even though it is a fairly conservative state has done wonders with preserving wilderness and developing an extensive economy that has both high-tech opportunities and tourism. Preserving the Scotchman Peaks seems to be a goal of the people of northern Idaho.

Unfortunately because the economy of the entire US is not great, but in particular in Montana it has been in decline for 30+ years, so there may be no way to stop the development of the Scotchman Peaks. But the word has to get out there among people who are not just residents of the Idaho Panhandle. There is a way to save the Scotchman Peaks and we must work to preserve it for future generations.

GOP in HOR – Renewable Energy is Anti-Energy 2

As usual the TeaBag GOP is going out on a limb to protect Oil, Coal, and Nuclear energy producers. NREL – the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado is on the chopping block. I did an internship while in graduate school at the Washington State Energy Office in 1993. The program I worked for was the Energy Ideas Clearing House which was funded by grants through the Department of Energy. The funding source was through the DofE’s Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs. NREL recieves their funding from those programs at the DoE.  Republicans in the house are seeking to have these programs eliminated in the 2012 budget. They claim of course that these programs offer nothing to the US and have by and large failed. What should be of particular interest to everyone is that Republicans seems to believe that Renewable Energy isn’t necessary to explore. Defunding these programs will essentially defund NREL, EIC, NCAT and other Alternate Renewable Energy programs in the US.

According to a report in the Denver Sun GOP lawmakers are pushing to defund the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs in the 2012 budget, because they “have failed to live up to their supposed potential.” This is an assessment they offer without supporting data, but what is most interesting is Tom McClintock from a TBag district in California, who states:

“We should not follow the president’s poor planning in increasing the funding for these anti-energy boondoggles.”

Republicans are seeking to save money by defunding these programs while continuing to subsidize Oil, Coal and Nuclear Energy industries. Of course those subsidies are much larger than any monies spend on funding these energy research programs. NREL was founded in 1978, by the Carter Administration, and that was effectively the last time the nation attempted to develop solid energy policies to move us towards the future.  According to the NREL website, it is the only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Backed by 33 years of achievement, NREL leads the way in helping meet the growing demand for clean energy.

So are renewable energy programs anti-energy boondoggles? Do these folks really believe wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuel research has no place in developing sound energy policy? So while progressives are out there hand-wringing about the awfulness of the biggest liar of all President Obama and how he hates the unemployed, the middle class, unions, who is also a closet Republican, is the second coming of Ronald Reagan, wants everyone to go to community college for no reason because they have already have mad skilz, Republicans in the House are getting away with destroying programs that are beneficial not just to the nation but to the world.

Until we the people are able to convince lawmakers that we would like to fund these programs the United States will never develop a coherent energy policy that can move us to a cleaner energy future, and while China is investing 54.4 billion dollars in renewable energy sources, we will cease to fund research into renewable energies, because they are deemed anti-energy by those whose political campaigns are funded by the oil, coal and nuclear industries. Until we pressure our law maker to do this we will continue to fight wars over oil.  We all know that we went to Iraq because of Oil and not for any other reason.

According to Open Secrets, Rep. Lamborn of Colorado, the guy behind eliminating the funding source of these programs, in 2010 he received the majority of his donations from:

Industry

Total

Indivs

PACs

Defense Aerospace $34,250 $0 $34,250
Oil & Gas $31,750 $1,250 $30,500
Defense Electronics $28,300 $0 $28,300
Mining $17,500 $0 $17,500
Real Estate $16,833 $9,333 $7,500

Over his lifetime as a representative Oil and Gas are among the top three of those contributing to his campaigns, so it is no surprise he wants to eliminate funding for NREL.  He received a lifetime total $191,762 total from Energy and Natural Resource Industries with $158,000 coming directly from PAC’s. We certainly know why this particular congressman is pushing to have NREL, NCAT, EIC defunded by eliminating the funding of the DOE’s Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs.

The Republican leadership on the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development are as follows:

Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) [Chairman]

Energy and Natural Resources: about $217,000 life since 1998 of which pac’s donated $190,000

Jerry Lewis (R-CA)

Energy and Natural Resources: $469,000 since 1998 with $419,000 coming from PAC’s

Mike Simpson (R-ID)

Energy & Natural Resources:  $535,797 since 1998 with $441,445 coming from PAC’s

Dennis Rehberg (R-MT)

Energy & Natural Resources Industries:  $659,599 since 1998 with $464,750 coming from PAC’s

Rodney Alexander (R-LA)

Energy & Natural Resources:  $279,446 $167,750

Steve Womack (R-AR)

Is pretty new to congress and has received $21,000 from Energy and Natural Resource Industries

Alan Nunnelee (R-MS)

Also a new member and he received $79,200 from Energy and Natural Resource Industries

I know for a fact my congressman Norm Dicks will vote against these efforts, however your own congress-person needs to hear from you if you care about it at all. They need to know whether you for or against these efforts.  If we truly are a government by the people for the people, your participation doesn’t have to end with voting. Blogging about how you hate, hate, hate every single thing about everyone in congress, isn’t as effective as contacting your congressperson. To me this is very important. Make some noise and implore your like minded friends and neighbors to do the same, especially if you care about moving towards building a green or sustainable future for future generations. They need to know where you stand on real issues. Write them a letter, shoot them an email, and let them know you understand the issues. Do it every day if you have to, but don’t let the Republicans get away with demagoguing renewable energy programs.

Cross Posted at DAGblog