Monday, June 27, 2011

Pending Radio Interview, Peace Corps Safety, Social Security, Zelaya’s Manifesto

On Friday morning, July 1, 9:15 am, I’ll be interviewed on WSLR 96.5 LPFM, Sarasota. It doesn’t have a very long range, so you’d have to be fairly close by.

Submitted June 24, 2011, a House bill, H.R. 2337, would amend the Peace Corps Act to require sexual assault risk-reduction and response training, the development of sexual assault protocol and guidelines, the establishment of victims’ advocates, and the establishment of a Sexual Assault Advisory Council. The bill, introduced by Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), has thirteen original co-sponsors, including returned PC volunteer Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA).

Now that discussions on Social Security and its future deficits--borne of increased longevity--are heating up, the possible remedies don’t seem all that painful: continuing to raise the minimum age for full benefits, maybe even to 70 (while still allowing reduced benefits at age 62); raising the wage cap subject to social security contributions; and taxing benefits at higher income levels (as is already done to some extent). Those provisions would take care of that particular deficit problem. Social Security doesn’t have to be privatized, just tweaked a little, preferably on a gradual basis.

Zelaya calls for end to ruling elite in Honduras
Associated Press, June 26, 2011

Ex-Honduran President Manuel Zelaya predicted Sunday that his supporters will win power from the Central American country's long-ruling elite.

In his first major public appearance since returning from exile, he told representatives of the National Popular Resistance Front that the wealthy have held the reins of power long enough. "The oligarchy has shown that it doesn't want democracy and is willing to use force to keep their privileges," said Zelaya, who was ousted in June 2009 by a military coup that was backed by Honduras' mainstream parties, including his own.

Zelaya, the son of a wealthy timber and ranching family who took a populist tone after becoming president, predicted the "liberal-socialism" agenda he espouses will drive the elite from power and govern Honduras for 50 years. The former leader also repeated his call for Honduras to hold an assembly to rewrite the constitution. His effort as president to stage a national referendum on whether to call such an assembly led to the coup.

After his speech, the 1,600 delegates at the gathering agreed the National Popular Resistance Front should pursue legal recognition as a political party so it can compete in the 2014 elections. It needs to collect 46,000 petition signatures.
The movement, which includes political activists, workers and farmers, formed after Zelaya was removed from power.

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