Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Short-Sighted and Stupid

Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English - they'll learn English - you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish. It's embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe and all we can say is merci beaucoup." - Barack Obama

Well, this is a bit funny. First of all, immigrants aren't learning English (some of them, anyway) and this has posed a problem large enough that our government is printing things in both English and Spanish (as well as stores). Telling us that we need to fix the problem by ensuring that our children can speak Spanish is just plain hilarious. 

And I love how Barack begins by criticizing us for expecting immigrants to learn English and then morphs into criticizing us for not knowing the European languages. Kind of hitting us on both sides of our face there, isn't he?

"Cheap gas is unfair. Driving creates huge social costs in the form of traffic, health-damaging pollution and global warming that aren't suffered solely by the person buying the gasoline... If the U.S. were to slowly jack up gas taxes until we're in the $8 range, life would be better. We'd not only be safer and have reduced greenhouse-gas emissions, we'd probably be happier, too... Sure, $8 gas is unfair to poor people, but so is all of capitalism." -Joel Stein

In Joel's defense, I have pretty much taken the stupidest, most short-sighted things he said from a longer article he wrote. I can't say that I found too much of value in the entire article, but at least some of the stupidity can be explained. (A word of caution - just because there's an explanation, don't assume it's going to make sense in the end.) His idea that we'd be happier if we had higher taxes stems from the idea that we're all happier if we're socially interactive. He links this to high taxes by saying that higher gas prices will lead people to live clumped together in the city rather than spread out in the 'burbs. He appears completely undeterred by the fact that there are people in the inner city who are "socially interacting" by shooting each other, but HEY.

His comment about us being safer appears to be linked to Europe. His logic is a bit weird... kind of "Europe his high gas taxes, Europe has a lower traffic fatality rate even though they drive like insane idiots, therefore high taxes leads to safety on the road no matter how crazy you drive." I don't follow this one... not that I really expect to follow Stein's logic... ever. 

For a "compassionate liberal," Stein is certainly lacking consideration for those rural dwellers. Farmers (who end up using plenty of fuel, I'm sure) or small town folks who don't have access to even a nearby grocery (i.e., myself). Nor does he seem to give a hoot about the truckers (whose backs are breaking under the burden of gasoline prices). Not to mention that hiking the cost of gasoline hikes up the cost of everything. Noticed your grocery bill going up lately? That's not only because of the rice shortage, people. 

"Where my country is at the moment, I'm not confident of anything. I'm hopeful. I think Obama is not tall on experience... but I believe he's a really good person. He's smart. And he does represent what the country needs most now, which is change." - Robert Redford

Nah, I'm not really being fair here, bringing the loons from Hollywood into this. But I love the non-forward-thinking nature of the comment. No confidence in anything... and yet hopeful. The acknowledgment that Obama has not a clue what he's doing, but the thought that he's probably a really good person. And Redford's hope stems solely from the fact that Obama represents "change" which is what our country, apparently, now needs more than anything. From the frying pan into the fire... but change is good, right?

The intent of the publisher was to design a religious, sacred document to reflect an individual opinion or a group's conclusion to cause "me or anyone who is a homosexual to endure verbal abuse, discrimination, episodes of hate, and physical violence... including murder." - Bradley LaShawn Fowler, 39, suing Zondervan Publishing and Thomas Nelson Publishing for "violating his constitutional rights and causing him emotional pain and mental instability" by publishing the Bible with passages in it negative towards homosexuality.

Hooo---eee!! Certainly SOMETHING caused this man some mental instability! Good to know that people such as Fowler can clog up our legal system with complaints of this nature. Of course, Mr. Fowler understands our legal system. After all, he's been convicted of (and served time for) possession of cocaine, writing bad checks (sentenced for this twice) and manslaughter. I'm thinking our society might be better served to rid ourselves of prison libraries. They almost seem to do more harm than good. 

And while I could come up with crazy quotes and loopy people for hours on end, I do have a family and it's about time for me to start cooking. We'll have to save the rest of the nuts for another time. After all, they're always out there saying something entertaining.

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