Running The Government Like A Business

There is a fatal flaw in the idea of electing a successful business executive to be President and run the government. This idea is based on the theory that experience in successfully running a large, complex business organization will be useful experience when it comes to running the government. To a certain extent, this is true. But the fatal flaw in this reasoning is the fact that the government is not a business. The goals and the measures of success are very different for government than for a business. The overriding goal, and the measure of success, for a business is making a profit, unless we are talking about a non-profit business, such as a charitable organization.

In a for-profit business, the goal is to enrich those running the business and the owners of the business, the stock owners in most cases. This is done by having as many customers as possible spend as much money as possible on the business’s products and services. And yes, the best way to do this is to satisfy the needs of the customers, but it can also be done through fraud and things like predatory lending.

With the government, the customers are the people, and the people should also be the owners, but unfortunately, with the way our elections work, the real owners are the wealthy donors – these are the “stockholders” of the government. The bottom line is that running a huge complex organization for profit is not the same as running it for the sole purpose or enriching the lives of the customers – the people.

Still don’t see the difference? Think about this. A business would be perfectly happy having a few billionaires spending millions on their products, while 99% of the population goes without because they cannot afford the product. The government cannot and should not operate in this fashion. The “products” of the government need to be equally available and accessible to ALL the people. That is a completely different paradigm than that for a business.

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Political Lies

So, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million votes, but lost the electoral vote. A very close election, by any measure.

Throughout the campaign, Trump and his cronies, and the GOP, told many, many blatant lies about Hillary and leveled many false accusations. These were not hidden or hard to check on lies, they were lies and accusations that could, and still can, be easily fact-checked and proven false.

As a result, Hillary lost the election, did not get the job she was applying for, lost a chance to make history, and also by any measure, was severely damaged as a person.

Now, I’m just a logical guy, and as such, I must bring up the obvious logical question. Just what logic or reasoning or law or regulation prevents Hillary from taking legal action against those whose lies caused her so much loss, heartache and damage to her reputation?

Surely slander, libel, defamation of character, and other legal remedies should be available to Hillary, and for that matter ANY politician, when outright lies about them cause such damage to their careers and reputations?

By what logical, reasonable, or sane reasons are political speeches and campaigns exempt from laws and regulations that govern every other kind of communication? If this were an individual who was applying for a high-paying job and did not get it because he or she was slandered on national television, surely legal action would be taken. Are those who have careers in public service and must be elected to get the positions they desire any less deserving of these protections?

As Donald Trump has so tragically demonstrated, American politics are rife with lies, deceit, and character assassinations, and the targets suffer just as much loss as those in the private sector. And with politics, the damage often extends way beyond the individuals involved to the entire country and even the world.

Is it not true that a voter who has been deceived into voting against her or his own self-interest has effectively had his or her right to vote denied? Is that, in itself, a crime against The Constitution?

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December Letter To The Editor

Mr. Trump says that his is not part of “the establishment.”  Unfortunately, he is not talking about the political establishment, he is talking about the establishment of a government of\by\for the people.  He means the established laws, rules, processes, and procedures that were put in place by the Founding Fathers to prevent America from becoming just another dictatorship or kingdom.  You know, things like The Constitution, Separation of Powers, and Checks and Balances.

Donald Trump considers himself above all of that. He thinks he is above the law, The Constitution, and all the established traditions and procedures that provide a stable government and a smooth and non-violent transition of power every 4 years.

Not releasing tax returns and financial information as a candidate and not divesting himself (and his family) of all possible financial conflict of interests with foreign powers are both serious and unprecedented violations of the laws and traditions that protect us as a self-governed nation.  Congratulations Conservatives!  I know you wanted to go back to the good old days.  Well, you just sent America back to 18th century England!  We now have to start calling the 1% “Royalty” instead of just wealthy.

According to CNN, Trump got just over 46% of the popular vote, and according to Mother Jones the overall voter turnout was just under 60%.  That means less than 30% of the American electorate voted for Trump.  So Conservatives, don’t insult anyone’s intelligence with talk of mandates, political capital, or the will of the people.

References:
http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/11/politics/popular-vote-turnout-2016/
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/12/raw-data-turnout-rates-2016-election
http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/trumps-conflict-of-interest-problem

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October Letter To The Editor

Face it, Donald Trump is a selfish, narcissistic egomaniac.  He is not the kid who takes his ball and goes home when he loses, he’s the kid who incites his team to beat the crap out of the other team when he loses.  He is not holding political rallies, these are lynch mobs where he is the main inciter of violence.  If you think Trump supporters are not prone to violence, just try wearing a Hillary T-shirt to a Trump rally.

What Trump is doing is equivalent to building a campfire in an underground ammo bunker.  Is anyone going to be surprised at the explosion?  But Trump’s “Scorched-Earth” campaign is an extension of the GOP’s “Party of No” strategy over the last decade.  Obstructionism, unprecedented use of the filibuster, shutting down the government, and sabotaging everything that Obama and Democrats try to accomplish are just some of the childish, tantrum-like actions of the GOP in recent years.

Everything that Trump says, as well as most of what the GOP says, are lies, deceptions, and falsehoods.  If you tried to redact out the lies in a printed version of ANY of Trump’s speeches, you would need a paint brush instead of a magic marker.  At best, Trump supporters are blind and the rest of Conservatives are seriously misguided.  So angry and hostile, but for the wrong reasons and at the wrong things.  The GOP’s strategy?  Screw things up as much as possible for people, and then blame Democrats, Liberals, and minorities.

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Can Being Open-Minded Be A Disadvantage?

Against all odds, against all logic, against all reason, and against all sanity, it appears that this election is actually a close one. America has officially slipped into “Bizzaro World.” Donald Trump should be so far behind Hillary that this election should be all but decided. The fact that he is not is a testament to the power of the vast, extremely well-funded, decades-long campaign of deception and brain-washing of the American people waged by the very few and powerful and wealthy elite in this country.
 
America is a widely-divided nation. Whether you label the sides of this division Left and Right, Conservatives and Liberals, or Democrats and Republicans, the irony of the situation is that what should be one of the Left’s greatest assets, the ability to think clearly and accept changes to their opinions and beliefs in the light of new information, can also work to their detriment.
 
Those on the right (including the “Libertarians”) seem to have their beliefs hard-wired into their brains, and will believe the one wacko voice in a sea of reason and truth that supports those beliefs. Deceiving these folks is easy – they want to be deceived.
 
The real work of deceiving America into self-destruction lies in sowing enough seeds of doubt into the minds of those on the Left (Including the so-called “Greens”) so that enough of them will not vote or vote third-party.
 
This has been successful in the past to the point that a whole new term has been coined to describe it – “Swift-Boating.” Yes, swift-boating John Kerry helped give Bush a 2nd term, and the swift-boating of Hillary has gone on for decades and is in full-swing today. And sadly, it is working, even on some of the smartest and staunchest Liberals and Progressives I know. With enough lies, enough accusations, repeated over and over, even those who usually think for themselves can be affected. If Trump was not the worst and most despicable candidate in history, he would be WAY out in front by now. But with enough deceit, even the Devil could win an election.
 
So why are free-thinkers at a disadvantage?? Because you cannot sway those on the Right with any amount of truth, reason, and facts, but with enough deceit and swift-boating, you may be able to fool some of those on the Left.
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September Letter To The Editor

Donald Trump lives in a triangular universe.  At one corner of the triangle is what he actually thinks and believes.  At the 2nd corner is what he says in public, and at the third corner is truth and reality.  These three corners are completely unconnected and have nothing in common.

Why is it that Conservatives are supporting a candidate who utterly fails every test that Conservatives have been touting for years as absolutely essential for a President?  Family values??  Anyone out there giving him better than an ‘F’ grade on that?  Foreign policy experience??  Zippo on that!  Integrity??  Fiscal responsibility??  Give him an ‘F’ on those as well.

So why is Trump the GOP nominee?  Perhaps it is because he gets an ‘A’ in all the things that are the secret requirements for the GOP to support someone for President.  He is wealthy, he is an angry white man, he excels in deception and manipulation, he hates everyone who is not white and Christian, he treats women like property, he is a racist, a bigot, and a chauvinist, and most of all, he is willing to do and say anything to get what he wants.  Sounds like a perfect fit for the GOP!

The rise of Donald Trump has finally exposed what the GOP and the radical right are all about.  So Conservatives, are you going to follow the other lemmings off the cliff, or are you going to think for yourself for a change?

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Cut Through The Crap!

OK, let’s cut through the crap. There is so much bullshit flying around these days that it’s hard to see the tip of your own nose. I’ve only been paying attention to politics since the 2000 election, but it didn’t take me long to realize that Conservatives are idiots, hard-wired to self-destruct. But when I hear Progressives and Liberals wringing their hands and wailing about how terrible the Democratic Party is, and talking about flocking to a completely non-viable alternative like the Green Party because the Dems are as bad as the Repugnants, it makes me sick. All because their favorite candidate did not win the primary, or because the Dems didn’t go far enough on their pet issues, or because the Dems caved in and compromised too much, or because who knows what. Evidently the disease called Conservatism is catching, and the first sign that you are getting it is the loss of long-term memory.

So, forget all the rhetoric, and only consider the actions of politicians in all levels of government, from the small town councilman to the President of the United States. When you consider what actually goes on in Government, who votes how, what legislation is introduced by whom and blocked by whom, what policies are supported by whom and fought against by whom, and just about everything that goes on, then it should be crystal clear that the very WORST thing you can say about Democrats is that they can be disappointing and weak, while the very BEST thing you can say about Republicans is that their evil can sometimes be stopped or at least slowed down.

So, ask yourself, just which side of the isle in Government is fighting for equality – economic equality, social equality, woman’s equality, LBGT equality, equality for minorities, equality in education, equality in opportunity – and which side of the isle fights against it? Which side supports immigration reform and which side blocks it. Which side poisoned the water in Flint, disbanded local elected governments and installed emergency managers in Michigan, and is suppressing the vote of minorities and the poor? Which side tries to regulate Wall Street and greedy corporations and which side tries to deregulate them even more? Which side causes recessions and which side gets us out of them? Which side is trying to abolish abortion rights? Which side justifies and uses torture, committing war crimes?Which side lied to Congress about WMDs in Iraq in order to start a war? Which side is ALWAYS trying to cut taxes for the wealthy and which side fights for middle class tax cuts? Which side blocks any and all attempts at campaign finance reform? Which side has committed unprecedented obstructionism, unprecedented use of the filibuster, and unprecedented disrespect for the President of the United States? Which side promises to put a gun in the hands of every mentally disturbed loner and no-fly list member, and which side fights for sensible gun laws? Which side wants to alter the Constitution to better reflect Christianity and tried to alter it to define marriage as only between a man and a woman? Which side would throw out separation of church and state if they could? Which side wants to REDUCE the federal minimum wage and which side wants to raise it? Which side thinks that corporations are people and should have all the rights of an individual citizen? Which side would kill Social Security and Medicare, and which side wants to expand them? Which side wants to make health care harder to get and more expensive while enriching insurance companies? Which side wants to defund Planned Parenthood, close abortion clinics, get rid of food stamps, discriminate against Muslims, deport millions of illegal immigrants, build a wall on the border, and kill the labor unions? Which side started spying on American citizens?

Oh Hell! I’m getting too old and no longer have enough energy to finish this list. Suffice to say that anyone who tries to equate the two major political parties in the United States is clinically insane. It’s not like comparing apples to oranges, it’s like comparing matter to anti-matter or America to Nazi Germany or God to the Devil! You pick your own analogy! A house divided cannot stand, and a Perty divided cannot win – #VoteGreenGetRed

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March Letter To The Editor

Donald Trump??  Really?  That’s who the Republican’s think should be President of the United States?  A modern-day snake-oil salesman, a flimflam man??  Mr. Trump is a master manipulator, and he’s trying to manipulate himself right into the White House.  I’ve heard poor misguided supporters say that “he speaks his mind,” or “he tells it like it is.”  Again, really??  Donald Trump speaks for effect, and what he says has nothing to do with what he really thinks.  His speeches are about as genuine as his hair line.

Mr. Trump speaks with little regard for the truth, makes promises with little regard for the impossibility of keeping them, and attacks others on a personal level with little regard for decorum or integrity.  I’ve heard Republicans and Conservatives lament about the “integrity of the office,” but they still support Trump?

Trump supporters, like Tea Party Activists, are comprised primarily of “the angry white man” and those who make a profit from manipulating them.  The anger comes from the pain of hard times, a longing for “the good old days,” and an inability to accept inevitable change.  Where that anger is directed comes from racism, bigotry, and a lifetime of brainwashing by those who tell them that the immigrants, the minorities, the liberals, the gays, and the Muslims are the real cause of all their problems.

But who knew that there was enough of this anger and these misguided folks to get someone like Trump so far along the path to the GOP nomination?

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October Letter To The Editor

So, just how many hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent this election cycle? Where is all this money coming from?  If you were watching MSNBC last week, you learned that half of the money being spent is coming from just 158 families, and the individuals are overwhelmingly older, wealthy, white men.

According to the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision, this is nothing more than the exercise of free speech.  But free speech was never intended to be pro-rated by the size of your bank account.  Freedom of speech, or any other right for that matter, does not extend to the point of harming others, or suppressing the rights of others.

And that is not the worst of it.  When it comes to politics, there is no such thing as truth in advertising, libel, slander, or defamation of character.  For some reason, political advertisements and speeches are exempt from all of that.  So, not only can these 158 families control half of the information disseminated during the election, but there is no requirement for truth or facts in that information.

It would be extremely naive to think that the outcome of elections are not strongly impacted by political ads and speeches.  So this political “free speech” is really “freedom of deception,” half of which is exercised by just 158 wealthy families, and which harms and suppresses the rights of every voter.  How so?  Is not a voter deceived the same thing as a right to vote denied?

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Letter To The Editor, August 2015

Here is my latest letter to the editor:

An indication of the depth of the disarray the Republican Party is in can be seen in the fact that Donald Trump, of all people, is leading in the polls in the GOP Primary.  Donald Trump, who supposedly speaks his mind and says what he thinks.  Trump is a showman and is more likely orchestrating what he says to fit his current audience, and it has nothing to do with what he actually thinks.  In fact, he has raised flip-flopping to an art form, and has seriously shortened the time between flip and flop.

The more serious problem is what Trump is actually saying, and claiming to believe.  It is not only just plain wrong, but extreme, dangerous, and hurtful.  Forget about being politically correct, how about simply being correct for a change Donald?  If Trump really believes what he is saying, he is seriously delusional, but then so is most of the core of the Conservative base.

Conservatives will vote Republican by rote and without question, and that’s the problem.  Even a clown like Trump could indeed win the GOP nomination.  Conservatives should question their life-long beliefs, even if that sounds like a Liberal thing to do.  More importantly, question your faith in the GOP, which today has but a single agenda – taking as much money as possible out of your  pockets and mine, and then giving it to the already extremely wealthy top 1%.  And NO, that does NOTHING good for jobs or the economy.

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