Thursday, December 20, 2007

Who has military support?

This has been covered by the media, but not as frequently as false claims of military support come from candidates such as John McCain. McCain has stated that he has the most support - when in fact two candidates have much more support: Barack Obama and Ron Paul. Both candidates adamantly against the Iraq War since 2002. This says more about the shape of our military and the policies that have put them there. Overextended tours in Iraq and Afghanistan are crippling our military strength and soldiers want it to end now! As a veteran of the Iraq War ( OIF III ), I also support any candidate who will get us out of these conflicts.

The clip from USA Today:

WASHINGTON — Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Ron Paul have little in common politically, except their opposition to the Iraq war.

Both top a new list of presidential candidates receiving campaign contributions from people who work for the four branches of the military and National Guard, according to a study released Thursday by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Obama, an Illinois senator, brought in more donations from this group than any White House contender from either party. The Democrat announced Wednesday his plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2008.

Paul, a Texas congressman and the only GOP presidential hopeful who supports an immediate troop withdrawal, comes in second.

This does not put into perspective with other candidates. I found one website looking solely at Republican candidates. Obama beat them all, but nonetheless here is a list from July:


RON PAUL: 24,965 [6,975] [6,765] [4,650] [5,075] [1,500]
MoneyMcCain: 17,475 [6925] [6305] [1795] [800] [1600]
Romney: 3,551 [2,051] [0] [1500] [0]
Giuliani: 2,320 [1,450] [370] [250] [250]
Hunter: 1000 [0] [1000] [0]
Huckabee: 750 [250] [0] [500]
Tancredo: 350 [350] [0] [0]
Brownback: 71 [71] [0] [0]
Thompson: 0 [0] [0] [0]

Units are contributions in dollars by employees of the respective military organizations.

Source: Finance Reports for the 2007 July Quarterly.


49.5% Ron Paul
34.6% McCain
7.0% Romney
4.6% Giuliani
2.0% Hunter
2.3% Others

The once maverick McCain clearly has support from the military. But if anyone has a mandate or political capital gained from military support - it is Barack Obama, then Ron Paul. McCain takes 3rd place, yet you only hear him talk about how isolationist Paul is.

A McCain Administration would dishearten our military if elected. He would make recruitment and retention goals that much less attainable. Veterans and service members can take comfort in the latest polls, because McCain is looking more tired politically than ever before.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Regressive Ron - Progressive Greens

If I were a die-hard Republican and against the Iraq war, my only choice for President would be Ron Paul. He is an old school politician known as a Libertarian. To someone of a liberal mind, he doesn't make a lot of sense: let states decide major issues not in the Constitution. And also income tax is "unconstitutional" even if authorized by the 16th amendment.

This is a very defining moment for the Republican party. I believe it marks the take-over of their party by the Neo-Conservatives. 9/11 illuminated this wing, and brought it fully public. The Project for the New American Century had ideas, including the spreading of democracy globally, starting with Iraq. Republicans have embraced these ideals, including many liberals. The anti-tax and fundamentalist wings were disregarded for the most part, as government spending outpaced economic growth. Our national debt is now over $9T, and even Hillary can't remember what Ross Perot was grumbling about.

The major issues that no party wants to discuss are Peak Oil, the National Debt, and the inherent racism in our society. We can pretend these are not issues, as both parties currently are. Oil production most likely peaked in 2006, the National Debt is out of control, and we have not yet dismantled the tools of discrimination. How can we move forward as a nation when these threaten our economic and social security more than terrorism ever will?

Ron Paul does deal with these issues, but not with the intent of a progressive or Green. He envisions an America far different - even if he dismantles our militant empire. I cannot live in an America that varies so drastically from state to state. Paul still thinks we are a nation of nations, but the Civil War ended that utopian vision. We need to be a progressive rather than regressive nation.

There is only one party that vigorously takes on these issue: the Green Party. We already know what the major two parties will do: nothing or exacerbate these problems further. The Libertarians and Constitution Parties would move our nation backward, and allow the magical "free market" solve these problems. Unity08 is still in conceptional stages in creating a new party. The only one left standing and capable of change are the Greens.

Cynthia McKinney, Elaine Brown, and Jared Ball are all running for the Presidency within the Green Party. The average amount each American will donate to a Presidential candidate is less than $3. Small donations by a committed group can sway an election, unlike how the media portray big donors as the primary catalysts for change. Any amount you can assist them with or the Green Party is more than most citizens care to give. You can participate in changing the direction of America, or you can sit on the sidelines and watch others do so.

And sorry Ed Felien, I will not attend a Republican caucus next February. Thanks - but truly no thanks to this particular invite. The Republicans need to find who they are in this century. America needs a party to stand up to them, and we know the Democrats will not cut military obligations or funding so as not to appear "weak." Therefore I support the Greens adamantly. Let's debate the purpose of American militarism and whether it really makes us more secure long-term.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

GOP YouTube Debate

The night after the YouTube debate, I decided to log onto YouTube and check it out myself. I was surprised at how lively this debate was, considering how much Republican's were initially reluctant to try the new format out. GOPers do not like to be asked questions by fictitious characters such as snowmen.

The worst candidate was easily Mitt Romney, who waffled more questions than I thought possible. His lack of answers makes me believe he supports torture, will enforce marriages through various schemes, and a police state. This after he states he is "more liberal than Ted Kennedy." Anyone who adamantly supports Romney after this debate, is fooling themselves and supporting an opportunist.

The candidate who held is own was probably Guiliani, though he is despicable on the issues, but actually answers questions the majority of the time. McCain seemed like an angry white male the entire time. Huckabee made a humorous statement: that Jesus would never foolish enough to run for public office. ( which is why Ajahn Brahm has stated numerous times that any President of the United States probably does not have good karma )

Ron Paul was clearly the most divisive of candidates in the GOP currently. He states the obvious and the crowd is shocked. Would America be okay if the Chinese were occupying the United States to free us from a dictator? Even after this dictator were deposed, would we be happy with such an occupation - especially if they were then importing massive amounts of our coal? The crowd remained rather mute, apart from those who agreed with him. The question has yet to be answered by GOP supporters, that is if they didn't ignore it completely.

The fact that the military overwhelmingly supports Ron Paul is not enough for those who control the GOP. They can make the claim that he is hated by the military instead, and because Americans are so disconnected from those in the service, many will believe it. Yet this veteran supports him enthusiastically if he is able to do what he says. And if you pay attention to how the media attacks Paul, it becomes obvious that as one put it "an increasingly authoritarian establishment feels threatened." As it should, because not all Americans are going to continue being complacent in our current environment.

National Debt Clock

The Republican Party is clearly not going to end its debt spending crusade. The only things they plan to cut are "non-defense related." If you are going to cut government spending, you cut ALL of it. If we are overspending by 10%, then cut all budgets by that amount. If you need more for the military, then negotiate cuts from other places in the budget. The only solution to this is a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced Federal budget, with no provisions for war and no excuses. If America goes to war, then the extra money should come through taxes or other such fund-raising - not through debt. Excessive military spending comprises the entirety of our national debt, and the GOP refuses to acknowledge this fact. Their solutions to our National Debt is currently non-existent.

A Republican president cannot make abortion illegal, make guns available freely, or deport immigrants. The President can easily shape the size of our military overseas. If we bring home the troops from Iraq, Korea, Japan, and even Iceland we can begin to reduce the strain on our troops and Federal budget. Our National Debt could be paid off and Social Security made solvent. By the time the Baby Boomers all retire, we can say we solved the crisis and didn't have to raise taxes. We may even be able to reduce taxes! But our imperialistic empire cannot sustain itself on the backs of the working class, and must be reigned in now or we will all pay the price.

Many take issue with Paul's stance on immigration. He would like America to remain sovereign, and send those outside of our system back. There needs to be a way for temporary workers to come to America. Yet our immigration problem reflects a lack of discipline on the part of other nations to improve the conditions of their people.

A simple issue that reflects a lack of government planning is population growth. Estados Unidos has 14.16 births/1,000 population while in Mexico it is 20.36 ( 2007 CIA estimates). Mexico needs to promote family planning. Only when birthrates drop can jobs growth catch up with population growth - or surpass it as it has in the US. So is enforcing immigration laws and implementing comprehensive solutions can make nations more accountable for such inaction. Liberals tend to forget this frequently, but also believe we should not force other nations to do what we want them to.