Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Global Warming Politics

The Global Warming Politics have involved many different political debate, policy designs, and legislation involving the science of global warming and the response to global warming. The war of political words has involved many different governmental bodies, scientific organizations, and special interests groups. Most English speaking countries have supported the action to help limit global warming. The predicted effects of global warming are way too much to pass by which is why the governments of many countries have combined forces to help stop global warming. The war on global warming is an endless battle. The possible outcomes are frightening so we as people must help as much as possible.

The most noticeable change because of global warming politics occurred on December 11th 1997 with the creation of the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol from the international Framework Convention on Climate Chance that intends to help reduce greenhouse gases that causes change in climate.

The Kyoto Protocol became into effect on February 16th 2005. Since late 2007 one hundred and seventy five parties have ratified the protocol. However, only thirty six developed countries are actually required to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to the levels required for each country in the treaty. There are three other countries that are predicted to participate soon.

While the global warming politics have made major improvements in the war against global warming there is still much more to do. The Labor party in Australia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol however it just went into effect in March of 2008. The Liberal Party government of Canada has ratified the protocol.

New Zealand's Labour government of Helen Clark ratified the Kyoto Protocol. The Labour Party of the United Kingdom has also ratified the Kyoto Protocol. In the United States Bill Clinton's Democratic Administration has signed the Kyoto Protocol. Many democrats have support a number of the bills that mitigate emissions. However, The Democratic Congress has never voted on whether or not the United States is bound to the treaty.

The global warming politics have long debated whether or not global warming is really all that dangerous. Many countries are fighting to take strong action against global warming. Others have disputed the scientific consensus on global warming or simply refuse action to mitigate global warming. In February of 2007 surveys discovered that ninety five percent of the forty one Congressional Democrats agreed that Earth's surface is warming because of man made problems while only thirteen percent of the thirty one Republicans who were surveyed agreed. Skepticism about global warming includes many newspapers in the United Kingdom and a few in Canada.

The global warming politics battle on to determine what to do to stop carbon emissions. While the United States has never officially agreed to be required to reduce emissions one hundred and ninety five cities in the United States have committed to reducing carbon emissions to seven percentages below the levels of 1990. That is over fifty million Americans committing to the cause. California, the world's sixth largest economy, committed in 2005 to reducing the emissions of 2000 levels by the year 2010. It is estimated that by 2020 if California's automotive standards were implemented nationwide drivers should save up to twenty six billion dollars a year.

The global warming politics are always debating and trying to implement new methods of stopping global warming. The nasty after effects of global warming almost always end with death and destruction. If it is true that we as humans are the cause of global warming we must do all we can to help the governments stop or at least delay global warming. We must take action before it is too late. Many skeptics believe that the effects of global warming will one day lead to the end of the world. Whether or not that is true nobody really knows. However, with such a shocking statement being said we must work hard along side the politics to prevent that from ever happening.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Independent California Political Parties

With voter frustration in California at an all time high, citizens have begun to look at what else is out there other than the two mainstream California political parties.  An independent California political party can offer something outside of the normal and outside the control of special interest groups.  An independent California political party may just be the remedy for this ailing state that is being chocked by gridlock and selective representation.  This past November election had several independents run for California Governor. Here are some options out there to consider during the next elections.
Libertarian Party. The political platform of the Libertarian Party favors minimal government in both business and the private lives of citizens.   They promote relatively unregulated markets, support strong civil liberties, and individual property rights.  The party is big on fiscal responsibility and never spending more than the state takes in.  They are in support of large scale government cut backs including reducing pensions, scaling back social services, and laying off of various types of state workers.
Green Party. This California political party platform consists of grass roots social change without the involvement of special interests and corporate money.  There is a strong commitment to environmental justice.  They promote ecologically sound principles when it comes to basic living as well as business development and state infrastructure.  Their economic polices focus on decentralized government with an emphasis on community based economic development.  The party is a major proponent of renewable energy and the promotion of the new California “Green Economy” where they favor government incentives for such businesses.
American Independent Party.  The party is heavily faith based and believes in constitutional principles and social conservatism.  They rally around tight immigration control, rights to bear arms, same sex marriage, pro life policies, and home schooling. Their business policies revolve around building a local manufacturing and production base that will reduce reliance on foreign imports.  They feel the average California has been long over taxed and propose major tax reform that will significantly reduce state income tax. They also feel that the California state legislature should function as a part-time entity.
Peace and Freedom Party.  As a California political party that emphasis worker rights, the party supports democratic socialism that offers an economic partnership run by state owned enterprises and private companies.  Social justice is heavily tied to work rights and regulation on economic exploitation.   They also promote a strong social safety net along with social services through the increase or corporate taxes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Historical Political Quotes, Contemporary Political Crises

A little quiz on quotes relating to politics in America, try to figure out who said it and when they said it:

1) In reference to why political parties have lost the confidence of the public: "Their machinery of intrigue, their shuffling evasions, the dodges. the chicanery, and the deception of their leaders have excited universal disgust, and have created a general readiness in the public mind for any new organization that shall promise to shun their vices."

2) Also in reference to why political parties have lost the confidence of the public: people "saw parties without any...difference contending for power, for the sake of power. They saw politics made a profession, and public plunder an employment. They beheld our public works the plaything of a rotten dynasty, enriching gamblers, and purchasing power at our expense."

3) "It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except for Congress."

4) "The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employees, the special interests.

An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy."

5)"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies."

6) "An election cannot give the country a firm sense of direction if it has two or more national parties which merely have different names but are as alike in their principles and aims as two peas in a pod."

Great quotes, all of them. Unfortunately, it seems as if we are living everyone one of them today. The interesting thing is that these quotes are quite historical, not contemporary:

1) According to the Real Politics website, this quote was from the book, "The Origins of the Republican Party" by William E. Gienapp and the quote is dated from 1855. The New York Times called it "dodges", today we call it "spin doctoring." The Times called it "universal disgust," we call it having Congressional approval ratings around only 20%. The Times called it "chicanery", we call it a variety of names including earmarks and outright corruption. It is remarkable how closely a quote from 155 years ago captures the nightmare we are living through today with our political class.

2) This quote is also from the Gienapp, also from 1855, and it appeared in the New York Evening Post. This also captures our current state of political affairs. We also see most of our politicians vying only for power, not for the opportunity to make the country better. With their high salaries, great benefits, many, many perks, our current day politicians fit the Post's description that politicians "saw politics made a profession, and public plunder an employment." Without term limits, our politicians see being elected not as a service to the nation but as a life time job. And their gerrymandering Congressional districts, rigging campaign finance laws, and handing out taxpayer dollars as earmarks allows them to ensure perpetual re-election, regardless of the quality of their work.

3) This third quote is from Mark Twain and is obviously well over a hundred years old. However, even back then he realized that the power allocated to politicians many times results in outright criminal behavior. Congressmen Traficant, Jefferson, Cunningham and other Congressional politicians have served time due to their corrupt and unlawful behavior while in office. How many former Illinois governors have either served prison time, are currently serving time, or are aggressively trying not to serve prison time? Charles Rangel and Maxine Walters, two current members of Congress, are likely to face a House Of Representatives trial within the next few months on ethics and corruption charges. The House ethics office has investigated or is currently investigating potential crimes by other members of Congress. The more you list out what has happened to our contemporary politicians, you marvel at how right Mark Twain may have been way back when.

4) This quote is from Woodrow Wiilson who said it early in the last century. At that time, he realized the influence that non-voting entities can and do have on government functions and corruption. Wilson called them "special  interests," we call them lobbyists.

5) My source attributed this quote to Groucho Marx and is likely more than fifty years old also. Back then, even comedians like Groucho recognized that politicians were not any good at identifying the root causes of problems, if a problem even existed, and then putting together a coherent, efficient and cost effective plan to solve that problem. Our politicians are no different: 
Nixon declared War On Drugs in the 1960s and we are no closer today to having a coherent national drug strategy and policy than the day he declared war.
Carter muddled through the oil crises in the 1970s and we are no closer to having a coherent, national energy strategy and policy than we were when we waited in long lines at gas stations.
Reagan identified the problems with public education with a Presidential Commission in 1983 and 27 years later, U.S. public schools badly trail many, many other nations in the education of their children.
Clinton presided through numerous terrorist attacks including the first World Trade Center bombing and the African embassy bombings and never came up with a coherent terror defense policy and strategy, resulting in the death of almost 3,000 Americans on 9-11.
Over the years over 10 million illegal aliens have come across our borders with no politician able to come up with a coherent immigration strategy and plan.

Unfortunately, Groucho was right back then and he would be right today if he saw the incompetence of today's politicians.

6) This last quote is from Franklin Delano Roosevelt and is at least 65 years old. When you really come down to it, are the Republican politicians much different from the Democrats? Sure they pick their friends and identify their enemies, e.g. Republicans are generally pro-life and pro-guns while Democrats are generally pro-choice and anti-guns. But when you look at their records, neither party has accomplished much of anything positive over the past fifty years. Just look at what we listed above under Groucho's quote: no solutions to the drug, immigration, terrorist, public school and energy problems. The only reason they pick their friends is to get money to finance their constant re-election, not to solve any meaningful problems.

While Obama the candidate promised change you can believe in, Obama the President is hardly any different than Bush. Obama drew down U.S. forces in Iraq but it was on the timetable Bush established. Bush set up the terrorist prison in Guantanamo and so far, Obama has kept it open. Our border still leaks illegal immigrants and we still have no new policy or plan for energy or public schooling. Bush enacted the Patriot Act and Obama basically rubber stamped its renewal. Gay rights are no further along under Obama than under Bush and the amount of earmarks in our national budget is as high under Obama as under Bush. The only significant difference between Bush and Obama is that the Obama administration has run up spending deficits orders of magnitude higher than Bush.

This is why the whole area of U.S. politics can get so depressing. The incompetence and corruption we face today appears to have been going on for a long, long time. The only difference may be is that government is so much larger, wasteful, and intrusive then it was in 1855 or when Twain, Roosevelt, Marx, and Wilson spoke their quotes above. That is why we need to find a way to start shrinking the size of government immediately in order to start cutting back on the corruption and waste that apparently is inherent in the genes of all politicians:

Step 1 - start the government shrinkage process by reducing all government functions and budgets by 10% a year for the next five years.
Step 2 - aggressively step up fraud and corruption activities in all government areas, hopefully including the investigation of fraud and corruption from our elected officials.
Step 3 - implement term limits for all politicians in order to avoid the problem discussed in the Post quote above, i.e. politics should not be a profession, it should be a temporary calling and service calling.
Steps 4 - set up intelligent problem solving processes to systematically attack and solve the problems that politicians have been unable to solve with their own capabilities and intelligence including drugs, energy, schooling, and immigration.

Hopefully by implementing these steps we will eventually end up with contemporary solutions to our problems and finally put to rest the historically pessimistic view of our political class.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Political Science Topics

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