Thursday, December 30, 2010
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 12:17 PM
Wow, a bit of good news from Tea Party Nation:
Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips put out a list yesterday of the "top five liberal hate groups," because "while the Left loves to accuse the Tea Party and Conservatives to be members of hate groups [sic], the simple fact is, there are a lot of liberal hate groups." And who made the cut for the top five? The NAACP, the Department of Homeland Security, the ACLU, the SEIU, and of course, the Southern Poverty Law Center.(emphasis mine)
The number two spot went to the DHS for taking part in "silly political posturing from the most corrupt regime in the history of this country." Referring to Secretary Janet Napolitano as "the DHS Clown in Chief," the list says that the "DHS will not enforce border security. It makes Americans go through a joke of a security system when they want to fly. It invades their privacy while not going after terrorists."
Can I hold out hope that this means we will be getting rid of it soon, now that people on the left and right both distrust it? Or is it (as a jaded person might suggest) that everyone in America hates it except elected officials, and thus it will remain forever?
I also have this same question about indefinite detention.
Posted by Bell Curve at 9:42 AM
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 12:13 PM
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The phrase "Big Government" gets kicked around so loosely, that I think it is worth considering its meaning. Wasn't it Bill Clinton who said the "era of Big Government" is over? In his case, it meant offloading government services to contractors. But that is really a cosmetic change at best. So what is is, and why is it so bad?
What do conservatives and Tea Partiers mean when they talk about "big government" , what do liberals mean? And aren't there good kinds and bad kinds of big government? And what government is too big? We have so many levels of government: Federal, State, Local.
There is no way that a country, the size of the US with a now new population of 357 million, can avoid big Federal government. It takes a lot of money and people to keep it running.
When conservatives talk big government, they are usually referring to Federal Government, Federal Spending programs (Medicare, SSI, Unemployment insurance, education funding, etc), the people who work and run those programs (too many civil servants and the unions that represent them), any form of regulation and the bodies that enforce them (EPA, FDA, IRS, etc.), stimulus spending to get the economy on track. These are the things liberals see as good kinds of government.
The inherent contradiction is that conservatives support big government by constantly voting for military spending, costly weapons programs, nanny state regulation (no abortions, no drug legalization, anti-sodomy laws, etc.), block grants to states who are then forced to build bigger government to meet the obligations, subsidies to private industry and key constituencies, etc. This, in turn, is what liberals mean when they talk "big government" and they see it as bad kinds of government.
Citizens, what's your take?
Posted by USWest at 8:17 AM
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
This morning I read that some conservatives are claiming that the GOP gave away the store in dealing with Obama on the tax cuts - the only good news I've hear din weeks. Of course it's not true - they're just upset that the GOP gave away anything at all. Evidently the Tea Partiers are all in a huff about extension of the 100 year old Estate Tax, which they call the "Death Tax" that they say "ruins small businesses" and "double taxes savings." These little-minded people who know nothing! At the same time, they are angry about the deficit. Huh? My fear is that the GOP will scuttle the tax deal, then come back in the new year and demand even more, which Barack Obama will give them, since he seems to be spineless at this point. The only good thing about the deal is the payroll tax temporary reduction which is a very good thing for middle class people and will totally stimulate the economy. If only, again, this weren't blowing a hole in the deficit. I think calling this the "Obama Tax Deal" rather than the "Republican Tax Deal" is a way of setting up the President for another defeat. Wait for it.
Responsible government would put in the payroll tax holiday and keep the tax rates low on the first $50,000 of income, but would allow other rates - and especially the tax on estates - to rise back to their levels in the 1990s. Remember the 1990s? Balanced budgets, even surpluses, and economic growth? Instead, more supply sider crap.
Posted by The Law Talking Guy at 12:10 PM
Sunday, December 12, 2010
There have been a spate of talk shows and news stories lately discussing how universities are cutting back on modern language programs. I have a few thoughts on this issue, and I would be interested to know what the Citizens think, as many of you have a better grasp of Academic politics than I.
The Department of Defense is throwing a lot weight behind language learning. The Marines now have a language requirement for all troops being deployed to Afghanistan (see MARSOC). Language Training Detachments are being opened at major Military Bases with focus on training Special Forces. The Army in its 2010 Posture Statement launched its "Army Culture and Foreign Language Strategy". The DoD has provided millions in grants to universities such as University of South Florida, University of Maryland, UCLA, to name a few to bolster language programs. So there is now doubt that foreign language is now on the same footing as math and science as a top priority.
Therefore, I get concerned when I hear about how the University of New York at Albany is not allowing new students to major in some foreign languages, like French and Russian. Bad news is that French and Russian are considered important languages for National Security. In addition, we need to be adding programs in new languages, like Arabic, Persian-Farsi, Dari (very similar to PF), Pashto, Hindi, etc. Granted, finding qualified people in some of these languages is very difficult, but not impossible. Currently, the only foreign language increasing enrollments is Chinese. At UC Berkeley I hear they can't add the classes fast enough. Of course, I am pretty for sure it's a lot of MBA types.
To replace the Modern Languages, there is a movement in Academia that says you can teach "world culture" through Anthropology departments instead of language and that this is just as good. I think you can teach world culture, but that does not negate the need for foreign language training . Language and cultural go together. As someone who focused on Cross-Cultural communications, I can tell you that language is 70-80% of the game. Just learning "culture" doesn't do the job. And what does that mean to "learn culture", anyway? I think this is just a lazy attitude. It is hard to learn a foreign language, it takes a lot of effort and time. So what you are really saying is that we don't want our students to take time and work hard.
One proponent of this idea is Linguist John McWhorter , currently a lecturer at Columbia University and former senior fellow at conservative think tank The Manhattan Institute, who went so far during an interview with NPR's Talk of the Nation to say that after a certain age, the ability to learn language is so greatly reduced, it's pointless to start. The age he sites is 18. After that, he says you will always have an accent. Where do they dig these people up and who is paying this guy?
Bottom line, we need more languages taught in our schools at younger ages. I've always believed that and I think it's more important now than ever before. I don't even care which ones are being taught. Learning any language is useful.
Posted by USWest at 11:06 AM
Friday, December 10, 2010
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 7:20 AM