Candidate X

 

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Hi, My name is _______ {Fill in a name. Preferably a classic American name that sounds like a guy you’d meet at a BBQ in Iowa. Something like Blaine Christopher.} and I am running for ________.{Fill in federal office – aim for the sky!}  Let me tell you about myself: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ {Make statements about how you love your family and show an endearing picture of the wife and children. If you have no family, show a picture of you helping impoverished kids and them smiling. Relate any personable or motivational stories from your past, discussing/making up obstacles you’ve overcome. If applicable, harp incessantly on prior experience in the military, law enforcement, as a prosecutor or with prior office.}

Campaign Platform Focus:

The focus of my campaign is strengthening our economy and creating meaningful jobs, reining in the wasteful government spending and bailouts ballooning the national debt, education reform and a return to competency, the restoration of civil liberties and reform of police practices, a return to accountability and the prosecution of past crimes, utilizing a sound foreign policy that creates allies rather than strengthens enemies, reform of the NCAA and American sports and protecting the environment.

Contents:

  1. The Economy
  2. Immigration
  3. Education Reform
  4. The War on Terror
  5. The Patriot Act and Civil Liberties
  6. Investigation into and Prosecution of Past Crimes
  7. Decriminilization of Marijuana
  8. NCAA and Sports Reform
  9. The Environment

The long version…

1) The Economy

A) The Deconstruction Of Free Trade

The methodical and tempered deconstruction of free trade with many nations is the only thing that will bring jobs back. Free trade, or rather “labor for the lowest bidder” has been the largest destroyer of American jobs since 1995, and has had a direct impact on immigration.

Acts like NAFTA were sold to the American public as opening up further markets for American workers to sell their products while also creating price competition and product diversity within America, benefitting the American consumer. We were told these acts would help nations like Mexico grow their middle class, in turn creating more buyers for American goods.

But the exact opposite occurred.  Free trade became a mechanism for American corporations to move their workforce to any foreign nation for which the costs of labor, and regulatory costs, were minimal compared to the costs of operating in America.  As more and more nations were given free trade agreements, corporations across various industries had more and more low-cost labor options to choose.

Worse, corporations who may have desired to keep an expensive, skilled American workforce were put at a major disadvantage against the companies that maximized profits by taking their labor costs abroad.  By creating a vehicle by which corporate executives were faced with a choice of maximizing profits dramatically by moving their factory to China or being at a financial disadvantage against competitors who did so, our free trade policies incentivize the erosion of the American workforce.

Free trade has also failed to benefit the nations with which the agreement were made. In the case of Mexico and Central America, it has been met with disastrous effects.  Rather than grow the middle class of these nations or assist in providing political or economic stability, it destroyed their middle classes and wrecked their economies.

Without the regulatory infrastructure or evolution of worker’s rights available in America, they became societies of low-income workers making products that were once made here.  But without the means to demand a wage increase or demand further rights.  And without those means, they are ensured to be a preferable choice to American, or foreign, corporations as a location to place their labor costs rather than within the United States.

American labor should have never been forced to compete to make American products against workers from nations where they are barely more than indentured servants. But don’t blame corporations for this. Blame Congress for continuously passing these legislations.

Free trade also puts small business and newly created businesses at an incredible financial disadvantage against big business. Whereas a large multi-national has the means to transplant their labor costs to a third-world country and ship their product to the US, small and new businesses cannot do the same. They are left having to pay more per person to do effectively the same work, sticking them with much higher marginal costs than their foreign labor competitors.

However, while free trade is harmful to the American workforce, it cannot be dissolved completely nor should it be. In fact, there are many nations for which free trade is wholly appropriate.

I propose that free trade agreements be limited to nations which possess a stable political and legal system, large middle class and sufficient worker protections. Somewhat a free trade union of worker’s rights abiding nations. Nations like Germany, France, Japan, Canada, etc.  Free trade agreements should only be given to those nations for which there are no incentives for domestic corporations for either nation to supplant their labor costs by jumping to other markets. There would be no costs savings or maximizing profit for an American corporation to fire its workforce and move to Munich because the German workers would costs the same if not more.  Further, the German middle class is strong and wealthy enough to buy American products and vice versa. This is where free trade works.  And for these nations, there should be no change in our free trade policies.

But not with nations whose economies and governments have not yet evolved to the point where they have a strong and stable middle class, government, and legal system. Methodically and over a period of many years, the free trade agreements with these nations, particularly Mexico, China, those in Central America, should be deconstructed, piece by piece, industry by industry, with the introduction of targeted tariffs that will protect products in made in America and protect American workers.

We must do this slowly because the introduction of tariffs into business structures would result in near-term increases in prices. Too many tariffs at once or too near in time could have sharply negative results for consumers and the broader economy.

B) The Restoration Of Capitalism And Curtailing Over-Regulations That Serve To Protect Big Business

Although we blame capitalism for many things, the United States has not been a capitalist country for a long time. Capitalism is designed to be a meritocracy predicated on fair competition. In too many areas, we allowed overregulation to limit competition and hinder only small businesses by creating arduous barriers to entry within too many industries. Many regulations designed to provide a sense of safety only turned into extremely costly regulatory compliance with the bureaucracies created to regulate the industries. There are too many layers of burdens upon regular Americans attempting to start a business. Many of these layers, not all, must be rolled back to allow the creation of more small businesses by average Americans.

For example, there was a time where if you wanted to start a Taxi service, you could write the word taxi on the side of a vehicle and start. Whether your company thrived or failed depended on your abilities as a business manager. But this pure capitalism came with pitfalls. Eventually, somewhere, some un-regulated taxi driver committed a crime or negligently caused the death of someone. In response, we created licensing services to ensure that a person was qualified to enter the market place and help prevent these kinds of tragedies.

The intent was right, but along the way, it became more and more costly to obtain a taxi license, or medallion, as subsequent politicians added more layers of regulation. Today, the cost of a medallion authorizing one taxi  in New York City is over $1 Million. In nearly all of America’s major cities, the costs are several hundred thousand. These costs are simply unreachable for average Americans. The only entities who can afford this are large investors and corporations who purchase the medallions and hire drivers as minimum wage employees.

While the driver has a minimum wage job, he has no chance of creating a company within his skill set because he will never be able to afford the medallion.  No matter his skills or adeptness at running a taxi service, we created a system where he can never be more than a common employee.

The over-regulation of many industries serves only to protect those currently with wealth and power because it eliminates competition by never allowing the competition to be created. Throughout American industries, we must examine where our over-burdensome regulatory schemes have worked to prevent competition and either repeal/rollback these regulations or provide exceptions that encourage the creation of small businesses.

We must give small businesses an opportunity to grow and compete on the merits of their product and services and not based on whether they can afford the lawyers to comply with 2000 pages of federal, state, and local regulations. In many cases, simply more freedom will be enough to create more jobs. We must not continue with a mentality that has resulted in police officers stopping children from selling lemonade on the side of the road.

C) An End To Corporate Socialism/Protectionism And An End To Corporate Bailouts

No corporation should ever be deemed too big to fail. The U.S government must stop subsidizing the bad transactions of its largest financial institutions. We disregarded moral hazard by opening the public checkbook to crooks and stifled the spending power of the average American, creating the largest wealth gaps in history.

By bailing out major banks, airlines, or automakers, we incentivize and protect their bad behavior. But worse, particularly in the case of the banks, we ordained them kings of the court forever. Had the major banks failed, there would have indeed been a large negative impact on our economy in the short term. But not the long term. By preventing them from failing, we stopped hundreds of smaller and mid-sized investment firms that had not engaged in these practices from capturing the market share left over. We stopped any who were wiser or more adept at their trade from taking their rightful places at the top.

Instead of allowing capitalism to reward those who do well, we decided to publicly subsidize the ineptitude of their failing competitors, giving them a blank check. Now, it is those small firms who are at a more extreme financial disadvantage. Their large-firm competitors have free money to use and no risk of loss while they must operate by the normal rules of risk and reward. In the investment world, it is the equivalent of making some gods and telling them they get to compete against ants.

Rather, capitalism should be allowed to do its job. When a major corporation engages in terrible business practices and fails, it will be broken up. Its pieces will be sold to its competitors for them to integrate into their structures as they fill the market void left by the failing entity. I stand against publicly subsidizing private corporate losses, against corporate socialism and against corporate protectionism.

D) Miscellaneous

I support maintaining a strong dollar against foreign currencies and against quantitative easing programs.

I support the re-establishment of the Glass-Steagall Act and/or similar restrictions regarding the commingling of commercial and investment banks.

I support legislation requiring high-risk home loan, auto, and credit providers to maintain ownership, or a percentage of ownership, of loans issued beyond certain high rates, thus ensuring the risk of loss, to an extent, remains with the original creditor and thus discouraging predatory lending.

I support repealing the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and re-instituting restrictions on cross-ownership of media companies.

I support legislations that restrict or ban high-frequency trading within many exchanges and markets.

I support auditing the Federal Reserve.

I support the repeal of Obamacare and the introduction of a single payer and private insurance system similar to Canada, France, Germany, and many others.

To assist the financial growth of American families, I support increasing the limits on several taxable deductions, including the student loan interest and annual child-care deductions.

 

2) Immigration

We must take a more sensible approach when it comes to immigration.

We must always remember America is nation of immigrants and I continue to support the many lawful immigration entry policies available. All immigrants to America, whether they be unregulated or not, must be afforded appropriate rights and the respect deserving of all humans.

But we cannot deny that the massive unregulated movements of peoples across borders does not have an adverse impact on a nation’s economy, from labor pressures to the increased costs of providing government services to every person within a jurisdiction.

However, walls and increased deportations will never solve America’s unregulated immigration problems. Nor will policies that callously separate parents from their children. These only address the symptoms of illegal immigration and do it in costly and ineffectual ways.

We will not see a substantial decrease in the number of unregulated immigrants until we address the problem at the source. People do not make the perilous journeys across the seas or deserts in rickety transportation, often with a variety of criminal elements preying upon them, because they want to run away from a good situation. They do it because the nation they are leaving cannot provide them or their children with a prosperous future. They do it because they seek security and because that deadly journey and a chance at a life in America is worth the risk.

This dynamic will never change until the source nations of America’s unregulated immigrants are able to stabilize themselves, particularly Mexico and those in Central America.

We must be more direct, yet also more honest, with these nations and ourselves about the causes of the decline in their stability.

One of those causes is the same that has devastated America’s work force: free trade and broader economic policies that allow American capital to place its workforce abroad to avoid labor costs. While free trade stabbed the American worker in the back, it also devastated the economies of many nations from which we now see large waves of unregulated immigration. Their locally owned small business, like ours, and even nationally-owned business were suddenly made to compete against foreign giants. Their political structures became flooded with money representing foreign interests, which almost always wins over the demands of a local population seeking more rights.

More so, free trade created a race to the bottom for many nations. Often, the political and business elites of poorer nations lure foreign capital by advertising that their people lack labor rights and can be employed for minimal amounts. They advertise that foreign capital can be assured the government will never enact any legislations or take any steps to change this dynamic. Neither American workers nor their counterparts in foreign nations should be forced to engage in a race to the bottom when it comes to wages.

Free trade has been devastating on all ends. Its negative consequences to the economies of the poorer nations have only exacerbated America’s problem of unregulated immigration. We must deconstruct free trade to allow the economies of poorer nations to evolve without the unduly interference of foreign capital and the political power it can afford to buy within their societies.

We must be honest about how our broader foreign policy also directly affects immigration. We must ensure that our policy is not to engage in endless meddling to protect private financial interests that are counter to the needs and development of local populations. Just as deconstructing free trade would allow poorer nations to evolve their economies and strengthen their middle classes, we must allow those same nations to evolve politically without US interference, either covert or overt. We must limit ourselves to providing honest guidance and assistance based on a mutual respect and never by engaging in policies that usurp their local interests for the benefit of private money.

Miscellaneous: I support fulfilling the promises of the Dream Act. I support the continued acceptance of war refugees into America pursuant to longstanding UN and US placement programs.

 

3) Education Reform

Our centralized education system is failing America’s youth. I support the termination of federal standardized testing and a restructuring of the Department of Education. While maintaining a reduced supervisory role over curriculum, I support changing the primary function of the Department of Education away from drafting standardized curriculums to providing local jurisdictions with assistance on capital projects and funds on a per-student basis.

We must allow the states and local communities to have more authority and control over the curriculum of America’s children. The centralized system has only helped America’s youth fall behind their foreign competitors. By requiring total commonality and not allowing for any independence of curriculum, we are anchoring our best and brightest to a lowest common denominator rather than allowing them to develop at their own pace with support from their schools.

With every change in the White House, the centralized system shifts to help achieve the political goals of the incoming party. This leaves America with a fractured education system that has only gotten worse over time. For decades, the administering and development of America’s educations programs by DC bureaucrats has been a race to the bottom.

We must allow the States and local jurisdictions to take more control over the education of their youths while also providing the funding assistance needed.

We must provide more trust in local communities to provide education programs designed to uniquely fit their communities and enhance the educational experience of their students.

We must allow local communities to engage in teaching and use their discretion rather than require a nation of kids to memorize pamphlets and standardized test questions.

We must enable schools and communities to devote resources to music programs, art programs, PE, drama programs, etc., rather than devote all resources to complying with an unbending common curriculum.

Allowing each state to develop its own curriculum, as they once did, will also result in a laboratory effect of teaching methods, education practices, and curriculum structures. In time, this will show us which methods are more successful and less successful, enabling struggling jurisdictions to seek out examples of successful structures. We must allow those who can do better than the federal government to do so. We must not hold them back.

With a central system, it is one-size-fails-all. Changing the structure of the Department of Education, terminating the standardized tests and limiting its power over curriculum will help restore America’s education system as a world leader.

Miscellaneous: I do not support zero-tolerance policies. I support teachers and administrators exercising sound judgment in determining whether an act should be reprimanded or merely ignored. I do not support punishing students if they do something otherwise innocuous, like playing cowboys and Indians or shooting someone with an imaginary gun.

Regarding college financing programs, I support limiting the re-sale of debtor notes among private creditors and capping student loan interest rates.

 

4) The War On Terror

While there have been many errors and crimes committed in the execution of the War on Terror, against both American citizens and foreign nationals, time machines do not exist and we must determine how to go forward from the present.

Within the War on Terror, we must win an ideological battle. Not with words espousing a superficial devotion to the rule of law and rights of man but with actual actions and practice in the face of adversity.

Not killing innocent civilians while hunting terrorists, either as a result of collateral damage, erroneous targeting, or callous and loose operating procedures must become a real objective in this conflict. Not violating the human rights of prisoners and treatment of all in accordance with honorable principles must become paramount to our methods of operation.

For every innocent person killed by an American drone or bomb, we create multiple (the amounts of) enemies from their family, friends and communities. For every person imprisoned and tortured within an American facility, or by a government propped up and supported by us, we lend credence to the words of our enemies that we only intend harm. We must defend ourselves while applying our principles and not merely pay lip service to them.

To achieve these objectives, I support greatly restricting and restructuring America’s armed drone program to prevent the deaths of non-combatants.

I support ending American’s extra-judicial assassination programs, closing Guantanamo Bay and America’s many black-site prisons.

I support restructuring our overly-supportive relationships with several nations within the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Qatar, among others.

I support greatly limiting the amount of military aid provided to several regimes throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa, though not its full termination. We cannot achieve our global objectives of peace and stability by funding and arming regimes and governments that routinely violate the human rights of their constituents or those around them.

I support continued negotiations, nuclear agreements with monitoring, and peace with Iran.

 

5) The Patriot Act And Civil Liberties

I support the repeal of the Patriot Act, a total restoration of constitutional rights taken since 9/11 and an end to warrantless surveillance and detentions.

While police reform is generally an issue controlled by the states, there are many ways the federal government can help ensure proper police practices. I support buying body cameras for law enforcement officers or providing jurisdictions with financial incentives for their use. The use of body cameras not only helps prevent bad policing but they also help save administrative and judicial costs. Many cases are dismissed outright or resolved via plea, and without costly trials, solely because of the power of video evidence. This is also true if a civil case evolves from the matter.

I support increased funding and expansion of the Department of Justice to investigate more cases of civil rights violations by police. I support the termination of military training to police jurisdictions where abuses are prevalent and provision of civil rights trainings to all police jurisdictions.

 

6) Investigations Into And Prosecution For Past Crimes Of Government, Business, And Various American Individuals And Foreign Citizens And Entities Within US Jurisdictions

We have seemingly lost any ability to hold many people, whether they be wealthy private citizens or powerful government officials, to any measure of criminal accountability. We cannot rely on or expect partisans to do anything more than grandstand when it comes to applying the law because they themselves must worry about covering their own crimes or the crimes of their allies.

We must find a way to restore accountability to all levels of government and start afresh.  We cannot allow the criminal and hidden baggage of the past to continue to weigh down our future. Yet this is no simple task and the breadth of such an endeavor requires more than recycled promises from elected officials to behave better.

There are too many scandals and crimes for any individual or agency to investigate. And the lack of transparency in government makes it impossible for us to perceive the true scope of crimes committed by powerful people.

I support the creation of an open Truth and Reconciliation Commission. While broader in scope and power, this commission would be similar to the mechanism used by South Africa after the fall of apartheid and would investigate past crimes, including war crimes, discover victims and identify perpetrators, and establish a method of reconciliation on a morally accepted basis that allows the country to more forward once and for all.

To protect as best as possible from conflicts of interests, I support empaneling such a commission with elected members of the citizenry but excepting any person who has held or holds elected office (or their spouses), any lobbyist (current or former or their spouses), and current members of government, either federal or state (or their spouses). I support empowering this commission with the full subpoena, investigatory and charging authority of the federal government.

The creation of such a commission or investigative body, free from the leveraged interests of Congress and big business, is the only method by which people will be held accountable for past crimes. It is the only method by which the American public can restore accountability to Washington and the elite…or for Americans to know what is being and has been done in their name while finding a way forward. Otherwise, we are left to the empty promises of corrupt partisans or the law enforcement officials under their thumbs.

 

7) Decriminalization Of Marijuana

We know the economic and health benefits associated with the legalization of marijuana. But further, criminalizing it comes with unbearable societal costs that we aren’t measuring. Every time a youth, most often a minority, is arrested and convicted of a marijuana charge, we stifle the progress of their lives. This does not take into account the actual financial costs to government regarding the amounts spent on arresting, processing, jailing, adjudicating, paroling, and monitoring non-violent marijuana users.

Beyond those measurable costs, the long-term societal costs may be worse. Arrests and criminal records make obtaining a college education or job more difficult, sometimes impossible. By criminalizing marijuana, the state is sandbagging the futures of too many Americans, making it more likely that they will end up a part of the growing welfare state. Along with the front-end costs of policing marijuana, we are swelling our budgets on the back end as well.

We should not be placing unnecessary barriers on the progress of the lives of so many Americans. Especially when a system of regulation and taxation has been shown to work in several jurisdictions throughout the world and USA. I support the federal decriminalization of marijuana.

 

8) NCAA Reform And The Expansion Of Professional Sports

It is time that Congress addresses the gross inequities that pervade within the economies of sports. We generally avoid thinking about the structures of American sports because we view them as mere games. But these sports have developed into billion dollar industries that affect a lot of lives, especially America’s youth.

A) NCAA Reform

The NCAA, in many regards, has created a system of lawful generational theft. They own a monopoly on the path to professional sports and use it to profit in every way possible from young Americans. Doing so while exercising draconian rules against their behavior, holding their career hopes hostage. I do not believe that major universities give scholarships to athletes because they care about providing an education to them. Or that these athletic programs are truly done to enhance the educational experience of college. They are profit making schemes.

We cannot pretend that handing a kid a scholarship and a dorm room is equitable compensation for what the athlete brings to the school. For a university, a scholarship or simply not charging a student is cheap currency. For the athlete, he must take an uncompensated gamble on his future while at the same time actively doing an activity that is generating millions in profits. Yet by rule, they are prevented from demanding any further compensation. Or rather nothing more than the cheap currency of a scholarship, often coupled with a cookie major that cannot prepare them for the future but allows plenty of time to practice. I do not believe being a student athlete means you must yield all economic rights to administrators. We must stop treating young Americans, often minorities, as profitable athletic fodder for old men.

I believe in individual rights and protecting those who have the least bargaining power, like Americas young athletes, from unjust exploitation.  I support allowing negotiated compensation to students athletes when engaged in profit-making activities, including allowing them the full use and control of their likeness for individual profit. We must not let fears of individual cases of financial malfeasance justify an oppressive system that harms tens of thousands of normal Americans each year.

B) Expansion of Professional Sports

Not only should NCAA be reformed, the federal government should not protect the monopolies of America’s professional sports leagues. Congress should remove all anti-trust exemptions given to professional sports leagues and pass legislation empowering the FTC to ensure that new entrants are permitted based on an objective standard and identifiable criteria.

There is no modern justifiable reason that leagues like the NFL or NBA should enjoy a monopoly and be permitted to prevent new businesses from joining the competition, even if the new business seeks entry within an already saturated market. The closed-system leagues must not be allowed to construct subjective and shifting barriers to entry into a marketplace. And fandom alone should never trump the public benefits of economic competition.

If an investment group or an individual desires to start a sports team, and can meet a pre-determine standard with reasonable threshold requirements for capital funding, business structure, etc, then they should not be required to seek the permission of already established entities to compete. The leagues can adjust their structures accordingly to their desire to meet an influx of new entrants.

Every team created, like any business, means jobs and tax income based off of those jobs. As an example, the NBA has thirty teams, thirty administrative staffs, thirty coaching staffs and player rosters. In total, a few thousand people involved in the sport, deriving incomes they spend in their communities and taxable to local, state, and federal authorities. Along with the direct employees, many thousands more rely on the income the sport create,s including support staff, stadium vendors, merchandise manufacturers, hotels workers, security staffs, local law enforcement agencies and so forth.

With an open system allowing competition, there would not be only 30 professional teams across each sport. The amount would be determined by how many teams the American sports market could handle. It would not be limited to protect billionaires from facing increased competition. For many cities or states like Iowa or West Virginia, such a system is only the method by which they ever likely to have a pro-sports team.

Accordingly, there would be multiple the amount of executives, managers, trainers, vendors, manufacturers and athletes. While deconstructing free trade would take many years, if not a decade or more, the expansion of professional sports may be the largest short-term job creation vehicle available to our nation. Job creation that would also benefit the many minority groups that represent a large percentage of the labor within the sports industry. And unlike other industries and despite our current free trade policies, these jobs cannot be exported.

Creating objective standards to entry and enforcing capitalistic principles of fair competition would also eliminate long-standing concerns regarding minority ownership of sports franchises. In order to compete and start a franchise, minority-controlled ownership groups would no longer need permission from rich men hoping to maintain their monopoly.

Beyond job creation or concerns regarding minority ownership , ending this system of corporate protectionism would end the game of exploitation teams routinely play with local governments when asking for handouts to build new stadiums. We allow these leagues to limit the number of entrants and their individual teams are able to hold towns hostage with the threat of departure. As there can only be so many teams in the leagues, the threat of a team leaving leaves local populations with the tough choice of coughing up millions or saying goodbye to professional sports with little hope of its return.

This scheme of public exploitation would not exist if these protected businesses knew that a new entrant could immediately fill the market they left. Cities and towns would not feel as compelled to hand over money, often previously allocated to schools and social services, to a private business. Rather than be able to dangle the threat that a town would be permanently left without a sports franchise, the towns would know that if their market can support a franchise, another ownership group will come along.

The current system places all the negotiating leverage with private businesses and they use their leverage to extort local politicians. Requiring objective standards to entry within the sports marketplace would switch the dynamic and place the leverage with public officials and save billions for cities and towns across America.

The potential benefits of reforming the economies of sport would be far reaching for many Americans. Unfortunately, the potential economic impact and benefit to us all through direct or indirect employment, tax revenues, or public finances, is prevented to preserve the status quo of current monopolies and billionaires. I support reforming the economies and structures of American sports, both collegiate and professional.

 

9) The Environment

I support strengthening our environmental protections regarding the release of harmful pollutants and metals by heavy industry. Including, by example, in the case of the BP oil spill, levying criminal charges for dangerous, reckless or negligent business practices.

I support further funding and regulation to ensure clean sources of a freshwater for future generations, including further anti-fracking regulations.

I support further protections and conservation of wetlands, forests and natural habitats from unregulated development.

I support expanding the National Parks system to conserve more land for its natural purpose.

I do not support global warming alarmism. I do not support carbon taxes on greenhouse gases. For over twenty years, too much federal funding and too many resources have been devoted to promoting and advertising global warming as tomorrow’s disaster. This alarmism has been largely based on movie-like hysteria, consistently failing weather models or shifting standards.

This devotion has come with a large opportunity cost in that the billions spent promoting these fears could have been spent on more legitimate environmental causes. Rather than continue to devote federal funding in its current amount to global warming initiatives, I support re-directing much of that funding to more traditional environmental issues, such as those mentioned above, or scientific research, including NASA.

I support more vigorous regulation and oversight of the American nuclear industry. Nuclear power is vital to our nation’s infrastructure. But ensuring against negative events within our nuclear industry is an activity for which we must be proactive and not reactive. Nuclear power is relatively young and in its short life, we have seen two catastrophes occur in Chernobyl and Fukushima. We must be certain that even in the case of an unexpected weather event, we are protected from such a calamity occurring on American soil. We must be certain that America’s nuclear power plants do not operate with sub-standard protocols and that violators are brought into compliance. Including, if necessary, the federal takeover of facilities and accompanying civil or criminal liability to violators.

Further, as nuclear disasters affect the global environment and oceans, we must be proactive, independently and in coordination with the IAEA, to ensure that all nuclear nations implement and utilize adequate safety protocols in the construction and operation of their facilities.

 

Conclusion

Thank you for your time. I’d like you to know ________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

{Explain your reasons for running in selfless terms so it is inferred that personal gain and success are not motivations. Employ overdone political slogans such as “we need to clean up Washington”, “I’ll fight for you”, and “I stand against big business.” Provide a final description of yourself using positive resume words like ‘trustworthy’ or ‘hardworking’ as often as possible. Never forget to harp incessantly on prior experience in the military, law enforcement, as a prosecutor or with prior office. Repeat the last sentence. At the very end, no matter what is your opinion of religion, state “God Bless The United States of America.” Good luck.}

 

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Bulgaria – The Wizards of Ov

Tales of the Cup

Since we love international soccer so much we have decided to begin a series on our favorite World Cup memories. Which like everything on this site will be updated infrequently, without notice and whenever we desire.

So here goes:

Bulgaria 1994

Bulgaria 1994 – The Wizards of Ov

Sometimes in sports, a minnow kills sharks. Such was the case with Bulgaria and their dream run through USA1994. Led by Hristo “The Dagger” Stoichkov and Emil Kostadinov, this unheralded band of –ovs reminded us why the game is played and delivered perhaps the most stunning upset in history.

As shocking as their World Cup triumphs were, their qualification was equally as implausible. To get to USA 1994, Bulgaria needed to secure a top two finish in a qualifying group which included heavily favored France and Sweden along with Austria, Finland, and Israel. With two games left, Bulgaria found itself 5 points behind France and 3 behind Sweden without control of their destiny.

After Sweden took care of Finland securing a spot, Bulgaria’s chances were looking worse as France would be hosting last place Israel needing one point. And this was a bad Israeli team. The French were confident Les Blues would qualify without even needing a result in their last match against Bulgaria in Paris.

While Bulgaria took care of business versus Austria to keep hope alive, France took a 2-1 lead against Israel into the 83rd minute. Fireworks and champagne were being prepared on the Champs Elysee and rightfully so. Going into the match, winless Israel had only scored 6 goals in eight games and carried a goal differential of negative sixteen. No one expected anything worse than a draw at this point. It would have been ludicrous to think Israel could score twice in the final minutes. No way, right? Skip to to the 3:50 mark and find out for yourself.

Sacre’ Bleu!

Just like that, fireworks were undone, wine restocked, and the final game against Bulgaria took on a lot of meaning. France would qualify with a win or draw. Bulgaria with a win. Despite the collapse against Israel, rational minds could not expect France to lose two in a row at home. Eric Cantona’s temper would not allow it.

As the final game began, France had the run of play early. Someone released a rooster (France’s symbol is Le Coque) and everyone had a nice laugh. Shortly thereafter, Cantona rifled home a smooth volley worthy of winning such a match.

But those pesky Bulgarians were resistant and Kostadinov headed home from the near post on a corner only six minutes after Cantona’s opener. Tensely, the game wore on with Bulgaria chasing a winner which seemingly would not come. With ninety minutes gone, France was awarded a free kick near the Bulgarian corner. An ideal situation, all which needed to be done was sit on the ball or pass back to expire the last minute or so of extra time.

Yet instead of safely passing back, substitute David Ginola decided it would be the perfect time to attempt a cross to Cantona. Why? I do not know. Perhaps, he is an idiot. Perhaps he thought Cantona would smash home another volley to cap off the qualifying campaign in style. Whatever his reasons were for the fateful cross, the result was disaster.

Wow! Even if you don’t speak French, you can tell what the commentators thought of the situation. While the focus was on Ginola in the media, they should have credited France’s elimination to the superb lob to Kostadinov and his spectacular finish.

Do not tell that to French coach Gerard Houllier though. Houllier resigned and immediately laid all blame for France’s failures at the feet of Ginola, beginning a thus far lifelong public feud between the two. Twenty years later, Ginola filed a slander and defamation suit against Houllier for the continued criticisms by his former coach. Ah France, I hope they never change. No one does petulant collapse quite like them.

L’idiot de la France!

As a by product of this collapse, most pundits viewed Bulgaria’s qualification to be the result of France’s failures rather than Bulgaria’s talent. No one was expecting too much out of Coach Penev’s team in USA 1994. Drawn in an open group with Nigeria, Greece, and Argentina, Bulgaria needed to secure a top two finish or be one of the best third place teams to advance to knockout rounds.

Hoping for a good start, Bulgaria was trounced 3-0 by Nigeria in the opening match. However, they were able to bounce back with a 4-0 drubbing of a very disappointing Greece team, keeping hope of advancement alive.

In their final match they needed three points from Argentina, a team on a tear and captained by legend Diego Maradona.  While Argentina already secured a knockout spot with two victories, they were not likely to let off the gas since they wanted to avoid stronger competition in the next round. For any team, much less tiny Bulgaria, this was a giant hill to climb.

As luck would have it for Bulgaria, Diego Maradona had scored an amazing goal in Argentina’s first match against Greece which everyone ignored. Instead, his zombie-eyed celebration caused a big stir and questions were asked.

For any who did not know, we found out Mr. Maradona was not just a legendary soccer player. He was a legendary cokehead. The fallout led to Argentina’s captain being pulled out the tournament before the match against Bulgaria.

With the massive disruptions and distractions within the Argentine team, Bulgaria won 2-0 with another quality performance overlooked by the pundits focusing on the Maradona angle of the game.

The result meant Nigeria won the group and both Argentina and Bulgaria qualified for the round of 16, where Bulgaria would face Mexico. While Mexico was favored, it was a winnable match for both teams.

A back and forth affair, two early goals gave way to extra-time where neither team could find a winner despite several chances. In the penalty round, fate favored Bulgaria as Mexico choked massively missing their first three penalties. Bulgaria on the other hand hit three of their first four happily finding themselves in the quarterfinals. A monumental achievement for a team making only its second world cup appearance since 1974 and which had never gotten past the group stage.

At this point, most people thought the Bulgarians were lucky. Their qualification was miraculous and they were fortunate to play Argentina during a scandal involving their best player. Mexico could not hit a penalty to save their lives. Even the 4-0 victory against Greece was disregarded since Greece turned out to be the worst team of the tournament, finishing 0-3 with a negative ten goal differential.

But this luck, or skill, was about to be tested. Beating Mexico meant a date with Germany.

1994 Germany with Jurgen Klinsman, Lothar Matthaus, and Rudi Voller

1994 Germany with Jurgen Klinsman, Lothar Matthaus, and Rudi Voller

To understand how large a favorite Germany was over Bulgaria in 1994, you have to know a bit of German soccer history.  Since 1954, Germany had made the final four of the World Cup every time but twice (1962 and 1978). In those ten world cups, Germany played in six finals and won three. What happened when they did not make the final four in 62 and 78? They were eliminated in the round of 8. This is considered an unspeakable tragedy in German soccer.

Coming into USA 1994, Germany was reigning World Cup and European champions having played in three straight World Cup finals dating back to 1982. Even the mothers of Bulgaria’s players knew the Germans would win. After all, as former English Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker said,

Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.

Or at least so we thought before they played the game.

After a slow first half, a shameful Klinsmann dive resulted in a German penalty and lead. But again Bulgaria would not quit.  Fifteen minutes from time, they were awarded a free kick 25 yards away from goal.  A precious opportunity against the stout German defense. With this chance, Stoichkov delivered a brilliant bender which left the keeper paralyzed and gave Bulgaria a well-deserved equalizer.

Tied at one apiece, Bulgaria kept pressing forward while the Germans were still discombobulated after having conceded. All the sudden you knew this was possible.

While we had become familiar with the exploits of Stoichkov and Kostadinov, it would be another Bulgarian who would put his name in history and become the most famous balding man of 1994.

Germany does not impress him.

Germany does not impress him.

Just three minutes after Stoichkov’s equalizer, Yordan Letchkov dove in front of the German defender and used his shiny noggin to deliver a historic goal.

Bulgaria held on and impossible occurred. Letchkov and his forehead hair-island became an international celebrity overnight.

He uses the hair island for targeting headers.

Now I get it. He uses the hair island to target headers. Brilliant!

The Germans were stunned and American fans in the crowd who were new to soccer were treated with a upset grander than any they may ever see again.

Sadly, Bulgaria could not replicate their magic in the semi-final and lost 2-1 to Italy after an early Roberto Baggio brace.  Bulgaria never quit and had their chances throughout the game but could not find a coveted equalizer. And while their 4-0 defeat in the Third Place Match to qualification opponents Sweden may have left a bitter taste in their mouths, their qualification to USA 1994 and stunning victory over Germany remain one the greatest memories in World Cup history.

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Organic War

Humans have been killing each other for a long time. Forget what they say about prostitution, murder for self-interest is the oldest profession. It predates humanity since cro-magnum men and neanderthals were clobbering the crap out of each other.  Rest assured, it will continue. The universe demands this.

Like Judgment Day in the Terminator movies, some wars cannot be avoided. They can only be delayed or prevented for a time. And as hopeful or delusional as we may be, no war will ever be the last unless it ends all of humanity.

It has nothing to do with the reasons we learn in school. It is not a battle of cultures or religions or economic ideologies. Capitalism versus communism is irrelevant here. It is never about the  fabricated threats spouted by governments to fool their peoples. People are dumb anyways. It is easier to sell a moral lie than explain a horrific reality.

It is not some failure of humanity or human reasoning. Humanity is doing what it is designed to do.

War is organic and natural. Not all wars but certainly the most important. It is survival of the fittest type stuff. An inescapable consequence of the existence of multiple civilizations on the same planet.

I am not advocating we kill anyone. I have never viewed any war in my lifetime as just. Rather, I watch politicians, those self-proclaimed moral leaders, pursue conflicts for disingenuous reasons which are exaggerated to achieve obvious but unstated geo-political objectives.

Nevertheless, I have come to understand direct conflict and war with Russia and China are inevitable at some point in our future. Either war or the total collapse, dissolution, and break up of the United States, or Russia and China, through economic failure without war. Yet considering the lessons of history, it is unlikely there can be an ultimate victory without someone’s total military defeat.

The Soviet economy collapsed and Russia reasserted itself within twenty years. Had NATO invaded Russia in some manner immediately after the collapse, the geo-political map of the world would be drastically different today. It was at only at this juncture such a maneuver could have been executed with minimal carnage. Orwell would be sadly proud of the term ‘minimal carnage’.

NATO would control essentially all oil reserves and routes to the West. It would have the ability to limit Chinese supply to only Iran, IF Iran were even able to survive as a sovereign without the assistance and protection of a sovereign Russia. I bet hawks in Pentagon regret this one. Again, I am not advocating war with anyone. I am just running a hypothetical.

And forget the cat and mouse proxy game of war and sanctions NATO and Russia/China play within the Middle East and around the World. This is merely boxers throwing snow balls at each other before they step in a ring. Just trying to prevent the other guy from warming up too much. Gotta keep him cold.

And this does not have to occur soon. It might or it might be in 100 or 200 years. I do not know when. I only know it cannot be avoided forever. War and someone’s ensuing defeat or someone’s total collapse without a war will happen. Guaranteed.

And no need for it to be an all out nuclear war which destroys the Earth or even dissolves either nation geographically. History shows it often results only in the chaotic collapse of one power structure with the winner absorbing the defeated into their power structure. Only the defeated nation’s ability to rule over itself must be permanently destroyed.

Germany and Japan lost World War II and lived on…albeit under complete political, military, and economic control of the Allies. In terms of personal and national wealth, they were far worse off than if they had won but they still continued as nations even if Germany was split for a time.

World War II provides a great lesson. We remember with great pride how America defeated Germany and saved Europe. But America’s victory over Japan was far more important. The Japanese Empire was the most formidable opponent of the United States since the War of 1812, which we resoundingly lost. Not Germany who also had Britain, France, and Russia to combat among others.

The reasons for the war with Japan show why war is inevitable. In all successful nations, the economy and population grow over time. It does not matter what economic ideology or system of government is present. If it is at all successful, at some juncture the needs of the population and economy will reach and surpass the internal capacity of the region under that nations’ rule. This is similar to animal populations reaching an environment’s carrying capacity.

At this juncture, society has a choice: civil unrest and economic disruption if not outright collapse and political turnover, or;  you find resources from somewhere you haven’t already taken from prior. Since no ruler wants to get bounced from power or worse lose their heads, they will always find a reason to take resources from someone else even if it means fabricating causes to go to war. To those in power, the alternative is much worse. See Marie Antionette and Louis XVI.

So after industrial growth in the 1800’s, Japan became an empire (again), invading China, Korea, and many portions of East Asia and Western Pacific. Same concept as the British Empire, Ottomans, Mongols, Magyars, Romans, and so on. Empire is the only way to go when you hit the big time.

However, as any empire grows and further absorbs new territories into its structure, it will either reach its zenith and inevitably collapse or bump into an entity or other empire which cannot be dislodged so easily. And more so, the other empire may have the same need for growth and space. When this happens, all the righteous and holy jibber jabber, kumbaya circles and peace signs in the world cannot stop a war.

Japan’s empire was no where near its zenith and they were longing for more. But it had grown to the extent its need for resources and oil directly conflicted with the interest of another empire which could not be dislodged easily. Namely the United States of America. Constrained by geography and without the resources to feed its empire, Japan went to war with the United States in hopes of ruling the Pacific and giving their empire room to grow for a generation.

Never forget the United States prodded Japan into war by limiting Japan’s access to oil and the United States knew an attack was coming but did not make serious efforts to prepare for defense. The United States was fine with being able to tell the American people Japan started it by bombing Pearl Harbor. They, like Japan, knew this war was inevitable or rather an organic war. It was a matter of when, not if.

There are only so many resources to go around and while moral or wise leaders are able to prevent inorganic or needless wars, they can only delay organic wars. But depending of the circumstances, delaying an organic war may be to your detriment and contribute to an eventual defeat in the future.

Even if leaders were to adopt a stance of pacifism or neutrality and successfully grow their economy without war, they would eventually face economic contraction, collapse and potential internal chaos when they no longer had the ability to seek out new resources to sustain growth. Or worse, they would face an invasion from a foreign empire which itself had grown large enough to desire the pacifists’ or neutral’s resources. I imagine a bunch of pacifists would be an appetizing target for an resource-needy empire, too.

This is why I never hope to see Utopia. I hope my children or grandkids or even their children and grandchildren will never see it. To get there, every independent and self-serving power structure in the world, whether they be just, unjust, democratic or dictatorial would have to be defeated and destroyed. Many of the well-armed ones would not go so easily. While pleasant, the premise of the song Imagine petrifies me. Getting there would require a lot of warfare, destruction, indiscriminate killing and unimaginable human suffering. No thanks, Mr. Lennon. I’ll pass.

Hopefully, we will not be forced to see the horrors of a Utopia’s birth. But we will see war. And it does not matter who the enemy is or what they have done. What matters is they exist beyond our power structure. Even if the independent sovereign is your ally and will be for another hundred years, they are also an inevitable future enemy should your power structure and theirs survive long enough.

So we must be the direct geo-political enemy of Russia and vice versa…and then China…and if we continue to succeed, eventually probably India…and then whoever may rise in South America…and then probably someone in Europe or some portion thereof again…and then finally whatever independent power is left in the World until there can be only one…Highlander style.

It is survival of the fittest and winner takes all. A battle to create and control a final unified order after many thousands of years of human division. Or at least until the winning power structure’s economy inevitably collapses, society falls apart and the first planetary empire splinters or dissolves into numerous entities and states, each acting in their own interest. Just like before.

Then wash, rinse and repeat. For eternity.

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