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A Modest Foreign Policy Proposal for Humanitarian Aid

This forum is supposed to be for issues that pertain solely to the US, but I believe my suggestion is not off-topic. Too often I have heard the US get accused by other countries of being the self-appointed policeman of the world. Yet whenever there is an international crisis they fail to step up and do their part, or at least, not until the US takes a leadership role. So here's the proposal: Some years ago, an idea was put forward in diplomatic circles to create a “World Navy”, which would actually be more like a World Coast Guard. The charter of this organization would include such things as: search and rescue, disaster relief, humanitarian relief, counter-piracy, interdiction against human trafficking, and enforcing international law on the high seas. It could be part of the United Nations or a new organization. Member nations would contribute a number of ships and/or aircraft proportional to their GDP’s, but the crews would be multinational. The fleet would consist of patrol cutters, hospital ships, and other vessels designed for the job. Most of these would only need light armament. Such a fleet could have reduced the loss of life from events such as the current exodus crises in Syria and Libya, the Somali pirate scourge, and the Indonesian tsunami. It would also be a way for other nations to shoulder more of the burden of foreign aid and crisis response. So what do you all think? Is this a worthwhile thing to do, or just a pipe dream? I would love to see this become part of the Modern Whig platform, and demand that other countries do more.

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Donation Webpage

My compliments to the designer of the donation page. It was a breeze to make a donation. Donations on the old site were more often miss than hit. WI Whig

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Bernie Sanders and taxing our way to social medicine...

Today I was surfing the news feeds as I usually do, when I came across this article from Motley Fool… I’ve read several articles about Bernie Sanders and how he thinks we can move to universal single payer health care and finance it through tax hikes, but this is the first article I have seen that breaks it down into individual tax brackets. There is also a bit of analysis on long term economic effects. Let’s put all that to the side for a minute though, and examine one question: Is it right, or even fair to tax people at ever increasing rates as they work hard and earn more money? One of the principles of the American system is capitalism. Capitalism encourages people to work harder and make more money. After all, that’s how you move up. That’s how you realize the American Dream. Or so we have all been told. The biggest failure in the Sanders tax plan is this: It de-incentivizes work. There is really no reason to work harder if the government is going to take bigger and bigger chunks of your income away if you are successful. This is true of the current system also, but Sanders’ plan further punishes those who are successful. It is hard to see people not doing their own very personal cost-benefit analysis and deciding that at some certain point it simply isn’t worth trying to earn more if the government is going to take it away. What the Sanders plan does is move the break-even point down the income spectrum. Those already rich will offshore their wealth, or hide it in some of the many tax shelters their high priced lawyers and accountants will devise. The guy in the middle will again get screwed. I have to give Bernie some credit though. He’s planning on screwing over the guy at the bottom too, by apparently a modest 2.2%. Yet another great step towards the socialist feudal paradise. You can read the article at the link below. Let me hear your thoughts on this. http://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2016/02/07/bernie-sanders-income-tax-brackets-how-much-would.aspx

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Saving the middle class starts with things like welfare reform - from My Daily Read 2/9/2016

Here we go again, I've been beating the drum for saving the middle class for a long time, but apparently the State of Maine has actually done something that meets the Whig test for common sense! To reduce the burden of welfare to able bodied single persons, they are requiring them to WORK (what a concept!) and in doing so they have reduced that portion of their food stamp program by 80%. This in turn cuts down on the cost of welfare that our taxes must fund. The link to the article I found during my daily read is at the end of this post. Please read it for yourself and let me know here how you feel about implementing this policy nationwide: http://cnsnews.com/commentary/robert-rector/when-maine-required-childless-adults-work-get-food-stamps-guess-what

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Next Road Trip...

As the MWP Director of Veteran's and Active Duty Affairs, I try to meet with Veterans and Military Members across the country, wherever I happen to be at the time. Over the next few weeks, I will be traveling to the east coast, and while there I will be available to sit down and meet with anyone who wishes to discuss issues and to develop solutions to them. I will arrive in Richmond, VA the evening of April 28th and I will be staying in Midlothian, VA until May 1st. On May 1st I will drive down to Camp Butner, NC (about 20 miles from Durham) and I will return to Midlothian on May 2nd in the evening. I will again head to Camp Butner on May 4th through May 8th, return to Midlothian again the evening of May 8th, and fly back to Alaska on May 10th. Somewhere in all this, I intend to head north to the Annapolis area, but I haven't firmed up the dates for that as of yet.. If you are in or close to one of these areas and would like to meet, email me at veterans@modernwhig.org or leave a comment here.

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Public Libraries, the Patron Institute of the Modern Whig Party?

As our party’s ranks continue to swell evermore with the passing days, I evermore grow wary of how to continue this growth as well as lay the infrastructure to channel and organize this augmentation. Now more than ever, we must court those like us, the disenchanted, disenfranchised, and the enlightened in a manner that lies within our capacity. Our website (bless its digital soul), cannot quite be the model for en masse recruiting nor the best for communication. Facebook and other social media sites share limitations as well despite being important to any grassroots movement these days. It will take more than thumbs-upping, “pound-keying”, and trending our way to the forefront of the political scene and recruit new members. Therefore, I hold great conviction that our way to expand would be to resort to hand-over-fist tactics; propaganda and personal interaction. Now to how public libraries can contribute to the Modern Whig Party. First, a library can serve as a virtuous symbol for the party. We no longer can gather in the Owl Club of old. However, we still honor the Owl as our patron symbol, and what better to reflect its characteristic of wisdom than to utilize library in such a manner. Today, one cannot separate the idea of owls portrayed in various fictional writings from the stereotype of being eclectic and erudite, and that can also be translated with a library setting. Second, I find it reflective of many Whig principles. For example, reading in solitude, whether it be a book, a newspaper article, or a magazine, nurtures an ability to learn as well as question ideas rather than be insidiously spoon-fed ideological and “dogmatic talking points”; an atmosphere of allowance for critical thinking. Another would be the urging of self-initiation to learn English. While I reside in a predominantly white suburban town, our highly praised school system does attract diverse minority groups. Arabs, Indians, Chinese, Pakistanis, Koreans, etc. can be seen with their kids checking out children books, movies, etc. While overhearing any short verbal exchange indicate the adults do not speak English as their first language, the library provides mediums to encourage assimilation and assures the next generation will achieve proficiency in English and American culture that effaces any disparity from any other American. Third reason poses a deeper look into the embodiment of the Whig Party. Returning to the current political nature of the country, the [political] right demands government must be eradicated on what at times can be described as hackneyed, scorched-earth tactic while the [political] left feels compelled to engage constantly with circuitous if not grandiose government-fueled solutions. I find that the library as the halfway house of such policies in which good can come from common sense service to the people. A government institution that provides a direct and meaningful service in expensing knowledge of the world, literature, thoughts, community outreach, and the arts to every citizen in search of these precious things on a fundamental level. This fundamental plane that a local library exist on should be advantageous for the Modern Whig Party. As a grassroots movement, the local library becomes the ideal platform to germinate our reputation, and even serve as a gathering point. Here’s where the propaganda serves its purpose. Granted, I am aware of the negative connotation of it; but I will not sugarcoat what an advertising campaign of the political persuasion entails. With such immense dissatisfaction from the American people this election cycle, we cannot tarry too long in capitalizing on the restlessness of the populace. Social media will be essential to our growth; however, one cannot underestimate the ability of physical presentation through flyers, political cartoons, and even newspaper editorial columns. People possess a rightful skepticism on the internet or even dismiss it without a second thought. Yet a combination of the two, a physical component to better pique one’s interest by being something tangible and constantly present as well as a digital component to be readily available for further exploration and interaction, should prove to be instruments of compatible and effective design. From there, we can further include them into our movement in a more intimate fashion. Libraries do not mind to in displaying flyers and whatnot for promotional reasons. Quite a few also provide conference rooms for meetings and clubs. Granted, I must imagine that there may be a process for booking one, or we could just gather without one if that becomes the preference (but you will need to keep your voices down). One should not underestimate the privilege of engaging with other people in the flesh and discuss ideas important to our communities, our states, our country, and beyond. To illuminate the need of seeing each other as equally human in an ever partisan society thanks to platforms encouraging faceless fiends to fan the flames and revel in baseless company. From there, we can better organize ourselves with solidarity for campaigns and issues, such as approval voting. Anyhow, this comes as a passing thought from me. I will broach the idea to others at the convention next week. Unlike many people today who dismiss the library as a diminishing institution in the age of the internet, many like myself still bask in the solitude and service it provides in making a better citizen and person; ever learning, ever exploring.

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