Thursday, 15 September 2016

5 Reasons Why The Polls Aren't Accurate


While no poll can ever be perfectly representative, the five reasons for inaccurate polls cited here tend to produce results that favor the Democratic and Republican parties. Given that many of these polls are conducted by corporate media companies who also happen to contribute heavily to the two parties, we don't believe these biased methods and slanted results are a coincidence. In support of this view, here are 5 of the main reasons why election polls aren't accurate:
  1. Pollsters usually only call landlines. This a problem because many younger folk don't own one. Furthermore, retirees are more likely to be home to answer their landlines. This means polls are skewed in favor of candidates liked by the elderly. Younger people are known to favor 3rd parties more.
  2. Sometimes people under 35 or 40 are intentionally excluded from polls (see video below). The justification is that older folk are more likely to vote. This makes polls needlessly unrepresentative.
  3. Many polls don't even include 3rd party candidates as an option. They just give the two main candidates and a choice of "other". This biases people towards choosing the candidates listed in the poll. It also prevents 3rd parties from getting the polling figures needed to reach the debate stage.
  4. Some polls ignore Independent voters altogether (see video below). They only ask registered Democrats and Republicans. Independent voters represent 43% of the population. This makes such polls woefully unrepresentative.
  5. Most pollsters phrase the question in a way that biases the outcome. They say "who would you vote for today?" rather than "who would you like to be President?" (see video below). This means previous polls bias the result of the current poll, because many people vote tactically based on polling data. This creates a self-reinforcing perception of two-party dominance. Asking who people actually want as President would be a truer measure of current opinion.
If these five reasons weren't enough for you, let me break it down: this is intentional. The corporate media who run the majority of the polls also fund and receive favors in return from the two main parties. As we learned from Wikileaks, the Democratic Party has a cozy relationship with the media. The same is likely true for the Republicans and Fox News. The corporate media are simply not interested in giving an honest representation of 3rd party support.

Just to give an example of how this works; consider the Green Party. Green Party supporters are predominantly under 35, don't own landlines, are typically classed as Independents, and would be more likely than a Democrat or Republican to change their ideal voting preference to vote tactically. The Libertarian Party has some of the same issues, but probably to a lesser extent.

 In other words, 3rd parties are being under-represented in the polls, and it's clearly intentional.


Thursday, 7 July 2016

The Hillary Supporter Translation Guide



Welcome to the `Hillary Supporter Translation Guide', a page for people who're confused by the vacant ramblings of dangerously uninformed Hillary Clinton supporters. If you've had the misfortune of encountering a Hillbot, you've probably heard them utter one of the phrases below. This page offers a clear and authoritative translation of `Hillspeak'.

What Hillary Supporters Say What Hillary Supporters Mean
“She would be the first woman President.” “I see gender as a qualification.”
“Vote blue no matter who.” “I would vote for George W. Bush if he wore a blue tie.”
“Hillary is very qualified.” “Hillary has been on CNN more than the other guy.”
“She has plans.” “I have no idea what plans she has.”
“Hillary has been endorsed by lots of prominent people.” “I revere authority and like being told what to think.”
“Bernie is a socialist.” “I’m in the wrong party.”
“She’s better than Trump.” “Don’t look at Hillary. Just focus on Trump. He’s bad.”
“It’s her turn.” “I think the United States is a monarchy.”
“If you don’t vote for Hillary, you’re helping Trump.” “Maybe I can shame you into voting the way I want with some fallacious reasoning.”
“Do the math.” “I haven’t done the math.”
“That’s just how the system works.” “I have no fight left in me because I’m dead inside.”
“It’s all Republican lies.” “I don’t need to dispute the things you say. Blue team good. Red team bad. Ooga booga!”
“Hillary has already won because CNN said so." “I don't know how the super delegate system works because I'm a tool.”
“I don't care about the things you say Hillary has done.” “I forgot how to be a Progressive.”
“You won't vote for her? Then say hello to President Trump." “I'm preparing for defeat, and I'm preparing to blame you for it.”
“Bernie just wants to give you free stuff.” “I would sooner vote against my own interests than look at how other countries have made Bernie's policies work.”
“She will continue Obama's work." “I like the status quo. Change? No we can't!”
“I don't care about the emails.” “I don't care about transparency or accountability.”
“She's inspirational and a role model.” “She's female."
“Hillary has experience and knows her way around politics.” “I don't know what corruption is, but I think it has something to do with Karl Rove. He's the devil.”
“She'll release her Wall Street transcripts when the Republicans do.” “I hold Hillary to the standards of Republicans.”
“You're just sexist.” “I'd rather demonize you than argue with you.”
“Stop being divisive” “Vote for my divisive candidate.”

If you'd like help translating other phrases Hillary supporters use, place them in a comment below and I'll see about adding them to the list.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Bernie Supporter vs Hillary Supporter Conversation



This is a mock conversation between a Bernie supporter (blue text) and a Hillary supporter (red text). It includes parts of real conversations I've had with Hillary supporters, and it hopefully exposes a few of the logical fallacies and biases they exhibit.

“I won’t vote for Hillary if she's the Democratic nominee, and about 50% of Bernie supporters are with me.”
“You should vote blue no matter who. I’m going to pick Hillary. Do the math!”
“OK, but if you only care about the blue team winning, you'd pick a candidate who won’t be abandoned by 50% of Bernie supporters. Furthermore, you'd pick someone who doesn’t have an unfavorable rating of 54%; who isn’t hated by around 80% of independents; who isn’t anathema to young people; and whose primary victories aren’t predominantly in red states that will vote Republican anyway. Your candidate is hated outside your party, and the places that like her will vote full red in the national; not the half red Hillary offers. Nominating Hillary could easily cost Democrats the election.
“None of that matters. Once the Republicans get their teeth into Bernie, he will be seen unfavorably too. The independents will hate him then.”
“So you’re going to base your decision on a hypothetical scenario rather than a real scenario? That seems awfully risky for the blue team's chances.”
“Listen, I’ll vote for who I want, and you vote for who you want. Just vote blue in the national election, ok?”
“That's a little contradictory. You're saying I can vote for who I want now, but not in the general?”
“Yes.”
“I'd rather vote for who I want all of the time. That's what democracy means. If Hillary is the nominee, I’m going to write in Bernie or vote Green."
"Don't be stupid. If you don't vote for her, you are actually supporting Trump. Is that your intent, to help elect Trump?"
"Republicans tell me that if I don't support Trump, it's actually a vote for Hillary. So which is it? How can not voting for either of them somehow be a vote for both of them? Do you see what being a tribal partisan does to the logic centers of otherwise sane minds? Please snap out of it."
"You're the one being ridiculous. Hillary is a much better choice."
"Hillary doesn’t represent me or any other progressive. She’s the establishment. She stands for corporate power and embodies everything I dislike about modern politics. I think her well-documented warmongering will lead us into a war, and that’s something I cannot have on my conscience. Hillary is actually worse than Trump on a number of issues. He's worse on others, but even if voting for a lesser evil made sense, Hillary wouldn't be guaranteed my vote. Many other progressives and independents who’ve also done their research feel the same.”
“Oh be quiet. Everything you've just said is Republican lies and trickery, courtesy of Karl Rove.”
“The Republicans didn’t make her do all of those things. They made a big deal out of some of it, but they can’t take credit for her votes, positions, flip-flops, unethical behavior, and corporate servility.”
“Whatever. You’ll come around when faced with the prospect of Donald Trump.”
“That sounds like another hypothetical scenario grounded in wishful thinking. What if we don’t come around? Independents have no loyalty to the Democratic Party, and they represent more than 40% of the electorate. Bernie supporters also seem adamant about not supporting her. You’re taking a big gamble, and, if you only care about the blue team winning, it looks like a completely unnecessary one too. There's a candidate who is far more electable.”
“Look, do you want Donald Trump? He’s going to be like Hitler. He’ll take away our rights and fill the Supreme Court with Republicans. What’s wrong with you? Are you a Republican troll trying to split the Party?”
“Did you hear any of what I just said? No amount of shaming or fear-mongering is going to make me vote the way you want. I don’t want Trump, but I don’t want Hillary either. That’s the way I’m voting. I'm sorry that irks you, but it’s Bernie or bust.”
“Then say hello to President Trump.”
"Really? So you admit you'll lose the election if your far-fetched hypothetical scenario doesn't pan out?"
"What? No... I'm saying it will be your fault if we lose.
“Oh I get it: you're preemptively blaming me for a Republican victory, and at the same time voting to nominate a Democratic candidate who millions of people despise and have pledged never to vote for?"
"You just don't get it. Trump is hated more than Hillary." 
"Oh, that's a comfort. She might win a contest of who's hated the least! Then again, she might not. So the question is: do you think her defeat will be the fault of people who hate her, or the fault of people who nominated her despite that widespread hatred; rejecting a better liked candidate in the process? I mean, you must know she's not liked, right? So, how about using this real data instead of relying on wishful thinking? Then, you could make a decision based on logic and numbers instead of fantasy and denial."
“Whatever. Hillary will be the first woman President, and that’s more important than whether or not some people believe she got paid by Goldman Sachs to do some damned speeches.”
“She did get paid, and we still don’t have the transcripts for those speeches.”
“She’ll release them when the Republicans release theirs.”
“So we’re supposed to hold her to the same standards as Republicans, who, even you would admit, are probably accepting bribes for political favors?”
“No, well yes, everyone should have to follow the same rules.”
“OK, then I won’t vote for the Republicans for the same reason I won’t vote for Hillary: because I don’t trust them.”
“You’re being stupid. Hillary will be the first woman President, and that should be hugely important to any liberal.”
“Why?”
“Did you really just ask that? Wow, you’re obviously sexist and I can no longer talk to you.”
“Oh do grow up. Equality is about recognizing everyone equally for their merits. Making one gender automatically more meritorious than another is not what I would call equality. Furthermore, despite wanting to see a woman President, I’d like to see one who isn’t a disaster. I’d like a President who inspires millions of women to want to follow in her footsteps, and millions of men to respect their aspirations. Hillary would set back perceptions of female leaders decades.”
“Whatever. You’ve proven you’re a sexist. I have it in writing. You should go vote for Trump. He welcomes bigots like you.”
“You want me to vote for Trump now? That contradicts your earlier statements. However, by nominating Hillary, you’re effectively saying you don’t want my vote or the votes of millions of others who've already said we can’t support her. But, that’s your prerogative. You can go it alone if you want. I won’t vote for Trump, but if your close-knit group of Hillary supporters lose the national election, don’t go blaming me or others like me. We gave you plenty of time to see what would happen.”
“You’re an idiot. Get lost.”

***It’s August, and the worst has happened: Hillary has won the nomination.***

“I’m really worried about all these Bernie supporters, independents, and young people who won’t vote for Hillary.”
“Are you serious? Now you're worried? You just started getting worried about that now?”
"Oh, shut up!"

***It’s November, and Hillary has lost the national election to President Donald Trump. The young people didn’t vote for her. The independents voted more in favor of Trump. The Bernie supporters wrote him in.***

“It’s all your fault! You didn’t vote for Hillary and now we have President Trump. I’m going to blame you for every life he ruins or ends!”
“I expected nothing less from the likes of you. Now, where’s that Facebook block function…”





Thursday, 17 March 2016

Americans Hate Clinton and Trump, Poll Shows


This poll from CNN shows us Hillary Clinton's favorable / unfavorable ratings, which are at an abysmal 42% / 55%. As her ratings within the Democrat party are rather better (19% unfavorable), it's starting to look like Hillary is winning the nomination because all of her support is within the party. Looking outside the party, such ratings suggest a big electability problem looming on the horizon.

Independents, who make up the largest voting block in the USA at 40%, appear to despise her. This is the group that any candidate needs to convince if they're going to win an election. Furthermore, she doesn't have the youth vote, who flock instead to Bernie Sanders. It's well known that, the older you are, the more likely you are to vote Republican, so the youth vote is also crucial to a Democrat's success. These key demographics could cost her the election. The only hope for Clinton is that Trump is hated more (and he might be), but, even if Hillary does win, it won't be a big win, and there'll likely be many years of obstructionism from Republicans to follow.



The Hillary supporters I've had the displeasure of interacting with want us to ignore this poll. If it can't be dismissed as Republican lies, it must be done away with. These people are willing to risk it all and throw the country under the bus in order to get their candidate the nomination. They're willing to sacrifice the votes of those who've repeatedly said they can't vote for her. Instead, they want to go it alone with their close-knit tribe of loyal Democrats. This is not how you win an election!

Essentially, what Hillary supporters are saying to independents and young people is "we don't need your votes". That's their prerogative, of course, but they shouldn't expect me or anyone else to imbibe our own vomit on election day and vote for her. We said we wouldn't; we let you know this beforehand; so if you're not going to listen, it's on you, not us. People who tell you to "vote blue no matter who" but go ahead and choose the least electable candidate are being disingenuous about wanting to ensure a `blue win'. Rather, they're risking it all for their disfavored preference. Why should Bernie supporters have to accommodate their foolishness?

So, if it's not Bernie, I'll be writing him in. Voting for the lesser of two evils is voting for an equal or worse choice of evils next time. Voting for Hillary is a vote for war, Wall Street, and wealth inequality. How can I, in good conscience, put my name to that? I've tried to give this corporate, neoliberal, warmonger the benefit of the doubt in the past. I've tried to limit myself to positive messages about Bernie rather than negative stuff about Hillary. A month ago, I even wrote a facebook post defending Hillary against the racism accusations. No longer will I do that. Her supporters are like mini-versions of her: rotten to the core - disingenuous, negative people who take every opportunity to lie or obfuscate the truth. They're the kind of people who don't deserve my restraint or my allegiance at the polling booth. They don't appear to want it either, so I'm happy to oblige.

Submitted by Hector Danson.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Guns, Drugs, and the Backwards USA



Illegal drugs sometimes harm the people who decide to take them, but that's their choice, isn't it? The primary purpose of a drug is for personal use. It's not for shoving down someone else's throat, or injecting into someone else's arm. Why this should be illegal in any vaguely libertarian country is beyond me. If you want to swallow a gallon of bleach, you can go ahead and do it. It's your body.

Guns have a primary purpose that is to harm other people. Whether offensively or defensively, the purpose of a gun is to plant a piece of metal into another person's body at high velocity, causing grievous injury. Why such well-designed killing implements are legal in some countries is beyond me.

On this point about guns, not even libertarians should be able to disagree. Yes, we should have freedom over our own bodies and what we do with our bodies, but we don't have freedom to do harm. Guns are for harm. They are a tool for taking away the freedom of others. A tool for harming others. They are an anti-libertarian device.

It's useful to consider the evolution of weaponry. When we all had knives and muskets that could maybe be used to kill one or two people per minute, the problems weren't that serious. Today, we have assault rifles, rocket propelled grenades, and other weapons that can kill hundreds per minute. Tomorrow we might have weapons that could vaporize a room of people in a second. What happens then? Do we persevere with this corrupt libertarian idea that we should be free to harm other people if we choose? Or does the prospect of being vaporized on the train along with the rest of the passengers by someone who had a bad day at work not appeal?

So I ask, what kind of backwards country makes self-harm devices illegal, but other-harm devices legal? America, it seems, is the answer to that question.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Progressive Policy Ideas (UK)

HOUSING

  1. Satisfying the middle and upper classes with artificially high property prices is socially irresponsible. A huge amount of affordable housing should be built, flooding the market with new homes, and forcing the price of property down across the country. This would allow young people to afford housing at a reasonable age rather than being kept in perpetual economic slavery by lenders. The new houses should only be sold to people who intend to live in them. Existing mortgages should be adjusted to match falling prices.
  2. Property owners who leave a home unused and empty should be taxed appropriately based on the cost to society of withholding living space. 

ENERGY

  1. The energy companies should be nationalised. No industry should have guaranteed demand and be immune to failure. Private energy companies are a gravy train for wealthy shareholders who ensure their slice of the pie with artificially high prices. Furthermore, investment in renewable energies is needed. We cannot expect private companies to put social responsibility above profit.
  2. Renewable energy targets should be more than doubled. Energy self-sufficiency should be the aim of any government. Currently, we are too dependent on oil and gas.
  3. The most imminent threat to our safety is global warming from man-made CO2. We should build one last generation of nuclear power plants. During the lifetime of these plants, we should aim to increase renewable sources of energy to meet all our energy requirements. This should be the best way to reduce CO2 emissions.

DEMOCRACY

  1. Donations to political parties should be scrapped and replaced with a national campaign fund to be allocated proportionally based on the number of votes received in the previous election. People and institutions can donate to the campaign fund if they wish to contribute. Otherwise, the fund is raised via taxation.
  2. Politicians should be prevented from having second jobs or being on the boards of corporations. A number of laws should be introduced to ensure they’re as impartial as possible.
  3. Scrap the “first past the post” voting system (FPTP). Offer people a number of alternatives including proportional representation and STV. Let a referendum determine the outcome.
  4. More referendums should be asked (at least 1 per year), with the ultimate aim being a transition to direct democracy within 20 years. Internet voting systems should be developed to increase participation and reduce costs. 
  5. Questions for referendums should come from ballot initiatives as well as policy makers.*
  6. There should be a referendum on whether the monarchy is needed.
  7. Politicians who knowingly lie in parliament or in a public speech should lose their job or be prosecuted.
  8. Constituents should have the right to fire their MP via a majority vote if 10% of constituents sign a petition asking for the vote to take place.
  9. 16 year olds should have the right to vote.
  10. Hereditary Peers and Church Bishops should be removed from the House of Lords.
  11. Abolish the MP expenses system and give MPs a modest pay rise to compensate.*
  12. Reduce the deposit needed to run for parliament.*

DEFENCE AND FOREIGN POLICY

  1. The Ministry of Defence should be for "defence"; not for invading, bombing, or maintaining a military presence in other countries. Military spending should be cut significantly as a result.
  2. British-made weapons should only be sold to nations that intend to use them for defensive purposes. Treaties with such nations should be sought to ensure their compliance. The sale of weapons to regimes that may use them offensively, or to regimes with questionable human rights records, should be banned. This ban would include the USA, Saudi Arabia and Israel.
  3. Nuclear weapons systems such as Trident should be scrapped. Today's threats do not require extinction-capable weapons.
  4. Recognise the state of Palestine and advocate their right to full UN membership.*

HEALTH

  1. The NHS should be protected from any and all private sector intrusions.
  2. Junk food should be taxed and the money used to subsidise cheap fruit and vegetables. The poor should be able to afford to live healthily.
  3. Drug addiction should be treated as an illness, not a crime. All currently illegal drugs should be made available to addicts for free on the NHS. This would take control of the market away from criminals and allow the NHS to offer help and rehabilitation to addicts while monitoring their usage. The crime associated with the drug-dealing business would disappear without a market for dealers to exploit, as would the petty crime committed by users to fund their habits.
  4. There should be a referendum on completely legalising cannabis (to the same level as alcohol).*
  5. Increase pay to doctors, nurses, and teachers (see next section) by at least 10%. They are the lifeblood of our society. These professions must attract the best and brightest.

EDUCATION

  1. Better regulation of private schools. Education should be protected from private sector influences. It’s paramount that children aren’t indoctrinated or ushered along particular career paths by people with vested interests.
  2. Repeal the charitable tax status of private schools.*
  3. No faith schools. They represent and foster division. In their place, all children should have the opportunity to take religious education classes in state schools that cater for their particular religious needs.
  4. The curriculum should be altered in a number of subtle ways. Key skills should be taught, such as learning how to fill in forms, pay taxes, write cheques, budget and save money, use computers and search engines, drive vehicles, read food labels, eat healthily, exercise regularly, use contraception, and avoid gambling and other addictions. Mental health and psychology classes should be compulsory and taught earlier to help children understand their minds, the minds of others, and how to cope with anxiety, depression, and other mental problems. There would be an emphasis on the causes of anger, aggression, and conflict, and how to avoid or deal with them. The ultimate goal would be to produce a more cohesive, peaceful society with less crime and war.
  5. End institutional `classism’ in some prestigious schools and universities.
  6. Implement or work towards affording free tuition fees for university students.

MEDIA

  1. Fully implement the Leveson report into press regulation. 
  2. Set up a regulatory body to fact-check claims made by the mainstream media. Each media outlet should receive scores for accuracy and bias, and the public should be presented with a league table based on these scores. The public would be less inclined to read/view low scorers, which would force the industry to have higher standards of journalism.
  3. Phase out the TV license fee and replace it with a voluntary subscription fee for public service broadcasters. Release anyone imprisoned for non-payment of the TV license.*
  4. BBC Director Generals should be elected.*
  5. Reduce ties between government and the media and ensure Communications Directors have no press allegiances.

ECONOMY

  1. The proposed TTIP legislation should be thrown out. We don’t want corporations taking elected governments to court and having laws made to protect them from direct action and nationalisation.
  2. All corporations should have to pay the correct amount of tax. There should be no “deals” between the HMRC and corporations that allow them to pay less than the proper amount of tax. Corporations that don’t comply should be prevented from operating in the UK.
  3. Banks, such as HSBC, should run the risk of being nationalised or losing their license to operate in the UK if they run a dirty operation.
  4. There should be a more progressive tax system. Currently, richer people earn and own more relative to the tax they pay than poorer people. A proportional system should be implemented as the minimum standard.
  5. Placing earnings in tax havens should be banned. Punishment should be deportation and/or a ban on doing business in the UK. Other loopholes should be closed as quickly as possible.
  6. We should work with the EU and other nations to encourage universal tax rates, such that tax competition, in which countries compete to have the lowest rate of tax, is avoided.
  7. Most zero-hours contracts should be phased out. They are primarily used to exploit workers.
  8. Councils should be forced to allocate their funds more responsibly; with a focus on essential services such as waste collection, street cleaning, and grass-cutting. Wasteful pilot schemes by councillors who’re only seeking to advance their political careers should be discouraged.
  9. Invest heavily in driverless cars and automated labour. Set a target that all menial work should be performed by machines in 20 years, and that the fruits of their labour should be used to subsidise proportional increases in welfare and education.
  10. Power and wealth should be decentralised away from London. In particular, the north of England should see heavy investment.
  11. Abolish the bedroom tax and give councils necessary powers to refuse to apply the bedroom tax if successive governments reintroduce it.*
  12. Conduct a parliamentary inquiry into Work Capability Assessments.*
  13. Establish a job seeker's bill of rights to prevent exploitation of unemployed people.*
  14. Disallow any further bank bailouts and put controls in place to make sure consumers are protected if their bank fails.*

TRANSPORT

  1. Consider the economic and philosophical case for nationalisation of rail and bus services. Focus the debate on the social responsibilities of the industry, competition levels, and the public right to a healthy transport network.

IMMIGRATION & EU

  1. Immigration and our position in the EU are low priority concerns that have been unnecessarily exaggerated to provide a scapegoat for irresponsible bankers and politicians after the last financial crash. However, there should be a referendum on EU membership as the terms of this membership have changed substantially since joining.
* denotes additions suggested by Zachary Adam Barker. All other policies by Tom Swan.   

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Hypocrisy - The Conservatives Cut Legal Aid


During the Conservatives first term in government (2010 - 2015), they made around £600 million of cuts to Legal Aid. Today, the new Conservative Justice Minister, Michael Gove, said the legal system is "failing the poorest" and "the finest legal provision is accessible only to the wealthy".

How Michael Gove can say this when he was a Conservative cabinet minister between 2010 and 2015 is almost beyond belief. The audacious and hypocritical speech was an insult to all who'd campaigned against the cuts to Legal Aid that have left the poorest in society unable to afford justice.

Perhaps Gove's motivation for making this speech on June 23rd 2015 was the new play `The Invisible' which is due to open in 10 days time on July 3rd. The play is about people fighting for justice and having to represent themselves in court because they're not entitled to Legal Aid. It's based on the real life impact of Conservative cuts. Coincidence? I doubt it.

The Conservatives have shown utter contempt for the poorest in society, and this latest speech by Michael Gove is his way of saying `we can get away with it'. Whether the mainstream media will pick up on this is unclear, but The Political Dissenter will do all it can to point out the hypocrisy and corruption of the current UK government.

-UPDATE- (18/10/2015) Now it's being reported that 1 in 4 victims of domestic abuse are having to defend themselves in family court. Some are being cross-examined by their own abusers.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Is Hillary Clinton Corrupt? Should She Be President?

Hillary Clinton. Public Domain Image via Wiki Commons.
Let me preface this by saying I'm a liberal democrat. However, if you're anything like me, you'll put partisan politics aside and consider the scale of corruption that Hillary Clinton has been involved in.

In 2010, Wikileaks found that Clinton had ordered US diplomats to spy on UN officials. She asked them to gather biometric data, computer passwords, and credit card details. Though her name was on the order, she claimed it was affixed by someone else.

In 2002, Hillary voted for the Iraq War and lied to us about WMDs. However, less is known about her attitude towards Iran. In 2007 she voted to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, which could easily have led to war. Indeed, her support for Israel is emphatic, and her overall foreign policy is on a par with that of the previous Bush administration.

Learn about her warmongering and the support it gets her from Wall Street in the following video:



Then there's her healthcare turnaround. After championing socialized health care in the 90's, Hillary's stance dramatically changed when she became the 2nd highest paid recipient of donations from the pharmaceutical and health insurance sector. Then, in 2009, Hillary came to the aid of a number of pharmaceutical companies who subsequently donated money to her husband's foundation.

For her 2000 Senate campaign, she swindled a large amount of money from Peter Paul. Then, in 2008, she hired convicted thief, Sandy Berger, as an adviser. Her campaign ads that year used images of Bin Laden and Hurricane Katrina to scare people into voting for her. And, in 2012, she laughed at the death of Colonel Gaddafi in an interview.



In 2013 there was the Benghazi scandal. She was accused of using propaganda to mislead the public about an assault on the US embassy. She denied knowing about multiple warnings of the impending attack, and used this as an excuse for withholding those warnings from the media in the aftermath. However, Clinton's aid had removed all mentions of terrorism, warnings, and al-Qaeda from reports, instead promoting the idea that it was a protest about a controversial book. Hillary denied giving the order, or even knowing about it.

Then, of course, there's the personal email account that Hillary used to keep her Secretary of State business secret from the public. This was a breach of rules, and the latest in a long line of scandals to hit the press.

Unfortunately, most people will remain ignorant of these scandals, or will consider them unimportant. Indeed, the majority of Hillary's supporters base their entire opinion of her on the fact that she's a woman who was cheated on.

To learn more about Hillary's history of corruption, and to see sources for the information included in this post, please visit here.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Iran Has Every Reason To Hate America

Oil well. Pic by Belizian via Wiki Commons.
Despite preconceptions, Iran is a peaceful country that hasn't started a war in almost two centuries. However, in 1953, Great Britain sought American help when the Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadegh, threatened to nationalize the country's oil industry. Britain had been mopping up Iran's natural resources for decades and desperately wanted nationalization to be avoided. So, America sent the CIA to organize a coup that would topple Mohammed Mossadegh from power. Named Operation Ajax, the coup succeeded in removing the democratically elected leader of the Iranian people.

For denying the Iranians the right to choose their own leader, America may never be forgiven. However, what was truly unforgivable was the 26 years that followed. America and Britain installed Shah Pavlavi as their new puppet dictator in Iran. The Shah ruthlessly oppressed the population, using his SAVAK secret police to destroy any form of political opposition. Thousands of Iranians died or were tortured as a direct consequence of American actions in their country. Eventually, the Iranian revolution deposed the Shah in 1979 and installed the current theocratic regime (which America doesn't like, of course).

After one year of freedom, America found another way to subject the Iranian people to unspeakable horror. Whether he was initially encouraged by America or not, Saddam Hussein sensed an opportunity to invade Iran in 1980, triggering an eight year war. Despite starting the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam received American support and weapons. His use of chemical weapons (WMDs) against the Iranians was even condoned by America at the UN. The United States repeatedly vetoed attempts by the UN to condemn Saddam's WMD use against the Iranians. After eight years, and many dead, the two nations agreed peace.

With even a basic reading of history, it's not difficult to understand why many Iranians have a problem with America. Unfortunately, the American government relies on our ignorance of history when pushing for war with Iran, and our servile media reinforces this position by pretending animosity between the two countries started yesterday.

Of course, not all Iranians hate America, but we should be very careful when condemning those that do, as their hatred is quite justified. Though Obama has pushed for closer ties with Iran, what really should happen is an apology. Unfortunately, the noxious level of patriotism and national pride in America would make this political suicide for any politician.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

5 Reasons Why Prostitution Should Always Be Legal

Public Domain Picture.
Prostitution is a contentious subject that tends to get people's emotions in a bit of a muddle. Many are morally against it, while others simply find it revolting. However, there are several practical reasons for why it should always be legal.

1. When prostitution is legal, it can be properly regulated. This means that prostitutes can work in licensed brothels with panic buttons, disease testing, clean living conditions, security, and a community of fellow prostitutes to help and protect them. It makes them less likely to be economically and sexually exploited by violent pimps. It also means the majority of their clients will be sad, lonely men who would never dream of being violent to a woman.

2. However, when prostitution is illegal, all of this goes away. The sad, lonely clients are too afraid to break the law, so many of the clients are abusive. The protection of the brothel is gone, meaning the women have to surreptitiously occupy alley-ways, or live alone so no-one can report them to the police. Most will have pimps who are involved in other criminal enterprises, and any brothels that remain will typically be run by the criminal underground. The end result is prostitutes who're at greater risk of disease, violence, drug addiction, and sexual and economic exploitation.

3. Although a small fraction of prostitutes are trafficked, there are already laws against this. There is no need to outlaw prostitution in order to stop trafficking because traffickers (by definition) will ignore whichever new laws are used to threaten their business. By legalizing and regulating prostitution, there is less of a business opportunity for traffickers (less demand to fill), and trafficking is likely to decrease as a result.

4. Many prostitutes are vulnerable products of their upbringing. They grew up in care homes, or they have drug habits to feed. So should society be exposing them to greater danger by making their work illegal? Or should we be protecting them and giving them help to overcome their problems? By bringing them into licensed brothels, they can be given the support they need from peers, social workers, and health professionals. For those who are against prostitution, this may actually be the best way to get prostitutes to change their ways.

5. Prostitution is a moral issue for some people. However, is it moral for a woman to pretend to like a man to get a piece of jewelry, a free meal, or a free holiday? In this instance, the man is being duped into parting with his money. With prostitution, there is no facade. The man knows the woman is being affectionate because she is being paid to. It's an honest transaction between two people, and a far cry from the dishonest tactics used in the dating game. From a libertarian perspective, prostitution is between two consenting adults who are fully aware of what they're doing and why. There should be no law to stop them from doing it.