Posts tagged ‘Ripon College’

02/18/2012

Republican Rebirth at Ripon–Part IV

Under my Republican “Rebirth at Ripon” plan, conservatives would be required to take the following SENIOR YEAR classes:

Fourth Year—First Semester

PS: 403:  FREE SPEECH: Never advocate censorship of content, but use the “commerce clause” to regulate cable TV monopolies. Implement regulations to protect consumers from cell phone company abuse. Understand the preference for more speech, not less. Never advocate, as Romney did, the elimination of the Public Broadcasting Corporation. It’s our only objective TV source.

PS: 420: WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION: Study the history of the GATT. How is the WTO organized? Why do tariffs, import quotas, and other trade barriers violate WTO rules? What trade cases may be brought before the WTO Dispute Settlement Body? Don’t pander to voters who seek protectionism. Explain the WTO.

EC: 460: ECON: ANTITRUST: What are the logical extremes of unregulated capitalism? What happens to prices when one, or a few companies, control of the market? Even Republicans should be willing to stop one company from taking over an entire market. Accept the need to break up monopolies with antitrust laws.

EC: 410: ECON OF PUBLIC BUDGET: Learn the history of our National Debt and annual budget deficits. Why did Republicans shift from taxation to borrow-and-spend policies? How much did the National Debt increase since Reagan implemented supply-side economics? How much has the “interest on the debt” portion of the budget grown? Does an increase in the Debt Ceiling cause additional spending, or simply allow more borrowing to pay for funds already spent? Would a Balanced Budget Amendment pass? Would it do any good? What wasteful spending could be saved by cutting corporate welfare and military operations overseas?

LAW: 450: INTERNATIONAL LAWS OF WAR: Study the Hague and Geneva Conventions, containing the ban on torture, and rights of non-combatants to be heard in civilian courts. Learn what rights prisoners-of-war have under the Geneva Conventions. When can military commissions and tribunals be used, instead of civilian courts? Close Guantanamo Bay; it’s a major embarrassment. Have respect for international law.

Fourth Year—Second Semester

PS: 450: FOREIGN POLICY AND DEFENSE: Learn to oppose dictators, tyrants, and absolute monarchs. Don’t befriend them for strategic reasons. Support democracy and free elections. Focus on our U.S. national security interests, not those of Israel. When is military use justified? What rebellions should we support? Who should receive foreign aid, and why?

EC: 490: ECON: HOUSING: What caused the mortgage foreclosure crisis? To what extent did “adjustable rate mortgages” contribute to the problem? What are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? What is the purpose of the Community Development Act? How should mortgage-backed securities be regulated? How are jobs created in the construction industry? To what extent do “supply and demand” set housing prices? What effect do low interest rates normally have on housing starts?

EC: 430: ECON OF TAX POLICY: The 16th Amendment was ratified to tax the incomes of the very rich. Would it be fair to tax those who receive unearned incomes from interest, dividends, and capital gains, at the same rates as those paid ordinary income from regular employment? Since corporations are treated like persons when it comes to rights, like their ability to contribute to political campaigns, shouldn’t they pay income taxes just like everyone else? Should the cap on payroll taxes, which protects higher income persons, be eliminated? Understand why the sales tax is regressive and would hurt the poor the most. Should the federal estate tax be applied to estates of less than one million dollars?

EC: 490: ECON OF THE UNDERGROUND ECONOMY: Study the success and failures of the so-called war on drugs, and its affect on supply, demand, pricing, and our relations with Mexico.

LAW: 460: ISRAEL AND INTERNATIONAL LAW: Stop pandering to Israel, and at least understand the Palestinian view. Read the countless number of UN resolutions critical of Israel for their occupation of Palestine. Understand that every UN member, except the U.S., has voted against Israel, and the only reason the U.S. stands alone with them, despite their ongoing violations of international law, is the Israeli Lobby controls the U.S. Congress and our foreign policy. Be an honest broker and learn both sides.

02/17/2012

Republican Rebirth at Ripon–Part III

Under my Republican “Rebirth at Ripon” plan, conservatives would be required to take the following JUNIOR YEAR classes:

Third Year—First Semester

HIS: 330: WWII AND ITS ORIGINS: Learn what caused the German aggression in Poland, and the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. Know the WWII battles and the price each nation paid. Study the Soviet experience on the Eastern Front, which caused their postwar fear of another invasion, in the subsequent Cold War. As the war ended, how did the UN change world order?

PS: 310: UNITED NATIONS: Learn the organizational structure of the UN and the content of Assembly and Security Council resolutions. Understand every nation on earth, except Israel and the U.S., support statehood for Palestine. Accept the UN as a valuable organization. Don’t threaten to defund it. Work with it.

EC: 350: ECON: HEALTH CARE: Admit the U.S. has a health care crisis. How would the single-payer Canadian system work? Why do European systems, like the one in the Netherlands based on private insurance, work so much better than ours? Why are insurance premiums so high in the U.S.? Can we actually decide on the amount of an affordable premium? How much profit is taken from premiums by the insurance industry? How can we control health care costs? What’s wrong with fee-for-service billing? How much in profits do health care providers take from each bill? Can we at least agree on Medicare facts? Who would lose under Ryan’s voucher plan? Since workers comp and auto insurances are required, can health insurance also be mandated? What phys. ed. and nutrition classes should be taught in schools?

EC: 340: ECON: SOCIAL SECURITY: Learn the history of Social Security retirement. How do European systems work? What would be the economic risks of privatizing retirement in the market? What if the elderly lost all their savings in the market?

LAW: 315: ADMINISTRATIVE LAW: Accept the constitutional authority of Congress to regulate business, by delegating the authority to write rules to various administrative agencies. Stop trying to close agencies and departments. Make them more efficient.

Third Year—Second Semester

HIS: 320: MODERN MIDEAST HISTORY: All aspiring politicians must learn Mideast history, from the end of WWI, when the Ottoman Empire dissolved, through the present. What was the “Balfour Declaration”? What happened after Britain received a League of Nations mandate to govern Palestine? What Arab-Israeli conflicts subsequently erupted in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and Golan Heights? Understand the Palestinian view regarding the 1967 borders. Don’t just pander to Israel.

PS: 320: EUROPEAN UNION: Learn the history and structure of the European Union, and the EU Monetary Union, as to the Euro crisis. Should Britain adopt the Euro? Understand how the EU Monetary Union constrains national monetary and fiscal policies. Don’t just say the Greek debt crisis is their problem, as the U.S. is now part of a global economy. We simply cannot ignore Europe.

EC: 330: LABOR ECONOMICS: Know the U.S. government would have been overthrown in the 1930s if the right to organize unions, right to strike, and right to bargain collectively had not been allowed. Learn what causes recession and unemployment. Study fiscal and monetary tools for controlling downturns. Stop saying we would be better off without minimum wage laws– it’s embarrassing. Know the workplace is much safer now thanks to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Stop trying to dismantle the National Labor Relations Board. Just work with it.

EC: 350: ECON: INTERNATIONAL TRADE: What are the economics of free trade and protectionism? Do tariffs lead to retaliatory tariffs and overall reductions in trade? What was the effect of the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Act? What about politically based economic sanctions? Learn the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941 was caused by a U.S. trade embargo; that sanctions against the white racist South African regime helped bring them down; and the 50-year U.S. trade embargo against Cuba failed, because the world refused to join. Study trade; don’t just use it to pander.

LAW: 325: PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW: Learn the U.S. is not the master of the world. 193 nations belong to the UN. Treaties are the principle way in which international law is written and the U.S. is not above it–we have an obligation to obey it. Stop acting like a Texas cowboy in foreign affairs.

02/16/2012

Republican Rebirth at Ripon–Part II

Under my Republican “Rebirth at Ripon” plan, conservatives would be required to take the following sophomore year classes:

Second Year—First Semester

HIS: 240: ASIAN COLONIAL HISTORY: Study Portuguese, Dutch, French, and British colonial history in Asia. Learn the U.S. joined the European club, when we seized the Philippines. Understand what caused the Chinese Boxer Rebellion (1900), the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor (1941), the Korean War (1950), and Vietnam’s struggle against French and American white rule.

PS: 270: LEGISLATIVE POLITICS: What role do lobbyists play in law-making? How can their influence be reduced? What problems arise when people like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich accept money from Fannie and Freddie to lobby Congress?

EC: 240: ECON: AGRICULTURE: Why did the capitalist free market fail in the Great Depression? Why does the U.S. subsidize farm products? What benefits are gained from a controlled farm economy? What would happen to the rural economy, if subsides were eliminated? If politicians abolish foods stamps, and totally ignore poverty and hunger, would there be a revolution?

EC: 250: ECON OF MANUFACTURING: Learn the economics of manufacturing and the challenges associated with international trade. Was it good to save the auto industry from bankruptcy? If they had shut down, what ripple effects would have occurred?

LAW: 260: CON LAW: PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT: Learn the Declaration of Independence (1776), often quoted by Gingrich, is not law, and the Constitution, first adopted in 1788, is our fundamental law. What is the line between states’ rights and federal power? Know what the “separation of powers” means, and don’t threaten to subpoena judges, like Gingrich did. Learn from Ron Paul the need to actually declare war, before getting into one. Know what powers belong to the Commander-in-Chief, and what he can do through Executive Orders. What does the power to “provide for the general welfare” allow Congress to do? Is there any limit to the Congressional power to regulate commerce?

Second Year—Second Semester

HIS: 250: AFRICAN COLONIAL HISTORY: What is the history of British, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Portuguese colonialism in Africa? Accept and applaud the guerilla tactics used against white rule in Kenya and elsewhere in black Africa.

PS: 280: JUDICIAL POLITICS: Learn there is no objective truth when it comes to legal interpretation. Law is necessarily made by both conservative and liberal judges. Scalia, Thomas, and other right-wingers, are just as active in law-making as liberals.

EC: 260: ECON: TRANSPORTATION: Accept the reality motor vehicles are inefficient in the aggregate. Return to conservative principles, by promoting the efficiencies of mass transportation. What economic benefits would high-speed rail lines provide? Stop turning down federal funds for mass transit.

EC: 270: ECON: EDUCATION: Understand all of society benefits through universal public education. What economic gains can be made by making tuition affordable at public universities? What benefits flowed after WWII from the GI Bill for veterans? Stop promising to close down the Dept. of Education.

LAW: 270: CON LAW: INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS: Develop respect for liberty and individual rights. Learn the difference between scientific fact and religious belief. Be willing to separate church and state, so Santorum types stop promoting religion. Learn it is unconstitutional to require Christian prayers in public schools. Know what is wrong with pepper-spraying students, who have done nothing but peaceably assemble to protest tuition hikes. Read the 2nd Amendment, as it says the right to bear arms only applies to those serving in a well-regulated militia. Learn rights are not enjoyed by “criminals,” but instead by “the accused.” Ron Paul raised good points as to the danger of using profiling to round up suspects. Learn the value of “due process” and jury trials. Compare our system to foreign states where jailed persons sometimes just disappear. What is cruel and unusual punishment? When should the death penalty be used? Does the privatization of prison violate the Constitution? Understand women have a constitutional right to “liberty” to control their own bodies. Accept their right to an abortion, as long as the fetus cannot live outside the womb. Understand why it’s ok for public universities to admit minority students on factors other than GPA and standardized test scores. Actually read case law before speaking.

02/15/2012

Republicans Need A Rebirth At Ripon

The Republican Party, born in a Ripon, Wisconsin on March 20, 1854, has this year fielded candidates so conservative on social, economic, and foreign policy issues, the only chance they have of winning this fall, is if they could somehow move the election date back about 158 years, into the 19th Century.

This year, the GOP introduced Donald, “the carnival barker,” Trump, whose elixir cabinet had a cure for everything. They subjected us to the insufferable Gingrich, a virtual barking dog, whose racist tones would have angered Abe Lincoln. They presented Santorum, the Catholic Crusader, whose efforts to turn America into a Christian Nation, would have offended Thomas Jefferson. They gave us Ron Paul, a man whose absolutist lassie fair economics are so radical, the great Wisconsin Progressive, Sen. Robert La Follette, would have turned in his Republican grave. Finally, we watched Mitt Romney change his position so often, his head surely must be ready to spin off his body, like what happened to the creepy doll in the Exorcist movie.

The Republicans are dying, along with the old schoolhouse in Ripon, where their anti-slavery plank was first adopted in 1854. If America wants to preserve the two-party system, the Republican Party must be reborn. They should save the millions they will spend this year on negative advertising, and instead build a new platform. To put it in words Rick Santorum might understand, they need a “second coming.” They need a rebirth at Ripon.

Ripon College, 75 miles northeast of Madison, and 87 northwest of Milwaukee, should become the birthplace for the “second coming,” that is, after they first open a branch campus in Waukesha County, between Milwaukee and Madison, where most of the state’s wealthy Republicans live. From this new suburban venue, Ripon’s campus of 1,036 students, should launch a moderate Republican curriculum, and bring the party back to life.

Every Republican politician should just stop campaigning right now, and for the next four years, study 40 courses worth 3 credits each, before being allowed in 2016 to return to the campaign trail. The courses the Republicans would be required to take at the “new Ripon,” will be posted on my site over the next 4 days, beginning with the first installment of 10 classes for freshman:

First Year–First Semester

SOC: 101: POPULATION GROWTH: Learn the theory espoused by Thomas Malthus that unrestrained population growth leads to greater food demands, inadequate supplies, and either starvation or war. Can we rationally debate China’s one-child policy, and the problems caused by large families? Can we accept contraception for birth control? Course required for religious fundamentalists.

BIO 110: ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT: Learn the dangers to the environment from coal, gas, oil, and nuclear energy, and the value of alternate sources like wind or solar. Study climate change evidence. Consider the problems that would arise if Republicans actually could abolish the Environmental Protection Agency.

HIS: 150: HISTORY OF U.S. MILITARY INTERVENTION: Learn how America made a wrong turn at the end of the 19th Century under Republican William McKinley’s foreign policy. Study 20th Century U.S. interventions in the Caribbean, Central America, Asia, and elsewhere. Understand we were not always the good guy portrayed in John Wayne films. Know that we took Guantanamo Bay from Cuba. At least understand why Cuba wants it back. Set Puerto Rico free. See the world from their view.

PS: 160: CAMPAIGN FINANCE & ELECTION REFORM: Solve the persistent problem of gerrymandering. Adopt a comprehensive primary election plan. Promote campaign debates instead of TV commercials. Push a constitutional amendment to remove money from campaigns so elections become democratic. Repeal voter photo ID laws implemented to suppress turnout. Where voting machines are used, require a paper trail for recount purposes. Consider adopting term limits for the House and Senate. When should “recall elections” be held?

EC: 170: BANKING AND FEDERAL RESERVE: Should the Wall Street financial district have been bailed out? Should the big banks now be busted up under antitrust laws? Should consumers be protected against abusive bank charges? Why was the gold standard abandoned and replaced with Federal Reserve Notes? What is monetary policy, and how is it used to combat recession?

First Year—Second Semester

SOC: 110: CIVILITY IN SOCIETY: Politicians must learn to be civil, particularly with persons of other races. Why accuse a President of being from Kenya, when no facts support the claim? Why shout “you lie” at the President at a formal State of the Union? Why accuse Obama of being Muslim, when he is not?

PHIL: 120: PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION: Learn the number of centuries between the time of Christ and the era when the New Testament gospels were first written. Understand the Bible is not a reliable literal historical source. Know the difference between religious beliefs and scientific knowledge. Be able to accept as probable the absence of a supernatural being. Is there really anything out there? Avoid pandering to religious groups.

HIS: 160: HISTORY OF EQUAL RIGHTS: Understand the constitutional amendments passed after the American Civil War. What Southern laws were imposed on blacks between Reconstruction and WWII, to effectively extend slavery by another name? What led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Do you really believe the issue of racial injustice has been solved? What unique challenges do women face in the workplace? How should sexual harassment, like the cases against Herman Cain be resolved? Should gays move beyond civil unions into marriage? Learn to be Abe Lincoln Republicans.

PS: 170: IMMIGRATION POLICY: Learn the long history of immigration law. What should our policy be? Know the meaning of citizenship by birth. Don’t pander to Mexicans and other Latin Americans. Just say it is good public policy for all immigrants to speak English. Employers should be forced to subsidize English language classes. Be open about the fact employers pay cash under the table to avoid SS taxes, unemployment, and workers comp premiums. Just fix the naturalization process already.

EC: 190: ECON: CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM: Learn the words “capitalism” and “free market” are no where to be found in the U.S. Constitution. Stop calling Obama a socialist; it makes Republicans sound stupid. Stop referring to the U.S. as a capitalist country, as the Founders never said that. We have a democratic system in which we can choose more or less capitalism or socialism. Study capitalist and socialist principles. Understand that it was an unregulated capitalist system that led to the Great Depression.