Political Veracity

It seems to me…

Isn’t it great to live in a society where the penalty for lying to a congressman can be up to 30 years in jail, but the penalty for a congressman lying to you is another term in office.”  ~ Peter Schmuck, Baltimore sports writer (concerning the indictment of Roger Clemens).

This is election season and many of the statement being made by both political parties are either partially or totally untrue, misleading, or to some extent – insulting to both our country and the President.  While I do not agree with all that President Obama has proposed or said, he still is our President and I respect the office.  While he holds that office, I will support him as I tried to do with previous administrations.  President Obama has not been even a fraction as untruthful as his direct predecessor so to label him as a “liar” as has been done by rightwing extremists is not only disrespectful but a direct distortion of the facts.

Similarly, while I do not approve of Congress’s inability to function as charged, the people of our country elected them in free and open elections.  To single out Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid without equally mentioning John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Jeb Hensarling, or Tom Price in the House or Mitch McConnell or Jon Kyl in the Senate who have opposed every bill attempting to aid our nation’s recovery is to buy into the Republican lie.  It is obvious that the only thing Republicans care about is regaining the White House and are willing to sacrifice our country’s future to do it.

Regardless of Conservative claims, there has not been any attempt by the current administration to pass any legislation that is Socialistic and anyone using that term in relationship to any laws passed in the last fifty years hasn’t any idea what Socialism actually is:

Socialisma theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

This is another of the Republican “Big Lies”.  (Even our early colonies passed “social” legislation to assist the needy.)

Republicans also have claimed it “was the young people of this nation who elected Obama and the Democrat Congress”, yes, the majority (53 percent) of seniors voted for McCain but that certainly is not an overwhelming percentage.  And haven’t younger voters an equal voice in determining our nation’s leaders?  Again the claim of “hype and lies” best applies to the fabricator of these types of messages.

And for the attempt to blame the current administration for “no jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes, and less freedom”, while I might be getting older, there isn’t anything wrong with my memory and anyone failing to remember that these are the legacy of the Bush administration would have to be senile.  Yes, Obama has had four years to reverse those policies but every attempt at change has been opposed by the Republicans.

We do need to carefully consider whom we elect in the coming elections but – at least so far – the current crop of Republican candidates appear to have lost touch with reality and if their campaign statements were enacted, would continue the recent Republican-motivated decline into ultra-rightwing conservative extremism.  Not only are they the Party of “NO”, they have become the party against nearly everything; they are the party attempting to destroy our nation’s middle class, they are the party unwilling to let scientific facts interfere with wishful thinking, they are the party willing to sacrifice our nation’s future for narrow ideological doctrine.  The list of what they oppose is endless – and the results of their stated agenda if enacted would be fewer jobs, less police and fire protection, fewer teachers, more expensive college education, worse environment, worse health, elimination of retirement benefits, deterioration of our entire transportation infrastructure.  Where does it end?

I believe the best days of our country still to be in our future but our country must get beyond current ultra-conservative attempts to destroy all that our nation stands for.  We must rebuild the educational and research foundations upon which the innovational capacity necessary for our very survival depends.  Similarly, we must bring the entire infrastructure which serves as the foundation of our country to a level where it is able to support the manufacturing, transportation, and commerce necessary to begin a re-growth to what our country once stood for.  I believe in the potential of our future rather than some figment of a past that never really was.  It is time for us to start moving…

I always have been told that the way you can tell when a politician is lying is if his mouth is moving.  Listen to the candidates in the upcoming elections and ask yourself one question: “Would I buy a used car from this person?”

That’s what I think, what about you?


About lewbornmann

Lewis J. Bornmann has his doctorate in Computer Science. He became a volunteer for the American Red Cross following his retirement from teaching Computer Science, Mathematics, and Information Systems, at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, CO. He previously was on the staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, Stanford University, and several other universities. Dr. Bornmann has provided emergency assistance in areas devastated by hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. He has responded to emergencies on local Disaster Action Teams (DAT), assisted with Services to Armed Forces (SAF), and taught Disaster Services classes and Health & Safety classes. He and his wife, Barb, are certified operators of the American Red Cross Emergency Communications Response Vehicle (ECRV), a self-contained unit capable of providing satellite-based communications and technology-related assistance at disaster sites. He served on the governing board of a large international professional organization (ACM), was chair of a committee overseeing several hundred worldwide volunteer chapters, helped organize large international conferences, served on numerous technical committees, and presented technical papers at numerous symposiums and conferences. He has numerous Who’s Who citations for his technical and professional contributions and many years of management experience with major corporations including General Electric, Boeing, and as an independent contractor. He was a principal contributor on numerous large technology-related development projects, including having written the Systems Concepts for NASA’s largest supercomputing system at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. With over 40 years of experience in scientific and commercial computer systems management and development, he worked on a wide variety of computer-related systems from small single embedded microprocessor based applications to some of the largest distributed heterogeneous supercomputing systems ever planned.
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10 Responses to Political Veracity

  1. auntyuta says:

    “no jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes, and less freedom”

    All these things would of course have a great effect on a lot of people’s lives. What I would like to dwell on for the moment, is ‘higher taxes’. I don’t know, but were there actually higher taxes under the Bush administration? Who exactly suffered under higher taxes and what were the higher taxes used for?

    ‘ . . . We must rebuild the educational and research foundations upon which the innovational capacity necessary for our very survival depends. Similarly, we must bring the entire infrastructure which serves as the foundation of our country to a level where it is able to support the manufacturing, transportation, and commerce necessary to begin a re-growth to what our country once stood for..’
    I agree with all this because it definitely applies to Australia too. Have you an idea where the money should come from to make all this possible?

    Investments, Interest Rates, Stock Market Influences. Buden of Loans. These are some more things I would like to be able to understand a bit better. Market influences in general are pretty important, are they not? Some people say we can leave everything to a free market. The market is going to regulate itself. Is this truly so all the time? Where need governments to come in?

    It is said that free elections are important. And so they should be. However I tend to be a bit cynical about the outcome of elections when people on the whole don’t really know what they are voting for. Who really does know it? In the end we all have to make compromises, right?


    • lewbornmann says:

      I just realized I missed your comments — Sorry…

      There were two major tax reductions under President GW Bush:
      o Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA)
      o Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA)
      which significantly lowered the marginal tax rates for nearly all U.S. taxpayers but especially the wealthy (though there is significant disagreement between the Conservatives and Liberals concerning the overall effect of these reductions). Regardless, the U.S. went from having a budget surplus prior to the reductions to a significant deficit. Two unfunded wars also affected budget allocations.

      Rather than allowing the reductions to expire, Conservatives have chosen to use the deficits as an excuse to reduce or eliminate programs they find objectionable such as welfare or medical assistance.

      I personally believe it better to pusue policies likely to result in GDP increases even if they lead to increased short-term deficits. With the cost of borrowing at an all-time low, an additional stimulus to fund infrastructure and research should not only reduce unemployment and balance the budget but also restore national competitiveness and provide a foundation for future growth.

      We should have learned from the recent monetary crisis that a lack of financial institution oversight eventually results in financial mismanagement. While the Dodd-Frank reforms passed in July 2011 were intended to correct some of the problems that led to the crisis, banking interest lobbyists have succeeded in weakening most of its intended provisions. What is needed is for the Glass-Steagall banking laws intended to prevent the type of stock speculation that resulted in the depression of 1929 passed in 1933 but repealed in 1999 to be re-enacted. Unfortunately, banks have become both too big to manage but also too big to allow to fail.

      Realistically, I have little confidence in either the possibility of an additional stimulus or financial reform. This is an election year and either would be impossible to enact.


      • auntyuta says:

        Thanks for your reply.
        ‘Rather than allowing the reductions to expire ….’ So does this mean this still goes on under the current administration? And you have unemployment that is too high. I think I know what you mean when you say a stimulus is needed for the creation of more jobs.
        We were lucky here in Australia in that our government was able to provide this stimulus when there was this crisis appearing.
        I wonder if people, once they were in secure employment, if these people would be willing to accept higher taxes. Vote for the party who wants to introduce higher taxes? Do you think people would like to vote for a party like this, even if paying higher taxes was a reasonable thing to do?


      • lewbornmann says:

        Tax reductions approved under President GW Bush had sunset provisions and would have expired at the end of 2010 but were extended after a bitter political debate for two additional years as part of a larger tax and economic package. That extension will expire this December unless Congress can agree on a budget compromise. Republicans are demanding a balanced budget along with further tax reductions and increased funding for defense; Democrats want slight tax increases on anyone with an income over $250,000/year, elimination of subsidies to oil companies, and additional budget reductions over several years. As of now, a compromise seems highly unlikely.

        A $787 billion economic stimulus package was approved by Congress in February 2009 but was too small to have any significant impact on the U.S. economy following the effects of GW Bush’s economic policies. While now would be a good time for an additional stimulus, Republican’s are unwilling to approve any measure that might aid President Obama’s reelection — regardless of whether it might be beneficial to our country.

        Surprisingly, recent polls show that a solid majority of Americans — between 60 and 70 percent — favor higher taxes on the wealthy to help pay down the national debt and finance other priorities. While it seems Republicans are out of touch with the majority of Americans, it remains to be seen how this translates into votes during the election. Unfortunately, if Republicans can continue to sabotage President Obama’s economic improvement efforts, they have a high probability of defeating him for reelection.


  2. berlioz1935 says:

    Isn’t this the truth. You must feel a bit lonely shouting out all those truths.

    Arthur Schopenhauer argued that in a conflict between Reason and Will, Will will always prevail. It seems to me he was right. During the election of Barak Obama Will and Reason happened to come closer together and people believed it was so. The slogan, “Yes, we can!” was perfect at the time. But, as it turned out, “we can not”, because the “Will” of his enemies is very strong. Whether it is stronger than reason and belief of the majority of voters will be tested in November.

    It is the media’s responsibility to expose the lies and argue for the truth. But when the media is allied with the Republicans people have problems with seeing the truth for the forest of lies.


    • lewbornmann says:

      Never lonely since so many express agreement. Unfortunately, conservatives seem more publicly active and possibly intimidate the more moderate “silent majority”; iberals are more inclined to tolerance of conservative pugnacity.

      Arthur Schopenhauer was too pessamistic, sexist, and racist. While he did apparently believe Will always would prevail over Reason, I believe Reason to be responsible for all the advances that have been made in the world. The total negation of human desire seems more consistent with conservative extremism rather than progress or social welfare.


  3. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!


    • lewbornmann says:

      Politicians frequently are successful by being good salesmen but as anyone who has bought a used car that turned out to be a lemon can tell you, not all salesmen can be trusted. They also are very good at selling us something we really do not want. Regardless of political affiliation, listen to the message and see if that message is something you actually believe in. All too frequently, politicians advocate that our country should go in a direction that in the long run would not be beneficial. Trust both your mind and your heart and do what YOU believe to be correct.


  4. auntyuta says:

    ‘Trust both your mind and your heart and do what YOU believe to be correct.’
    I reckon this is the best advice you can give to the voters.
    Thank you for commenting again today and explaining so much more about taxation.


    • lewbornmann says:

      You always are welcome. I appreciate your comments since they usually require me to consider what I believe about some topic. Though there are obvious differences, many of the politically-related challenges facing each of our countries are quite similar. Conservative efforts to prevent economic recovery in the U.S. unfortunately seem successful — this week’s employment statistics were negative and if that trend continues, greatly enhances their prospects to prevent President Obama’s reelection. Regardless of the outcome, it always is interesting to see how the game is played.


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