Phil Hoskins

Are you certain?

Certainty about facts, opinions, positions and the future is something common to politics. The chances of someone getting elected based on a platform of the reality that nothing is certain are nil. We are a culture that prizes certainty over honesty, humility or reality. Uncertainty is a weakness, indeed sinful. Yet if anything is certain […]

Winning addiction

Addictions are the hot topic lately, what with famous figures populating rehab facilities like some of us take vacations, the psychological community debating what is and what is not an addiction, and the question of whether behavior is by choice or by nature. I would like to add a category that in my opinion is […]

The corporate state

The Supreme Court has put what will prove to be the nearly final nail in the coffin of democracy in its 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission by removing limits on corporate campaign contributions. While the latest blow came from a Roberts Court, the underpinnings of this disaster go all the way […]

Not partisan enough

The sky is falling and the Obama era is over already. Maybe, maybe not. it is my opinion that a mental illness runs through the American public form time to time. The root of this illness is fear and its handmaiden is intellectual laziness.
When stimulated by certain key phrases and words, this illness metastasizes and becomes dominant in the culture.

It is my opinion that most people only dimly know what is going on in government, are too lazy to really dig in and find out, so they latch onto whatever sounds good at the moment. Then, like a school of fish, they follow the buzz and suddenly a “truth” emerges. 

A good year to die

All those of you who have large accumulations of wealth can die this year.  Well, what I mean is if you do happen to die, there won’t be any federal estate tax liability.  That is right, no “death tax” at all.

It is Obama’s fault

On the pages of Capitol Hill Blue, all across the internet and cable television, we are told that President Obama is a failure, he has lost support, and that he really is George Bush light. We are told that health care reform is dead, that financial regulations are not going to be imposed, and that essentially the Obama administration has done nothing in it’s 11 months. Of course, the facts are quite to the contrary, but if anyone says that they are naive, partisan or simply demented. Poppycock.

Welcome aboard!

“Welcome aboard!” is written on the front door of every MTA bus in Los Angeles. Most have no idea that is so nor any interest in taking the invitation to “go public” anytime soon. We have, as a nation, squandered our fortune and future on satisfying ego’s need to cannibalize the planet for our private comfort and luxury by insisting on basing our life around the automobile. Time to put it in the garage and get on board!

Gays support the President

President Obama hit the mark perfectly in his speech to the Human Rights Campaign Fund gathering last night. And so did all those who press him for more and faster action. On this, National Coming Out Day, cleverly set on my own birth date, there is much to be done to bring legal equality to gay and lesbian Americans. The Matthew Sheppard Hate Crimes law is one step forward. But as much as legal equality must be pursued with vigor there are still persistent pockets of hatred and ignorance that need the clarity of Obama’s call for tolerance and equality.

Reparations, not a tax increase

During the course of the last three decades a small group of people have changed laws, tweaked those left unchanged, emasculated attempts at regulating their actions, created falsely based wars and a fictional economy. In the process they transferred an unprecedented share of wealth from 95% of us to the top 5%, themselves. A false economy was created in which people were paid incredible sums for producing nothing more than imaginary money. Then the house of cards started a full on collapse and that 95% was forced at gunpoint to go in debt to bail the 5% out. It is time for reparations.

“Hillary: the Movie” — The end of citizen control

The case trying the issue the power of government to limit corporate campaign spending for “Hillary: the movie” warns us that the High (don’t I wish) Court may overturn a century of legislation regarding these laws. If these laws are declared unconstitutional, the already overwhelming advantage of big money over politics will likely become a monopoly resulting in virtually no voter control of government.

Beginning early in the last century, Congress and many states realized that unlimited campaign spending by corporations would distort the election process because they are able to quickly gather funds and spend them to sway public opinion.

Individual voters, and even groups of voters cannot match this ability and the result is to skew elections toward what corporations want.

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