Thursday, February 4, 2016

Via Nation of Change: A Grim Scenario: If America Ends Up With a Republican President and a GOP-Controlled Congress


It’s entirely possible that in the upcoming presidential election the Republican candidate could win and become the next U.S. president and, at the same time, the GOP would retain control of the Congress. If that happens then this country and society would undergo a drastic change, one that is almost unimaginable.

That grim prediction and the points presented in the following discussion are not based on supposition or unsupported speculation but, rather, on explicit, documented statements and actions of the Republican Party and its members. They have clearly stated their positions on the major issues and problems facing this country and what they intend to do if they are given the opportunity, i.e., when they have assumed total control of this government.

In this new America, there is no question but that Corporate America will reign supreme, and its current power and control over this government and the direction of this country will be greatly magnified. Profits above all else will be the guiding principle shaping its agenda.

The Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare, would be singled out for immediate repeal; appropriate legislation would swiftly pass the House and the Senate and be signed by the president. The GOP representation in the Congress has, in the last few years, attempted to repeal the ACA legislation over 50 times, and each time President Obama has vetoed it. The vetoes were never overridden because of substantial Democratic opposition.

But this time, there would be no presidential veto, that program would be phased out, and it’s anyone’s guess what would follow. Since the Republicans have never presented any plan to replace it with a more effective health care system we can only surmise that they would just dismantle the program and turn it over to the insurance companies.

The bad news is that millions of Americans would lose their ACA membership and benefits that guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions and would have to try to qualify for other coverage. Even if successful, they would see their premiums skyrocket as the insurance companies would, once again, be in full control.

Medicare: what would happen to this critically important program? It’s quite likely that the Medicare system would remain intact for those already enrolled but other Americans seeking new coverage would have to obtain it from the corporations of the insurance industry. As we know, turning over government programs to the private, profit-making sector is one of the key objectives of the GOP.

Inequality in America: the current huge gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the people in this country would widen as all gains in national income would continue to flow to the top. America would become a full-blown oligarchy inhabited by haves and have nots.

Job creation: would continue to languish on the back burner. The Republicans have no intention of doing anything to create jobs for American workers; and neither do the U.S. corporations since they have access to an infinite number of low-wage workers in overseas countries. The fact the middle class and the American workforce are both shrinking because of this job outsourcing is of no concern to either the Republican Party or Corporate America.

Medicaid, which has, in the past, been rejected by many Republican-controlled states, would more than likely disappear as a functioning program, and the individual states that currently have this program would have to take care of their citizens’ medical needs some other way, which involves a lot more very costly emergency room visits.

Social Security: this highly successful, very important government program has, for many decades, provided retirement income for countless millions of Americans; it has been very effective even though the government has “borrowed” (some would say “absconded with”) about $2.5 trillion from the SS trust fund and has no intention of ever repaying it.

Republicans would probably adopt the former G.W. Bush proposal which called for a combination of a government-funded program for current retirees, together with personal retirement accounts invested in Wall Street for future entrants. The attempt to privatize a large portion of this program by turning much of it over to the unpredictable gyrations of Wall Street failed in 2004. But that won’t stop a Republican-controlled government from resurrecting that misguided idea once again; and then, look out America!

Planned Parenthood: it would be swiftly defunded and go out of existence.

The Military: the neocon war hawks would return en masse, with a vengeance, and not hesitate to use the most powerful military in world history to solidify the Pentagon’s agenda of perpetual war. It wouldn’t be long before Congress would kill the recently concluded nuclear agreement with Iran.

The potential for war with Iran would escalate, largely because Republicans would strongly embrace the doctrine of Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu which is based on his distrust and hatred of Iran. 

The chances of Israel attacking Iran with the full support of the GOP-controlled government would be greatly increased. John McCain might see his wish to “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” finally fulfilled. Ted Cruz would continue to pursue his proposed idea of carpet bombing ISIS; too bad if thousands of civilians would be incinerated in the process.

There would be no letup in the funding of the military empire while the plethora of America’s domestic needs would continue to remain unaddressed.

Climate Change: Republicans who think this threat to the planet and mankind is a pure hoax would not pursue any specific actions to deal with it and the dangers it represents.

Federal Air and Water Regulations: legislation would be initiated that would either significantly water down or even eliminate clean air and water regulations. The EPA, the Environmental Agency, could face elimination because, in many cases, it stands in the way of corporate America and its primary objective of increasing profits.

Confrontations with Russia and China: These two countries represent a very potent combination of military and economic power and they will not be intimidated by the U.S. Even so, the war hawks in Washington, while fully knowing this, will not back off their aggressive militaristic agenda aimed at both of these countries, a colossal misjudgment and mistake.

The Supreme Court: a Republican-controlled government would pack this court with more radicals when sitting justices were replaced. The reversal of the Citizens United decision would never be addressed, and the many interests of Corporate America would be advanced in many ways.

Roe V. Wade and a woman’s right to choose would become a thing of the past. But it would not end the practice of abortions which would then go completely underground.

American Muslims: their everyday actions would come under constant surveillance. They would become second class citizens at best and objects of hatred and derisiveness.

Immigration: especially if Trump became president, the deportation of millions of Hispanics who are not citizens would be rapidly escalated. There would be no more calls for various forms of amnesty and ways to eventually allow these illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens.

GOP War on Women: it would continue and magnify as the voices of those who want to control the women of America and their bodies will intensify. Here are a few quotes from those ultra-conservative individuals who possess that control syndrome:

Mike Huckabee: “Women don’t need to depend on government for birth control. All they have to do is learn to control their burning desires.” He further said, “Wives Also should ‘graciously submit’ to their husbands.”

GOP Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said that a pregnancy resulting from rape is God’s intention. Rush Limbaugh insulted women when he stated: “Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”

Now we know the true meaning of the word “control freak.”

We have seen that Republicans are perfectly willing to water down or eliminate successful government programs that people really need but they neither have the inclination nor the capacity to replace them with something more effective. They don’t seem to understand that one of the primary responsibilities of this government is to provide for the “safety and security” of the American people; and that includes appropriate government programs.

In the past, the Democratic Party has had difficulty getting out the vote and they have lost the control of Congress as a result. What it must do now is to organize a great effort to motivate and energize a massive number of their supporters to vote in November.

If they do just that then the Democratic candidate will win handily.

But if far too many supporters of the Democratic agenda stay home and don’t vote and the majority of actual voters decide to cast their ballots for a candidate whose positions on critical issues match those outlined above, then the grim, nightmarish scenario presented above will become reality.

Talk about the American people arriving at a critical crossroads. So when we decide whether to vote or not, and for whom we will cast that ballot, we better think very deeply about the America in which we want to live going into the future.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Via Mike Contino / Jerry Becker:

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Our thanks to Mike Contino, Executive Secretary, The California Mathematics Council (retired), for the following list of sayings. As Mike comments, these are some sayings that passed his way recently. Enjoy? [no sources were given although one might have come from Trump. Many were definitely aimed at him, says Mike]
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You know that little thing inside your head that keeps you from saying things you shouldn't?
Yeah, I don't have one of those either.

My people skills are just fine. It's my tolerance to idiots that needs work.

I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.

So, when is 'Old enough to know better' supposed to kick in?

Have you ever listened to someone for a while and wondered Š'Who ties your shoelaces for you?'

I prefer not to think before speaking. I like being just as surprised as everyone else by what comes out of my mouth.

Be careful when you follow the MASSES. Sometimes the 'M' is silent.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you! (seen on a T-shirt).

I hate it when the voices inside my head go silent Š I never know what they're planning.

I am NOT lazy. I just really enjoy doing nothing.

When you're dead, you don't know you're dead. It's only difficult for others. It's the same way when you're stupid.

If people could read my mind, I'd get punched in the face a lot.

Calm down   Take a deep breath   Now hold that for about 20 minutes.

I never argue. I just explain why I'm right.

I speak my mind because it hurts to bite my tongue all the time.

Don't confuse my personality with my attitude.
My personality is who I am.
My attitude depends on who you are.

Sometimes I sit quietly and wonder why I'm not in a mental asylum. Then I take a look around and realize--maybe I already am.

We never really grow up. Some of us just learn how to act in public.

(Bonus, an old one, probably that came from you, but I still enjoy bringing it up whenever possible: I want to die peacefully in my sleep, just like my grandpa. Not kicking and screaming, like all the people in his car.)


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Mike Contino, Executive Secretary, The California Mathematics Council, retired.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Via JERRY-P-BECKER list:

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"A man should be judged not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character."

(Martin Luther King, Jr.)      [See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr. for information regarding Dr. King --- Nobel Peace Prize (1964), Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1977 posthumous, Congressional Gold Medal (2004, posthumous)]
----------------------------------------------------

"History is a great teacher. Now everyone knows that the labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market for industry and lifted the whole nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who attack labor forget these simple truths, but history remembers them."
(Martin Luther King, Jr.)

"We have a long tradition in the United States of seeing education as the "great equalizer" of social class differences."
(Horace Mann)

"A profound truth: The big problem in education is not that unions have won too many benefits and supports for teachers. It's the disappearance of the American common school, which once educated rich and poor side-by-side."
(Richard D. Kahlenberg)      [From an article in American Educator]

"Standardized testing - especially when it's done to every child every year, and when bribes and threats are employed to coerce better results - was never necessary to tell us which schools were failing. Heck, you could just drive by them and make a reasonable guess. (The eminent educator Nel Noddings once called that "the windshield test.") For years, I've been challenging NCLB's defenders to name a single school anywhere in the country whose inadequacy was a secret until students were subjected to yet another wave of standardized tests."
(Alfie Kohn)      [From Alfie Kohn's website]

"The secret to my success is that I bit off more than I could chew and I chewed as fast as I could."
(Paul Hogan)

"Potential has a shelf life."
(Margaret Atwood, Cat's Eye,1988)

"As soon as you stop making everyone else responsible for your happiness, the happier you'll be."
(Nina Guilbeau)      [From Personal Development Quotes]

"I was surprised that the field's understanding of exactly what great teachers are doing was not as strong as I might have expected."
(Bill Gates - billionaire, self appointed "Superintendent of U.S. education")      [Seen on a website]

"Break your mirrors!!! Yes indeed  -- shatter the glass. In our society that is so self-absorbed, begin to look less at yourself and more at each other. Learn more about the face of your neighbor and less about your own."
(Sargent Shriver - Yale University, May 22, 1994)

"Learn to appreciate and treasure each day, because you don't know how many you're going to be given."
(Sandra Day O'Connor, US Supreme Court Justice)      [From Bill Henk]

"You never have a second chance to make a first impression."
(Unknown, but well known)      [Certainly true for the first day in the classroom]

"There are more horses asses than horses!"
(Bud Feinstein)      [Seen on a note from Steven Jordan]
[From a note regarding email being hacked.]

"Distrust all those in whom the impulse to punish is powerful."
(Nietzsche)

"Sometimes, the most brilliant and intelligent minds do not shine in standardized tests because they do not have standardized minds."
(Diane Ravitch)

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"
(John Wooden - U.S. college basketball legend who passed away, June 4, 2010. He was 99.)

"Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties."
(John Milton)      [Shared by Sean Genovese]

"There is nothing so stupid as an educated man, if you get him off the thing he was educated in."
(Will Rogers)     [Seen in a paper by John Ewing]

"I've found it takes at least two and generally three things to alter the course of a life: You slip around the truth once, and then again, and one more time, and there you are, feeling, for a moment, that it was sudden, your arrival at the bottom of the heap."
(Jane Hamilton, A Map of the World, 1994)

"Work is love, made visible."
(Kahlil Gibran)      [From the signature of Mary Candace Raygoza]

"No one likes paying taxes, but they are "the price we pay for civilization."
(Oliver Wendell Holmes)

"Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else."
(Mister Rogers)

"Let no good deed go unpunished."
(Unknown)      [Seen in a note from Bob Kansky]

"The word 'listen' has the same letters as the word 'silent.' "
(Alfred Brendel)      [From Personal Development Quotes]

"Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem."
(Woody Allen)

"It is high time the ideal of success should be replaced with the ideal of service."
(Einstein)      [From the signature of Onder Secen]

Yogi Berra: Yogi ordered a pizza, and was asked, "Hey Yogi, do you want me to cut the pizza into six slices or eight?"  Yogi thought for a second and answered, "Six.  I don't think I can eat eight slices of pizza."
(Brought to our attention by  Charles Schwartz  --  SEE http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/09/the-50-greatest-yogi-berra-quotes  for a cache of these Yogi'isms)

"Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want."
(Margaret Young)

Q: Of the ten numbers with both motive and opportunity, the police only brought in 7, 5, 3, and 2 for questioning. Why?
A: They were the prime suspects
(Martin Funk, ICTM Director)     [Seen in ICTM Bulletin]

"That man's self-conception was that he rode out onto the prairies on his own horse and tamed this country and got what he has entirely by his own effort."
(Some administrators' view of their importance)      [Not sure where this was seen]

"No matter what accomplishments you achieve, somebody helps you."
(Althea Gibson)

"I'm never going to accomplish anything; that's perfectly clear to me. I'm never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don't do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don't even do that any more."
(Dorothy Parker, Here Lies: The Collected Stories of Dorothy Parker)

"It is more Important to be of pure intention than of perfect action."
(Ilyas Kassam)

"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."
(Marcus Aurelius)
 
"I don't know enough to be incompetent."
(Unknown)

"The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse get's the cheese."
(Stephen Wright)

"Mathematics doesn't start with axioms and definitions, and neither should lectures. Mathematics starts with questions and problems, and so should lectures. Mathematics doesn't end in answers, but in more questions to investigate, and so should lectures."
(Michael de Villiers)      [From the signature of Michael de Villiers]

"The things that we love tell us what we are."
(St. Thomas Aquinas)

"I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I had smallpox."
(Woody Allen)

"When I was kidnapped, my parents snapped into action. They rented out my room."
(Woody Allen)

"Laugh when you can, apologize when you should and let go of what you can't change. Kiss slowly, forgive quickly, play hard, take chances, give everything, and have no regrets. Life is too short to be anything but happy."
(Unknown)     [From a refrigerator magnet at my house]

"May the light always find you on a dreary day. When you need to be home, may you find a way. May you always have courage to take a chance, and never find frogs in your underpants."
(Middle aged Scandinavian)      [From a refrigerator magnet at my house]

"Profanity is ignorance made audible."
(Jim Muir)      [Seen in his article in the SI'an]

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