Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Voting Rights Act

Okay, let me say that the Voting Rights Act of 1965, renewed in 2008, was a good idea.  However, it did have one fatal flaw to it: it applied to only nine states, and parts of five other states.  This is what the Roberts Supremes decided was a no-go.

Now I don't know the whole story of how the act came about, particularly why 36 of the 50 states were excluded from coverage.  But, since that was done, that effectively left minorities to the tender mercies of whatever majority group happened to be in those remaining 36 states.

Funny thing: some townships in New Hampshire, and some counties in New York and California managed to be included.  Most states had no Federal scrutiny of their voting processes.  There is, I'm sure a story.

So, if Congress is up to it, they should re-write the Voting Rights Act and have it apply universally across the board: all fifty states.

Or will some hypocrisies be unmasked in the process? 

Sometimes Federal involvement is necessary; but for God's sake be even-handed about it.

Get to work, pass a universally applicable Voting Rights Act, and stop crying crocodile tears like Time, the WaPo, and Atlantic!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Slippery Scale of Whistle-Blowing

The recent events of Edward Snowden and the disclosures of NSA monitoring of emails and other communications has produced different types of reactions: many extreme.  Is he a hero, or a traitor?

Actually, this is the usual reaction to any kind of whistle-blowing: it depends on whose ox is getting gored.  For example, Time and the NY Times both emphasize that it was legal, but unfortunate that Snowden made it all public.  Fox News and CNN took different positions.

Would these media players reacted similarly had these NSA disclosures occurred under the Bush administration?  Or, to use an example from history, weren't different tunes being sung when the Pentagon Papers were disclosed by Daniel Ellesberg.

This is the same with corporations.  Some corporate wrongdoing might be ignored by the press, had they the means to control the news.

Maybe part of it is that the Obama administration made noises that they would not give into the abuses allowed by the Patriot Act that the former administration allegedly (and probably) did. 

It could be simply a manifestation of the unwillingness to give up options regarding power, although they might have been interpreted differently at an earlier time.

Or just plain, old-fashioned hypocrisy.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Confucius Quote

By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third by experience, which is the bitterest. - Confucius

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Florence May Get a Microbrewery!

Oh happy day!  The Florence City Council passed an ordinance allowing for the establishment of a microbrewery in Florence, making small quantities of craft beer and having a tap room so that beer lovers could enjoy the product!

Support for this is running 4-1, according to today's Times-Daily poll.

To your health!