Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

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Gary Johnson on FOX News’s Hannity Show

In Abortion,Barack Obama,Drug reform,Economy,Education,Foreign policy,Gary Johnson,Gary Johnson 2012,GOP,Government spending,Interviews,Our America,Ron Paul,Taxes,Tea Party on May 8, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

Gary Johnson joins Sean Hannity on FOX News to talk about the Tea Party movement, the GOP, the economy, government spending, education, abortion, taxes, Barack Obama, drug law reform, foreign policy, his mantle as the “new Ron Paul,” his Our America Initiative, and the 2012 presidential election.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSsW4abdPg0
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zXaPIc5bMc

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Important Voices: JohnsonForAmerica.com interviews Pia Varma, candidate for US Congress, PA-1

In 2010 elections,Economy,Education,Entitlements,Foreign policy,Free trade,GOP,Government spending,Health care,Important Voices,Interviews,Tort reform on May 3, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

This is interview #32 in JohnsonForAmerica.com’s “Important Voices” series, where we talk with key figures, such as elected officials, candidates, authors, commentators, and policy experts, about the issues of the day.  A new interview is released every Monday, so check back often!

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Our guest for today’s Important Voices interview is Pia Varma.  Pia is a firm defender of free market capitalism, in her words, “the economic system which best allows man to create, trade and prosper.” She is twenty-seven years old. Her grandfathers were both freedom fighters in the Indian Independence movement, so being a firebrand is in her genes. Her parents grew up in England and came to the United States in the early 80’s, at a time when entrenched socialism had made living and thriving in the UK virtually impossible.  Pia is now running for US Congress in Pennsylvania’s first district.

Josiah Schmidt: What compelled you to enter elective politics?

Pia Varma: Honestly, it was a nagging feeling I have had for a long time. I think I always instinctively knew I should be involved in politics but I ignored that feeling because I wanted to make a lot of money first. My passion would have to come second. At some point I decided that the “when, then” way of thinking just wasn’t working. And even though there isn’t a lot of money in politics, I feel very wealthy because I love what I am doing.

Josiah Schmidt: What issues are most important to Pennsylvanians?

Pia Varma: The same issues that are important to every state in the country and every person in the country. How are you going to put food on the table? How are you going to thrive? How are you going to send your children to a good school? How are you going to pay for your retirement? I think we are at a fork in the road. And we have to decide whether or not we want to continue down the path of excessive spending and excessive engineering of society. At some point, the government decided it had a right to be in every industry in this country: from education, healthcare, and retirement, to the financial sector and real estate. As a result, we are all going broke, which is creating more problems for the government to solve. 

Josiah Schmidt: What do you offer that your opponents do not?

Pia Varma: My ideas aren’t new. They are the same ideas on which this country was built. What I offer is the drive and relentlessness to implement them.

Josiah Schmidt: How did you come to hold such a liberty-oriented philosophy?

Pia Varma: I think it just hit me. I was reading something by a conservative author when I was in college and it just made sense!  Once I realized there were answers and truth, I became voracious for more.

Josiah Schmidt: What is the first thing you will do as a US Congresswoman?

Pia Varma: Get together with the other liberty-mided legislators and figure out how we can turn this country around as quickly as possible. There are many people in government who don’t want that and that is our biggest obstacle.

Josiah Schmidt: Which area of government spending would you most like to cut?

Pia Varma: The biggest areas of spending are in the entitlement programs: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. We have to put these programs on a path to privatization.

Josiah Schmidt: What will you do on the issue of health care?

Pia Varma: Repeal! Get the government out of the business of health. In a free market economy, price goes down and quality goes up. Unfortunately, we have never had a perfectly free market system. We need to ask ourselves, why is healthcare so expensive? Tort reform is vital.

Josiah Schmidt: How would you like to see the War on Terror carried out more effectively?

Pia Varma: I think that there has to be major spending cuts in Homeland Security. We have hundreds of bureaucratic agencies and it’s just not efficient. Our national defense has to be smarter and leaner. Also, the best foreign policy is one that centers around free trade.

Josiah Schmidt: Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

Pia Varma: This is a very unique time in our country and we all have to make a decision. Are we going to become complacent or are we going to take action? I am so excited to see how many Americans are taking action, and this is only going to grow, but we need to send a clear and unified message to Washington.

Josiah Schmidt: Where can people go to find out more about you and contribute to your campaign?

Pia Varma: You can check out my website www.votepia.com, and there is a donate button on the page.

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Important Voices: JohnsonForAmerica.com interviews Jake Towne, candidate for US Congress, Pennsylvania-15

In 2010 elections,Economy,Education,Foreign policy,Government spending,Health care,Immigration,Important Voices,Interviews on April 15, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

This is interview #28 in JohnsonForAmerica.com’s “Important Voices” series, where we talk with key figures, such as elected officials, candidates, authors, commentators, and policy experts, about the issues of the day.  A new interview is released every Monday and every Thursday, so check back often!

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Our guest for today’s Important Voices interview is Jake Towne.  Jake has traveled the world extensively, and has developed an intense love for individual liberty.  His experiences have led him to declare his candidacy for US Congress in Pennsylvania’s 15th district.

Josiah Schmidt: What compelled you to enter elective politics?

Jake Towne: Well, I must say I would not have entered politics without my perspective being widened greatly by my time spent overseas in China which drastically altered my view of American foreign policy.  After studying economics, the realization that the country is headed for a currency crisis created by the federal government compelled me to return home and campaign peacefully against the Republocrat career politicians that are ruining our great country. 
More info is here: http://towneforcongress.com/jakes-bio/motivation
 
Josiah Schmidt: What issues are most important to Pennsylvanians?

Jake Towne: Many of those I speak with are most concerned about the endless reckless spending, corporatism and bailouts by Congress, the lack of jobs, and a severe lack of accountability by those in power who should instead be public servants.
My solutions are outlined here:
http://towneforcongress.com/platform-issues/bailouts-and-corporatism
http://towneforcongress.com/platform-issues/jobs
http://towneforcongress.com/platform-issues/our-open-office-plank

Josiah Schmidt: What do you offer that your opponents do not?

Jake Towne: Perhaps the most important idea I offer is a novel-yet-simple idea called “Our Open Office.”  I offer a chance for each individual to have a public voice in the government, to debate, comment, and criticize on every House floor bill.  They can submit new bills, summon me to an “On-Demand” town hall, and read my monthly reports where I will be accountable to them and inform them not only HOW I voted but more importantly WHY I voted.
This idea is described here:
http://towneforcongress.com/platform-issues/our-open-office-plank
Besides this, I am offering what is most sorely needed in Congress – an independent voice that is not subject to the whims and commands of the Republocrat parties and their special interests.  I am a true independent with no party, and do not accept corporate PAC or lobbyist money.

Josiah Schmidt: How did you come to hold such a liberty-oriented philosophy?

Jake Towne: I was fairly apathetic towards politics until I discovered what life is like WITHOUT liberty.  Living in communist China where the liberty to speak and think freely, freedom of the press, the right to bear arms are all infringed or nonexistent really places what the special situation we have here in America in stark contrast.  Similar to the desperation of an ill person for their health, and the complacency to take one’s health for granted when healthy, often our liberties are taken for granted when instead they need to be cherished and fought for.

Josiah Schmidt: What is the first thing you will do as a US Congressman?

Jake Towne: I suppose it would be a tie between repealing the $1 trillion healthcare tax, removing all funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and submitting a bill to repeal the burdensome and unnecessary federal income tax.

http://towneforcongress.com/platform-issues/health-care
http://towneforcongress.com/platform-issues/afghanistan-war
http://towneforcongress.com/platform-issues/iraq-war
http://towneforcongress.com/platform-issues/income-tax

Josiah Schmidt: Which area of government spending would you most like to cut?

Jake Towne: The top area to cut is military expenditures, without a doubt.  We spend more on our military than the rest of the world combined while neglecting our own borders.  This has the highest impact to relieving a lot of the economic turmoil America now faces.  Military cuts would precede the slashing of unnecessary and redundant federal departments, like the $100 billion Department of Education, especially as we already have 50 state departments.

http://towneforcongress.com/economy/guns-or-health-care-1

Josiah Schmidt: What will you do on the issue of health care?

Jake Towne: The solutions to the healthcare situation are to remove state mandates that dictate 15-40% of premiums in Pennsylvania, destroy insurance portability barriers over state lines, pursue tort reform on the state level, enact federal tax relief legislation, remove state restrictions on licensing and seats in the medical school system, and provide a sound currency to stop price inflation.  Congress, via the HMO Act of 1973 and other acts, has created a government-sponsored insurance cartel that does not serve consumers best. 

Note that all these solutions call for LESS government intervention, not more.  Our health care is simply too important to be left to bureaucrats in Washington, plus it is unconstitutional.  Beyond establishing a framework of laws and acts for a competitive free market, running health care is simply not a duty of the federal government, and is best left to individuals and privatized insurance. While the federal government should do it’s best to deliver the promised benefits from the current form of socialized medicine, Medicare, expanding this system is out of the question.

http://towneforcongress.com/economy/health-care-solutions
http://towneforcongress.com/platform-issues/health-care
 
Josiah Schmidt: How would you like to see the War on Terror carried out more effectively?

Jake Towne: I would like to see the War on Terror brought to an end.  Addressing the threat of suicide terrorism by the use of occupational, conventional armies has been completely ineffective and extremely costly.  To defeat suicide terrorists one must capture the current generation and prevent the next generation from being created from collateral damage and blowback.  Our armies in Iraq and Afghanistan are creating more future terrorists and aggression against our country.  I favor the use of constitutional letters of marque and reprisal to address the threat by small bands by granting special warrants and bounties for marked terrorists to be brought to justice.  This would be extremely cost-effective – or we can choose to let the “War on Terror” grind on for another 9 years — what we are doing is not working.

http://towneforcongress.com/platform-issues/afghanistan-war
http://towneforcongress.com/platform-issues/iraq-war
 
Josiah Schmidt: Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

Jake Towne: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”  The time to fight for freedom is now as more and more Americans are waking up to the sad truth that the federal government is out of control.

A tyrannical state is quickly developing in America, one of the few rare places in the history of the planet where “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” was not an unattainable dream but instead a mission statement.  Support liberty-minded candidates or run for office yourself – it is the only way the “stagnant quo” will ever change.

Josiah Schmidt: Where can people go to find out more about you and contribute to your campaign?

Please visit http://towneforcongress.com

My campaign is also on YouTube and Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jake-Towne/229199005592?ref=ts
http://www.youtube.com/user/TowneForCongress

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Finally! Video of Gary Johnson’s SRLC Speech

In Deficit,Drug reform,Economy,Education,Entitlements,Foreign policy,Gary Johnson,GOP,Government spending,Health care,Our America,Taxes,Term Limits on April 14, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

C-SPAN.org has uploaded Gary Johnson’s speech to the 2010 Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.  Click here and fastforward to around the 3 hour mark.

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Gary Johnson’s Speech to the Central Valley Tea Party

In Drug reform,Economy,Education,Entitlements,Foreign policy,Gary Johnson,GOP,Government spending,Health care,Our America,Taxes,Tea Party,Term Limits on April 13, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

Gary Johnson speaks to the Central Valley Tea Party in Fresno, CA regarding his gubernatorial experience, the economy, government spending, taxes, deficits, entitlements, health care, education, drug law reform, term limits, foreign policy, and his Our America Initiative. 

Special thanks to Nicholas Genini for making sure this great speech was videotaped!

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Gary Johnson interview at SRLC Media Filing Center

In Barack Obama,Economy,Education,Federal Reserve,Foreign policy,Free trade,Gary Johnson,Gary Johnson 2012,GOP,Government spending,Interviews,Our America,Ron Paul on April 9, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

Gary Johnson gives another great interview at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.  He talks about his Our America Initiative, his admiration for Ron Paul, the economy, free trade, the Federal Reserve, government spending, education, foreign policy, and the 2012 election.

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/04/09/srlc-interview-gov-gary-johnson/

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Johnson Reveals Reform Strategy in CAIVN Interview

In Drug reform,Economy,Education,Entitlements,Gary Johnson,Government spending,Interviews,Our America,Taxes on April 3, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

From CAIVN.org today:

1. Public Safety and Prison Reform

CAIVN: California’s prison costs are growing dramatically. What policies and reforms did you push for as Governor of New Mexico, and how would you advise California’s government to contain costs while keeping its residents safe?

Gary Johnson: Well, in the case of prisons in New Mexico, I privatized half of the prison system, which was really an apples to apples comparison when it came to goods and services. But, private prisons were roughly two-thirds the cost of public prisons.

Read More >

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Important Voices: JohnsonForAmerica.com interviews Eric Wargotz, candidate for US Senate, Maryland

In 2010 elections,Economy,Education,Federal Reserve,Foreign policy,Government spending,Health care,Important Voices,Interviews on April 1, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

This is interview #24 in JohnsonForAmerica.com’s “Important Voices” series, where we talk with key figures, such as elected officials, candidates, authors, commentators, and policy experts, about the issues of the day.  A new interview is released every Monday and every Thursday, so check back often!

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Eric Wargotz (left) with Gary Johnson (right)

Our guest for today’s Important Voices interview is Eric Wargotz.  Eric is a former Governor’s Appointee to the Board of Physician Quality Assurance, and is a physician-businessman managing several medical businesses. He served as a Laboratory Medical Director for 17 years responsible for administering and managing a busy hospital department including operating and capital budgets, management team and employees totaling over 100 at times, and scrutinizing department and hospital activities to ensure proper utilization of resources. He currently serves as an independent consultant and contractor in that field. He is former President of the Queen Anne’s County Medical Society (QACMS 2000 – 2004) and is Clinical Professor of Pathology at the George Washington University Medical Center.  Eric Wargotz received his M.D. from the Ohio State University College of Medicine and is a graduate of Rutgers University. He completed his post graduate medical training, including Chief Residency, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center of Washington D.C. and the George Washington University Medical Center where he received the Frank N. Miller, M.D. Award for Excellence in Medical Student Teaching. Following completion of a Fellowship in the Department of Gynecological and Breast Pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) he joined their staff. They awarded him the Director’s Letter of Commendation upon his departure from the AFIP. He has published over two dozen scholarly articles in the medical scientific literature and is a recognized authority on diseases of the breast and gynecological disorders. He was rated as one of “Americas Top Physicians, 2004-2005 and 2005-2006″ by the Consumer’s Research Council, Washington D.C.  Eric is now running for US Senate in Maryland.

Josiah Schmidt: What compelled you to enter elective politics?

Eric Wargotz: I was raised to believe that if you do not like what you see then work to change it.  As a physician and county commissioner, a citizen-legislator, I seek first to do no harm (taken from the Hippocratic Oath.)

Josiah Schmidt: What issues are most important to Marylanders?

Eric Wargotz: Concerns regarding the new health-care law, the economy (jobs, taxes, fiscal responsibility), national security, and the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

Josiah Schmidt: What do you offer that your opponents do not?

Eric Wargotz: I am the only elected official in the race other than the incumbent Senator in the majority party. As a physician and elected official on the local level I will bring different perspectives to Washington. We have a state-wide campaign in place and are ahead in fund-raising. We are best positioned to get the job done.

Josiah Schmidt: How did you come to hold such a liberty-oriented philosophy?

Eric Wargotz: As a firm believer in less government and more individual responsibility I believe as Ronald Reagan did that “Government is not the answer.” In my life and as an elected official on the local level, I practice what I preach.

Josiah Schmidt: What is the first thing you will do as a US Senator?

Eric Wargotz: Repeal, Revise, and Rejoice (the new 3 R’s) with a brand new health care solution which will be in contrast to the one which has passed into law recently.

Josiah Schmidt: How should health care be reformed?

Eric Wargotz: Interstate portability and sale of insurance across state lines, removal of antitrust protection for insurance companies, and tax-free Health (Medical) Savings Accounts (HSA/MSA) are measures which would reduce health care costs.  We need meaningful tort reform and related judicial reform, and adequate solutions to solving the health care provider manpower crisis. (also see: http://wargotzforussenate.org/press/dr.-wargotz-outlines-keys-to-health-care-reform.aspx )

Josiah Schmidt: Which area of government spending would you most like to cut?

Eric Wargotz: The U.S. Department of Education has a budget of $68.6 billion (according to the Dept. of Education website).  Each state has their own mandate to provide for public education. There is little need if any for a “National” Department of Ed.

Josiah Schmidt: What can be done to increase transparency and accountability in government?

Eric Wargotz: The Amendment proposed by Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) was reasonable and would have required that the legislative language and a final, complete cost analysis of the a bill be made publicly available on the Senate Finance Committee’s website at least 72 hours prior to any Committee vote. This proposal was defeated through maneuvering of my opponent (also see: http://wargotzforussenate.org/press/wargotz-decries-mikulski-move-to-block-transparency-in-government.aspx )  Auditing the Federal Reserve is an additional measure which makes sense as a transparency measure — “Sound Banks, Sound Money” as Gov. Johnson says.

Josiah Schmidt: Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

Eric Wargotz: We are at a historic crossroad in the future of our nation.  Fiscal responsibility must be restored, free-market forces must prevail. Big government is not the solution. I believe in a better America.  Together, let’s make America healthy and strong.

Josiah Schmidt: Where can people go to find out more about you and contribute to your campaign?

Eric Wargotz: Your support is greatly appreciated.  Remember, my US Senate race is not just about Maryland, but also about securing the future of our nation . Please visit, support, and contribute at http://www.wargotzforussenate.org

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Important Voices: JohnsonForAmerica.com interviews fmr. Sen. Mike Gravel (D-AK)

In Drug reform,Education,Foreign policy,Important Voices,Interviews on March 29, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

This is interview #23 in JohnsonForAmerica.com’s “Important Voices” series, where we talk with key figures, such as elected officials, candidates, authors, commentators, and policy experts, about the issues of the day.  A new interview is released every Monday and every Thursday, so check back often!

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Our guest for today’s Important Voices interview is Mike Gravel.  Mike is a former Democratic Senator from Alaska, from 1969 to 1981.  Born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts to French-Canadian immigrant parents, Gravel served in the United States Army in West Germany and graduated from Columbia University. He moved to Alaska in the late 1950s, becoming a real estate developer and entering politics. He served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963 to 1966 and became its Speaker of the House. Gravel was elected to the United States Senate in 1968.  As Senator, Gravel became nationally known for his forceful attempts to end the draft during the Vietnam War and for having put the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971 despite risk to himself. In 2006, Mike began a run for the Democratic nomination for President. In March 2008, he switched to the Libertarian Party to compete for its presidential nomination.  Mike now lives in Arlington County, Virginia with his wife, Whitney.

Josiah Schmidt: In 2008, you switched party affiliations from the Democratic Party to the Libertarian Party.  What prompted you to do so?

Mike Gravel: Well, essentially the Democratic Party had thrown me out.  I was running as a presidential candidate, and there was sort of a conspiracy between General Electric, a large Pacific contractor, and Head of the Democratic Party Howard Dean.  They conspired to take me out of the debates.  I had been in the first ten debates.  They took me out of the debates in September of ’07.  So, I was essentially out of it.  So I moved over to the Libertarian Party, tried to get that nomination, yet I failed in that regard.  I was pretty upset over that.  I was just trying to get a venue to expose The National Initiative, which is really why I ran for President.

Josiah Schmidt: It seems like America keeps going farther and farther in the wrong direction as far as foreign policy goes.  In the 1950’s, even Republican President Dwight Eisenhower ridiculed anyone who promoted the concept of “pre-emptive war.”  Yet, in the 2008 election, you were ridiculed by the supposedly anti-war Democratic Party for merely saying that you would take a pre-emptive nuclear strike off the table!  As someone who has seen a lot in the political world, how alarmed are you at how far America has lost its way on war issues?

Mike Gravel: Very alarmed.  Here’s what I think has happened.  You mentioned Eisenhower–that’s extremely significant.  He really sounded the alarm that we would lose our democracy as a result of a union between corporate America and the military leadership coming together.  And that’s what’s happening.  And what’s significant, I think, is that no president since Eisenhower has even acknowledged the problem, and it’s now much, much worse than it was during my time.  Because at least during the Vietnam Era, people were revolting against the excesses of the warfare state.  Now, there’s no revolt at all against it, and you now have Obama as the President, who has a larger defense budget–or a war budget, more accurately–than did George Bush.  There’s no reaction to that at all.  So, it just goes forward, and further forward, and we see a foreign policy that is just totally run amok.  We are the problem in the world.

Josiah Schmidt: How do you think our government’s current foreign policy in the Middle East is affecting our national security here at home?

Mike Gravel: It jeopardizes it.  It totally jeopardizes our security, because the more we go to war, the more we energize jihadists–the people who hate the United States, who have suffered as a result of our policies, who want to strike back, and who strike back the only way they can strike back, which is through terrorism.  There’s no country on Earth that would even think of attacking us.  The problem we have is the problem of terrorism, but we engender that with our foreign policy.

Josiah Schmidt: Do you think there’s any end in sight for the current wars the government has involved us in?

Mike Gravel: No, not at all, and it will expand from there.  We saw that with the implosion of communism.  They said we’d have a peace dividend, that we’d be able to really get out and about, and change our whole priorities–well, that didn’t happen at all.  Saddam Hussein unfortunately saved the military-industrial complex, and we had two Saddam wars, now we have an Afghan War, and now we’re going to be going into Yemen.  There’s just no end to it at all.  And all of this in order to permit corporate America–the military aspects of corporate America–to go out there and make profits.  They can’t make profits if there’s no war and if there’s no threat of imminent danger.  And there is no imminent danger with respect to either a country threatening us, or even terrorism threatening us.  It’s more of a threat to us to die of cancer or on our highways than an American dying of terrorist activities.

Josiah Schmidt: During the Vietnam era, you were the leader of the anti-conscription movement.  What, in your opinion, is wrong with the concept of the draft?

Mike Gravel: First off, it appropriates unlimited numbers of young men to a political decision–that’s what’s wrong.  We had 500,000 troops in Vietnam at the high point, and now the best they can do in Iraq is 150,000.  The unintended consequence of forcing an end to the draft, is, of course, going to contractors.  We have as many contractors in Iraq as we have military troops.  And I think we could say the same for Afghanistan.  And we could say the same for the Pentagon.  We have more contractors operating out of the Pentagon than we have uniformed, military people.

Josiah Schmidt: Do you fear a return of the draft any time soon?

Mike Gravel: No, not at all.  I don’t think it’s going to be possible, because if you’re going to draft young men, you’re going to have to draft young ladies, and I don’t think the conservative religious right will put up with that.  Secondly, if you draft anybody today, two years won’t cut it.  You’d have to draft them for four to six years so that they could be meaningful soldiers, because of the technology that’s required on the battlefield.  And here too, I don’t think people would permit their lives to be appropriated for four to six years in the draft.  So, no, I don’t think the draft is necessary, one, for a peaceful nation, two, it’s not going to be palatable to the far right, nor is it going to be palatable to a lot of generals, who respect and know the benefits of a volunteer force.  The problem today is not the military from the point of view of a military force, the problem today is the military-industrial complex, which is not necessarily tied to the number of people in the military.  The military-industrial complex is tied to the political forces which sustain that.  And that of course is the Congress and the President, who are bought out by this economic interest, to continue our imperialistic policies worldwide.

Josiah Schmidt: You’re also well-known for being the Senator to get the contents of the Pentagon Papers into the public record.  As someone who put his career on the line for the sake of openness and accountability in government, how disappointed are you by the secrecy and dishonesty of the current administration?

Mike Gravel: Very disappointed.  And, of course, there’s a new movie out, and it’s up for an Oscar.  It’s called “The Most Dangerous Man in America.”  It’s about what Daniel Ellsberg did in releasing the papers–the courage it took on his part, and the risk on his part.  It’s a very, very good movie, very well done.  I hope it gets an Oscar, and I’d recommend to anybody to go see it, so that you can begin to get a handle on what happened during that era, and how reflective it is to what the situation is today.  Dan, not too long ago, asked me, “Is the cowardice unusual in the Congress today, from what it was during your time?”  And my response to that was, “No, it’s just all cowardice.  That’s all there is to it.”

Josiah Schmidt: Could you quickly summarize your position on the Drug War?

Mike Gravel: We should decriminalize marijuana.  I mean, it is an abomination that we take a substance like marijuana, which is not addictive, not a gateway drug, and we put thousands–hundreds of thousands of people–into jail for that.  It’s not a criminal element at all.  In fact, it’s less addictive than alcohol.  And with respect to hard drugs, we should decriminalize them and treat them as they really are.  It’s a public health issue.  So, if people want drugs, they do what they presently do to get drugs: they go to a doctor and get a prescription, get yourself registered, so that when you want to be helped, we’re there to help you.  This stuff with treating it as a criminal element, all it does is rather than put the doctor in charge of drug distribution, we put the criminal in charge of drug distribution.  We know that Prohibition never worked with alcohol, it doesn’t work with drugs, and we spent over the last 40 years a trillion dollars on this, have destabilized foreign governments, have destabilized a major, major portion of our own population in this regard.  We have spent a treasure on prisons, when we should be spending this treasure on education.

Josiah Schmidt: What are a couple of the most important issues to Alaskans right now?

Mike Gravel: Well, I would say that they should have spent more money on education–they didn’t.  I think on education they are about 16th in the states.  With the wealth that they have, they should have really poured the money into educating their young people, making it the number one priority.  With respect to Alaska, they need to concentrate on getting an economic base that’s not reliant entirely on resources alone.  They’ve not done a good job in that regard.

Josiah Schmidt: What is the most important lesson that you have learned during your involvement in politics?

Mike Gravel: That is that the people are smarter than their leaders.  And their leaders just don’t accept that, don’t realize that.  And that’s the reason why I’ve devoted the rest of my life to try to develop legislation and try to get legislation enacted by the people, because the Congress will never do this, that empowers the people to make laws.  Bringing the people into the operation of government as partners–legislative partners–where they can make laws in partnership with their elected officials.  It becomes a win-win, where the people set the policy, and their elected officials execute that policy on a day to day basis.  It works better, and the people become more responsible than they are today, and they need a lot more responsibility in order to mature civically, if we’re going to have the nation that we think we should have, but don’t have, because we get carried away with our sense of entitlement, with our triumphalism, which is not merited at all in the world.

Josiah Schmidt: Are there any other words of wisdom you’d like to leave our readers with?

Mike Gravel: Well, they can go to my website, which is MikeGravel.us, or NationalInitiative.us, and become informed as to how they can become legislators.  And to be aware that I am working on a television series called “I Like Mike,” which will be a cross between The West Wing and The Office, where I become virally elected as President, and will be out there dealing with the issues and taking on all of the special interests in the area of this.  So, watch for that program.

Josiah Schmidt: When and where will we be able to see that?

Mike Gravel: Well, we’ll be shooting hopefully in a couple months, and we’re still negotiating as to where.

Josiah Schmidt: Awesome.  Thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to talk with us today, Mr. Gravel.

Mike Gravel: You’re welcome.

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Gary Johnson on PeaceBlimp.com Radio Marathon

In Economy,Education,Entitlements,Foreign policy,Gary Johnson,Gary Johnson 2012,Government spending,Health care,Interviews,Our America on March 22, 2010 by Josiah Schmidt

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is interviewed regarding foreign policy, economics, government spending, entitlements, health care, education, his Our America Initiative, and the 2012 presidential election.

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