A National Police Academy? Is This a Power Grab By the Federal Government?

In our last post we talked about forming a group of stakeholders to help determine the types of training required at the National Police Academy. This group was comprised of law enforcement professionals, the public, and others, whom we called infrastructure. As the post ended we left it up to ‘leadership’ to merge all of the competing needs in this training in order to present a comprehensive training program. So, who is leadership?

There are two groups already in place that will provide the leadership and direction for this initiative. The first is the National Sheriffs’ Association. sheriffsassociation2They have been providing training and leadership in law enforcement circles since 1940. Their stated goal is to raise the level of professionalism in law enforcement, making them a perfect choice for this task. The NSA’s Center for Public Safety will take the lead in this effort.

The second is the International Association of Chiefs of Police. iacpFounded in 1893, the association’s goals are to advance the science and art of police services; to foster police cooperation and the exchange of information and experience among police administrators throughout the world; to bring about recruitment and training in the police profession of qualified persons; and to encourage adherence of all police officers to high professional standards of performance and conduct. Within the IACP, the Training and Professional Services Division will be the lead division.

Initially these two groups will provide 25 members to the leadership committee. The NSA will provide 15 members and the IACP will provide 10. The NSA has more selections in recognition that sheriff’s are the only elected law enforcement officials in our country. The group will elect a chair (from the NSA) and a vice-chair (from the IACP) who will then appoint the other leadership officers with the advice and consent of the remaining members.

Although this initiative will be led by the NSA and the IACP, funding will be provided by three federal agencies that already have a mandate to help law enforcement and our labor force. These agencies include the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Defense. Of note, the DoD has the responsibility of helping veterans find employment in civilian life when they separate from active duty.
Note: Although these agencies will provide funding, neither they nor the federal government will have any control or authority over the management and operation of the NPA.

no big governmentFor those of you with an understanding and knowledge of the origins of law enforcement in the United States you will know that unlike virtually any other country, our nation made a determination, from the very beginning, to have local control of their police forces. There is nothing in this initiative that would change that. Individual cities and departments can opt in or out of this training as they choose. This initiative is limited to training and in no way affects the control or authority over or of any department.

This initiative is designed to address common training needs across the country. It is not intended to eliminate the need for localized training. Even departments that send their recruits to the NPA might still need to provide training for local circumstances. Examples of individualized training needs might be for communities with a high number of immigrants or those that have critical infrastructure (e.g. water systems) that need to be protected.

Next post:  Why the NPA is good idea.

A National Police Academy? How? Why? Who?

officer at schoolThe Pro American Party strongly advocates creating a National Police Academy (NPA). Such an academy is in the best interests of all Americans and provides us with an opportunity to greatly improve the collective training of police officers throughout our nation. In our view sending officers to this academy should be voluntary on the part of each department, as should accepting officers from this academy. We believe the training and results will speak for themselves and that departments will naturally gravitate to the NPA because they will see it is in their own best interests to do so.

police relationsSo how does one start an Academy? When beginning from scratch the best place to start is by talking with the stakeholders. The first group should be comprised of current law enforcement professionals. In our view this group is further broken down into executive, management and line officer sub-groups. The executive level group would be comprised of those personnel who have leadership and vision functions within departments. The management group would be comprised of different levels of supervisors who are responsible to translate the vision of leadership personnel into operational reality. The line officers are those who work the streets and have a direct connection with citizens.

Each of these groups, within their communities, function in their own way and face different pressures, from both inside and outside their departments. Thus they each have a unique contribution to make to the design of the NPA.

minority communityThe second group of stakeholders is the general public. This group should be representative of our country…meaning that we will need persons from each of the races and cultures that can be found within our nation. We also need to represent different socioeconomic groups, because each group has different types of interactions with the police and therefore unique viewpoints.

The last group of stakeholders is ‘infrastructure’. It should be comprised of representatives of other government agencies (at local, state and federal levels) and the business community.

puppy k9Once representatives of each of these groups is selected their mandate will be to determine the types of training and skills today’s police need to function properly within their communities, from each group’s individual point of view. It will then be the job of the leadership of the NPA to design the program so that it merges the requirements of this combined group into a cohesive and comprehensive training program.

Note: The stakeholder group should meet once a year to discuss if/how training needs have changed based on the events that have taken place in our country in the past year.

Next Post: Why do we need the NPA, what are its advantages and where will these officers come from?

Corporate Enemies – Identified – and the Way It Used To Be

The year was 1941. Pearl Harbor was just months away and Henry Ford wanted to prove to the United States government that he could mass produce bombers. Take a look at the video above and see what we used to be able to do.   One B-24 with 1,250,000 parts, every 55 minutes. No wonder we won the war. Oh, the good ol’ days!

When the Pro American Party states that manufacturing is important to national security, this video illustrates why. These days the manufacturing is more likely to be done in Mexico, China or India.

Corporations bolt from the U.S. for several reasons: tax avoidance, escape from pollution standards, and cheap labor prime among them. In this post, we identify some of the companies that have done just that.

Our first list comes to us from Richard A. McCormack, editor@manufacturingnews.com. In July, 2013, he wrote an article entitled “America’s Biggest Companies Continue To Move Factories Offshore And Eliminate Thousands of American Jobs“. According to research done by McCormack, seventy-seven petitions were filed on behalf of American workers, from companies such as IBM, Walgreens, International Paper, Sanmina Corp., Chicago Bridge and Iron, NCR, AT&T, Tenneco Automotive, Micron Technology and Honeywell, among others….and this was just in the first three weeks of July of that year!

Read more from McCormack by going to the following link: http://www.manufacturingnews.com/news/TAA0731131.html

By the way, did you know that when companies bolt from the U.S. and leave their former employees jobless that the former employees are then eligible for all types of benefits via the Department of Labor?   Guess who pays?   No need, you do.  The program is called the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program and includes a variety of benefits and services to support workers in their search for reemployment. This includes Trade Readjustment Allowance, training, assistance with healthcare premium costs, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance, and job search and relocation allowances.   This is a second slap in the face.   The Pro American Party’s platform will fix this injustice.

The link below will take you to a DOL site and it reflects the decision made by the DOL in the case of Johnson Controls, when they left people jobless in ID, MI, TX, KY, WI, LA and OR.   https://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/taa/taadecisions/taadecision.cfm?taw=85773

The next list comes from CNN.   It covers every company that has moved overseas, in alphabetical order.   Unfortunately the list reads like a who’s who of American business.  CNN calls this list “Exporting America”…please read until you’re too fed up to continue.  You will be dismayed to say the least.  http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/lou.dobbs.tonight/popups/exporting.america/frameset.exclude.html

Last, but not least, is the environmental shuffle.   Apparently with our government’s blessing, coal companies are exporting their product overseas.   This allows us to say we have ‘reduced’ our emissions in the U.S., but fails to mention that the earth doesn’t benefit, because the pollution has just been moved outside the country…but still the same atmosphere.   The link below takes you to the site of “the day” which produced the article.  http://www.theday.com/article/20140728/NWS13/307289946

 

 

 

 

The Corporate Enemy-Who’s With Us?

hillary bernietrump kasich cruz

Which of the candidates in the photos above would you choose to change corporate behavior? Who among them would actually be willing? Are any of them truly with us…or do they owe their souls to the corporations?

If you happen to get the chance, please ask one of them let us know what they said.

Corporations, especially multi-nationals, are the enemy of everyday Americans. Corporations play by a different set of rules from the rest of us. They now enjoy almost all the rights of citizens, but are not burdened by the civic responsibilities we follow. They follow only one rule: maximize profit. They don’t care about providing a living wage, maintaining human rights, improving public health and worker safety, protecting the environment or anything else that would better the lives of Americans. Of course the government could force them to… but corporations are willing to pay for the privilege of reeking havoc on us without such consideration…they provide campaign funds for candidates…who then write the laws.

Corporations bear responsibility for being bad citizens. Part of the problem is the never-ending push to be more competitive and increase profits. Even assuming that some corporations would be good citizens if given the chance, if their competitors did not also take this stance the good corporate citizen would quickly lose market share to those that cut corners. This is where a responsible government should step in. We need a government that will design a working set of laws that establish minimum standards of corporate conduct. The Pro American Party has already done much of the work via tenets # 1,2,4 and 5.

We also need to change our expectations. If we refused to do business with companies that were not good neighbors, they would soon go out of business or change their ways. So at least a part of this problem is one of our own doing. However, we need to recognize human nature for what it is; we’re all looking for the best deal and the lowest price. This is why we need the government to step in and establish a set of rules that require all corporations to consider more than just profit.

Robert Hinkley is a former corporate lawyer who has come up with an idea that would completely change the corporate culture. He calls it “The Code.” In his article he argues that lawmakers should change the law to reflect what the vast majority of people want. He states this can be accomplished by eliminating the doctrine of shareholder primacy (focus on profit only) and by adding the following:

It is the duty of directors to make money for shareholders … but not at the expense of the environment, human rights, the public health or safety, the communities in which the corporation operates or the dignity of its employees.

Hinkley goes on to say “This simple Code for Corporate Citizenship balances the rights of citizenship that corporations already have with obligations of citizenship that they have been able to avoid.”

Please look at his entire article using the following link: http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2002/02july-aug/july-aug02corp4.html#name

Do you want to change the corporate environment? If so, contact your elected representatives and let them know.

U.S. Military ≠ Foreign Policy

military bases worldwide

The Pro American Party believes our military needs to be the best in the world.   Comprised of many former military members, we love and respect our brothers and sisters at arms.  It will come as no surprise to those that serve, however, that we recognize the horrors of war and the physical and emotional destruction of which war is capable.   Further, we believe it is not in the best interests of the country to have a ‘military class’.   If there has to be a war, be believe every family should be equally subject to this danger.   In our view it is disgraceful that Congress can declare war, endangering our children in one instant, and then make sure their children are exempt in the next.  (More on this in future tenets.)

We believe our foreign policy should be weighted in favor of providing non-military assistance as a primary component of our foreign policy. The use of our military should be a last resort and only for clear and limited purpose that is the best interests of the vast majority of citizens and not of the elite or special interests.

Educational and cultural exchange opportunities should be encouraged for citizens and at all levels of government.  Contact and communication facilitate understanding, empathy and a more knowledgeable world view.   If millions of Americans had direct experience with countries around the globe we, as a nation, would be able to require more of our politicians.   As it is now, if an international event didn’t happen on Game of Thrones, most of us are probably  unaware of it.

The Pro American Party believes that cartons of food that say “USA” show more good will than military options and should be pursued when advantageous. When American goods are sent to a foreign country it is incumbent upon the State Department to devise a method for ensuring those goods are actually delivered to the people of the country and not simply to those in power.   Our people would be even better ambassadors than our products.   The PAP has a plan for creating these ambassadors that will be discussed in a future tenet.

Per our previous post requiring a balanced budget: Should it be necessary for the military to engage in war the Congress is authorized to collect an additional tax to pay for this expense.

Trade Agreements Suck

Land Of The Free And Home To A Lot Of Cheap Stuff
Land Of The Free And Home To A Lot Of Cheap Stuff

Ever wonder why the U.S. enters into so many trade agreements?   The short answer is to allow U.S. companies to exploit the natural and human resources of other countries.    In essence, most of these agreements have clauses that allow U.S. corporations to move their production activities to foreign countries, use their cheap labor and then bring their product back into the country without facing a tariff.

Why would U.S. corporations do this when they know it will cost American jobs?   The answer is simple.   They don’t care.  Cheap labor allows them to make more profit; that it also puts Americans out of work is ‘collateral damage’.   To our mind these ‘American’ companies are acting in an UN-American manner.  The Pro American Party protects our country from this abuse.  Take a look at tenets #2 and #4 to see how we address this.

Look at the results of the NAFTA agreement.  In the first 15 years following this trade agreement (1994 – 2010) we lost almost 700,000 jobs, mostly in manufacturing, and our trade deficit with Mexico has soared to just under 100 Billion dollars over those years.  These industries included motor vehicles, textiles, computers, and electrical appliances. (Source: Economic Policy Institute, “The High Cost of Free Trade,” May 3, 2011)

Ironically, many Americans are complaining about stagnant wages, when it is the inevitable result of bringing in products using cheap labor from foreign countries.   So why has this taken so long to become a big political issue?   The corporations pay big money in political donations to political candidates, and they don’t want it broadcast.   Although If I Had The Power does not endorse political candidates, it is interesting to note that both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, who don’t rely upon corporate money, are both talking about the problems of our terrible trade agreements.

According to researcher Jeff Faux, NAFTA strengthened the ability of U.S. employers to force workers to accept lower wages and benefits. As soon as NAFTA became law, corporate managers began telling their workers that their companies intended to move to Mexico unless the workers lowered the cost of their labor. In the midst of collective bargaining negotiations with unions, some companies would even start loading machinery into trucks that they said were bound for Mexico. The same threats were used to fight union organizing efforts. The message was: “If you vote in a union, we will move south of the border.” With NAFTA, corporations also could more easily blackmail local governments into giving them tax reductions and other subsidies

In a double tragedy, NAFTA also caused thousands of Mexican farmers to lose their jobs.  The Congress, in their wisdom, blessed U.S. agribusiness with HUGE subsidies, allowing them to steamroll over poor Mexican farmers who could not compete.  In case you don’t know, agribusiness is NOT your local farmer, instead they are large corporations that take advantage of several laws designed for small farmers and rake in millions in taxpayer money.  (The ProAmericanParty will correct this problem too!)   By the way, when Mexicans can’t find work in Mexico, where do you think they go?

One other factor of these trade agreements is that U.S. pollution standards do not apply in foreign countries.   However, Mother Nature does not recognize borders and Mexican pollution finds its way to the U.S. whenever the wind blows our way. Once again corporations don’t care about people, or the environment.   Their short term, profit-oriented outlook harms Americans and the world on a daily basis.

The bottom line is that trade agreements almost always hurt U.S. workers.   They cost jobs and hurt the hourly wages of those who manage to keep their jobs.   They hurt our environment.  Big business use these agreements to increase profit and access, at the expense of our national well-being.   The rich get richer and the little guy gets screwed. Trade agreements suck and both political parties allowed this to happen.