This is Bill Astle's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Bill Astle's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Bill Astle
Recent Activity
Great piece!!! Hope it gets some wide circulation.
1 reply
Two thoughts here: 1. Orr may have done almost the right thing in this case but electing any Republican empowers all Republicans. "Moderate" Republicans are enablers! 2. It would be sweet to see some Christian extremest be denied employment because he or she would not conform to an employers policies. Think about the stink that would be raised if a potential employer says to a candidate for a job, who happens to be a Christian, "It's our policy to sell widgets, if you will not do that we will not hire you."
1 reply
Seems like another avenue which should be pursued is to back off on what we call a felony. I'm sure there are some relatively minor crimes which are currently called felonies which should be labeled misdemeanors or put into some other category. There was a good discussion of this issue on Ray Suarez's show on Al Jazerra America yesterday (2-12-2014).
1 reply
Hooray for using the terms "pro-choice" and "anti-choice"!!! About time we started to try to change the naming game.
1 reply
David, The trouble with the "not too bad for a Republican" phrase is that any Republican, no matter how thoughtful, is an enabler for the Republican agenda and the irrationally conservatives who promote it. Reasonable and rational voters who think otherwise are kidding themselves. I see no reason to ever vote for a Republican as long as all it does is empower the right-wing. Bill Astle
1 reply
This, and other, discussions of sales taxes make a very fundamental error. Sales taxes are not paid by businesses, they are paid by the purchaser of the goods or in some cases services! Businesses act as "pass-through" agents and in most places get a small cut of the tax for their trouble. If we had truly progressive income taxes and did away with sales taxes we'd be better off.
1 reply
Bob, I think you are exactly right in identifying income and wealth inequalities as the fundamental problem facing the good old U.S.A. I'd like to see a full frontal attack on these inequalities. Everything from strengthening labor unions to increasing taxes on the wealthy. Republicans like to condemn efforts along these lines as "redistribution" but in fact their policies redistribute from bottom to top rather than the other way around. Bill Astle
1 reply
I guess the good news is that the Center for Arizona Policy is now open to changing the definition of "marriage".
1 reply
I really have to disagree with the notion that most polls are crap, especially when you use a poll to support your arguments. Sure, many polls are useless and those so called polls run by TV and radio shows that rely on volunteer call-ins are even dangerous because some people think they are meaningful. But polls run by reliable polling organizations can serve a useful function. We elect "representatives" who should both reflect the wishes of their constituents and lead them to well thought out positions. It's obvious that meeting with small groups with special interests, attending rallies with supporters, receiving a barrage of emails or phone calls, or getting advice from experts can each inform an elected representative of her/his constituents' positions but none of these are fool-proof. Well constructed and properly administered scientific polls are essential tool for good government. It's also true that polls can be misused. The media is often guilty and individuals often misunderstand the results, but that doesn't make all polls "crap".
1 reply
Where have I heard someone say something about putting "Lipstick on a pig"?
1 reply
Hey guys---wouldn't the logic that is used to support this statute apply to drugs? I think local governments should put all confiscated drugs back on the market!
1 reply
Bob, Lots of tricky issues involved here but I do agree that Matthews made a mess of it. First to Matthews. My impression when I watched the show was that Matthews intended for the Goldwater clip to be a counter to Perry's statement but that he, or his staff, had totally misinterpreted Goldwater and instead played something that confirmed Perry's point. That left Matthews with some nonsensical rhetoric. As to the issue. There is an ongoing conflict between sticking to principle and reflecting the will of the constituents. Some politicians manage to overcome the obstacle by demonstrating skill at leadership and persuasion but others either cave or stubbornly stand their ground. If the voters don't like the result there is always the next election. Bill Astle
1 reply
Bob, Seems perfectly consistent with "We need our guns for hunting." Bill Astle
1 reply
Thane, Too bad that 1% seems to run the NRA. Bill Astle
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2013 on Super-patriot gun nut fantasies at Blog For Arizona
1 reply
Thanks! I was afraid that was the case but didnt know for sure. Bill Astle
1 reply
Has anyone seen an analysis of what would have happened if every state allocated Electoral College votes based on the "by Congressional District" model? Assuming votes for a U.S. Representative (i.e. House member) would be for the same party as for President, Arizona would have given Obama five electoral votes, not zero.
1 reply
To top off their paranoia they insult the U.S. military too. Do they really believe that our soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen would follow an order to oppress fellow citizens? Military personnel take an oath to uphold the Constitution, not to blindly follow an order from a commander bent on oppression. Speaking of the Constitution, have they noticed the phrase "well regulated" in the Second Amendment? It's the NRA and their fellow travelers who do not support the Second Amendment. Bill Astle
Toggle Commented Jan 15, 2013 on Super-patriot gun nut fantasies at Blog For Arizona
1 reply
David; Right on! I too am really getting tired of the the "Today is not the day..." line. Even those who seem to favor some action on gun control resort to calling for a "conversation". Conversation, hell no! Action, hell yes! Not just namby-pamby action but serious steps to limit ownership, sales, magazine capacity, assault weapons, legal venues, etc. It may be impossible to get as much as we need but let's at least start with a strong position. BTW, a link to the statement by Bob Costas would be a good addition to the other segments on today's BFA. One is available on the Huffington Post. Bill Astle
Toggle Commented Dec 15, 2012 on "Today is not the day . . ." at Blog For Arizona
1 reply
David; While almost all of the punditry tries to explain the outcome of the last election in terms of image, optics, marketing and weakness of candidates I think they are missing a fundamental point. The Republicans lost because their underlying philosophy is wrong and American voters realize it. It's not about a few nut cases making stupid assertions. It's not about failing to appeal to Latinos by hiding their bigotry. It's not about appealing to women by appointing one to the Chairmanship of a House committee. It's not about hiding their support for the very wealthy by saying "I'm for the 100%." It is about a philosophy which leads to enormous differences between rich and poor and an invasion into private lives. Bill Astle
Toggle Commented Dec 11, 2012 on Where does the GOP go from here? at Blog For Arizona
1 reply
David; Another possible explanation for the decline is the "Hawthorne Effect". When people are recruited into an experiment which is described as being of benefit to them they almost always increase their performance level----at least for awhile. After the newness of the experiment wears off the performance level drops back to about what it was before the experiment. I'm afraid that a lot of educational experiments suffer from this largely unavoidable phenomena. Maybe schools should just try something perceived to be new and beneficial every few years. The name "Hawthorne" refers back to some industrial psychology experiments that I think were run at a Westinghouse Electric factory in Hawthorne, Ohio. At least that's the way I heard it but Wikipedia has some different information. Bill Astle
1 reply
Bob; I could not agree more! One of the major, big-picture problems facing the country is income and wealth inequality. The tax code can and should be used to address these problems but another approach would be to strengthen unions. I don't mean just playing defense against "Right to Work----for less", or "Paycheck Protection" but rather an aggressive campaign to empower workers. Let's push Congress to move forward on this. Bill Astle
1 reply
If this robocall was aimed at Republicans then exactly who were they trying to mislead? These guys can't even get their lame excuses to make sense!
1 reply
Bob; I really have to disagree, especially with the statement, "Voters always will fall onto a bell shaped curve, with most clustered around the center.". I think a more accurate description would be a bimodal or perhaps trimodal distribution. One lump off to the right, another off to the left, and perhaps a third in the center. I also think a lot of people make the mistake of thinking unaffiliated (independent) voters are in the center. I'd guess 40% are on the right, 30% are on the left, and 30% are truly centrists. There is also a problem with defining "left", "center", and "right" in the first place. When I look at the positions advocated I see Libertarians and Liberals being awfully close yet most pundits put the former on the right and the latter on the left. Bill Astle
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2012 on The Drifting Center at Blog For Arizona
1 reply
Bob; I agree that the billion or so is concentrated both geographically (swing states) and temporally (September and October) but compared to the barrage of $114 billion its still a relatively small amount. That said, a few billion ought to be more than enough to get voters educated. I certainly dont think we need more money spent on political activity. I suppose the P and Gs of the world have done some sort of analysis and concluded that $10 a person is a worthwhile investment. Another factor here is the advertising that is not paid for; the so-called unpaid chit-chat. I also wonder about the counter-productive effect you mention. Its easy to believe that at some point people are turned off but I wonder if the turnoff is sufficient to actually change their voting behavior. Bill Astle
1 reply