150 results for author: Phil Anderson


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 ...

Fixing Deficits With Better Priorities

“Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” Ambrose BierceConservatives supposedly are for fiscal responsibility. We should live within our means. The government should not, according to them, spend more than it takes in taxes. As a corollary, taxes hurt the economy and must always be cut. These pious platitudes superficially sound good but are misleading and destructive in many ways.Actions speak louder than words. The historical record shows that since 1980 federal deficits and increases in the national debt occurred most often under Republican leadership. ...

When is Enough Enough?

The proposed federal budget for FY 2020 has been released. The big winner, again, is the Pentagon and the weapons industry. Endless wars produce endless military spending.Most Americans know we spend a lot of money on the military and wars. Many of them blindly believe this is necessary to protect the country. But the more we spend the less safe we are. In addition we are not winning the wars. As William J. Astore. USAF LT COL (Ret.), has written,“When it comes to the “world’s greatest military,” the news has been shocking... as the U.S. military spans the globe, it’s regularly experiencing the agony of defeat rather than the thrill of ...

Action Alert

Stopping Trump #39’s assumption of emergency powers will require massive citizenaction. The House and Republican controlled Senate have voted to overturn the declaration.But Trump vetoed the resolutions. Overriding a veto will be very difficult and will only happenwith extraordinary public pressure.Lawsuits have been filed to end the declaration. But these may take years to resolve and theoutcome is not assured. Most federal judges have been appointed by Republican presidents.Historically the courts, especially the U.S. Supreme Court, have been very conservative. We cannot rely on the courts to prevent abuse of power by Trump.Trump ...

ORIGINAL INTENT, SUPREME COURT ELECTIONS, AND THE 2ND AMENDMENT

Wisconsin has a Supreme Court election on April 2nd. If you have been following this race, or paying attention to any of the U.S Supreme Court nomination hearings, you have heard a lot of noise about judicial philosophy and “original intent.” What does this mean? Is it important?Original intent is the idea that the Constitution and other laws must be interpreted based on the original intent or meaning of the authors. This view sees the Constitution as a static document frozen in time. It can only be changed by the formal amendment process. This is in contrast to a “living constitution” in which meanings and application of law evolve over ...