Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’
Posted on May 7, 2013 at 3.16 pm
As young Americans are growing more distrustful of government regardless of political affiliation, President Obama wants them to stop it.
In a commencement speech in Ohio this past weekend, he said:
Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.
Now, some of his later points are quite correct: We shouldn’t, as Obama says, want to be “a people who place all our faith in government to solve our problems”—nor should we attribute every single problem to government. As many problems as the government does cause, to absolve ourselves, our culture, our choices, and other factors both individual and institutional of all blame is itself irresponsible.
But the most controversial part of the President’s quote, the bit I’ve included above, is simply not true. As much as our government is supposed to be representative, to be of the people, by the people, for the people—all that jazz—I think we all know it’s not.
Posted on February 8, 2013 at 12.08 pm
$800,000: Annual cost to tax-payers of maintaining one prisoner in Guantanamo Bay.
166: The number of prisoners currently in Gitmo.
86: The number of prisoners currently in Gitmo who have been cleared for release but not actually released.
46: Detainees scheduled for indefinite detention without charge or trial.
15: The age of arrest of the youngest Gitmo detainee ever, Omar Khadr, who was “tortured and refused medical attention” because he would not confess.
15: The number of prisoners under the age of 18 who have been kept at Gitmo.
9: The number of inmate deaths at Guantanamo Bay.
6: The number of those deaths suspected to be suicides.
2009: The year Obama was supposed to close Gitmo.
2013: The year he closed the office dedicated to closing Gitmo.
Posted on December 23, 2012 at 9.16 am
This is such a cop-out.
I mean, even putting aside political differences, this is such a cop-out. (It goes without saying that if we don’t put politics aside, the choice is even more appalling.)
It’s not, however, a surprising cop-out: Of the 85 years Time has picked a Person of the Year to date, 22 years have featured a U.S. President (many get picked more than once). Another 28 have profiled other world leaders (either heads of government or heads of state). Of the remaining 35 years, quite a few honorees — think Ben Bernanke or Henry Kissinger — were extremely high-ranking government officials.
It’s impossible to think of a less interesting, more predictable choice than Barack Obama, who also won the award four years ago. Perhaps there’s someone who wasn’t aware that Obama’s reelection was the big story of the year, and perhaps he will pick up this issue during a routine dentist’s office visit in a few weeks and raise his eyebrows. But I doubt it. What’s more, the Person of the Year has been the winning presidential candidate in five of the last six election years, Conor Sen notes .
Obama’s selection isn’t just boring. It’s a big missed opportunity. Just look at the other finalists —especially Malala Yousafzai , the Pakistani teen blogger shot in the head by the Taliban for her advocacy for women’s rights. As manufactured as the hoopla is, it could at least have been directed toward a worthy cause, one that faded far too quickly from the headlines after her October attack, overwhelmed by (yep) the presidential election and other news.
Clearly, Time suffers from a remarkable difficulty in looking anywhere other than government for noteworthy people and actions, despite the fact that this is obviously the very worst place to look.
This addiction to the state is bizarre, and I, for one, will not mourn when Time goes the way of Newsweek.