132 results for author: Phil Anderson


Remember the Past but Work for the Future

August 6, 1945 we dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The world changed forever. We came under the shadow of a nuclear mushroom cloud that is still with us 69 years later.We should remember the dead and wounded from the horrific events of that time. At Hiroshima we killed an estimated 166,000 and, three days later, 80,000 in Nagasaki. Most of these dead were non-combatant civilians of all ages.We should remember that war has always been destructive. But with the atomic age we reached a new level of destructiveness. During the arms race of the cold war we built arsenals with the power to literally destroy the world. When you ...

Questions on Patriotism

Questions About Patriotism Fourth of July celebrations get me thinking about patriotism and its role in our country. We are good at flag waving and platitudes. But our history shows we are not good at living up to our ideals. So patriotic holidays get me asking questions about what patriotism really means in America.Why is patriotism considered the highest of virtues? Shouldn't we be more concerned about people?  Shouldn't we love morality, justice, or tolerance more? Christ said we should love our neighbor, not our country.Why is patriotism always expressed in military terms? War is considered the ultimate sacrifice for country. But our ...

Pipeline Expansion: Their Gain – Our Risk

Enbridge Energy is expanding the capacity of its pipeline through Wisconsin. You may ask, “What is the big deal?” Pipelines run over the state and most of the country. There are many good reasons to be concerned discussed by the Sierra Club, 350.Org, and the National Resources Defense Council. These include concerns over accidents, spills, higher risks associated with tar sands oil, lack of regulations, the poor safety record of Enbridge, and the threats to water resources in the state. Middle Wisconsin News highlighted some of these in the article The Dangers of Tar Sands Oil in Wisconsin. The expansion will increase private profit while ...

Demand a New Approach in Iraq

President Obama's decision to sent 300 special forces “trainers” to Iraq is taking us back to war and the same mistakes of the past. It will not help the situation in Iraq. We spent 11 years “training” the Iraqi police and military. Why do we think 300 can do now what 150,000 could not do before?The deteriorating situation in Iraq proves that our intervention and occupation failed. It did not build a stable country. It did not promote democracy. It did not defeat extremism or curb terrorism. It only killed people and wasted money. Why do we continue to throw good money after bad? Why do we continue to think social and political problems ...

Honor the Fallen by Working for Peace

On Memorial Day we remember our military dead and honor their sacrifice. But we do not honor veterans by lying to ourselves about why they died.Many Americans believe we are “free” because of the military and the sacrifice of our troops. “Got freedom? Thank a Vet!” This is a nice sound bite, but it is not true.This slogan only blinds us to the real causes of war. It promotes the next war. It justifies the war industry and maintains recruiting. It is misleading because it assumes that only veterans have protected our freedoms. And it assumes our numerous wars were necessary for defending freedom.Many people worked to expand and ...

Why Women Should Support Women (written by a MAN!)

It's amazing that in 2014 we're still fighting over equality for WOMEN. Equal pay for women is an example. This seems like a simple issue of fairness and family values. Women do make less than men for the same work. Women are the primary breadwinners in many families. Yet Gov. Walker ended the state equal pay law. This week the Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked DEBATE on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have helped women fight unequal pay. But it doesn't stop with pay. Opposition to health care reform impacts women more than men. So do attacks on voting rights. Roadblocks to unionization hurt women more than men. Sick leave, living ...

National Security: Less is More

The Pentagon, and all the other national “security” spending, is a major reason we have  taxes, deficits, and budget problems.The Center for Defense Information, a think tank run by former military officers say:“Pentagon costs, taken together with other known national security expenses for 2015, will exceed $1 trillion.” “There is much more than $495.6 billion in the budget for the Pentagon, and there are piles of national security spending outside the Pentagon...” They list total national security spending outside the Department of Defense such as: the Department of Energy nuclear weapons programs, military retirement ...

Thoughts on Taxes

April 15th is coming up. For many of us, the problem with taxes is not how much we pay, rather it is what we get for our tax dollar. Taxes are the dues we pay to belong to a civilized society. Are we getting what we need? Are we getting our money's worth? Are we building a prosperous, healthy, sustainable, and truly civilized society?There is too much sound bite and too little information on this topic in the media. Perhaps the facts below and some perspective will help ease the pain this tax day.How much do we pay?In 2011 Americans paid, as a percentage of income, between 17% and 29% in total taxes. This includes ALL federal, state, and ...

Retirement for All Legislation Introduced

A secure retirement for Wisconsin workers may be coming in the future. Senate Bill 611, introduced by Senator David Hanson (D-Green Bay), creates a board to study creating a private sector program modeled after the highly successful public employee Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).Being able to retire with dignity and financial independence was once part of the American Dream. But retirement security is declining in America. Many experts say a retirement crisis is developing. Many people will be unable to retire, will have to work longer, or will live in in poverty during their “golden years”. This decline in secure, adequate income for older ...

New Year’s Resolution: Be Involved

Good government requires more than just voting. As any good manager knows, employees have to be supervised and their performance monitored. Our political representatives are no different. They must be held accountable. Citizens have to stay informed on issues. They have to know enough to sort through misleading sound bites and talk show bombast. They have to communicate with their representatives.Yes, politics is dirty. There is too much money and mudslinging. But maybe politics would be more civil if citizens were more involved. Maybe our belief that we can't discuss politics in polite company is part of the problem. Maybe we get the politics, ...