@TeeWee: please provide us your perspective on the outside monies to our existing senators and representatives. I agree that outside money is an example of a serious flaw in our political system...I just find using it as a way to single out this candidate is more or less ludicrousposted @ Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 20:29
The internet is largely funded* by the corporate desire to collect and use information about individuals in order to better exploit people for profit. Literature from earlier in the technology explosion fancied big brother as an evil government effort to spy on us all, which differs from reality only in degree or interpretation. But much more of the data collection is benign, sort of: Target analytics marketed to some pregnant women before they themselves even knew, but just because they wanted to own more of the shower registry market,
So, it's not exactly driven by evil: even the NSA just thinks its getting ahead of terrorists. But whatever the motivations NOW, humans have a way of morphing things (recall how the road to hell is paved). So, don't get on the internet if you expect that no one will know what you are up to...
*The physical internet is directly funded by the consumer and the government: I am referring to the sites and processes that together make what we call the internetposted @ Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 08:32
@TeeWee: Like all of his predecessor's that I know anything about, photographs of this president clearly show the strain of the job: he's grey and gaunt.
So, if you want to contrast the statement that you have to give your life to it with the fact that he plays golf and relocates away from the White House about the same as all the others (although less than his predecessor) as an example of a broken promise,then go ahead. But it's saying more about you than about him.
I voted for Obama both times, and absolutely still believe that he was the better choice both times. But I don't think he's been particularly good. On the other hand, the relentless, ludicrous tripe that the right and its Fox propaganda corporate shill fill the airways sends me a clear message:
they really don't have a lot of real traction
We would be better off with a responsible opposition, but there's darned little of it.posted @ Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 08:22
This perspective would carry more weight if someone looking for the broader background on the interaction between houses this year wouldn't be slapped hard by way the BIGGEST imbroglio between the two: the R-House refusing to fund the government for weeks, then giving up on their symbolic and destructive gesture, causing huge political backlash against the philosophy and individuals responsible. The word stupid comes to mind...posted @ Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 11:00
Unfortunately, I do not see this as being much more than about power: for those who disagree with the current federal philosophy, push for state power. For those who disagree with their state's political bent, push for local control. For those who feel outnumbered in their district, push for direct parental control.
I believe we are at a major turning point in our whole educational system: too me, the biggest issue, as I repeat ad nauseam here, is that automation and transportation/communications technologies have made workers into a commodity with little value. Why should society spend billions educating people to work at WalMart, follow directions from Bentonville about when to feature the red sweaters vs when to make a dogfood extravaganza. Centralized decision-making requires automata to stand in front of the consumer and explain that's just the way it is?
I think there IS an answer to that question: maybe the role of education is not to train workers, it's to train citizens. Life is about more than your job: open minds, exposed to the many avenues of understanding about just what you can tolerate and what you must act on for other people's actions, how to accept yourself and others: these are what have been kicked all over the field in our extremist political farce.posted @ Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 07:52
@skydog: So did I, and double ditto.posted @ Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 07:35
@TeeWee: While I agree with the general point, I must say (with many years as a member of and also spouse of health care professional) that there is some logic to the phenomenon...and it's not for a good reason. The US was (thing are changing) the capital magnet and was very supportive of technology research, So big dollars have stimulated lots of technology gains (although we are also a bit ethnocentric and just kind of assume that everything new started here (www: no, radar: no computers: no nuclear science: no). But there's a distinct flip side: if you are the Shah of Iran with a rare cancer, head for the US. If you are an ordinary person having a baby, US is about 35th on the list...profiteering has come to dominate the health care industry just as much as most others. Expensive technologies command a lot of power with the insurance companies, they cut great deals, but the cost (and effectiveness) of everyday/manpower oriented medicine has dropped offposted @ Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - 19:40
@cyou299: I don't find many successful businessmen turned political leader, and for me it's because the management prerogatives are practically diametrically opposed: in business, the idea is to turn a profit, even if it means switching to a totally different product: when dial-up modems went away, many of those companies made the transition to something rather different, in some cases rather successfully. In government, by contrast, the needs of the population being served dictate what has to be provided: it would never be possible to say "we just lose money stopping murderers. let's put all effort into tax evasion"posted @ Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 12:02
Well, I certainly agree that the ad crosses the line, and that my fellow liberals would probably have chastised a Republican who did the same thing. So, I guess here's to the right of all Americans to be stupid and still run for office. I am more uncomfortable with the fact that a person can be this lame in their thinking and still have a gun, but I guess the line would have to go somewhere, and if only people that never ever did anything stupid was the law, the gun companies really would go out of business.posted @ Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 08:06
Wonder why the media has consistently made no reports at all about the level of damage from the "nearly 700 rockets and mortars" fired from Gaza into Israel. I can't imagine that the information hasn't been collected locally.posted @ Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 07:52
bad guy with a gun? Who knew???posted @ Friday, July 11, 2014 - 15:05
Well, certainly sounds horrific...on the other hand, literature is filled with kittens being drowned in the well: the alternatives for their future evidently seemed worse to our cultural stock.posted @ Friday, July 11, 2014 - 13:48
[quote][b]proftom[/b] - Even here in the football passion filled Southeast 'soccer' is taking root.[/quote]
FWIW,Region III, which spans the southeast, as far as Texas, has been prominent in the US soccer team: Clint Dempsey, Eddy Johnson are just some from this year (although Eddy was left off the final squad, kinds a surprise and disappointment to me: he played here in Athens at our Invitational back in the day). but Ricardo Clark and Clint Mathis are just some of the Georgia based players to have featured prominently. Athens own Jonathan Leathers played on our Olympic team, I was thinking, although I couldn't find that googlingposted @ Friday, July 11, 2014 - 11:23
We are in dangerous times, when divided into groups that simply see, or choose to see, different realities...in particular, because there only IS one reality and it's never entirely sure even when we open our most dispassionate eyes.posted @ Friday, July 11, 2014 - 11:02
Candidates funding is, with certain special interest engineered exceptions, public record. For an example, just see who funded our own Paul Broun as he worked his way into a repeated US Congressional seat...then you'd know why practically the only legislation he authored was about allowing insurance companies to practice with extra liberties relative to state linesposted @ Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 21:12
This is more of the blather from right-wing nincompoops: I don't say that because I disagree with their goals (although, often I do), I say it because they haven't an iceberg's chance in hail of doing anything, like most of the other junk to come from the tea-party right. Guys: I want to get together with you and achieve something, but not on these misguided issues. The US political system has been usurped completely by special interests and for a very simple reason:
media saturation of a relatively inattentive electorate has made the biggest spender have a huge advantage...since you or I or even you and many I's can't compete, then we are left we the results dictated by a war of the financial colossi : medical issue resolution is mandated by the doctor's lobby vs the lawyer's lobby, military spending by the big 26, of which we can know about only 4. THAT's the problem that we all squirm around uselessly, venting our peeves in forums like these. Until we revert to a world of one man, one vote, candidates who have to face each voter's issues, we are screwdgedposted @ Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 21:08
@Used2baFreeCountry: you ever come up with a strategy that doesn't involve putting words in someone else's mouth and calling them a fool for saying it?
[Hint: you don't have to answer, I think everyone knows]posted @ Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 20:58
@AbidingDude: yeah, I bridle up at all the casual use of gasoline engines for stuff like that. In New Jersey, where my work has taken me recently, they post signs about a state statute outlawing idling a car over three minutes.posted @ Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 20:54
@barryhollander: Good question, although as the reigning expert on journalism, I would normally look to YOU for an answer I suspect the guy said so, or some asked where his wife was, somebody wrote it down...then maybe at some point along the proofing/copy process, somebody thought 'dang, my wife woulda wrung me out for that'posted @ Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 20:52
[quote][b]TeeWee[/b] - We learned in the early days of the Pilgrims when they experimented with a form of Communism that the capitalistic system was better. Socialism has been an economic failure (expect possibly France) as well as Communism.[/quote]
I believe you missed my main point: capitalism, as practiced in the days of the pilgrims, the westward expansion years, and even (corporations specifically) as the indispensable ingredient of society's development of huge systems of transportation and communications, which underlie our whole modern economy, was the fundamental enabler. But now that those things are in place, with expensive equipment basically doing most of the work, it is equally obvious that it would, and has, make those who control the means of production far more powerful, relative to the easily replaceable workers, than ever before, save perhaps the days of feudalism. So, a fundamental NEED of those of us who inherit the republic envisioned by Jefferson and Adams and Washington, is that, in terms of our governance, the magnate and the yeoman are equal politically. Can you actually claim that you think they ARE?
[quote][b]TeeWee[/b] - Socialism has been an economic failure (expect possibly France) as well as Communism.[/quote]
While there are many differences, besides the political system, perhaps you should visit Sweden, Norway, Canada, England, Denmark, etc: they are definitely not failing and they definitely practice many governmental instruments that I think would be called socialist here.
[quote][b]TeeWee[/b] - Compare the China when Nixon first visited there and the China of today.[/quote]
Yes, they are vastly productive, extraordinarily polluted. and very repressive societies that are beginning to use their spare wealth to try their hand at military empire building (which we are way ahead in; perhaps you can make an argument about how that's NOT a corporate achievement)posted @ Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 10:16
[quote][b]Used2baFreeCountry[/b] - When liberals disparage corporations, what they are really attacking is capitalism.[/quote]
Yes, I agree. Capitalism is what says that the little textile mill that used to sit on the banks of the Oconee downstream of downtown is really the property of some Chinese guys that have financial advisors from Bridgeport telling them that all of their category H holdings will cost them less in taxes if they continue to declare their losses until their X years have passed and then...so, most of our legal system developed at a time when land was aplenty, and economic processes could be built up around a work ethic, some imagination, and a limited amount of transportation and communications to get that loom engine freighted in from Anniston. Now, labor saving devices have made capital, not workers nor imagination, be the fulcrum which drives everything. Those chinese guys switch their capital to a shoe factory in Malaysia without ever leaving their chairs, or an iota of awareness of which human lives took a turn for the good, and which were left spinning in an environment that no longer has a place for them.
Yes, the real point of the cartoon is that the concentration of wealth has really usurped our governing processes: no candidate, left or right, can compete in a millions-a-day media campaign against the individuals who actually win, funded by the corporate world.
[quote][b]Used2baFreeCountry[/b] - Collectivists consider the masses to be comprised of fungible units without souls. That is evil.[/quote]
Yes, combinations 'too powerful to suppress' that are without souls are evil...but which side are you speaking for?posted @ Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 09:06
@TMKvetch: It is absolutely correct, as you point out, that the US has allowed illegal immigration to an exceptional degree, and for a really long time. However, that for me is exactly why amnesty is a huge part of any attempt to fix this problem: round up and deport every one who cannot produce a record of legal entry, insist that that applies to a person's forbears, and pretty soon you have a gaping wound in our national community. A better approach would seem to be to determine an economically sound guest worker framework, with strict criteria for advancement to citizenship, and to retrofit that to existing illegal residents.
People sometimes decry how much effort it would take to actually validate that a potential employee is legal, and use that to exonerate employers from that responsibility. But some of those same people have no trouble insisting just what documentation is required to vote, which is a way less immediate motivator. As the economic downturn of 2008 clearly demonstrated, really cut off the income for illegals and they leave. In order for this to succeed, however, the system can't be too draconian, as it depends substantially on the involvement of 'witnesses' who themselves are not legal. Make it a witch hunt, and nobody knows anything.posted @ Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 08:15
[quote][b]prophet[/b] - Someone needs to secure the borders!
I agree with those who recognize that illegal immigration reduces the number of citizens with jobs and that illegal immigrants depress wages. Securing the borders, however, if just another harsh, big-government (yeah, deploy a lot of people that are a part of federal money ultimately paying businesses) approach to a problem that has a much easier solution: make it illegal to hire an illegal, and make the penalties on the employer contribute significantly to the costs of cleaning up the mess. In my view the whole reason that the GOP has had both houses and the white house and marched in place on immigration is that their core supporters profit from the cheap labor, so it just works to mouth off about it and get the righteous indignation vote, which is not very discriminating.posted @ Saturday, July 5, 2014 - 18:58
A problem with DUI laws is that many more of the violators are 'promising' citizens, compared to other crimes: this, I believe, is why we have way the highest rate of incarceration in the world, but lots of college kids who really only lost their folks money and ran up their insurance by seriously breaking the law in ways that are statistically correlated with death and destruction.
Along with penalties for being caught with a dangerous BA level, any damage that results should be considered a deliberate act: ie, murder in the first degree.
[quote][b]TeeWee[/b] - With this also brought a legalised form of discrimination called Affirmative Action. Members of protected class sex and race were given preference in hiring and promotion.[/quote]
That's so true...of course. the deprivations wreaked on males and whites are ridiculously trivial compared to those that were institutionalized in our land of 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' prior to this lawposted @ Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 16:22
Summary: I'm not saying it's lonely to be a movie critic, but we often find ourselves seated alone in an empty theatre when we're watching new stuff. I know people who say they won't go see anything unless they have at least one other person to go with, but I've always enjoyed having the place to myself. I'm not saying it's lonely to be a movie critic, but we often find ourselves seated alone in an empty theatre when we're watching new stuff. I know people who say they won't go see anything unless they have at least one other person to go with, but I've always enjoyed having the place to myself. read more