Archive for March, 2009

March 21, 2009

Privatizing Libraries

What an unpopular suggestion by Administrator Hamilton. This is the first time I’ve disagreed with him.

 

The State Aid to Libraries program was designed to be an incentive to local governments to provide efficient free public library services to its county residents. These incentives come in the form of monetary support from the state. It provides a 25% contribution to operating expenses, and other grants based upon requests from municipalities. Over the last 4 years Hernando County has received almost 5.6 million dollars in grants from the state for our library services. Hernando County was able to improve services and build a new Library in Spring Hill because of this.

 

Here are some of the negatives related to this suggestion. Forty one government employees could possibly loose their jobs or be asked to take pay cuts. If they are vested in the state pension plan they loose the opportunity for full benefits at retirement. We are supposed to be reducing unemployment not increasing it.

Grants are based on local municipal spending the lower the spending the lower the grant. Privatizing will reduce grants.

Profit motivated services provide less service and charge more for less service and it’s not free.

 

Mr. Hamilton should take a look at a temporary adjustment to the operating hours of the Library Services before privatizing. I also suggest that closer review of other operating areas be looked at for more cost cutting efficiencies. Possibly some of the stimulus money for education could be identified for the Public Library System.

 

Finally, the Public Library System is an extension of our educational system in Hernando County, and should not be put in the hands of profiteers, there is enough cutting by our state legislators going on in education without the county government adding more to it.  

 

 

 

 

 

March 1, 2009

The New Civil War

No matter what side of the fence you stand on you must admit that over the last 48 years each presidential election has become a Civil War. A civil war is a war between organized groups to take control of a nation or region, or to change government policies as partially defined by Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_war#Further_definitions . I believe it should be expanded to include, change with or without military conflict.

 

Does the United Sates have a civil war every 4 to 8 years? Since 1960 I believe our country’s political census would suggest that we have been divided 50-50 in our political ideologies. Although the Republican party of Lincoln freed the slaves, the Republican party of today is attempting to once again to bring back slavery in their attempt to destroy unions and organization’s who support workers rights. Contrary to goals of the Republican Party, the Democratic Party is attempting to reestablish our constitutional rights as described in the Bill of Rights ensuring freedom of speech, and the pursuit of happiness which includes the access to an equal education, work opportunity, and affordable healthcare.

 

Our forefathers when writing the Constitution and Bill of Rights were inspired by the fact that their countries of origin did not provide those rights endeared to all people all of the time. The United States at times in it’s history has backslide making policies which resemble those injustices we originally tried to do away with and not have to experience ever again. 

 

Some of the arguments you will hear from Republican supporters is that all people have the same opportunities, they want you to believe that there is no discrimination against those who they perceive to be different then they are. A pure example of this is the political rhetoric displayed during the 2008 election. Their actions put their political goals ahead of people, which still continue even after the election. Another example is the stimulus package developed by the Democratic Party and amended by Republicans. Although, the spending objectives were not met 100% they all voted against the stimulus except for three Republicans. The only reason they voted against the stimulus was for those constituent’s who are the extreme right base of the party. There are Republican’s who understand and know that the no vote was a political vote for 2010 elections and not substantiated by any real objection to the intent of the stimulus.  For those who say nay, and who believe they can dissect the stimulus bill and point out its failures is unrealistic and delusional. This bills objective will not be accomplished until all of its components are executed 100%.

 

The Republican Party continues to use fear tactics to keep hold of their followers. They try to portray Democrats as socialist’s even communist’s, they portray Democrats as big spenders, and baby killers. These stigma, are lies just to incite the Republican base and form a negative impression of good Americans who have just as much rights as they do. Their Biggest Mouth Rush Limbaugh is a reminder of the sensational overtones voiced during the mid thirties and early forties in Germany. If anyone believes that Limbaugh has any real unifying agenda they too are just as delusional as he. His chest pounding and un-American rhetoric continues to appeal to those who choose to be less tolerant of others differences and the use of charismatic oration, and propagandaborder on totalitarian and dictatorial agendas. Republicans must be very wary of their association with Rush Limbaugh he may become the poster child for their downfall in a true Democracy.

 

The Republicans promise fiscal responsibility, although the facts don’t lie, from 1994 to 2000 the Republicans controlled the Senate & House under a Democratic President where the support of the Administration was a bi-partisan majority. They amassed a budget surplus under Bill Clinton a Democrat, only to be squandered in the next six years by a House and Senate controlled by the extremist right wing ideology of the Republican Party under the Presidency of George W. Bush. Republicans won the 2000 and 2004 elections by fear. America First, Family and Abortion were their platforms which elected them. In the mean time they were transferring wealth from the middle class to the rich, becoming opportunists over 9/11 by planning an invasion of the nation of Iraq to manipulate the price of oil and spend billions on a war in Iraq with no bid contracts to the special interests associated with Washington. Their campaign for right to life focused on the unborn but not the living who sacrificed their lives in Iraq.  There is plenty of blame to go around for this injustice on both sides, but the remaining fact is that the President and his congress lead our nation. George W. Bush and his congresses failed miserably in leadership and direction for our nation.  

 

The new civil war is more than just differences of ideologies. It has become a separation of social stratus and the manipulation of individual emotional attitudes by a media controlled by competing forces in pursuit of the control of our political orientation’s, our nation, its wealth and remaining natural resources through the election process. Also, this control is influenced by external forces because of the mismanagement of our nation’s finances and international trading policies. The economics of the 80’s 90’s and the new millennium were based on leverage and credit. The house of cards have fallen, a renewed economic approach for a solid foundation in our economy is required if we are to survive this internal war. The great minds of this nation once provided the inspiration, and ideas based in humanitarian objectives not dollars and cents alone. The bottom line should be less important than the contribution to society any idea may bring. If Republicans and Democrats can truly promote unity in our nation and not separation we will succeed, if they don’t we are doomed to failure like all great nation in the past.      

 

    

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