Archive for September, 2012

Senate Republicans turn backs on Veterans

Veterans job corps bill shelved after falling short in Senate vote


How many minimum wage hours must one work to pay income tax?

Mitt Romney thinks you need to take responsibility for your life

Squashed does the math on minimum wage.

✁ Obama “Too Little, Too Late” On Veteran Affairs

A friend of mine mentioned something this morning that I really took offense to, since it shows just how effective rhetoric is in today’s world, despite the overwhelming evidence suggesting otherwise. This friend responded to a comment of mine, suggesting that actions are more important than words and that President Obama has done too little, too late.

Ignoring for a moment the ramifications of a candidate speaking for a half hour to accept the nomination for president of the United States, without even a mention of our veterans or troops once, as happened in Tampa last week, let’s examine the truth of her response.

What has President Obama done for Veterans/Our Troops over the course of his first term in office? Does Obama really not care about our veterans?

Well, as Veteran Affairs Secretary, Eric Shinseki, stated this week,

No president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has done more for veterans.

Who is this Eric Shinseki, you might ask? He must be some Democratic Shill, looking for political gain by speaking Obama’s praises…. actually no… General Shinseki is a decorated four-star general, who served as Chief of Staff of the Army under both President Clinton and President Bush. His record is astonishing, and presumably, as a high-ranking veteran officer in the forces, avoids partisanship altogether.

Okay, so Secretary Shinseki said this, so what? How can he make such claims? What supports such a record?

Let’s review some of Obama’s policies over the last four years that affect our men and women who are serving or have served this county.

These are just some examples of the efforts the Obama administration has made to support our troops. I don’t even begin to explore theoretical reductions in casualties due to the end of the Iraq War and the slow wind-down of the Afghanistan mission.

The ridiculousness of the claim that Obama (and more centrally, every Democrat) does not care about the needs of our men and women in uniform is a Cold-War era holdover that no longer has much merit. Unfortunately, the stubborn myth will not die. The humor sadness in all of this is that the current administration has corrected the course of the prior administration, which had a very tenuous relationship with veteran affairs. Ironically, he was praised as a fine Commander-in-Chief, used rhetorically to create a beacon of light in an otherwise abysmal domestic presidency.

Long story short, before you make a very serious, offensive claim that Obama doesn’t care about our troops, have some facts to back it up.

Generations of Environmentalism

Erik Loomis, of the great Lawyers, Guns & Money providing some thought on the decline in the environmental movement, especially with younger generations. He disagrees with Lisa Curtis who suggests environmentalism is unrelatable to youth because it’s no longer responsible to keep the environment untouched by humans when there are now over seven billion on this planet (many without the resources needed for basic survival).

The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, the Occupational Safety and Health Act and other legislation championed by environmentalists in the 60s and 70s was all about protecting working-class people from environmental dangers and ensuring their safety on the job and at home.

Ultimately, Loomis believes these type of initiative are the best types of environmentalism because it helps both people and non-people alike by protecting from societal risk caused by degradation of the environment.

From my perspective, environmentalism lost its way because many have successfully convinced society that saving the environment only lead to higher prices for consumers, fewer jobs, and higher taxes. Environmentalists today should be trying to demonstrate how environmental initiatives not only benefit the environment, but also benefit our wallet by reducing energy consumption. Environmentalism, done properly, is a form of fiscal responsibility with the added benefit of keeping the world pretty.

Sunny-Side Up: In Defense of Eggs

Kristin Wartman, for the Atlantic, discussing a recent study comparing eggs to smoking.

“I think it’s dangerous to look at just one food and deduce that the trend you see is caused by that food,” MIT researcher and senior scientist Stephanie Seneff wrote to me in an email regarding the study.