Monday, July 25, 2011

Nihilistic Republicans - The New Stalinists and Maoists?

The debating regarding raising the national debt ceiling to avoid a default of our nation and the downgrading of our federal bonds is heading towards a mutual destructive clash.

Ignoring President Obama's self-mutilating offerings tot he negotiation table, Republican House Speaker John Boehner continued to demand that balancing the national budget must be on the back of the poor and middle class, so as to give the rich even bigger share of national wealth.  The Republican's insistence not to increase revenue and their refusal of the deal were purely not only unsustainable but insane.  One has to wonder if the Republican leadership has lost their mental soundness.

They have chosen to employ a scorch earth policy.  Being principled is to be respected but being nihilistic ideologue only labels themselves as unfit to govern.

Anyone to govern must have a deliberate and balanced mind while the Republican leaders are anything but.

According to Fox News, Boehner said that "I would prefer to have a bipartisan approach to solve this problem. If that's not possible, I and my Republican colleagues in the House are prepared to move on their own ... today."

He perhaps has forgotten that he only chairs half of one of the three branches of the governmental bodies of the Unites States of America.  Time for him to dictates has not arrived yet.

Given historical lessons, let's hope that would never happen.

Their chosen nihilistic approaches have many predecessors such as Lenin, Stalin or Mao, who insisted that he had the truth, scientific truth while dealing social-economic issues, and hell-bent to wreck havoc to achieve their ideological gain.  When they have become so maniacal, they really ought to be striped of power to govern.

There is place in society for nihilists to voice their protests but not to govern.  Their brand of so called governing is nothing but destruction.

Haven't Americans suffered enough?

Enough is enough.

Ravens / 烏鴉 / Raben
Ravens © Matthew Felix Sun

Friday, July 15, 2011

Republicans Goal - Taxing the Poor To Fatten the Rich

Our country on all levels - federal, state, county and city - is in such dire financial state and it is inconceivable that the Republican leaders, particularly those with Tea Party bend, would choose to refuse to close tax loops (amounting to tax increase for the rich, according to their argument), while demanding steep cut for the middle class and the poor.  By their argument, that deep cut would amount to taxing the middle class and the poor.

There we go again, let's tax the have-nots so the have can have more.

This is beyond sickening.  Republicans have proofed that they are not fit to govern.  Whoever voted them into offices must answer for their own conscious.  This is a moral issue.  What the Republicans and Tea Party members demand - to balance the budget by taxing the middle class and the poor alone - is immoral.

This insistence of taxing the poor to fatten the rich affects people on multiple levels.  Take two great public institutions in California for example.  California State University (CS) just passed a 12% increase of tuition while in the same meeting the trustees also approved a salary for the incoming president of CSU's San Diego campus that's about $100,000 higher than his predecessor. San Francisco Chronicle reported that:
Despite Gov. Jerry Brown's urging them not to: "I fear your approach to compensation is setting a pattern for public service that we cannot afford," Brown wrote to Carter. "The assumption is that you cannot find a qualified man or woman to lead the university unless paid twice that of the chief justice of the United States. I reject that notion."

Elliot Hirshman, the new San Diego campus president, will earn $400,000 compared with $299,435 earned by his predecessor, Stephen Weber.

In voting for the raise, Carter said it was pointless to oppose it because Hirshman was promised that salary and has already begun working at the campus. Carter also appointed a panel to study how CSU selects and compensates its presidents.  

Well, may we ask who had promised his such salary?

A few days later, University of California (UC) approved a 9.6% increase of fees and tuition.  According to San Francisco Chronicle,
University of California regents voted Thursday to raise tuition by 9.6 percent - on top of an 8 percent increase already approved for this fall - over the objections of students who said they'll drown in debt.

At the same meeting in San Francisco, the regents also gave large pay raises to three executives, including two who are paid from state funds.

This fall, undergraduate tuition for California residents will rise to $12,192, more than 18 percent higher than last year's $10,302 - a level that prompted violent student protests. With a mandatory campus fee that averages $1,026, a year at UC now costs $13,218 before room and board.

That's more than twice what it cost in 2005. 
Again, while the UC system is becoming less competitive, UC approved big salary increases for three high-ranking executives:
Marye Anne Fox, chancellor of UC San Diego, said rising fees for graduate students make UC less competitive.

"We're starting to lose students," she told the regents.

Other chancellors reported cutting academic programs, losing faculty and raising class size.
The regents also gave raises to three executives.

Patrick Lenz, a UC system vice president, will earn a base salary of $300,000 from taxpayer funds, a $27,500 increase.

Santiago Muñoz, an associate vice president, got a 24.1 percent raise, from $201,400 to $250,000. Taxpayers pay 40 percent of his salary.

Mark Laret, who runs the UCSF Medical Center, will get a base salary of $935,000, a $195,300 raise, and a retention bonus of $1 million over four years. It's paid from medical center revenue. 
Again and again, this scenarios play out from east coast to the west cost, from Alaska to Florida.  More and more, many of the Republicans demand, Democrats demur, and the masses accept this unsustainable and unholy thinking that we can and ought to balance our budget, pay off our debt by squeezing the middle class and the poor, ever more tightly.

Again, we must remind people, that if the Republicans insists on any revenue growth is a tax increase, then any service spending cut is also a tax increase, only not on the rich, but on the poor.

Those Republicans ought be ashamed of themselves.  They also have no business of governing.

However, this is a country knows no shame and shaming them would not produce anything worthy.

Swamp /  沼澤 / Sumpf
Swamp © Matthew Felix Sun

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The State of Minnesota

The State of Minnesota has closed its parks and museums due to the budget standoff between their political leaders of two major parties.

The closing of many offices also affects many people's life, particularly the poor.  The effect can be devastating to the affected and deserve our utmost sympathy.

However, one of the stories reported by CBS and Associated Press, supposed to earn our sympathy and support was a woman named Sonya Mills.  The story went:
In the absence of talks, the shutdown was rippling into the lives of people like Sonya Mills, a 39-year-old mother of eight facing the loss of about $3,600 a month in state child care subsidies. Until the government closure, Mills had been focused on recovering from a May 22 tornado that displaced her from a rented home in Minneapolis. Now she's adding a new problem to her list.
I am sure that she life has become very difficult to cope with and her children deserve our compassion.  However, the number of children she has raised my eyebrows.  Eight!

I can understand that responsible people with two, three or even four children, could be able to feed, cloth, house and educate them under normal circumstances and might fall to victim of economic downturn.  But for someone who collects $3,600/month governmental support with eight children, it is quite absurd.  It is doubtful that her needs of financial support was due to the economic downturn.  She could be use as an example to show what is not sustainable and should not be condoned.  Using her case as example to show how "regular" folks' life being affected by Minnesota's shutdown was an ill choice.

Parenthood is not a by-product of sex.  It should be a carefully planned and prepared responsibility.

Bring a child into the world is not a contribution to the society.  Considering the over-population issue, one can argue it is the opposite.  We should encourage responsible parenthood. 

Considering the resources average American consumes, we should be even more on guard for bringing more children into the world unprovided for.

It is highly ironic that we attack China for make great sacrifice to reduce the population, therefore the demand on the fragile earth.  It's time for a reality check.