Thursday, 3/4/10, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

41 responses to “Thursday, 3/4/10, Public Square

  1. There is an article by David Sirota, who I have always read with respect, that basically says that we should thank Glenn Beck for finally showing the true colors of the conservative movement. I can’t say that I agree with all of it, but I would be interested what any of you might think of it:

    • fnord

      Fear seems to work well for the Republican base. I can’t imagine why, but have seen it too often to ignore its impact.

      The big money people, campaign supporters, don’t give a hoot how getting their people elected is accomplished, just want it done. And, by far, the majority of people pay so little attention (not out of stupidity, simply choice of how their time is spent) they don’t have a clue what’s going on beyond the sound bites so carefully fed to them. The article says, “But ignorance, no matter how embarrassing, doesn’t get in Beck’s way.” I think he and others use that ignorance, in fact, count on it.

      For those not taken in, Beck does indeed show the ugly underbelly of the Republican / Conservative philosophy, but I don’t think those people who see the ugliness number as many as he is able to convince. Remember, we’re talking about people who ‘think’ Fox News is a news organization, and look no further for ‘truth.’

      • indypendent

        Glenn Beck is only taking lessons from Rush. That said, the people who watch Fox News religiously are also those who think in black and white terms.

        These people see the world changing around them and they are scared because they have no clue as to how to reason. They just assumed all would remain the same – they and their kind is in power and that is the way God wants it. End of story to them – black and white.

    • In this book: convincingly enough for me, it makes the argument that the Wingnut show that we are now seeing (Beck, Palin, etc.) really is an expression of the fear and loathing the right has ab0ut becoming a minority racial group (should happen about 2050). I am loathe to blame racism, but do believe it is the most parsimonious explanation for the wingnuttia we are now witnessing.

      • indypendent

        If the party of old white men don’t want to become a minority, then why do they encouarge corporations to exploit cheap labor through illegal immigration?

        I know, all good Republicans rant and rave against illegal immigration. But if you listen closely to all their gnashing of their teeth about this issue – they are mad about illegal immigrants getting welfare, free health care and free schooling for their kids.

        I never hear about the illegal immigrants taking jobs away from Americans or driving the average wage even further down.

        In fact, on that note, these very same people that say they don’t want illegal immigration will defend the exploitation of cheap labor by saying if we don’t allow these workers in – we will end up with a $100 hamburger.

      • wicked

        indy said: I never hear about the illegal immigrants taking jobs away from Americans or driving the average wage even further down.

        That’s because the illegal immigrants are only doing jobs no one else will do. 😉

        I see that a different way. Because of the illegal immigrants, a large number of jobs requests the job hunter to be bilingual. I don’t remember that bilingual (in German) was required when my great-grandparents (great-great?) immigrated (legally) back in the 1800s.

        Whatever, it makes for a good cop-out for the R’s. 🙂

  2. fnord

    Interesting article. Let’s hope ‘bullying’ continues to decrease and maybe these kids can rub off on adults and civility can make a come back!

    Sharp drop seen in children’s bullying
    Percentage of kids physically bullied fell to 15 percent in ’08

  3. WSClark

    My oldest daughter is getting married today – my youngest daughter is visiting from MI.

    Even Beck, Limbaugh and Palin couldn’t spoil this day for me.

    • fnord

      That’s putting your priorities in the order they belong! Best wishes to your whole family, enjoy the happy times and make them last. (a hug to YOU from me)

    • indypendent

      Congratulations to your daughter and son-in-law. Have a great time with your family and many blessings will be come your way!

  4. fnord

    I do absolutely understand the sensible reasons Paula gave us recently for expecting (without reservations!) that women’s reproductive rights and rights to make our own individual health care decisions about all parts of our bodies must be accepted!

    But sometimes I wish we could go back to the days when these idiots ignored what was happening, when abortions happened when the woman decided they should. With the exception that poor women died because they didn’t have access to proper medical care it would simplify and remove this subject from the stupid political bag of tricks.

    We must fight harder, we must simply make it known no woman will go back to the dark ages, no woman needs her body and her medical care to be the business of anyone other than herself and her doctor! The decision is hers, and it isn’t the business of anyone else!

    US Democrats would kill healthcare over abortion

    • All women must stand up to this outrage against our dignity. Adult women have the right to make decisions that will affect their future, their families and their pursuit of happiness. I am sorry if some Democratic Senators and Congressmen are morally offended by any decisions that I might make regarding my body, my health and my life, but that does not give them the right to legislate my health care choices. I am morally offended by the fact that they would stall healthcare reform in order to feed their own self-righteousness.

  5. indypendent

    Does anyone remember the pilot that landed the plane in the Hudson River – his name was Sullenberger and they called him Sully?

    He was on the CBS Early Show this morning. He retired after 30 years as a pilot. He was saying that when he first entered the profession, it was required that pilots had 3,000 hours flying time before they were even allowed to become an airline pilot. Current airlines requirements is now 300 hours.

    As I understood it in the few minutes any news show gives a guest nowadays , there is a bill making its way through Congress to increase that 300 hour requirement to 1,500 hours. He also went on to talk about how many hours these pilots are made to work and how tired they are which is adding to the lack of safety.

    Has anyone else heard about this bill?

    All the time Sully was talking, I kept thinking – wasn’t it Reagan that deregulated the airline industry? Wasn’t it all about making more profits?

    I agree with Sully when he said we need to get back to doing what is right rather than making that extra profit.

    • indypendent

      Corporatization has once again shown itself to be a predator taking no prisoners.

    • fnord

      I hadn’t heard about this bill, but seems to be a sensible one (on face value without more info).

      We have a friend who is a commercial pilot and a cousin who flies 747s for UPS. Both men live here in Wichita and fly to other cities (frequently Atlanta) to go to work! So by the time they reach the place they begin they’ve already traveled (which is tiring and uncomfortable). They don’t go through as many hassles as the average traveler but do face the same delays as we do so it can sometimes take a few hours to get to work.

      • indypendent

        That would be frustrating to me – but I am not a person who likes to fly.

        I am curious, since these two are pilots for a private company (UPS), do they have to meet the same requirements as airline pilots serving the public?

        Is a pilot’s license something like a driver’s license – there is the basic license everyone needs and then if you need the CDL part of the license – that takes more education/training?

        I am just asking because I really don’t know. I’ve never even thought about it before, to tell you the truth. When this Sully was talking about the requirements being changed from 3,000 hrs (what he did 30 years ago) to a mere 300 hrs currently – that seems like just a drop. And why would be want to require less training/education with the more technological airplanes that we are flying today?

      • fnord

        One of the men is a pilot for a commercial airline you and I and everyone flies, the cousin is a pilot for UPS — both have the same licensing requirements, and actually pilot the same types of planes just with and without passengers.

        Pilots accomplish one level of testing and number of hours of flight time to be licensed to pilot a small plane requiring a VFR or visual flight rating (you can see the ground), more training and flight hours get you to a level of IFR or instrument flight rating (instrument controlled). Additionally, a pilot doesn’t get into a 747 or 727 or… without being ‘checked out’ and meeting requirements on that particular plane .

        Hubby, Griffin, is a licensed pilot. I took ground school many many years ago and flunked the written exam, was so disappointed I’m still pouting about the whole thing.

    • Zippy

      I agree with Sully when he said we need to get back to doing what is right rather than making that extra profit.

      Today corporate ideology says that keeping the stock price going up it literally all that matters. I’m not exaggerating.

      Seriously, how’s this for an illustrative concept: Deathcorp®: “We kill random people and harvest their organs for the profit of our stockholders!” While I doubt such an enterprise could succeed on Wall Street with that premise openly advertised, but it’s not removed from what Goldman-Sachs has actually done.

      But where are the criminal charges–for anyone? Bernie Ebbers of Worldcom will die in prison for a relatively limited scam, while Lloyd Blankfein continues to arrogantly defend the concept there never being such a thing as too much money.

      • indypendent

        You’re right Zippy and that is why I asked when did America sell its soul to make a profit?

        I think it was about the time all those Evangelical mega preachers came into vogue and built all those golden monuments.

        Isn’t there a story in the Bible about some man that sold his birthright?

        That’s the way I feel about how America’s reputation has been abused, raped and thrown away by these corporations who so callously look only at the bottom line.

        God help us all.

  6. wicked

    For all the Sarah Palin lovers out there, Sarah has sold another book. (Gee, and I haven’t even gotten the first one. There’s always the used book store or, even better, the Art & Book Fair on Mother’s Day weekend. I give it a couple of years.) Here’s what I received on the book deal:

    Among the newest deals: Sarah Palin’s next book, a “celebration of American virtues and strengths”

    Hey, at least someone’s making money: Sarah and her co-writer.

    • wicked

      Sorry, I quit too soon. Should have read: Sarah and her co-writer (aka the person who actually wrote the book.)

      • indypendent

        But weren’t some of those copies of her first book bought by her publisher or her PAC?

        Talk about puffing oneself up to look better.


      • fnord

        She also needs to keep her name and face in full view so she can make hay while the sun shines (so to speak). I heard she is in Hollywood trying to interest someone to make a movie about Alaska. I think a documentary, but don’t know for sure. She would naturally be the star or narrator or face in the camera.

      • wicked

        indy, I’ll repeat what I posted on the OL or whatever it was a few weeks ago.

        It isn’t uncommon for a big-name-celeb-newbie author to buy tons of copies of their own books or for their agent or, in Sarah’s case, PAC. However, they don’t usually count towards the # of books sold because they’re sold to those entities at a discount.

        Sarah received an advance (advance on royalties) that may or may not have earned enough to get her any royalties as yet, considering that her advance was probably in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Publishing is a tricky business. An author receives a percentage (smaller than 10%) of each book sold. (Percentage of cover price for most large publishing houses.) What’s earned by the author from sales goes first to pay off the advance an author receives. That’s called “earning out.” Say an author gets a $5000 advance. The author then has to “earn out” that amount on percentage of sales before seeing a penny of royalties.

        The sad thing is that the celeb “authors” get such an astronomical advance that most of the time they never earn a single penny in royalties after that. That’s why you see those books on the clearance tables at the book stores. It’s the little authors getting small advances that actually make up for the loss the publishing company takes on the celeb authors.

        But, again, yes, there were a ton of her books bought by “her,” and, believe it or not, even though they were probably bought at a discount, they usually are figured in the NYTimes sales list and others.

      • wicked

        Dang, I screwed that. I meant to say:

        However, they don’t usually count towards royalties, because they’re sold to those entities at a discount.

  7. indypendent

    fnord – sorry about my confusion about those two pilots being different types – I guess I need to enroll in a remedial reading class for comprehension – huh?

    But thanks for the info about licensing of pilots. Never having had a pilot in my family, I really did not know the requirements.

    One thing for sure – like Sully is trying to say – why would we want to lower the standards? Isn’t safety the most important issue whenever a plane is in the air whether it is a commercial plane or a cargo plane?

  8. indypendent

    That documentary is her way to keep her promise to the Alaska people to put the spotlight on their state.

    Yeah, and the Easter Bunny will be bringing me some mighty purty eggs this year.

    • indypendent

      I found this info on the CNN website today. Supposedly Palin and some reality t.v. producer is out hawking this show.

      I think Palin fancies herself as some news journalist. I think she mentioned this in the Oprah Winfrey interview, didn’t she? I seem to remember Palin telling someone that she would like to make a studio in her own home and have some sort of television show.

      Or maybe I was just having some sort of weird nightmare about this woman??

      I wonder, if this documentary gets picked up by someone – will Palin benefit monetarily or will she be donating her pot of gold to those good people in the State of Alaska?

    • fnord

      If the groundhog shows up with anything, would you please kick him in the butt? 🙂

  9. fnord

    I think Fox News put a studio in her home.

    • indypendent

      I’m not surprised if they did. She is, after all, their golden flavor of the moment.

      But, wait until someone younger or prettier comes along – then watch those fake beauty pageant claws come out in the cat fight.

  10. fnord

    Here’s another tidbit about that wonderful Palin person. Doesn’t she seem exactly like the type person who would best represent America?


    Sarah Palin may kick at Hollywood in every interview she gets, but apparently she wants in on the goodies: Palin and an entourage of 20 visited the Oscar gifting suite and “they were like locusts,” according to one vendor. Another says, “she kind of cleaned the place out,” grabbing items like United Hair care products, jewelry from Pascal Mouawad, Skagen watches, and 40 pairs of AIAIAI earphones. She was supposed to donate $1,700 and all of her gift items to the Red Cross, but E! Online says “we can assure you she did not give up any of her swag.”

    • wicked

      Not exactly the way to get invited back next year.

    • indypendent

      Wasn’t the same kind of story coming out from the McCain campaign? Something along the line of hillbillies?

      There is not enough money in the world to buy class or common decency.

      • indypendent

        If I remember correctly, weren’t there some silk boxer shorts bought for First Dude?

        What did silk boxer shorts for another man have to do with getting McCain elected? A legitimate campaign expense – somehow I don’t understand that one.

  11. wicked

    I see Alan Grayson is in the headlines again.

    Grayson leading in REPUBLICAN Primary

    Republicans like a politician who stands up for what he believes — even if he believes the Republican Party is populated by a bunch of “knuckle-dragging Neanderthals.”

    The candidate leading the Florida GOP primary to determine who will take on Rep. Alan Grayson, the Democrat who represents the Orlando-based district, is none other than Grayson himself, according to a poll paid for by his campaign. Grayson is a freshman congressman who has drawn scorn from the GOP and has quickly built a nationwide following of progressives.

    The poll has Grayson leading the 13 Republicans — among Republicans — with 27.8 percent of the vote. The congressman who mocked the GOP health care plan by saying that it amounts to telling people not to get sick and if they do, to die quickly, received more support than all of the Republican candidates combined.

    No GOP candidate scored above 3.7 percent; 57.7 percent said they were undecided. Grayson did particularly well with women, undercutting the notion that referring to a Washington lobbyist as a “K Street whore” would turn female voters away. (Grayson later apologized for the word choice.)

    Gotta love this guy. And the comments are priceless! People love him. I guess one can speak his mind when one wins both parties…and is independently wealthy, not needing “corporate sponsorship.”

    Go, Alan!!

  12. indypendent

    I just hope Alan Grayson does not let all this newfound fame go to his head and distract him from his true calling – ass whooping!