The Washington Post Argues for Philosophy

The Washington Post Argues for Philosophy

Today The Washington Post posted an article discussing why students in K-12 need philosophy and the education of the First Science. Steve Neumann is the original author, but Valerie Strauss decided to share it in regards to the idea of pushing education further, specifically talking about Obama’s 4 Billion dollars for Computer Science education. The reality is that Neumann’s piece is quite truthful and philosophy is a necessary part that children need in their education.

I don’t mean that we should teach kids philosophy the way they would encounter it in college. Adolescents don’t need to dive into dissertations on Plato’s theory of forms or Kant’s categorical imperative. (That kind of study is valuable, too, and should be included in secondary education somewhere, but that’s an argument for another day.) The kind of philosophy I have in mind helps kids become better citizens by turning the classroom into what the philosopher John Dewey called “embryonic society.

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Donald Trump: Chew Bubblegum and Instill Fear

Donald Trump: Chew Bubblegum and Instill Fear

Why Americans, not just the GOP, have an inclination towards Strong-Men

I have been troubled recently, not by the efforts and words of some men, but by the reaction of many of my fellow Americans to the existence of the candidacies of those men. I am sure that while many Americans may feel that certain candidates are an ‘anomaly’ or ‘oddity’ in the political cycle the reality is, they are not. So I figured I would try to give some brief arguments for why Americans, not just “old, white Republicans who are angry and hatemongers” are finding themselves supporting Trump, or anyone else of similar ‘ill-quality.’

Fear of Foreign Nations

The beginning of our context as a country obviously begins before we were a nation, when we were still colonies of the North American portion of the British Empire. During the not-so-often discussed French and Indian War, the French paid for Native American tribes to make raids on the American colonies. From this beginning, we feared foreign nations would fund those who would seek our destruction.

Eventually the boogey-man became the British who not only fought us in the Revolution, but also attacked us in the War of 1812 and provided antagonism in the nation’s history all the way through the Civil War, when they contemplated recognition of the Confederacy.

The next State enemy came in the form of Spain, who during the lead up to the Spanish-American War of 1898, had been antagonizing Latin American states, particularly in South America. When things got heated in Cuba, and we assumed they attacked our ship, the USS Maine, Americans were immediately ready for the warpath, fearful and ready to fight an enemy they thought sought their destruction.

While Germany and Japan occupy the same threatening portion in history, that of World War II, the German and Japanese fear translated into a persecution of American citizens, something that wasn’t new for the period, but when examined from the present, seems an outlier in behavior. I will discuss the fear of Immigrants later, but the Japanese internment was not an ‘isolated incident.’

The most recent span of Enemy State fears comes from the Cold War, the animosity Americans have for the Russians, Iranians, and Chinese. The Soviet Union/Russian Federation is pretty easy to explain, given the fact that we know the Soviet Union aided Vietnam War protestors, and today the Russian Federation aids Nationalist organizations in Europe, and Conspiracy groups in America. The Iranians play to our fear of death and nuclear destruction. As for the Chinese, they occupy the threat to our economy, and while the threat isn’t quite loud yet, I would argue it is building and will continue to build as the years go on.

Fear of Dis-similar Immigrants

The story of American animosity towards immigrants begins with the post-Revolution fear that Papists would betray the country. Almost immediately after the Founders won the war of Independence, fears of Catholic immigrants from France and Spain, and the Catholic citizens, primarily in Maryland, were going to betray the nation, took heart. This created the animosity towards “different” immigrants that we often see towards Mexicans and Muslims today.

In the 1800s, fear of the Catholic European exacerbated when poorer Catholic migrants began coming over, predominantly from Ireland, Germany, and Italian, these immigrants were not only perceived as eminent threats because of their religion, but because of the fact many were poor. Later, when the Chinese and Koreans began immigrating, hostility to them occurred because they looked different, spoke unknown tongues, and weren’t Christian.

At the turn of the century, as Russian began its decline, the flight of Eastern Europeans saw similar amounts of ethnic and religious hatred because Russian or Greek Orthodoxy, in either form seemed at all similar to at least Catholicism or Protestantism.

Today that fear of Immigrants is placed on two groups, Mexicans and Muslims. Muslim immigrants are feared because they speak differently, appear and dress differently, and believe in Islam. Mexicans are viewed less hostile nationally, but still economically threatening because they “undercut the American citizen’s ability to hold a job.” Whether the arguments are real or not, the fears are real. Which is why our Economy is vital to this problem.

Weak Economies Drive Social Policy

Despite Political Elite and their best efforts to deny reality outside of Washington DC and New York City, most of the nation suffers from a rather weak and frustrating economic situation. In many locations, jobs are at lows still compared to years before the Great Recession. Whether the President has fault in the trigger and immediate aftermath of the Recession, he is seen as having blame, along with the GOP and Democrat establishment in the lack of recovery in the seven years since.

When people are frustrated, as they were in months after the Revolutionary War, during the Great Depression in Germany and America, people seek to alleviate their struggle economically by blaming someone. It’s a bread and circuses effect, when the people can eat and enjoy their lives, no one has to suffer to appease the population.

Law and Order as Social Policies

As it was with Reagan’s Drug War, when there are perceived threats to safety, in hard economic times, the people usually turn to government for it to punish behavior they feel wrong. The rise in the desire to vet our refugees, like those demanding we vet gun owners, comes from the same territory that saw us want to punish drug dealers for putting kids in hospital beds. The rise in reducing and eliminating illegal immigration comes from the same place that saw us demand the Patriot Act to eliminate terrorists before they commit another 9/11.

We, as a population, demand leaders and policies from those leaders that will reinforce our strength when we are in times of hardship because we believe the hardship has come from our lenience for social grievances and abuses. I would accuse those who seek to punish bakeries for denying services are the same as those who want to punish businesses who employ illegal immigrants.

Why Trump Appeals to Americans is Simple

Americans aren’t willing to trade all of their civil liberties, and they want to protect themselves because they know government won’t be able to, but Americans have a history of showing themselves acceptable with domestic violations of the Constitution if the man in power is doing the right thing. And this is why Trump is popular to Americans, he says the right thing, he suggests doing the right thing, and he has people around him and supporting him saying he will do the right thing. Whether you think he will do the right thing doesn’t matter, what matters is that Americans believe he will do the right thing.

When you look at history, it’s clear to see why the GOP and Democrat leadership has lost control of the nation. Who would put faith in men and women who cannot make the population feel safe? Trump is rising because he talks about restoring America. He does not pretend it is doing well as some have. He says what the population is thinking.

Who Am I to Say These Things?

I live and work in DC, and I have had jobs where most would say the elite reside. However, I am from a small town in Illinois, a place of under 5000 people, where I know most people’s names and their families. And I know a handful of Trump supporters. Those folks are not the personified “Racist Redneck” that many would label as Trump supporters, they are financially reasonable, good folks who are genuinely scared of the current economic and political situation of America, and feel that their only choice to protect what they love is to give power to a man, who while appealing to the base instinct, appeals to their interest in restoring America’s position and power, and also their prosperity and safe homes.

Obviously, there are bad eggs in the Trump supporter basket, but just as we demand as Christians that people not let the Westboro Baptist Church define us, we should not let those who assault protesters, and commit violent crimes define the base supporter for Trump. We should pressure them when they wave off bad behavior of a candidate as acceptable, but my intention is not to castigate anyone, but to showcase that it is more culture than the cult of Trump that drives his support.

*I Submitted this to the Op-Ed Section of the New York Times, the 3-day ban on this content being posted has ended*

Why Secretary Clinton is a Victim-Suspect in a Bureaucratic Crime. The Crime? Vague Standards that mean nothing.

Having done record retention while I worked at the State Department, I can state that the system was just beginning to be digitized, and I was helping the Logistics Management group, and the Chief of Contracts begin that move. It wasn’t the branch office’s fault, specifications on what would be required to do the move were never fully provided because the set of credentials to meet the specifications were and are INCREDIBLY VAGUE. (I had a Unclassified but Sensitive Information Ban on me, if I seem vague, its because my Patriotism and Nationalism prevent me from possibly hurting the government, or getting in trouble with it. I love America, and I loved the State Department. At least my branch office, A/LM/OPS/TTM/TM. Shameless plug)

I spent a lot of time with old documents, because prior to the digitization policy, there wasn’t even a specified limitation on how long files must be retained. Some branches and administrations inside the State Department used 5 years, some 10, some didn’t even have an amount.

The reality is, it wouldn’t be unusual that the Secretary would have physical printouts of emails brought to her, or that she accessed her email off site. And sometimes, it would be even plausible that she used her private email, as some of the staff I worked with would do so when dealing with issues officially on days they were sick and could not telecommute. (due to State Department policy on what constituted telecommuting)

I see the fears and worries that perhaps her internet and priority or sensitive information could have been leaked. That being said, that’s a security dilemma across the agency as they begin this digitization switch because if they don’t possess the football, who does? All options have hazards of access.

Was she jeopardizing national security by doing this? Maybe, but I feel that this is a particularly murky area, and one that I spent 3 months doing for an entire office group. I’m sorry, but for once and maybe the last time in my life, I won’t give Hillary a whopping here. Why? The environment isn’t filled with IT or Computer Specialists, its accountants and bureaucrats. There were several policies that dealt with “10 things smart people don’t do with computers.”

I had to work with my boss for two months on figuring these things out. It was in the last month that I actually began the process of digitization, and that’s because the Obama administration did not create a clear set of definitions for the carryout of the process. It was vague, unsatisfying, and my boss who didn’t like unsafe technology, was especially worried and rightly so, about the security of the government information.

Is Secretary Clinton not guilty of accidental leaks and the wrong eyes seeing sensitive, priority, classified, and secret information? No…but at the same time, anyone in the State Department who wasn’t an IT expert to do the digitization carryover would be guilty of the same. The problem here is that the process showcased an endemic issue of bureaucracies: They are slow to change, slow to progress, and failing in optimization. Anyone who expected a different result when the Obama Administration released a set of vague guidelines would be insane. And anyone who thought the Administration could create a comprehensive set of guidelines to follow without an IT expert leading the change would also be insane.

Basically, Secretary Clinton may be guilty of a crime, but the crime was committed because there might have not been anyway to carry out the process without the crime occurring. Meaning, there would be a possibility of information being vulnerable during this process, even if she was in her office getting her own documents. I am not saying let it slide, but rather than crucifying the former State Secretary, why not use this as impetus to create a set of guidelines that make sense, and use corporate and internet standards, and then work with those companies to achieve the digitization policy.

Because I don’t have a Computer Science Degree, and I don’t have qualifications in System Administration or Security. But I acquired the experience of it because of this situation. At best, I had Information Technology experience, and I could help with computer software and standard Windows issues. I am actually a Subject Matter Expert on Information Retention and Security thanks to a 3-month Internship at A/LM/OPS/TTM/TM. That symbol, as the State Department calls it, stands for “Administration/Logistics Management/Operations/Transportation and Travel Management/and Travel Management.” Basically, we got cargo to and from places, and we took care of your cargo in case of problems. There were contractors, State Department employees, government agencies, and frustrations were rampant in the branch office because the branch office is the bad guy of the State Department. They were the “NO” department.

The “DRUG” Industry, Part I

The “DRUG” Industry, Part I

Protectionism: When the government enacts a policy that “protects” an industry of the nation, either because it is unstable due to market trends, or suffering profit losses due to foreign competition. Typically, the government passes trade barriers to help the industry survive. These barriers can be tariffs, or taxes on foreign imports, so that way the foreign imports are more expensive than local goods. Sometimes, they can entirely ban the importing of a good, and other times, the government will force a supply limit on the foreign good so that way the supply is small and the local import will be bought due to being the only good in excess.

E-Cigarettes

According to Wikipedia, the electronic cigarette is a battery powered device which simulates cigarette smoking. It was first patented in 1963, though it has become extremely popular and the target of a new wave of anti-smoking regulations. It uses a heating element that heats up a vapor and the smoker inhales the vapor, which contains nicotine, flavoring, and water. Some cigarettes do not contain the nicotine, which typically foments the addiction in consumers of cigarettes, electronic or otherwise.
The World Health Organization has stated that because the reviews of electronic cigarettes have not been finished, and because the product is too new, stating a health benefit in the reduction of cigarette fatalities or nicotine addiction cannot be given. They encourage all possible consumers halt the usage of such products until further review. However, the American Association of Public Health Physicians has stated that those who suffer from chronic, or long-term smoking habits, may yield a reduction in their habit by using electronic cigarettes.

Polosa, Rodu, Caponnetto, Magila, and Raciti have authored the only controlled and randomized study of tobacco harm reduction that compares Nicotine patches, e-cigarettes with nicotine, and those without nicotine. They see E-cigarettes as a great way to reduce the harm of tobacco addictions, for several reasons. First, the traditional materials that make up chewing tobacco or cigarettes, and the materials necessary to use traditional cigarettes do not exist in the electronic cigarette. There is no exposure to ash, tar, and other hazardous chemicals that make up the traditional cigarette. They believe that the risks associated with smokeless tobacco will be similar to electronic cigarettes, and predict that that the mortality of these new products will be 1% of the mortality associated with traditional smoking. They also go on to say that a lot of the fear-mongering of the “smokeless E-cigarettes” comes from websites that lump the electronic cigarette unfairly with its smokeless cigarette counterpart and chewing tobacco. They credit the media for creating a fear campaign when there isn’t any strong medical or health based studies to say the tobacco-less electronic cigarette is just as harmful as the tobacco-based products.

The McKinney Opinion: I am no smoker, and my exposure to tobacco products is this; I smoked a tobacco pipe once, and have taken a hit on an electronic cigarette. I coughed less from the electronic cigarette, but I also suffered a migraine following the participation. Clearly nicotine is a highly addictive drug, but so is caffeine, and the consequences of cutting both off entirely can lead to harsh and violent reactions by one’s body. If Electronic cigarettes offer a way to slowly reduce the tobacco consumption for people, I don’t see the reason to particularly ban the product. I would argue that it still deserves all the taxation we give traditional tobacco products, and that should be in place for the foreseeable future, until conclusive evidence proves that electronic cigarettes reduces health risks in former smokers. I think banning the product, and banning the advertisement and publicity of the products is a rather “moral” thing to do, in the sense the government is deeming an action immoral. Sure TV ads convince kids to do things. So if we ban cigarette ads, the Dos Equis ads then have to go because they make booze “cool”. Victoria Secret ads shouldn’t be permitted either because they are educating young girls and young women to believe that “lingerie” will make you beautiful or win men over.
The entire pretense that banning a product from visual advertisement simply because someone might do it can only lead to the following reality. EVERYONE, you must stop consuming chocolate because you might tempt a diabetic to hurt themselves. EVERYONE, you must always obey the speed laws because failing to do so teaches children it is okay to break any law. EVERYONE, you must never discipline your child publicly, because you might scare other children and their parents with your harsh actions…its hypochondria in terms of society. The way we should approach this is to allow parents to dialogue with their children, schools to teach the various ill-effects and government programs associated with the products, and that like many things, when you remove the curiosity of the product, consumption goes down in the younger populations.

Fatalities associated with:

As Rush Limbaugh quoted yesterday on his program, the New York Times has an article up about Electronic cigarettes, in which they smear campaign the product by making it out to be a “Dangerous Poison on the LOOSE”. While they claim there is a 300% increase in the number of child poisonings due to consumption of the liquids for e-cigarettes, the cases are at 1,351. The American population is 310 Million, meaning that the amount of accidental poisoning of children is equal to less than 1/1000th of 1%. Even better, only one person has died from the “TOXIC” formula. The death was due to injection, and was the result of a suicide. MEANING, the person took a syringe, pump the liquid into the syringe, and put it straight into their blood. It wasn’t by consumption or spilling it on themselves, it was by intentionally hurting themselves. You could do the same with air or water. * Le GASP* EVEN WORSE, there hasn’t been a single reported child fatality due to E-cigarettes! *Le GASP GASP*

For those who really want to know what the greatest implements of child deaths are, here’s the collection of data from 2007.

Food For thought: So the New York Times wants me to pre-emptively protect the Smoking industry by eliminating a product that has not killed anyone, and could possibly reduce all health associated risks with tobacco for its users?
Even better, the New York Times wants us to believe that children consuming the liquid and getting medically treated for being poisoned is a solely e-cigarette issue. Did we forget about rat poison, ant traps, cat and dog food, and the list continues of things children eat or drink that can hurt them. Yet no one has died except for someone who shot the stuff straight into their blood. Which, death by injection seems to be a really excruciating way to die.

US MEDAL OF HONOR

Today if you didn’t know, President Obama granted 24 Medals of Honor to veterans who had been previously overlooked for the award. These veterans were from the Korean War and the Vietnam War, as well as the 1st and 2nd World Wars and were men of Hispanic, Black, or Jewish origin. I am mentioning this because it’s a moving ceremony, and it is always good to see true Americans, men of valor and bravery, men of courage and resolve, who came home or never will, be rewarded and given the honor they deserve, and at least for a moment, be remembered as heroes.

Its important to remember these veterans, living and deceased, who bravely fought for this country. Regardless of who you support or your political affiliation, everyone can be a proud patriot. If you know someone who served in the armed forces, you shouldn’t just thank them today, but you should show daily the appreciation for your rights you have due to their sacrifices.

4 Candidates, 4 Ways to Win

Political Fact of the Day: A flat tax means that despite your earnings, everyone pays the same percentage, though typically a minimum amount of income is necessary to pay the tax. In a progressive tax system, the more you earn, the more you pay in taxes, and the percentage of your income that is taxed. However, the percentage has a maximum value that can never go higher, and once again, there is a minimum income necessary to begin paying the tax. Flat taxes favor anyone who earns middle-class or higher wages, while Progressive taxes typically favor poor income families and those living in poverty. Flat Taxes are called flat because the rates are flat, or equal; Progressive taxes because the rates progressively increase, significantly increase.

Illinois Citizens Should Know: The current state Minimum Wage is $8.25 per hour with proposals for this to increase over the next ten years. Currently all states bordering Illinois have Minimum wages at $7.25 (Missouri has theirs at 7.50). It should also be noted that Illinois’ law only applies to businesses with four or more employees, excluding family member staff, while most of the bordering states have no exclusion or have the exclusion for number of employees being lower, and without the family exemption.

Illinois, 2014 Governor’s Race, THE GOP CANDIDATES

Bruce Rauner “The Chicago Republican”

Chairman of the R8 Capital Partners, he is one of several candidates for the Republican primary for governor. Currently he is the front-runner, and he hails from Chicago. For the Purposes of this subject, he will earn the effective label “Chicago Republican”. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA in Economics and then went to Harvard University to receive his MBA. He currently is the Chairman of the Education Committee of the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago. Rauner also was Co-chair of the Chicago-China Initiative, and was chairman of the ACT Charter School. He is a former Chairman of Choose Chicago, and was a former Chairman of the Chicago Public Education Fund.

There are some ‘scandals’ associated with him. In 2008, his daughter failed to be given admission through regular processes at Walter Payton Prep School in Chicago. Later on, his daughter was admitted to the school through a principal picks process, in which the principal gives special dispensation for a student to be admitted into the school. The CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Arne Duncan claims to have told him about the process, of which Rauner claims he never had the conversation. He then proceeded to donate $250,000 to the school in its next academic year.

This time last year, Rauner had been improperly claiming homestead exemptions. He had done this for several years on two of his homes, and when an article from the Daily Herald reported the information, he responded immediately. He immediately paid back the $1,616 he owed in savings for misfiling and distributed through his own press that he had made a mistake and he had gone about correcting it. These improper exemptions occurred from 2008 to 2011.

Bruce Rauner’s current campaign issues are Jobs, Spending, Taxes, Pension Reform, Government Reform, and Education.

On Jobs & Taxes, he wants to remove the Quinn-Madigan tax increases, and try to “fair” out the tax code entirely, this typically means aiming for a flatter tax on citizens, rather than the current progressive one.
He wants to institute Right-To-Work zones, and allow workers to decide if they have to join a union to receive employment.
He wants to enact tort reform and reduce lawsuit abuse.
Finally he wants to make the Illinois’ minimum wage laws competitive with other states, meaning he would reduce the state minimum wage.

Bill Brady, “The Social Conservative”

State Senator Brady has been on this track twice before. Brady graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University, and after graduation began to work in the family real-estate developing industry. Brady currently co-owns Brady Homes, which is one of the largest Home Builders in Central Illinois, and he runs it with his father. He has been representing the 44th Legislative District since being appointed to it in May 2002. He served previously in the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 88th district from 1993 to 2000. In 2006 he ran for Governor of Illinois the first time, and lost in the primaries. In 2010, Bill Brady won the primaries, but failed to beat Incumbent Pat Quinn by 32,000 votes.

The only scandal to Bill Brady’s name currently is the fact that as of 2014, Brady Homes, whom he shares ownership in with his father, has been sued twice for defaulting on their loans.

In the State Legislatures, Brady has made several attempts to enact a “dime cut from every dollar spent” reform to the budget and its deficit. Currently, Illinois’ budget deficit is $13 Billion, with the overall economy of Illinois recently being rated worst in the nation.

On Education, Bill Brady seeks to replace the State Board of Education with a smaller agency that would receive half the funding it has now. He believes that Intelligent Design has a place in academia, while he believes the Bible should be advocated as part of a child’s curriculum, he has stated that the children should have access to the Bible and to other books, such as the Qur’an. He believes that local school boards should be able to decide their stances on intelligent design in the schools, and should be able to dictate whether they want to participate in a school prayer. Brady additionally believes that there should be incentives in place for private schools where the tuitions are funded in equal part to public and private schools by the state.

On Employment, Bill Brady has established he would like to reduce the Minimum wage law to the 7.25 per hour amount that bordering states have. Bill Brady has stated that he would freeze the state minimum wage law and then have the state maintain its rate at the same level as the federal minimum wage. He doesn’t believe that government heavy-handedness in the market is long-term effective.

Bill Brady has previously sought to have the suspension of the death penalty lifted.

On Abortion issues, Bill Brady pronounces himself pro-life. He seeks to abolition all forms of abortion, including accounts of rape and incest. He does allow an exception for when the mother’s life is put in danger. Brady has supported legislation in the past that would allow pharmacists to not sell contraceptives from their stores.

On Same-Sex Marriage, Bill Brady on February 10, 2010 introduced a state constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as being between “one man and one woman”. It would have also denied same-sex couples to seek other forms of legal unions by denying validity or recognition of any same sex civil union, domestic partnership, or any such relationship. Brady feels opposed to any institution being adopted that would grant legal status in any shape or form to same-sex couples.

On Medicaid, Brady seeks to reduce funding for the state program. He has offered to institute a Welfare Fraud Department, which would help clean up claims in the system. He has also voiced support for a transition from the current Medicaid system to a HMO-style approach for Medicaid recipients, so that costs in the healthcare system could be reduced.

Bill Brady on other issues has voted close to what his label of him would be, Social Conservative. He has voted against Stem Cell Research, Marijuana Legalization, and forcing Private Insurers to offer contraception drug coverage. He has supported concealed carry legalization, the institution of term limits in both State Legislatures, a reduction in Sales Taxes, Mass Euthanasia of cats and dogs, and Capping Campaign Donations.

Kirk W. Dillard, “Old-School Establishment”

State Senator Dillard is another of the 4 major contenders in this year’s Republican Primary. Prior to His time as State Senator, Dillard was Chairman of the DuPage County Republican Party. Dillard currently is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, serving as the Illinois state leader. He took office as Senator of the 24th district of Illinois back in 1994, and has since been their Senator. Senator Dillard graduated from Western Illinois University, and then attained his Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law. He also serves at the University of Chicago as a Public Policy mentor.

In 1991, he served as Chief of Staff for then Governor Jim Edgar, during Edgar’s first term. He also served as Governor James Thompson’s Director of Legislative Affairs. From 1987-1991, Dillard was a judge on the Illinois Court of Claims and served as a member on the Republican Illinois State Central Committee. He currently is on the Board of Directors for Robert Crown Center for Health Education and a practicing partner at Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP.

In his tenure as State Senator, he served as a Republican Party Whip and was Assistant Minority Leader. In 2007, he appeared in advertisement that gave an endorsement to then Democrat candidate hopeful, Barack Obama. Dillard is active in a handful of Senate committees and currently chairs the Judiciary Committee and the High Technology Task Force.

He has run for governor in the past, using his association with campaign finance reform to make broad statements about his attempts to reform the system and make the state more financially responsible to the taxpayers. Even though Dillard barely lost the primary to Bill Brady, he refused to concede he had lost his opportunity for some time.

On Campaign Financing, he sponsored the bill that would become Illinois’ first donations reform in 25 years. This was his platform in 2010, and is the issue discussed by him in his 2014 campaign.

On the Budget, Dillard seeks to establish a constitutional amendment that would force legislators to pass a balanced, zeroed budget at the expense of their paychecks covering the deficit.

On Gun Rights, Dillard admits that his family is filled with hunters and sportsmen and that gun rights are a necessary part of Illinois as they are part of the Constitution. He also states he was the first to sponsor concealed-carry legislation and received the NRA’s endorsement during the 2010 gubernatorial primary race.

On Abortion, Kirk takes credit for the Parental Notice Law and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. He also claims to have the unanimous support of 32 pro-life organizations over the other 2014 gubernatorial candidates.

Dan Rutherford, “The Fiscal Conservative”

Dan Rutherford serves as Treasurer of Illinois, having taken the office when then Treasurer Giannoulias stepped down from office. Until then, Rutherford had served as Senator for the 53rd district of Illinois from 2003 to 2011; prior to that he was the Representative for the 87th district in the Illinois House from 1993 to 2003. Rutherford attended Illinois State University and in 1980 became a legislative assistant in Springfield, Illinois. Because he helped coordinate a congressional district for the Governor’s campaign, Rutherford was brought on the Reagan-Bush 1980 campaign as the Executive Director.

Following his time in the campaign, Rutherford began to travel, and in Japan in 1984, became acquainted with the ServiceMaster Company. The next year, he joined Downers Grove as an executive and eventually became responsible for the company’s international expansion into other businesses. His international business dealings were primarily in licensing services. Downers Grove was a part of the ServiceMaster Company, and today companies such as Terminix, Tru-Green, Merry Maids, American Home Shield, and Rescue Rooter are all part of the ServiceMaster Company.

While serving as Senator, Rutherford sponsored legislation that would have impacted the repayment to nursing homes for elderly care. The new system considered the needs of the resident, rather than their geographical location. In 2005, Rutherford attempted to challenge Secretary of State Jesse White for his office. In the 2010 Illinois Treasurer’s Race, Rutherford competed with 3 other candidates for the open seat.

Rutherford most recently has been accused of sexual harassment. Edmund Michalowski, a former employee of Mr. Rutherford, filed a federal complaint that he had been harassed by Rutherford and that he had received pressure to contribute to the political campaign while being on the state’s time. Rutherford has denied the allegations, saying that Rauner paid Michalowski to put this out, as an attempt to smear Rutherford’s chances.

Rutherford has several papers out, detailing his opinions on various things. He seeks to increase state support for the coal industry and the pursuit of clean coal technologies. He is utilizing his reforming of nursing home system to point out his dedication to efficiently using state resources and cutting excess. Dan Rutherford does not seek to increase or decrease the state Minimum Wage law at this time. He claims to be able to refocus and provide long-term planning and strategy to the prison and mental institutions of Illinois. Rutherford believes that reductions alone will not solve the Illinois deficit, but balancing the budget will be a top priority of his administration.

He supports concealed carry as how the laws of other states have concealed carry. Due to the federal illegality of marijuana, Rutherford does not support legalization at the state level at this time. Rutherford supports an initiative that would entrust an 11-member “Bipartisan Commission” to redraw the legislative districts of Illinois without all the gerrymandering. Rutherford supports the expansion of gaming as long as proper oversight and regulation is implemented prior to the licensing of a casino. Rutherford appears to be mixed on his support for tax credits to business. He doesn’t feel it’s the agenda of the state to give some citizens breaks without access to the breaks for all citizens.

As a side note, he is currently supportive of adding Poland to the Visa Waivers list that contains other countries that America gives preferential entry into the US.

So who is the best candidate for your ideals?

When examining these four guys, and considering the policies that each of them suggest or have previously fought for, it is not easy to say there is one clearly superior candidate. Clearly if you feel really strongly against gay marriage and abortion rights, you’ll support Bill Brady, and or maybe Kirk Dillard. However of these two individuals, Bill Brady has more ideas on how to effectively handle the economics of Illinois. That being said, he is the more conservative of the two candidates. That’s just simple fact and despite all negative ads Dillard can use, he’ll always be that Moderate Conservative to Bill Brady’s Social Conservative. Especially with that attractive ad endorsing future Democrat candidate Barack Obama. Anyone who claims to be a friend and agree with the values of President Obama either is lying to themselves about being Republican, or they are con man.

Looking at Dan Rutherford versus Bruce Rauner on the “Fiscal Conservative” side of arguments, well, I just cannot take Mr. Rauner as a serious Republican. Rauner has a lot of political clout in Chicago, and to his defense, he’s done a lot of good there in Chicago. BUT, once a Chicago politician, always a Chicago politician. Rauner is a wealthy man, but he’s not a “traditional” business man, he is a Wall Street guy, and if you find yourself irritated with wealthy, moderate Republicans dictating policy, I don’t think you’ll find solace in him. Mr. Rutherford, well, I guess it really depends on how you feel about the men he’s established as being tied to. If you liked James Thompson and Jim Edgar, former Governors of Illinois, then I am sure you can expect similar policies. Some things to note though: Rutherford has a history of being acceptable of gay marriage and associating with folks who are lobby for the right to marriage. He also believes in some exclusions on gay marriage, at least in part on how he has voted in the General Asssembly of Illinois.

At that point, it’s Bill Brady versus Dan Rutherford as the legitimate candidates representing sincere Republican values, not Chicago values or wishy-washy moderate values. So choose for yourselves this day, for whom you shall stand! Shall you be a Fiscal Conservative and bet on Dan Rutherford to turn the economy around? Or shall you be a Social Conservative and bet on Bill Brady to restore the moral fabric of Illinois?

As a voter in this primary election, I can honestly say that Bill Brady is a genuine man who can easily be portrayed as a hatemonger because of his beliefs, but he honestly tries to do a good job for his district. But I find myself liking Rutherford, despite the “scandal of harassment” because anyone that requires being taken down by a Chicago-style scandal must truly be of worth. Oh and, I don’t mind offering Equal Protection Under The Law that has been given to us, the American people, by the Highest Law of the Land, the American Constitution. I find candidates who campaign on moral woes rather than solving problems that can be solved to be frustrating.

But hey, I am a Libertarian, and this is just my ideas.

The Republican Primary ballot vote is March 18, 2014. Please remember to vote. One vote won’t decide the election, but a choir of votes joined together in ideals can swing the election around. Convince your neighbors, your friends, and family in Illinois to vote. 1 person can’t change much, 10 can do little, but 100, or even 1000 can swing the election from one candidate to another. It only took 32,000 for Quinn to win in 2010, and in that same election cycle, Bill Brady beat Kirk Dillard last primary by 200 VOTES.

Ambitious Ideas

Ambitious Ideas

My Main Goals (for Today)

So I thought about it for awhile and yes, I will begin a blog series. I don’t know how successful it will be, but I will try to get out a blog at least weekly. I’m going to cover some house-keeping things in this blog.

1. First I will establish I am no artist, and NONE of the art on my page is of my own work. It is from Deviant Art or from DC government websites. The male character portrayed in the image is “America, the Hero” from the Anime Series Hetalia, a series devoted to the interactions between nations of the world, if they were all people.

2. I am a Classical Liberal in the European Sense, meaning I am a Libertarian in the American Sense. What that means is that I don’t operate often on Social issues. I don’t believe the government should facilitate in removing social traditions or furthering them. In fact, the government I prefer is an amoral entity, since it has no soul. I would advocate having MORAL LEADERS, but a MORAL state is something that will gravitate to seizing the religious and societal power.

3. I am going to use a bunch of terms, and I will try to explain them. At the beginning of each article, I will address one term that I feel is an important thing to learn for the day. What that means is that there will be two things to get out of each article. First, you’ll get a snippet of political science terminology and become a better citizen and voter. Second, you’ll get the weekly briefing on some type of affairs in the world.

4. I will cover the following issues in my article: EVERYTHING. That being sad, I will try, and sincerely try, to avoid doing two things. Critically insulting one group and supporting one, as I see problems in politicians from both parties; I also will avoid using swear words, or “profane” language. However, as the environment in DC is one of unprofessional nature, I hear swear words every day, so I apologize in advance if I use a term that is “offensive” to you.

5. I encourage commenting and questioning of my opinions on this. I will try to get to this as often as possible. If you see a piece of information that is interesting, or you would like to have a blog-written opinion on something, you can contact me on my facebook, twitter, or my email address associated with this blog, archangel620@gmail.com .

6. I understand that in order to effectively carry out political debate in an efficient and sincere manner, it is important to remember the two KEY features of debate. One, all contenders must be honest and present the sources they are coming from or quoting, meaning you will be held to defending your arguments. Two, THERE SHALL BE NO INSULTING OF OTHER COMMENTORS. (I cannot stop trolling effectively, but I want to present an environment where bully tactics are not permitted.)

Who I am?

My name is Michael McKinney. I will go by certain terms that have been given to me over time from friends and associates. When I am giving a point of instruction, or answering a question about political science, you can refer to the name “Master Tagan” (as a joke really). When I approach an article that clearly has TWO sides, I will give an argument from Michael McKinney, and Michael Tagan. Michael McKinney will always be my own personal opinion, and Michael Tagan will always be the argument of my opposite.

If you feel that I have portrayed an argument incorrectly at some point, and you believe that you can more carefully and succinctly argue the side, email me your write-up and I will post it as a “Addressing the Public: #, and then the topic”

My aim is to present topics in a similar manner to the Federalist Papers, and allow arguments/discussions between people, but civility is my greatest concern. CIVILITY will be maintained on my blog.

Barring nothing else, you can always contact me on the various channels of internet communications, and I am always near a laptop/computer, and so I can adequately respond to topics. I am thinking about updating this every Monday at least, but if I feel ambitious enough I will take on a second day.  Perhaps Friday or Saturday as a “week wrap” kind of thing.

Bringing Discussion When Civility Dies
The Classical Liberal, Michael McKinney