Saturday, August 27, 2011

Associated Press: Haven Daley- 'Long Island Prepares for Hurricane Irene'

Source:Associated Press- Hurricane season comes to the Northeast.

"After battering other parts of the East Coast, Hurricane Irene now has Long Island, NY in its sights. As AP's Haven Daley reports, residents and visitors on the island are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. (August 27)" 

Seems to me every time that America has to deal with big storms which is every year, we are a huge country between two large oceans with 310M people we have to deal with big winter storms in the Winter (when else) goes without saying 2011 being no exception. We have to deal with flooding in the spring and summer with all of the rain, hurricanes, and earthquakes in the summer and even fall. If you live in the Mid Atlantic as I do, heat waves in the Fall as well. 

America is capable of getting just about any natural disaster possible as well as man-made disasters. And almost every time we get these storms, we deal with them generally after they occur rather than before they occur. 

I'm talking about mainly how we pay for them: Hurricane Katrina of 2005 is an excellent example of this, where the Federal Government apparently wasn't even aware that it was happening as it was happening. At least not the White House and the Director of FEMA Federal Emergency Management Service Mike Brown lost his job as a result. And was fired by Mike Chertoff the then Secretary of Homeland Security.

I'm a big fan of reforming the Federal Government because it needs a lot of reform, its too bloated, too big, too wasteful, has too much responsibility. The things that it does well, it does real well and Emergency Management has historically been one of those areas. But the things it doesn't do well, it's awful and wasteful at. Like managing a budget, where it wastes hundreds of billions of dollars a year alone in some agency's, Medicare and Defense being perfect examples of this. 

This post will be about Federal Government reform, but I'll focus on disaster relief because of Hurricane Irene and how we can do a better job in this area. Hurricane Katrina of 2005 is an example of where the Federal Government wastes a lot of money, six years later New Orleans and the Greater Gulf Coast is still trying to recover from that disaster where we borrowed in the neighborhood of 100B$ or more to deal with that storm. Because the Federal Government wasn't prepared to deal with it, didn't budget the money to deal with a storm like that. 

The people didn't budget the money on their own to deal with that storm as well. Things like property insurance and lost their homes and ended up homeless and living in trailer homes set up by FEMA. Where of course FEMA borrowed the money to set up these projects and people ended up living in rotten conditions. And some of them having to move to Houston because there weren't enough adequate homes for them in the Gulf Coast. 

These issues that are preventable that are problems that don't have to happen, if we just better prepare ourselves up front from that start. So we don't wait for the problems to occur before we deal with them but we prepare for them before they happen. 

What the Federal Government should be doing instead is stetting up a Federal system of disaster relief and insurance that any property owner or renter would have to pay into. That the Federal Government wouldn't run but somewhat oversee and they would regulate it. That would have its own revenue source to pay for their operations. That both the relief and insurance would be semi-private, non-profit . Where each state would have its own disaster relief and insurance system, that would be funded through like a payroll tax. That the Federal Government would just regulate, so when there's a natural disaster, this system would already have the funds to provide the cleanup. 

We also need disaster insurance that people who paid into could collect when their property is damaged as the result of a natural disaster. We deal with natural disasters every year as a country but never seem to be able to deal with the aftermath of them very well as far as paying for them. And with this bad economy where money is already very tight and with a national debt and deficit of 14T$ and 1.8T$. We need to as a country and the Federal Government needs to be smarter with our money.

RT America: Francis Fukuyama- 'End of History For Neoliberalism?'

Source:RT America- Well, if Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin had his way, what perhaps Russia calls neoliberalism (which is actually liberal democracy) would end. 
"RT (formerly Russia Today) is a state-controlled international television network funded by the Russian federal tax budget.[5][6] It operates pay television channels directed to audiences outside of Russia, as well as providing Internet content in English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic, and Russian.

RT operates as a multilingual service with conventional channels in five languages: the original English-language channel was launched in 2005, the Arabic-language channel in 2007, Spanish in 2009, German in 2014 and French in 2017. RT America (since 2010),[7] RT UK (since 2014) and other regional channels also offer some locally based content." 

From Wikipedia 

"Liberal democracy is really all there is now," political economist and author Francis Fukuyama said in 1992. Fukuyama's theory, outlined in "The End of History and the Last Man" claimed that neoliberal economic policies and liberal democracies were the "universal consensus" that arose from the fall of the Berlin Wall. But a report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this month states that China will overtake the US economically by 2016. Based on both countries' purchasing power parity, "the Chinese economy will expand from $11.2 trillion this year to $19 trillion in 2016. Meanwhile the size of the U.S. economy will rise from $15.2 trillion to $18.8 trillion. That would take America's share of the world output down to 17.7%, the lowest in modern times. China's would reach 18% and [continue] rising." So is neoliberalism the end of history—or history?" 

This notion of neoliberalism that Democratic Socialists use to describe liberalism is a myth. And when they talk about so-called Neo-Liberals the Bill Clinton's of the world, they are talking about actual Liberals. People who are not as liberal as me especially on social issues, but economic policy and even foreign policy. But they are still Liberals with liberal positions and not centrists. Socialists don't like what they call "neoliberalism, because it doesn't fit into their collectivist ideology.

And Liberals tend to support things like strong national defense.

Strong law enforcement.

Free trade.

Tax cuts, low taxes, fiscal responsibility, decentralization of government power.

Government living within the U.S. Constitution, empowering people to help themselves instead of empowering government to take care of them.

Freedom of choice in health care and on other economic issues as well as social issues.

Liberalism unlike socialism is not government-centered, but people-centered. Liberalism is and individualist ideology similar, but different from classical conservatism and libertarianism. Whereas socialism is a collectivist ideology. 

The socialist idea being government shouldn't allow some people to do a lot better than others and take from them when they do, etc. And Socialists especially in the Democratic Party, especially don't like people who I would call Moderate Liberals, who emerged in the Democratic Party in the mid 1980s. 

People who were labeled New Democrats. The Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Joe Lieberman's of the World. Democrats who wanted to move the party past the New Deal and Great Society and George McGovern era, when Democrats were labeled by Conservatives and others and I believe to a certain extent had a case, as tax and spenders. People who believe in a strong centralized Federal Government with high taxes to finance it.

Thanks to the New-Left that emerged in and outside of the Democratic Party in the late 1960s and early 1970s, we saw the Democratic Party get whipped in three straight presidential elections from 1980-88 as well as lose the Senate in 1980 for the first time a generation. And saw the Republican Party hold the Senate for two more elections and decided it was time to move the Democratic Party past this era. 

So you have Democratic Socialists in the Democratic Party who are anti-liberalism, because they know that their main competition in the party and also know Liberals run the party. And you have others who don't know any better that get liberalism mixed up with libertarianism and people on the Far-Right who mix up liberalism with democratic socialism. 

Libertarianism and classical conservatism are similar political ideology's from liberalism, but are different. The similarity's are that all three of these ideology's are built around the U.S. Constitution and individual freedom. The differences are that Libertarians want government out of the economy all together and just want government to protect individual freedom and keep the streets safe.

Classical Conservatives- The Barry Goldwater's and to large extent the Ronald Reagan's of the world, would like to privatize or block grant to the states a lot of the American safety net. Liberals believe government can help people in need empower themselves to become self-sufficient and these are just the differences on economic policy.

The idea of neoliberalism is a myth from Democratic Socialists who don't like liberalism and especially moderate liberalism. They feel they use to run the Democratic Party from the 1930s up to the 1990s and feel left out. And would like to get their power and back and take back the Democratic Party.

The term RINO (Republican in name only) that the Tea Party has invented, well the Democrats have that term for themselves, but replace the R with a D and I'm not talking about Dean Martin (ha, ha) but DINO's are what the Far-Left calls Democrats in name only. People who use to run the Democratic Party in the 1960s and 1970s and now see themselves out-of-power and are now only Democrats in name only, because they don't have another major party to call home. 

But ideologically the Far-Left of the Democratic Party is much further left than Center-Left Liberal Democrats who believe in liberal democracy. Instead of some collectivist socialist society where we're all dependent on government for our daily economic survival. 

Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Liberal Democracy