154 results for author: Phil Anderson


Asian Carp: Too Little Too Late

“It is time that a permanent and effective solution be implemented to prevent the spread of this invasive species. The Great Lakes are the crown jewel of the Midwest, and the potential damage both environmentally and economically from Asian carp is too great to risk, which is why we have asked the corps to close the Brandon Road Lock.”   Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong”  Murphy's Law Wisconsin Public Radio recently had a story on the latest public statement on the Asian carp problem. The take away from the article is that the politicians are, as usual, dithering. Asian ...

Questions About Patriotism

Tell a lie a thousand times and it becomes truth. Repetition is essential to influencing people. Repetition of lies and half-truths is used to manipulate and control people. Advertisers, dictators, and politicians understand this strategy. But repetition is also essential for learning. Truth also needs to be repeated if we are to learn and avoid repeating past mistakes. It is in this spirit that I repeat last year's 4th of July article. ********************************************************************************************************** “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because ...

Historical Perspective on Iran

In the last several articles I wrote about our aggressive, militarized foreign policy and how it leads to conflicts and disastrous wars. The current saber rattling with Iran is a classic example. Over the last seven decades our belligerence and interference in the internal affairs of Iran are illustrative of the mistakes we have made all over the world. Knowing this history, it is not hard to understand why we are considered the “great Satan” by Iran.This is all verifiable history – not ideological or political cherry picking. Since World War II the U.S. has overthrown a democratically elected government, bribed officials, interfered in ...

Choosing a Better Way

“Alternatives to particular wars are almost never seriously sought and the idea that there might be an alternative to war itself almost never occurs to people” “...in the 21st century it has become patently clear that making war does not create peace, as the case of the two Gulf Wars, the Afghan War, and the Syrian/ISIS war clearly demonstrate.”“War is always a choice and it is always a bad choice.” These quotes are from the World Beyond War (WBW) publication “A Global Security System: An Alternative to War.” This article continues our examination of the WBW's belief that peace is possible if we choose to build an alternative ...

An Alternative to War

“Thinking that war is inevitable makes it so; it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.” “Thinking that ending war is possible opens the door to constructive work on an actual peace system.”“There is more peace in the world than war. It is not inevitable. We have a record of doing things differently. We have changed in the past and we can do more in the future.”Most people think world peace is a Utopian pipe dream. Humans are the killer ape. War is as old as humans and it isn't about to go away. We live in a dangerous world and must rely on a strong military to keep us safe.But World Beyond War, an international peace advocacy organizat...

Militarism in America

“We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism are all tied together. And you can't get rid of one without getting rid of the other.” Martin Luther King, Jr.“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. KennedyAmericans believe we are the “good guys” that promote peace and democracy around the world. But too frequently we are part of the problem rather than the solution to conflicts between nations. As a nation we are dominated by the evil of militarism. Our militarism results in conflicts ...

Individual Liberty and Health Care

Recently I had conversation with a college student on the subject of a national health care program. The student objected to “Obama Care” because it limited his “liberty.” Being required to participate infringed on his freedom to choose not having health insurance. He also objected to paying for other people, especially those who might do unhealthy things.I suggested to him that we are all members of a society. No man, or woman, is an island and no one is free to do, or not do, anything they want. All civilized societies impose necessary restrictions on people. Often these are “thou shalt not” restrictions but they can also be positive ...

Shared Prosperity and Taxes

“...building broad-based prosperity requires investing in what works – and we can’t do that without taxes.” Tamarine Cornelius, Wisconsin Budget ProjectToo often we refer to taxes as a “burden.” Taxes are not portrayed as an opportunity, a public investment, a responsibility of patriotic citizenship. This limited vision does not serve us well.The Wisconsin Budget Project is a non-partisan organization that analyses these issues. Referring to the tax cuts and budget choices that cut public investments in people, they say “Not only have past tax cuts failed to spur job growth, they have made it harder for Wisconsin to build a strong ...

Patriotic Millionaires

Taxes have always been a major political issue in America. We love to hate taxes. From “no taxation without representation” in 1776, to “read my lips…..no new taxes” in 1988, to the current administration's fake tax cuts in 2017, taxes have been the controversy of choice for politicians. They can always fire up the voters with calls to “tax the rich” or to “give back your hard-earned money.”Sensible people understand that taxes are the dues we pay to belong to a civilized society. Taxes are essential to a stable government, and stable government services are essential to the well-being of all of us. Recently I ran across a website ...

A People’s Budget For Wisconsin

Governor Tony Evers says his proposed budget “is the people's budget.” It is intended to “put people first.” The details of his budget proposal show this is more than campaign rhetoric. There are a number of changes in policy and spending priorities that will positively impact most people in Wisconsin.Evers' budget increases funding for schools, infrastructure, public health, and health care. These were important items either cut, or ignored, under the prior administration. The people of Wisconsin elected Evers largely because of his promise to restore school and public infrastructure funding. But reversing eight years of cutting these ...