Friday, October 15, 2010

Islamophobia: the efficacy of hate

who calls
an entire
religion evil...
is sick.

& Islam)
have each
inspired a
variety of
and wackos
who have
chosen to commit unfathomable atrocities.

But the idiotic and sociopathic behaviors
of individuals who claim one religion or
another... in no way provides reason to
indict all Muslims, Christians, and Jews
who share the same God and
spiritual foundations.

Abrahamic tradition holds that the greatest
force is love. The faith, hope, and courage
of these faithful has moved mountains
and ended wars.

Devout Christian, Muslim, and Jewish
people understand and agree that others
should treated with the same compassion
and kindness which all of us would hope
to receive.

Fortunately, the sane among us can keep
these things in perspective while
ignorant and hateful fear-mongers
recklessly spew violence and vitriol.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day, Fall, Celebrations, & Epiphanies...


"... Happy Labor Day. Time for another uprising. Nonviolent civil society, unified across racial, ethnic, class and religious lines, has all the power if they ever choose to use it."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More Administrators hired than faculty!

August 17, 2010, 03:10 PM ET

Growth in Administrators
Outstrips Growth in Faculty Members

A report issued today says that the number of administrators for every 100 college students increased by 39 percent from 1993 to 2007, while the number of professors and researchers rose by 18 percent during that period. The study of 198 public and private universities was released by the nonprofit Goldwater Insitute, and led by Jay P. Greene, a senior fellow at the institute who is also head of the department of education reform at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Officials at one university system, the University of Texas, objected to the study's methodology. They told The Dallas Morning News that the study included counselors, deans, and accountants in the administrative ranks, which artificially inflated those numbers. Mr. Greene said the point was to account for staff not directly involved in instruction or research. His report blames this "bloat" for the increase in college costs.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Is Government the solution or the problem?

Effective leaders in various governments have created productive jobs and steered economies from ruin to prosperity.  Freely established nations of good people have banded together to secure the peace, protect their freedom, and realize justice according to a foundation in the rule of law.

Recessions may come and go, but these are merely fluctuations in economic conditions which transcend governments, taxes, and the vicissitudes of nature. Government spending, when creatively administered, demonstrably raised all ships and move us from the great depression into a position of strength and security as the richest and most powerful nation in modern history.

Obama is creating great uncertainty by allowing the Bush tax's to continue.  His surrender to corporate insiders on health care has been a disaster, although what small steps forward which have been made are helpful. The decision by congress to consider heath insurance premiums as taxable income is insane. 
The astronomical debts run up by the Bush and Cheney administration have crippled this nation for the next half century.  If our current president would reject endless wars and occupations as a platform, we might be able to move forward. Businesses in American will hire when our government stops exporting jobs overseas in blatant surrender to transnational economic cartels who have bought this this nation. 

Personal incomes in America have been in decline for the past ten years.  Until we begin to invest in America, incomes will continue this downward spiral.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bush's Third Term....

In his campaign stump speech, Obama said that he wanted to
restore the moral high ground he thought was lost under Bush:
"We are going to lead by example, by maintaining the highest
standards of civil liberties and human rights."
He explained ways this would be accomplished.
"Close down Guantanamo, restore habeas corpus (the right
to see the evidence against you), say no to renditions,
no to wireless wiretapping."  He also declared that single
payer was the only solution to our health care crisis. 
How did he do?
Obama has not closed Guantanamo -- and some Guantanamo
prisoners have reported harsher treatment under Obama. 
The Obama administration has argued against extending habeas
corpus to some prisoners, and it has continued rendition
and warrantless wiretapping. In fact, Obama went further:
secret sentences. Osama bin Laden's cook Ibrahim al-Qosi
was convicted, and his sentence will not be revealed until it's
been completed.

Obama criticized Bush for claiming that the U.S. president |
has the authority to detain U.S. citizens without charges.
Osama’s administration goes further and says that, without
charges or evidence, the president has the authority to kill
U.S. citizens and even maintains a list of citizens targeted for
assassination. Obama complained about the "revelation of
secret programs" under Bush; yet, as a Washington Post
headline said this summer, "U.S. 'secret war' expands globally."

The Bush administration was criticized for making backroom
deals where the participants weren't revealed. Obama promised
his administration would be transparent and that, for instance,
he would make every aspect of the health care reform debate
open to public view, even broadcasting all negotiations on C-Span.

In practice, Obama held back names of health industry
representatives meeting behind closed doors in the
White House until a lawsuit was filed and didn't
allow transparent health care negotiations or for
them to be broadcast. He has, however, been more
open than any other administration, according to the
Pulitzer-winning PolitiFact, and posts most visitors
online, with exceptions for "sensitive meetings."
Obama criticized Bush for being in bed with oil interests.
But Bush's people were left in place in the Minerals
Management Service, which approved without
inspection at the behest of oil interests the drilling
permit that led to the Gulf\of Mexico spill. Rolling
Stone reported that staffers throughout the Interior
Department refer to working there now as "Bush's
third term."

There are many more similarities, such as in the use of
military tribunals instead of traditional courts,
Middle Eastern strategy and lack of protection
for whistle-blowers.  And the Cheney-Bush policy
of endless war to enforce corporate occupations...
has only continued and expanded.

All that said, there are examples where Obama has gone against Bush policies: abortion, children's health insurance, tax cuts for the rich and the release of torture memos.

The verdict
So would a person have to be "crazy" to compare
George W. Bush's presidential policies with those
of Barack Obama's?

No. Bush and Obama have behaved similarly on
major issues, including energy policy, government
transparency, terrorism, civil liberties, health care,
war & peace.  Obama, like Bush and Cheney,
favor judicial homicide, even when compelling
evidence exists that such laws result in the deaths
of innocents and undermine the moral authority
of the law.

We deserve better.  All we can hope for now,
is that some more progressive candidate may emerge
so that Bush does not get a Fourth Term.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


"In visiting Hiroshima, Obama wouldn't question the service and sacrifice of American veterans. The purpose wouldn't be to make America or Americans feel guilty about the past. Rather, he could begin putting into action his talk of a world free of nuclear weapons. Hiroshima is a stark reminder of the incomparable destruction wrought by nuclear weapons. 

...Obama is ideally suited to alter the conversation on Hiroshima. He has changed America by reintroducing hope into the political and social conversation during a time of financial crisis and war. 
...By paying his respects to those who died in Hiroshima, Obama can show both Japan and the rest of the world that Americans take this history seriously, that we say in one voice "never again."
The U.S. president can also help inaugurate a new era in relations between Washington and Tokyo. The new Japanese Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, stood at the United Nations last month and invited leaders to understand the need for a world free of nuclear weapons from the perspective of those who were in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Hatoyama did so not to blame Americans for this history, but rather to articulate Japan's responsibility as the only country to be devastated by such bombs: Others must never know such suffering. The new Japanese prime minister is also promising a forthright examination of Japan's role in World War II. It's time for President Obama to make this a joint endeavor.
As the president wrestles with the intricacies of Afghanistan's future, recognizing America's past history should be fairly straightforward by comparison. His visit would give him and the United States credibility to move forward in setting the tone for discussions of nuclear nonproliferation, weapons reduction, and, ultimately, their abolition. We can only focus on this future if we deal honestly with the past.
Put differently, if Mr. Obama cannot visit Hiroshima, why would the leader of any other country believe he or any American could turn words about a non-nuclear world into action?
John Feffer

On the "decline" of Europe...

Europe is moving forward: securing peace, embracing justice,
and enhancing freedom.  Many all over the world embrace these
articles of faith and have the courage to walk the talk.

Those who indulge in fear-mongering, war, aggression, occupation,
exploitation, and exclusion will not prevail.  Good people are building
bridges to a more abundant future. The cynics and those who do little
but whine and complain will be displaced and transcended by people
of vision with serenity in their hearts. Not to worry."

For the Tea Party Pretenders...

Tea Party pretenders claim government is always bad...

But reality intervenes:

Effective leaders in various governments have created productive jobs
and steered economies from ruin to prosperity.  Freely established
nations of good people have banded together to secure the peace,
protect their freedom, and realize justice according to a foundation 

in the rule of law and the good people among them.

Recessions may come and go, but these are merely fluctuations in
economic conditions which transcend governments, taxes, and the 

vicissitudes of nature. Government spending, when creatively 
administered, demonstrably has raised all ships.

 In America, government job creation moved us from the great depression
into a position of strength and security as the richest and most
powerful nation in modern history. 

Obama is creating great uncertainty by allowing the Bush taxs cuts to
continue.  His surrender to corporate insiders on health care has been a 

disaster, although what small steps forward which have been made are
helpful. The decision by congress to consider heath insurance premiums
as taxable income is insane.  The astronomical debts run up by the Bush and
Cheney administration have crippled this nation for the next half century. 

If our current president would reject endless wars and occupations

as a platform, we might be able to move forward. Businesses in American will
hire when our government stops exporting jobs overseas in blatant surrender to
transnational economic cartels who have bought (and stolen) this this nation. 

Personal incomes in America have been in decline for the past ten years.  
Until we begin to invest in America, incomes will continue this downward spiral.

We can do better.  And the government (which is us) can be part of the solution.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dangerous Disinformation

Disinformation is Dangerous

The American people will not allow
King George, Dick Cheney, or Rush Limbaugh
to destroy this nation by making neo-colonialism
national policy.

Allowing transnational economic cartels to
dictate terms for healthcare and misuse our military
for corporate ambitions overseas... clearly destroyed
our economy during the Cheney fiasco and does not
serve us well today. The residual effects of Cheney's
betrayal and collaboration with the oil industry now |
soils our shores, contaminates our resources, and
diminishes our future. No more.

Patriotic Americans will take back this nation.
Corporate ambitions for occupation and exploitation
have cost millions of lives and trillions of dollars.
These crippling blows are not partisan issues.

Taking back this nation is a matter of survival.
Those who depend on infortainment for their "news"
will be in for a surprise during this election cycle.

They were surprised when a black man won the
presidency. And they will be more surprised when
a liberal majority in America (from both sides of the
aisle and beyond) take back this nation from the
Fortune 500 and install principled leadership to
secure prosperity and progress based on
peace instead of war, construction instead of destruction,
and courage instead of fear.

in solidarity and with best regards, Tim

Post Script:  The "pajama party" is not a "news" service.
They deliver disinformation. Pure and simple.
Their product might more accurately
be called info-tainment.
Their various contributors
aim at the lowest common
denominators of ignorance
and fear. We must depend on proactive
journalists to debunk their junk.

Timothy Flanagan,
editor at The Wordsmith Collection

Facts still matter.
Take a look at this offering from

"The top 50 conservative websites are a fascinating compilation that
seems to be dominated by disinformation. That is, false information
promoted in order to influence public opinion or the government.
They demonstrate a high degree of alarmism coupled with a serious
lack of journalistic integrity, which can be a noxious mix that helps
ignorance grow."
"Together we make a difference."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Nothin' but the truth...

"I know how easy it is for one to stay well within moral, ethical, and legal bounds through the skillful use of words - and to thereby spin, sidestep, circumvent, or bend a truth completely out of shape. To that extent, we are all liars on numerous occasions."

"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
~George Orwell"  

"By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth."

"The truth isn't always beauty, 

but the hunger for it is."
~Nadine Gordimer

"Wisdom is found only in truth."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"A thing is not necessarily
true because a man dies for it."
~ Oscar Wilde

only reveals itself
when one gives up all
preconceived ideas."

“The truth is rarely pure
  and never simple.”
  ~ Oscar Wilde

"Nothing is easier
 than self-deceit.
 For what each man wishes,
 that he also
 believes to be true."

"Believe those who are seeking
the truth; doubt those who find it."
~Andre Gide

"The ultimate test
of what a truth means
is the conduct it
dictates or inspires."
~ William James

"Truth resides in every human heart,
and one has to search for it there,
and to be guided
by truth as one sees it.
But no one has a right
to coerce others to act according
to his own view of truth. 
~Edmund Burke

"Ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you mad."
~Aldous Huxley

"It's no wonder that truth
is stranger than fiction,
Fiction has to make sense."

~Mark Twain

"I'm for truth,
no matter who tells it.
I'm for justice,
no matter who
it's for
or against."
~Malcolm X 

is mighty and will prevail.
There is nothing the matter with
this, except that it ain't so."

~Mark Twain

"What people believe
prevails over the truth."


"I believe that
unarmed truth and
unconditional love
will have the final
word in reality."
 ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

"All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie."

"I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else's. But behind all of them there is only one truth and that is that there's no truth."

"People like to say that the conflict is between good and evil. The real conflict is between truth and lies."

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."

"Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters."

"There are only two things. Truth and lies. Truth is indivisible, hence it cannot recognize itself; anyone who wants to recognize it has to be a lie."

"The truth is of course is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time."

"Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake."

"I talk about the gods, I am an atheist. But I am an artist too, and therefore a liar. Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth."

"Only on paper has humanity yet achieved glory, beauty, truth, knowledge, virtue, and abiding love."

~George Bernard Shaw


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Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Arizona Law

The law is unconstitutional.
It will not stand up to judicial review.
The law is most vulnerable to the argument
that it essentially criminalizes "walking
while Hispanic."

1. Under the Constitution,
    federal law is the supreme law of the land
    and states may not pass laws that seek to
    overshadow federal statutes.

2. The law violates the Fourth Amendment
     which protects people from unlawful search
     and seizure.
3. The 14th Amendment is compromised in this "law."
    The amendment clearly states that any person in the
    jurisdiction of a state, not just citizens, should be
    protected equally by the laws.

4. Legislators and experts on the law agree it is unconsitutional.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina,
Karl Manheim of Loyola Law School in Los Angeles,
and Erwin Chemerinsky of UC Irvine Law
agree the law is “unconstitutional.”

5.  Arizona's New Immigration Law: Unconstitutional, Bad Policy

     Opinion by Southern Poverty Law Center

Friday, April 23, 2010

Question Authority?

"Unthinking respect
  for authority
  is the greatest
  enemy of truth.

    Albert Einstein

"No oppression is
  so heavy or lasting
  as that which is inflicted
  by the perversion and
  exorbitance of legal authority."
    ~ Joseph Addison ~

"We too often bind ourselves by authorities
  rather than by the truth."
    - Lucretia Coffin Mott

~Benjamin Franklin was often quoted as saying

"It is the first
  of every
  citizen to

Those who do not rightly question
authority may surrender to murder,
chaos, or fascism.

...Lest we forget.

If more people asked questions,
we might save millions of lives and
trillions of dollars needlessly squandered.

But too many voluntarily surrender to
compromising their values in silence.

  strengthens authority
  so much as silence."
    ~ Leonardo da Vinci

"The disappearance
  of a sense of
  is the most far-reaching
  consequence of
  submission to authority."
            Stanley Milgram

“The only thing
  necessary for
  the triumph of
  evil is for good men
  to do nothing” 
    Edmund Burke

"The ultimate authority must always
  rest with the individual's own
  reason and critical analysis."

    Dalai Lama
"A central lesson of science
  is that to understand complex
  issues (or even simple ones),
  we must try to free our minds
  of dogma and to guarantee the
  freedom to publish, to contradict,
  and to experiment.
  ...Arguments from authority
are unacceptable."
       Carl Sagan

"But man, proud man,
  Drest in a little brief authority,
  Most ignorant of
  what he’s most assur’d,
  His glassy essence,
  like an angry ape,
  Plays such fantastic tricks
  before high heaven,
  As make the angels weep."
    Measure for Measure.
    Act II. Sc. 2. L. 117.

"It is dangerous
  to be right in matters
  on which the
  established authorities
  are wrong."

"No moral system can rest solely on authority."
    A J Ayer

"The vices of authority
  are chiefly four:
  delays, corruption,
  roughness, and facility."
    -Bacon, Francis,
    Viscount St Albans
     Essays, no.11,
     'Of Great Place'.

"Every great advance in natural knowledge
    has involved the absolute rejection of authority."
       Thomas Huxley

"Authority in science exists to be questioned,
  since heresy is the spring from which new ideas flow."
     — John C. Polanyi

"A position of authority is neither

  necessary nor sufficient
  for the exercise of leadership."
    Eric Werkowitz

"The faith that stands
on authority is not faith.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Unthinking respect for authority
  is the greatest enemy of truth.”
    Albert Einstein

"No statement should
  be believed because it
  is made by an authority.”
    Robert A. Heinlein

“Anyone who conducts
  an argument by
  appealing to authority
  is not using his intelligence”
    Leonardo da Vinci

“All authority belongs to the people”
    Thomas Jefferson

"I was bold in the
  pursuit of knowledge,
  never fearing to follow
  truth and reason
  to whatever results they led,
  and bearding every authority
  which stood in their way."

    Thomas Jefferson

"Men in authority will always think that
  criticism of their policies is dangerous.
  They will always equate their policies
  with patriotism, and find criticism subversive."
    Henry Steele Commager

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”
    Howard Zinn

|"What you need is sustained outrage...
  there's far too much unthinking respect
  given to authority." 
    Molly Ivins

"The examples of vice at home corrupt
  us more quickly and easily than others,
  since they steal into our minds under
  the highest authority.
    Decimus (Junius Juvenalis)
Juvenal c.55-c.130
    Roman Satirical Poet

"An argument from authority
  is but a weak kind
  of proof,--it being but a
  topical probation, and
  an inartificial argument
 depending on
  naked asseveration."

    - Sir Thomas Browne

"Science is not perfect. It can be misused.
  It is only a tool. But it is by far the best tool we
  have, self-correcting, ongoing, applicable to everything.
  It has two rules. First: there are no sacred truths; all
  assumptions must be critically examined; arguments
  from authority are worthless. Second: whatever is
  inconsistent with the facts must be discarded or revised.
  ... The obvious is sometimes false; the unexpected is
  sometimes true.

     — Carl Sagan

"The reason why the simpler sort are moved
  by authority is the consciousness
  of their own ignorance."
    - Richard Hooker

"Authority has always
  attracted the lowest
  elements in the human race.
  All through history
  mankind has been
  bullied by scum.
  Those who lord it over
  their fellows and toss
  commands in every
  direction and would
  boss the grass in the
  meadow about which
  way to bend in the wind
  are the most depraved kind of prostitutes.
  They will submit to any indignity, perform
  any vile act, do anything to achieve power.
  The worst off-sloughings of the planet are
  the ingredients of sovereignty. Every
  government is a parliament of whores.
  The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us."

    P. J. O'Rourke

"If you attack the establishment
  long enough and hard enough,
  they will make you a member of it."
    Art Buchwald

"The public school system:
  Usually a twelve-year
  sentence of mind control.
  Crushing creativity,
  smashing individualism,
  encouraging collectivism and compromise,
destroying the exercise of intellectual inquiry, twisting
  it instead into meek subservience to authority."
    Walter Karp
"Respect authority while questioning it.
    Randy Pausch

"The wisest have the most authority."

"Perhaps nothing in our society
  is more needed for those in
  positions of authority
  than accountability."
    Larry Burkett

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Where does it say the government pays for health care?

Some wonder why "the government"
should "pay"  to provide for the
health of working people.

Such an expenditure is part and
parcel of natural rights established
by our founders in the constitution.
(Article One, sections 8)

The Congress shall have power to lay and
collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises,
to pay the debts and provide for the
common defense and general welfare
of the United States; but all duties,
imposts and excises shall be uniform
throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations,
and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization,
and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies
throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof,
and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting
the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts,
by securing for limited times to authors and inventors
the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on
the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal,
and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies,
but no appropriation of money
to that use shall be for a longer
term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government
and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute
the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

In a functioning state, we who are "the government,"
must pay for firemen, police, army, navy, air force,
marines, libraries, schools, streets, regulatory agencies,
environmental protection, courts, public buildings, seaports,
rail systems, airports, utilities, hospitals, universities, and
myriad services and programs which keep a nation functioning.

In the real world, governance is necessary to regulate the
economy, provide for military defense, establish laws,
maintain order, and provide public services. Without these,
a country would be chaos. This essential infrastructure and
these critical services are what keep us strong, safe,
competitive, and moving forward. These facts matter.

"where does it say that a government should pay for this stuff?"

In the United States Constitution.

Here is a comprehensive list of constitutionally proscribed expenditures:
The Federal Government was established by the Constitution
to provide services to the public. While these services vary considerably,
all are designed to improve the lives of the United States population,
as well as people around the world.

Goods and services. The Federal Government's essential duties include defending the United States from foreign aggression, representing U.S. interests abroad, crating and enforcing national laws and regulations, and administering domestic programs and agencies. Workers employed by the Federal Government are responsible for enacting and implementing the programs and performing the services that accomplish these goals, playing a vital role in many aspects of daily life. (While career opportunities in the U.S. Postal Service and the Armed Forces are not covered here, they are described in Handbook statements on Postal Service mail carriers; Postal Service clerks; Postal Service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators; and job opportunities in the Armed Forces.)

Industry organization. More than 200 years ago, the founders of the United States gathered in Philadelphia to create a constitution for a new national government. The Constitution of the United States, ratified by the last of the 13 original States in 1791, created the three branches of the Federal Government and granted certain powers and responsibilities to each. The legislative, judicial, and executive branches were granted equal powers but very different responsibilities that act to keep their powers in balance.

The legislative branch is responsible for forming and amending the legal structure of the Nation. Its largest component is Congress, the U.S. legislative body, which is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. This body includes senators, representatives, their staffs, and various support workers. The legislative branch employs only about 1 percent of Federal workers, nearly all of whom work in the Washington, DC area.

The judicial branch is responsible for interpreting the laws that are established by the legislative branch. The Supreme Court, the Nation's definitive judicial body, makes the highest rulings. Its decisions usually follow the appeal of a decision made by the one of the regional Courts of Appeal, which hear cases appealed from U.S. District Courts, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or State Supreme Courts. U.S. District Courts are located in each State and are the first to hear most cases under Federal jurisdiction. The judicial branch employs about 2 percent of Federal workers, and unlike the legislative branch, its offices and employees are dispersed throughout the country.

Of the three branches, the executive branch has the widest range of responsibilities. Consequently, it employed about 97 percent of all Federal civilian employees (excluding Postal Service workers) in 2008. The executive branch is comprised of the Executive Office of the President, 15 executive Cabinet departments, and about 70 independent agencies, each of which has clearly defined duties. The Executive Office of the President is composed of several offices and councils that aid the President in policy decisions. These include the Office of Management and Budget, which oversees the administration of the Federal budget; the National Security Council, which advises the President on matters of national defense; and the Council of Economic Advisers, which makes economic policy recommendations.

Each of the 15 executive Cabinet departments administers programs that oversee an aspect of life in the United States. The highest departmental official of each Cabinet department, called the Secretary, is a member of the President's Cabinet. Each department, listed by employment size, is described below and in table 1.

Defense: Manages the military forces that protect our country and its interests, including the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and a number of smaller agencies. The civilian workforce employed by the Department of Defense performs various support activities, such as payroll and public relations.

Veterans Affairs: Administers programs to aid U.S. veterans and their families, runs the veterans' hospital system, and operates our national cemeteries.

Homeland Security: Works to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters. It also administers the country's immigration policies and oversees the Coast Guard.

Treasury: Regulates banks and other financial institutions, administers the public debt, prints currency, and collects Federal income taxes.

Justice: Works with State and local governments and other agencies to prevent and control crime and ensure public safety against threats, both domestic and foreign. It also enforces Federal laws, prosecutes cases in Federal courts, and runs Federal prisons.

Agriculture: Promotes U.S. agriculture domestically and internationally, manages forests, researches new ways to grow crops and conserve natural resources, ensures safe meat and poultry products, and leads the Federal anti-hunger programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the Food Stamp program) and the National School Lunch Program.

Health and Human Services: Performs health and social science research, assures the safety of drugs and foods other than meat and poultry, and administers Medicare, Medicaid, and numerous other social service programs.

Interior: Manages Federal lands, including the national parks, runs hydroelectric power systems, and promotes conservation of natural resources.

Transportation: Sets national transportation policy, plans and funds the construction of highways and mass transit systems, and regulates railroad, aviation, and maritime operations.

Commerce: Forecasts the weather, charts the oceans, regulates patents and trademarks, conducts the census, compiles economic statistics, and promotes U.S. economic growth by encouraging international trade.

Energy: Coordinates the national use and provision of energy, oversees the production and disposal of nuclear weapons, and plans for future energy needs.

Labor: Enforces laws guaranteeing fair pay, workplace safety, and equal job opportunity, administers unemployment insurance (UI) to State UI agencies, regulates pension funds; and collects and analyzes economic data.

State: Oversees the Nation's embassies and consulates, issues passports, monitors U.S. interests abroad, and represents the United States before international organizations.

Housing and Urban Development: Funds public housing projects, enforces equal housing laws, and insures and finances mortgages.

Education: Monitors and distributes financial aid to schools and students, collects and disseminates data on schools and other education matters, and prohibits discrimination in education.

Numerous independent agencies perform tasks that fall between the jurisdictions of the executive departments. Some smaller, but well- known, independent agencies include the Peace Corps, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission. Although the majority of these agencies are fairly small, employing fewer than 1,000 workers (many employ fewer than 100), some are quite large. The largest independent agencies are:

Social Security Administration: Operates old age, survivor, and disability insurance programs.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Oversees aviation research and conducts exploration and research beyond the Earth's atmosphere.

Environmental Protection Agency: Runs programs to control and reduce pollution of the Nation's water, air, and lands.

General Services Administration: Manages and protects Federal Government property and records.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Examines insuring deposits and promoting sound banking practices.

Office of Personnel Management: Oversees issues related to human resources, such as hiring practices, health insurance policies, and workforce performance evaluation.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Will the new healthcare legislation get the job done?

Health care reform would be useful.
But the watered-down insurance
“reform” we got on March, 21,
2010 is simple surrender.

This gift to the insurance industry
allows the same profiteers
to call the shots, set the prices,
and keep their antitrust exemption.

We will still have 18 million or more
Americans with no access to
healthcare. The bill contains
language that may restrict
womens' access to reproductive
health services.

The public option and a provision
to establish federal oversight of
premium hikes were both stripped out
of the bill by transnational insurance cartels.
There is no way to control costs.
This means they will go up.

This president and Congress "settled"
for a privately run, for-profit system.

Insurers can’t wait to gain 31 million
new customers, and they will set
whatever price the market will bear.

We still need single payer
to make real headway.
Dennnis Kucinich is one
of the co-authors of H.R. 676,
which would create a single-payer,
Medicare-for-all, non-profit health
care system. It currently has 78
co-sponsors. We must continue
to advocate for such a system.

The profiteering must end.
The bill which was just passed
will not make that happen.

Here is what the doctors say:

"...the president's proposal would
ship hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars
to the private health insurance industry in the
form of subsidies," Young said.

"And to help finance this, it would impose a
new tax on health benefits of workers,
especially those in high-cost states.
Its individual mandate would force millions of
middle-income uninsured Americans to buy
insurers' skimpy products - insurance
policies full of gaps like ever-rising co-pays,
deductibles and premiums. Such policies
already leave middle-class American families
vulnerable to economic hardship and medical
bankruptcy in the event of a serious illness like
cancer...Even so, at least 23 million people
would remain uninsured. We know that being
uninsured raises your chance of dying by about
40 percent," he continued, citing another recent
study. "That translates into about 23,000
unnecessary deaths each year. As physicians,
we find this completely unacceptable...
In short, this proposal is an insurance company
bonanza, not good, evidence-based health reform.
The president would do better by abandoning the
insurance and drug companies and instead taking
up the single-payer approach."

Why Dennis held his nose and supported the bill..

in solidarity and with best regards,
Tim Flanagan

Box 22, Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Affiliated with the KBOO Labor Radio Collective,
Jobs with Justice, AFT, & The Portland Alliance