Tag Archives: Republicans

Some Leading Democrats Don’t Seem to Care About Women

Debbie Wasserman Shultz is one of the least likable people in politics. She is a Florida congresswoman who has no shame and is an embarrassment to our country. She will attack her opponents with no regard for human decency. Differing opinions are valuable in a democracy, but this woman contributes nothing to our political discourse except hatred and bigotry.

Most recently, she has used domestic violence metaphors to describe what she views as Governor Scott Walker’s anti-woman administration. She said the Walker has “Given the back hand” to woman, and that “Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back.”

She clearly does not have a problem trivializing domestic abuse by using it as a metaphor in a political attack.

What is especially aggravating about this situation is that liberals have recently demanded that college professors give “trigger warnings” to their students if content like domestic abuse will appear in a reading assignment. The liberal reasoning is that if a student has been a victim of violence, than reading about the subject could “trigger” negative feelings, therefore a blanket warning must be issued before reading, in case the material has any content that could possibly offend anyone about anything. I have written about this before, but today I simply want to ask Debbie if she supports trigger warnings, and if she does, why didn’t she issue one before she made her shameful remarks and insulted those women who have had to face the horrors of domestic violence?

It is instances like this that show how many Democrats don’t really care about woman, but simply want to use them for their own political advantage by inventing a “war on women”.

Tax Hypocrites

In 1984 Walter Mondale ran a presidential campaign on the promise to raise taxes. He lost every single state except his home state of Minnesota, handing Ronald Reagan one of the biggest victories in the history of presidential elections. Since that time, Democrats have been smarter about their positions on taxes. They still support higher taxes on everyone. After all, if you do the math you find out that it is impossible to pay for an expansive welfare state unless the middle class is heavily taxed. But Democrats have learned to hide this dirty little secret and instead just call for higher taxes on “the rich”. This strategy was epitomized in the 2012 election by the Buffet Rule, which tried to convince voters that all the nation’s fiscal problems would be solved if only the rich were taxed more. The rule was named after billionaire Warren Buffet, who claims he wants to pay more taxes in the name of fairness. While this sounds great, the truth is that Buffet is a self interested hypocrite.

You see, the law allows people to make voluntary contributions to the US treasury. Oliver Wendell Holmes is famous for donating his fortune to the government. So if Buffet really wanted to be “moral” and pay more taxes, he can. But he doesn’t. When confronted with this cold reality, Buffet further exposed his hypocrisy by saying that him alone paying more money wouldn’t solve anything unless every other rich person paid more too. He said his donation would just be a “drop in the bucket”. There are two problems with this.

1) Even if everyone else paid more, his increased contribution would still just be “a drop in the bucket”. If he pays $100 more voluntarily or because the law says so, he is still just contributing $100 more. You are either part of the problem or part of the solution in this circumstance.

2) Buffet is making appeals to morality when he calls for higher taxes, but since when does morality have a disclaimer that says you only have to be moral if everyone else is too? Imagine how the world would be if Jesus acknowledged that loving your neighbor is the right thing to do, but said that he wasn’t going to love his neighbor because no one else was doing it. If Buffet was being genuinely moral, he would do what he says is the right thing to do- pay more taxes- regardless of what other people were doing. That’s how morality works. 

Optimism vs. Pessimism for America

 

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While reading the WSJ I came across an interesting statistic- 76% of Republicans believe that most people can make it in America if they work hard and play their cards right while only 49% of Democrats believe the same to be true. 

As I have mentioned before, I don’t like to have any illusions about how the world works. I know that children of rich people have lots of advantages to succeed over children of poor parents. Some of this disparity comes from income issues such as paying for private schools while factors such as good parenting are extremely important too. Any elementary school teacher will tell you that kids whose parents read with them at night have a huge advantage over kids with parents that don’t. The point is that of course some people, by chance, end up with advantages in life over those that are less fortunate, in terms of income and other factors. 

But I for one am still proud to say that I am part of the “76%”. I believe that the American dream is as alive as ever, and I don’t just believe this because economic research says I am right (even though that is a very good reason). If you work hard, play your cards right and manage to avoid unlucky tragedies you can make it in America. Of course this is easier said than done, but when has it not been?

All of my relatives came to America as dirt poor, uneducated peasants from Southern Italy. Yet them and their descendants lived/are now living middle class lives that would have been completely unimaginable had they stayed in Italy. Did they really have the cards stacked against them more than people do today?

Lets take my one grandfather as an example. After World War Two he immigrated to America. He had a few friends that had come before him but he did not know english, had only a few grades of education and his writing and reading skills were very poor. Yet through hard work and sacrifice he was able to provide a good life for his children and now his grandchildren are getting college educations. Is the American dream really dead?

My family is only one example of this story among literally millions. If America is not the land of opportunity, why do thousands of Mexicans still risk it all to sneak into America illegally? They are not doing it for the welfare benefits, they are doing it because they know that unlike other countries, at least America will give you a chance prove you can make it. The next time someone complains that the American Dream is dead or that our country is plagued by poverty more severe than Turkey or Greece (some actually make these claims) remind them that America has helped more people rise out of poverty than any other nation or welfare program in the history of the human race.

We are the richest nation in the world despite the fact that for the past 150 we have literally been a magnet that the poor people in the world have been attracted to. European nations don’t allow poor people to move to their countries. They despise the fact that poor muslims want to “invade” their precious Paris looking for a better life. Americans on the other hand open our arms and proclaim our famous creed: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free.” We welcome to our shores the poor of the world and give them a chance to prove they can make it. Does this drag down our “stats” and make us appear to be poorer? Probably. I’ve often wondered how many poor we would have if we only ever let into the country the best of the best. But the point is that as Americans though we welcome them to our shores our heart is not truly with the rich, educated immigrant. Instead our inherent American spirit tells us to cheer for the tired and the poor with hope and optimism that anyone can make it in America, despite what the pessimists say.  It is our duty as Americans to keep this optimism alive so that it burns like a torch in the darkest of nights, a beacon of hope for a weary world.

Are College Students Really “Food Insecure?”

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/more-college-students-battle-hunger-as-education-and-living-costs-rise/2014/04/09/60208db6-bb63-11e3-9a05-c739f29ccb08_story.html?tid=pm_pop

 

 

Apparently college students are so poor that they cannot afford food and are therefore “food insecure”. Or at least that’s what the Washington Post wants us to believe. Now I must admit that I do not have my own research and data to dispute them in an empirical manner, but I am still very suspicious of their claims.

For one, it points to a survey saying that 59% of students at Western Oregon University have experienced food insecurity. Thats a very high number. I know college students are poor, but to have well over half of them struggle to buy food seems awfully odd to me considering that we are simultaneously told that the vast majority of college kids drink too much (who pays for that?) and that our population as a whole is much too fat (to put it bluntly). The article mentions that students are often “too proud” to ask their parents or charities for help affording food. I understand that some kids have legitimate reasons why they want to not interact with their parents- perhaps a history of violence or abuse, and I understand not wanting to use private charity. But if our society has eroded to the point where we can’t expect families to help each other and therefore we need government to step in (undoubtably many reading this article will say “lets give all college kids food stamps!”) we have big problems as a country. And as for being too proud for private charity I understand this feeling, but I doubt these same students wouldn’t think twice about accepting food stamps from the government paid for by taxpayers. I remember seeing one past Facebook acquaintance who would put up lots of pictures of alcohol abundant parties and vacations on the beach, but between these pictures he once posted a status bragging that he was eligible to receive food stamps and would promptly take advantage of them. 

Now I do not think that all is well in food in America. We have agricultural subsidies that get paid out to big agribusiness that distort food markets and we have mindless ethanol mandates that actually have the effect of polluting the environment more, raising food prices by turing corn into fuel rather than food, and enriching politically connected businesses at the expense of taxpayers. Naturally these mandates were put in place to save the environment. But what else would you expect from big government “solving” our problems?

As for food stamps, undoubtably there are people in our society that truly need help affording food and we ought to help them. Private charity may not be able to help everyone in need and I personally don’t have an issue using modest government programs to pick up the slack. This is mostly because I believe that the slack ought to be very small. But today we spend billions more on SNAP (food stamps) than we did in the days of Bill Clinton. Part of this is because the Great Recession, but even during our current slow but nonetheless existent recovery the numbers of people enrolled in SNAP continue to increase. Why would an improving economy lead to MORE people struggling to afford food? Something tells me that SNAP is reaching more than just the ones who truly need help…

Of course the big tragedy of this situation is that as we spend more and more on government entitlements and welfare programs and move closer and closer to the cliff of fiscal disaster, we endanger the future of these programs that are desperately needed by the least fortunate in our society. We need to be fiscally responsible today so that we can be compassionate tomorrow.

 

Save $400 Million by Switching Fonts

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/27/living/student-money-saving-typeface-garamond-schools/index.html?iref=allsearch

 

I came across the article above on Facebook and saw it as a valuable lesson about government. The article is about a 14 year old who figured out that the government can save hundreds of millions of dollars if they switch the font that they print documents in to a thinners font that uses less ink. This sounds like it should be a bipartisan no brainer with no possible reason to not implement.

But this is government, so common sense doesn’t apply.

The government responded to this report by saying that they appreciate the suggestion but they are working to make most files digital so they don’t have to worry about printing costs. That’s great, but what about switching fonts so that during the time it takes to convert to being fully digital the government can save every cent possible? Or what about the fact that the government will always be printing at least some documents, so why not save money where we can? Especially when the cost saving measure is so effortless?

My suspicion is that the government is resisting the font change because someone, somewhere is benefitting from high ink costs. Think about it. Some company in some congressional district has to make the ink that the government buys, and that company hires people and pays taxes and such. If the government spends less on ink, that company gets less money and maybe has to lay off some workers.

That would be awfully inconvenient for the ink lobby/special interests. Better keep spending more than we have to…

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Jon Stewart Nails It (click title to view video of Jon Stewart exposing hypocrisy)

It is no mystery that the American people despise Congress. The reasons for such feelings, however, are not always so obvious. Is it because they are constantly stuck in political deadlock and can’t get any bills passed to address our nation’s problems? Is it because they spend more time raising campaign cash than legislating? Is it because our politicians spend our money with reckless abandonment? Or is it because they are despicable hypocrites?

Most likely the source of America’s anger toward Washington is a combination of all of these things.

But today we focus on that last point: hypocrisy.

Senator Feinstein is a liberal democrat from California who is a staunch supporter of the NSA spying on the American people, saying that it is necessary to prevent terrorist attacks (despite the fact that the NSA themselves admit that their controversial metadata program has caught ZERO terrorists). Her logic is essentially “If you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t care if the government spies on you.”

This is a dangerous way of thinking, and if we didn’t have good Senators like Ron Wyden (D.) and Rand Paul (R.) fighting against it America would be in trouble.

The real story for today though is that now Senator Feinstein is putting up a big fuss because she found out that the CIA has been spying on her and her fellow Senators. When the government spies on innocent American citizens, Feinstein is ok with it and says that there is nothing to fear about government snooping. But when the government spies on her, it is a blatant violation of the 4th amendment that threatens the future of our democracy.

I just hope politicians realize that THIS is why we despise them.

P.S.

Here is an article talking about the ineffectiveness of NSA snooping.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-phone-record-collection-does-little-to-prevent-terrorist-attacks-group-says/2014/01/12/8aa860aa-77dd-11e3-8963-b4b654bcc9b2_story.html

Voting RIghts

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After a couple days of criticizing liberals, it is about time to take a swipe at conservatives for advocating nonsensical things.

As the title suggests, I am going to call out conservatives for pushing restrictive voting laws in the name of fighting voter fraud. Now if voter fraud was a problem that was undermining American democracy, I would support measures such as voter IDs and other conservative policies being pushed in red states. But studies into the matter show that voter fraud is a minuscule problem that exists only in trace amounts, and therefore pose no real risk to our democracy.

But perhaps we should strive for elections with even less fraud (which is always good), and so things like voter ID laws are still good. The problem is that the relatively little voter fraud that exists today does not happen at the “in person” ballot box. Most fraud happens with absentee ballots, which photo IDs would not help much in stopping because there is no face to face interaction with an election official, and because some people (especially minorities) do not have IDs, they would be at a disadvantage to vote (I know in many red states that have ID laws the state will furnish you an ID free of charge and even drive you to the office necessary to receive the ID, but getting an ID is still a hurdle to jump, even if it is free).

Others may still say “You need an ID to buy cold medicine and do other day to day things in society, so why not require an ID to vote?”

This is an odd argument, especially from people who claim to be small-government conservatives. As noted before voter IDs, at best, do very little good, and at worst do harm to minority voters. Therefore requiring IDs to vote seems to be an arbitrary and pointless government interference in the rights of it people. It makes it harder to vote, and provides no real benefit in exchange. Furthermore, just because the government restricts our freedom and makes it harder to purchase cold medicine (this may be a good policy, but that is not the point) does not mean it should have the right to restrict our freedom in similar tasks when there is no benefit to doing it.

So why do conservatives still push restrictive voter laws? In my opinion it is all politics. I don’t think that requiring IDs would prevent so many minorities from voting that it would change elections (the areas where IDs are being pushed are solidly red states anyway). Instead, the ID laws work to rile up the conservative base, they are conservative “red meat”.

I’ll make a comparison that will hit close to home with conservatives: requiring IDs is loosely similar to banning “assault weapons” based on their cosmetic features, it riles up the political base without doing anything to really benefit America. It is an arbitrary infringement on liberty, done in the name of politics.

That being said, I think it is shameful the way Democrats compare these laws to Jim Crow (or if you’re Joe Biden, tell blacks that Republicans want to “Put ya’ll back in chains”). What we are talking about today are petty election politics trying to rile up a political base. To compare that to the deep seated racism of JIm Crow, with segregation and lynchings, is irresponsible and damaging to our society. Drawing these parallels waters down the legacies of great men like Martin Luther King, by comparing what he was fighting against to something much less sinister. It is like complaining to a starving child that your country club is serving crap instead of lobster (I know this comparison is exaggerated, but I wanted to make sure the point got across).