Wednesday, 1/19/11, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

70 responses to “Wednesday, 1/19/11, Public Square

  1. Let’s remember to celebrate each new benefit in the Affordable Care Act and leave the Party of Hell No to their whiny attempts to repeal with nothing to replace or improve the law. They look sillier each day. Now I hear the talking heads say this repeal vote was mandated by the voters last fall, it was a promise the congress critters made to the voters. When the Affordable Care Act was passed it was also a promise kept — it wasn’t the health-care reform we need and deserve, but a start to build on! So the Democratic Party campaign promises end in something getting done while the best the Republican campaign promises could deliver is something getting undone. They go into this repeal vote with full and advance knowledge they can’t accomplish anything — not even an UNdoing! The Party of NO ideas, NO solutions, NO leaders is at it again!

    —————————————————-

    Hospital Visitation Regulations Go Into Effect Today

    “There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital. In these hours of need and moments of pain and anxiety, all of us would hope to have a hand to hold, a shoulder on which to lean – a loved one to be there for us, as we would be there for them.”

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/01/18/hospital-visitation-regulations-go-effect-today

    • wicked

      Oh, the Republicans go into this repeal b.s. with one thing: They know they’re wasting money with it, just as they did with reading the Constitution for 3 days. Fiscal conservative, my left foot.

      Take note, Republican voters. This is where your tax money goes. Just keep following the white rabbit down the rabbit hole to total bankcruptcy of the U.S. and the world.

  2. Cap’n,

    With this username: capnamerica and a yahoo email address you have a WordPress account, and with that info you are an Editor here at PPPs.

    • CapnAmerica

      Right, Fnord. I remember Steven writing me about that.

      I tried to approve myself yesterday, but it didn’t seem to work. I’m not too computer tech savvy, but I can usually figure things out if I keep plugging away at them.

      I’ll try posting a thread header one of these days and see what happens.

  3. The Bush team believed American power was crucial to the spread of democracy worldwide. Tunisia proves them wrong.

    • CapnAmerica

      The ironic turn of events in Iraq is that Christians are now persecuted and killed daily, whereas Saddam — bad as he was — at least protected religious groups like Christians.

      America has never been in the democracy-creation business. It has been in the open-markets-for-big-corporations business. If democracy hinders that goal in any way, it is mercilessly crushed by our “democracy-fostering” gov’t.

      See, for instance, “Operation Ajax” in which the US and the UK overthrew the duly-elected Prime Minister of Iran in the 50’s and reinstated the Shah (or King). A dictatorial monarch is the very antithesis of democracy, but we did it so BP could profit off the Iranian’s oil.

      See also Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC, who was approached to carry out a military coup against FDR and publicly stated that “war is a racket,” that the US marines are just “muscle” for big-money corporate interests.

    • prairie pond

      I guess we did turn Iraq into Americastan. Why, you may ask, do I use that “Americastan” term? Well, given that the newly elected Gov. of Alabama said yesterday that if you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, you are not my brothers and sisters, adding that he really wants YOU to be his brothers and sisters.

      So… we are officially Americastan, with a government established religion.

      I wonder what actions he’ll take in Alabama to ensure that non-christians don’t get equal treatment under the law.

      You non-christians are now officially gay. How’s it feel?

      Any doubts that brownback will change our name to Kansastan soon?

  4. prairie pond

    Where is Ike, ya know, the guy with REAL Kansas values, when we need him?

    From a speech by Ike, via Crooks and Liars.

    “Third: Any nation’s right to form of government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable.
    Fourth: Any nation’s attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible.
    And fifth: A nation’s hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with all other nations.”

    Looks like the Repuke party has completely scrubbed Ike and his words from their memory banks and sent them down the memory hole. Today, his fellow Repukes would call him a socialist, communist terrorist and try him for treason.

    That’s IKE for christ’s sake…

    • CapnAmerica

      Right. I heard a PolySci professor say exactly the same thing last night at political action meeting: today’s RepubliCONs are nothing like Kassebaum or even the early Dole.

      They have become ideologes with the moral certitude of the fundamentalist.

    • itolduso

      Hey, in a sense you are right. So let’s not have any Democrats or progressives push China, or any other country, on their human rights records, or anything else. In fact, let’s not talk or address how ANY country treats it’s citizens. After all, “Any nation’s attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible. ” right?

    • CapnAmerica

      Thank goodness, President Cave-In finally did the right thing on DADT. I was wondering if he was capable of fighting for anything, but give the devil his due, he got ‘er done.

    • prairie pond

      I think there is a big difference in negotiating and using diplomacy to advocate for human rights, and invading nations and forcing them into democracy just because we want to steal their resources and “open” their markets.

      just sayin’

      When we invade China, squander our blood and treasure, and forcibly install a democracy against their will, then divide their natural resources among the oil companies, all under the fiction of human rights, give me a call. Otherwise? Apples and oranges. But then, you knew that. You’re just looking for your daily fight, itoldyouso.

      I think I know where you can find the kind of mindless bickering you love to have. It’s called weblog.

    • prairie pond

      IIRC, Captain, it wasn’t president cave-in who did the right thing on DADT. It was congress.

      And president cave-in’s Justice dept. is ratcheting up it’s defense of DOMA in the courts.

      Double S, Double D. We’d have a lot more credibility on human rights if this nation recognized gay marriage as so many other nations do. Even hard core conservative countries like South Africa and Spain.

      We follow, kicking and screaming, on equal treatment under the law for all citizens. It’s been a hella long time since the US led on any aspect of human rights.

    • prairie pond

      OK, and before you say anything, I typed too fast and posted “it’s” instead of “its.” 🙂

  5. CapnAmerica

    We’d be a lot more convincing to other countries re–human rights if we weren’t holding prisoners without trial at Gitmo, Itolduso . . . but you have a point.

  6. itolduso

    “I think there is a big difference in negotiating and using diplomacy to advocate for human rights, and invading nations and forcing them into democracy just because we want to steal their resources and “open” their markets”

    I think so to

    just sayin’

  7. itolduso

    You’re just looking for your daily fight, itoldyouso.

    BS

  8. itolduso

    Edited for content

    NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – A Dallas suburbg is the most affluent neighborhood in the United States, according to Forbes.com.

    The town of Westlake, Texas, has an estimated annual median household income of $250,000, five times more than the median for the U.S. overall.

    Second on the list was the Village of Kenilworth, a suburb of Chicago, where median household income totals $247,000.Mission Hills, Kansas, with median household income of $243,000, was third.

    The county with the highest concentration of affluent neighborhoods was Nassau County, New York. The villages of Plandome, Hewlett Neck, Plandome Manor and Munsey Park in the county are all among America’s wealthiest, with estimated household median income of between $234,000 and $242,000.

    I knew the average income of Mission Hills was pretty damn high, but third in the Nation? Wow. I am living in the wrong place, I guess. ************Oh, I guess I would have to be able to afford it first.

  9. Fragotwofortwo

    itolduso

    January 19, 2011 at 9:57 am
    Hey, in a sense you are right. So let’s not have any Democrats or progressives push China, or any other country, on their human rights records, or anything else. In fact, let’s not talk or address how ANY country treats it’s citizens. After all, “Any nation’s attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible. ” right?

    Yes, you are right. Preaching to other nations about human rights would make us hypocrites.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/world/americas/23iht-23prison.12253738.html

    The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

    Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.

    Criminologists and legal scholars in other industrialized nations say they are mystified and appalled by the number and length of American prison sentences.

    The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London.

    • indypendent

      I suspect we would have alot less prisoners if some of the correctional systems were not in Private corporations’ control.

      Hey, nothing like having a built-in revenue system – huh?

      And to think – Republicans just love privatization of everything. Hang on to your hats if they ever privatize fire and police departments.

    • indypendent

      Well, look here – a prominant Republican with questionable ties to the very thing I was referring to – privatized correctional corporations.

      As alsways – follow the money…….

      ttp://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=869

    • itolduso

      I guess the only thing I can say is that putting people in prison for writing bad checks or using drugs is not theequivlent of putting people in prison, or running them over with tanks, for protesting the government. If you think it is, more power to you.

    • itolduso

      The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation

      Perhaps. I don’t know. And as a percentage of the population? And counting the fact that some countries just kill their criminals, or send them off to camps ( does that count also?)

      And if they are indeed “criminals” where should they be?

  10. itolduso

    I suspect we would have alot less prisoners if some of the correctional systems were not in Private corporations’ control
    ********************************************************
    I suspect you are wrong. But I also suspect neither one of us can prove it, so if it suits you, fine with me.

    • indypendent

      Where is the incentive to not incarcerate people if the private corporation is being paid to take care of prisoners?

      Prisons are big business – think of it like a new branch of Wal Mart.

  11. itolduso

    Just so you know, I object to the privatization of those things, regardless of whether it saves money, that the government should be doing itself. That includes running prisons.

  12. Fragotwofortwo

    Let’s not forget these freedom spreading activities

    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/CIAtimeline.html

    1957-1973

    Laos — The CIA carries out approximately one coup per year trying to nullify Laos’ democratic elections. The problem is the Pathet Lao, a leftist group with enough popular support to be a member of any coalition government. In the late 50s, the CIA even creates an “Armee Clandestine” of Asian mercenaries to attack the Pathet Lao. After the CIA’s army suffers numerous defeats, the U.S. starts bombing, dropping more bombs on Laos than all the U.S. bombs dropped in World War II. A quarter of all Laotians will eventually become refugees, many living in caves.

    1959

    Haiti — The U.S. military helps “Papa Doc” Duvalier become dictator of Haiti. He creates his own private police force, the “Tonton Macoutes,” who terrorize the population with machetes. They will kill over 100,000 during the Duvalier family reign. The U.S. does not protest their dismal human rights record.

    1961

    The Bay of Pigs — The CIA sends 1,500 Cuban exiles to invade Castro’s Cuba. But “Operation Mongoose” fails, due to poor planning, security and backing. The planners had imagined that the invasion will spark a popular uprising against Castro -– which never happens. A promised American air strike also never occurs. This is the CIA’s first public setback, causing President Kennedy to fire CIA Director Allen Dulles.

    Dominican Republic — The CIA assassinates Rafael Trujillo, a murderous dictator Washington has supported since 1930. Trujillo’s business interests have grown so large (about 60 percent of the economy) that they have begun competing with American business interests.

    Ecuador — The CIA-backed military forces the democratically elected President Jose Velasco to resign. Vice President Carlos Arosemana replaces him; the CIA fills the now vacant vice presidency with its own man.

    Congo (Zaire) — The CIA assassinates the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba. However, public support for Lumumba’s politics runs so high that the CIA cannot clearly install his opponents in power. Four years of political turmoil follow.

    1963

    Dominican Republic — The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Juan Bosch in a military coup. The CIA installs a repressive, right-wing junta.

    Ecuador — A CIA-backed military coup overthrows President Arosemana, whose independent (not socialist) policies have become unacceptable to Washington. A military junta assumes command, cancels the 1964 elections, and begins abusing human rights.

    1964

    Brazil — A CIA-backed military coup overthrows the democratically elected government of Joao Goulart. The junta that replaces it will, in the next two decades, become one of the most bloodthirsty in history. General Castelo Branco will create Latin America’s first death squads, or bands of secret police who hunt down “communists” for torture, interrogation and murder. Often these “communists” are no more than Branco’s political opponents. Later it is revealed that the CIA trains the death squads.

    1965

    Indonesia — The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Sukarno with a military coup. The CIA has been trying to eliminate Sukarno since 1957, using everything from attempted assassination to sexual intrigue, for nothing more than his declaring neutrality in the Cold War. His successor, General Suharto, will massacre between 500,000 to 1 million civilians accused of being “communist.” The CIA supplies the names of countless suspects.

    ect ect ect

    • itolduso

      WIthout studying each of these listings, I cannot answer in reply. However, given some of the terminology used, I suspect it is from a site with an axe to grind. Perhaps righfully so. If they happened as listed, for the reasons as listed, shame on us.

  13. itolduso

    I also think that sentencing does indeed need to be looked at, and perhaps have some changes made.

    I once went to a seminar on sentencing. “criminals” tend to fall into three groups….One group for which the very fact that they are being charge with their offense is humiliating enough to them, with them paying a large enough price in their lives that they will never be a repeat offender. One group for whom it is dicey either way. Incarcaration may indeed help them to get on the legal path, or it may lead them farther down the path to being a lifetime criminal as they are exposed to lifetime criminals. The last group incarcaration may never help. They are too far gone. The only thing incarcaration does is to keep others a little safer from them. One of the things we must do better is to be able to tell which group an offender belongs to. The ultimate goal of sentencing must be to not only punish the offender, but to lead them away from doing whatever it was again.
    The other category, which neither I or the seminar presenter includes in the above, is the drug user. A very complex issue. Incarcaration may help the first time user,maybe, but for those with multiple drug busts, incarcaration without counselling is only drying them out to go right back to it. If kicking the drug habit was easy, then many would do so before losing their jobs, their families, their everything. Counselling must also be given, with safety nets. However, those users must be willing to work with the couselling and the safety nets. If they are not, and some are not, you cannot help those who will not help themselves. I do not have the answer

    • indypendent

      And exactly why was that three strikes you’re out put into place? And mandatory sentences – when was that policy put into place?

      The Law and Order group think nothing of saying – throw them in jail and throw away the key.

      But the problem is – these same Law and Order folks are the ones that don’t want to pay any taxes.

    • wicked

      I watch Intervention on A&E quite often. Most of those who are the focus of the program have been incarcerated many times for drug/alcohol use. Many have had counseling and stints in facilities where they dry out for less than a month, then are released, still dealing with their addictions, only stronger now. It takes time and patience, people who care, and a person who truly wants to turn his or her life around. The success rate isn’t 100%, but it’s probably somewhere in the 90% range, and that’s a whole lot better than throwing them in jail for a while. Drugs are an addiction, and addiction is an illness.

  14. indypendent

    And if they are indeed “criminals” where should they be?


    Some criminals never get what they deserve – they only go on to lobby their former colleagues for their new pals.

    • itolduso

      Agreed. The Carr brothers should have been put down like the rabid animals that they are.

    • indypendent

      Why just the Carr brothers? Why pick on just them? If you pick and choose which ones to execute – then aren’t you playing God?

      And I am not defending the Carr brothers – so don’t try to go off on that tangent.

  15. Fragotwofortwo

    http://www.bop.gov/news/quick.jsp

    Types of Offenses back to top

    Drug Offenses: 100,309 (51.4 %)
    Weapons, Explosives, Arson: 29,866 (15.3 %)
    Immigration: 21,372 (11.0 %)
    Robbery: 8,557 (4.4 %)
    Burglary, Larceny, Property Offenses: 6,824 (3.5 %)
    Extortion, Fraud, Bribery: 9,872 (5.1 %)
    Homicide, Aggravated Assault, and Kidnapping Offenses: 5,417 (2.8 %)
    Miscellaneous: 1,875 (1.0 %)
    Sex Offenses: 8,926 (4.6 %)
    Banking and Insurance, Counterfeit, Embezzlement: 856 (0.4 %)
    Courts or Corrections: 617 (0.3 %)
    Continuing Criminal Enterprise: 523 (0.3 %)
    National Security: 98 (0.1 %)

    • itolduso

      That is at the fedreal level. The federal prison system and the state/county system are two distinct animals. I would suspect that the percentages would change considerably. However, drug offense incarcaration is, as I stated above, not the only answer. At the federal level it is half of the incarcarations? Waay to high.

    • indypendent

      Did the drug offenses category break it down into different levels of drug actvity?

      I would like to see drug dealers and drug runners kept in prison but these people who were caught with drugs, does it really warrant a prison sentence?

      And I wonder how many of those drug offenses were the person’s third strike? Does that have any bearing on this high number?

    • itolduso

      I would suspect that most of these were either on us government property, or by us military personnel, etc. In fact, for the most part, drug possession by civilians is not prosecuted at the federal level. Neither is simple homicide, aggravated assault, sex offenses etc. Not to say that they aren’t, but you will find, I think, a majority of those tried and incarcarated on such charges either in county or state prisons.

    • itolduso

      Kansas Prison population by crime
      Homicide 1,487 16.8%
      Kidnapping 33 3.7%
      Sex Offense 1,965 22.2%
      Assault/Battery 856 9.7%
      Robbery 1,016 11.5%
      Burglary 666 7.5%
      Forgery/Theft 252 2.8%
      Drug Offense 1,667 18.8%
      Subtotal 8,241 93.0%
      Other Offenses 619 7.0%
      Total 8,860 100.0%
      Info. Unavailable 11
      Grand Total 8,871

  16. itolduso

    aren’t you playing God?

    No. If I were, I would be dealing with their eternal destinations. Not my job.

    As to why them? THey are one of the first to come to mind. it would be fine with me if the BTK killer would be put down also. I don’t have a problem with the death penalty for the most part.

    • indypendent

      God must have not believed in the death penalty. If He did, then why did he let Cain live after he killed his brother Abel?

      Just asking……

  17. itolduso

    The Law and Order group think nothing of saying – throw them in jail and throw away the key.

    But the problem is – these same Law and Order folks are the ones that don’t want to pay any taxes

    I can only answer for myself. If you choose to answer for others, it’s your business.

    • indypendent

      I only speak for myself – but the three strikes you’re out and mandatory sentences were certainly instituted by those evil Liberals.

      Why, I thought all card-carrying evil Liberals wanted all criminals to run free and destroy America as we know it?

      heavy, heavy sarcasm/

    • indypendent

      correction: mandatory sentences certainly were NOT instituted

  18. indypendent

    There are calls to stop the War on Drugs because it obviously has not worked. But then we come back to needing that money fairy – again.

    Nobody wants to pay taxes for that ‘druggie’ over there.

    Unless, of course, some private corporation in the ‘right’ hands wants to make millions off the government – then that will be just hunky dory.

    I suspect this is the reason televangelist Pat Robertson has done a flip-flop on legalizing pot. Where there is a way to make money, those Envangies are right there to pounce on it. I read somewhere where good ol’ Pat has had success with his version of drug treatment program.

    But – then it still comes back to people not wanting to pay taxes. And if the Republicans repeal heatlth care – who is going to pay for the drug treatment for those who would otherwise end up in prison?

  19. itolduso

    I have no idea what Pat Robertson’s position on anything is. Nor do I care. His positions have nothing to do with me, or those with which I have any sort of imput to. I simply do not care.

    • indypendent

      But he does have alot of influence on the Right side of the aisle – which I thought was so superior to everyone else?

  20. itolduso

    God must have not believed in the death penalty. If He did, then why did he let Cain live after he killed his brother Abel?

    Just asking……
    ******************************************

    Just not answering.

  21. itolduso

    The world is not quite a black and white as one might like
    *****************************************************
    I never said it was. Please feel free to point out in the above commentary where I said any such thing.

  22. itolduso

    “But he does have alot of influence on the Right side of the aisle – which I thought was so superior to everyone else?”

    Again, you can speak for others if you wish. I can only speak for myself.

    • indypendent

      This is a an opinion blog……….

      I am not speaking for anyone else – but this sure must have hit a hot button somewhere…..

  23. itolduso

    And exactly why was that three strikes you’re out put into place? And mandatory sentences – when was that policy put into place?
    ****************************************************
    Since I am not a proponent of either, I have no idea.

  24. indypendent

    Mandatory sentencing went into effect in 1986 (hmmmm…..Republican Ronald Reagan was in White House – I’m sure he was a Law and Order believer – wasn’t he?)

    http://www.drugpolicy.org/drugwar/mandatorymin/

  25. indypendent

    This is the only thing I could find abot the Three Strikes law . But if this was a state thing – then this would not have an effect on those federal percentages of prisoners.

    But I find it interesting that Texas had this in 1974. Looks like many other states went with it in the 90’s. Hmmmm…….I wonder who was in charge of the state legislature at that time – the law and order folks?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_strikes_law

    • indypendent

      I have no problem with the three strikes you’re out law or the mandatory sentences – if that is what the voters want.

      But let’s not bitch and moan about having to pay taxes if the voters do want these policies in place.

      And this is my OPINION -I am not speaking for anyone else…..

  26. itolduso

    But let’s not bitch and moan about having to pay taxes if the voters do want these policies in place
    **********************
    Well, the only thing I can say based on my own personal experience and opinion is, just because someone is opposed to higher taxes doesn;t mean that they are opposed to all government programs. It is not, in my opinion, and all or nothing decision.

    • indypendent

      Now, that’s the rub huh? Who gets to decide which government programs are worthwhile.

      I don’t see why my taxes should go to pay for the two wars but I don’t hear many Republicans wanting to cut that spending – do you?

      I don’t want my taxes going to pay for American corporations to outsource American jobs – but I don’t hear many Republicans protest that.

      I don’t want my taxes going to pay for military defense private contractors for inferior products or services – but I don’t hear many Republicans protesting that.

      Like I said before – life is not always black and white. And where did I say all or nothing?

      Are you trying to speak for me????

  27. indypendent

    Let Sarah and her fellow Tea Party mad hatters continue on with their perpetual victimhood. Seems like it is not playing well with the majority of Americans.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/19/sarah-palin-unfavorability-rating-poll_n_810842.html

  28. itolduso

    And where did I say all or nothing?
    ************************************

    You didn’t.

    ***********************
    Are you trying to speak for me????
    *******************************************
    no

  29. itolduso

    wicked
    January 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm
    I watch Intervention on A&E quite often. Most of those who are the focus of the program have been incarcerated many times for drug/alcohol use. Many have had counseling and stints in facilities where they dry out for less than a month, then are released, still dealing with their addictions, only stronger now. It takes time and patience, people who care, and a person who truly wants to turn his or her life around. The success rate isn’t 100%, but it’s probably somewhere in the 90% range, and that’s a whole lot better than throwing them in jail for a while. Drugs are an addiction, and addiction is an illness.

    *************************************************************

    Incarcaration is only part of the answer, and is not always appropriate for simple possession. In fact, it may be possible that it is never be appropriate for simple possesion, I don;t know. There is much work to be done in this area.

    • indypendent

      Not everyone will respond the same way to every treatment. This is why drug treatment is important.

      And, I think mental health care should be included in any drug treatment program.

      But, again, all will take money and guess which people do not want to pay taxes?

    • wicked

      Whether incarceration or treatment, it will take money. Which will net the best results? I think we’ve answered that question here already.

  30. btw, tstb moved to rehab yesterday. Mrs. tstb said there wasn’t much change but rehab would be working with him to get circuits working again. As soon as I catch up with myself I’ll send an email of where. Thanks for your patience. I’ve been seeing the inside of a hospital and not much else all week. Weather moving in, huh? Maybe I should pay attention to a forecast…

    • indypendent

      The inside of hospitals is never the most pleasant place to be – and I’ve worked in the health care field for years.

      My husband used one of their so-called sofa chairs to sleep on for 32 days when I was in the hospital for my cancer journy. And to make matters worse – he is 6ft 4in tall.

      He NEVER wants to see another hospital sofa chair again!!!