Norway and Sweden have more humane criminal justice systems

February 25, 2018 GlenAnderson 0

The U.S. has a very harsh (and ineffective) criminal justice system, compared to other modern nations.  Here is some information about Norway and Sweden that I saved from a few years ago: Norway’s prisons are much better than the U.S.’s.  Instead of dehumanizing their inmates, they help prisoners retain their human dignity, so they will become better able to reenter society.  http://www.alternet.org/drugs/michael-moore-norway-prison-tony-papa-sentence?akid=13995.2186.s12ezx&rd=1&src=newsletter1051042&t=10 In 2013 Sweden acted sensibly to reduce prison populations.  They accomplished this for several reasons including reducing sentence length and emphasizing rehabilitation.  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/11/12-0 I would like to see ordinary Americans (including taxpayers and conservatives) confront elected officials and […]

Reject 4 stupid remedies conservatives have proposed for reducing gun violence in schools

February 25, 2018 GlenAnderson 0

Conservatives often misunderstand or distort the problems in our society, and they draw upon distorted values, so they tend to propose remedies that widely diverge from practical solutions to our society’s problems. Here are 4 stupid remedies conservatives have proposed for reducing gun violence in schools: https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/4-conservatives-ideas-preventing-gun-violence-instead-gun-control?akid=16759.2186.DjFJIn&rd=1&src=newsletter1089105&t=4 Thoughtful, humane people need to reject such remedies and organize at the grassroots for remedies that will draw upon society’s best values and valid evidence-based research about what works and what does not work.  We also need to organize against the Gun Lobby’s deliberate campaigns to mislead the public and dominate government.  

We must DEBUNK “the Myth of Redemptive Violence.”

February 24, 2018 GlenAnderson 0

U.S. culture has long perpetuated what has been called “The Myth of Redemptive Violence.” Look at the plots of movies about the Wild West, about cops & robbers, about spies, etc. Nearly every movie ends with a big shoot-out in which “the good guys” use violence to defeat “the bad guys.” The U.S. assumes that our military is “the good guys” and we can use violence to defeat “the bad guys” just like in the movies. The problem is that reality does not work that way. The U.S. LOST the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Violence is also PROFOUNDLY […]

Prayers sponsored by governments or schools UNDERMINE authentic religion!

February 24, 2018 GlenAnderson 0

Many conservative persons, religious advocates, government officials (including some in charge of public schools, as well as local, state and federal governments) want prayers at local government or legislative meetings – or in public schools.  ACTUALLY, THESE GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED PRAYERS UNDERMINE authentic religion. Prayer should be a personal communication with God, but making it mandatory or obligatory – or a mindless public ritual – destroys the personal faith aspect and makes it a meaningless governmental routine. It’s ironic that conservatives who oppose “big government” want government to cram someone’s religion down everyone else’s throats. Instead of protecting liberty, they are taking […]

A smart, unexpected way to move voters to our side

February 24, 2018 GlenAnderson 0

Liberals and progressives keep expressing amazement and confusion when working-class people vote for people like Reagan and Trump, whose economic policies and other policies actually make things worse for working-class people. George Lakoff, an expert in how people think, says voters vote their VALUES, not their interests. Typically, we assume that if we explain how a political issue pertains to people’s objective interests (e.g., their economic well-being), they will act or vote the way we want them to. However, Lakoff says we would be more effective if we would pay attention to people’s VALUES and frame our arguments to appeal […]

Widely held values actually OPPOSE Trumpism’s cruelty, etc.

February 22, 2018 GlenAnderson 0

Many people assume that Trumpism’s cruelty is more widely accepted by Americans than it actually is.  In truth, the vast majority of Americans hold better values.  In order to organize the public to oppose Trumpism, let’s tap into the better values that the vast majority of Americans hold. In order to push against the right-wing extremist agenda of Trumpism, we need to help ordinary Americans recognize that Trumpism seriously violates our nation’s best values. Ordinary Americans support truth, justice (fairness), human rights, the rule of law, science, preventing governmental corruption, etc. Trumpism violates these cherished American values. Exposing Trumpism’s violations […]

The U.S.’s long-standing “cult of ignorance” is growing

February 22, 2018 GlenAnderson 0

For a very long time the U.S.’s culture and political live have included a strong anti-intellectual tendency.  Half a century ago I bought Richard Hofstadter’s 1963 book Anti-Intellectualism in American Life.  When Adlai Stevenson ran for president in 1952 and 1956 he was criticized and scoffed at because he was a very smart person.  Educated “egg-heads” are often criticized for being smart.  The list goes on and on. This anti-intellectualism seems to have gotten much worse.  The right-wing and Trump and the anti-science crowd and the anti-evolution crowd and the climate deniers are part of this. The editorial on page […]

The welfare states (“nanny states”) are better for business investors too.

February 22, 2018 GlenAnderson 0

Conservatives like to denounce the “nanny states” that take care of people’s health, invest in good education, and serve the broad public interest in other ways. Conservatives instead prefer neoliberal “free-market” governments that do NOT invest in those, but rather keep governments small and weak so businesses can dominate those nations. Actually, an article from the very “free-market” and “free-enterprise” business-oriented Forbes magazine (cited on page 15 of the Jan-Feb 2018 issue of the economically left Dollars & Sense magazine (www.dollarsandsense.org) reported some important economic findings. “[I]n 2016 Forbes ranked Sweden number one on its list of the top countries […]

Republicans Unwittingly Promote Homosexuality

January 30, 2018 GlenAnderson 0

Although the Republican Party says it opposes homosexuality, its actual policies unwittingly promote it. At any given time, a great many women and men do not want to produce babies, but they still want to meet their sexual needs.  Women and men want to practice birth control, but the Republican Party (and many conservative Christians) are restricting people’s access to birth control. In case of an unwanted pregnancy, a great many women and men support access to abortion as a fall-back option without birth control.  But the Republican Party (and many conservative Christians) are trying to prevent access to abortions. […]

Despite Trump’s behavioral distractions, he is accomplishing MUCH — but the WRONG stuff!

January 30, 2018 GlenAnderson 0

Powerful interests run their agenda on two tracks: 1. For public consumption, they say nice propaganda, platitudes, etc., and they also put out a carnival of entertainment, scandal, eye candy, etc. 2. Meanwhile, apart from public view they do horrible things. So, for example, while LBJ and Nixon kept saying they wanted peace in Vietnam, they actually were escalating the war. Trump promised jobs, promised to “drain the swamp,” etc., but he has been doing the opposite. Both parties do this, and so does big business with “greenwashing” advertising campaigns while they hurt the environment. We must pay attention to […]

Republicans kill fetuses.

January 23, 2018 GlenAnderson 0

For decades the Republican Party has claimed to be “pro-life.”  However, their actual policies disable and kill fetuses.  Here are some examples: — Republicans keep trying to take away people’s health care.  In 2017 the Republican-dominated Congress tried several times to take away health care from tens of millions of Americans.  This includes pregnant women and fetuses.  Without adequate pre-natal care, fetuses fail to develop properly, so they result in birth defects, disabilities in newborns, stillbirths, neonatal deaths, and maternal deaths. — Republicans keep trying to take away food and nutrition from poor, hungry people.  Inadequate nutrition hurts pregnant women […]

Nixon’s scheme against African Americans and against the peace movement

January 12, 2018 GlenAnderson 0

One of President Nixon’s top aides, John Ehrlichman, later reported this: “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did […]

TV: “Real Democracy, Not Corporate Personhood”

December 3, 2017 GlenAnderson 0

“End ‘Corporate Personhood’ and Other Power Grabs” In its January 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that big business corporations can give as much money as they want to election campaigns. By a 5-4 majority (all 5 were appointed by Reagan or George W. Bush), they overturned a century of settled law that had protected election campaigns from excessive corporate interference. This decision further entrenched the bizarre notion that money is “speech” and that corporations are “persons” with free speech and the same civil rights as living, breathing human beings. The Citizens United […]

TV: “Causing and Exploiting Economic Crises”

December 3, 2017 GlenAnderson 0

What do Wisconsin’s Republican politicians, the political aftermath of 9-11, the Wall Street banking crash, and the federal budget crisis all have in common? In each case, a crisis (real or contrived) was used as the excuse to impose preconceived agendas of radical right-wing policies upon our political and/or economic lives. The Patriot Act, for example, was not a carefully crafted response to the 9-11 attacks. Rather, it was a massive collection of proposals for stripping away Americans’ constitutional rights to privacy, due process, and so forth. These proposals were too radical to ever be passed by Congress during normal […]