The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for January 25th, 2008

The Case Against Mike Huckabee

Posted by iusbvision on January 25, 2008

Mike Huckabee would like the primary election voters to believe that he is a true conservative who is ready to take on the presidency. Like other politicians, Huckabee is trying to hide who he really is in order to hoodwink conservatives into voting for him. Huckabee is no conservative at all. In the view of this writer Governor Huckabee is a big government politician whose policies have a high rate of failure and now he is flip-flopping some of his positions after being criticized by conservatives.

Governor Huckabee issued more clemencies to violent offenders than all of his neighboring states combined and according to The American Spectator “In many cases, Huckabee’s actions set loose savage criminals convicted of grisly murders over the passionate objections of prosecutors and victims’ families.” The details are quite disturbing and can be found at the link provided. The Arkansas Leader reported “he ignored both public opinion and state law when he refused to say why he was releasing murderers from prison, often over the objections of his own parole board.”

Governor Huckabee says today that he wants to send illegal aliens home, but as governor opposed measures to show proof of citizenship to vote, opposed federal enforcement of immigration laws, and favored in-state tuition for illegal aliens. “’I would hope he could be trusted to secure the borders, but given his track record in Arkansas, I don’t see the conservative he has portrayed himself to be in Iowa’, Jake Files, a former Arkansas state representative and current chairman of the Sebastian County, Ark., Republican Party.”

Governor Huckabee is a serial tax raiser. The Arkansas leader reports that Huckabee raised more taxes in 10 years than Clinton did in 12. This includes raising the state sales tax three times. State spending more than doubled during Huckabee’s term and the CATO Institute gave Huckabee an “F” grade on its Fiscal Policy Report Card.

Ethics is important, especially to Republican voters. Unfortunately Governor Huckabee has problems here as well. The Arkansas Times-record reported that Governor Huckabee set up wedding gift accounts at department stores even though he has been married for 30 years. The state ethics laws forbid gifts of over $100 except for weddings.

Judicial Watch, likely the most prominent public interest law firm in the country that fights government corruption, has Huckabee on its “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” list saying, “Rather than cooperating with investigators, Huckabee sued the state ethics commission twice and attempted to shut the ethics process down.”

The Arkansas Leader says that Huckabee is the most like Hillary Clinton as stated in a resent editorial:

“Our former governor might be the GOP’s best candidate against Sen. Clinton, at least among the present and forthcoming challengers, but his strength would be that he is closest to, not farthest from, Sen. Clinton on the issues and their records”

Mike Huckabee raised taxes to support more “education”. According to the AP and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette his education reforms cost 1.4 billion dollars. Unfortunately his education reform did not show the progress promised. The National Report Card on Higher Education gives Arkansas a D+ and The Thomas Fordham Foundation gives Arkansas a D- saying:

“Though clearly written, and presented grade by grade, the document is so large that English teachers who attempt to follow it will assuredly be overwhelmed. And trying to include too much within these standards is just one problem. Too many of them are immeasurable, and too many rely on process, i.e., they contain no academic content. And redundancy is ubiquitous; a reader–or teacher–would be hard pressed to discern a change in difficulty from grades 9 to 12.” –

Only nine states scored lower than Arkansas on the ACT exam in 2007. According to the University of Arkansas the graduation rate has dropped from 81.6% in 2004 to 71% in 2006.

Conservatives tend to oppose activist judges and courts “finding” social and political policy in the Constitution that was never intended to be there and enforcing that policy with judicial edict. On January 18 Huckabee stated on CNN that the Constitution is a “living breathing document” which is the mantra often stated by those who want to change the Constitution on the fly as it suits them. The Constitution is in essence “the rules of the game” and to use a metaphor; how about we play poker with our life savings, we will use “living breathing rules” and I make the rules. No one would play poker under such circumstances, and a citizen facing a judge shouldn’t either.

Mike Huckabee is not what he tries to make himself out to be. The elite media is aware of this. Why hasn’t the media shredded him by now? In my view the answer is simple. If Huckabee gets the nomination he is so utterly defeatable that the Democrats could not have a better candidate to run against. If Huckabee gets the nomination you can expect the media that is soft-balling him now to show its teeth after the primaries are over.

Huckabee does not have much GOP support for his presidential bid in his home state. Respected conservatives such as Phyllis Schlafly have told us the reason why, “He destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party in shambles.”

Chuck Norton

Posted in Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton | 17 Comments »

Are Latinos (finally) Breaking Cinematic Stereotypes?

Posted by iusbvision on January 25, 2008

For many decades, Hollywood’s depiction of Latinos has been marred with stereotypes and misconceptions. To look in Hollywood circa 1930 for a film that did not in some shape or form depicted Latinos in a condescending way would be an exercise in futility. Latinos were often pigeonholed as either the exotic bon vivant, rotund dictator from south of the border, or the jolly bearded outlaw taking his siesta under a cactus after taking orders from the Anglo posse leader or the sheriff.

What is even more disheartening is that, sometimes, those stereotypes were reinforced by some of their own. From Cantinflas to Carmen Miranda, the few Latino actors in a position to establish or represent a more accurate portrait of Latinos in North America often perpetuated the stereotypes even further.
Luckily, not all is lost. Thanks to the vision and talent of actors – and pioneers – such as Cesar Romero ( of the TV Series Batman fame) and later with Edwards James Olmos, Selma Hayek and Antonio Banderas to name a few, Hollywood began to slowly recognize the flair and performing ability of Latino actors as appealing to the American mainstream for more than just their exoticism.

In recent years, that paradigm has extended even further. As the Latino demographic expands, Hollywood has become more receptive to the works of Latino directors and producers, and their films have began to compete mano-a-mano with their Anglo counterparts in awards such as The Oscars, Golden Globe, and Sundance.
In addition, moviegoers are beginning to warm up to the concept of films made entirely in Spanish or Portuguese, with English subtitles. The list is a who’s who of talent Hollywood right how: The Motorcycle Diaries, Y tú Mama También, Central do Brasil, and the upcoming Tropa de Elite are all fine examples of the new wave of Latino filmmaking that is breaking down the boundaries and finally establishing Latinos in Hollywood as cinema powerhouses.
Here are three examples of just such movies:

In Joshua Martson’s Maria Full of Grace, Catalina Sandino Moreno plays Maria, a pregnant seventeen year-old Colombian who supports her family with her salary as a campesina. After losing her job and facing a total lack of perspective of finding a new job, she decides to accept the offer to work as a drug mule, flying to the USA with sixty-two pellets of cocaine in her stomach. The film has earned accolades from the 2004 Sundance Festival and the 2004 Berlin Film Festival, earning Sandino Moreno an Oscar nomination in 2004 for Best Actress.

Mexican director Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth tells a story of a girl in 1944 fascist Spain who is fascinated with books and fairy tales. She is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. At night, she enters a fantasy world that is beautiful and charming, as it is terrifying. Pan’s Labyrinth has earned 3 Oscars in 2007 and numerous other awards in festivals throughout the world.

Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles’ City of God describes the saga of Buscapé and Marreco, two brothers struggling to survive in Cidade de Deus, one of the most violent slums of Rio. While one becomes a photographer, the other becomes a drug dealer in Rio’s crime underworld. At the center of Buscapé’s narrative is Zé Pequeno, a local drug lord, as a merciless gangster who engages other gangs in wars for drug trafficking territory. Based on a true story, City of God has been acclaimed as the best gangster film since Goodfellas and was nominated for 4 Oscars in 2002.

Ed Lima

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Is The Smoking Ban A Victory for Safety or Big Brother?

Posted by iusbvision on January 25, 2008

As of January 1st, our campus became smoke free. Some of us, who could not understand why smokers did not understand what “No smoking with 10 feet of entrance” meant, see this as a victory for clean air, clean lungs, and general well-being.
However, there is a flip side to this decision, as there always is. There are those of us who see this policy as one more freedom that is being taken away by “big brother”

As an asthmatic, I was happy to see this policy enacted, not just on campus but throughout our county. It is nice to walk into a restaurant and not have to walk through the smoking section in order to reach the non-smoking section, I never could figure that one out. It is also nice to walk into a building on campus and not have to hold my breath as I passed by all the inconsiderate people who felt the need to share their carcinogens with the rest of us.

I can remember champions of individual liberties encouraging me to join their crusade to stop “big government” from taking away another individual liberty. Sadly, while I support freedom and individual liberty, I sat that particular fight out because I was not going to stand up for the rights of smokers. Similar to the way proponents of free speech are not often up for volunteering to fight for the free speech rights of the Klan to use an extreme example.

It does seem ironic that the majority of the people clamoring for the smoking ban (government intrusion on individual rights) also are up in arms about things in the Patriot Act (government intrusion on individual rights).

Thankfully or regretfully, depending on your position, here on our campus, enforcement does not seem to be an issue.
The official policy reads, “Violations of the policy will be addressed through existing processes already in place for students, faculty, and staff”. It goes on, “Tobacco users are expected to voluntarily comply with the policy.”

Apparently the authors of this policy did not see how well tobacco users on this campus complied with the “10 feet from the entrance” policy. The most laughable part of the policy is how the university calls for student enforcement. “Anyone who observes a possible violation may courteously and without confrontation inform the individual of the tobacco-free policy (and here is the best part) and attempt to offer an information sheet [about the policy]. Are they kidding? Who is going to confront (without confrontation, mind you) a fellow student blatantly ignoring the policy?

Our campus security guards have more important things to do than be campus nannies. This policy will not be enforced unless the punishment becomes a fine, which will make the campus money, the same way parking tickets do.
In answer to the question posed in the headline: The new smoking ban is a victory for big brother, not safety. We have again, ceded liberties for someone’s notion of the common good. Maybe Judge Andrew Napolitano was correct, we are a nation of sheep and eventually we will give up all individual liberty in the name of the common good.

In our case, this is another example of a policy without teeth that no one has any intention of enforcing. I hope that I am wrong for the sake of rules and order. On the other hand, I hope I am right since all I really want is for individual people to just be left alone.

Jarrod Brigham

Posted in Jarrod Brigham | 1 Comment »