Editorials
Commentary, editorials from Reader staff.

“We The People” Solutions: Peaceful Participation to Save the Bill of Rights PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 06:10

Do any of us really believe it is a coincidence that Congress and the president are fast-tracking specific legislation and executive orders that, when viewed in their entirety, destroy the Bill of Rights? Three months ago, Congress passed the alarming National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), allowing indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without due process – meaning without probable cause, criminal charge, benefit of counsel, or a trial. This treatment of U.S. citizens was outlawed after the Civil War, only to resurface now in an even more egregious manner, especially since back then, citizens had to at least be charged with a crime.

In the shadow of this shocking legislation, last week Congress almost unanimously passed another horrifying law that criminalizes protesting on or near any federal property, or merely being in the vicinity of either (a) an event of national significance, or (b) a person under the protection of the Secret Service. The Federal Restricted Buildings & Grounds Improvement Act repeals our right to peacefully assemble and petition the government with our grievances. In fact, it is now illegal to assemble in front of Congress if even one member might be inside.

 
Who is the “1 Percent”? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 06:21

The new meme cheerfully propagated by the mainstream media (MSM) is the 1-percent-versus-the-99-percent conflict, which fits perfectly into its strategy for maintaining strict political divisions of Left versus Right. This bipartisan strategy is absolutely critical for advancing the agenda of the “1 percent,” which, simply stated, is to own and/or control the world’s natural and economic resources, including land and mineral rights, water sources, food and energy production, transportation, money supply, and most important of all labor.

Glaringly absent from this current meme is a proper definition by the MSM of exactly who composes the 1 percent. This, too, is absolutely essential, because if the 1 percent is actually identified, broad-based consensus is achievable and solutions can begin. Instead, the 1 percent is left to the imaginations of the 99 percent, allowing for a wide variety of culprits responsible for society’s woes, and no possible consensus – hence no solutions, either.

If you pay attention, you’ll find that solutions are never proffered in any of the MSM’s endless dialogue permeating the broadcasts, and rarely in print. The very last thing the 1 percent wants are viable solutions emerging to upset the status quo.

So who is the 1 percent?

 
Defending Defense – or Not: Let’s Have The Debate PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 06:03

For decades, the political machine has perpetuated a deliberate void in the average American’s knowledge and understanding of our foreign policies, militarism versus defense, and the relative budgets for all three. The mainstream media gives these subjects a wide berth as far as meaningful coverage goes. Even the federal budget for defense breaks out military spending from other significant defense expenditures.

Let’s review how U.S. defense spending compares to the rest of the developed world. Military spending in 2010 for Germany was $46.8 billion, United Kingdom $57.4 billion, France $61.8 billion, Japan $51.4 billion, Russia $52.5 billion, and China $114.3 billion. The U.S. was $687 billion! That is nearly twice as much as all these other countries combined, adding up to $384.2 billion by comparison, according to 2010 World Military Budgets, issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Military Expenditure Database.

 
Ron Paul Personifies Iowa GOP Party Platform PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Thursday, 08 December 2011 06:01

(Editor's note: This is one of three articles on Ron Paul in the December 8 issue of the River Cities’ Reader. The package also includes Dave Trotter’s “Electability: Ron Paul Soundly Defeats Obama for These 11 Reasons” cover story and Todd McGreevy’s “Media Manipulation and Ron Paul.”)

Participants at the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa, in August 2011. Photo by Jesse Anderson.How curious is it that both liberal and conservative media have so obviously colluded in blacking out meaningful coverage of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul? Add to this phenomenon that when coverage is unavoidable, it is heavily biased against Dr. Paul. This blanket policy by the mainstream media (MSM) toward this single candidate begs the question: Why is Ron Paul such a threat to both parties, so much so that the MSM has orders from on high to label him as “unelectable” but offers very little in terms of rationale for why it deems him so?

Voters’ curiosity should be piqued over this blatant dismissal of the candidacy of such a highly respected member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Texas voters have elected Dr. Paul 12 times as a Republican, and his base has grown exponentially since he became a national candidate, attracting conservative Republicans, moderate Democrats, and independents alike because his message has remained steadfastly constitutional in all things, no exceptions.

 
More Governments Gone Wild PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 06:24

This issue’s article on the Scott Emergency Communications Center (SECC) further illustrates government overreach run amok, beginning with our state legislators. State law (Iowa Code 28E) enabled the creation of the Scott Emergency Communications Center, an intergovernmental agency composed of five separate entities: the Scott County Emergency Management Agency, Scott County, the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf, and Medic EMS. Funding SECC is enabled through more state legislation (Iowa Code 29C) that provided for an unelected board as a brand-new taxing authority, with no limit on how much it may levy. And, as the details emerge, SECC gets to operate with no oversight whatsoever.

Let us never forget that the SECC was sold to Scott County taxpayers as a 7,800-square-foot building to consolidate emergency dispatching and enhance 911 service, saving taxpayers money along the way. The Bettendorf City Council barely passed the measure to join this scheme, approving it 4-3 in December 2007. The intergovernmental agreement that formalized this financial boondoggle specifically dictates that all decisions shall be guided by the 2006 CTA Communications consolidation study. So how did CTA’s 7,800 square feet balloon into 27,000 square feet by February 2009?

The dismissal by SECC Director Brian Hitchcock and Scott County Administrator Dee Bruemmer of the very study that is to guide their decision-making, as the intergovernmental agreement dictates, stands as testimony that citizens need to be very concerned, and extremely vigilant. Such dismissal suggests that there was never any real intention to follow CTA’s recommendations to begin with. This is further evidenced by Hitchcock’s claim of good stewardship by reducing the original architectural design from a 36,000-square-foot facility to 27,000 square feet.

 
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