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Author Topic: Paying Attention, America?  (Read 20836 times)
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Russ White

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« on: Feb 28, 2012, 07:16AM »

I am going to post the weekly columns I write for the local paper in this thread. I would appreciate any feedback you are willing to provide, whether it be on content, style, grammar, etc. The column does generate significant feedback through letters to the editor, but there is no mechanism for a dialogue in that format. If you find what I have to say, or the way I say it, interesting enough to read more, you can see my past efforts @
 
http://beacononlinenews.com/blogs/payingattention/

Here is this weeks effort:

Fifty years ago this week, American astronaut John Glenn became the first human being to orbit the Earth. Less than eight years after that pioneering event, The US had put men on the moon and safely returned them to Earth.

Those historic achievements did not occur because of “free markets” or “job creating” tax cuts. They happened because the government “We the People” elected had leaders who understood that “promoting the general welfare” meant taking a sizable portion of the GDP “We the People” created and re-investing it into society rather than allowing it to be siphoned off by a small number of individuals.

The investments made by the government in the space program led to the creation and flourishing of many industries and products; electronics, medical devices and drugs, tele-communications, etc., that had not existed before. It was a form of “trickle down” which actually did, leading to significant gains in the “welfare” of the general society as a whole, rather than the great “wealthfare” of a small minority, although, they did very well too.

My wife and I turned off our cable TV years ago, but we do still enjoy watching podcasts of some shows. One which has caught our imagination lately is the series TED Talks, a collection of presentations done at the semi-annual conferences put on by TED, the nonprofit corporation known as Technology, Entertainment, and Design. These presentations run the gamut of cutting edge thought in each of these areas, and many are quite fascinating.

There are talks on sustainable architecture, elimination of waste through creative recycling, generation of energy through sustainable methods, creative educational methodologies, biomimicry, etc., etc., etc. It is amazing to see the advancements being made in so many areas which “promote the general welfare” of the peoples of the globe. Sadly, one of the things most of these advancements have in common is that very few of them are happening here in the US.

These advances are happening around the world because the governments of other countries are doing what we here in the US used to do. Investing large portions of their GDP in partnerships with private institutions to “promote the general welfare” of their societies. We, on the other hand, have, through the dismantlement of our tax system, for the last 30 years allowed more and more of our GDP to go to a smaller and smaller group of individuals rather than into the “promotion of the general welfare” of our society.

I truly wish we here in this country would finally realize that government IS “WE the People”. IT is the ONLY vehicle through which we, as a society, interact to “promote the general welfare”, and protect the interests of the society from the predatory practices of some individuals. Government IS NOT the problem, as so many would try to convince you. It is our sole method to make life better for all Americans. We had better start electing people that don’t want to kill it.

Wake up, America!
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BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: Feb 28, 2012, 08:01AM »

I'm not sure I 100% agree with you, but you have a few good points here.

One fact that is wrong.  John Glenn was the first American  to orbit the Earth, but he was beat by [at least] two Russians, the first of whom was Yuri Gagarin.  There may have been more, but Russia at the time was pretty tight-lipped about their space missions.  They only reported the successes.

I agree that a project like the Moon Landing can have great spinoff.  We used to joke about Tang, but that was only one of a multitude of products that came from the Space program.  Another important one was the Microprocessor, without which we wouldn't have Personal Computers.

We as a country have moved from a society of people who work to enhance our knowledge base to a society of people who work to enhance their personal wealth.  If we were to face a national emergency like an invasion, we would probably be so busy squabbling about who should pay for the defense of the country that we'd be overrun.  Right now we are being invaded through the Internet, yet there is little activity to repel the invaders.  I see it to a small extent as one of the people approving membership applications to this Forum.  For every one I approve, we have between 3 and 10 that have no interest in participating other than to drop a huge list of [probably counterfeit] goods for sale.

We are being worked up over Arab Terrorism.  The damage the Terrorists do is trivial compared to the theft of Intellectual Property by countries trying to compete with us in business.

We have changed our focus in business.  We are no longer in business to stay in business.  We are in business to rape and leave.  Romney's company is the benchmark of this activity.
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ronkny

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« Reply #2 on: Feb 28, 2012, 08:09AM »

I'm not sure I 100% agree with you, but you have a few good points here.

One fact that is wrong.  John Glenn was the first American  to orbit the Earth, but he was beat by [at least] two Russians, the first of whom was Yuri Gagarin.  There may have been more, but Russia at the time was pretty tight-lipped about their space missions.  They only reported the successes.

I agree that a project like the Moon Landing can have great spinoff.  We used to joke about Tang, but that was only one of a multitude of products that came from the Space program.  Another important one was the Microprocessor, without which we wouldn't have Personal Computers.

We as a country have moved from a society of people who work to enhance our knowledge base to a society of people who work to enhance their personal wealth.  If we were to face a national emergency like an invasion, we would probably be so busy squabbling about who should pay for the defense of the country that we'd be overrun.  Right now we are being invaded through the Internet, yet there is little activity to repel the invaders.  I see it to a small extent as one of the people approving membership applications to this Forum.  For every one I approve, we have between 3 and 10 that have no interest in participating other than to drop a huge list of [probably counterfeit] goods for sale.

We are being worked up over Arab Terrorism.  The damage the Terrorists do is trivial compared to the theft of Intellectual Property by countries trying to compete with us in business.

We have changed our focus in business.  We are no longer in business to stay in business.  We are in business to rape and leave.  Romney's company is the benchmark of this activity.
"We are being worked up over Arab Terrorism.  The damage the Terrorists do is trivial compared to the theft of Intellectual Property by countries trying to compete with us in business."
Seriously?
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Russ White

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« Reply #3 on: Feb 28, 2012, 08:22AM »

"We are being worked up over Arab Terrorism.  The damage the Terrorists do is trivial compared to the theft of Intellectual Property by countries trying to compete with us in business."
Seriously?

Absolutely. While the human effects of terrorism are horrendous, the actual economic impact, even of 9-11, to our society pales in comparison to a Katrina or Andrew, We come back from them without significant long term damage to the society as a whole, though local economies struggle for quite a while. Our response to terrorism is bankrupting this country, and funneling trillions of dollars into the pockets of the "war profiteers". 

And, Gagarin did indeed go into space before Glenn, but I believe his trip was up and down. Glenn was the first to acheive orbit..
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ronkny

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« Reply #4 on: Feb 28, 2012, 08:56AM »

Absolutely. While the human effects of terrorism are horrendous, the actual economic impact, even of 9-11, to our society pales in comparison to a Katrina or Andrew, We come back from them without significant long term damage to the society as a whole, though local economies struggle for quite a while. Our response to terrorism is bankrupting this country, and funneling trillions of dollars into the pockets of the "war profiteers". 

And, Gagarin did indeed go into space before Glenn, but I believe his trip was up and down. Glenn was the first to acheive orbit..
So our response to terrorism should be...?
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BGuttman
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« Reply #5 on: Feb 28, 2012, 09:01AM »

From the Wikipedia listing on Yuri Gagarin:

Quote
On 12 April 1961, aboard the Vostok 3KA-3 (Vostok 1), Gagarin became both the first human to travel into space, and the first to orbit the earth. His call sign was Kedr (Siberian Pine, Russian: Кедр).[12]
In his post-flight report, Gagarin recalled his experience of spaceflight, having been the first human in space:
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Russ White

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« Reply #6 on: Feb 28, 2012, 09:03AM »

Kerry hit it perfectly. It is a police function, not a military one. Every single time, other than in active war zones, there has been a terrorist plot disrupted, it has been a police official, not a military officer who has taken the lead in announcing it, and it has been police and intelligence operations which have resulted in the successes.

And, I stand corrected, if Wiki has it right.
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« Reply #7 on: Feb 28, 2012, 09:48AM »

So our response to terrorism should be...?
Wage peace!
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« Reply #8 on: Feb 28, 2012, 09:54AM »

Kerry hit it perfectly. It is a police function, not a military one.

Yup.
 
Pretending that was completely wrong was one of the most clear signals that Republicans were relying on deception and dupes in '08 ... and of course they were kinda locked into the whole massive conventional war schtick by W ... or rather, by Cheney. The most effective way to deal with terrorists is through intelligence outfits and small scale, highly surgical, elite military actions when called upon.
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« Reply #9 on: Feb 28, 2012, 10:57AM »

But, if we kill them all, we'll get the right ones.
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Russ White

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« Reply #10 on: Feb 29, 2012, 09:33AM »

OK, here's the submission for next week's edition:

Gas prices have started their annual climb a bit early this year. So, naturally, it has become a hot button issue on the political front. Those on the right are hammering President Obama over it.

Karl Rove has stated, “President Obama has been anti-energy from the beginning”. Newt
Gingrich says, “Obama is anti-oil”. Former Budget Director, and current Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said, “President Obama wanted higher gas prices”, and Speaker Boehner has instructed his caucus to “embrace the gas pump anger you see in your constituents”.

A series of adds run by the Koch brothers founded Americans for Prosperity is demeaning the President for a loan made to Brazil by an independent government infrastructure bank, blaming him for the rise in gas prices, and pushing for more domestic oil drilling.

So, there you have the spin, mis-information and lies. Now, let’s do a reality check. Comedian Stephen Colbert recently said that “Republicans don’t put much faith in facts. They tend to have such a liberal bias”. Here are some facts:

FACT: American dependence on foreign oil is the lowest it has been in 16 years, according to Chris Wallace of FOX News ( I realize that brings the factuality of it into question)

FACT: The number of oil rigs currently operating in US oil fields has quadrupled since President Obama took office.

FACT: We now have more rigs operating than the rest of the world combined.

FACT: Domestic oil production, which fell every year of GW Bush’s second term, has increased every year of the Obama administration. In Bush’s last year US production was 1.81 million barrels. In Obama’s first year, US production was 1.95 million barrels, and in 2011 it had risen to 2.05 million barrels.

FACT: Supply is up, demand is down. The Energy Department said inventories of crude oil rose by 4.2 million barrels last week. Analysts were expecting an increase of just 1 million barrels. The report indicated that demand for oil in the U.S. remains weak.

FACT: According to Goldman-Sachs, at least $27 of the cost of every barrel of oil is generated by speculation, not supply and demand.

So, who is it that is doing all this speculation and driving up the cost of oil? One of the largest oil speculators on the planet is ( to quote one of my favorite marines, Gomer Pyle: “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise”) Koch Industries.

That’s right, the very same folks hammering the President for the rise in prices are amongst the ones most responsible for it. One of Koch Industries major arms is an oil field pipeline building company. They are major players in the move to get the Keystone XL pipeline rammed through the Congress. They have for years been significant players in the world oil speculation market, and are experts at manipulating public opinion through the application of massive amounts of money, but that is changing.
Thanks to the internet, and social media, they are no longer able to hide behind the scenes as effectively as they once did.

Wake Up, America!
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« Reply #11 on: Feb 29, 2012, 02:23PM »

OK, here's the submission for next week's edition:

Gas prices have started their annual climb a bit early this year. So, naturally, it has become a hot button issue on the political front. Those on the right are hammering President Obama over it.

Karl Rove has stated, “President Obama has been anti-energy from the beginning”. Newt
Gingrich says, “Obama is anti-oil”. Former Budget Director, and current Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said, “President Obama wanted higher gas prices”, and Speaker Boehner has instructed his caucus to “embrace the gas pump anger you see in your constituents”.

A series of adds run by the Koch brothers founded Americans for Prosperity is demeaning the President for a loan made to Brazil by an independent government infrastructure bank, blaming him for the rise in gas prices, and pushing for more domestic oil drilling.

So, there you have the spin, mis-information and lies. Now, let’s do a reality check. Comedian Stephen Colbert recently said that “Republicans don’t put much faith in facts. They tend to have such a liberal bias”. Here are some facts:

FACT: American dependence on foreign oil is the lowest it has been in 16 years, according to Chris Wallace of FOX News ( I realize that brings the factuality of it into question)

FACT: The number of oil rigs currently operating in US oil fields has quadrupled since President Obama took office.

FACT: We now have more rigs operating than the rest of the world combined.

FACT: Domestic oil production, which fell every year of GW Bush’s second term, has increased every year of the Obama administration. In Bush’s last year US production was 1.81 million barrels. In Obama’s first year, US production was 1.95 million barrels, and in 2011 it had risen to 2.05 million barrels.

FACT: Supply is up, demand is down. The Energy Department said inventories of crude oil rose by 4.2 million barrels last week. Analysts were expecting an increase of just 1 million barrels. The report indicated that demand for oil in the U.S. remains weak.

FACT: According to Goldman-Sachs, at least $27 of the cost of every barrel of oil is generated by speculation, not supply and demand.

So, who is it that is doing all this speculation and driving up the cost of oil? One of the largest oil speculators on the planet is ( to quote one of my favorite marines, Gomer Pyle: “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise”) Koch Industries.

That’s right, the very same folks hammering the President for the rise in prices are amongst the ones most responsible for it. One of Koch Industries major arms is an oil field pipeline building company. They are major players in the move to get the Keystone XL pipeline rammed through the Congress. They have for years been significant players in the world oil speculation market, and are experts at manipulating public opinion through the application of massive amounts of money, but that is changing.
Thanks to the internet, and social media, they are no longer able to hide behind the scenes as effectively as they once did.

Wake Up, America!
Looks almost identical to Thom Hartmann's article.  :/
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« Reply #12 on: Feb 29, 2012, 02:25PM »

Looks almost identical to Thom Hartmann's article.  :/

Hey Ronk, rather than strongly implying that Russ is plagiarizing, why not submit your proof.

 Don't know

Otherwise you are just taking unsupported cheap shots.

 Bad dog.  No Biscuits.
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« Reply #13 on: Feb 29, 2012, 02:57PM »

I didn't realize Thom Hartman wrote. I've seen his TV show a couple of times, and I think he does radio, but I've never seen anything he's written. I'll have to look for it. He's a pretty smart man.
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« Reply #14 on: Feb 29, 2012, 03:06PM »

And a fine American!
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ronkny

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« Reply #15 on: Feb 29, 2012, 03:25PM »

Hey Ronk, rather than strongly implying that Russ is plagiarizing, why not submit your proof.

 Don't know

Otherwise you are just taking unsupported cheap shots.

 Bad dog.  No Biscuits.
Here you go;
http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2012/02/number-drilling-rigs-us-oil-fields-has-quadrupled-under-obama-and-domestic-oil-product
I wasn't implying plagiarism.  Just an example of how similar the left think. No hard evidence just left wing group think (guess).
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« Reply #16 on: Feb 29, 2012, 03:40PM »

Amazing how open minds see truth in much the same manner.
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« Reply #17 on: Feb 29, 2012, 03:47PM »

Absolutely. While the human effects of terrorism are horrendous, the actual economic impact, even of 9-11, to our society pales in comparison to a Katrina or Andrew, We come back from them without significant long term damage to the society as a whole, though local economies struggle for quite a while. Our response to terrorism is bankrupting this country, and funneling trillions of dollars into the pockets of the "war profiteers". 

And, Gagarin did indeed go into space before Glenn, but I believe his trip was up and down. Glenn was the first to acheive orbit..
Seriously?


[Never argue with a man who is only capable of making one-word arguments.]


[Actually, I can make a convincing 5-word argument: 'What chew talkin' 'bout, Willis?'  That's 400% more persuasive than 'Seriously?']
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« Reply #18 on: Feb 29, 2012, 03:51PM »

OK, I read the article and it is pretty amazingly similar, although we got most of the statistical information from different sources. Google is pretty awesome on some levels. Truth is truth, you can get to it from many angles, and quotes are quotes, no matter where you find them. A bit different than parroting talking points.
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Russ White

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« Reply #19 on: Feb 29, 2012, 03:54PM »

Seriously?


[Never argue with a man who is only capable of making one-word arguments.]


[Actually, I can make a convincing 5-word argument: 'What chew talkin' 'bout, Willis?'  That's 400% more persuasive than 'Seriously?']


Um,,,,,yeah? Seriously...what? That the economic impact of terrorism pales in comparison to a Katrina or Andrew? Bakatya with your "what chew talking' about, Willis?"
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