What do students know about Egypt and Wisconsin

I had a thought this weekend. How much do students know about the huge fights going on in Wisconsin and the historic protests going on in Egypt, Libya, and other countries.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F11573450 Wisc-egypt by kuwillia

My hypothesis was supported. I had a sinking suspicion that random students would not be able to verbalize the problems going on in these places. The events in the Middle East are historic, yes, but have a less consequence I feel than the protests in Wisconsin. The fight between greed and fiscal responsibility is one that will go on throughout the rest of the country. No more should we allow unions to scratch and claw and nickel and dime at the expense of taxpayers. Is this the way union bosses really feel?

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Egypt and Wisconsin: In no way comparable

Do NOT fall into this trap.

I’ve been mulling this post for a week or more but it’s now time to go ahead. We need to have an honest discussion with everyone in the general public but mainly the media perpetuating an ugly, ugly comparison.

Here is a challenge for you: Watch an opinion show or read a column sort of coverage on the Wisconsin protests. See if the commentator compares the Egyptian plight to those of Wisconsin public workers. It seems to me the only comparison is the ill treatment of media members.

People that see Madison as a similar to Cairo are as naive as they come. Jon Stewart agrees and puts it bluntly. After showing clips of media making this cringing comparison, he says this:

They’re not the same in any fu***** way, shape, or form. At all. At all. Not at all. This is the same as people in the Middle East overthrowing years of dictatorship?

Finally, someone is getting this right. The Egyptian protests were spurred by dire economic conditions.  During the last presidential election (2005) Hosani Mubarak a stunning 88.6% of the vote.  Many irregularities were found and the Mubarak’s political party (voted for in block, not individual representatives) easily won the legislature. Oppositional political speech was nonexistent and the people had no way to address their grievances or gain any freedoms from a power hungry regime.

There were many signs to choose from

So for anyone to compare Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to Mubarak, let alone Hitler is incredibly unfair. As an aside, remember the huge outrage over Obama depicted as Hitler on signs? Where is the outrage now? Shouldn’t the media be calling out people on both sides?

Walker was elected in November by a democratic majority without objection of the results. As well, the citizens voted for a republican senator and a majority of GOP state house reps. In 09, democrats in control of the house, senate and white house continued to remind America and Republicans that “elections have consequences.”

State elections are no different. Egyptians haven’t had the benefit of free elections or even a way to oppose the government. Mind you, if the people in Wisconsin were in Libya, they would be getting shot at, so they should show a little more caution when comparing themselves to Middle East protesters. Wisconsinites should also be  concerned with 14 Democratic Senators, also elected to represent the people have fled their duties and have now been found guilty of contempt of court as protesters have been ordered by a judge to leave the capitol. Which leads to an interesting question:

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Defending a Democrat?

The last few weeks have been trying ones for Oregon’s first Congressional Representative David Wu. His personal life played out in the national media in an uncomfortable way.

It was revealed that Wu had gone through a series of irrational behaviors that warranted many of his staff quitting and left him having to defend his actions.

From the little I know about David Wu, something like this was not unexpected. Remember the Klingon Speech?

This put David Wu on the map for all the wrong reasons, and rightfully so. I understand the devout Trekkie was trying to make an analogy, but it made him seem like a nerd and out of touch. This last month’s actions have only deepened worry that Wu can no longer serve his constituents.

During the last few days of his most recent campaign, Wu essentially went into hiding, all while opponent Rob Cornilles was gaining ground. Wu’s staff witnessed erratic behavior, starting with a speech in front of the Washington County Democrat Party so fiery that some members lodged complaints. Audience members interviewed said despite being in a friendly crowd, he lost their vote. The youtube videos of this event have unfortunately been deleted by Wu supporters.

Two days later, on October 29th, four days before the election, Wu bypassed PDX security to see greet his children, only to use the security breech to lobby for votes. More complaints were filed. The following day, he posed as his children and sent odd emails to his staff: “Cut him some slack, man. What he does when he’s wasted is send emails, not harass people he works with.” Wu stated at one point he had quit drinking, bringing up questions of substance abuse.More recently, it was found that Wu took an unknown painkiller from a campaign contributor, adding to the drug/alcohol questions.

Campaign staff said he had previous periods of normal behavior, followed by manic mannerisms, but this was the worst they had ever seen.  You can read more about his antics in this Oregonian article.

For these episodes, I cannot excuse Mr. Wu as he has tried to do in the local media. Wu has said he has sought help and is in a good place, although his rapid recovery makes a skeptic out of me.  But one of the most visible, and probably infamous actions, is a picture he took of himself in a Halloween costume (above), supposedly playing with his kids.

Why this picture should be vilified I have no clue. Despite sending it out to staff and friends, which everyone should try to avoid, shouldn’t fathers be able to pal around with their children without recourse? Because this particular episode has been given coverage because of its visual nature, I feel this has been an injustice done to Mr. Wu.

Being separated from his wife and an active Congressman, I’m sure Wu is grateful for anytime he can spend with his children. Being able to enjoy that and capture it with photos is nothing he should be ashamed at. Yet he is being harangued for it. Isn’t the problem parents who aren’t involved in their children’s lives? Shouldn’t we focus on Mr. Wu’s greater problems: his mental health, his potential substance abuse issues, his ability to represent Oregon’s First District?

So no, I am not defending a democrat, I am defending a father.

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The finger pointing needs to stop

When Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot January 8th, a large wave of anti-tea party citizens and media were quick point fingers to the tea party’s “violent rhetoric” as a motive for the tragedy.  Yes, she posted a poster with cross hairs of districts to target and Miss Giffords was one of them. But why didn’t the media report on left-wing blog Daily Kos’ target map?

Does this man look sane?

People on both sides of the isle do things outrageous, over the top, politically incorrect. Unfortunately, our politicians and media like to paint the right as the one violent, spiteful, hateful ones. The same day Miss Giffords was shot, the politically motivated, investigating sheriff Clarence Dupnik was, instead of interviewing the suspect or simply looking at his mugshot, blaming the right wing for their vitriol. As he days wore on, he continued his media campaign instead of working to bring Jared Loughner to justice. Mind you, ALL media reports said Jared Loughner was not talking after he was arrested. So before the psychotic, cold blooded killer even said word one, Dupnik was far too eager to put blame at the feet of blameless people (regardless of the fact after some real gumshoe work, Loughner had an infatuation with Giffords since 2007, well before Palin even made political waves). Even President Obama, as you can see in the bottom video, points the finger just after the last bullet was fired.

CNN does a good job here of maintaining neutrality in the piece, saying the suspect was not cooperating and we have no idea what the motive is (save for Wolf Blitzer trying to squeeze anything out of the Sarah Palin theory at the end). Too much of the media was not so cautious, however. Just bringing Palin up rubbed people the wrong way. Guilty by association before we even knew the shooters name. Most of the media maintained their stance that vitriol, rhetoric and gun nuts created this mess. In the above video, Jessica Yellin mentions Palin backlash on Twitter. Youtube is notorious in right wing circles for pulling politically right videos. I would have loved to show you a Twitter montage of people calling for Sarah Palin’s rape, assassination, death, but Youtube pulled the video it violated it’s terms of service.

But fear not! The left has come out in full force once again, this time calling for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s death over the union battles going on in Madison.

Again, where is this in the media? Why isn’t this being reported on?

Oh, there you are. I’m going to be honest and for the first time say “Bravo MSNBC.” For the first time, they asked the question above. Why aren’t we showing these people when they’ve been here along with everyone else? Remember, just because we don’t see it in the media doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Do your homework.

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Another Illustration of Obama’s Systemic Problem

I am usually one to shy away from not-so-trusted, not-so-mainstream sources. But regardless of bias, facts are facts. More importantly, numbers do not lie. 5 is more than 4.

In context, we are seeing government expand at alarming rates. The poster child for such governmental empowerment is Barack Obama. Note this column from CNS News today.

“In fiscal 1965, the entire federal government spent $118.228 billion…$118.228 billion in 1965 dollars equals $822.6 billion in 2010 dollars. In real terms, the $909.7 billion HHS is spending this year is about $87.1 billion more than the entire federal government spent in 1965.”

If we don’t rely on a government health care, and those on the left are so adamant it isn’t coming, how is this possible? Sure, we have about 100 million more people, a third more the population. And a lot of baby boomers are indeed retiring and in need of Medicare.  And healthcare may be more expensive. But this is just yet another example of out of control government spending that the left decries when Bush does it yet embraces it when Obama does it.

A few things we need to realize sooner rather than laterL

  • We cannot afford nonessentials at this point
  • China becomes more empowered everyday we spend too much
  • Our interest on our debt is becoming too difficult to pay, let alone the debt itself
  • We need to make tough decisions now.
  • Freezing Federal pay rates after they were raised 30% does not help.

This is a good illustration of what our budget looks like. Maybe we can wrap our heads around this.

Posted in Big Government, Outrageous Obama, Politics | Leave a comment

Iran is Unbelievable. Literally.

For my inaugural post, I’m going to broach a subject I’ve been ranting about to classmates and friends for a week now.

I have a friend stationed in Bahrain, a small island nation off the coast of Iran. This country now has protests in the city he is stationed, following suit with Tunisia, Egypt Yemen, Iran, Algeria, Jordan, Syria, etc. (Click for CNN International coverage).

Probably unsurprisingly, the authorities in Iran are arresting protesters in that authoritarian country. What is surprising, is the statement made by the Iranian Foreign Minister during the height of the Egypt chaos.  Ali Akbar Salehi said: “Popular protests and movements in North African countries including in Egypt show the necessity of an overhaul in the region and putting an end to dictatorial rules” and added “people are trying to decide their fate.” Click for full article

Contrast that with 2009.

This shows how supportive Iran’s government is of its people trying to decide their fate. Is that like Ahmadinejad saying “We’re developing nuclear technology for energy purposes only?” I really don’t think we should accept ANYTHING that comes out of that country. With such an unbelievable history of anti-semitic rhetoric, talking out of both sides of their mouth, oppression and authoritarian rule, we shouldn’t trust them as far as we could throw them (Ferris Bueller reference anyone? Bueller? Bueller?).

Regardless, Iran, like North Korea, is a top heavy country, by which I mean, the military and government officials are in the bag for the government. Get rid of those at the top, and everyone else would fall to democracy, something I truly believe most people in Iran wish for. And because military action is not an option, yet, we have to rely on diplomatic options. Which have been a failure to this point. Because there have been none.

Obama has failed to get tough with Iran and tell them to get their act together.  Remember when he said he would sit down with Ahmadinejad without preconditions? Where did that go? Let’s get tough with countries who murder civilians for speaking out. The UN is of no consequence to Iran, so the United States needs to step up, as usual, and tell Iran how things have to be, and not back down.

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