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PJMcK's Journal
PJMcK's Journal
June 25, 2016

This is the reflection of the state of our education system

These young men are earnest and clearly love their country. But they have absolutely no critical thinking abilities. One fellow said that he was in line with every on of Donald Trump's policy positions. But except for a few broad strokes, (Mexican wall, deportation of illegals, etc.), Mr. Trump hasn't articulated any policy positions and certainly none with detailed explanations.

The unending destruction of our public education system has been a Republican goal for decades. Those policies have moved education away from teaching and forcefully towards teaching for the tests. The young gentlemen in the video probably graduated from high school and might be attending colleges. They can speak complete sentences that articulate their views, something that their candidate of choice cannot do. But there's something missing in their brains if they can't see the danger that Mr. Trump represents.

An understanding of history, political science (i.e., social studies), cultures and languages, along with other disciplines, provides a broad education and intellectual skills for making sound judgments in life. The Founding Fathers understood that for democracy to work, the voting public had to be well-informed which is one of the reasons we have a free press. If the public doesn't have the judgmental ability, then they can be manipulated by fear, hatred and disinformation.

Ever since President Reagan killed the Fairness Doctrine, our media has been in a death spiral resulting in "news" that is nothing more than stenography of official press releases. These young men don't have the critical thinking skills to see that.

June 24, 2016

You really can't blame "the media"

Your thesis is right on the money, Stinky, and I agree that stupid people will vote for stupid people.

The media, however, isn't to blame; it's the stupid people. Stupid people don't educate themselves about facts and knowledge. Sadly, there are far too many stupid people and the Brexit vote illustrates that the Stupid isn't limited to the USA.

For the most part, the posters on Democratic Underground are informed and intelligent members of society. They make it their responsibility to search out the news from various sources and then try to distill some kind of "truth" from it all. There are others in our society that perform this basic civic duty to be well informed using whatever sources they have available.

Conversely, far too many Americans (and presumably, citizens of other countries) don't try to be informed. They get their news from "The Today Show" or Fox News or Headline News. The complexity of the 21st century world cannot be distilled and understood in the 15-second sound bites or brief internet headlines that make up most of broadcast and published news. It's the responsibility of an informed public to oversee its government. That's why our Constitution begins with, "We, The People..." Unfortunately, far too many people, particularly on the political right, have embraced ignorance as a strength.

So, I believe it's the stupid people's fault. If they weren't stupid, we'd have better news. In the end, all media is a reflection of its society.

June 12, 2016

Donald Trump's wall

Here's an interesting little article about the wall Donald Trump has said he'll build along the US-Mexican border:


As with everything else that Mr. Trump has proposed, he's never provided any thoughtful details about his project. According to the article, the "Safe Fence Act" that was begun during the George W. Bush Administration was estimated to cost about $3 million per mile. A wall is more expensive to build than a fence and the Bush Administration estimate was too low for their project.

So here's a simple thought experiment. The US/Mexican border is just under 2,000 miles long. If the wall were budgeted at a conservative $5 million per mile, that's $10 billion. Mr. Trump has claimed that Mexico will pay for the wall without explaining how. If they won't, how will the US pay for it?

This is just a dumb and impossible endeavor. Aside from the economics involved, the terrain and access are extremely difficult in many places along the border making this a logistical nightmare. Additionally, much of the property the wall would occupy is privately owned which would require legal proceedings to obtain or access that land.

Mr. Trump's other ideas are equally idiotic. For example, he has said that he'll deport 11 million illegal immigrants within 18 months of his inauguration. A simple outline of the logistics involved demonstrate the massive scale- and impossibility- of such a plan.

- First you have to have a tremendously large police force to identify, find and take into custody 11 million people. I live in New York City which has a population of 8.4 million. Image trying to round them all up! Throw in the state of Connecticut next door with it's 3.6 million and that's the scale he's talking about. It's a completely unserious proposal.

- Second, you have to have a place to hold them in custody. (Please don't mention Godwin's Law; this is only for comparison of scale.) The Nazis rounded up roughly 8-10 million people over a period of about 6 years. Where is Mr. Trump going to keep all of these people? Plus, the detainees have to be housed, clothed and fed as well as provided with medical care. Sounds impractical and very expensive to me.

- Third, if we still have the rule of law, then Mr. Trump has to have an immigration court hearing for each person. That means there have to be judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys for each individual as well as court officials, transportation, etc. If you think our courts are congested now, just imagine what would happen under Mr. Trump's plan.

- Fourth, if all goes according to Mr. Trump's idea, then the detainees have to be sent back to their home countries. Commercial airlines fly about 8 million passengers a day. Using rounded numbers, if you airlift 11 million people in 18 months, you've added about 25,000 passengers to that daily tally. Of course, they will be prisoners which means you have to add police escorts for them so you're doubling the number of passengers to an additional 50,000 per day. Aside from the additional volume of passengers (aren't many of our airports already over-crowded?), where is the money to pay for all that travel going to come from?

- Fifth, the whole thing is probably unconstitutional.

Donald Trump is the least serious person who has ever run for president and that includes the honorable Pat Paulsen.

The Republicans own their nominee. But I'll add this: at least Donald Trump has ideas, however impractical they may be. The Republicans in Washington have nothing other than obstructionism.

June 8, 2016

Republicans continue to back the racist candidate

In spite of all the hand-wringing by Republican politicians and commentators, they are mostly still supporting Donald Trump's candidacy as their presidential nominee. Their hypocrisy is staggering!

With his repeated and, in fact, escalating racist comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel and other judges with ethnic backgrounds, Mr. Trump has demonstrated that he really has no grasp of the fundamental concepts of the United States' structure of government. The separation of powers between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches is crucial to the balance of powers designed by the Founding Fathers and upheld by over 225 years of governing.

Once again, Republican leaders have shown that they are no better in their understanding of these principles. While they've "condemned" Mr. Trump's bigoted assertions about the heritage of our judges, Senate Republicans have gone to unconstitutional lengths to hold open a Supreme Court seat for Mr. Trump to fill, should he be elected president. This is unconscionable and even William Kristol, the man who is almost always wrong, got it right: "Official position of the leadership of the Republican Party: Trump is an inexcusable bigot, and Trump must be our next president."

Under no circumstances should Mr. Trump be allowed anywhere near the levers of the awesome powers of the United States. He is an evil man supported by an equally nefarious party.

Now that our internecine battle to choose our Democratic nominee is clearly over, let's make certain that we get rid of as many Republicans as possible. THEY are the greatest threat to American liberties, principles and way-of-life.

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: New York City
Home country: USA
Current location: Catskill Mountains
Member since: Mon Jun 5, 2006, 05:16 PM
Number of posts: 22,197

About PJMcK

Lifelong Democrat
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