Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mike Gardner: Ronald Reagan vs Robert F. Kennedy in 1967- The Vietnam War

Ronald W. Reagan & Robert F. Kennedy-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal

Not sure why a sitting United States Governor who had no foreign policy experience to this point, except for a brief time in World War II, would be debating a U.S. Senator. Who had clear foreign policy experience as a U.S. Senator and a member of the U.S .National Security Council for four years. Why they would be debating each other over foreign policy, especially our involvement in the Vietnam War. Other than they were both expected presidential candidates for 1968. Senator Robert Kennedy, was one of the strongest opponents against the Vietnam War in Congress. And Governor Reagan, was a proponent of the war.

In this debate you are talking about two very intelligent people with clear and different positions in politics including foreign policy. One representing the right as well as it can be and the other representing the what I call the Old-Left. The FDR coalition that included economic Progressives and liberal internationalist cold warriors. Which is exactly what Franklin Roosevelt was. And someone who represented progressivism in the most responsible and mainstream form. That you can be progressive, or social democratic even on economic policy, but you need to be tough when it comes to national security. Ao you can defend freedom at home and abroad, but that you also have to be smart as well.

And of course with Ron Reagan, you are talking about a Conservative Libertarian, or Classical Conservative. Who of course applied those beliefs to foreign policy as well and that America should defend freedom abroad. Where we can and make a positive difference. This debate here represents exactly what the United States would’ve done differently in the Vietnam War. In Bobby Kennedy’s case, we wouldn’t have gotten in at all, or certainly wouldn’t have been involved as much as we were and would’ve pulled out sooner. In Ron Reagan’s case, we would’ve taken the Barry Goldwater approach and gone in full-throttle. And tried to win the war much sooner and try to save lives that way instead of settling for a tie in the early 1970s.


Salon: Crime and Punishment: Natasha Lennard: Bureau of Prisons Agrees to Solitary Confinement Review: How to Deal With Violent Offenders

Bureau of prisons agrees to solitary confinement review

I've been blogging lately about the need for looking at how we fund mental healthcare in America. Meaning that we have to do it, we really don't have a choice and thats going to take money. Money that we can afford to spend and need to to prevent future gun violence in America. And to prevent future attacks and suicides in our prison system which is exactly that right now a prison system. Which is different then a correctional system, I mean just think about that. What does correctional mean, it come from correct or vice versa but if you have a correctional system. The idea is that you are setting up a system to correct things and when you are talking about prisons as part of a correctional system. And the idea of sending offenders there, you are talking about correcting people. Correcting bad behavior, criminal behavior people who have done harm on society either intentionally or just by being. Irresponsible but for the most part and there are are exceptions like in Texas and Louisiana, two states not exactly known for being. Progressive that do have correctional systems and try to correct the bad behaviors of their prison inmates.

For the most part in the United States we have a prison system. The worst you behave in prison, the worst you are treated to the point where its at least borderline inhumane. Basically no contact with the outside world, even family or even with other inmates where the only people you see. If you are in extreme isolation, are guards, maybe the warden who may check on you or a captain. No sunlight, food if you want to call it that, that dogs might have a hard time eating and would avoid. You are in a bare cell basically all day with nothing to do but to look at walls and perhaps hope that someone comes by. To check on you or even tell you the time of day or what the day is and so fourth. Instead of having a system where inmates that have serious mental or behavioral problems, get the treatment. That they need like in a hospital to prevent them from making horrible decisions that land them in isolation in the first place.

No one responsible in this debate is saying that prison should be a pleasant place where people would want. To live but it has to be humane and serve as a vehicle for people who have to be there to be able to make. Productive lives for themselves so they are no longer threats to society or other inmates. And isolation cells would be a place to start for inmates who need to be isolated until their behavior. Improves to the point where they don't want to attack people and get in fights because now they can control. Their anger and these cell blocks could serve as rehab centers for inmates who have temper and behavioral. Problems and get the inmates who need it into to mental hospitals or wards instead.