Libertarians United: Individual Rights

Everyone makes a joke now and again. In fact, I probably make way too many. Many of them cross them line of commonly socially acceptable topics. Joking is fine but I think there is something to be said for serious discussion. Often lost in the laughter is the actual points of my joke. I only use parody or satire because it gets the point across much quicker than frank discussion. You probably read title and thought you got rick-rolled? Don’t worry. I’m getting there. My last blog post was about the names that libertarians call themselves. Click here. I want libertarians, anarchists, ancaps to all unite. I believe that we can. I don’t mean in a collectivist way but in a united front. We are ALL natural allies. I think there is many things that we all agree on to some degree. But one of the things that we all agree on without much debate is individual rights.

Why Individual Rights?

If there is one thing the founders got right, it was individual rights. Thomas Jefferson wrote it in the declaration of independence, however, he meant white land owning men.  The constitution had it amended in the Bill of Rights which outline 10 specific individual rights. We all know that individual rights go much further than just the 10 in our constitution. Individuals are the smallest minority. Individuals make up groups. Individuals determine their own path in life. Of course, you have influences and different societal restrictions. But in the end, its the individual that decides who they want to be associated with and what they want to do. Individual rights isn’t divine. It stems from property.

Property Rights are the basis of individual freedom

The right to own property is the basis of individual rights. Why? The answer is simple its because when you own property it allows you to do whatever you want on that property. Its your own private island. Let’s face reality though, government today controls much of what we do on our private property. Its wrong. This is why when Anarcho-Communists argue for public property what they actually mean is, I want the government to own everything. If everything is owned by everybody, then taking whatever you please is not considered theft. But the reality is if you take somebody else’s things then its theft whether or not they actually own it or not. You didn’t ask permission. An-coms brings to another important point, the NAP.

Non-Aggression Principle

Whenever you try to argue with someone about a society with no government they always try to bring up some magical power void. My response is, well I see a giant power void in your brain. In a voluntary society, there won’t be government however, there will be one rule. NAP. The non-aggression principle basically means do whatever you want without violating the individual rights or freedoms of others. It means that you won’t do anything that could be a crime today. Many crimes like murder, burglary, extortion are crimes against others. Other victim-less crimes like selling drugs wouldn’t be a violation. The reason there won’t be a power void is because NAP doesn’t just say you have rights. You also have the right to enforce those rights with guns. This is why there is no power void because each individual is empowered.

OK Genius but I disagree.

Hold on, I got one point to make! Minarchists seem like a friendly ally but beware. I’ve recently learned that they actually tend to lean into statism more than I like. I can’t blame them it took me awhile to go full no government. But the more I look at the government in the US and UK fuck up everything, the more I think to myself imagine what life could be without it.  Minarchists believe in a limited government. Just the basic level services. But the problem with it is that government can’t help but grow itself. The problem is that human beings are self interested and greedy. Government is the avenue of power on the road to corruption. It masks itself in goodwill, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We can’t possibly trust government, it’s like trusting your spend-happy spouse with an American Express Black Card. You know your wife can’t help herself in a Louis Vutton store. Government is worse, 21 trillion dollars in national debt.

My Point: Lets rally around Individual rights

If there is one thing that we (Libertarians, Anarchists, Ancaps) can argue for as united front, it is individual rights. We don’t always have to agree on everything. In fact, I’m a big proponent of debate. I thrive on argument. Granted, changing my mind is hard but if you present a persuasive fact-based argument, then I’ll agree. Anyway, if libertarians want to be taken seriously unlike the LP then we have to present some form of consistency. Our ideologies are very similar. We have to give up our stubbornness and actually try work toward a common end. The means of getting there is up for debate. But the common goal is to achieve a voluntary society.  If you don’t believe in the ends then you might not belong, which is OK. We’re supposed to tolerate everyone except Communists. Be focused on principles of libertarianism and there is no disagreement that can separate us.

Taxation is Theft. Thanks for reading.

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Risky Business: Health Insurance and Foreign Policy.

I have to break my hiatus. I cannot be silent on these issues any longer. Its certainly been an interesting few months since I stopped writing on this blog. But I did say I might publish an article or two if I feel really moved. There are two issues that I feel like are quite distressing. Health insurance and Foreign policy are totally different topics. So I will cover them both separately. For heath insurance, I want to discuss the failed Obamacare repeal and replace. Basically I have a way better idea of how to fix healthcare. For foreign policy, it seems that Trump has gone the military dictator route, and it might get us in big trouble.  Without further ado:

Health Insurance:

Everyone has heard about Obamacare. Its pretty much a failure. Even though it gave everyone insurance, the price was way too high. Premiums are going up. Health insurance companies are pulling out. Doctors and Hospitals are getting screwed out of jobs. The website is a mess. Trump tried to fulfill a campaign to replace it and repeal. Its failed too. Although I was not surprised when I saw the garbage they tried to replace it with. I’m young so I didn’t mind the shift of premiums to the older people since I’m young and healthy. However, the problem is the majority of older people are the ones who rely on health insurance the most. The bright spots were that Trump was going to roll back the mandatory clause and penalty. The other bright spot was the clause to keep your insurance under your parents until 26. Other than that it was Obamacare lite. Its almost like when you drink beer. If your in college you go for anything with lite in it because its cheap. Once you become an adult suddenly you can afford some Guinness.

All of this to say that I wasn’t surprised. Of course it didn’t pass. Its not just because the bill was awful either. Trump is inexperienced with Congress. Its all about lining up the votes and that’s something Trump had never done. I like the idea of repealing Obamacare because to me it violates our rights as citizens. The government doesn’t need to babysit us. We should have a choice to get healthcare or risk the consequences. Plus if you can afford to pay out of pocket then insurance is a waste of money. Its especially a waste if you are young and healthy.  So what would I do after I repeal Obamacare. Its pretty simple actually.

Once its repeal, I would write up some regulations, taking some of the good ones that exist already. I would add some new ones. It would change the government’s role in the healthcare business. If you scroll through my blog you would find that I’d do things a little differently with basic income replacing most welfare. This would enable me to privatize medicare and social security. I would continue taking government out of our personal business. The regulations would make so the government watches and monitors prices, monopolies and business practices like pre-existing conditions discrimination. Here are a just a few of the regulations I would enact:

  1. Any under the age of 26 would be able to keep their parents insurance
  2. Pre-existing conditions have to be accepted, no company can turn you away
  3. Insurance companies wouldn’t be allowed to lobby anymore
  4. No more insurance subsidies from the government
  5. Government healthcare website of all different providers (to streamline the sales)
  6. Providers would have to compete for customers based pricing and best coverage
  7. Minimum coverage requirements: like access to doctors, specialists and medications
  8. No mandatory penalties

These are just a few general regulatory things that I would enact. All together it would put the healthcare system into a free market one. The health insurance companies would be force to compete for customers.  This means the provider with the best coverage and price would attract the most customers. There are a lot of health insurances so I would allow some mergers but only for the good of the consumer. Free market will drive down premiums because of the competition element. This is what Obamacare is missing. It may include everyone but the cost is ridiculously high. Those people who can’t afford a basic plan of insurance in the free market would be put on medicare/ medicaid still. Which would be funded by the cut in both welfare costs and military budget cuts (Personnel wouldn’t be cut). Also with the enactment of basic income this will allow everyone an extra 24,000 a year to buy insurance with. If you have a job that is tax-free.

Healthcare insurance is a complicated business. Its risky to mess with it. Pulling back the government is the best way to fix the system. Government tends to make things more expensive. Free market is a better replacement for Obamacare than any alternatives.

Foreign Policy:

It interesting that Trump had almost a knee jerk reaction to the chemical attack in Syria. His bombing was definitely uncalled for but probably didn’t hurt him politically in America. However, the perception around the world is that Trump is a bit of a loose cannon. Trump should tread carefully especially when messing with Russia and North Korea. North Korea’s threat to launch missiles is a little nerve racking because in any scenario, a thermonuclear war doesn’t end well for anybody. Trump should just back off of North Korea because its not worth it. As for Syria, once again you have to be smart. The Syrians and Russians are allies. Therefore messing with Syria is always the best idea.

The good thing is that Russia isn’t as powerful as it was during the cold war. But it still wants to be assertive in its sphere of influence thanks to its President Putin. I think its best just to talk with Russia to keep them in check. Military conflict won’t end well. As for Syria itself, we really shouldn’t get too involved. We already saw what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. The only type of intervention we need to do is humanitarian. Make sure that innocent people are out of harms way. Accepting refugees is obviously hard to do because of the costs. Also security concerns, just look at Europe with all the terrorist attacks recently. Trump has a tricky road ahead that’s for sure.

I’ll be watching closely to see what happens next here….

I’m not sure when I will post again but probably not for awhile. Thanks for reading!


Illegal Search and Seizure: Finds Fourth Amendment cases.

In my last post which you can read here, I wrote about flag burning and how it is protected by the first amendment. I also mentioned that I love constitutional law and it’s because of my affinity I am back with another Supreme Court related post. The nitty-gritty of the constitution really excites me. Don’t ask me if that is good or bad because I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is that I think constitutional law is rarely considered in every day conversation unless you are a lawyer, judge, paralegal or politician. So I am hoping to make it a topic of interest. Today I want to present to you the fourth amendment. I find the fourth amendment to be an interesting one. It becomes especially interesting in the light of protests against police violence. Before I introduce the two cases which I believe every citizen needs to know about; I want to (hopefully) re-introduce the fourth amendment.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The fourth amendment sounds pretty straightforward. It’s wording is less vague than some of the other amendments. The amendment covers two main areas in criminal law, search and seizure. The problem with the amendment is that since 1789, the technology boom has dramatically changed the meaning of search and seizure as it pertains to the constitution. The video camera’s evolution from a huge solid brick on someones shoulder to something microscopic enough to fit in a phone that goes in your pocket. The constant stream of live video has forever altered the fourth amendment. I believe that like the first amendment, the fourth amendment protects some necessary rights even if those rights lead to objectionable or even offensive things.

With that being said, this post sets out to define two baseline Supreme Court cases that have been heard by the Supreme Court. I think the best way to understand Supreme Court cases and constitutional law is to actually look at and try to analyze the court cases. I believe it gives you a much deeper understanding of the law. I’m a firm believer that hearing two sides or more of an argument can be helpful in educating a person on any given subject. This post and others like it, are for me a test of my own knowledge. Like I said before I had only one class of constitutional law. I never took criminal justice or law classes. However, I do have a pretty good understanding because I have self-educated on this subject. Rare I know. So I’d like to present the two cases of Mapp vs. Ohio and Weeks vs. United States.

I want to start with Weeks vs. the United States which handed their decision in 1914. The Weeks case holds origin of the Exclusionary Rule which I will explain after this. In this case, the Court had to decide this basic question about the fourth amendment: What use can be made of evidence gained in an illegal search? This was one of many questions but it is the most important. The Court was seeking to use the fourth amendment as protection. This case was about a man who was arrested and brought to trial on evidence obtained illegally. You can read all the background here. The Court decided that Weeks who had his office and home searched without a warrant was unfairly tried. The Court overturned Weeks’ case because of the evidence was gained by illegal which means obtain without a warrant.

The most important opinion from the Weeks v. United States is one delivered by Justice Day who writes that “illegally gained evidence “fruit of the poison tree” and ordered that illegally gained evidence be excluded in the future from any federal court.” The court decided unanimously to overturned the case and establish an important constitutional law called the Exclusionary Rule. The Exclusionary rule as set by the Week’s case says that in federal court, any evidence obtained without a warrant is inadimissible in court. The Exclusionary Rule protects people from illegal searches. This is exactly what the court set out to do. The Supreme Court wasn’t done with the Exclusionary as some years later another case came along called Mapp vs. Ohio. The Mapp case would expand the rule even further.

The Mapp vs. Ohio came to the Supreme Court in 1961. It was a decision that cited Weeks vs. United States as a precedent. It also expanded the Exclusionary Rule to the state courts as well as the federal courts. You can read the background of the case right here. The court decided in a 5-4 vote that the evidence against Mapp was obtained illegally or without a warrant. It was a different set of cirumstances than Weeks however, it applied to the same constitutional fourth amendment rights. Justice Clark gave this conclusion near the end of his opinion. It will sum up the case in better terms than I could put it myself.

Having once recognized that the right to privacy embodied in the Fourth Amendment is enforceable against the States, and that the right to be secure against rude invasions of privacy by state officers is, therefore, constitutional in origin, we can no longer permit that right to remain an empty promise. Because it is enforceable in the same manner and to like effect as other basic rights secured by the Due Process Clause, we can no longer permit it to be revocable at the whim of any police officer who, in the name of law enforcement itself, chooses to suspend its enjoyment. Our decision, founded on reason and truth, gives to the individual no more than that which the Constitution guarantees him, to the police officer no less than that to which honest law enforcement is entitled, and, to the courts, that judicial integrity so necessary in the true administration of justice.

I believe that the fourth amendment is even important today. I know that these cases are now very old. The Weeks vs. United States case was decided over 100 years ago. The Mapp vs. Ohio case was decided nearly 55 years ago. But I think that Court need to make a general rule especially considering the ever expanding technology boom. The Exclusionary Rule will protect people from being tried on illegally obtain evidence. I think that alone ensures a fair trial. Not to mention all the other rights that guarentee a fair trial.

Of course, unless you have committed a crime there’s not much applicable to this amendment. However, I do find interesting with the NSA and the spying on everyday citizens. One has to think that some day there will be case filled against the federal government for spying and violating the fourth amendment. That isn’t say that it won’t happen  but I believe there probably are few cases making their way. It would be ground breaking if the court ruled on a decision that made the government’s spying on people without a warrant or reason illegal. I don’t know of any cases of people actually being tried for potential crimes based on the NSA spying. But I imagine one of the defenses would be the fourth amendment.

To wrap up this blog post, I just want to say that its important to know your constitutional rights because you never know when you might need them. This is also part of the reason why I write about them. I realize its not the most exhilrating subject. I hope you enjoyed this, there will definitely be more coming soon!

Thank You!

Safety over Rights or Rights over Safety?

I often think about the great debate that plagues Americans everywhere. It seems that all the struggles in America come down to the choice of safety and security or group and individual rights. This debate has brought out in detail by the recent mass shooting in Orlando over guns and radical muslim terrorists. This debate is nothing new. One of the problems of governemnt especially with a democratic government is that it allows free choice. Free choice in itself can be good and bad. You can choose to make good choices that help you or others. You can also choose to kill people. Of course, for every bad choice or legally wrong choice there is consequences. Our democratic government has fallen into the trap of limiting bad choices of its citizens. This is a natural process throughout our history as we advance through time. The problem with choosing security over rights is quite simply that it takes away the rights of the people. The people as the constitution states, run the government. It can be noted that dictatorships actually demonstrate a full view of an security state. The power of the government is vested in one person. That one person is the government and makes all the decisions. That dictator controls all the rights of the people. Therefore in theory, the safety of the people is guranteed because adjustments by the dictator can be made. However, many dictators are corrupted and use their power to undermine the safety of the people. Ultimately it undermines their rights. In a democratic government the debate over safety or rights is an issue because we follow a constutition which lays out the specific power limitations of government.

The constitution is a very important document that is not fully understood by many Americans. I want to point that the constitution doesn’t grant the government power to do whatever it wants. The constitution is not supposed to be taken advantage of or used to increase personal power or wealth. The constitution is supposed to make sure that our government does its job. The job description of the government is written in the constitution.  Checks and balances and Judical Review both are instruments to help keep and uphold the constitution. If people reconigze the constitution as a statue of limitations then it totally changes how you see our government. Remember the people run the government. Not government run people.

The constitution also lays out our rights as people that are basic to everybody who is an American citizen. The bill of rights is the most important addition to the constitution because it gives us those freedoms that we enjoy. Many people, politicans and groups argue over the 2nd Amendment. This is the right to bear arms. If you don’t know there are two ways to interpret the constitution, they are strict and loose interpretations. In each interpretation, the right to bear arms means the right to own a gun regardless of the purpose. The amendment actually stipulates two different laws. The first is that of a well regulated militia for the security of a free state. In a strict intepretation this would be out of date since we no longer have militias. In a loose intepretation this would mean that if necessary then a militia could be formed. The second part of the law applies to current events.

The second part states that its “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall be not infringed”. This statement in both interpretations means the right to own a gun is not to be taken away under any circumstances. The narrative after the most recent shooting is that assault weapons should be banned. Let’s set aside the fact that bans have never worked. (Tell me about bans: Drugs, Alcohol, Cigarettes under 18….how are those working out? If you ever drank under 21 or smoked a cig under 18 or smoke pot in a state wheres it illegal then you probably know that bans don’t work right?)  The problem with banning assault weapons under the second amendment is that there is no legal grounds to do so. A better solution that has no legal ramifications constitutionally is more extensive background checks and psychological evalutions at 1 year interevals. In this case, there is actually a way to choose safety AND rights. Unfortunately, the government would prefer safety because it increases their power. If they can take away your assault rifle then that’s techincally voiding the second amendment and legalizing all guns for bans. The logical solution is that getting a gun should be very hard through extensive background and psychological evalutions. I would propose a similar regulation to that of motor vechicles. You need to register your car every two years, get an inspectation (In NY STATE) every year, and update your plates. Its not that cheap to own a car with all the expenses like insurance and all that I just mentioned. So why can’t we do this with guns?

I think that its clear that our rights our being traded for security. I want to give one more example. The best example of government picking security over rights is after 9/11. Its obvious why the US government took the steps that it did to protect us. What isn’t so obvious is that they violated our rights while doing so. The main culprit is the Patriot Act. The Act gave legal power to government agencies such as the FBI, CIA, NRA and others to spy and keep track of all citizens. The means by which this was carried out violated many of the constitutional bill of rights. It far exceeded the power that the government should have had. The 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 9th amendments have been violated by the Patriot Act. This was done all in the name of security. You may ask then, how do we let this slip by us? The answer lies in who we voted in office. The congress has become very stagnant with the same people in office for many years. This allows for complacency and inactitivity.  One of the problems that occur in the safety vs. rights debate is that politicans are often on both sides. Politicans tend to claim that will defend our rights. In practice, they usually end up either creating new rights for their own advantage or taking away rights for some to help others. Politicans are plagued with self interest and greed. This is human nature. It seems that being a poltiican only makes these two vices worse.

Since 9/11, we have certainly traded a lot of rights for what seems like the same standard of security. I feel like trading rights for security has never worked. Many political observers have often noted this fact. I look around the world with new terrorist attacks every week, I can’t see how we are any safer. I also want to add another facet to the gun debate that also involves rights. The right to keep arms is usually in your house. However, the right to bear arms would suggest that an open carry policy is the constitutional standard. One of the common dominators of terrorist and mass shooting attacks is gun free zones. These safe zones are not so safe and are usually: schools, colleges, clubs, shopping malls, government buildings, convention centers, stadiums. Many people are against an open carry policy, usually offering the argument that America into Somali, a war zone. However, let me submit to you an example of open carry policy in a US state, a state that has had no mass shootings in recent memory since 1983. That is 33 years with no mass shootings. This state if you don’t know already was admitted to the union as the 49th state. It was purchased in Sewards Folly which should be a dead giveway!  Its in the arctic circle. Its Alaska! Yes, Alaska has an semi-restricted open or conceal handgun policy with similar restrictions on other guns. So basically, you don’t need a permit to carry or conceal a handgun. For other guns and assault weapons you may need a permit or not depends on where. So how can this be?

Well, my friends this is how gun control works. I want to use analogy to wrap up my post. Let’s say that Country A and Country B are neighbors. Country A has a nuclear weapon. Country B does not have a nuclear weapon. If Country A decides to nuke Country B there isn’t much that B can do about it. If both Country A and B have nuclear weapons (Same amount) then if Country A threatens to nuke B. The result will be one of two: Country B threatens to nuke or Country B is nuked and retalites. In a situation where both parties have equal strength of force it will become a zero sum game.  If country B does get nuked then retalites against A then they both loose. However, if they both decide against launching their nukes then they both win. This same logic can be applied to guns. This is usually called deterence. It can be more powerful than any passable law.

I know that personallly I would rather have my rights over safety because rights give you safety. The government can’t protect each individual its just not practical or possible. Allow me to suggest that we start advocating for rights over safety so we can guard the constitution, the law of the land.

Thanks for reading!

Jeb Bush, The GOP neighborhood villain.

Jeb Bush has a name that invokes the remembrance of two former presidents. Jeb’s father is George H.W Bush who was elected in 1989 after Ronald Reagan finished up his second term. Jeb’s brother is George W. Bush who was elected in the controversial 2000 election that featured a miss count in Florida. Jeb was the governor of Florida for 8 years being elected in 1999. The Bush family was wealthy because of oil coming out of the north-west of Texas. Jeb is now running for president in 2016. He might have one of the hardest roads to travel on the way to being elected. The legacy left behind by his father and more importantly his brother George W. Bush is something that may haunt him for all his political life.

George H.W Bush served under many presidents during the 1960s and 1970s and in the 1980s under Reagan. He was elected to president finally in 1989. In 1990, trouble arose in Iraq with Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait. The ensuing invasion was quick and the situation resolved. Bush also tried to help with domestic issues like education and the economy but a slight slump gave him no success.  Bush Sr. then lost in 1993 to President Bill Clinton. After the Clinton’s two terms it was then George W. Bush’s term.  Bush Jr. was elected in 2000. His presidency already marred by a voting miss count was then derailed completely by 9/11. The chain of events that followed have changed America forever. First, an invasion of Afghanistan to root out the Taliban in control of that country. Second, an invasion of Iraq because the weapons of mass destruction that were never found. Both of these wars turned into a hunt for Osama Bin Laden. On the home front, Bush passed many security measures for airports and citizens alike. The patriot act was one of the controversial acts that still brings controversy over personal freedoms and rights.

The Bush Jr. presidency ended with the biggest economic recession since the Great Depression. All of this recent history makes up the legacy of the Bush family. Jeb Bush has this history following him everywhere. I believe that his critics are not completely fair to him. His name might be Bush but that does not always mean he wants to be exactly like his father or brother. Jeb is a known conservative in political leaning. Unlike his front-runner opponent, Mr. Trump, Jeb has been in politics and always a staunch republican. One recent article headlines “Donald Trump Dominates as Jeb Bush implodes.” The headline could not be more accurate. I want to explore how Jeb Bush might overcome his legacy associated with his name. Jeb has the same problem as democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as I point out here, but Jeb has a problem much worse. So in the next few paragraphs I will take one or two events from past and apply them to now.

Jeb Bush is so often criticized because of family name and because of his politics. One of the areas that Jeb has struggled with is foreign policy. All you have to do is google some news articles about this. Most of the recent ones from August talk about his foreign policy speech. The particularly interesting ones are here, here and here. The articles show that Jeb used a revisionist history. They all agree that Jeb has a misguided and wrong of view of what really happened. He blames Clinton and Obama for the mistakes made in reality by his brother. In order for Bush to overcome his family legacy he needs to change his views on past foreign policy. I believe that Jeb needs to just admit that Obama and Clinton made mistakes and did the best they could. He has no need to make them the villains. Jeb Bush has the appeal to most GOP voters which will could be a winning percentage for any GOP endorsed candidate.  After stepping back from his attack on the current administration, then he should start slowly talking about how he plans to help the situation with both ISIS and the wars. I would imagine a typical republican foreign policy would be a strong naval presence in the middle east. This combined with a resolution to UN for a coalition would probably be widely accepted. Jeb would be smart to ask for the help of other countries because acting unilaterally is a mistake Bush Jr. made.

Jeb should learn from the mistakes that his family made in the past. The front runner Donald Trump has bashed Jeb for many reasons, especially his bi-lingual ability. Jeb needs to come back at Trump. Trump has so much bad history that I am surprised Jeb hasn’t come out more viciously. Jeb has an advantage over Trump in respect to hispanic voters because of his connection to them. Trump is the king of insults for calling out Jeb for speaking Spanish is just dumb along with all his other racist comments on Mexico.  The fact is that America is going be more hispanic than white in just 10 to 20 years. The President who is elected in 2016 will surely see that hispanics will the the majority of the vote. No wall is going to stop border hoppers. I believe that Jeb needs to use bi-lingual and pro-hispanic background to rally voters. Many hispanics are hardworking and would more than likely vote for him if he could just stand up to Trump.

With Trump’s massive media storm bashing Jeb and his family legacy, Jeb is down in the polls. I believe that he is focused on the democrats when really his true foe is Trump. I don’t think that Jeb will win the republican primary. Unfortunately, he is in too deep with the speeches and comments made thus far. Jeb Bush has become the GOP villain because of his own doing it seems. However, his critics will always make his family legacy an issue. Jeb should really try to distance himself. I think possible to do without being disrespectful. The facts will always be true. Mistakes happen. The voters will have to decide if Jeb Bush is different his past presidential family line or if Jeb Bush will just follow in the footsteps.

Thanks for reading! September 11th/ 14 year anniversary article coming soon. Continue reading

King of the Hill- The scandalous Hillary Clinton

The email scandal, Benghazi, cheating husband, and questionable morals. All these are synonymous with Hillary Clinton. Clinton is best known because of her husband Bill Clinton who was president from 1993 to 1999. Bill also served as Arkansas’ governor before becoming president. Hillary Clinton adopted to public life during her roles as first lady then later as a senator of New York and most recently secretary of state. Now she wants to be president.  According her website, here, in her bio it says she was born in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois into a middle class family. She become a lawyer going to Wellesley college and eventually graduating from Yale Law. She has this great name recognition and popularity (Not the good kind) that makes her a legitimate candidate for president.

In this post I want to discuss her platform similar to my Rand Paul post and Bernie Sanders post. I want to avoid bashing her for her many scandals that seem to have the media’s attention.  I believe that ultimately her campaign isn’t helped by so many devious actions. I think her worst problem is that she avoids talking about it or admitting wrong doing. Its been proven by so many famous people who admitted it and served time in punishment can help retain respectability. Just look at Tiger Woods, Michael Vick and even Bill Clinton. Granted, that stigma will always be there, for example, Mike Vick recently was cause of a pet shelter pulling out of an event at Heinz field because of his dogfighting charges. (Here’s the story) But my point is here all of Hillary’s so-called baggage is just one aspect of her whole candidacy. I do believe that we need a president who can be honest and candid about what is happening. Transparency is so important in government.

Hillary Clinton is currently leading  Bernie Sanders according to many polls. However, Bernie is surging. Her platform is also on her website. She lays out four main headings under the title of “Four Fights”. The heading I want to look at first is “Building an economy for tomorrow” and it encompasses a lot of different issues in the economy.  When you first scroll down you see quote that she recently said. Then you see a chart, which shows the years on the horizontal from 1950 to 2010. On the vertical, it shows the cumulative percent change since 1948. See the featured image with the red arrows. The chart is supposedly if you can’t read the small writing, it’s from April 26th, 2012 from the Economic Policy Institute. (Link) It interesting to look at chart despite the fact it’s nearly 4 years out of date. If anything I am sure that the gap has not decreased but got a little bit wider. Quite simply, the chart shows that as wages increase so does productivity. Besides the fact it is out of date, the only problem I have is that increasing wages does not always mean more productivity. Also you have to consider what the business is doing and how an increased wage affects their revenue.

I added the red arrows. They point to the date the chart was supposedly made . Also the source its from.

I added the red arrows. They point to the date the chart was supposedly made . Also the source its from.

The chart brings me to the always controversial minimum wage fight. Her website does not go into specifics like Bernie Sanders and his 15 dollars an hour.  However, she argues in four point that wages should be higher with tax relief and protection for unions. The typical democratic platform with nothing out of ordinary. I could make the same argument I did with Bernie Sanders. However, I want to focus another part that comes as you scroll down the page. The college debt which she accurate claims is around 1.1 trillion dollars is something very closely related to me. As a recent college graduate I feel that college costs are out of control. In this part of the page she combines college costs, healthcare, child care and retirement. The basis being that she wants to cut costs in both healthcare and college costs. While also improving child care and making sure retirement is possible. No specifics on how she plans to do any of this.

However, coming back to college costs, Hillary did announce a plan earlier this year.  Her plan which is called the New College Compact which involves 350 billion dollars over 10 years by supposedly cutting tax deductions. This plan sounds great at first. it seems a little scary because the tax deductions that might get cut could be critical. I just hope if she’s elected that she does not screw over the middle class with tax increases. The only problem with cutting college costs is that usually that responsibility falls on the taxpayers instead of the student. Any candidate who proposes a plan should definitely consider that putting too much tax weight on taxpayers could have huge consequences. So a plan affording college should ideally come from somewhere else in the massive federal budget. The rest of the page on the economy is small businesses and corporations. I would definitely recommend reading for yourself.

Another one of four fights is called revitalizing our democracy. In this fight, Clinton takes a really great stance on issues of bipartisanship, voting rights and money in politics. All of these issues are big time problems within American politics. The fact that she is able recognize this is a good sign. She endorses working with conservatives to make sure things get done. One thing that I really like is that she wants to repair the voting rights act. The supreme court recently took a nice chunk of the legislation out. This was a huge to minority voters especially in the southern states. I strong believe that all races, origins, creeds and sexual orientations should be able to vote freely without ID or any sort of harassment. It’s absurd to call America a democracy when some people have restricted voting rights. For those who fell asleep in history class here is a brief breakdown how the voting rights act got passed.

Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the greatest civil rights leaders known in the US. He was able to fight for the rights of minorities everywhere. He changed the social and politic landscape alike. Due to peaceful activism and lobbying, he was able to gain the ear of then President Lyndon B. Johnson during the mid 1960s.  One of LBJ’s missions as president was to pass a sweeping domestic legislation package known as the Great Society. LBJ was a new dealer of his time with intentions similar to that Franklin D. Roosevelt during the depression and oncoming world war. LBJ’s Great Society include many pieces of legislation including the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act, Public Housing Act, and the voting rights act. This landmark legislation was LBJ life’s work. He came up through the senate and house of representatives as minority and majority leader. He learned the secrets of passing laws in congress and was able to use that knowledge as President. When Martin Luther King Jr. and his posse met with LBJ they were able to work out details of the voting rights act. The act gave all black men and women the right to vote. The southern states since after civil war had made a set of laws called Jim Crow laws. These discriminated against minorities especially blacks. The voting rights act superseded the state law of Jim Crow. This act was lobbied for by Martin Luther King Jr and considered of LBJ’s accomplishments as President.

My point is that I love that Hillary wants to repair the voting rights act. She may not act honest and open about her own devious actions but at least she has decency to make America a real democracy. Everyone who is 18 and registered to vote should be able to do so. I can’t stress the importance of voting. Its your civic duty and the least you can do. The advent of social media and internet has elections easier than ever to learn about the candidates. Please vote. Another thing relating to voting and elections is the spending involved. It’s literally crazy expensive to run for president as legitimate candidate. A candidate needs at least minimum a billion dollars whether that’s through fundraising or their own money. That is ridiculous if you ask me.

Hillary advocates for campaign finance reform and a cut in corruption. I strongly agree. I would take this a step further and make all political positions volunteer. Let’s be honest, how can the average joe compete with billionaires that have resources beyond the wildest imagination. If each position of President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Treasurer, House of Representative, and senate are all volunteer along with fundraising only not personal money. I would love to see how many billionaires win. Not many. Plus without the salary, benefits and perks the government would run much more cost effectively. The truly best candidates would win. The taxpayers already pay for everything so whatever expenses that are incurred can be picked up. it will be much less than it is now.

Hillary Clinton’s website is certainly interesting. I would definitely recommend reading all of the four fights. Whether you are republican, democrat or independent.  Surprisingly, Hillary offers some good insight about what America needs. Her vagueness is what really makes me worry. The real question is what she will do once she has the country’s purse strings in her hand. Our national debt is ever-increasing. Any candidate has to be careful about spending. Overall I would say that her website is pretty much standard for most politicians. If Hillary is elected, she will be the first ever woman president.

Thank you for reading! Next article coming in a few days as my birthday is on Labor Day.