Framing the Dialogue

Archive for April, 2011

Headline Humor – Volume VII

I know many of these stories are serious, but the headlines removed the restrain from my brain and we get headline humor. These are the actual headlines as I found on-line. When you click on the headline you will be taken to the original story which more often than not has nothing to do with my vision of the headline.

Presidential dream: long walk in the park

Barack Obama says he misses being anonymous

Obama’s debt cutting plan: Everything on the table

Mitt Romney finally enters the 2012 presidential race

Kick the Rich Down the Road

Politicians succeed by engaging us with truths (usually only half truths) to get us riled up for their cause which is ultimately about getting them reelected. Few politicians care about anything more than achieving this goal. They avoid the tough decisions while decrying that the other side won’t make the tough decisions. The good news for American citizens is that we have a free press that sorts out complex issues and will not let politicians get away with the half truths. Okay that was dripping with sarcasm, but I am a dreamer and that is the way our country is supposed to work.

Parse-imony – Vouchers

In “Parse-imony” I break down current news stories with my pithy, running commentary…

First the headline:

Poll: Most Pennsylvanians oppose school vouchers

Nearly two-thirds of Pennsylvanians oppose creating a voucher system that would use tax dollars to pay private-school tuition, according to a public opinion poll released yesterday.  [Sounds bad for voucher proponents]

The poll, commissioned by a coalition of groups opposed to school vouchers [What are the chances that a poll commissioned by a “coalition” of groups opposed to vouchers will get these results?], was conducted by Terry Madonna Opinion Research. Madonna is a political science professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster County.

Great Balls of Fire

One of the facts that stuck with me most when I first read Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything was the shear number of occurrences that could annihilate our life on Earth. None were more surprising than the fact that there was a volcano under Yellowstone National Park…in fact Yellowstone is a volcano. A recent article suggests that the Yellowstone Supervolcano may be even larger than original estimates. The bigger the volcano the bigger the effect WHEN it blows again. The article also provided some historical perspective:

Capitalism Then and Now

The recent headlines regarding General Electrics profits contrasted with their ability to paying any taxes in the United States had a lot of us scratching our heads.  I am sure there are no direct connections between GE’s ability to curry favor with the Obama Administration and their prominance in U.S. politics.  I am also sure that the fact that their former ownership of NBC and that network’s almost cult-like support of all things Obama played no factor in any subsidies that the company received directly or indirectly via customers who use their products.  As you know I am a thinker and a visual guy so I pulled out my old process diagram system and put together what capitalism might have looked like then (perhaps the turn of twentieth century)…

Parse-imony – Sin Tax

In “Parse-imony” I break down current news stories with my pithy, running commentary…

First the headline: 

Racing, alcohol tax on tap for General Assembly’s final day

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland lawmakers will debate today an increase in the sales tax on alcoholic beverages and how to subsidize troubled horse racing tracks as the General Assembly pushes toward midnight adjournment. [It is extremely interesting that the Maryland elected officials are looking to tax citizen who prefer to imbibe while at the same time give money to (although “subsidize” sounds much better) folks who run another “sin tax” operation leaving little doubt who has better lobbyists.]

Paths of Glory

George Leigh Mallory was an English mountaineer who participated in the first three British expeditions to scale Mount Everest in the early 1920s.  He is famously quoted in a reply to the question “Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?” with: “Because it’s there.” Paths of Glory is a novel about Mallory’s obsession with reaching the summit of Mount Everest and his struggle between the two women he loved; his wife and Chomolungma (the Tibetan name for Everest which is short for “Jomo Miyolangsangma”  or Mother Goddess of the Universe).  Masterfully written by Jeffrey ArcherPaths of Glory was like watching Mallory’s life unfold and may make you question what you’ve always been taught about the foreboding mountain.

If The Fat Lady Sings

The latest “man-caused” disaster looming according to the drive-by media is a massive federal government shutdown. According to most reports the Republicans are holding Obama’s feet to the fire to secure nominal budget cuts in order to pass the budget. I characterized the desired cuts as nominal because what is 60 billion dollars in a budget well over a trillion dollars. Here at FramingTheDialogue I like to frame the issues using the truth and in this case there are the following factors:

  1. It is the responsibility of Congress and the President to pass a budget before the fiscal year begins.

America’s Prophet

Author Bruce Feiler takes a hike through American history looking at parallels between people and American icons and the Biblical figure of Moses. America’s Prophet  provides some historical background on Moses’ journey, what he represents and juxtaposes those to many historic Americans like Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. and icons like the Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Bell.  It is amazing to read REAL history that shows how powerful a link there is between the American ideal and biblical beliefs rather than more recent interpretations representing America as a secular nation,

The Paul Ryan Express

It’s not been that long since I selected Representative Paul Ryan as a True American Hero and he has done nothing since then but reinforce my decision.  He’s “articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.  I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”  [I admit that I stole that from Biden]  Rather than retreat into the gray hole as many conservatives do, Ryan is putting rubber to the road and in turn pressure on Obama by presenting his budget proposal and pointing out the differences between his plan and Obama’s,