Thursday, August 26, 2010

Filling the Gap

Kevin Drum has two good posts up: one on the obsession with raising the retirement age, and another on the rise of the "Obama is a Muslim" falsehood.

It's been a busy day for me, and a quiet day on the web.


sonicfrog said...

I still prefer a means testing system, dolling out the money only to those who actually need them. Some respond "That's unfair! I paid into the system and deserve my money!". I counter that Social Security is a tax, and like most of the taxes we pa in, we personally never get to use the thing they paid for. If Social Security operated in the same fashion, that would certainly take a huge load off the system.

N. Friedman said...

I'm not enamored with the idea of raising the retirement age. Somehow, there are better ways to tweak the problems plaguing social security.

As for Obama, he claims to have converted to Christianity. Absent real evidence that he is lying, his confession of faith ought to be the end of the matter.

There is no evidence to the contrary and, none of us being mind readers, we have no reason to doubt his claim to be a Christian. As such, there is no evidential or sensible basis for anyone to doubt what he says. There is not even evidence which would make one skeptical. At best, he appears, based on his time in office, not to be all that religious - something that he has in common with many Christians. So, there is no evidence that he is a Muslim.

People should focus on his good or poor (take your choice) performance as president.

All too many people, following a logic similar to limpieza de sangre, have latched onto an ideology that posits, based on his background, that he is either a secret Muslim or that a Muslim cannot really become a Christian. There are people who believe all sorts of nonsense. Such is life.

The problem with and for Obama is that he seems unable or unwilling to address the issues which likely lead people to latch onto nonsense ideologies. In fact, he seems to exude such conspiracy theories by his performance as president. The man definitely lacks the Midas touch.

Were he a Muslim - which I have no reason to suspect -, his belonging to a Church in Chicago, his long time association with it and his claim to be a Christian would make him a big time liar or worse. It would, of course, be fine if he were a Muslim and said so openly - although, as ought to be obvious given the state of public opinion, he could not be elected president holding such a view. It would only be lying that raises issues. As I said, I have no reason to doubt him.