Politics: 23 October 2010

Obama on the Attempt to Repeal Wall Steet Reform

I disagree with this guy so much. He would be conseridered very conserviative in, say, Finland (you know, the best country in the world). But I really like him. He could sell me a Peter Motteux translation of Don Quixote—he’s just that good. This week he discusses attempts to repeal wall street reform. Listen to your president!

Is America Really Number 11?

If you go to Newsweek’s interactive map of the World’s Best Countries, you will see some interesting things. One of the criteria is “Economic Dynamism” and America is ranked number two here, and this is responsible for it getting a rating of eleventh overall. The other category where America does reasonably well is in “Quality of Life.” That sounds pretty good until you see the list of what makes up quality of life:

  • Income Inequality
  • Gender Equality
  • Percent Living on $2/Day
  • Consumption Per Capita
  • Homicides per 100,000
  • Environmental Health
  • Unemployment Rate

Apparently, “Consumption Per Capita” is weighed really heavily in this list. For example, France—rated below America at number 16 (it is number 12 to American’s 10 in this category)—rates above America in everything other than “Consumption Per Capita” and “Unemployment Rate” (which is 9.7% compared to 9.4% for America). So “Quality of Life” really comes down to economics—and not even economics that matter for most people given that America has inequality that is almost 25% greater than France. What’s more, those unemployed in France are far better taken care of then they are in the good ol’ USA.

It is also worth noting America has a high homicide rate. Despite the war that is going on there, Mexico’s 11.2 homicides per 100,000 doesn’t sound that bad compared to America’s 6.0. And America looks really bad compared to most stable nations. France’s number is 0.7. Even Saudi Arabia (64 overall) is only 3.2. Egypt (74 overall) is 1.2. Could it be that we have 9 guns for every 10 people in this country? I know there is no clear correlation between gun ownership and homicide rates internationally but there sure does seems to be one within the US. It especially affects kids. But that doesn’t really matter, right? After they are out of the womb, who gives a fuck?

I think that Newsweek had to go out of its way to get America up as high as 11 on their list. It’s an American magazine, after all.

More on Juan Williams

I have a couple of things to say about our friend Juan. First, I don’t have that much of a problem with what he said. It was more stupid than offensive. One thing I remember about the 9/11 hijackers is that they went out of their way to not appear to be Muslim. The idea that a hijacker would bring his burka-wearing wife onto a plane is ridiculous. His statement about that was just dumb. I think he should have been fired from NPR long ago, because he has been saying dumb things for years.

Second, there are a lot of conservatives who are making a lot of noise about Williams’ firing. They are trying to make it out to be some kind of First Amendment issue, which is ridiculous. But they are also hypocrits. They applauded with Bill Maher and Helen Thomas were fired. This is nothing new for conservatives.

Third: I was right about Juan Williams’ future. He has already been hired by Faux News fulltime for two million dollars over the next three years—a hell of a lot more than NPR pays.

Fourth, I’d like to she how this embed works: