Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Weekend With Bernie

I am a little frustrated when I hear reports on polling, in particular, American's disapproval of Congress.  Our disapproval rate of Congress is the highest ever in any election year.  But how relevant is this?  As a whole I disapprove of Congress as well.  I can think of some Republican Senators and Congressmen that make me sick.  But when it comes to my representation in Congress, I couldn't be more pleased. I have no doubt that there are many people in other states (some even here in Vermont) that despise my representatives in Congress, so be it. They represent me and my neighbors, no one outside Vermont.  I'd like to see a poll that measures American's approval of congress when asked about their own representatives, that would be more relevant.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet one of my US Senators in person.  Not the first time I have met Bernie Sanders.  We are a small state with a small population. Citizens of Vermont are some of the best represented humans on the planet.  We get two Senators while a huge state like California get two also.  So the chances you get to meet your Senator and talk to them are much higher here.  I have lived here for a little over ten years and I have met all of my representation in Congress.  There were about a 100 or so people in this little church on Westford green.  The questions from the crowd came from carpenters asking about Wall Street, IBM employees asking about Unions to dairy farmers talking about the difficulties of running a small family business. It was a great way to spend an afternoon seeing and hearing my neighbors engaged in civil discourse.

When I hear Bernie speak, I am amazed.  Not because he is a great speaker but because I agree with him about 90% of the time which is surprising for any politician.  He is consistent, unlike a Romney or Clinton, so I know what I am getting when I vote for him. He is also an independent so he isn't accountable to any party leadership, only to the voter. The only problem I have with this is that if Republicans take the Senate in November, which is possible, the Senate committees' leadership will be taken over by Republicans. For example, the leadership of the Energy Committee could be taken over by Jim Inhofe (R-OK).  This scares me. Inhofe just published a book dedicated to proving that humans aren't causing global climate change. He is one of those Republicans that I referred to in an earlier post who fell asleep in their high school Earth Science class. Would Bernie change his party affiliation to prevent the Republican crazies from taking over the Senate?  I don't know. I raised my hand but wasn't one of the people chosen.  

One of the things that Bernie mentioned in his speech was a "five stories building in the Cayman Islands that housed 18,000 corporations."  The name of this building is Ugland House. It is on South Church Street in George Town, Cayman Islands.  Currently, 18,857 corporations are registered at this address but only 5% of them are US companies. They are registered here to avoid paying taxes.  Do you remember a few decades ago when the term "corporate citizen" was used to describe companies that maintained factories and offices in the US for patriotic reason? We don't hear that term very often these days.  In the US some states are more tax advantageous than others.  Delaware is, notoriously, the most favorable. Notice where your credit card bill's address is. Wilmington, Delaware has a similar building at 1209 North Orange Street. At this address is Google, Coca Cola, KFC, GM and American Airlines even though they are physically elsewhere. Not exactly patriotic behavior.


Anonymous said...

Nice blog, I too like Sanders, but I know who to blame when congress falls to the republicans and shit hits the fan ( obvious I kidding). You vote for him regardless of maintaining party line, and I understand with agreement, sure without lose sleep, because you voted for the man with principles closes to your own. Good for you. .. Could you not give the same understanding to those whom wish the same peaceful sleep. I knew of your patronage to Sanders before this post, and only here with your mention do I bring this up. If a yard stick must be taken out (which I find uselessly unproductive, regardless) I aim to use the same stick I would use in my own tolerances with others. I try, not always successful, but attempted. Lastly , his concerns mirror my own, in regards to Central Banking and it's weight suffocating free- market, and balanced budgets...etc. If changed , many peripheral issues would be resolved in time... Financial slavery , just like financial pressures in the family, can disturb the success of that family... Such a metaphor is how I see our nation's stresses. Many would subside with a proper monetary system, and until then , fixing secondary systems would only be treating the cough and not the cold.
Later, John

Anonymous said...

Ps. Uncertain but I believe bernie is on that linked documentary I shared last week. In addition , I'm glad you continue writing, I find myself in need of free expression , which has been a couple of years absent in my life... I wrote that message to you, because when picturing people while on line, the image of you is at a typewriter. Perhaps dated but my head is as old as yours... later.