You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2012.

As the U.S. Supreme Court debates whether the government can mandate that citizens buy health care insurance, and try to rationalize a decision based upon the Constitution, what are the implications for other mandates, such as taxes, Social Security, and auto insurance (in many states)? Yes, the highest court must interpret the law in light of the Constitution. But is the court prepared to throw out these things which mean so much in terms of the stability and security of our nation?

Whether health care is determined to be a right or a privilege, it is still something every person needs to survive and prosper. If the Constitution proves to be the problem standing in the way of universal access and payment for  health care, change the Constitution. And while we’re at it, let’s discover true one person/one vote democracy by abolishing the obsolete Electoral College system for electing our Presidents.

Will common sense prevail in the Supreme Court, or is that asking too much in the 21st century?

Yesterday, or the day before, my blog site quietly slipped past 20,000 cumulative views.  No big deal, but thanks.

The lesson is perhaps that populism doesn’t always make good politics, however tempting it is to the thought-leaders. Of course, to some the real issue is why after 200+ years of the increasing power of populism — call it democracy — we still elect our Presidents through an arcane, unbalanced, non-democratic system that makes political advertising calculations, and vote counts, so corrupted — the obsolete and dangerous Electoral College!

Is this country more likely to have a 21st century version of a French revolution, than ever really reform our government? Isn’t it amazing that “nation-building” is still an American foreign policy, and not a domestic one?
Cheers, nonetheless…

TIME used to be the weekly opinion magazine, while NEWSWEEK, that I’ve subscribed to since high school, used to be the balanced, largely non-political  magazine that was true to its name. Now, it is chock-full of opinion, and independent and very well done, in my opinion.

Tina Brown, British editor-in-chief, not surprisingly has an insightful editorial and feature on David Cameron’s relationship with Barack Obama, and an even more incisive feature on how Obama has rolled over, twice, when confronted with Bibi Netanyahu, on Palestine and Iran. We learn how the TSA is a rip-off, with nearly 4,000 bureaucrats with an average salary of $103,000 in D. C. alone, and $57 Billion in spending since 2001, stopping not one terrorist. We hear the Dharun Ravi may be a jerk, but probably  should not go to prison. We learn how Putin has swept aside reform and a move away from oil dependency in favor of a bigger Russian military budget.

NEWSWEEK a weekly must-read: thought-provoking, succinct as always, and better done than ever. Check it out:

If the Syrian government is really so guilty of exterminating its own citizens, than why don’t “we” (the U.S. and allies) do two things: 1) Totally economically isolate the country, not allowing any trade with any other nation. and 2) send in a “seal team” to eliminate Assad and his cronies?

Cut the snake off at the head, instead of sending in the likes of Kofi Annan.

This may not solve all of Syria’s problems, but it could trigger a re-set that could make recovery a possibility. Why is it that simple solutions seem to be off the table?

At the 2011 Fall Lake Geneva Wooden Boat Show, Abbey Harbor, WI

The one reminder I took away from viewing “Game Change,” the Sarah Palin election story, last night, was how totally ignorant and inarticulate she was on foreign affairs. Few, even her ardent fans, would say that was not the case. To me, this was her fatal deficit, though it might also have been a reflection of a very middling intelligence.

What reminds me of the current primary campaign, is how little attention is being given by the candidates or their “campaigns” to foreign affairs. We live in a dangerous world, in a dangerous time. Too many Americans remain isolated from the military implications of that risk, because so few among us are tasked to serve in these conflicts. Most of us are not engaged. We can’t all be foreign affairs experts, but we can expect, even demand, that our leaders and leader-hopefuls, demonstrate knowledge and even wisdom on the subject. Not just of military issues, but of economics, education, science and culture.

This is not my partisan view. This is an American view. Too few among us make the effort to access the wealth of information and informed opinion available on world affairs. We need to lift our eyes off the ground in front of us, at least a few hours a week, and take a look around the global village. That perspective may even enlighten our perceptions of what is truly good and what needs changing here at home.

If we are to benefit from wise leadership in global affairs, we need wise and thoughtful leaders who are challenged by an informed and curious citizenry. What a game change that would be.

March 2012

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