Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sexual Harassment

Sorry for not posting yesterday. I haven't been feeling so well so this post will be short today, but I will definitely post a couple tomorrow and might post about this more tomorrow.

Lately several women have accused Herman Cain, one of the Republican candidates, of sexual harassment in the early 1990's. There have been about five women. Two of them filed sexual harassment charges against Cain with the National Restaurant Association in the 1990's and claim they were given a settlement. Herman Cain stated that the claims were found to be baseless and that they were simply given money to leave the company. These women never came out in public and made statements. Now one women says she will come out and release more information if the other women do.  A couple days ago a new woman emerged and said that Herman Cain felt her up and offered her a "job." We will leave it at that. Herman Cain then stated that he could not remember that woman so her claim was baseless. She never filed a sexual harassment claim and apparently has been involved in several lawsuits in the past.

Should America believe this new woman's claims? First, why didn't she file a claim when this happened? Second, is this woman publicly standing up for her and all the other women or is she out to get money or have in name in papers? What is her motive?

How will these claims affect Herman Cain? Did Herman Cain properly address this?

These are just some of them any questions you have to ask yourself. I hope to write more about these questions and more tomorrow.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pro-Jobs or Pro-Environment

If President Obama really is pro-jobs, why hasn't he given his approval of the Keystone Pipeline Project? The Keystone Pipeline project will run a new pipeline through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. They predict that the project would create over 20,000 jobs in 2011-2012. It would also provide 20 billion dollars for the U.S. economy and over 5 billion dollars to the states the pipeline would run through.

Has President Obama not given his approval because he does not want to lose the support of environmentalists in the next election? Is Obama holding off on his decision because he has two different groups giving him money and it is another Moneyocracy problem? One objection to the pipeline is that the company should invest in more clean energy to create jobs. The problem is that creating jobs with clean energy takes longer than the pipeline would if it was approved. The government has been investing in clean energy and has created very little jobs. Others opposing the the project say that they are worried that the pipeline could hurt the environment. My rebuttal to that objection is if our economy goes into a depression or if no one has jobs will the state of the environment matter?

Some of the farmers that own the farmland that the pipeline are also objecting the pipeline because they do not want their land taken from them. I somewhat understand the farmers opposition. Several of my friend and family own land in Nebraska, but the pipeline will not go through their land. The one thing I would ask the farmers that the pipeline would go through would be isn't it worth it if you have to give up a little to help the country you live in?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chance of an Independent Candidate

Is it possible to have an Independent as President? The has only been one President that could be possible be classified as Independent. That President would be George Washington. The reason I say possibly is because the party system had not developed until after was became President.

In our country, does an Independent Presidential candidate have a chance in the elections? Since our country is ran on Democracy, Americans would like to say yes to that question. As I discussed in one of my previous posts "Is Our Country Ran on Democracy of Moneyocracy", at least the last two Presidential races have been won by the candidate that raised or spent the most money, Since many Independent candidates cannot reach as many Americans as a candidate that is affiliated with the Democrat of Republican party they are not able to raise as much money. Thus has a huge affect on how much of a chance the Independent candidate has to become President.

Another reason that an Independent candidate has less of a chance than a party-affiliated candidates is the news media. Nowadays it seems that the mainstream news media only cover Democrat of Republican stories. This causes Americans who receive their information from those sources to only hear about those party-affiliated candidates. Does the news media only show those candidates because they are biased? Do Independent candidates need to be accused of sexual harassment or speak like they are drunk at a speech to create news? Would the mainstream news still ignore those candidates?

The news media should not cover stories because they add shock value or it follows their agenda. Their job is to inform and not be biased. They should allow their listeners to make their own decisions. Why have Americans allowed the media to be biased?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mobile Telemarketing Bill Changes

The House of Representatives have been discussing a bill that would allow prerecorded voice messages to call mobile phones. This bill is called The Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011. This bill would change the Telephone Consumer Protection Act which was enacted in 1991. Currently, the TCPA does not allow companies to use automated dialing and prerecorded voice messages to call cell phones.

This new act is a bipartisan act, one supporter is Lee Terry. One argument for the act is that technology has changed in many different ways since the TCPA was enacted in 1991. This statement is true since many more people use wireless phones instead of land lines since 1991. Also cell phone customers are not typically charged by the minute like they were in 1991.

The argument against this bill would be that most mobile phone cutomers do not want telemarketers calling their wireless phones. What does the bill do to counteract this argument? The bill states that the person receiving the automated call must have given prior express consent. What does prior express consent mean? According to the bill it means the oral or written approval of a person. The bill also states that express consent is given if the call is regarding an already established business relationship or if the customer provided a telephone number as a means of contact when purchasing a product or service.

When reading this bill, I understood this as, if a customer orders a product and provided a phone number, regardless what type of phone it it, that customer could receive an automated call in the future. So the only way a consumer could make sure that they would not recieve an automated cal would be to not provide a phone number for means of contact.

Could this bill provide companies with more profits therefore stimulationg the economy? If businesses were able to place automated calls to wireless phones, they would be able to reach more potential customers. This could increase sales therefore causing the need for more products or services to be produced or provided. This would mean more jobs and increase in profits that could be taxed.

More people have been switching from landlines to mobile phones in the past few years. The question then becomes, has the TCPA been causing companies to lose profits, since companies cannot contact as many customers as they were able to in 1991?  Could this bill help our economy?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Occupy Everywhere

The first time I heard about the Occupy Wall Street movement was when one of my classmates told me about it a few days before the OWS movement began. The movement was introduced to me by this classmate as a protest to get justice for when the housing bubble had burst. At first based off of this statement the movement, I was for the movement, but lately my opinion of the movement has been slowly changing

When the Occupy movement began on September 17, it seemed as if many people and the news media did not take it very serious. Of course this usually happens with every movement or protest. Many people were saying that the movement was not very organized and the were not sure what they were protesting.

In response to those people, the movement wrote up the 99% Declaration, in which they stated 21 demands. Some of these demands included:
· Elimination of all private benefits to politicians
· Term limit reform of Senators and Representatives
· Fair tax code
· Healthcare for all
· Environment protection
· Debt reduction
· Jobs for all Americans
· Student loan forgiveness
· Immigration reform
· Education reform
· End outsourcing
· Gay marriage
When you look at this list of demands, almost all Americans can agree with at least one or more of these demands. At the same time, almost all Americans could disagree with one or more of these demands as well. Is this what they were trying to achieve? Were they hoping to gain support with people who don't mind disagreeing with one of their demands as long as they agree with a few of them?

What can the movement do to increase support for their movement and demands? The movement needs to become more organized and become a party like the tea party. Then they would be able to protest each demand instead of just having a broad protest on all of the demands. For instance, if the Occupy Wall Street Movement had a protest on Term Limit Reform, I think many people would agree with them on that specific subject. This would gain support not only on that specific protest but other people may take a look at what the rest of the OWS party represents and possibly support them as a whole. Politicians may listen to these demands better this way as well. If the OWS was an organized party the could put people in office and endorse politicians too.

The organization of this movement is not the only thing that has made me change my position in them. The destruction and crimes that have been going on with OWS is definitely part of that too. Now i understand that some of this may just be individuals and not the movement as a whole, but they need to police their own in order to be taken serious.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Is Our Country Ran on Democracy or Moneyocracy?

Lately it seems as if the people's vote in elections matter as much as money does. According to the Federal Election Commission, in the 2008 presidential election Barack Obama raised over 745 million dollars and John McCain raised over 219 million dollars for their campaigns. Obama spent over 729 million dollars and McCain spent over 202 million dollars on their campaigns. In the 2004 election Bush raised over 269 million dollars and spent over 268 million on his campaign. That same election Kerry raised over 234 million dollars and spent over 224 million on his campaign for presidency. When looking at these statistics, the candidate who raised the most funds or spent the most was the one who won the election that year.

So have the millions of dollars in fundraising turned our election process into a moneyocracy instead of a democracy like our founding fathers wanted for America? A person should get voted or not voted into the presidency based on whether or not the people agree with their values, past record, or stance or certain issues. People should not be eliminated from the race because they simply do not have enough money to keep running. What can be done to fix this issue? Should political advertisements be banned? Should there be a cap on how much money one's campaign can raise? Should there be a certain dollar amount on how much one can start their campaign with and then can't raise anymore funds?

The over 745 million dollars that was raised by the Obama campaign could have been used on better things than campaigning. Those millions of dollars could have been used to create tons of jobs or stimulate our economy. If many people or corporations are willing to donate an upwards of 1 billion dollars between two candidates, why are they complaining about paying more taxes? Keep in mind I don't thing raising taxes is the all might solution to our problems.

Anyone have anyother ideas on how to prevent a Moneyocracy from happening in the future?

Sources: 2008 Presidential Campaign Financial Activity Summarized;  2004 Presidential Campaign Financial Activity Summarized

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bonuses for Failing!

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac approved to give their executives a total of 12 million dollars in bonuses! I do not think these companies should be giving their executives, especially if these executives are they ones that were part of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when they were given the over 100 billion dollar bailout.

From a business standpoint I can understand, if these executives were around at the time of the bailout, why they would give them bonuses. One reason would be that these execs helped Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac receive tons of money from the government. Why wouldn't you give them bonuses for getting free money.

Some politicians and other people are speaking out and want the government to intervene to make Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stop the bonuses.  While some people may agree I do not think it is possible. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are private companies. Yes they receive some funding from the government but again they are private companies.

I am sure this has happened in previous years but it was never brought up as much as it is being now.