Sometimes the arguments people make cut both ways. What is especially amusing is when they seem completely oblivious to the irony of it.
I have a question today that I think boils down into the simplest terms most of the issues we face as a nation this century. To explain, I will use an analogy.
Believe it or not, there is a political point to be made here. Keep reading.
It seems like everybody is picking on Obama for his remark during the third debate he made about the navy. Some point out that bayonets (and horses) are still used in our armed forces, while suggesting that Obama claimed they weren’t (he actually just claimed we used fewer). Others claim Obama was rude and condescending and that he suggested Romney was unaware things had changed since the days of chariots and spears, but I didn’t take his comments the same way.
During the Republican primary of 2007, shortly before Christmas, candidate Mike Huckabee released what on the surface appeared to be a campaign ad.
I have long heard people of all political persuasions decry the increase of sex and violence in the entertainment media, openly wondering if it was changing us for the worse. It seems to be one of the few bipartisan issues.
Sometimes “facts” that are simply taken for granted by the vast majority are questioned by a few. Other times, the few don’t even seem to realize that they are in the minority and have never questioned their beliefs either. It seems that many of us live in isolated bubbles of information. Sometimes I think that millions of my fellow American citizens live in Bizzaro-World. Below is my story as it pertains to beliefs about Canadian health care.
I will be incredibly busy until October, most likely. I'll miss you.
What was Fast And Furious? Who is to blame for the death of Brian Terry? Should Attorney General Eric Holder be impeached? Was Obama in on the conspiracy? You won’t find those answers here; that’s not the point of this blog. I’m here to discover and report on the arguments driving political opinion in the United States. The “Fast And Furious” scandal is becoming a divisive issue with many of us lining up on different sides to vent our anger at each other. Before we begin, it would probably be helpful if we were first aware of what the counterarguments are, and to question whether we really know what happened ourselves. There is a conspiracy theory out there that the operation was designed to increase gun violence as a pretext for increased gun control rules. Preaching this theory without hard evidence is reckless, dangerous, bad for the reasoned political debate essential to democracy, and sets us against each other needlessly. It has much the same effect as the conspiracy theory that elements of the US government were in on the 9/11 attacks as a pretext for war. There are also accusations out there that those trying to get to the bottom of the scandal are motivated solely to hurt President Obama politically, or even by racism. These accusations aren’t much help either, and only serve to divide us.
As is always the case with these things, I am skeptical of the methodology, but if this is true, it is disturbing.
Nature Makes Her Own Laws
Ah, the futility of environmental regulation…
Declaring Independence From The Republicrats
It’s about time.
It seems that lobbyists are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to corporate influence over government. Campaign finance reform won’t fix it. The entire system needs an overhaul. The question is: to what?
More Alike Than You Think
We are told that the Tea Party is “conservative” and Occupy Wall Street is “liberal,” but are they really that different? It makes you wonder who the moderates are…
No, They Can’t
John Stossel has written a brilliant, interesting, easy-to-read book. I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand why libertarians think the way they do about economics, health care, education, drugs, the “marketplace of ideas,” and more. I leave you with this anecdote from page 178 of how some governments take censorship in the name of protecting us to ridiculous extremes.
“I wish future lawyers understood that America is a special country because we have free speech. In Ecuador, it’s illegal to criticize the tax system. In many Islamic countries, enforcers wander the streets on the lookout for blasphemous conversations. China’s Communist Party not only limits criticism of the government, but recently they even banned stories about time travel. A party official explained that such stories ‘have monstrous and weird plots, use absurd tactics, and promote feudalism, superstition, fatalism, and reincarnation.’”
It can’t be real. It’s like something from a Monty Python skit…
I keep hearing that believers in limited government are selfish and don’t value community. This is far from the case. In fact, many recognize that it is selfishness that leads to crony capitalism, which leads to lobbyists, which leads to big government, which leads to the loss of liberty and prosperity for everyone – and they care about the liberty and prosperity of others. Glenn Beck’s audience is planning on strengthening the community by donating food (which is against the law in some cities).
Well, this is a tough one to explain. At first glance it seems to be yet another example of Republican hypocrisy and political flip-flopping, but the Republicans do offer an interesting explanation that makes me wonder.
Everybody is talking about the new soda rules in New York. It seems you are no longer allowed to serve sodas of more than sixteen ounces, though you may serve more than one soda at a time. The reported aim of this rule is to decrease soda consumption, which theoretically will decrease the incidence of certain health problems. Unfortunately, I believe this rule will actually cause an increase in consumption.
I just came across a very interesting article in Yes Magazine that describes a way to meet everyone’s needs, achieve financial independence of individuals and communities, and halt (or even reverse) the growing concentration of effective wealth in the hands of the very few – and it does all this without erecting a supersized government or engaging in economic terrorism. This is an economic paradigm that virtually everybody of all ideologies should be able to get behind – and I almost missed it. Why, you ask? Well, it was packaged very poorly.
By now, you should have heard that the Affordable Care Act was declared constitutional in a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court with generally considered “conservative” Justice Roberts siding with the “liberals” to write the official decision. The decision has been very controversial, to say the least, with many both for and against it, but that isn’t what has caught my attention this month. Instead, I noticed that even among those against the act, not all of them disagreed with the Supreme Court’s decision.
I have some points for us all to ponder to aid us in understanding why some people were against the health insurance mandate from the beginning and why relabeling it a “tax” doesn’t change the underlying issues people have with it.
There’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time that I started thinking was important to share. If you agree, I encourage you to repost or print out this post to share with others, especially at church. I was mulling over these principles from a Christian perspective, but they can be made to apply to any theistic religion. Although this post could be used to help understand how I interpret various writings of others, I was concerned that it was not a good fit for The Understanding Project, but then I remembered that this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want.
Recently, Governor Walker of Wisconsin, who has a reputation of being anti-union, won a recall election against him, keeping his seat. Those opposed to Walker claimed that democracy had lost and those supporting Walker responded that democracy should have lost because republics are safer and more stable. Even before the election took place, Walker supporters lamented the use of recall elections, preferring to limit voting only to the end of terms. When people realize they will be stuck with the same guy until next cycle, they will make decisions more carefully, they reasoned.
Obama insulted the Polish, some claim, when he referred to a Polish death camp while telling a tale of individual bravery. The Poles were quick to point out that it was a NAZI death camp that just happened to be within the borders of NAZI-occupied Poland. The implication that Obama was somehow perpetuating an erroneous belief that the Polish were somehow in on the attempted genocide, rather than simply representing geography, I find to be questionable. I speak of the death camps the same way, after all – by geography. I know they were all NAZI-managed, and I assume that everyone else knows this already as well.
Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say a lot of silly things for which they are criticized, but it is often missed that they have good reasons for saying things the way they do. Sometimes, statements are made in direct or indirect response to equally silly things that Democrats have said.
I recently heard a radio show host (a guest on another's show I have since forgotten) call pro-choice people “pro-abortion.” While this is true of a minority of those who call themselves pro-choice (those who would try to prevent women considering abortion from receiving pro-life information pamphlets or from requiring waiting periods or ultrasounds), I do not believe it is true of the majority. Many of those who call themselves pro-choice speak of their unease and concern that they might be ending a life, and many even admit that they would probably choose life themselves. Even after an email was sent to him by a listener, equating calling “pro-choice” “pro-abortion” with calling “pro-life” “anti-choice,” this radio host dug himself in deeper and continued his characterization, using an argument I admit I didn’t really understand.
I recently saw an ad for The Rachel Maddow Show on the back of a magazine. The quote ran something along the lines of: “If your big idea is ‘no we can’t,’ I don’t want you leading the country.” I’m not sure what she’s talking about, but I have some ideas.
The Nutcase Across The Street just had its first review and it is already accruing labels. It seems that I have written a “conservative” book. Well, I’m glad someone knows how to classify it, because – as I explain in the book – words like “liberal,” “conservative,” “moderate,” and “libertarian” have no agreed upon meaning. Labels often are more trouble than they’re worth.
Read the review here.
The following are three open letters that I think are very important to get out. One is to Occupy Wall Street, one is to the Tea Parties, and the last is to the Coffee Parties. Please repost until it spreads through the internet. Repost individually, or with all three together, with or without commentary, with or without your website added at the end, or however you see fit. We are more alike than you think. Together we stand, divided we fall.
Civility and tolerance are common themes in this blog and this post is no different. While I speak out against the harsh rhetoric of pundits of all political stripes, I recognize that actions speak louder than words and so today I wish to write on a recent action by the Obama administration to force hiring institutions to cover the health care costs of their employees, including controversial procedures that many deem unhealthy or even immoral.
One thing I have long had a hard time understanding is how two people of differing political persuasion can look at the same article and find it supporting their own point of view. Sometimes pundits that seem to clearly lean one way are accused of leaning the other way by others. When it comes to comedy, where the message is less explicit, and nothing is to be taken literally, this phenomenon is even more pronounced.
Hi, I'm Dan. I like chocolate, hiking, and politics.