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Hillary Clinton

With Inauguration Day less than two months off, President-Elect Barack Obama will tap former First Lady and current U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) to be Secretary of State in his administration.  She is expected to accept the post, which will be announced after the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

A recent AOL readers poll showed Clinton’s nomination to be a popular choice with 73% giving it a thumbs up rating, 21% gave it a thumbs down and 6% weren’t sure. A total of 32,148 participants took part in the poll.

Clinton will face some daunting tasks right from the get go - ending the police action in Iraq, repositioning troops to face ongoing terrorist activity in Afghanistan, repairing alliances with European allies and expanding American alliances to include China and possibly Russia. If election issues are an indication, arranging for timely troop withdrawals from Iraq and addressing the Afghan situation would seem to be at the top of Obama’s foreign policy agenda. Although the topic hasn’t been broached since the election, finding and either capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, head of the terrorist organization Al Qaeda, also seems to be a top priority.

Click to continue reading Barack Obama to tap Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State

Read More | New York Times


The Werd

Until a kind benefactor/patron finally purchases the Oxford English Dictionary (complete set, please) for me, I will be using the excellent (free) resource Online Etymology Dictionary for my Friday updates.  Here’s how the latter OED defines the roots of our word, “serve”:

c.1175, “to render habitual obedience to,” from O.Fr. servir “to serve,” from L. servire “to serve,” originally “be a slave,” related to servus “slave,” perhaps from an Etruscan word (cf. Etruscan proper names Servi, Serve). Meaning “to attend to (a customer)” is first recorded 1362; that of “to set food on (a table)” is from c.1386. [Full entry here.]

So we find here that the Latin root for the word “serve” essentially refers to a “slave.”  Though modern usage has updated that interpretation to include a more general implication of noble intent, I think the root still is still relevant.  It also puts

our discussions

my monologue this week in a different context.

Click to continue reading Werd: Service - Part Five

Read More | Online Etymology Dictionary

The Werd

While we may have noticed a mingling of church and state in the past few years, it seems that church and stage are as far apart as ever.  In the modern music scene, most popular musicians of note either move from a religious message towards a more secular message (e.g., Evanescence and Kate Perry) or tone down their religious leanings to offer a message that can be more broadly applied to a larger audience (e.g., U2 and Sufjan Stevens).  Certainly, there are large markets that promote strictly religious music, but you will find their audiences homogeneous in belief.  Similarly, there are allusions to religious belief in all types of popular music, but very few artists promote their religion ahead of their marketable product.

In 1978, spurred by a cross flung on stage during a concert, a road-weary Bob Dylan decided to go against the grain.  Not only would he embrace his born-again religion, but within a year he would transform from the rebellious voice of the hippie generation to a Bible-wielding evangelist gospel singer.  In 1980, after the release of his gospel album Slow Train Coming, Dylan received a Grammy for the single “Gotta Serve Somebody.”

Click to continue reading Werd: Service - Part Four


The general objections[1] I have found against Obama’s proposed America Serves program are:

  1. This unpaid manpower will be used for nefarious means; with the volunteers steered into programs that support Obama’s socialist goals.

  2. The program will cost taxpayers money in subsidizing the college grants and insuring and providing resources for students to complete their service and is another example of government waste without any quantifiable levels of improvement.

  3. These service programs are one step away from the institution of a military draft.

  4. Service to one’s community necessarily derivatives from the American Dream, which is one of individual primacy, not a communal movement.

  5. Giving jobs to unpaid students will debilitate the market for paying jobs and therefore will send us down the road to a complete communist state.

  6. What is suggested as altruistic service often becomes government-subsidized coercion: a violation of an American’s right to serve as they chose to, whether paid or not.

[Sources: The Heritage Foundation blog, The Volokh Conspiracy, this Mises.org forumLew Rockwell editorial, and Bovard’s objections to the AmeriCorps program as outlined in Wikipedia.]

Click to continue reading Werd: Service - Part Three


President-Elect Obama has, in his life and in his campaign, continually stressed the importance of an American public that commits to community service.  Unlike the Bush version of sacrifice, which stressed spending money, Obama’s version implies real, hard work: a toil that requires sweat and elbow grease committed by members of the American public in order to improve our society.  It is a philosophy demonstrated by his post-law school job as a community organizer and made concrete in his America Serves policy ( as given here on his change.gov website).  The text is as follows:

The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

Is this a good plan for America?

Click to continue reading Werd: Service - Part Two

Read More | Change.gov


Charlie Rose interviewed Tom Brokaw on October 30th.  Some of the conversation included a discussion about Brokaw’s general philosophy that is it our duty as Americans and as humans to perform some sort of service for the benefit of our community.  Brokaw noted that, in all of his speeches to various organizations, the call for service is the most significant part of his message.  Rose, at the 48:20 mark of this conversation, turned the tables, asking: “With all the talk you have made and your experience … [and] all the talk you have evoked at this table about service: suppose two people come to you and say, ‘It’s now time for Tom to make a contribution to the country.’  What are you going to say?”

Brokaw answered by noting his aforementioned lectures, implying that his particular type of service was performed by the message of service he delivered to students and other members of his audience.  But Rose pressed him, asking for Brokaw to name something specific, some particular service, that Brokaw would perform when asked.  Brokaw, sadly, lamentably, answered only that he was getting old and wanted to spend the rest of his days exploring new rivers to fish in.  At the end of the interview, Brokaw admitted that he needed to find a better answer to Rose’s challenge.

Such is service: incredibly easy to hold aloft with words, terribly heavy when placed upon our own shoulders.

Service - Part One
Service - Part Two
Service - Part Three
Service - Part Four
Service - Part Five

Patrick Snajder publishes A World of Logical Consequences and is currently pursuing his dream to become a professional in the animal husbandry industry.

Read More | CharlieRose.com

Barack Obama

On November 14th, President-elect Barack Obama posted his first weekly address on youtube. The address’ length was about three minutes and thirty seconds long, briefly addressing a variety of issues. Among other topics, (such as health care, the economic crisis, and education) President-elect Obama discussed his green energy plans: “...investing $150 billion dollars to build an American green energy economy that will create five million new jobs, while freeing out nation of the tyranny of foreign oil, and saving our planet for our children.”

The address didn’t go particularly far into specifics, but it did give a general consensus of Obama’s views on issues that will be of the utmost importance when his first Presidential term begins. Obama knows as well as anyone that he is inheriting a financial mess right off the bat on January 20th, so he wasted no time on bringing up the subject on his first address.

Click to continue reading Obama’s First Weekly Address Goes Virtual

Read More | Change.gov

Radio Tower

Following the Democrats’ capturing the White House and gaining 6 seats in the Senate and 19 in the House, there’s a good possibility we’ll see a revival of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.” Sal alluded to this in one of his blogs, and I’d like to further elaborate.

From 1949-1987, the Fairness Doctrine ruled the broadcast industry. It was originally designed to ensure a “balance” of opinions over the airwaves when only three or four major networks dominated radio and the medium of television was still in its infancy. By the time the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), during the Reagan administration, abolished the Doctrine, cable and satellite TV had offered competitive alternatives to the big broadcast networks.

Click to continue reading Can We Expect a Return of the Fairness Doctrine?


I don’t know how frequently Filibuster Soup readers have a glance at the major Canadian dailies like the National Post or the Globe and Mail, but in the last month an astonishing thing has happened between my Canadian homeland and the U.S.

Canada is now the right-wing country, and America the left.

Click to continue reading Polar opposites - Canada/US relations and Afghanistan

Read More | National Post


All of these people telling me to support my President, and rally behind him is starting to agitate me. Yes. Barack Obama is my new President, and I will support him, and I do hope he’s successful, but, the same people telling me I should do so are the same people who say “it’s Patriotic to question, and disagree with your President.”

They are the same people who said, “George Bush is NOT my President.” I’ve heard this crap the past four years by Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Dick Durbin, Babara Boxer, Howard Dean, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Al Gore, and many others.


Click to continue reading I Thought It Was Patriotic