Monday, April 09, 2012

The Entertainers

Really good article over at one of The Economist's blogs (In general an interesting blog is you like to read about semantics and differences in language use.)

With regard to Rush Limbaugh:
The standard excuse people like Mr Limbaugh make in these circumstances can be encapsulated in a word: "entertainer". His political allies also offer him this cover. Whenever cornered on why he has fibbed, or gone too far, or not proposed constructive public policy himself, he'll fall back "my job is to provoke" and the like.
With regard to Job Stewart:
Jon Stewart is vastly different from Mr Limbaugh temperamentally, and far more sympathetic, and from the other side of the political spectrum. Yet the host of Comedy Central's "Daily Show" tries a similar trick. He really is funny, and yes, he is paid by Comedy Central. But he is undeniably a national political figure. Every night, the show's take of the day's politics is eagerly consumed by millions. It is satire, but with an unmistakable political bite. [..]Here's the thing: Mr Stewart is also prone to constant criticism of journalists, doing more than just hinting that only he, Jon Stewart, tells the hard truths and asks the tough questions. He famously ripped the political-journalist class as a guest on one of its television programmes, Crossfire, in 2004. [..] But when Tucker Carlson, one of the hosts, challenged him by asking why Mr Stewart had failed to be tough in an interview with John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, Mr Stewart retreated: "If you wanna compare your show to a comedy show, you're more than welcome."
Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy Job Stewart. But after reading this opinion-piece, I wonder how much of it I enjoy because our political opinions align more than mine do with Rush Limbaugh's. However, the most interesting part of the piece was the recommendation of whenever you made something up, went too far, or just plain wrong, you can just call yourself an entertainer or the like. That if you say something controversial, you can just say "well I'm just playing devil's advocate" or "trying to encourage conversation and debate". I wonder where the role of blogging fall under this category and how bloggers are not afforded journalist legal confidentiality privileges.

Monday, April 02, 2012

So Much To Say... little time, at least to do so properly. So let's just try some rapid-fire instead:

  • It is incredibly difficult to consistently have to debate between being deflated by the horrible actions and words of so many in the Orthodox Jewish community and inspired by all those who decry and fight against those same actions and words. The problem, as always, is that the former group so often seems to be far bigger than the latter.

    A few posts on this should be coming soon.
  • On a similar but different note, it's sad and amazing to see the constant changes in so many of our friends' lives (and our own). We've seen too many close friends and family go through unbearable pain, loss, hardship, or divorce; and we've thankfully seen far more build  and begin to build beautiful lives, whether professionally, locale, getting married, having kids, or the like. It's tough also to see some people in the same circles going through joy and pain at the same time, knowing that each one impacts the other as well, and it's hard to be there as much as we'd like to be for friends both in hard times and in good ones.
  • The Supreme Court deliberations on ObamaCare were incredibly fascinating and worth reading in full (trust me, I did it - the link there is Tuesday's, which is likely the most important). I don't see how the individual mandate doesn't get struck down, and while less sure I'd imagine that the rest will get struck down with it (perhaps with a different group of assenting judges).

    As an added note, the President's statement today 'warning' the Supreme Court was ludicrous and a ridiculous overreach of power (at least in terms of words) [imagine if President Bush had said the same before a major SCOTUS decision], but more laughable was what he said about this being "unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress" - as CWY noted, every law is passed by a majority of a democratically elected Congress! The judges' role is to determine if those are Constitutional. Plus, it wasn't a strong majority at all, but a bare majority of 217-212 in the House with not a single Republican voting Yea. 
  • If it does get struck down, it might be the best gift for Mitt Romney presuming he is the Republican nominee, taking away a difficult issue for him. He can turn the focus on the economy itself, an area where his record is substantially better than Obama's. 
  • My current job places a very strong focus on Medicare and Medicaid, particularly the financial portions of each. It is mind-boggling to me to see just how poorly and behind the times government has been and will continue to be, and how much waste they cause despite truly noble intentions. The government simply has no ability to manage care either from a clinical perspective or a financial perspective, which means that everyone is damaged in the process.*
  • The NBA season is over, with the Cavs doing a nice job of positioning for this coming draft, and the NFL Draft I'm trying to avoid getting too deep into at this point (trade to #6, take Claiborne!) because I'll probably end up driving myself insane. So... it's baseball time!

    My team this year (10-team rotisserie, 5x5 standard, 1,350ip max, standard lineup including C/1B/2B/3B/SS/4OF/CI/2Util/2SP/6P/5Bench) picked 5th: C Napoli; 1B Lind; 2B Kipnis; 3B Bautista; CI M.Young; SS A.Cabrera; OF A.Gordon, Hart, Joyce, Rios; Util Zobrist, V.Wells; Bench Bourgeoius, Hafner, Mayberry. SP Halladay, C.Lee, Weaver, Fister; CL Hanrahan, Valverde, Santos, Motte, Storen; RP Pestano. Overall a fantastic pitching staff and a much better lineup than I normally start with.
  • Finally, if you are interested in seeing a great Cleveland Browns fan show his dedication to the team and his even stronger dedication to Judaism, though, this guy's "Fanography" is really fun to watch. I'm not being biased at all - my friends have all enjoyed and made a point to tell me how much they enjoyed. :-P

* Not that I believe it necessary as this should be obvious, but please note that any opinions on this blog are my own and never that of my employers.