Monday, May 30, 2011

A High School CIvics Lesson

Yesterday I made mention of Paul Ryan’s Budget proposal, which easily passed in the House, albeit along party lines. Last week the Senate finally got around to rejecting the Ryan proposal--again mostly along party lines-- but not before unanimously rejecting the Obama Administration’s proposal. At least they finally got around to voting on it, but the bottom line is that the Senate has not passed any budget at all. Ryan himself summed it up best in the aftermath of the Senate vote on May 25:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Medicare Part D

No I am not talking about the Medicare Prescription Benefit program, otherwise known as "Medicare Part D".  In this case, D is for "demagoguery" and I have been on that theme lately due in no small part to the number of sickening and shameless examples that abound. It never ceases to amaze me how people fall for it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Disliking Demagoguery

  • dem•a•gogue noun \ˈde-mə-ˌgäg\ a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power
  • dem•a•gogu•er•y (d m -gô g -ree , ) noun\ The practices or rhetoric of a demagogue.

In my last post I wrote about the demagoguery employed in the debate over the “Debit Card Rule”, but plenty of other examples abound. Politicians love to use class warfare or other means to demonize entire categories or groups of people in order to stir the populace into a frenzy.  Their goal is to make the latter clamor for passage of new laws, which ultimately grant more power to politicians.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Debit Card Demagoguery

Lately I have been inundated with lots of pro and con advocacy ads about a certain “debit card rule”. To be honest, I am woefully ignorant about the details and I have not done any research on the subject, but I think I have been able to glean the following:
  • Back in December, Congress passed some rule limiting the amount that banks were allowed to charge merchants for transactions involving debit cards;
  • Currently, Congress is considering delaying, modifying or stopping implementation of this rule out of concern (among other reasons) that these limitations will hurt smaller banks;
  • Large retailers are crying foul and have started an advertising campaign talking about how “big banks” are getting another “bailout”;
  • On the other side, banks are screaming that the so called “debit card rule” is a “gift” to “big retailers”.

So who is right? To find out, let us first consider a little background and history.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Murderer and a Blasphemer

I was very tired Sunday evening and went to bed early. I must have needed it because I fell asleep right away, even over the distant sound of the television my wife was watching in the next room. At around 11:00 pm. I was suddenly awakened by my wife’s excited voice:

“Osama bin Laden is dead. The Navy Seals captured him in Pakistan”

“Okay, cool," I muttered. "Will he still be dead in the morning?”