Betzee comments

Posted in: White House Republican hopefuls make last Iowa push See in context

I don't care who cited the study in the material they buy (a growing problem on the web where there's less and less original stuff). Having dabbled a bit in creating surveys myself, I know the importance of words. If you use "pro-choice" versus "abortion," for example, you will get different results. When the firm, which has no name recognition in the survey business, puts out a statement which mangles the English language, I don't take it seriously. One could say they have an interest in such a result, given their focus on the youth market. More business might come their way as a result of this statistic. What are young people doing type questions. Built in bias.

It's unfortunate American critical thinking skills seem to have atrophied. My sister-in-law also quoted that Obama "I feel like I'm behind enemy lines" extract from his book as evidence of his anti-business bias. She certainly didn't read it, nor presumably did the poster who quoted it disparagingly here. They are just part of an echo chamber to disseminate talking points. I reminded her that she had told me she felt like a failure when her daughter announced she wanted to become a lawyer. Had her daughter sent her such a message on her first day of work, she would have been elated. She was stumped when I asked her how things were so different when Obama acknowledged such feelings.

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Posted in: White House Republican hopefuls make last Iowa push See in context

Never heard of the firm, Twentysomething, that conducted the poll on college grads. As a former writing teacher, I noted their statement is strung together with big words that, upon reflection, add up to nothing except a feeble attempt at self-promotion. Use the word "unique" sparingly. Also, the word "collage" is misused:

Twentysomething Inc. is a prestigious, world-renowned management consultancy that uniquely bridges corporate goals with the realities of today's young adults. Our firm focuses exclusively on this unique collage, advising forward-thinking organizations on how to fully realize their goals, visions and overall potential.

The pollsters also overlook the fact many college kids live at home while completing their undergrad degrees. In other words, they never left home in the first place.

As for Santorum, he received national attention by claiming homosexuality would lead to bestality (sex with animals). Elsewhere, he warned:

"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything," Santorum said in the AP interview, which was published Monday.

The slippery slope scenario which has no scientific or legal basis. Adultery occurs in heterosexual families (ask Newt Gingrich) and sadly, so does incest. The problem for social conservatives is they want a nanny state policing what goes on between consenting adults. There's a contradiction that needs to be addressed.

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Posted in: White House Republican hopefuls make last Iowa push See in context

47 percent unemployment for Americans under 30. Absolutely disastrous. 85 percent of college grads returning home after graduation.

BTW, where did you get these figures? If they were really accurate then the OWS movement would win universal praise instead of being dismissed as "full of youthful slackers without any work ethic."

A google search will reveal that most people think the US economy contracted at 6.8 percent during the last quarter of 2008. That was before Obama came into office and was confronted with the consequences. Since 2010, the Republicans have had their input in Congress. They haven't seemed terribly concerned about unemployed Americans frankly.

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Posted in: White House Republican hopefuls make last Iowa push See in context

"Companies get driven overseas for many reasons, taxes and regulatory burdens are near the top."

It's the lure of lower wages in developing countries that is the big draw. Workers in developed countries are no longer shielded from competition in the Third World, that's a big difference from the America "the vast majority of us grew up in."

Incidentally, Steve Jobs also defended the work conditions in a Taiwanese-run factory in China where iphones/pads are assembled after 13 employees committed suicide in 2010. Investigators found the conditions less defensible. They included exposure to hazardous materials, 12 hour days on your feet and 25 workers to a dormitory room. No overtime was paid no matter how many extra hours were tacked on to the workday.

Sure, China's a great place to start a business. No onerous regulations. And what do consumers get? Lead paint in children's toys and melamine in baby formula that killed scores of Chinese children.

It's unfortunate so few of those who promote the "government is the problem" view have the critical thinking skills to see where their philosophy would take us. Romney warns about becoming Europe, but you want to make us into China. That's not the America I grew up in.

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Posted in: White House Republican hopefuls make last Iowa push See in context

smith: "The guy thinks a company is a person ....."

He does not. That is a figment of your imagination, smith.

No, it's part of the public record (unless you live in a world where you recreate your own reality). In Iowa last summer in response to a suggestion that taxes be raised on corporations Romney said, "Corporations are people, my friend."

Some people in the front of the audience shouted, "No, they're not!"

"Of course they are," Romney countered. "Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people."

That's going to be a harder sell in a world where downsizing and outsourcing of jobs are common corporate cost cutting strategies. Jobs go to places like India all the time, though you never hear of any CEO moving there. I think it was Mike Huckabee who had the best TV advertisement in this regard when he asked viewers, "Do you want to vote for a the guy who looks like someone you work with or the suit who laid you off?"

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Posted in: White House Republican hopefuls make last Iowa push See in context

"We're out in the cold and the rain and the wind because we care about America...."

In fact Romney is in Iowa because he thinks he can win it. If he didn't he would stay away and pretend Tuesday's vote was of no consequence. What happened to him there in 2008 was really rather embarrassing, after dropping a wad to win it he was trumped by Mike Huckabee.

Stranger things have happened, but I think Romney's effort to play the "I'm Joe Sixpack" card will come to naught. This is a guy, after all, who owns more homes than John McCain. And none of them are in Iowa or anywhere close to it.

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Posted in: Wisconsin approves anti-union measure See in context

Yabits, you're welcome.

The bar is set really low here:

"Sounds like something union thugs would do. Probably a bunch of community organizers involved. That sounds like something the libs would do."

So therefore any destruction of public property can be automatically attributed to union thugs, community organizers, and libs, the backbone of the "democrat party," since it sounds "like something they would do."

Except I didn't read about any destruction of public property. Where are the police reports? Youtube postings may convince those like molenir and tea, already true believers, but they are unlikely to win the PR war that was alluded to in the call Walker took from someone he believed was a Koch brother. Guess he won't be getting that trip to Cali he was looking forward to. Too bad!

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Posted in: Wisconsin approves anti-union measure See in context

Walker can claim, as GWB did, "I don't care about opinion polls" as his ratings go south. But that arrogant attitude will doom him. It's easy to campaign and win elections on a platform of "limited government." But the devil is in the details:

Saturday's protest [in Madison] got a boost from a parade of more than 30 tractors driven by farmers supporting the union workers. Thousands of people lining the sidewalks cheered as tractors rolled by bearing signs with messages such as "Planting the seeds for a big season of recalls." The farmers thrust their fists in the air in response.

Tod Pulvermacher, 33, of Bear Valley, drove a tractor towing a manure spreader carrying a sign that read, "Walker's bill belongs here" -- a reference to Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

"Farmers are working-class Americans," he said as the crowd around him started to cheer. "We work for a living as hard as anybody, and this is about all of us."

Pulvermacher said the fight against the law was "everybody's fight" and it was just beginning.

"If we can keep the energy high, we can change a lot of things in Wisconsin in the next year," he said.

Judy Gump, 45, who teaches English as a Madison high school, also said the fight wasn't over. She said that if the first person who got arrested during the civil rights movement had given up, the movement would have failed.

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Posted in: Wisconsin approves anti-union measure See in context

"Your side put on quite a spectacle - trashing the capitol, physically attacking Republicans"

When did this happen? This sounds like the scenario raised in the phone call when Walker believed he was talking to one of the Koch brother who suggested: "Let's place some agitators in there to destroy property and threaten people and we can turn this around."

Everyone was well aware there was a PR battle going on too. To quote Daniel Moynihan: You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts.

I think Jerry Brown's approach in California is much better than the political theatre we have witnessed in New Jersey and Wisconsin. The 72-year old Governor of California, a Democrat, assembled a group of law enforcement personnel and informed them: "I didn't retire at 50 and you can't either for the state pension fund to remain solvent." By contrast, his opponent Meg Whitman, was going to follow Walker's led and exempt law enforcement from "the pain" they claim is being shared.

Elections, in which turn-out hasn't even reached 60% in recent elections, are about who can get their people to the polls. I'm sure there are some Republicans who feel Walker's tactics are going to come back to bite Republicans at the ballot box.

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Posted in: Wisconsin approves anti-union measure See in context

"Some of the police officers and fireman draws pension at early age of 50 's and get close to 70-80 percent from what they were earning and if this individual lives to be 85 years old, they would received approximately $3 million plus $500,000 in health benefits."

If this is the real drain, why did Walker exempt them from his plan?

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Posted in: Wisconsin approves anti-union measure See in context

Gov. Scott Walker's bitter standoff with Democrats and labor unions in Wisconsin has turned the newly elected Republican into a deeply polarizing figure, eroded his standing and left him struggling to win the battle for public opinion, a flurry of recent polls suggests.

In one new survey, 54% of Wisconsinites disapprove of Walker's performance while 43% approve. Walker is viewed less favorably than either of his main antagonists in the state's stormy budget debate: public employee unions and Democrats in the Legislature. And after just two months in office, he inspires more intense feelings - pro and con - than President Barack Obama does in Wisconsin.

From The Wall Street Journal.

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Posted in: Wisconsin approves anti-union measure See in context

"American democrats"

This has become a way to show contempt for the Democratic Party (note the poster capitalizes "Republican.")

It doesn't bode well for the future that some don't appreciate the difference in meaning between small "d" and capital "D." Tea's views would be taken more seriously if his/her post reflected knowledge of that difference.

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Posted in: Huckabee denies criticizing Portman's pregnancy See in context

"He was accusing people like Portman of somehow going out of their way to 'glamorize' having a child."

It harks back to Dan Quayle's denunciation of the TV character "Murphy Brown." But in between we had Bristol Palin, another unwed mother, a teenage one no less with no discernible job skills in contrast to Portman, who was extolled for "choosing life." Since giving birth, she's made buckets of money selling photos of the little tyke, hawking reality shows, and giving speeches with the message, "Do as I say, not as I did." Impressionable teenagers who've been raised in our celebrity-obsessed culture may have watched her recent turn on "Dancing with the Stars" and thought to themselves, "Wow, that could be me!" Talk about glamorizing the lifestyle of an unwed mother!

Conservatives have to decide whether unwed parenthood represents a good thing since the mother "chose life," despite less than optimal circumstances, or a selfish choice worthy of moral condemnation. I've said it before and I will say it again: Can't have it both ways.

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Posted in: Asian-American lawmakers demand Limbaugh apology See in context

"the case against Rush was eventually dismissed completely. "

Not exactly; a "deferred prosecution" agreement was reached whereby he agreed to meet certain conditions, including court=administered drug tests. The charge was dropped after he remained clean for 18 months.

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Posted in: Asian-American lawmakers demand Limbaugh apology See in context

"this can be done withOUT resorting to ethnic slurs"

Reliance on ethnic slurs was common in the past, hence the "backward" association.

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Posted in: Asian-American lawmakers demand Limbaugh apology See in context

"Do a bit of research. Theres a very good reason for calling him a loon."

I already did that. Wonders never cease, Leland Yee is an overachieving immigrant. He came to the US at age 3 and went on to earn a PhD in Child Psychology. If he were a Republican, he would be lauded as an the personification of the American Dream. But he's a Democrat and that makes him a "loon."

"What he wants, is to get himself elected. By being see to go after a big name person like Rush, who is widely perceived as being on the opposite side, this clown can likely get elected to higher office."

The only office he seems interested in is Mayor of San Francisco. It's questionable how taking on Limbaugh would help him achieve that goal given there's really only one side in SF.

"If the shoe fits..."

It seems you have a case of bound feet. Not everyone does, however. While politicians are mocked all the time, this can be done with resorting to ethnic slurs. Yee has found support beyond the Asian American community:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned the racist and threatening faxes that were sent to California State Senator Leland Yee this week. The messages come on the heels of Senator Yee's criticism of Rush Limbaugh for making remarks about China's President Hu Jintao that played on stereotypes about Chinese people. Regional Director Daniel S. Sandman stated that, "It is intolerable for anyone to resort to prejudice and intimidation to make a political point. The reported bigoted content of the faxes is deeply disturbing. We hope that a thorough investigation will reveal the identities of the perpetrators and put an end to this attempt to menace one of our public officials."

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Posted in: Asian-American lawmakers demand Limbaugh apology See in context

I meant "from time to time."

It's unlikely Yee really expects an apology. For one thing, Rush's audience would desert him for being an "appeaser." Indeed, Yee "received a fax from an unknown sender which made racist comments and labeling him a Marxist. 'Rush Limbaugh will kick your Chink ass and expose you for the fool you are,' part of the memo said. (wiki source)

What Yee probably wants to do is publicize the incident to mount a campaign to scare away Limbaugh's show sponsors. Hint 'em in the pocketbook.

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Posted in: Asian-American lawmakers demand Limbaugh apology See in context

"A loon demands an apology from an entertainer..."

That's how you describe Senator Leland Yee, how do you know what he's accomplished in life? Maybe he's as hardworking as any "backward" person. Let's not forget, Rush himself has reached from the victim card for time to time. When he had his legal troubles, he blamed them on a "liberal prosecutor." 'Nuff said.

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Posted in: Asian-American lawmakers demand Limbaugh apology See in context

"I am not a member of the dominant society; but through out the years I learn to keep good ,valuable comments and let useless, ridiculous ones be gone with the winds."

You have to have the ability to make that judgement, you are not born with it. What would Chinese think about this like rant? It would probably reinforce their view that Americans are fat slobs whose days of glory are numbered. I don't believe it got any attention in China. By contrast, Sasha Obama's practicing her Chinese with President Hu did. It reinforced a sense that power is shifting in their favor. Still, President Hu's presumed successor has a daughter at Harvard, where she's a freshman. Her English may be better than that of many Americans due to what the Chinese call, "eating bitterness" or the ability to work hard to master a difficult task. By contrast, the only thing Rush looks like he eats is too many donuts.

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Posted in: Asian-American lawmakers demand Limbaugh apology See in context

“The comments that he made—the mimicking of the Chinese language—harkens back to when I was a little boy growing up in San Francisco and those were hard days, rather insensitive days,” Yee said in an interview Thursday. “You think you’ve arrived and all of a sudden get shot back to the reality that you’re a second-class citizen.”

Indeed, mimicking the use broken English, which he did elsewhere on the show, served to reinforce the status of Chinese, and el Rushbo threw in Japanese as well since "it all sounds the same to me," as aliens forever consigned to the margins of dominant society. If you are a member of the dominant society, you're likely totally ignorant of the experiences of someone like Yee.

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Posted in: As unrest sweeps Egypt, president refuses to quit See in context

"As many have said in the past about Bush and his war against Saddam, yes he was an ally of the US, but then we just shifte allegance and many on the left threw a fit."

What "the left" objected to was the justification used to topple Saddam: he was a ruthless dictator who murdered his own people. Yeah, but he'd done it while as ally of the US and we looked the other way because it was in our geopolitical interests to support him. When those interests changed, we conveniently forgot our earlier support for the guy.

'[T]his sends a message to all of our allies. If things get too tough, we will cut and run." Things are tough because Mubarak's own people are rising up against him. So you're saying we should support repressive measures against a "people power" revolution of the type that swept Ferdinand Marcos from power?

Mubarak has been grooming his son to succeed him. He knows what awaits most dictators in retirement: there's already a warrant out for Tunisia's Ben Ali's arrest.

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Posted in: As unrest sweeps Egypt, president refuses to quit See in context

"How many U.S. tax dollars have been sucked up by Egypt during this guy's rule?"

A lot. Egypt is the second largest recipient of American aid after Israel. It's been that way ever since Egypt recognized Israel. A democratically elected government, in contrast to the Mubarak regime, wouldn't necessarily do that despite the cash pay-off. In a nutshell: US geopolitical interest collide here with support for "freedom."

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Posted in: 50 killed in Baghdad apartment blasts See in context

Personally, I'm glad my taxes aren't paying for tests at nation building in oil-rich states where life is cheap, but that's just me!

I think it's a lot more than you!

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Posted in: U.S. Congress completes overhaul of health care; more threats come in See in context

Obama issued the equivalent fighting words of "Bring it on!" after it was clear the Republicans were not interested in any sort of reform. What they are worried about is the benefits which kick in immediately, such as the right to keep children on a family plan until the age of 26, will prove popular. I have two friends who plan to just that because it will save them money and provide their kids with better coverage.

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Posted in: Teen charged over racial announcement at New Jersey Walmart See in context

But he has no right to use other people's property to do that in a way that could cause a panic.

Then Wal-Mart is really the victim since the incident could cause them to lose black shoppers (who can take their business to a competitor big box retailer). I'm sure there is a way to charge the kid with a criminal offense. If, to get to the intercom system for example, he passed through an area open to "staff only," they can get him for trespassing. Did his false announcement cause panic among shoppers? That's another issue.

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Posted in: 52 unmarried Malaysian Muslim couples face jail for hotel liaisons See in context

I presume this has always happened in this neck of the woods, but let's not let that in the way of a good shriek (check's under the bed) about Islam, now shall we?

Happy New Year old friend! In fact the ruling party altered the constitution to throw a bone at the Islamists and didn't understand they were conferring equal status to Shari'a courts with that of civil jurisprudence.

The problems really come in the case of conversions. There's been a few. Whoever has converted then bestows the Muslim faith on their children and the non-Muslim parent has no standing to petition the Shari'a court. Another case was about burial rites for a man whose Hindu wife insisted he never converted. In Selangor, apostasy is punishable by death, though the constitution allows for freedom of religion.

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Posted in: 52 unmarried Malaysian Muslim couples face jail for hotel liaisons See in context

Malaysia and Indonesia seem to be coming to a sort of crisis point of late however. They have become very 'modernized' in many respects and maintain constant commercial ties to other more libertine nations - yet the clerics and governments seem intent on continuing with sharia law and ultra-conservative Islamic principles. Much of the population yearns to breath free, so to speak, but Islam is an important tool, and sword, for those weilding political power.

Malaysia is a lot wealthier than Indonesia which exports labor, some undocumented, to its northern neighbor.

Malaysia has one of the highest rates of private auto ownership in Asia. While the country's economic development had been envied throughout much of the world, it's also brought social dislocation. As a result, some Malay Muslims "cling to their religion." The Islamic party won control of Selangor state, where this occurred, and has pushed enforcement of Shari'a law.

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Posted in: 52 unmarried Malaysian Muslim couples face jail for hotel liaisons See in context

No the actual irony is: These people cannot practice their freedoms without religious police kicking their a$$es.

Muslims don't enjoy the freedom to have sex with someone other than their spouse.

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Posted in: 52 unmarried Malaysian Muslim couples face jail for hotel liaisons See in context

Malaysia truly muslim....Don't go to malaysia

Religious policy is set at the state level in Malaysia. The Islamic-leaning party has enjoyed electoral success in some states, in part owing to ruling party corruption which is analogous to the situation in Japan, and stepped up enforcement of Shari'a law. By contrast, despite a "sin tax" on alcohol in Kuala Lumpur, bars fill up every night. Penang state, a major tourist destination, has an ethnic Chinese majority, international visitors are hardly aware they are in a Muslim country.

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Posted in: 52 unmarried Malaysian Muslim couples face jail for hotel liaisons See in context

"The irony is the police are enforcing religious rules. Non-muslims are exempt, but Muslims can be sent to a secular prison for a religious offense. Particularly one as simple as being alone with someone who is not your spouse (or relative)."

The irony is that it's not the activity per se but who's doing it which determines whether it's an offense. There are two legal systems in Malaysia. Civil applies to non-Muslims while Shari'a applies to Muslims. Married Muslims carry couple identification to prove they are entitled to engage in khalwat.

The divorce rate among Malay Muslims is higher than for ethnic Chinese and Indians. The Shari'a court in one state caused a stir by accepting a declaration of intent to divorce sent by a man to his wife via text message.

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