Monday, March 28, 2011

How Republicans respond to Libya

This chart has been making the rounds and I think it's a decent illustration of how idiotic the response of most Republicans has been to Obama's response to the happenings in Libya.

The only anti-U.S. involvement in Libya argument that resonates with me is that put forth by Ron Paul and his left wing equivalent Dennis Kucinich. They have gone so far as to say it's an "impeachable offense" because the dropping of bombs could be considered an act of war and the president didn't consult Congress. Paul has backed off of that some, but I do have to say that the Dems would have been flipping out if Bush had done something similar without taking it before Congress.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mandatory Gun Ownership?! Really?

   The daily question on morning call-in show on KARN has always seemed like it's designed to be a big hunk of red meat for the ultra-conservative callers of Arkansas. It's as if the idea is "let's ask the most broad open-ended question that will be guaranteed to draw negative calls." This approach isn't totally surprising since I'm aware that the self styled libertarian (but generically conservative sounding at times) Dave Elswick isn't just a host on KARN, he's also programming director. The hosts of the morning show attempt to sound neutral but their occasional tossed off comments and chuckles in response to the comments of some callers belie this.

    The other day the question was "How do you feel about the president of the NRA refusing to meet with President Obama?" Well one of our resident geniuses in this state said loudly, and proudly "I think it should be illegal to not own a gun." Whaaa???

    And herein my dear readers is the main reason I can't align myself with conservatives. While I don't agree with the fiscal soundness (or unsoundness) of everything liberals want for our country, I could never align myself with a side that has people like Mr. Gun Dude on it. I know he's probably an exception, but can you deny that there are some people deep down inside who think they are just slightly more American for owning guns than those who don't?

   The most "radical" thing most liberal callers I've ever heard on any radio show have ever proposed has been a single payer health care system for all Americans. I'm not coming out in support of universal health care here, but considering so many of our citizens in this country have received government health care before "Obamacare" even, that sounds a lot less crazy than forcing everyone to own a firearm. And in all honesty, liberals are such wusses for the most part that their extremist wing scares me a lot less.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Well just to lighten things up a bit...

Wow. This has been a rough week, what with natural disasters hitting Japan and human disasters unfolding before our eyes in Libya. So for a quick Friday night post I thought I'd share something somewhat humorous for any readers who might be watchers of HBO's "the Wire", and familiar with the character Clay Davis, the corrupt Maryland state senator, and his ubiquitous use of a certain word. This poster may have existed for awhile, but I've only recently seen it and it is easily my favorite parody of the famous Obama campaign poster.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Obama's handling of Egypt

   Mike Masterson writing in today's Democrat-Gazette points to a video that can be found on YouTube of an MSNBC interview with Niall Ferguson. Masterson quotes a friend of his who apparently said of the video, "finally someone in academia who gets it." The video can be watched here.

   I'm fairly tired of the criticism of Obama's handling of Egypt. Believe me, there are plenty of things we can criticize our president for at the moment, but his response to the revolution in Egypt should not be one of them. The funny thing is I haven't heard any suggestion as to what he should have done differently that resonates. I've heard from his critics that he either should have said more or said less, or supported the protesters more or supported Mubarak more. I think he hit about the right note.

  The sillier criticisms I hear are that since Obama "didn't say enough" during the protests following Iran's most recent presidential election, it was inconsistent for him to come out in the end for a change of power in Egypt. Iran's leaders are no friends of ours and any strong or vocal support for those protesting the regime would just allow those leaders to paint genuinely domestic revolutions as U.S. engineered. Egypt on the other hand, since Mubarak was an ally, was a totally different dynamic and the same principle wasn't in place.

  As far as Mr. Ferguson and his comments in the video, all I can say is that if you take away his oh-so-intelligent sounding accent he doesn't really sound any different than Hannity or any other blowhard you hear on FOX. Something along the lines of "Blahblahblah Obama blahblahblah Muslim Brotherhood blahblahblah".


Friday, March 4, 2011

And why am I supposed to care if Obama is an anti-imperialist?

  Mike Huckabee, of whom it was said in this this blog recently, looks like a viable presidential contender, is trying his darnedest to prove otherwise.

  Not only am I becoming more and more privy to the scope of his pardoning blunders, and his unpopularity among many conservatives who know him best, but I've come to the conclusion that he has no idea of what he is talking about half of the time.

  The biggie recently is his saying that Obama grew up in Kenya and adopted the anti-imperialist/anti-colonial views of his grandfather. Everyone has honed in on the first part of this, but let's look at the second. Why on earth is it a bad thing if our President is an anti-colonialist?

  Is Great Britain a country whose history of imperialism we would want to imitate? There are moments in the 20th century, and even in this new one, that would indicate we have stepped in that direction occasionally. For the most part though, we have been a country that supports self-determination. The best of us are giving moral support to that right now as we see what those in Egypt are going through.

  Huckabee said at one point of Obama, "his view of the Brits, for example, [is] very different than the average American." If anything we, as a country started by former British colonies, should have plenty in common with the anti-imperialist sentiment expressed by some former colonies. And as far as what the average American thinks of the Brits, I would cynically have to ask whether the average American thinks about the Brits at all (aside from The Beatles and James Bond films, I guess you could insert whatever other pop-culture export the island has blessed us with...I'm partial to the Stones, at least up until the "Some Girls" album).

  I know that some Brits were uncomfortable with Obama giving them back the Churchill bust (another thing Huckabee mentioned in the same interview) but as an American I'm totally fine with it being replaced with a bust of Abraham Lincoln. And I don't think David Cameron is losing any sleep over a statue, no matter how much it is worth.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Harding gay newspaper makes "the New Yorker" website

 It'll be interesting to see how far this story goes....

The New Yorker story can be found here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Harding University now has an underground gay newspaper...

...and I'm sure chatter around campus has just gotten much more interesting. Here's to free speech.

The first issue can be found here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dissecting the Democrat-Gazette Opinion pages.

If I'm ever desperate for something to blog about the Dem-Gaz Opinion page comes through in a clutch. The contrived folksiness of the Editorial, the predictability of its political columnists, and the nuttiness of at least one letter means there's never a shortage of things to address.

In today's paper we get to enjoy:

1. An editorial about a topic I actually agree on, putting a stop to Senate Bill 568 and House Bill 1572 which would open the door to predatory lending. My beef though is with the reference to the grocery tax. They once again refer to it as "The Shame of Arkansas". Okay, I'd love to see the grocery tax gone, I think that's a worthy goal. But I'm tired of the paper referring to it in such dire terms. It just sounds, well, silly.

    Are we supposed to picture other states laughing at us behind our backs because we have this tax? Do our neighbors really care that much? I'm pretty sure that we have a lot of other things to be ashamed of in Arkansas. How about our low placing in U.S. rankings for percentage of citizens to finish high school or our high poverty rate? But no, our tax on groceries is "The" shame.

2. Letter writer Bobby R. Bemis says that students are being taken out of Wisconsin schools and made to protest by their teachers.  I have seen video of students interviewed at the protests saying their teachers brought them, and that they were just taking advantage of not having school. They never said they were forced. But there are many students who are freely joining the teachers, but from Mr. Bemis's letter you'd never know that.

   And his solution to this? A law restricting teachers from taking students out of class except for emergencies or extracurricular activities where permission is granted. Ha. I find it funny that conservatives decry the nanny state and the abundance of nitpicky laws and regulations and then suddenly want to pass a whole new law over one incident that they saw on a video. I'm pretty sure what he's asking for is already the way students getting out of school is handled. And unless he or anyone can produced something proving that a student was forced to protest against his/her will, I will continue to think that.

3. Mike Masterson has an article about the bill for the elimination of capital gains taxes on "new" business investments. The arguments of  bill sponsor Rep. Ed Garner make sense, but he doesn't give any examples of companies who have relocated businesses over the tax, even though he says to "ask" them. He also mentions that the DF&A didn't project increase from potential new income taxes generated from job creation. Okay, what formula should they use to project that?

I've never had a satisfactory explanation of how a government can estimate potential revenues from job creation resulting from corporate tax cuts. And if anyone reading this does, then please tell me. I'm not saying it can't be done. Unless they have ten businesses on the line just waiting for the tax cuts, how can they give a concrete figure on this? The idea makes sense, but I'd like to know how there's any way to estimate or predict businesses coming into this state. It'd be nice to know that before we pass a tax cut that has no spending cuts to accompany it.