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eniwetok

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Spiritual home: the rocky Maine coast
Member since: Sun Mar 27, 2016, 08:06 PM
Number of posts: 1,629

About Me

Greetings... what can I say? I'm an old time hippie and anti-war activist from the 60's. I was radicalized then and have always remained political. One's politics can have different aspects. Economically I'm an FDR liberal. Socially I believe in the Ninth Amendment that government has no legitimate power to limit some rights such as responsible drug use, the right to choose, or one's sexual behavior. Politically I'm to the left of the Democratic Party. Why? Over the years I realized the focus of activists should not be stamping out brush fires and putting band-aids on problems. The effort must always be to keep in mind the root of most of our problems such as wealth inequality, growing corporate power, voter apathy, climate change, etc... is an electoral system that is incapable of measuring the popular will and a political system that is incapable of implementing it. Sadly, the Democratic Party seems to need a push to find a greater appreciation for... and to work towards, implementing common sense democratic reforms to both those electoral and political systems.

Journal Archives

WTF!!! Hillary Thinks Chuck Schumer Would Be A Good Senate Majority Leader?


Just watching Hillary on the Rachel Maddow show... and Hillary suggested that Chuck Schumer would be a great majority leader in the Senate? Chuck is a Wall St wh**e... the person who scuttled abolishing the carried interest reform to the tax code.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/30/washington/30schumer.html

Sorry Hillary... NO THANKS!!!

Scalia's War On The Ninth Amendment. Even Some On The Right Found It Horrifying


It wasn't just liberal Dems who had contempt for Scalia. Here's a view from the libertarian right...

from http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/constitution-3/

JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA is probably the smartest man on the Supreme Court. That makes him a living example of how bad political and philosophical premises can put great talent in the service of an evil cause, namely, the destruction of individual liberty.

when asked about a National ID card

According to an Associated Press report, he said, If you think its a bad idea to have an identity card, persuade your fellow citizens through the amendment process, rather than asking courts to make policy.

Scalia here is saying that the government legally may require everyone to carry an ID unless the people amend the Constitution to prohibit Congress from enacting such a measure. His point is painfully clear: the government can do anything unless the Constitution expressly forbids it. No surprise here; Scalia has long made his views known. They are horrifying nonetheless.

His views are based on an incorrect indeed, a pernicious notion of what the U.S. Constitution was and is supposed to be. In fact, he stands the Constitution on its head. Instead of a document that protects individual liberty by reining in government power, Scalia would make it one that protects government power by reining in individual liberty.


I suspect it's the bizarre construction of the Constitution that made room for such mischief. I've long maintained that the construction of Constitution is somewhat of a mess because basic assumptions were not clearly stated. If the Ninth had included a clear statement of rights like the Rights Of Man... we'd all be better off.

4: Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.

5. Law can only prohibit such actions as are hurtful to society. Nothing may be prevented which is not forbidden by law, and no one may be forced to do anything not provided for by law.


http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/rightsof.asp

Instead as an after thought the Ninth Amendment was added...

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

This left room for the likes of Scalia to claim since these rights were not enumerated... the court could not rule to protect them... therefore new rights had to be added legislatively. Problem was the Constitution is also virtually reform-proof and now states with a mere 4% of the US population can block any reform. And this is what FFF meant that Scalia turned the Constitution on its head. Instead of a presumption of liberty... Scalia turned that into a presumption of government power over liberty... except for those right Scalia approved of.

Isn't the first step to election reform defining the purpose of elections?


Back in 1776 a document set forth a simple test of the moral legitimacy of government: that it based on the consent of the governed. If we subscribe to such a standard, then the purpose of elections is the yardstick to measure that consent.

But what of an electoral system that is incapable of accurately measuring that consent because doesn't offer all citizens choices to vote their conscience and get representation, doesn't encourage maximum turnout, weighs votes differently, or where up to half of the votes count for nothing? Can such a system ever produce morally legitimate government?

Aggregate Income Breakdown: A Damning Indictment Of Growing Inequality Since 1967


There's been much research on growing inequality over the years. This US Census chart bears it out...

https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/historical/household/2014/h02AR.xls

It breaks down national aggregate income by quintile and the top 5%. The highlight here is that the income share of the bottom quintile peaked in 1974 and has decreased 28% by 2014... while the income of the top 5% went up 32% during that same period.

But it's more important to look at when changes happened.

The bottom quintile first dropped below 4% in 1985

The second quintile first dropped below 10% in 1983 then below 9% in 1994

The third quintile first dropped below 17% in 1977, below 16% in 1989, below 15% in 1999

The fourth quintile first dropped below 24% in 1993

Needless to say the gains went to the top quintile which started out at 43.6% in 1967 and rose to 51.2% by 2014.

Tax Calculator Compares Tax Plans

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/3/25/11293258/tax-plan-calculator-2016

As could be expected Trump and Cruz have massive tax cuts... especially for the rich.

Of course, the calculator is overly simplistic and doesn't distinguish between earned and unearned income which currently gets a massive tax break.

Ultra Low Interest Rates A Threat To Social Security


In perhaps 2-3 years new contributions to the Social Security trust fund will end and withdrawals from it will begin. The longevity of SS trust fund depends in large part on how its growth from interest exceeds its net outflow to existing SS recipients... the bigger the interest return, the longer the fund will last. But there is no floor on the interest rates the fund gets and the average interest rate for the entire fund in 2000 was 6.9%. Today it's 3.4% https://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/annualinterestrates.html

The average for the entire fund is being brought down by the ultra low interest rates set by the FED which brings down the rate US Treasuries get... and in this case the special treasuries the government issues to the SS fund. The formula was created by Congress in 1960 https://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/intrateformula.html and certainly Congress can change it.

Here are the rates any new money has been getting when it enters the fund: https://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/newIssueRates.html

In 2012 the average annual average interest for new monies was only 1.458% when according to http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/historical-inflation-rates/ the inflation rate was 2.1%!

SS was losing ground.

In 2013 the new monies were getting 1.9% and the inflation rate was 1.5%... a pathetic .4%.

WHY AREN'T THE DEFENDERS OF SOCIAL SECURITY RAISING THE ALARM BELLS?


Workers are involuntary taxed to provide mainly for their retirements and yet that goal is being undermined by politicians OF BOTH PARTIES. The SS trust fund has been a cash cow for politicians for too long. It MUST be treated with respect. There must be a floor beneath which the interest can not fall. I believe that should be at least 4%.
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