Archive | Vern’s View

Corporate America has taken over government

Periodically over 2½ years, I have described the elements of the conservative movement to usurp the will of the people for the sake of the will of corporations and banks. It began with corporate attorney Lewis Powell’s memo to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1971 calling for corporate/banking America to form groups to influence […]

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VERN’S VIEWS: Educating the Third World

Editor’s note: This is the third and final installment of Turner’s series about his recent trip to Uganda. Our tour group consisted of nine Americans and two guides who drove for several tour companies. As it happened, the group quickly divided into a “conservative” vehicle and a “liberal” vehicle. As with our nation, we were […]

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VERN’S VIEWS: More from Uganda — the Mountains of the Moon

Editor’s note: This is the second of Turner’s three-part series on his visit to Uganda. Our lodgings during our trip to Uganda were absolutely wonderful with site locations on bluffs overlooking the Nile River, rims of extinct volcanoes that provided vistas of water-filled calderas and the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains — the famous “Mountains of the […]

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VERN’S VIEWS: Uganda a tourism treat, lesson in human relations

Writing about an emerging nation cannot be condensed into a few hundred words, so I’ll highlight a few important details. Uganda is the size of Oregon but contains more than 32 million residents. The old gag about flattening West Virginia to make it as big as Texas applies in this instance, too. There is a […]

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VERN’S VIEW: Reason applied to life in America

Evolution has given us all a great gift — our brain. It took more than 40 million years for the first primates to develop into the modern species today. Humans have the most complex brains of any primate, but many others exhibit intellectual capacity we can recognize. What people have in common with these nonhuman […]

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VERN’S VIEW: The destruction of reason

The recent expostulating of GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum exposes his inner workings and how he now represents the extreme of the extreme in the willful destruction of America’s intellect. Here is a man with three college degrees including a law degree calling the president of the United States a snob because he would like […]

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VERN’S VIEW: It scares me to think about it

Editor’s note: This is the conclusion to the column started last week. The Republicans are falling all over themselves to complete the shift/lurch to the right of the political spectrum. They are doing this to appeal to the only people left who are interested in anything they have to say:  the extreme right wing of […]

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VERN’S VIEW: It’s hard to watch the fear-mongering

Watching television news is getting more difficult. Objectivity is destroyed by pundits from both sides trying to sell air time about candidates who insist on looking and sounding foolish, extremist and cheap. The irony here is they are being bankrolled by corporate America just as I predicted. It is an ugly, vulgar display of disinformation […]

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VERN’S VIEWS: Desperation ruins intelligent dialogue

Someone once said all politics are local. The politics in my town are decidedly conservative — many of my neighbors see themselves as fiscally conservative, religious and nurturing their children’s education and honest representation. Even though I don’t consider myself a political conservative, I agree with the vast majority here. Some might be shocked by […]

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VERN’S VIEW: Handling GOP’s altered reality

Blogger Mark Sumner recently summarized the Republican Party and its crumbling legitimacy for representing the American people. My analysis: Ideological fights in Congress are nothing new, but these battles are uniquely dangerous. The basic Republican operating philosophy is fear-mongering. Fear, not sense, is what the Republican National Convention is counting on to get votes. The […]

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VERN’S VIEW: What would President Gore do?

The three branches of our government have unique duties under the Constitution. The separation of powers provides checks and balances to prevent runaway political influence from disturbing the public welfare. Sometimes, the U.S. Supreme Court makes a ruling that influences how laws are interpreted and how rights are assigned. Sometimes, the court is asked to […]

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VERN’S VIEWS: Plutocrats unraveling democracy

Last year, I wrote about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that, “If you are not a major player in this upper echelon game now being developed in the ivory towers of corporate America, your rights, freedoms and understanding of the American way also are at risk to the […]

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VERN’S VIEWS: Dear Republicans, I’m your friend — really!

Even though I usually write about progressive opinions, I can’t in good conscience ignore my Republican friends. They are terrific people, some of the most sincere and reliable I’ve ever known. They don’t deserve to be treated so badly by the Republican National Committee or the candidates for president. Let me extend my sympathies and […]

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VERN’S VIEWS: The accurate take on Obama

While watching the Republican candidates fight like hungry dogs about who will most certainly lose to our president in November, I am struck by their false assumptions. Since the Iowa campaign, pundits say President Barack Obama was mentioned 20 times more than his predecessor. May we infer these guys are trying to distance themselves from […]

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VERN’S VIEWS: The real value of teachers

The Jan. 15 Austin American-Statesman published a piece by New York Times writer Nicholas Kristoff about the value of good teachers. He opens with: “Suppose your child is about to enter the fourth grade and has been assigned to an excellent teacher. Then the teacher decides to quit. What should you do?” His point is […]

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VERN’S VIEWS: What competition looks like in 2012

In the Jan. 3 Washington Post, Harold Meyerson summarizes what passes for President Barack Obama’s competition this election. Here’s my two cents. Meyerson begins with Romney’s throwaway line: “Over the past three years, Barack Obama has been replacing our merit-based society with an Entitlement Society.” Romney also has said there will be “a very simple […]

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VERN’S VIEW: Don’t blame capitalism for economy

Ray Carey, author of "Democratic Capitalism: The Way to a World of Peace and Plenty," writes we have been wrong to blame the current economic disaster on capitalism. Instead, we should look to the misdeeds of the money managers and traders who used the peoples’ capital to speculate. He correctly points out these people are […]

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A LIBERAL VIEW OF THINGS: What have we learned from Iraq?

Now that our troops are finally out of Iraq, we must assess what we’ve learned as a people, as an electorate and as a nation. We must examine what the nearly 5,000 American troops’ lives and the trillion-dollar cost brought us and the world. We also must examine the decisions that precipitated the war and […]

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A LIBERAL VIEW OF THINGS: Confessions and truth about politics

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was recently released from prison, said in a recent interview the way to fix corruption was to eliminate every item of value from the lobbying process for all elected officials and their staffs. Sound familiar? Abramoff also said he now believes in term limits and that politicians should not work for […]

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A LIBERAL VIEW OF THINGS: School lunch systems need closer look

Editor’s note: Turner’s column this week is about school districts in general. The Marble Falls Independent School District earlier this year cut its ties with a corporate provider and brought its cafeteria service in-house. In an article published by investigative reporter Lucy Komisar in the Dec. 3 New York Times, a disturbing piece of information […]

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A LIBERAL VIEW OF THINGS: Holiday gifts to those who deserve them

It’s time to park the sleigh and dig deeply into the bag of gifts and zingers for those pretenders and contenders for the national spotlight. Here goes: • Rick Perry: For sponsoring the gutting of public education in this year’s fiscal debacle — the Texas state legislative session — Gov. Goodhair will receive a pink […]

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A LIBERAL VIEW OF THINGS: A virtual assault on real education

After reading an interesting piece in the Dec. 5 issue of "The Nation" about the invasion of public schools by commercial virtual schools using computers and interactive television to teach children, I remembered something I saw in "Newsweek" four months after the Columbine shooting in Denver. The "Newsweek" articles addressed what was wrong with our […]

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A LIBERAL VIEW OF THINGS: Perpetuating the lie machine

I had one of those “you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me” moments today. I read a column that said President Bill Clinton got a “free pass” for his affair with Monica Lewinski while the media jumped all over Herman Cain and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for their “alleged” misdeeds with women and sexual harassment.  If I’m not mistaken, Clinton […]

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A LIBERAL VIEW OF THINGS: Conservatives’ injustice helped wake up America

It’s hard for me to admit, but I may have been wrong about slamming the Bush II administration so hard. I may also have been wrong about giving Ronald Reagan such a rough ride. Perhaps having Grover Norquist act like an ideological geek isn’t such a bad thing, pledges and all. In fact, I’m beginning […]

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A LIBERAL VIEW OF THINGS: The CCC means ‘yes, yes, yes’

I recently watched a documentary film about the Civilian Conservation Corps. The similarities between the terribly tough times of the 1930s and today’s sagging national infrastructure were significant enough for me to think of ways this program could benefit today’s situation. The inception of the CCC went from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s desk to putting […]

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A LIBERAL VIEW OF THINGS: Where are we headed?

Believe it or not, I read conservative columns and gain insight and balance as a result. I avoid certain right-wing ideologues because they, like so many pundits on the left, spout company line after company line. It gets boring and predictable.  There are a few writers like Thomas Friedman, Leonard Pitts Jr. and Maureen Dowd […]

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