Friday, 12/3/10, Public Square

67 Comments

Filed under The Public Square

67 responses to “Friday, 12/3/10, Public Square

  1. fragotwofortwo

    Did you know that the top 25 hedge mangers yearly salary exceeds 25 billion dollars. If you took that 25 billion dollars, divided it by 40 thousand it would be 625000 . 40k including benefits is about what an average entry level teaching position earns. 25 billion equals 625000 jobs.
    Who contributes more to the middle class economy? How many cell phones, pots and pans or houses would the fund mangers buy?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/business/01hedge.html

    • indypendent

      Sad to say, most of the people on the ‘right’ would respond to your comment as ‘the left has wealthy envy’ and they would keep on defending these overpaid wealthy Americans.

      As George W. Bush correctly stated – this is my base, the haves and and the haves more.

      That was at least one time GWB did not lie.

    • tosmarttobegop

      It is often stated and sighted, Obama is wanting wealth redistribution.
      Where that on the face of it sounds like simple socialism.

      What it really means is that wealth needs to be spread out more.
      It serves no good for the CEO of a company to be making 400 times the amount the average worker at the same company does.

      LOL I often said that if I were to win the lottery the hardest part would be spending that much money!
      Most would end up going to something or someone I would think they needed it.

      The economy can not grow or actually continue if money is held only by a select few.
      They will never live long enough to spend it and by doing so enable the economy and those lower down the economic chain.

      It is a question that occurs to me every time the Base ball Players go on strike.
      “How much is enough?” Realizing that their professional career is short lived.
      Old age is late thirties/ early forties, but how much is enough to continue to live comfortably for the rest of their lives?

      The same would go for business owner and CEO, it is one of those which side is up?
      When the top levels are still making large and receiving bonuses that would be warranted if the company was making large profits and so busy that there is a need for more workers.

      But the reality of the company is that they are having such a hard time finding customers that they can not keep the few employees that are left and end up being bailed out?

      It does fit right in with the Friedman economics ideology which is why it has fail in every country it was instituted. Yet today I am seeing evidence that is the economic ideology in practice here in the United States!

    • indypendent

      toosmart – you make an excellent point.

      I remember when Obama said that statement to Joe the Plumber. I think every progressive political person understood what he meant but it sure did give fuel to the conservatives’ fire – didn’t it?

  2. House Republicans Vote to Raise Taxes on 98 Percent of Americans

    Even as millions of hardworking Americans struggle to afford gas, groceries, and housing, House Republicans voted to give 98 percent of middle class families the one thing they need the least right now — a hike in their taxes.

    House Republicans’ vote against middle class tax relief comes weeks after Republican Leader John Boehner said he would support extending tax relief only to the middle class. Yet, rather than provide tax relief that will help struggling families make ends meet and small businesses to hire more workers, Republicans are holding these tax cuts hostage to provide tax breaks to millionaires.

    • wicked

      Every time I see headlines that read they are working on a deal, my stomach gets queasy and I wonder just how I’ll be screwed this time.

    • As I said yesterday, this is my final straw. There’s nothing to be gained from extending tax cuts to the top 2% of wage earners, except those who have more than they need get to keep more. I now consider the GOP to be scum of the earth and the democrats to be untrustworthy, liars, cowards. The only redeeming quality the democrats hold is they are one tiny step above the GOP. As fragotwofortwo said recently (paraphrasing) — the democrats say please and thank you while screwing you over.

  3. You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.
    — Indira Gandhi

  4. fragotwofortwo

    posted without comment

    http://www.collateralmurder.com/

    • wicked

      I saw that footage last spring. I don’t think I can watch again. Emotions ranged from anger to gut wrenching sadness. Sad and sickening. Human lives mean nothing to some people in command. I guess that’s why they’re in command. Frankly, things like this don’t make me feel a bit safer. In fact, I find the opposite is true.

      Will I be their next target? Or will it be you?

    • I can find no justification and no understanding. War is hell.

    • indypendent

      War is only hell for those who actually have to do the fighting and then live with the consequences.

      Sad to say, war is big money for those certain few well-connected people who get the no-bid contracts – even after being fined for overcharging from the last war. Go figure.

  5. MIT Media Lab Hacks the Kinect for Browser Navigation With Gestures

    Hackers at the famous MIT Media Lab have built an open-source Chrome browser extension that uses the Microsoft gesture-based controller Kinect to navigate around tabs and Web pages. The group says the end result is like the movie Minority Report and that seems like a fair comparison.

    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/kinect_browser_navigation.php

    • itolduso

      I wish I understood what you just said. 😦 Lol

    • 6176 will understand. You and I can understand that at least this time it’s a group from a lab and maybe their success at hacking will lead to ways to foil other hackers? Seems there are a bunch of really smart techies who can accomplish things that make all of us vulnerable. I bank online, pay my bills online, shop online using a credit card… I would like more assurances these activities are safe.

    • I’ve been reading about hacking the Kinect for a month or more. There was some hacker that got a $3000 prize about three weeks ago for coming up with an “open source” (read Linux) hack. This, BTW, was not a part of what MIT has been involved in. Should anyone want to go for it, there is a git repo with the appropriate code, as I understand it.

      Re: Chrome; I’ve got it on one computer. It’s fast, I guess, but being too lazy right now to explore it, I’ll stick with Firefox as my browser.

  6. The deal with the Kinect hack is to use Chrome with the Kinect controller, i.e., without using the keyboard, just gestures, for certain fundamental tasks (opening/closing tabs is one). Much more to be done before this would have any utility for me.

  7. Here’s a little something for the biochemists, molecular biologists, and those of similar disciplines among us:

    http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/12/bacteria-can-integrate-arsenic-into-its-dna-and-proteins.ars

    Quite interesting. I understand there is criticism coming in from those who believe that as there were still small amounts of phosphorous available, this doesn’t mean as much as the researchers claim. All I know is that the researchers didn’t appear to claim total phosphorous absence, just raised the issue of arsenic substituting therefor, which gives rise to new possibilities of “life” on other planets/in other solar systems and galaxies, all of which I find quite interesting and exciting.

    • I’m not at all sure, but I think this may have implications in stem cell research. I know scientists were taking skin cells and adding chemicals to male iPs cells. It would make sense to me that they were sticking with accepted science on what chemicals and thus maybe this opens new vistas?

  8. indypendent

    As I have ‘purposely’ shown on this blog more than once – a tit-for-tat game accomplishes exactly nothing. Some do see it as a political game, while others are paid to do it by campaigners, and get their jollies from it.

    Some people like to accuse others of playing the game while engaging in the game themselves – to make themselves appear to be better than everyone else.

    But as long as there are two political parties who want to engage in tit-for-tat and keep the masses distracted from the real workings of both their parties – we’ll get the kind of government we deserve.

    I don’t hold out much hope for the next two years. Like I said before – the Republicans are going back to their old failed policies and the current hole we are in will be even deeper.

    Of course, they will have the ‘enemy’ in the White House to blame – so they think they can once again fool alot of people in 2012.

    • indypendent

      BTW – I suspect Sarah Palin will be kept in the GOP limelight as their main cheerleader. After all, they need those shaking poms poms to keep the simple minded mesmerized.

      But make no mistake – the GOP does not want Palin to get the nomination. They may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but they are not that dumb either.

    • Why shouldn’t they think they can fool a lot of people? It’s worked well in the past. They have Fox News to help spread the propaganda, and lots of people willing to be fooled.

    • I think the GOP is that dumb. Winning is all that matters to them. They have set aside everything to concentrate their efforts in bringing down Obama. It matters not who they hurt in their efforts.

  9. indypendent

    Stem cell research will be DOA for at least the next two years. The Republicans are already gunning to defund Planned Parenthood ( I posted that link last night) in their anti-abortion agenda.

    Stem cell research is just another item on their agenda.

  10. indypendent

    This might be a foretelling of Fox News’ future.

    IMHO – we need to get the younger generation in the mindset to vote and to vote every time. These are the people who are usually working crappy jobs, making less money, working longer hours and yet the federal government is spending alot of their taxes on grandma’s feet to be rubbed with Crisco from a podiatrist’s order or grandpa’s Viagra pill.

    And then to make things worse – seeing the latest telelvision ad marketing the new Medicare coverage plan with ZERO premium. Now seriously, who believes the premium can actually be ZERO? But what that ad does not tell you is who is really paying for that coverage plan – the taxpayers – of which the younger generation will have to bear most of the burden.

    http://www.pensitoreview.com/2009/05/05/average-age-of-fox-news-viewer-is-65/

    • indypendent

      As an added bonus – the younger generation are not judgmental about social issues and they tend to not be into organized religion.

      But make no mistake – these younger people have just as good moral values as some of those displayed on the so-called ‘right’ side of the political spectrum. In most cases – these younger people have better morals. At least they are not hypocrits.

  11. indypendent

    fnord – I reposted this link from my comment late last night.

    I thought the Republicans #1 goal was to create jobs? How will defunding Planned Parenthood create any jobs?

    Just wondering….

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/12/republicans-abortion-hyde-amendment-defund-planned-parenthood

  12. tosmarttobegop

    LOl within the last week I have been thinking about a micro that will eat the blockage within the arteries while not harming the walls or attacking the normal bodily cells. Need to understand better the differences between Pelagic and normal construction of the human body?

    Meanwhile leaving alone the good pelagic that is needed for routine maintainer of damage and normal desperations.

    But much like my thought on cancer, one problem with treating cancer is that the cells are basically the same as normal cell in their functions and living attributes they are just haywire in their function.

    So to treat them it also effects the normal cell in the same destructive manner.

    So there needs to be found where they differ on the normal living functions one that might be a good thought is since all living organism consume which means they also expel waste.

    If that waste is different because of the malfunction of the cell then that of the normal cell.

    Then a “device” can be used to deliver medicine or a killing agent to only those cancerous cells?

    Pelagic though a by product of normal bodily function and consumption it remains to be seen if it itself is living? If not or of such a life form that is below or different then the answer can be found where it can be attacked or even eaten without doing harm to the need cells and constructions!

    LOL there the particle contents of a segment of my mind has spilled out!

    Still pondering why a female dog would raise their leg to pee?

  13. itolduso

    One year and two days after President Obama appeared before an audience at West Point and told the nation he was sending 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, he has come to meet with troops in the war-torn country for his second visit as commander-in-chief —

    Good for him

  14. A page from history…

    While popular opinion was hardly irrelevant, it was regarded as flighty, undependable, shortsighted, and easily manipulated. The ultimate allegiance of the founders was not to “the people” but to “the public”, which was the long-term interest of the citizenry that they, the founders, had been chosen to divine.

    Pg. 15 American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic By Joseph J. Ellis http://tinyurl.com/25k9jws

  15. itolduso

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I don;t know why I am laughing, this is so sad, but at least to me, predictable

    “Six members of President Obama’s deficit commission are expected to vote on Friday against its final report, meaning the panel will not be able to submit any recommendations to Congress for action.

    Late Thursday, Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, announced his opposition, joining one House Democrat, three House Republicans and one of Mr. Obama’s appointees, who also are expected to vote against it, leaving the 18-member panel short of the 14 votes Mr. Obama said would be needed to adopt a final report. Also late Thursday, Andrew Stern, the former president of the Service Employees International Union, announced his opposition.

    and they want 435 congresscritters to buy into this? HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

    THere I go again, turn the page

    • wicked

      Is this meant to confuse? If so, it’s a hit!

      Seriously, I don’t understand several things. I want to know why the panel is voting against their own report. Does that mean they don’t want anyone to see it?

      And just what IS the purpose of the deficit commission?

      I admit I’ve had my head somewhere else, now and then for the past month or so (and not where many of you think it’s probably been, either), but I do think we have far too many commissions and panels and what not. As we’ve learned in the past, nobody reads these things anyway, right? Too much goes on under the table, while nothing is being done on top of it.

    • wicked

      Sadly, Grayson did not win re-election in Florida.

      But I’d be happy with just these guys’ tax cuts!!!

  16. itolduso

    Seriously, I don’t understand several things. I want to know why the panel is voting against their own report. Does that mean they don’t want anyone to see it?

    No, it just means that, for whatever reason, they disagree with the majority.
    It means it can;t be used as a blueprint, or so I understand.

    My only point was that it will take pain all around to solve the deficit problem, and nobody has the stomach for it. Cannot even get 18 people on the committee to agree, there is no way in hell that they can get enough people out of the 435 elected officials to agree on the way out of this mess.
    Even if they do, they will never let you in on it. THey will point the finger at all the rest, as they try and convince you that their hands are clean.

    • wicked

      It would be interesting to see it so we could break it down into individual issues, and then see who was in favor of which ones.

      Would we see partisan politics in action? Would we see good ideas that will never see the light of day? ‘Cause we’ve seen some bad ones that have.

  17. wicked

    Somewhere along the way our congress people have forgotten who they are and what their job is. They are our representatives in government, not people in the business of making themselves more money or basking in their (fictional) glory, or even doing what they think is best for us. They’ve obviously failed and failed big in all but the first one and many in the second one, all to the detriment of the country.

    I understand why the Founding Fathers set up the country with a representative government. First there was the problem with communication. People didn’t get the news in time to give an opinion to their reps, but many weren’t educated enough to understand. (I’m having a hmmmmm moment on that last one as the dumbing down of American whispers through my mind.)

    I may be too old to get to see the next revolution, but I do believe that if governing continues as it’s going, and both leading political parties (and others) fail at their job of representation, it likely will happen in the future. For several years I’ve heard talk of a civil war, but I don’t see it as such. All factions who are not acting representatives (that’s you and me, folks) need to wake up and see that it is not “the other one,” but all those who are making decisions “in our best interest” that need to be not only taken to task, but kicked to the curb. This might mean a new constitution would have to be written or at least some major changes made to the original. If that should happen, I pray we take steps forward and not backward. I’ll be watching from afar, you can be sure. 😉

    Okay, enough rambling. It’s blessedly quiet while all are napping here, and you all get the brunt of it. LOL

  18. fragotwofortwo

    It’s official, we have won. We have beaten the Russians. We have lasted longer in Afghanistan then they did!!!!! Unlike the Russians or Soviets for the old people in the audience, it has not totally crushed our economy yet.

    US presence in Afghanistan as long as Soviet slog
    (AP) – Nov 25, 2010
    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Soviet Union couldn’t win in Afghanistan, and now the United States is about to have something in common with that futile campaign: nine years, 50 days.
    On Friday, the U.S.-led coalition will have been fighting in this South Asian country for as long as the Soviets did in their humbling attempt to build up a socialist state. The two invasions had different goals — and dramatically different body counts — but whether they have significantly different outcomes remains to be seen.
    What started out as a quick war on Oct. 7, 2001, by the U.S. and its allies to wipe out al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and the Taliban has instead turned into a long and slogging campaign. Now about 100,000 NATO troops are fighting a burgeoning insurgency while trying to support and cultivate a nascent democracy.
    A Pentagon-led assessment released earlier this week described the progress made since the United States injected 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan earlier this year as fragile.
    The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, has said NATO’s core objective is to ensure that Afghanistan “is never again a sanctuary to al-Qaida or other transnational extremists that it was prior to 9/11.”
    He said the only way to achieve that goal is “to help Afghanistan develop the ability to secure and govern itself. Now not to the levels of Switzerland in 10 years or less, but to a level that is good enough for Afghanistan.”
    To reach that, there is an ongoing effort to get the Taliban to the negotiating table. President Hamid Karzai has set up a committee to try to make peace, and the military hopes its campaign will help force the insurgents to seek a deal.
    When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on Dec. 27, 1979, its stated goal was to transform Afghanistan into a modern socialist state. The Soviets sought to prop up a communist regime that was facing a popular uprising, but left largely defeated on Feb. 15, 1989.
    In 1992, the pro-Moscow government of Mohammad Najibullah collapsed and U.S.-backed rebels took power. The Taliban eventually seized Kabul after a violent civil war that killed thousands more. It ruled with a strict interpretation of Islamic law until it was ousted by the U.S.-led invasion.

    • wicked

      MENTAL HEALTH WARNING: Trying to respond to something this stupid (Afghanistan “war”) could result in incoherent blathering and loss of mind.

  19. wicked

    Very, very OT. If the billing person in a doctor’s office (of any kind) has been incorrectly filing insurance claims all year, resulting in smaller or no charges to the patient(s), is it the patient’s responsibility to pay the difference?

    • fragotwofortwo

      As far as I know yes. I got into a major pissing contest with Wichita Clinic starting about July this year. I have spent many hours researching this subject.
      It boils down to if you can prove that a coding error has been made. You need to understand the arrangement that your insurance company has made with your Dr. . It may be vastly different from what you think it should be. Start there and report back.

    • Unfortunately, from the legal aspect, yes. The actual cost to the patient, if the insurance had been filed correctly, is legally due.

    • wicked

      Thanks, fragotwofortwo. Luckily this is NOT me, but a friend. Friend is currently trying to contact an attorney. Apparently the doctor’s office realized the billing person’s error, fired billing person, and is now trying to collect the difference from the patient(s). That’s wrong, but there’s a helluva lot of wrong things going on, especially in the world of medical insurance (among others), so it’s very likely friend will be responsible. If it were me, I’d be kicking some doors and furniture. 🙂

    • wicked

      Moonshadow, I have to say that sucks, big time. I’m also not surprised. My thought is that either the former biller should be liable or the doctor’s office should be. But then I’m sure the legal argument (of the doctor’s office and/or insurance company) would be that the patient (with 2 insurance policies and told all was covered) should have been aware that he/she was not being billed correctly. Riiiiiiight.

  20. The mailman brought my real estate tax bill today and it says the first half must be paid no later than Dec. 20th. I don’t consider this a high point of my day.

    • fragotwofortwo

      That means mine is probably here too. Merry Christmas at least most of the money stays in the area, teacher salaries ect.

    • wicked

      I read online that the bills were sent out late. Like that’s a big help, huh?

      Call me Scrooge, because the more I see and hear lately, the more scroogy I feel.

  21. fragotwofortwo

    wicked,

    http://www.physiciansnews.com/business/1202glenn.html

    This ancient information. Business is war understand your adversaries viewpoint.

    Then go to
    http://couponing.about.com/b/2010/03/04/how-to-negotiate-your-medical-bills.htm

    last resort
    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/PersonalFinance/tired-collection-agency-tactics-indebted-consumers-retaliate/story?id=9729783

    more information

    Click to access cre27.pdf

    posting on the fly, do your own research figure out what is best for those involved…

    good luck,
    frago242

  22. itolduso

    Thanks, fragotwofortwo. Luckily this is NOT me, but a friend. Friend is currently trying to contact an attorney.

    Best thing to do. I did have a run in with a Hospital over this very isssue many years ago. They were going to “sue” me in court. I told them go ahead, we can talk about the state of your billing practices, you unwillingness to rebill, etc. Then, after you lose your ass, I will file a countersuit. And you, and your staff, will look like idiots.

    He dropped all the finance charges, agreed to rebill, and we settled on that after properly rebilling, and them receving their compensation. I would pay the rest in 30 days. This conversation was with the CEO of the Hospital.

    He backed down. OF course, I was actually able to have this conversation only because it was a small hospital. For a larger service, it will probably take an attorney,

    Anyway, good luck!!

    • itolduso

      You can win, but it takes lots of work, and a small amount of “go ahead and sue me asshole” attitude

    • fragotwofortwo

      Knowledge is power, ever need help in a fight, I find it most stimulating

      frago242

    • wicked

      Thank you, all, for the links and info. Friend has had some good suggestions today and also contacted someone to answer legal questions. At the very least, if it’s determined friend is responsible, a small, monthly payment would suffice. After all, friend is not the one who made the mistake. Will let you know how this turns out. I know I’m curious. 🙂

  23. indypendent

    How many times have we heard on Fox News about some evil enemy ‘lawyering up’? Seems Fox News has to ‘lawyer up’ now. LMAO

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/03/fox-news-lawyers-up-respo_n_791754.html

  24. indypendent

    Oh oh – this does not look very good for those Religious Right Bible thumpers and the future of their ‘right wing’ agenda.

    As I commented earlier, the younger generation is not into organized religion. Now it seems that not only the younger generation but half of all the population thinks clergy have a problem with morals.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/03/clergys-professional-repu_n_791946.html

    • wicked

      That is so wrong. Those who need the jobs the most will usually be more likely to work harder to prove themselves.

    • indypendent

      I wonder where all that American spirit and patriotism is from all these companies that won’t hire?

      Oh, but not to worry. The Republicans will soon be creating all those jobs they’ve promised and everyone will be singing Happy Days are here again!

      Am I being too optimistic?

  25. Zippy

    I can”t claim to have read this 66-page thing, but it looks remarkable the previously non-deficiting-reducing crap:

    Click to access TheMomentofTruth12_1_2010.pdf

    http://www.fiscalcommision.gov

    At the same time, Duck Durbin (sic) may have both voted for it and stated that letting the tax cuts expire is “not off the table.”

    I applaud the cojones it took the say the latter, because, when it comes down to actually showing some courage, if the huge tax cut for the wealthy is not passed is the lame-duck session, then it would presidential acquiesence to pass them in the next session.

    Of course, crushing people under their heels–pass them OR ELSE—is Job Number 1 for the plutocrats.

    But since they’re planning on pulling the football away anyway, I fail to see the difference.