Archive - May 2010
Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman’s presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.
RT @PasteMagazine: Listen to Black Francis’ Catalog for Free http://bit.ly/9VMRYL
The Make-A-Wish Foundation made 13-year-old Erik Martin’s superhero dream a reality with a giant city-wide role playing scenario that incorporated all of Seattle. With the help of…
Yesterday Obama spoke at the University of Michigan commencement. In addition to making the affirmative case for government, he made the case for civility (as issue lately on my mind) and for listening to and understanding the points of view of people who think differently than you do:
…we cannot expect to solve our problems if all we do is tear each other down. You can disagree with a certain policy without demonizing the person who espouses it. You can question someone's views and their judgment without questioning their motives or their patriotism. Throwing around phrases like "socialist" and "Soviet-style takeover;" "fascist" and "right-wing nut" may grab headlines, but it also has the effect of comparing our government, or our political opponents, to authoritarian, and even murderous regimes.
Again, we have seen this kind of politics in the past. It's been practiced by both fringes of the ideological spectrum, by the left and the right, since our nation's birth.
The problem with it is not the hurt feelings or the bruised egos of the public officials who are criticized.
The problem is that this kind of vilification and over-the-top rhetoric closes the door to the possibility of compromise. It undermines democratic deliberation. It prevents learning - since after all, why should we listen to a "fascist" or "socialist" or "right wing nut?" It makes it nearly impossible for people who have legitimate but bridgeable differences to sit down at the same table and hash things out. It robs us of a rational and serious debate that we need to have about the very real and very big challenges facing this nation. It coarsens our culture, and at its worst, it can send signals to the most extreme elements of our society that perhaps violence is a justifiable response.
Here is video of the speech:
On a lighter note, here is video of Obama and Leno cracking jokes at the White Correspondents Dinner:
I plan to ride in MS 150 again this year for the National MS Society. It will be my 13th. To sponsor me: http://bit.ly/jonmowerBikeMS
Lisa and the boys are reading “The Brothers Kennedy: John, Robert, Edward” http://amzn.to/cpUHS6
friends’ church’s minister’s son is Jon Acuff (Stuff Christians Like), who spoke there last week. funny speaker: http://bit.ly/biu4Pk