Friday, November 11, 2016

Trumps First 100 Days

I know its been a long time since I have blogged. I figure we need to stop hyperventilating over Trump winning the Presidency of the United States. Let's take a good look at what he intends to attempt accomplish in the first 100 days:

There has been a lot of talk about Trump's first 100 days and all the freedoms that will be lost..here is what he said he plans to do - no keep in mind he will still need Congress to go along-
Source: http://www.npr.org/…/here-is-what-donald-trump-wants-to-do-…
BTW, I put my comments in () after each point I felt to comment on......
What follows is my 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again. It is a contract between myself and the American voter — and begins with restoring honesty, accountability and change to Washington
Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC:
* FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress; (Term limits is part of the solution. The bigger swamp is the staffers that remain even after the official leaves office.)
* SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);
* THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated; (Think we need smart regulations, not just eliminating for the sake of eliminating)
* FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;
* FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government;
* SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.
On the same day, I will begin taking the following 7 actions to protect American workers:
* FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205 (It was a terrible deal and needs re-working)
* SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
* THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator (This one will be fun to watch, as I was just watching a Bloomberg program and one of the Executives for Alibababa was on and the lady doing the interviewed inquired to the toxic assets the banks are holding in China)
* FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately. (As long as we don't use protective tariffs - free trade is not a bad thing for American businesses)
* FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars' worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal. (This is the waive of our future, we can be a major player in the energy export field. Do it, create jobs, and raise the GDP thus raising tax revenue)
* SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward. (Yes, get oil off the tracks so other goods can flow more cheaply and we as consumer can pay a fair amount)
* SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America's water and environmental infrastructure. (Agreed, take care of the homeland first, if the UN wants to study climate change then let them do it.)
Additionally, on the first day, I will take the following five actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law:
* FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama. (No issues with that. Executive Orders ought to be very limited in scope or we lose the co-equal aspect of government)
* SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. (Agreed, we need more originalists on the bench as this will lead to greater freedoms for all people no matter your gender, race, creed or sexual orientation)
* THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities(Amen, this has choked the funding at the local level)
* FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won't take them back. (Yes, we are a country of laws, if you break them, then you need to be punished. There are many people that wait in line to come here. Just follow the law)
* FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.(No trouble here. This is not xenophobia...we have seen time and time again in Europe and even with the Minnesota Somalia population where the lack of a robust vetting process has lead to issues)
Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:
Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act. An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate. (Wait, did he just say Middle Class. I thought it was just the rich that will get relief)
End The Offshoring Act. Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free.
American Energy & Infrastructure Act. Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral.
School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to give parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.(Amen, give education back to the local level as its not a one size fits all)
Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications. (Get rid of the mandate, get rid of kids staying on til 26, allow for broader selling of HSA's and Health Insurance is so far they meet State guidelines)
Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act. Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-side childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.
End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.(Secure borders will help American workers, families and communities)
Restoring Community Safety Act. Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars.
Restoring National Security Act. Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values
Clean up Corruption in Washington Act. Enacts new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics.
On November 8th, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to restore prosperity to our economy, security to our communities, and honesty to our government.
This is my pledge to you.
And if we follow these steps, we will once more have a government of, by and for the people.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Net Neutrality: Regulation needed?

I recall a time when dial up was the mode of connecting to the internet and even then the content was very limited. No fancy graphics, no cookies, no advertising existed. Today, many of us gain access to the internet through our smartphones while others still use that thing called a computer. Then again, the computer is being eased out by the tablet and hybrids of the tablet/laptop. The content is richer, more graphic and interactive now as well.

Over the last few weeks, I have researched the topic of Net Neutrality to learn about what this term really means and thoughts of leading experts in the field. While I am sure I missed a few experts thus not giving me the entire picture, enough material was consumed to at least get the conversation started. Unfortunately, as I type this blog entry the recent speech given by President Obama won't be mentioned as I haven't heard or read the transcript yet despite the many sound bites that exist on the internet.

A reason why proponents of Net Neutrality are promoting is the power Internet Service Providers (ISP's) have over the speed at which we consumers receive content. Netflix appeared to be at the apex of this controversy as ISP's were throttling, slowing down, users that were streaming, watching, content from Netflix. In an article by The Windows Club, What is Net Neutrality - Definition, it is asserted that Comcast was "slowing down Netflix to promote its own paid videos". Thus pushing users to use Comcast lineup more than Netflix.

Now, in 2014 the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) did set a few rules to regulate that internet:

  1. Transparency: ISP's have to report and publish their performance periodically to traffic, irregularities, charges applied to faster bandwidth, and websites blocked.
  2. ISP's cannot unlawfully block websites: Not a clear definition of though of unlawfully given.
  3. ISP's cannot slow down the internet speed: Meaning if you pay for 1GB data transfer, then you get at least 1 GB data transfer speed.
Other reasons for Net Neutrality is that it will promote competition thus preventing a Ma Bell situation. Creates an environment of innovation while ensuring the Internet remains a free market place.

The counter points to Net Neutrality is that simply it is not needed. Why? Net Neutrality is not needed because ISP's benefit little from blocking content or "degrading network performance". The Internet is transforming as those that use it more than others, ISP's feel they have the right to charge more for the heavy usage; which is an aspect that those that favor Net Neutrality seeks to end.

If the recent Golden Globes are any indication where American's are headed for their viewing of television, then the conversation of throttling, bandwidth, heavy users and alike will be more mainstream. Very few nominations for Golden Globes, in television categories, were from shows on ABC, NBC or CBS. With just a handful more from cable networks that don't stream their shows online. Another concern of Net Neutrality is "Big Brother" syndrome.

Users and ISP's fear that if Net Neutrality is enacted that the FCC, at the whim of political power grabs, will not impartially regulate the Internet; rather will create uncertainty, stifle innovation, and end Capitalistic opportunities on the Internet.

Many of us do experience Net Neutrality already though despite the vague rules set forth by the FCC in 2014. If we were to go to a local library to access the internet, the library, i.e. Government, has put restrictions on the content and websites one can search or interact with. If you happen to work in a cube farm, your access to certain content, i.e. this blog, may be restricted.

I bring up these last to illustrations not because I favor restricting access; rather to illustrate that as a free society we are not always as free as we think to make our own choices. As for Net Neutrality goes:
  1.  If an ISP wants to charge one more for heavy usage I am fine with that.
  2.  If an ISP wants to throttle my service or restrict content for which I search for I am not fine with that.
  3. If an ISP wants to use cookies to track my searches to advance advertising to the banners then so be it as I understand that by my usage of the ISP I give up certain freedoms.
  4. Regulation seldom results in innovation.
The Internet pushes our boundaries and opens the world to our homes. We as consumers have the responsibility to ensure the content we search for, the programs we employ, the websites we create and words we type are without our own moral and ethical dogma.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year and Good Morning 2015!

In traditional fashion, 2015 was brought in last night with the ball dropping in Time Square and champagne being popped open. Another tradition is setting New Year resolutions. While I know my posts have been sparse in the last quarter of the year, I set forth a new charge for 2015. I resolve to post twice a month on topics of debate to allow me ample time to research the topic and vet information brought forth.

All too often in our discourse of the topic of the day is shallow, knee jerk and recitation of talking points. We are better than that. We deserve better. By taking more time to research topics, it will allow for a deeper start to the conversation and hopefully a great result as we discuss the topics of the day.

As usual I am open to suggestions on topics to start the conversation on. Let's make 2015 a year of meaningful conversation and crafting solutions/understandings that deepen, enrich our lives. Shed the shallowness that most on social media sites and our media in general keep us in bondage.

Look forward to the first posting on the 15th to start a conversation of meaningful importance.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day of School

September 2, 2014 - marks the start of school for 2014. Yes, I know that some schools started last week. A lot of pictures on Facebook from friends, family and other relations showing the kids off to the bus stop with smiles on. As these kids go off to school and learn, my hope is that Civic classes make a Renaissance.

Over 200 years ago, old power wigged men decided that the oppression by the English Crown had gone on long enough. They acted, with the help of France, and formed a new government that we enjoy today. Along the way, many of the wrongs were corrected - Woman's Sufferage, Civil Rights Act - unfortunately one thing continues to erode; States Rights.

The 10th Amendment has been eroded and really leaves little in regards to State Rights anymore. The concept is rather simply; the power of the country is to reside in the State Houses of government and not Washington D.C. States no longer are allowed to choose their Senators; instead they are elected which allows money from outside the State to influence not mention the carpetbaggers. The concept of State Rights was to prevent a strong centralized system of government to rule over the land as the issues facing New Yorkers were much different than issues facing those from other States.

Just like today, issues facing Minnesota differ than those facing Arizona, Texas or even Maine. These
"laboratories of Democracy" were set in place for this reason.  When you get your new iPhone or Galaxy, we all choose which Apps we are to have, right? Well that is the same concept with State Rights.

If the laws of the land are the same in Minnesota as they are in California as they are in New York and we don't like them then we have no place to relocate to. Just like if we tire of Angry Birds and want to move onto Candy Crush, we have that ability by adding and deleting Apps. If you live in Minnesota and you don't like the fact that you cannot openly carry your weapon of choice, you have the ability to move to a State that does.

Some common laws ought to exists to aid in the flow of goods, the protection of private property and ensure basic civil rights exist. Let's hope our young children wake up and realize the benefits of a de-centralized system of government while we still have some freedom of choice, assembly, religion, and association.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Michael Brown: Gunned down in Cold blood or Justified Killing?

Ferguson, Missouri is the new focal point of racial tensions. The issue at hand is the death of Michael Brown at the hands of Ferguson Police Office Darren Wilson. Facebook, Twitter, and the media has been all over this story with speculation on what took place. Instead of allowing the investigation to play out, the typical race baiting machine - Rev. Al & New Black Panthers - show up to stir the pot. To make matters worse, the city is put on curfew after several nights of looting and rioting.

No one is willing to take a breath and allow the facts to sort themselves out. After discussing this on Facebook with others and reading media reports we do know certain indisputable facts. The facts that no one is disputing are:

  1.  FPD Wilson approached Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson as they were walking in the middle of the street to ask them to get out of the street.
  2. After passing Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson, FPD Wilson hears on the radio a description of two people involved in a strong-arm robbery earlier in the day.
  3. FPD Wilson believes Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson fit that description and backs up his vehicle to investigate further.
  4. Struggle ensued in/near the FPD vehicle between FPD Officer Wilson and Michael Brown.
  5. Shot was fired in the vehicle.
  6. Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson fled on foot.
  7. FPD Officer Wilson got out of the car to pursue.
  8. FPD Officer Wilson order Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson to "Freeze".
  9. Michael Brown turned around.
  10. Michael Brown was shot multiple times being hit six times with all bullets entering the body from the front.
  11. Michael Brown was killed with final bullet to head.
The rest of the conversation is speculation. The big question that remains is: Was Michael Brown standing still with his hands raised as some eyewitnesses claim or Was Michael Brown running at FPD Wilson as some eyewitnesses claim. The answer to this question will determine the course of action taken against FPD Wilson.

For society, did we learn nothing from the Martin/Zimmerman case? That we need to allow the facts to come out before we rush to judgment. Please let's all take a step back, a deep breath and stop passing along speculation as fact. A young man is dead, families are grieving - we owe it to them and society at large to allow the facts to be heard in their entirety before judgment.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What can be learned from Robin Williams?

The gruesome details of Robin Williams suicide is well documented. The suicide now catapults depression onto the front page and the trending topic on Facebook and Twitter. A relative of mine posted an article, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katie-hurley/theres-nothing-selfish-about-suicide_b_5672519.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063, on their Facebook page with the plea of "we need to raise suicide awareness. Hopefully this tragic loss will help to raise the awareness and help our loved ones and have a few less loses." The author, of the link above, writes, "Suicide is a decision made out of desperation, hopelessness, isolation and loneliness."

Suicide being a selfish act was a mantra I carried the banner for. In fact a few of my past blog posts calls out suicide as a selfish act. Since that point, my view on suicide has shifted from it being a selfish act to cowardice act. Life is short enough. Darkness is all around us with the singular goal of dragging us to the depths of despair. Salvation and strength is given us all in the spark that burns within us all. In my response to my relatives posting, I agree that "the author is accurate that many make it out about the survivors as they lay claim to a selfish act."

People, like my relative (bless her soul), want to use Robin Williams suicide as another example to promote suicide awareness. To which I am fully behind and engaged. Allowing the acceptance of suicide as an option in life does a disservice to all those in dark places. Why do we allow this to take place?

Brutally open and honest conversation is avoided with emotional matters which leads to lip service to causes like suicide awareness. Every day time ought to be set aside to reflect. It can be five minutes, a hour or longer. The bottom line is to take inventory of the day and of oneself. Yet, if one holds a view of the cowardice act suicide is, one is labeled an insensitive jerk! Really?

As I posed to those viewing the thread on my relatives page, "You say I am an insensitive jerk, yet I am willing to discuss the topic for what it is. Who is really being insensitive to those with depression? The one that sees suicide as an out or one that recognizes the spark within gives us the strength to come out of the darkness?"

The Light within all contains the strength to pull anyone from the deepest depths of Hades. The climb make take a day, a week, a month or years. The end goal ought to be to give those within the darkness the tools and support to make the climb instead of saying their is another way. The pain will be eternal when suicide is chosen and the Light will not ascend. Allow the Light to shine through and salvation will be obtained.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Social Media Experiment - August 12th Primary Day

On Tuesday, August 12th, Minnesotans will be going to the polls to vote in primaries. I live in Minnesota District 47A where there will be two GOP candidates facing off in a primary and one DFL candidate in that primary. Unsure what the ballot for the Independent looks like at this point. Here is my experiment for social media - granted I am not utilizing social media to the fullest as I will only be posting here on blogger.com, Facebook and Linked In - to see how many write in primary votes I can garner for Minnesota District 47A. If you live in Minnesota District 47A please write my name in. And if you don't live in Minnesota District 47A please share this with someone that does so they may write in my name as well.

I look forward to seeing how this social media experiment will play out and the ripple effect it may have in future primary and elections.