The Ethics of the Dakota Access Pipeline

Hi everyone,

This was my final paper in my ethics class this past semester & I just thought I’d share my thoughts on this issue.

*Note* I know this does not encompass this entire issue, it was a 6-8 page paper, and I had to write this within some guidelines.

 

THE ETHICS OF THE DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE

Jennifer V. Kurland

Water hoses being sprayed on peaceful protests was a game changer for the Civil Rights Movement when those images were broadcast to the public on TV. When similar, yet more brutal tactics were used on water protectors protesting construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the media was missing in action. Native people in the United States are victims of genocide from the onset of our country’s founding, and still today struggle for the basic human rights supposedly guaranteed to all people under the Constitution. The Dakota Access Pipeline’s construction against the wishes of the Standing Rock Sioux is just one more injustice piled on to this sordid history. There is no ethical justification that would allow this pipeline to continue decimating the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s ancestral burial grounds and treaty territory.

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Single Payer Health Care Will Raise Taxes – I Call Bullshizzle

One of the CONSTANT droning mantras of Big Pharma, Big Medicine et al is that we cannot afford to offer health insurance to everyone in the country because it will raise taxes through the roof and we will all suffer a huge economic battering.

First, let me remind you that EVERY SINGLE DEVELOPED NATION on this planet has some form of nationalized health care for its citizens. (Please read that sentence 2 or 3 times.) Secondly, let me remind you that the United States of American is THE ONLY DEVELOPED NATION on the planet wherein its citizens face bankruptcy from medical costs. (Repeat as needed.)

 

The lobbyists make sure that there is enough “It Will Raise Taxes” white noise generated to blanket the truth of the matter. Some studies indicate that putting single payer, universal health care in place in the US would SAVE money – one I read suggested a savings of 1.1 trillion over 10 years. Critics of Bernie Sander’s plan to expand Medicare for EVERYONE hollered very, very loud about a resultant tax increase.

You know what I say to that for Julie and I – BRING IT ON! I will gladly take the projected tax increase. You know why? Because it would save us a TON of money. Raise my taxes PLEASE – especially if it means we can eliminate our insurance premiums. Julie and I would end up with a bunch more money to invest or spend on our Grandkids if only such a nefarious plan was carried out. Before I show you the numbers, look at the rising price of insurance premiums, please.

ins-premiums

One important thing to look at besides the rocketing upward spiral of the premium cost is that it bears NO relationship to inflation and ignores wages to boot.

Anyway, Julie and I pay $973 a month for health care. That totals $11,676 a year. We are both 58 years old. Our plan is not a Golden Cadillac plan – no frills, lots of out of pocket expenses and co-pays. In fact, there is a $2,800 deductible FOR EACH OF US to meet. That means that if we both got sick in one year our out of pocket expenses would be a minimum of $17,296.00. Please read that paragraph again. We pay almost $12k a year for protection that really only kicks in after ANOTHER $5,600 is spent if we both have something happen. (Hmm, maybe that is why I am still paying $43 a month with a $1827 balance for my treatment in 2013…..)

Critics of the Sanders Medicare for All plan claimed it would cost us an additional $1,100 in taxes. They also said it would cost employers $3,350 more. Julie and I are self-employed so in the interest of fair play, I am willing to assume BOTH of those numbers are true – we would pay $4,450 MORE in taxes. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make this happen!

If that started in January, then next year Julie and I would have a MINIMUM of $7,226 dollars with which we could do anything we wanted. If it happened in a year when both of us got sick in some way, then we would have $12,826 MORE to spend.

I am not the best mathematician in Michigan, but 30 seconds with my calculator clearly indicates that a tax increase of $4,450 combined with a decrease in our insurance premium of at LEAST $11,676 puts us ahead of the game by $7,226.

Single Payer Health Insurance Will Raise My Taxes – WELL HURRY UP AND DO IT!!!!

 

Kermit Is Wrong – Being Green Is Easy!

I am pretty sure anybody reading this is familiar with Kermit The Frog and his theme song, “It Ain’t Easy Being Green.”

Frog has it wrong! Being a Green candidate is easy – because we answer to YOU, the voters. We are here to put the political power back in the hands of the people, where the very first words of the Michigan Constitution tells us it belongs:

“All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal benefit, security, and protection.” Art 1 Sec 1

Being Green is easy because we are not going to make a bunch of promises that we KNOW we cannot keep. Being Green is easy because we do not have to remember what we told which group of people or PAC when we were trying to get their money! Being Green in office will be easy, because we are not going to spend any of our time “dialing for dollars” and trying to raise PAC and Corporate money – No, you put me in Lansing and I am going to do the work you sent me there to do. Green candidates will not be wasting time, and your tax dollars, taking lobbyists phone calls or going out to dinner with some PAC representative trying to sway our votes.

Nope, you put a Green like me in office and you will get your money’s worth. Send me to Lansing and I will work hard – you will not see me spending the whole two years campaigning for the next election. I want to let my efforts do the talking for me. At the end of two years if you think I did a good job, then re-hire me. Easy-peasy!

One of my campaign goals, and I know I have this in common with all the other 32 Green Party candidates in Michigan as well as Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, is that I (we) want to be the type of representative that you are PROUD of.

Might not be easy being a Green Frog, but being a Green Party Candidate is just grrrrr-eat! (to quote another cultural icon!)

I had a little fun with this subject here: Being a Green is Easy.

 

Why I am Running

Written by Sherry Wells; posted by Art Myatt

I am running for office to educate the public across Michigan about what our state government has done since the late 1990s through three Governors—Republicans and a Democrat–and will continue to do to our children’s schools unless we, the people, take them back. In most cases, going “back to the future” will retrieve the better alternatives that once existed and served us well. “New” is not always progress.

My top three priorities are:
1. To develop community involvement—not corporate ownership—in schools
2. To support wrap-around services not “high-stakes testing.”
3. To restore democracy and the election by the people of their own school boards. Continue reading

GPMI and Public Education

Written by Sherry Wells; posted by Art Myatt

Even before its 1837 statehood, Michigan had a superintendent of public instruction. Both its 1908 and 1963 Constitutions provided for a State Board of Education, as the “planning and coordinating body for all public education, including higher education,” and “instructed it to advise the legislature as to the financial requirements.” The Governor was made an ex-officio member without voting rights, but all this provided balance between those entities.

The State Board was decimated by Governors, beginning with Republican Engler. Democrat Granholm promised to restore those parts, but returned only the MEAP test. Gov. Snyder ripped out the Reform and Redesign Office, despite the Board’s expertise, to inject more charter schools and his contractor buddies across the state. We see how that’s “working” for the Detroit students.

Since 1999, the State twice took over the Detroit Public Schools, both times robbing it of its surplus and sending student achievement from better than the state average to the depths. It closed new and renovated buildings paid for by the citizen-passed millage and gave them to charters. School districts with majorities of low-income students know they are next on the chopping blocks. Continue reading