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  #31 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2011, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luanne Russo View Post
Sistersolo

Henry, The thought of Cuba attacking makes me smile as I see them driving their 1950 Ford's to run over us.

Henry, It is spelled America. I did not say it was God. If it was, we would all be perfect.

I told you before I didn't receive an e-mail from you with a question. Please ask it again on here, and I will be glad to answer.

Unless my memory is faulty, I do not remember a time that a goverment has not asked us to come to help. If we were in serious trouble, and our gov. was gassing us, then yes I would welcome other countries coming to help.
That was obviously an error re omitting the M ,however ,you as a teacher should check your spelling and grammar .You often omit the d when writing the word used .

Re my e-mails to you . As I told you I received a few PM's from people suggesting that I apologize to you for my point of view re American troops . I sent you an e-mail explaining in detail my points of view and why I take this view .There are certain things that I choose not to post on a public board .I told you in the e-mail that if what I said offended you I am sorry but that my feelings on this matter are not going to change .
You chose to selectively reply to my e-mail and did not address the specifics .

Last edited by Lakers Fan; August 9th, 2011 at 08:46 PM.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2011, 11:07 PM
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Usually, the first thing everyone wants to cut is the military spending. If horrific military spending is a great part of the problem, then would someone tell me why when Kennedy was President the military made up 50% of the entire budget. Today that percentage is about 20%.

In April, Timothy Geithner emphatically stated that there would never be a reduction in our Triple A rating, that it could never happen.

The 800 pound Guerilla in the room is the astronomical growth in entitlements. I don't happen to believe that Social Security should be considered an "entitlement" simply because we all pay into it. If all that money, instead of being put into Treasury Bonds at 2% etc., as well as all the additions that have added to SS to put it way beyond what Franklin Roosevelt had ever intended and the money had been invested in the same manner as the State of New York invests it's state retirement funds, we'd be nowhere near the state we're closing in on rapidly at least as regards Social Security. The NY State taxpayer pays only 20 cents of every retirement dollar spent on over one million retirees. All the rest comes from investments. In short, your Social Security payments would themselves have guaranteed your Social Security.

There have to be cuts everywhere and I think it was Luanne who stated that we absolutely cannot provide cradle to grave coverage for every American, not to mention 10 million illegal immigrants. I think people forget that when Social Security was enacted, the experts knew that comparatively few Americans would ever live long enough to collect anything, much less for twenty years. That is why as a result of an ever increase in lifespan, the retirement age must be extended and under the one current plan advanced, no one age 55 or over would be in any way adversely effected.

Virtually every day scientists are discovering that both the US and Canada are sitting on enormous fossil fuel reserves. Should we wean off such types of fuel. I think we definitely should but to come up with reliable, reasonable and plentiful alternative fuels is still at least twenty years out, maybe longer.

We need to reform the tax system, of that there is no doubt. This country, by the way, already has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. Crude oil (except Brent) is now between 79 and 81 bucks a barrel yet gasoline futures are still up at $2.70 a gallon. Even worse, gas, while dropping, is still over $3.50 a gallon in most areas of the country. But of course, many still make the claim we're in the Middle East just because of the oil! Uhhh........duhhhhhhh!

One of the areas of greatest "growth" as a result of the "stimulus" bill were government jobs!

We will get through this horrific situation, of that I have great confidence but it probably won't be in my lifetime. Keep in mind that the growth in the budget (now around 4 trillion dollars) represents only the increase in the budget. Most people also know that while we must insure all Americans have access to health care, the current bill that was passed under the guise of that famously ridiculous statement that "We'll read it after we pass it!", are now finding out that there is no way on earth we can afford it. I fully believe it will be declared unconstitutional and more people are coming to the same conclusion daily. Could an equitable solution be enacted? Of course it could but it would take a lot of work and sacrifice from all quarters.

We all, every American, must make sacrifices and I am certainly willing to do my part, but ONLY if those sacrifices go toward actually solving the problem. I have worked all my life, often two jobs and as a result I am blessed with a liveable income (and by that I mean few if any vacations, cruises, etc.). Yet I am still willing to do my part. As a matter of fact, I already contribute probably a greater percentage of my income to charitable causes than do many Americans. In short, I put my money where my mouth is. That is why I firmly believe we should ALL work TOGETHER to solve our problems.

Todd
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old August 10th, 2011, 12:32 AM
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Kuki's right: the trouble with wars of choice is that you have to either choose them all or be inconsistent in your policy. And even WE can't choose them all.

I am amused by the notion that we should bring every last soldier home from around the world, but keep them in the military service, put them on domestic bases, and let them support the economy. And I guess between going to the PX they could, what, clean their guns a lot? Obviously, once we end all the wars there will have to be some reduction in the size of the military. I do believe that personnel costs, along with housing and other benefits, represents a significant line item in the military budget.

There could be a clever and useful program that would take returning servicemen, convert them to civilian workers and put them to work on government projects to rebuild our infrastructure. That might be something worth considering, since it so desperately needs to be done. It might also be possible to hire some out-of-work civilians for the same projects. But you'd have to commit to that investment in advance, and I don't see that getting through the extreme right wing, because it would involve spending.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old August 10th, 2011, 08:44 AM
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AR,

One way we could at least attempt to employ both former military as well as civilians in rebuilding our infrastructure, would be to clean out the laughable (if it weren't so maddening) duplication of services in the Federal Government.

A special commission released their findings of a survey of such a redundancy and the results were enough to give some people a heart attack and the committee was only half way through its study!

I forgot the number or the vegetable (I think it was potatoes) but I recently read (and confirmed) that just the federal regulations governing the growing and sale of such a staple were beyond incomprehensible and involved numerous governmental agencies, all of which were redundant!

The ethanol thing is a travesty. Not only are we growing corn for this purpose (the price of corn has doubled because of this new industry) but as a result of using current ethanol for such a process (thereby turning over countless acres of crop land that are increasing almost daily, land that used to be employed at producing food), the end product is so extremely corrosive that it eventually destroys an engine, especially small engines as has been previously documented. This is because alcohol made from corn contains water even after distillation. That is an irrefutable fact whether one cares to believe it or not. This is just one of the problems of "going green" without indepth study. This individual issue has not only increased corn prices but has also skyrocketed the cost of everything for which corn is used, including livestock feed, not to mention it is so expensive to produce that it also contributes to the increased cost of fuel. In essence, we are paying more for a fuel that destroys the very thing it is used to fuel!

Todd
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old August 10th, 2011, 09:09 AM
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Another impediment to reducing the cost of government is the number of people, especially the "talking head" experts on 24-hour news channels, who dismiss suggestions with the comment that whatever it is "won't even make a dent" in the deficit. Individually, perhaps not; but 100, or 1,000, or 10,000 of those inconsequential reductions have got to add up to something. More importantly, many of them would help to convince the public that at least they're TRYING to do something instead of just calling each other names.

Personally, I'd like to start with an immediate 25% reduction in Senators' and Congressmen's salaries, AND the elimination of automatic future increases, AND a similar reduction in their office allowances. A drop in the bucket, to be sure, but one that at least would make me feel better.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old August 10th, 2011, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luanne Russo View Post
Okay, I was going to stay out of this, but I have a little bit of knowledge on the subject, so let me see if I can clear up some things.

We (Americans) have military bases all over the world for several different reasons. One of those reasons is if we needed to get to a hot spot around the world, we need bases close enough to the action, so we can respond. Japan is a good example. When that country was hit by earthquakes, and flooding, they were cut off from the rest of the world. We were already there, so we reponded within a few hours, saving thousands of lives.

I know something about the subject as well.
I live in Japan and was one of the first volunteers to go to Iwate Prefecture to help out on 12 March, the day after the tsunami occurred.
The Japanese Navy left port one hour after the earthquake, arriving at Fukushima early the next morning, just before I arrived.
The US Navy thought and talked about it for a few days and then showed up a few days later.
Japanese Navy troops went ashore to help, and saved thousands of lives.

The US Navy stayed on their ships and flew helicopters around all day, taking many photos and making radiation readings. None of them went ashore and none of them saved anybody's life.
We wondered why they had even bothered to come.
We also wondered why they offered to come help Japan when they had not bothered to help their own people when Hurricane Katrina caused so much death and suffering in New Orleans a few years before.
When the Americans decided that the radiation was too high, they high-tailed it out of there, having done essentially nothing to help us.
We stayed behind with the Japanese Navy and saved many more lives over the following 3 weeks.

I had radiation scans recently in Japan and the USA. I scored completely normal.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old August 10th, 2011, 11:07 AM
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Bruce--

Interesting take. I'm so pleased about your last sentence.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old August 10th, 2011, 11:23 AM
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Todd--

I agree, with only one misgiving. . .as we go about making governments leaner and meaner (I say governments because most state and local ones have similar kinds of waste), we're historically terrible at cutting the right stuff. We either resort to "across the board" cuts which throw out the baby with the bathwater, or we make efforts at evaluation and analysis, which always fail because of special interests, book-cooking, nepotism, rank incompetence in evaluating, and a million other variables that screw up the process.

On the ethanol thing, I believe in conservation, but again, it has to be smart. We have to get better at evaluating unintended consequences. And when they're egregious despite our best efforts, we must be ready to change course without losing sight of the goal.

See, it's not just our politics that are polarized. It's the way we look at just about everything. We've become a nation of black-or-white thinkers. The switch is either on or off. It's either good or bad. We're just terrible at case-by-case evaluation and at dealing with nuance.
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old August 12th, 2011, 07:39 AM
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AR,

I agree one hundred percent with your last post. That is but one partial consequence of Presidents of any political stripe who have little or no experience especially in the business world of at least a modicum of executive experience. Such is positive in so many ways simply because to be a successful executive in the corporate world requires experience in just about every asset needed of a President of the United States. An excellent corporate CEO must by the nature of the beast, be tactful, open to the evaluation of all ideas and especially, if an employee doesn't have experience in a given area, be able to find from the outside and/or promote company employees who are able to clear log jams in everything from planning to production.

As the saying goes, "You can delegate authority but you can't delegate responsibility." I was once heavily involved with a charitable organization with an executive team that were as incompetent and/or as dysfunctional as the Congress when it came to making wise and often difficult decisions, were divided and constantly bickering and in effect were involved in grid lock. It was absolutely maddening. The then incoming President who replaced the former President who was a man who was extremely taciturn, weeded these people out over time and replaced them with people worth their weight in gold, people who had in fact, "their eye on the ball.". That organization within one year did a complete turn-around and within three years was generating enough revenue to actually expand its mission. The organization's President was not only open to "thinking outside the box" but constantly promoted it. Of course "pie in the sky" proposals were rampant but among them would often appear a valid one. Yet while firm, the person was nevertheless tactful, understanding and even steered people just by their style and support, people who while having the drive and mental acuity to complete a task, just didn't have the know-how, into being productive and viable members of the organization.

The individual became, believe this or not, even popular with some of the members they had eased out of executive positions. In short, the individual was a Leader by any definition of the term. But to be successful as such a leader, one must have experience in multiple areas.

The biggest problem for this charitable organization was finding such an individual and convincing them to come on board.

BTW, it was a woman! And also, while she personally had never run such an organization, she was an employee who was married to the CEO with whom she shared everything. As a matter of fact, over the entire length of their marriage, they have complemented each other in their respective positions and drawn from each other their assets. She was Presdent of that organization for over ten years!

Todd
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Old August 12th, 2011, 11:57 PM
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I have found the solution to all of our problems!

Blame Canada by Robin Williams @ Academy Award 2000 - YouTube

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Old August 13th, 2011, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
I had radiation scans recently in Japan and the USA. I scored completely normal.
Congratulations! Most people would not score as well as you did.

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