177 results for author: Phil Anderson


ABOLISH THE POLICE ???

 Abolish the police? Defund the police? How can society function without law enforcement?  People are not angels and we don't live in a utopia. This may sound like a really crazy idea – especially if you are white and have not had to live with racial profiling and excessive use of force common to many minority neighborhoods. But sometimes it is better to start from scratch rather than try to fix what is hopelessly broken. We have a 20-year-old car that is getting seriously rusty. A cheap cosmetic repair can make it look better but it won't eliminate the rust that will continue to rot away the car. To fix it correctly you have to cut ...

GOT FREEDOM – THANK AN ACTIVIST

 “War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.” President John F. Kennedy “Our troops are, of course, human and vulnerable and imperfect. We don’t help them when we put them on pedestals, give them flags to hold in the breeze, and salute them as icons of a feel-good brand of patriotism. Talk of warrior-heroes is worse than cheap: it enables our state of permanent war, elevates the Pentagon, ennobles the national security state, and silences dissent.”  William J. Astore (USAF Lt. COL retired) We have many myths in this ...

THINGS THAT MUST BE DONE

 “...If changes are to come, there are things that must be done...”  From the song “Somewhere to Begin” by T.R. Richie “...if people are paying attention, then we get good government and good leadership. And when we get lazy, as a democracy....then it results in bad government and politics.” President Barack Obama Responsible democratic government depends on citizen participation. This year we must elect competent leaders who care about people and the issues that actually matter to most people.  A few years ago, an investment firm had a TV ad claiming they created wealth “the old fashioned ...

NO EXCUSE FOR POLICE VIOLENCE

 “I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind.”  General James Mattis, former Trump administration Secretary of Defense Once again, the country is in turmoil because excessive force by police killed a Black man, George Floyd. Once again people are angry and taking their demands for justice, and real change, to the streets. In too many places the police response ...

THINGS WE ARE LEARNING

 “The question today is whether we can learn something from coronavirus that might not only help us mitigate the harm of this pandemic, but build a new infrastructure of care that allows us to better protect the most vulnerable — and us all.” Gregg Gonsalves, Yale epidemiology professor and Amy Kapczynski, Yale Law School professor. We are learning – or should be learning – some important lessons from the pandemic sweeping the country. This tragedy shows how fragile and vulnerable we are as a society. We are finding out that many of our social structures are inadequate, broken, or not structured to meet the needs of ...

THE SACRED COW IN A TIME OF PLAGUE

 We are finding out – very painfully – that there is much more to “national security” than weapons of war. The current pandemic sweeping the nation adds angst and urgency to the situation. We are seeing the results of excessive military preparedness and insufficient investment in all other government activities that actually make our lives secure. The U.S. military is the largest and most expensive in the world. It has been since WWII. We spend more on defense than the next eight top spenders combined. We have military bases in 140 other countries. More than any empire ever. We have 11 nuclear aircraft carrier battle groups ...

COMPARING THE CANDIDATES

 Northwest Wisconsin is having another election May 12th. This is a special election in the 7th Congressional district to select a new member for the House of Representatives. The contrast between the two candidates is huge. A look at each candidate's own words (from the “issues” page of their campaign websites) speaks volumes. Tricia Zunker, the Democratic candidate, identifies eight issues she thinks are important: “Healthcare, the Farm Crisis, Education and Children, Standing up for Working People and Protecting Equality, The Economy & Infrastructure, the Environment, Campaign Finance Reform, and ...

WE ALL MUST LEND A HAND

 We all know there is too much money in politics. Running for office has become outrageously expensive. Politicians, who are supposed to be “representing” us, spend all their time fund raising. Big donors have too much influence and elections are being bought by a few deep pockets. Obviously, the country needs serious campaign finance reforms. But this isn't likely to happen. So we, the people, must counter the corrupting influence of big money by supporting candidates that actually serve the public. Most people don't have deep pockets but collectively we have MANY POCKETS. We can overcome the power of money with people power. ...

FREEDOM FROM STUFF

Waste is a human invention. Nature has no waste. In nature everything is recycled. A fallen tree is shelter for animals and food for insects and fungi. Everything decomposes and becomes soil or nutrients for plants, bacteria, and fungi. Dead organisms become food for other organisms. All this material transfer happens in closed circular patterns called cycles. There is no garbage, landfills, or toxic Superfund sites. Humans are the only animal that fouls its own nest. We are the only ones creating toxic materials that do not exist in nature or cannot be broken down and reused. Many of the materials we make can last hundreds of years or ...

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT

 “What is America’s newest leadership position? It’s energy waste.”  Eric Savitz in Forbes magazine, 2013“Energy efficiency is a powerful tool that has delivered greater economic growth, reduced emissions, and enhanced our quality of life on a massive scale.” The authors of the 2019 “Energy Efficiency Impact Report”Conservation and reducing energy consumption are more cost effective than building new power plants. Helping people use less energy is cheaper for utility companies than new power plants and transmission lines. More energy efficiency is better for everyone, including the environment. This is a well-known, ...