Filosofa’s BIG Announcement!

Okay, folks … here is my big announcement:

I’ve decided to run for President of the United States in November 2020! 

Um … don’t everybody wear your hands out applauding now … well, a little bit of applause might be nice … okay, I’ll settle for those few chuckles I heard.

Now, I can’t afford a huge campaign, and I will NOT take a single dime from any business or lobbying interest, so that puts me at a disadvantage before I even get to the gate. However, I do have a few advantages over the rest of the pack, but I’ll get to those in a minute.

First, a few of my highest priorities:

  • Environmental
    • The United States will immediately, the day after I take office, rejoin the Paris Accord
    • All regulations on the fossil fuel and auto industries that were revoked by my predecessor will immediately be re-instated
    • I will petition Congress for emergency funding to re-build the Environmental Protection Agency and will nominate a conscientious person as director of that agency
    • We will enhance our renewable energy resources and provide incentives for companies to develop new sustainable energy sources
  • Constitutional Issues
    • I will support freedom of the press to the fullest, even when I don’t like what they say about me – the free press is our only hope for remaining a free people
    • Separation of church and state will be the law. There is no place for religion in government, and this government will support no particular religion over another
    • I will petition Congress for a ban on all assault weapons, and for expanded background checks, as well as training and licensing in order to obtain any sort of firearm
  • Education
    • All funding for the Department of Education will go toward public schools where all children will be treated equally; taxpayer money will NOT be used for ‘charter’ schools that benefit only the few
    • I will propose that Congress introduce legislation to provide free college tuition for a minimum of two years to all students whose annual family income falls below $100,000
    • School curriculums will be evaluated and re-designed as necessary in order to provide students with a well-balanced education that includes both career training and a liberal arts education
    • Religion will not be taught in public schools. Parents who wish their children to obtain religious training may send their children to religious schools at their own expense
  • Health Care
    • No person in the country will be without affordable healthcare. Most will pay according to their ability to pay, without such payment placing undo hardship.  Those who cannot afford to pay will receive free healthcare
    • There will be an ad hoc committee to study prescription drug costs and appropriate caps will be put on all pharmaceuticals
  • Taxation
    • The tax brackets will be expanded for those earning over $100,000 per year. Those whose net worth is $1 million or more will fall into the highest income tax brackets, to be determined before year end
  • Economy
    • Unfettered capitalism will cease to exist. My administration will place a higher value on human life than on GDP
    • The Chairman of the Federal Reserve will decide at what point it is prudent to raise or lower interest rates without coercion from myself or others. This is not a political agency, but one based on the best interest of the nation
    • We will aim for a balanced budget, or at least reduce the deficit by 20% each year, and will not increase the national debt beyond its current levels
  • International Relations
    • We will begin re-building trust among our allies in whatever way possible
    • We will hold Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accountable for the brutal murder of our journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year by severing any arms agreements, and imposing other sanctions as seen fit
    • There will be NO wall on our border

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but merely the top bullet points of my platform.  Now, what do I bring to the table, since it damn sure isn’t money or fame?

Honesty and integrity, for starters.  I will take not a single dime from any organization that seeks special favours or sees their donation as creating an obligation.  I will not lie … if I cannot tell you something, I will simply say that I cannot discuss it, but I will not lie or over-inflate my achievements.  I will demand the same from any cabinet members that I select.

Compassion and humanity.  I will put the people of this nation … all the people … ahead of profit.  One thing this means is that I will never demean or mock another human being.  We’ve had enough of that to last a lifetime.  I will not tolerate bigotry in any form. The emphasis of this government will be people, not weapons of war, not profit for the biggest corporations, but the well-being of people.

Literacy.  Unlike my predecessor, I have studied politics and history all my life, hold a B.S. in both Accounting and Political Science, and an M.A. in International Relations.  I have read the U.S. Constitution at least 50 times in the past 30 years and have taken a number of classes in Constitutional Law.  I have studied past presidents.  And I can write more than 5 words without a spelling error.  In other words, I know the difference between ‘origins’ and ‘oranges’.

Common Sense.  I am smart enough to realize that there are many, many things I will not know, but unlike my predecessor, I am willing to seek the advice of those who do know those things.  I am also smart enough to realize that sometimes we all make mistakes, but the important thing is to admit those mistakes, then take steps to rectify the errors.  This I will do.

And that, my friends, is all I have to offer.  Now all I have to do is find a running mate who shares my values and vision.  Any takers?

John Hickenlooper: The 7 Issues Guide

Today I bring you the 9th installment of TokyoSand’s excellent series, The 7 Issues Guide, helping us get to know a bit about the platforms of the democratic candidates running for the office of president next year. John Hickenlooper is on deck today, and I didn’t know much about him at all, so this post is enlightening for me, as well. Thank you, TokyoSand, and your diligent volunteers, for helping us get to know Mr. Hickenlooper!

Political⚡Charge

hickenlooper

The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today.

But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime.

In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the 7 issues that midterm voters identified as the most important. I hope…

View original post 1,460 more words

‘Toons To Make You Laugh (Or Cry)

I think it’s time for another batch of toons, don’t you?

The two biggest topics in ‘Toonland’ this week are ones I refuse to touch, so let’s start with the third biggest.  Recently the Idiot-in-Chief declared that wind turbines, or rather the noise from them, cause cancer.  This notion came from the cavernous depths inside his rather spongy head, but it made for some good humour at his expense.

wind-turbinewind-turbine-2wind-turbine-3wind-turbines-4

And of course one of the big topics remains, as it has been for over two years now, immigration, or rather Trump’s use of immigration as a fear-mongering tactic.

immigrationimmigration-2

On a related note, there was his demand for Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation because, although she was a cruel and heartless b**ch, she was not quite cruel and heartless enough to suit the ‘man’ without a conscience.

neilsen

Let us not forget about his determination to squash ‘Obamacare’ and replace it with … the grim reaper.

trump-2020

healthcarehealthcare-2

And beyond all of that, it’s pretty much the usual chaos and insanity that define the reign of Donald Trump.

chaostrump-dumbotrump-insanity

Have a great weekend, folks!  Wha … WHAT???  It’s not the weekend yet?  It’s only Wednesday?

panic

Jay Inslee: The 7 Issues Guide

Today I bring you the 8th installment of TokyoSand’s excellent series, The 7 Issues Guide, helping us get to know a bit about the platforms of the democratic candidates running for the office of president next year. Jay Inslee is on deck today, and I didn’t know much about him, other than that he is the Governor of the State of Washington, but I like what I see here. Thank you, TokyoSand, and your diligent volunteers, for helping us get to know Mr. Inslee!

Political⚡Charge

Inslee Photo via Puget Sound Business Journal

The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today.

But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime.

In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the7 issues that midterm voters identified as…

View original post 1,614 more words

‘Toons

I think it’s about time we found some humour in all the muck going on in this country today, don’t you?  Three things are big news this week:  ACA, also known as Obamacare, and the republican’s urge to ensure that some 20 million people will have no access to health care; Jussie Smollett’s sudden and mysterious exoneration; and of course the Mueller report, Barr’s slowness in releasing the entire report, and Trump’s false claim that he was cleared of any wrongdoing.  Let’s see what the talented cartoonists have done with these …

First, the Smollett case …

Escaping chargessmollettsmollet-3amollett-2

ACA?  Obamacare?  Trumpcare?

aca-1aca-2aca-3aca-4aca-5

And of course the biggest news of the day spawns the most ‘toons …

barr-1barr-2barr-3barr-4barr-5barr-6barr-7barr-8barr-9barr-10barr-12

And a few random ‘toons …

boeingBruce Plante Cartoon: A Betsy DeVos SpecialMike-LeeSelf-regulationtrump-1trump-2

Kirsten Gillibrand: The 7 Issues Guide

Today I bring you the 7th installment of TokyoSand’s excellent series, The 7 Issues Guide, helping us get to know a bit about the platforms of the democratic candidates running for the office of president next year. Kirsten Gillibrand is on deck today, and she is one that I know very little about. Thank you, TokyoSand, and your diligent volunteers, for helping us get to know Ms. Gillibrand!

Political⚡Charge

gillibrand

The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today.

But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime.

In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the 7 issues that midterm voters identified as the most important. I hope…

View original post 1,859 more words

Seth Meyers and Papa Duck

Seth Meyers is is an American comedian, writer, actor, and television host. He hosts Late Night with Seth Meyers, a late-night talk show that airs on NBC. Prior to that, he was a head writer for NBC’s Saturday Night Live (2001–2014) and hosted the show’s news parody segment, Weekend Update.  Like John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and others, he helps us find comic relief in the day-to-day dramas that inhabit the current administration in our federal government (ie., the government led by he-who-shall-remain-nameless-for-today).

This clip is more than a week old, from February 7th, but is still funny, still relevant, and well worth the eleven minutes it takes to watch the whole thing.  If you are like me, you really, really need a good reason to chuckle, so … give it a watch, okay?  The bonus is really the part toward the end, where Papa Duck (Phil Robertson) of Duck Dynasty was interviewed on Fox regarding his views on healthcare!

ACA Is NOT Unconstitutional!!!

I would really like to know just how much Donald Trump paid to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas.  Or perhaps it wasn’t money, but the promise of a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.  Whatever the enticement, Judge Reed O’Connor has just thrown the citizens of the United States under the proverbial bus.  What, you ask, did he do?  Last night, Judge O’Connor ruled that ACA in its totality is unconstitutional.  Not just part of ACA … the entire bloomin’ Affordable Care Act!Judge O'ConnorJudge O’Connor isn’t new to controversial rulings.  Let’s take a look at just a few he’s made in the past decade …

  • Halted implementation of ACA Section 1557 that prohibited discrimination against transgender people by federally funded health programs. Why?  Because the judge felt it violated religious rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. – December 2016
  • Ruled against the Title IX law that required that schools receiving federal funding not discriminate against students on the basis of sex or gender identification – October 2016
  • Ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act was unconstitutional. The act halted the forcible removal of as many as 25% – 30% of Native American children from their homes for no reason other than their heritage, and then being put up for adoption, placed in non-Indian homes with a deliberate absence of American Indian cultures – October 2018

So, we have here a judge in the southern state of Texas who is a proven bigot and racist, and he has decided that the entirety of ACA, the program that was intended to ensure that every man, woman and child in the U.S. would have at least basic healthcare insurance, goes against the Constitution.  And Trump’s own ‘surprised’ reaction?

“Wow, but not surprisingly, ObamaCare was just ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a highly respected judge in Texas. Great news for America!”

No, you fat, pimple-faced, fake-hair jerk!  It is the worst possible news for America!  Only wait … that’s right, you don’t give a damn about America, do you, for your allegiance lies elsewhere … in Russia … in Saudi Arabia.

And later …

“As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster! Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions.”

Yeah, sure, right … and I believe that the Easter Bunny lays chocolate eggs, too …

Judge O’Connor has been sitting on the case that prompted his ruling for several months now, but it was decided to wait until the end of the open enrollment period and, more importantly, after the mid-term elections, where health care was a major deciding factor for many voters.  Clever, aren’t these damn republicans?

The judge’s ruling will no doubt be appealed all the way up the line until finally it lands on the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court, so for the time being, nothing changes.  What happens when it reaches the Supreme Court?  Good question.  Remember how just this week, Kavanaugh sided with liberal and moderate judges in a refusal to hear a case that could have ended in defunding Planned Parenthood?  People were scratching their heads, wondering if perhaps Kavanaugh was a decent guy after all.  I said he was biding his time, picking his battles.  What do you want to bet this is one of those battles he was saving up for?

The basic difference in ideologies between democrats and republicans boils down to whether the government’s focus should be on people or industry.  Prior to ACA, health insurance was so expensive that a large portion of Americans took their chances without insurance.  ACA sought to remedy that, sought to ensure that no child would have to die because his parents could not afford to take him to the doctor.  But the republicans believed that their tax dollars should not be wasted on the lives of those of us they view as second-class citizens because we haven’t had the same opportunities for enrichment they have had.

And now a bigoted judge in Texas has decided all by himself that healthcare should only be accessible to those who earn over a certain amount of money.  ACA is not unconstitutional.  ACA is about helping people live their lives.  Nowhere in the Constitution does it state that people should not be allowed to live if they are poor.  Unlike Donald Trump, I have actually read the Constitution … many times.  We The People are sick and tired of having to fight battle after battle to be treated with a bit of respect in our own country, the country that our hard-earned tax dollars support.  We are paying a high price for the follies of the current administration and it is past time for people to realize it.

As for Judge Reed O’Connor … I’m betting that next time Trump has an opportunity to nominate a Supreme Court justice, O’Connor’s name will be on the short list.

An Ego Trip …

The people who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 did so based on certain things that they believed in, that they believed would make their lives better, and he promised to fulfill their wishes.  One of those things was a smaller government that provided fewer services.  The reasoning was that if the government shrunk, had fewer employees and provided fewer services, money would be saved and taxes could be lowered, thus putting more money in the pockets of the working class.

However, theory and reality are often not quite the same, and the reality here is that Trump has cut services to the poor and disadvantaged, he has cut taxes for the wealthy, but the working class is no better off than they were before, and in fact have less now than they had before.  Why?  There are a number of reasons, including massive amounts of waste by Trump’s cabinet and by Trump himself, the tax cuts were only to the wealthy, Trump’s tariffs are causing prices to rise, and this …

Trump Military Parade To Cost Taxpayers Nearly $100M

What a colossal and foolish waste of our money!!!

This ego trip was initially, we were told, to cost a mere $12 million.  That would have fed 2,307 average families for a full year, but hey … Trump’s ego is far more important than feeding hungry kids, right?  But now, the estimated cost, $92 million, could have fed 17,692 average families for a full year!  How do we justify this?  What is the purpose of this ‘military parade’?  The answers are that we cannot possibly justify it and the only purpose is to stroke the ego of the megalomaniac in the Oval Office.

The parade is scheduled for Saturday, November 10th, and is to start at the U.S. Capitol and end at the White House where, undoubtedly, the 5,000-7,000 troops who are marching will be expected to salute Trump.  Now, not only is the parade costing an exorbitant amount of money up front, but there is a likelihood that there will be ‘after-the-fact’ costs to repair Pennsylvania Avenue.  Initially, General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that no tanks would be included in the parade, for they would cause “damage to local infrastructure”.  But now, because Trump wants them, eight tanks will make their way to the White House on a street that taxpayers will then be required to repair.

Now, how did this all come about?  Well, remember last July when Trump happened to be in France during their annual Bastille Day celebration?  As a part of the festivities, there was a military parade, and Trump, exactly like the child who, upon seeing his friends new toy, then insists that his parents buy the same toy for him, decided that he must also have a military parade.  And so, during a meeting at the Pentagon on January 18th, Trump ordered just such a parade for himself.  The Washington Post got wind of it and published the story, after which the White House issued a statement that said Trump “has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”  Hello?  First, very few, if any Americans will travel to DC to watch this costly display of foolishness. Second … show our appreciation to whom and for what???  Are we supposed to be appreciative to Trump for destroying our environment, our schools, our reputation, and our very nation?  I think not.

Trump originally intended the parade to be on July 4th, Independence Day, but apparently it couldn’t be pulled together quite that soon, so he settled for the November date, which is one day before Veteran’s Day and also marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.  What Trump fails to realize … or simply doesn’t care … is that the Bastille Day parade in France is a long-standing tradition, dating back to 1880!  And, France’s Bastille Day parade is a celebration of citizen’s rights, not military might. The U.S. has no such tradition, nor do we need one.

The U.S. has not held a major military parade in Washington since 1991 to mark the end of Operation Desert Storm. That parade reportedly cost approximately $8 million and was paid for with about $3 million in government funds and the rest with private donations.  Trump’s parade, all $92 million, would be paid for with taxpayer dollars.

Our economy is on the verge of a downturn, due largely to some very poor decisions on the part of Donald Trump and his minions.  The average wage earner has not seen an increase in his or her real wages in years, and in fact, today’s real wages have dropped to 1974 levels (more about this in a future post).  Trump takes credit for a lot that is not his due, and is spending our money willy-nilly on such foolishness as a parade to show American’s gratitude to him, when we should be showing him the back door!  This is nothing but yet another ego trip for Donald Trump at a huge cost to We The People.

Note to Readers:  This evening, a couple of hours after this post was published, it was announced that the parade has been postponed until 2019!  Perhaps sometimes our voices are heard?

An Open Letter To Congress …

 

09 April 2018

Dear Member of Congress,

I am told that you have concerns about your upcoming performance review on November 6th, as well you should.  Your employers, I and many others, are very displeased with your job performance and frankly, I am already seeking your replacement in the event you do not turn things around very quickly.  It appears the problem lies with the fact that you have forgotten to whom you owe your allegiance.  It was I and my fellow citizens who hired you, and it is to us whom you have a responsibility … all of us, not just some.

First, allow me to make one thing perfectly clear:  Donald J. Trump is not your employer!  He may have given you to believe that he is, but he is not.  He is merely another employee of the organization that is run by We The People, and his job is also in jeopardy, so you would do well to put distance between you, lest you be caught up in the maelstrom that is in the making, even as I write this.  Your mandate is not to do his bidding, but to do the bidding of the citizens of this nation.

Second, you are not employed by industries such as the oil & gas industry, the auto industry, nor the manufacturers of firearms.  If you are taking money from these in exchange for pandering to them, then you are in breach of your employment contract with your constituents.  The aforementioned industries provide no benefit for the citizens of this nation other than that for which we pay dearly, so there is no justification for your close ties to them.

Third, while it is true that you have many employers, and that we may not always agree on what we expect of you, we all trust that you will make sound decisions that benefit the nation as a whole. You got this job because we believed you had the ability to do that. To date, you have failed miserably in this task.  You seem to believe that the few with the most wealth are the only employers to whom you are accountable, and nothing could be further from the truth.  When the time for your performance review comes in November, those with great wealth will have only one, single vote, that will count no more than mine will.  You would do well to remember that.

Frankly, I would terminate your employment tomorrow, were it in my power, but per the terms of your employment contract (the U.S. Constitution, Article I), I must wait until November.  Understand, however, that I and my fellow citizens will be watching you even more closely than ever for the next seven months and there are certain expectations that must be met, else you will be seeking employment elsewhere.

Here is a partial list of the things that you must work on before November:

  • We The People have made it clear that we want stricter control over firearms in the hands of civilians. We want a ban on assault weapons, waiting periods, and stronger background checks that are actually enforced in all venues.

  • We want you to re-instate the environmental protections that have been rolled back over the course of the past year, for we believe that our health and the health of our planet are more important in the long run than the profits of the fossil fuel industries.


  • We want you to work on making necessary repairs to the Affordable Healthcare Act so that all of us will be able to receive medical treatment when we or our family members are ill.


  • We want you to serve as a safeguard, just as the framers of the Constitution intended, against radical and damaging policies put forth by Donald Trump. You are supposed to challenge him, hold him accountable, but instead, when he says, “jump”, you are asking “how high?”  This cowardly behaviour must stop once and for all!


  • We want you to legislate campaign finance rules that will severely limit the amount of money you and your fellow legislators may receive from wealth donors.  It appears that your conscience shrinks in direct proportion to the amount of monies you receive, and this is not conducive to good governance.


  • We expect to see, prior to November, your plan for a balanced budget. You have unconscionably cut revenue, while at the same time increasing expenses.  Even the most uneducated among us can understand what a disaster this is going to be.  You will likely find that you need to repeal your ‘tax cuts’ to the wealthy in order to increase revenues. It was just announced that the national debt will top $1 trillion by 2020!  This is disaster in the making and does not give us much credibility in the eyes of the world.


  • We want you to work on a realistic and fair proposal for immigration reform, including protections for the young DACA immigrants. There are far too many Middle-Eastern refugees for us to simply ban people from certain countries.  Other Western nations are trying to help these people, and we must do our fair share.


  • We expect you to block nominations of persons who are not qualified for the positions for which they are nominated, and that includes both cabinet members and judges/justices. Political party should not be a consideration.  Education, experience and other qualifying factors should determine whether a person is confirmed or not.  We all know that Trump would nominate an ape if he thought said ape would do his bidding.  It is up to you to be the voice of reason and block such ignominious nominations.


  • We demand protections for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team, who are investigating the possibly treasonous activities of Donald Trump and many of those in his inner circle. We cannot trust that the executive branch will step back and allow Mr. Mueller to finish his job and issue a final report, so it is up to you to draft legislation with all due haste to protect this investigation.

As I said, this is a partial list, but if you manage to clear even as much as 85% of this list by November, we may consider allowing you to stay on the job.  Otherwise, I’m afraid the writing is on the wall and you might do well to polish up your resume.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns, for it is our opinion and ours alone that you need to be concerned with.

Sincerely,

 

 

We The People of the United States of America