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2012-08-30 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Opinion\
Time to ask tough questions
Arizona's elephant in the living room is also eating everything in the kitchen.  Our governor's campaign manager is also a lobbyist for private prison corporations who are getting a bigger and bigger slice of the public pie.  Prison expenditures are now ... read more

2012-08-23 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Opinion\
What I wish McCaskill said to Akins: http://azstarnet.com/news/opinion/akin-m
Ruth Marcus wrote an excellent column about the disingenuous way both Republicans and Democrats responded to Todd Akins offensive remarks about rape victims.  In particular she points out that McCaskill is apparently trying to keep Akins candidacy alive ... read more

2010-12-10 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Opinion\
Increasing importance of Citizen Journalism
We still have excellent professional journalists here in Tucson, but in other places citizen journalism is increasingly important in taking on the task to 'Speak Truth to Power'.  Dissidents no longer have to wait for reporters to interview them, but ... read more

2010-11-27 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Opinion\
Essay #1: How Doing Good is Bad : Well written
This is a very interesting essay, really got me thinking about American values. And yes, liberalism is getting a bad rap.

2010-10-26 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Opinion\
Essay #1: How Doing Good is Bad
by K.C.Larsen

One way to win an argument is to employ the old Straw Man device.

You know what I mean, though possibly the term is a new one to you. A 'Straw Man' is an illusion of an argument that bares some superficial similarity to that argument ... read more

2010-10-24 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Opinion\
Juan Williams - for once Fox is right http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/24
Usually - about 80% of the time - I agree with MoveOn.org.  They bring up important issues and help quickly with humanitarian crises.  But I disagree with their support of NPR (National Public Radio) over the Juan Williams firing.  If Freedom of Speech ... read more

2010-10-10 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Opinion\
On Patriotism
"True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else." --Clarence Darrow

"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious." --Oscar Wilde

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."  --Samuel Johnson

"One of the great attractions ... read more

2009-08-30 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Opinion\
on enforcing the law :
to say that the only people that commit crimes are those with out tax papers is not fair. I am a student at pime working toward a degree in mental health a full time student and mother. I dont file taxes becuaseI dont make any money really to s[peak of ... read more

2007-12-14 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Opinion\
on enforcing the law
Enforce the Law!

Too many criminals run free in our city, flouting our laws and making the  rest of us law-abiding citizens shoulder an unfair burden.  The police must be aggressive in enforcing the law.  At every stop, every encounter, the person ... read more

2007-10-01 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Opinion\
Do we care about Democracy in Burma? : Found these links http://www.uscampaignforburma.org/
http://www.freeburma.org/

http://www.freeburmacoalition.org/

http://www.uscampaignforburma.org/

There is a global day of action coming up on Oct 6.  

From the uscampaignforburma site:

China is paralyzing UN Security Council action on Burma ... read more

2007-09-28 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Opinion\
: Do we care about Democracy in Burma?
If we are really in Iraq because we want to support democracy, why aren't we doing more for the protesters who are laying down their lives for democracy in Burma?   We are in Iraq where the majority of the population wants us to leave, and where we went ... read more

2007-05-24 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Opinion\
: Passive Graduations
Just attended a high school graduation and it struck me what a passive role is played by the graduates.  Here we are telling them they are adults an in charge of their own destiny, yet their entire role in their own graduation is to sit quietly and listen ... read more

2006-09-27 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Opinion\
Barbara Straub
Kyl embarasses me every time he stands up! He is supposed to represent me?  And Graf is Kyl 'concentrated'!

2006-09-27 Barbara Straub
Kyl embarasses me every time he stands up! He is supposed to represent me?  And Graf is Kyl 'concentrated'!
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2010-10-26 Essay #1: How Doing Good is Bad
by K.C.Larsen

One way to win an argument is to employ the old Straw Man device.

You know what I mean, though possibly the term is a new one to you. A 'Straw Man' is an illusion of an argument that bares some superficial similarity to that argument, but in actuality is a distortion. In other words, if you want to discredit another person's position, and let's say that person has a valid point to make, you might opt to simply misrepresent what that person was actually saying. The Straw Man device is used frequently in advertising�like when one product compares itself very favorably to some humorously horrible competitor that doesn�t really exist� or, historically, in the build up to some major campaign like war (such as when an aggressor nation portrays the other as the aggresso ...read more...
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2010-12-10 Increasing importance of Citizen Journalism
We still have excellent professional journalists here in Tucson, but in other places citizen journalism is increasingly important in taking on the task to 'Speak Truth to Power'.  Dissidents no longer have to wait for reporters to interview them, but can post information directly.  Not to mention WikiLeaks and hopefully a coming host of copycats.

Access and transparency are foundations of real democracy.  Recent history has shown that just a voting booth with international observers doesn't do enough to put democratic institutions in place.

Watch this spot for coming review of Citizen Journalism (Global Crises and the Media)  edited by Allen and Thorsen.
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2010-10-24 Juan Williams - for once Fox is right
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/24/juan-williams-npr-firing-fox-news-sunday_n_772993.html
Usually - about 80% of the time - I agree with MoveOn.org.  They bring up important issues and help quickly with humanitarian crises.  But I disagree with their support of NPR (National Public Radio) over the Juan Williams firing.  If Freedom of Speech isn't one of our core values, what is?  What NPR did was exert corporate control over Williams' freedom to speak his opinion on another station when he was not at work.  This is a terrible precedent to set, and certainly deserves reduction of government funds.

I'd like to see a more general extension of this principle - if government funds go to a company, whether as direct support or as a contract, the employees of that company should not be limited in their freedom of speech when not at work.  This would aid whistleblowers at defense co ...read more...
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2010-10-10 On Patriotism
"True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else." --Clarence Darrow

"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious." --Oscar Wilde

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."  --Samuel Johnson

"One of the great attractions of patriotism -- it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what's more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous."   --Aldous Huxley

"But could not our situation be compared to one of a menacing epidemic? People are unable to view this situation in its true light, for their eyes are blinded by passion. General fear and anxiety create hatred and aggressiveness. The adaptation to warlike aims and activities has corrupted the mentality of man; as a resu ...read more...
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2012-08-30 Time to ask tough questions
Arizona's elephant in the living room is also eating everything in the kitchen.  Our governor's campaign manager is also a lobbyist for private prison corporations who are getting a bigger and bigger slice of the public pie.  Prison expenditures are now 40% higher than spending on universities.  Our legislature rejects proven methods in use in other states that the Grand Canyon Institute estimates would save us between $30 million to $73 million per year on prison spending. And adding insult to injury, in the latest budget the legislature removed the requirement that private prisons save us money.

Now, when candidates are running for office, is probably our best chance in the next two years to ask some hard questions.

Questions to ask legislative candidates:

1) Arizona is in a bud ...read more...
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2012-08-23 What I wish McCaskill said to Akins:
http://azstarnet.com/news/opinion/akin-melee-brims-with-reasons-we-hate-politics/article_691a2f8d-cd57-5cfb-a56d-d4f6b61bb4ef.html
Ruth Marcus wrote an excellent column about the disingenuous way both Republicans and Democrats responded to Todd Akins offensive remarks about rape victims.  In particular she points out that McCaskill is apparently trying to keep Akins candidacy alive, just because he would be easier to beat, and so responded in a wimpy, mealymouthed way to his ugliness.  Here's what I wish McCaskill said instead:
------------

Should he withdraw because he spoke his mind and voters have begun to realize who he really is and what he thinks?  He's been the same person all along, if you say he should withdraw now then he never should have run.  He's who is is, ...read more...
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2007-12-14 on enforcing the law
Enforce the Law!

Too many criminals run free in our city, flouting our laws and making the  rest of us law-abiding citizens shoulder an unfair burden.  The police must be aggressive in enforcing the law.  At every stop, every encounter, the person stopped must be asked to produce their last two 1040's - tax returns.  The police should look them over, and if any item appears suspect, they must call in the IRS.  Fast-response auditors should arrive on the spot to catch the cheats and take them away.  Also before receiving treatment at a hospital, or enrolling their children in school, people should have to show they are law-abiding, taxpaying citizens and show the state workers their tax forms as well, and of course the school staff and hospital staff should similarly be empowered to call ...read more...
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