Author: Robert Love

An Alternative to the “Lesser of Two Evils”

Can two party platforms effectively represent the opinion of 300 million Americans? If so, can you name the candidate who agrees with the majority of Americans on drug policy and defense spending? Better yet, why are President Obama and Governor Romney, clear front runners in the polls, afraid of letting a third-party candidate be heard on the national stage?  Surely they could defend their positions against a “fringe”candidate who has no chance of getting elected. Could it be because this “fringe” candidate has a platform that resonates with the American public? In 2008, Obama campaigned on a platform of respecting states’ rights on medical marijuana. Yet, as of today his administration has raided four times the number of medical marijuana dispensaries as his Republican predecessor. According to Gallup, a majority of Americans now want to legalize marijuana and a whopping 75 percent support medical marijuana. If this is something that most Americans want, why are neither of the candidates who supposedly represent the interests of the majority of the U.S. public talking about it? Sadly, it’s because neither agrees with most Americans on ending the war on drugs or cutting military spending. Obama’s administration currently spends $1 billion more on the military than President George W. Bush ever did, and if Romney were elected, he would raise it $2 billion more than Obama. So, if I’m one of the 39...

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“Red Scare” at LBJ

LBJ, is this the best you could come up with? The LBJ School is training us to be future leaders of non-profits, consultants for businesses and authors of government policy. The administration tells us we are the decision-makers of the future, but they apparently do not believe that students can be trusted with opaque red cups. Policing student beverages is out of line with the way the school has promoted alcohol consumption in the past. There are a number of receptions in the LBJ lobby throughout the year that offer alcohol, culminating in the open-bar graduation celebration with our own Dean making a toast. But last Saturday the administration changed the rules when the cold fist of enforcement grabbed my shoulder and interrogated me as I entered the building, “What’s in that cup?” [Silence.] I know my 5th Amendment rights. “You must leave this building now,” said the security guard. “Here, take my cup if it concerns you. I am just going to the bathroom.” “No! You must go outside.” My creative problem-solving skills were quick to the rescue: “Here you go… my cup is now empty,” I said, after polishing off the remainder of my beer mixed with Malibu. I continued on my way to the bathroom, quite happy with my elegant solution. “Stop! Or I will call the police and have you arrested.” His threat was so...

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U.S. Federal Budget is a Ticking Time Bomb

Imagine you have a monthly income of $4,000, your rent is $2,000 and the rest is spent on food, energy and education.  Seven years later, your rent and student loans now cost $3,700 a month…and your credit cards are all maxed out. How do you make ends meet without getting evicted? It would be difficult for an individual household to manage such a crisis… but what about a government? The federal government is borrowing 40 cents of every dollar it spends, and the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in three years. And the tipping point for disaster is coming sooner than we think. Social Security and Medicare make up half of federal spending and in seven years 92 percent of federal revenue will be spent on SS, Medicare and interest on the debt. (http://www.gao.gov/financial/fy2009/09frusg.pdf) When these programs were created, it was understood that the government could not financially support seniors. This is why President Roosevelt made the age of eligibility for Social Security at 65, the average life expectancy at the time. Today, however, the average life expectancy is 78 years, with many living long past that. With 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring each day and unemployment at 9 percent, we need to slash spending without pulling the plug on senior citizens. But since most politicians prioritize their re-election over what is in the best interest of the people, they...

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Fluoride Is Too Toxic of an Issue for Austin City Council

  The quality and purity of the drinking water supply has a dramatic influence on the public’s health.  What if a sub-population is known to be negatively affected by something artificially added to the water … should city government stop adding that substance, or at least warn the people so that they can make an informed decision? For three years Fluoride Free Austin has been speaking to Austin City Council about the health dangers associated with water fluoridation. Since that time, tremendous progress has been made. In November 2008, the Environmental Advisory Board of Austin City Council recommended that the city investigate the costs and benefits of water fluoridation. Later, in July 2009, Austin Health and Human Services put a warning on the city’s Web site, informing mothers of the dangers associated with using fluoridated water for infant formula. In January 2010, the federal government recommended lowering the maximum amount of fluoride in drinking water from 1.2 parts per million to 0.7 ppm, a policy change that validated Fluoride Free Austin’s efforts. More recently, on October 18, the Public Health and Human Services Committee of Austin City Council considered putting a warning on the water utility bill, informing citizens about the dangers water fluoridation poses to children and adults. According to government statistics, the practice of adding fluoride to drinking water endangers 31.3 percent of Texas residents. Children five years...

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The Government Is Making Us Fat

  America is sick. And it’s not just the economy, or the perpetual state of war … it’s our health. The United States is the most obese country in the world, and the U.S. government is causing the problem. By prohibiting the cultivation of healthy foods in the America, allowing dangerous artificial sweeteners in our food, and putting endocrine inhibitors into our drinking water, the government has cultivated a culture of obesity. A whopping 67 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. That’s 93 million Americans who are obese and more than 9 million adolescents who are obese. What’s more, obesity disproportionately affects women, minorities and low-income families. In the United States, 73.7 percent of blacks are obese, 69.1 percent of Latinos, yet only 62.8 percent of whites are obese. Low-income families are at a substantially higher risk of developing obesity. Diabetes rates are growing rapidly, and it is projected that one in three children will develop Type 2 diabetes as adults. How will one-third of the adult workforce having a crippling disease affect the American economy? All of this fat is expensive. In 2000 obesity cost Americans $117 billion, and diabetes rates have doubled since then. With government-mandated healthcare in our very near future, we the working taxpayers will be stuck with the bills for these obese poverty-stricken citizens who can’t afford their own medicine. How can this crucial issue be fixed without a heavy-handed government mandating what we serve...

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