11. BRING MANUFACTURING BACK HOME
The fiasco of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is an example of outsourcing gone very wrong. Bring our manufacturing home. American manufacturing has always been the best in the world. We need legislation and tariffs to make American companies manufacture here.
Part of Boeing’s motivation to outsource so heavily was based on union busting and it was obviously a bad move. Respect our workers.
12. MAKE BIG BANKS ACCOUNTABLE
No more settlements with the big banks and Wall Street firms that caused the mortgage crisis - letting them get away with a slap on the wrist. No more bailouts. Make it clear. Stop young hotshots from making too-risky moves based on the subconscious belief that the government will bail them out. It first began with Long Term Capital and now it has gone too far. Let the big banks crumble if necessary. Instill regulation to prevent the too risky trades (see Dodd-Frank).
The prosecution building a case against Mr. Gupta of Goldman Sachs is a good move. It sends a message – the big shots cannot be above the law. I should state that he has denied any wrongdoing. Although the SEC dropped a civil administrative proceeding against Mr. Gupta last month they said it was "fully committed" to refiling the charges in federal court.
13. HYDRAULIC FRACKING IS OKAY
Hydraulic fracking is pumping hydraulic fluid under extremely high pressure to crack the rocks and release the natural gas. Fracking is a relatively new process that removes the natural gas out of shale. We need this as an to alternative green fuel source. There is a lot of shale, and the natural gas pulled from it could fuel as much as 35% of our production. There is plenty of natural gas in the United States and it is an inexpensive fuel. It is not quite “green” but natural gas does have half the high carbon content of coal. We’ve got it here in the United States and we can supply it to China. We need to fully explore this resource.
Liquefied natural gas can be used as a transportation fuel. Currently there are public buses fueled by natural gas. It could significantly reduce our dependency on Middle-East oil.
There is a downside:
1. Residential water supply is at risk. You’ve seen those clips of peoples’ water catching on fire. The utility companies need to clean up any messes made to residential water supply during the extraction of natural gas.;
2. Air quality
3. Community impact of transport truck on roads.
Natural gas from fracking is a pragmatic choice. It is estimated that United States shale can bring 100 years of energy supply; it is too valuable a home-grown resource not to utilize.
14. TAX THE RICH
Multi-billionaire investor Warren Buffett just published a powerful op-ed in The New York Times with a simple message: Tax me! Buffett said openly what all of us have been thinking - Washington needs to "stop coddling the super-rich." I agree!
15. GREENHOUSE GASES AND CLIMATE CHANGE
The 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is going on this week (December 2011) in Durban.
The United State has not joined Kyoto. The absence of the United States, the most important power and a major greenhouse contribution from the negotiation, is deplorable. I'm ashamed at our lack of commitment to Kyoto. Our world needs an immediate minimum 5% cut in emissions as established by the protocol for 2008 and 2012. This level was needed to stabilized green house gases and the world is no where near it. The United States' lack of commitment sets a TERRIBLE example. These damn Republicans and their lobby groups stand in the way of anything that is human, life-saving and good. The United States must take a leadership position in this area.
This entire issue has lost momentum since Copenhagen and the fiasco there as naysayers attempt to downplay the relevance of this issue. The COPS18 is an attempt to recalibrate - a way to find solutions at the local level. I believe we can find solutions that are planet friendly and where local business can flourish. Since this government is so sluggish, held down by special interest lobby groups, perhaps moving it to the state level is the solution.
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These amount to an average of five percent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012, a goal that has not been met.
16. KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE
The Keystone issue is under consideration in the congress. I applaud President Obama's commitment to reject this decision. Keystone could shape the earth's climate for decades. Keystone is antiquated technology. Just say NO. The extremely destructive Keystone XL pipeline would carry nearly a million barrels of tar-sand oil each day from Canada to refineries in Texas reeking havoc along the way. The environmental impact on our breadbasket from various types of lead would be devastating and impossible to repair.
Just say “no“ to this antiquated fossil-fuel technology. Canada's tar sands are the world's second-biggest pool of carbon, and NASA's top climate scientist says that burning them would be "essentially game over" for the climate. But the pipeline can only be built if Obama certifies that it's in our "national interest." President Obama please reject Keystone. As of December 2011 President Obama is now forced to make a decision on the pipeline within the next two months
It is true, Syria is a mess. As of December 2011 the Arab League is sending in advisers to help with the unrest. I hope they find solutions.
Netanyahu’s Israel would like nothing more than to see Syria taken down. The Neoconservatives “Clean Break” advocated for years a clean sweep of the entire region of dictatorships. A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm (commonly known as the "Clean Break" report) is a policy document that was prepared in 1996 by a study group led by Neoconservative Richard Perle for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Please see my Real Reason for the Iraq War link). Richard Perle did not get the title “Prince of Darkness” without good reason. A card-carrying, war-mongering, Israelist, and head of Neoconservatives, Perle stated to the Washington Post in 2003 a Syria taken down 'will help the peace process,' he told, adding later that the United States itself might have to attack Syria. Translation: What Perle means by 'helping the peace process' is not resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by bringing about a viable, sovereign Palestinian state but rather - as underscored in 'A Clean Break' - 'transcending the Arab-Israeli conflict' altogether by forcing the Arabs to accept most, if not all, of Israel's territorial conquests and its nuclear hegemony in the region." Basically it’s all about Israel controlling the entire Middle East with the United States bearing all the prices – no compromises to anyone. The policies of these ridiculous think-tank Israelist Neocons have proven disastrous for the United States as the Neoconservatives tricked us into the unnecessary Iraq war; the price of which we are just beginning to pay in the form of our decline. For balance, penance, fairness, we should back Assad, help him to revise his government and reject any aggressive simple-minded, short-sighted Neoconservative plans that benefit no one but the hardliners in Israel.
Assad is a moderate and has always had zero tolerance for al-Qaeda and other extremist groups – this has actually been good for the United States. Recently, Assad has taken strong-arm tactics against protestors who apparently want change. Some European governments are getting pressure to cut off the cash flow that finances Assad in order to influence him. Germany, France and Italy are the three main importers of Syrian oil. They move to impose EU sanctions. This progressive recognizes what Assad is up against. I say now more than ever we should back Assad, and help him to modify his government to appease the people fueled in great part by the events around them - notwithstanding the disastrous Iraq war, Israel’s brutal treatment of its underclass, the toppling of major regimes in the region. I say we immediately and very publicly back Assad and firmly assist him in change. We should NOT attack Syria. No more unnecessary wars for Israel - a country that will not lift one finger to solve its own domestic problems - a country whose domestic problems make you and I unsafe.
18. CYBER SABOTAGE
All of our technology has been compromised to China. They even stole the code for the Stealth which was considered the code crown jewel. It is not just The Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) China’s unified military system, it's individuals – individual hackers – thousands of them like Ghostnet. These guys are celebrities in some circles for their ability to break into anything we create – from private enterprise to governmental. Some feel that they are backed by the Chinese government – but the hackers claim otherwise. The bottom line is that all our institutions are their main targets and they have been very successful – many major companies including Cisco and Google have been compromised; and many government agencies – even the Pentagon.
Although as a country we have people like Sean P. McGurk, Director, National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center to monitor malicious activity in the federal Government - hacking is going on all the time. There are thousands of attempts every day. Information about weapons system and plans have been compromised; much critical information has been lost. Source code compromised, viruses and malware have been released, including surveillance network in collaboration with the Chinese Army.
Chinese have co-opted American technology through outsourced purchases of components. This is another good reason to keep our manufacturing here. Seriously, spyware has actually been found in foreign built components destined for the government agencies! And we still order from foreign suppliers. Let's bring it all home.
Stuxnet was the worm that took down a quarter of Naton’s 9000 centrifuges at the Iranian nuclear site. The most sophisticated cyber weapon in existence is apparently a joint collaboration between the US and Israel. Its existence changes everything. Any facility could be the target. We are not safe, which brings me to the next topic:
19. GET OFF THE GRID
For the aforementioned and another important reason, municipalities need to get off the regional power grid. Here are the two reasons:
1. More privatization of utilities in order to bring the prices down. Freedom from the grid in the way of buying and selling energy without the grid as a middleman. What we need is a standard, a standard for the storage of fuel. All fuels. Hydrogen cells work well for storage of some energy. This method can enable a method of buying power other than through the grid. The grids are quite simply not safe. We need to establish entrepreneurial and municipal alternatives so our country doesn’t shut down in the event of sabotage. Let people have a variety of choices of power sources. A standard fuel storage cell for home use is the answer and would be an entrepreneurial goldmine as people tap local sources for wind, solar, biofuel and hydro sources.
2. The grids can too easily be compromised. Recently two D.C. metro trains collided after an automated system failed to detect a train on the track. Additionally, in California a pipeline line exploded because a control system increased the amount of gas instead of decreasing. Both system disasters were caused by human error – but they demonstrate how easily error can occur but more importantly, how incredibly easy it would be to shut our country down in the event of cyberattack. Some feel it would be easy to deliberately cause a widespread blackout. Joseph Weiss, an industrial control system expert, stated “It never entered anyone’s mind that anyone would want to control an oil refinery. It is simple..." It is not difficult to hack into a control system or any of our traffic control networks, energy sources, and the grid. Very frightening. We need to have alternatives to the grid.
20. FUNDING FOR ISRAEL
President Obama’s 2012 budget request to Congress includes a record-breaking request for $3.075 billion in military aid to Israel. I oppose every dime of it. No money for a racist country that refuses to make peace with its underclass for fear of losing a Jewish majority. (See my lawsuit to bring Connecticut’s portion of this funding back to us in the form of grants.)
P.S. A new Rasmussen Reports survey shows that 68% of the American public feels strongly that the U.S. should stay out of the political crisis engulfing the Middle East. What a great idea! Keep our money here.