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John Basel

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A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with an MBA in 1980, John went into the banking business from 1981-1991. John went into the gymnastics business with his wife, with whom he has two children, in 1992 and grew it enough by 1995 that he could quit conventional employment. He became politically active after his divorce in 2004 becoming a news reporter and talk show host for KPFT, a Pacifica station, in Houston. He has since been involved with the peace movement in many ways and continues to promote progressive interests. John now volunteers in his neighborhood Civic Association and the local homeless center.

OpEdNews Member for 747 week(s) and 1 day(s)

64 Articles, 0 Quick Links, 70 Comments, 5 Diaries, 0 Polls

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(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, November 20, 2008
What is a Socialist Anyway? With all the ranting about Obama being a Socialist, do most people even know what that means? Apparently not.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Healthcare Forum a Big Success, But Reveals Divisions Thoughtful discussion between opposing camps of the healthcare reform issue is hard to come by. But at "Crossroads in Health Care" July 23, 2009 in The Woodlands, just north of Houston, that is what happened. Did it change anyone's mind? Probably not, but it may have planted some important seeds that may change minds in the near future.
(33 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, March 28, 2010
The Civil Rights Act of 2010? For those who are old enough to remember the 60's the violent reaction of those opposed to health care reform to the recent passage of such legislation is like deja vu all over again.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 11, 2009
Two opposing viewpoints of Obama's speech in light of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict Obama's recent speech in Egypt elicited a wide range of reactions. Two of them are discussed here. Both are from Jews but the two views of the speech couldn't be further apart. It gives those of us who are not Jewish, Muslim, Israeli, or Arab a unique view into a world we can only attempt to umderstand.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, September 25, 2009
Surprising Talk From AARP on Health Care Reform Many seniors look to AARP for advice on health care. What many of them don't realize is that AARP makes hundreds of millions of dollars from private insurance companies like United Health by allowing them to use the AARP name when selling their products. As you might guess this has an influence on AARP's opinions on health care reform. But their recent Bulletin might surprise you.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, August 29, 2010
The Texas Republican Party Platform is Scary! The Texas Republican Party has had what most rational people would call extreme views towards homosexuals and immigration. That is no secret. But wait until you read about some of their other planks in their platform. And now it seems the national party, led by the likes of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, are catching up.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, October 20, 2009
It's Time for a Change in Marijuana Laws If you can get past any moral dilemma you might have about legalizing marijuana it's easy to see the benefits of doing so. Using an in-depth article from Texas Monthly magazine to get me started I explore the state of the failed drug war and the many reasons legalization makes sense.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, August 31, 2012
George Romney for President Mitt's father, George, would be ashamed of the flip-flopping, fence straddling, pseudo right-winger that his son has become.
(9 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, September 6, 2008
Is Planning a Protest a Terrorist Act? Violence, intimidation, and bogus arrests are being used by St. Paul police to squelch protesters near the Republican National Convention. What's new is that they are doing it before the protests take place!
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, July 16, 2009
Healthcare, Profits vs. People Health care is the hottest topic in Washington. It will make or break the Obama administration. In the very big picture of things the debate can be boiled down to a choice between profits and people. Sadly, the loudest voices seem to be those defending the current system and condemning any new system that would reduce the profitability of those currently involved, mainly, the insurance companies.
(12 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, October 27, 2010
A Perfect Storm Looming for Democrats No matter what we desire in the size of government or budget deficits, we all want America to succeed. May those who are elected one week from today have more sense and integrity than what we've seen in the past two years. Hopefully, they will set about reducing unemployment, AND hatred, in America.
(6 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, November 22, 2008
Paulson Pulls Bait and Switch, Let's Pull One of Our Own Ok, Paulson has had his chance and has blown it. He's trying to change the deal that he begged Congress for. Let's just scrap the whole thing and implement a plan of our own.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, June 13, 2011
SOCIAL SECURITY IS FINANCIALLY SOUND The right wing political strategists firmly believe in the adage that if you repeat a lie enough it becomes the truth. This is the strategy they are using towards eliminating or restructuring Social Security. But if you do your research you have to wonder why on earth we would want to mess with one of the very few government programs that is actually effective and efficient!
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Bailout Nation George W. Bush has proven that running the nation's government like a business is not only a bad idea, it could bring the nation to it's knees. A CEO who doesn't seek consensus, shuts downs those who disagree(regulators),and only promotes loyalists who are rewarded with massive bonuses eventually ends up bankrupting his company. But like all of other bad CEO's of huge corporations, Bush will get his golden parachute.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Time to Re-Think Columbus Day It's long overdue. It is a disgrace to honor someone who began the annihilation of an entire race of people. His only true accomplishment was the opening up of the New World for business. Then again, perhaps it IS appropriate for the United States to continue to honor someone for setting the stage for the plundering of people and resources for profit. That seems to be what this country is now all about.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, July 31, 2010
Can't Prevent Mosque at Ground Zero We have nothing to fear from the establishment of a mosque near ground zero except our handling of it. It could be a non-event and a step toward the healing process or it could be another piece to a large culture war. It is our choice.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Put On Hold, But Damage Done Voter ID laws are nothing new, but they are gaining traction and it only seems a matter of time before they are the norm. Will this impact elections? You be the judge.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, August 16, 2008
The War On (T)Error The right can't seem to give it up. There still trying to justify this so-called war and trying to scare us into thinking only they can keep us safe and that somehow they have the moral high ground. I think not.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, May 27, 2010
Texas Gov. Perry Misusing Tax Dollars Texas Governor Perry first made a big deal out of not accepting federal stimulus dollars to bolster the state's unemployment trust fund. Now the state has had to borrow $2.1 billion in stimulus dollars for that purpose. Meanwhile, Perry has been diverting unemployment money to some of his corporate buddies who promise to create jobs. Sound fishy? You betcha!
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The Case For a Higher Minimum Wage The debate is an old one but one that is once again in the headlines. Do we need a minimum wage and, if so, how much? Morality should come in to play, but sadly politics wins out every time.
Burn, From PixabayPhotos
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, July 30, 2020
All Homes Matter, Until... How do you respond to someone who says "All Lives Matter"? Here is one way to do that.
(8 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, June 23, 2008
An Historic Moment Gone Unnoticed Shouldn't the presentation of articles of impeachment against a sitting president get some press? You'd think so. But not with this corporate controlled media. Kucinich described in detail for nearly five hours why Bush should be impeached. Despite his compelling arguments the event went largely unnoticed by the media and, therefore, America.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, January 14, 2012
Romney's Equity Firm Pedigree Shows His True Colors Is Romney just the kind of capitalist that caused the financial crisis we are in? That would be a big YES!
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, June 20, 2010
Rep. Barton, the Apologist Is there any better representation of how out of touch with the common man the Republican Party is than Joe Barton's apology to BP for the President pressuring them to set up an escrow fund for American citizens financial claims against BP? Michele Bachmann even called the fund a "redistribution of wealth fund". They don't seem to care that our wealth has been redistributed to big oil for decades!
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, December 18, 2009
Thanks A Lot, Governor Perry! Texans have put up with a lot from their "anything for my big money friends" governor, Rick Perry. His pandering to his ultra-conservative base hit home for all Texas businesses this week as they receive notices from the Texas Workforce Commission that the amount they pay in unemployment insurance premiums is going up, a lot.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, July 13, 2009
The New (and old) Faces of the Republican Party The Republican Party is in search of a new face to lead it out of the wilderness. But some seemed determined to continue their old ways, the policies that got them into an abyss where potential leaders are dropping like flies. It is best characterized by the cartoonish Victoria Jackson during her appearance on Fox's Sean Hannity Show.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, January 22, 2010
Is Our Cynicism Towards Congress Justified? I've lived long enough to know that political gridlock is nothing new. So, as the talk around the nation seems to indicate that the general public feels that things are worse in Washington than ever before I had to wonder if that is really true. So I did a little research.
Eisenhower in the Oval Office., From WikimediaPhotos
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, February 7, 2021
Why I Am Now Calling Myself an Eisenhower Democrat Unhappy with both major parties? Unhappy being labeled because of your party affiliation? Here's an option to consider. And maybe a reason to resurrect the "I Like Ike" campaign slogan of the nation's thirty-fourth president.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, December 31, 2010
American Media?...Bah, Humbug! It has been said that the only difference between Chinese media and American media is that the Chinese know for certain that they are being lied to. Can it get any worse in America? Fox News dominates mainstream television "News". It seems all we can do is educate the American public about the scale to which they are being misinformed so that they will be more discerning when choosing what to believe and not to believe.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Iranians Should Thank Russia Should Iran thank Russia for taking the U.S. heat off of them? Is the U.S. war machine turning cartwheels over the prospect of a new cold war with old nemesis Russia?
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, March 14, 2009
Of Guns and Prayer As we approach the 10th anniversary of Columbine we will undoubtedly hear from both sides of the gun control issue about how the other side is destroying the fabric of America. Some also suggest that school prayer, or the lack of it, is tied to the issue of school shootings.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, August 8, 2008
CROWing About Injection Wells There's ample evidence that approving a permit for injection wells at a particular site north of Houston is a bad idea. Yet, perhaps not surprisingly, they have received preliminary approval. The local debate goes on.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, June 30, 2012
Roberts Rules of Order It is just too out of character for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to vote for Obamacare. Does he have an ulterior motive?
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, April 13, 2009
THE ECONOMICS OF GREED Bernie Madoff has been sentenced to a long jail term for his greed. However, the scam that was played on our entire nation by the mortgage industry and a compliant Washington, D.C. has yet to result in even one arrest.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The CRA and ACORN are NOT at the Heart of This Financial Crisis The extremist faction of the Republican Party is busy trying to tie Obama to this financial crisis. They are trying to do so by connecting him to ACORN and Fannie Mae and blaming the whole mess on them.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, July 21, 2011
Politicians Need a History Lesson to Not Repeat It A history lesson for our fearless leaders would be a wise thing right now. Significant cuts in government spending could send us into a "double-dip" recession or even depression.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, August 13, 2009
Invoking Reagan to Fix Health Care? Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer believes that Reagan provides the model for health care reform with his Tax Reform Act of 1986. I beg to differ.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, April 12, 2010
No Shortage of Trash Talking in Media A recent op-ed by nationally syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg made me mad. But it's just the latest from a media dominated by trash-talking, self-important windbags who are not journalists at all but pretend to be, in a media that in all but a few places has lost all its integrity.
(7 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, December 22, 2008
Does Obama Deserve Some Credit for Oil Price Decline? OPEC has been known to drop the price of oil to suppress interest in developing alternative fuels. Is that what's happening now? Can decrease in demand really explain the price of oil dropping by 80%? Is the specter of Obama promoting alternative fuels fueling this oil price drop?
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, June 25, 2010
ACORN SEEKS REPEAL OF THE ACT THAT DE-FUNDED THEM The successful demonization and execution of ACORN is nothing short of a scary example of what can happen to a person or group that pisses off "the machine".
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, January 19, 2009
Good Riddance, W.!!! You'll feel better after reading this. I know I felt better after writing it. This is venting at it's finest.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, September 2, 2011
Perry's Handling of Our Tax Dollars Raises Questions Politicians regularly use appointments and other payoffs for those who helped them get into power. Rick Perry, newly crowned GOP front-runner for president, has made it part of day-to-day standard operating procedures. Also, "Texas Miracle"?; things are not as they might seem in Texas.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, September 20, 2009
Our Heritage and Values Should Guide Health Care Debate Is all this bad behavior about health care really about health care? Either way, what does it say about us as a nation? Don't we offer up life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as a right? Don't so many of us claim the U.S. to be a Christian nation? So why the confusion over what to to about health care?
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 3, 2008
Electile Dysfunction March Madness takes on a whole new meaning in Texas. Their hybrid popular vote/caucus vote system tested democratic party voters' patience on March 29th.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, September 21, 2009
If They Could See Themselves Through Their Children's Eyes All this bad behavior being shown by so many protesters is teaching their kids to do the same. I weep for the future of this country.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Why A"Bailout" is Our Best Alternative at This Time While public enemy #1 is Wall Street right now we shouldn't let our anger stand in the way of acting in our own best interests.
(8 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, August 2, 2008
The Other Tragedy of the Tennessee Church Shootings While certainly tragic, the shooting at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Tennessee point to a man whose motive may be equally tragic and poignant for a nation that seems paralyzed by partisan politics.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, December 28, 2009
Minority Rule Fillibusters have become commonplace in the last couple of decades as partisanship has trumped serving constituents as the primary goal of legislators. Should the rule be changed so that a simple majority of 51 can bring cloture to stop a fillibuster?
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, July 26, 2008
What Next, A Golden Calf? Grace Community Church, with two large congregations in Houston, is planning on erecting an enormous cross/prayer center at each of their locations adjacent to I-45. Is this what Jesus Would Do? Or are they just building monuments to themselves?
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Educating the Under-Educated Will the ignorant "tea-party-speak" never end? You have to hand it to the Republicans for honing their propaganda skills to the point where they can get their flock to believe anything they want. The question for the rest of us is; Can we re-educate them?
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, November 10, 2008
Dear President-elect Obama, Here are a couple of ideas for our new president to help get the economy going.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, February 19, 2009
RNC CHAIR SAYS HIS PARTY CAN'T BE TRUSTED New Republican National Committee Chairman, Michael Steele says his party can't be trusted. That's right!!! And he said it on national TV! Read more about it and the context in which it was said.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 10, 2008
Is Senator Cornyn Sincere About Freedom of Information? Texas Senator John Cornyn has been very cozy with fellow Texan George W. Bush since he became a Senator. He has been very quick to agree with everything "W" says and does. That's why it's surprising to see him proclaim himself as a champion of the Freedom of Information Act and co-sponsor a new bill to improve upon it while he has never spoken out against George's fetish for secrecy.
(11 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, February 7, 2008
Ralph Nader Considering Raid on Dem Votes Again Ralph Nader is considering yet another run at the White House. What's the point? Is the fifth time the charm? There are other ways to get your message out, Ralph. As in 2000, this is acting against your own best interests.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, September 12, 2008
Where Do People Get This Stuff? A McCain spokesman said on the air the other day that they were not campaigning on issues but on personality. Shouldn't we all be appalled about such a statement from a presidential campaign? No wonder the American public is soooo misinformed. Here's an example.
(10 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Being At Peace In a Just or Unjust World What is inner peace and how can we find it in an unjust world?
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, December 27, 2007
Fool Me Once...Don't Get Fooled Again Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison stands by her man, George W. Bush, with an news article in a Houston newspaper that is, well...standard political rhetoric like we've heard a thousand times before. John Basel let's her have it with both barrels pointing out the folly of continuing this inane but conventional wisdom of the neo-cons.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, May 29, 2009
Give the Middle Class a Much Needed Break Prior to 1980 we had much lower borrowing rates and much higher savings rates. What happened? Why Deregulation of course. Has the legislative tide coming out of Washington changed for the down-trodden middle class?
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Mona Charen Should Know When Patriotism is Being Exploited Syndicated columnist Mona Charen criticizes democrats for being unpatriotic because they focus on such things as racism, inequality, and international lawlessness and then criticizes Hillary Clinton for exploiting her patriotism. What??!!!
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Rush Was Wrong Did radio pundit/comedian Rush Limbaugh impact the Democratic process with his "Operation Chaos"? It did seem to delay the crowning of Obama as the party nominee. Was any harm done? Absolutely! He abused his freedom of speech in an attempt to derail the democratic process! How about some criminal charges!
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, June 7, 2008
The Corporate States of America Media reform is a hot topic these days as it should be. The corporatization of the media has damaged it's integrity and our democracy. But privatization of government services is just as dangerous.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, March 7, 2008
Texas, We Have a Problem! Voting twice in the same election? Your first vote not really counting? Voting in the other party's primary? Voting at 1:00am? Sound crazy? Welcome to Texas politics.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, February 24, 2009
They Were For It Before They Were Against It In a desperate attempt to keep themselves relevant, a small group of republican governors (most of whom have an eye on a White House bid in 2012) made a grand gesture towards the conservative base by staging a carefully crafted stimulus package rejection party in full view of the media.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, May 2, 2008
Double Standard for Presidential Candidates All the buzz about Obama and his preacher leaves thinking individuals scratching their heads wondering what this is really all about. Could it be the media is biased? Heaven forbid!

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