Sunday, 4/10/11, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

46 responses to “Sunday, 4/10/11, Public Square

  1. indypendent

    The reason we see such hatred of Planned Parenthood and PBS is because Evangelicals are running the show over at the Grand Old Party.

    Planned Parenthood we discussed yesterday but the reason evangelicals have this hatred of PBS is because of their perception that PBS is too tolerant of alternative lifestyles – in other words, homosexuals are evil.

    I know, I know – their logic does not make any sense. I said the same thing yesterday.

    But stay with me – rememember when Jerry Falwell said that the purple teletubbie was gay because he carried a purse? Where on television are shows like the teletubbies?? PBS – that’s where.

    The hatred of PBS is rooted in the evangelicals hatred of homosexuals and the concept of tolerance and diversity.

    And what could be a bigger threat to these mega churches filled with white evangelicals than to have the younger generation influenced by a PBS television network that advocates tolerance of everyone?

    I know, I know…..their logic does not make sense. But if you stand on your head, squint your left eye, and then look backwards – it might just make sense.

    • indypendent

      My granddaughter loves PBS and I have noticed in recent years many of the characters are now speaking Spanish and they are brown-skinned.

      This is not exactly what one sees when viewing people leaving those evangelical mega churhes or a Republican gathering. I remember the comments that were made when the GOP was nominating John McCain – the majority of the audience was older, male and white.

  2. Zippy

    I think it’s significant that–for now–the attack on CPB funding went nowhere. The reason being, when one considers steely-eyed cost-benefit analysis, public broadcasting contributes far more to our knowledge and critical thinking skills than it costs in outlays (of course, that means that liberal perspectives will not be ignored, which is really a code word for hosts who liberally toss around ideas, ask hard questions based on fact, and are not bound by a predictable ideological script. It also means allowing edgy stuff like Frontline, well-documented programming which does not resemble the fait accompli” rants of many preprogrammed liberal activists but, nonetheless, by challenging assumptions and lifting the curtain too often, get a reputation as a “liberal” point of view.

    Which is, really, an unintended compliment to liberals.

    The failure to kill CPB–again—is more impressive when you consider how much more Americans think it receives than it does.

    A majority of poll respondents think the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a non-profit created by Congress that helps fund NPR and PBS as well as other public media, receives a share of 1 percent or more of the federal government’s budget.

    In the financial year for 2010, the CPB reported receiving $506 million in federal appropriations. According to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, the federal budget for 2010 was $3.456 trillion. Using those numbers, the CPB receives about .00014 percent of the federal budget.

    Now, mind you, that level of ignorance–not just the ignorance itself, but the cluelessness about some vague budgetary proportions–is disturbing. And the converted figure I see bandie about — 168 billion — is nearly 3 times the “huge savings” — $66 billion– that Republican were aiming to get from the smallest programs in the budget.

    For my part, I am glad to see less than 1/100 of 1 percent of my tax bill go to something so worthy.

    And, the truth of it is, I favor limited government, wherein the government is limited to doing things for the health, welfare, safety and enlightenment of the people. Doesn’t sound very limted, does it?

    But the current advocates of “limited government” have shown repeatedly that they have no problem using government as a tool to club the powerless. I am not now speaking of the stealing of the public commons (though that’s part of it — prisons for profit? Really?). Those who, like Mike Huckabee, claim to want a “simple government” really want a simple, authoritarian government. Government can be as overreaching and intrusive as they want (in the name of Jesus Christ), so long as it doesn’t mess up the temporary profits in someone’s portfolio.

    Libertarians claim to object to all this, but, for those who are politicians or “industry leaders,” their first loyalty is to the Holy Marketplace, and the Bill of Rights becomes a statement of general ideals that can sacrificed in name of Ferenghian profiteering.

    Look at how the markets work, and marvel at how completely disconnected they are from any tangible good or service:

    “Earnings are what the market is all about. Earnings are critical in here, guidance is critical in here, the conference calls are critical in here,” said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.

    “In terms of earnings and sectors, you basically want to be with those people who have the ability to raise prices or are participating in the commodity price increases,” he said. “And you really don’t want to be in those people who have the input costs increases and are going to see their margins squeezed by rising commodity prices.

  3. Freebird1971

    Don’t hate PBS or NPR but the P stands for public not government

    • I am both — the public and the government. Aren’t you?

      • Freebird1971

        Yep but if it is called public let those that wish to support it do so without relying on the government. Was listening to KMUW Fri during their fund raiser and the statement was made they could do it on their own,my response is let them

      • Part of the money is mine and I like my money spent supporting the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — both the money I happily give to the government and the extra I happily send directly to KPTS as a subscriber. Good quality programming and information!

        You see I don’t mind paying taxes. It’s part of my responsibility as a citizen and I’m fully aware that the federal taxes I pay today are the lowest I’ve ever paid in my entire lifetime. You’d have to go back over fifty years to find federal tax rates lower than those of today.

      • Freebird1971

        So since I’m not for government funding I’m irresponsible? You don’t give money to the government,they take it from you.

      • I would never call you irresponsible and certainly can’t understand where you got that from I did say.

        Just like you some of what I pay in taxes is spent in ways I don’t approve of. I’m a pacifist and military spending isn’t something I like, I would like it if not one penny was spent to legislate bans on medical procedures I might need, and I don’t like it that tax money is spent to make laws which make my son’s work criminal activity in some places.

    • indypendent

      The same could be said about those corporations getting taxpayer money in subsidies – but where is the outrage at their getting their snoot full of our tax dollars?

  4. indypendent

    I would rather have my tax dollars going to NPR or PBS than some of these wealthy corporations that are getting their snootful at the taxpayer money trough.

    Now when I hear of Republicans telling these corporations no taxpayer money – then I’ll say, no money for the PBS or NPR.

    But I won’t be holding my breath on that way.

    Republicans are not against federal spending – as long as it goes to all the ‘right’ people.

    • Freebird1971

      Well I say no to gov’t giving corps tax breaks. I’m for cutting government funding to any thing but essential services. Frivolous funding for things like the endowment for the arts,PBS and NPR should be stopped,if there is interest in these things then let those who support them pay for them. Can you honestly say that the money used for funding these three could not be better spent elsewhere?

  5. indypendent

    Freebird said: So since I’m not for government funding I’m irresponsible? You don’t give money to the government,they take it from you

    If you’re not for government funding – then how do you propose to pay for the streets you drive on? Or the fire and police protection you enjoy?

    Just wondering……..

    You see, paying taxes is just the way our society gets to have things that we all use. And if Republicans don’t want to pay any taxes – then do you think any of those private corporations that Republicans love to give MY tax dollars to will be providing those roads, fire or police?

    Just wondering…..

    • Freebird1971

      Just for clarification I was referring to NPR and PBS. Government funding of some things is necessary but NOT for everything.

  6. Freedomwriter

    Okay, Freebird, let me make sure I am understanding your position. You want tax money to go only for essential services. Some Republicans are wanting to get rid of public education, health care services, and as you’ve already said, NPR and PBS. I am not sure how you define “essential services”. I fear you might mean removing funding for museums, zoos, parks, and low cost health clinics for those of us who cannot afford the for-profit clinics. Tell me it isn’t so. Do you really want to tear down a system that has nurtured and supported our intellectual and emotional growth? Do you really want to get rid of NPR and PBS and subject us to only those for-profit stations that lack objectivity and adherence to standard reporting values? Is that really the America you grew up in? Is that really the America you want your grandkids to inherit? I personally can’t imagine life with out the arts, history, and the opportunities that our ancestors worked so hard to create for us.

    • Freebird1971

      I fear you might mean removing funding for museums, zoos, parks, and low cost health clinics

      Not at all. I do thing that if there was as much public support for NPR and PBS as I hear there is then government funding should not be necessary.

      • Freedomwriter

        I don’t know if you’ve ever watched PBS but they have to do fund raising all the time. Government funding only supports part of their budget. Our taxes only provide part of its support. The point is why focus on services that enhance our lives only to turn around and give tax breaks to the rich. If they would require large corporations to pay a fair percent of their earnings as tax and if they would quit giving tax breaks to the wealthy, they wouldn’t need to cut the programs and services that enhance the quality of life for the other 98% of us who aren’t wealthy.

        These proposed cuts in services are not going to save us money. Economists are indicating that it will cause a greater deficit in the long run.

    • indypendent

      You’ve raised a very good question – what are essential services?

      I guess those corporations getting the taxpayer money (and I mean actual money – not just tax breaks) try to say they are providing essential services by allowing us to be their customers. Yeah, sure…

      • Freebird1971

        well they are wrong. You tell me what you think are essential services.

      • Freebird1971

        public education, health care services,police,fire EMS,infrastructure maintenance are a few of the things I would classify as essential services

  7. Freebird1971

    Well it has been interesting to hear others point of view,not that it is going to change my mind,but it is nice to have people around that I can agree to disagree with.

  8. indypendent

    I just have to wonder why NPR and PBS is such a big threat to Republicans?

    Why have Repubklicans made such a big deal out of NPR and PBS getting funding from the government?

    Why not go after Senior Centers next? Hey, there’s one for the Tea Party members to go after next.

    Oh wait, that won’t work because Senior Centers serve the Tea Party set quite well. We would never want to take away something taxpayer pays for from those Tea Partiers.

    • Freebird1971

      Not a Republican and I don’t see them as a threat but just don’t think they should be government funded.

      • indypendent

        Alot of things should not be funded – why just pick on NPR and PBS?

        That’s the point here……

    • indypendent

      Or let’s go after the Medicare Drug Program – that’s government funding that is not necessary.

      I’m tired of paying for wealthy peoples’ drugs.

      I’d much rather pay for NPR and PBS than to pay for some old geezer’s Viagra pill so he can have money to go play the slots at the nearest casino.

      But I agree with freedomwriter about what kind of country do we want?

      Do we want a country where its citizens provide a better life for ALL of its people – or should we just continue to pick and choose which citizens get the benefits?

      • indypendent

        It makes me angry to see where parents with a child stricken with cancer has to have a bake sale in order to raise money for that child’s health care.

        While at the same time, my tax dollars are going to pay for gramps’ Viagra pill.

        But if that is the kind of country Republicans want, then they will always get a fight out of me.

  9. indypendent

    As long as the ‘right’ people get their snoots full at the govenment trough, all will be well.

    It’s only when the ‘right’ people feel theatened is when we hear all this B.S. about too much spending.

    Mark my words – if a Republican gets back into the White House and spends like George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush or Ronald Reagan did (all 3 left huge deficits) – not one single solitary word of outrage will be uttered by the folks on the right side of the aisle.

    Especially if we buy alot of guns, bombs, and tanks…..this side just loves those wars…

  10. indypendent

    BTW – Freebird – I am a Registered Republican.

    • indypendent

      I just don’t like be associated with stupidity – and right now, Evangelicals in the Grand Old Party have been on the stupid platform for quite some time.

  11. Thunderchild

    “Yep but if it is called public let those that wish to support it do so without relying on the government.”

    Fine with me. If you believe that this country and the “free” market system is worth defending, find others such as you and group your money and resources to defend it. Why should all of us pay for national defense and police department that protect the idle rich from the results of the social and economic injustice they create here and around the world? If art and broadcasting must survive in the “free” market, let patriotism and defense of the “American dream” do the same.

    • WSClark

      I have known many people in my lifetime, and I can honestly say that you are the very first to say that you don’t feel that America is worth defending. I grew up in the Sixties and was quite radical myself, but even the hardcore radicals I knew never made such a statement.

      This is our country, we make it what it is and it is more than worth defending. I may not agree with the current political direction we are headed and I am not too crazy about some of the ‘leaders’ of this country, but it is still my country and, if necessary, I will defend her.

    • Freebird1971

      So you are saying crime is a direct result of your perceived social and economic injustice,I contend that crime is a direct result of people making choices between right and wrong. I am neither rich nor idle but I have had occasion to avail my self of police assistance and never was I asked to produce a statement of earning to see if I qualified for their assistance.

      • indypendent

        Crime usually goes up when there is high unemployment.

        When pressed, good people make those bad choices (as you call it) and will do things they would never do if they had a job that supported themselves and their families.

      • Freebird1971

        That is in MHO a very weak excuse for committing a crime

      • indypendent

        The world is not as black and white as some wish it to be.

        Maybe you’ve never known desperate people trying to survive in desperate times?

        My grandparents lived throught the Depression. My grandmother cried because as a child she had to steal apples from the farmer down the road because they were hungry.

        My husband’s grandfather was a store owner when the Depression hit. He was kind hearted and believed in helping people – so he got stuck with no money being paid because he would sell food to those desperate people on credit.

        That grandfather killed himself rather than face the humiliation of beign bankrupt.

        But, you go ahead and feel these good folks were ‘weak’…….

  12. Zippy

    The Constitution of course specifically gives Congress the authority to “promote science and the useful arts.” but Freebird is correct that nothing mandates arts funding or public radio funding.

    But in the era where broadcasting is controlled by an ever-shrinking number of corporations, I think public broadcasting performs a vital public service–maybe not as, disaster relief, but we’ve seen that even that can get co-opted in the name of power (Katrina, anyone? Or the BP oil spill, for that matter).

    This latest shake-up may have been good for them, in a way–firing Juan Williams for saying what many Americans think on airplanes, even those who know better, was not a legitimate reason to fire him (nor, incidently, would placating the Right been a good reason to keep him–I just thought it was ludicrous. What they should have done is what they do so well, mainly, use that as a jumping-off point for a larger discussion about ingrained prejudices.

    • WSClark

      Juan Williams is not much of a commentator and truly getting fired by NPR is probably the best thing that has happened to his career – at least in the dollars and cents context. NPR handled the dismissal very poorly, but hopefully they have learned from their mistakes. Personally, I agree with you that Williams’ comments could have been a great ‘teaching opportunity’ rather than a left-right pissing contest.

  13. Thunderchild

    “I will defend her.”

    Go ahead on. Of course, at your age, you will not be called upon. My kid IS called upon, relentlessly, just as I was at his age to defend a country that does next to nothing for him. Just as this country has done next to nothing for me. Oh I used to buy into all the patriotism clap-trap. But no more. The flag aint nothing but a piece of cloth (most likely from China) and the Founders were just rich white guys who figured out a system to protect their own interests with a lot of high minded words that they applied to themselves and used to enslave everyone else.

    • Freebird1971

      And yet you want a country that is not worth defending to give you more.

      • indypendent

        Maybe that is not Thunderchild’s real issue with the military?

        have you ever thought that maybe Thunderchild is tired of seeing the military being used as a pawn in a chess game?

        How many elected officials’ have their own kids serving in the miliatry? I don’t mean as officers – I mean in the front lines of combat.

        Something is wrong when a self-professing patriotic president uses the National Guard for multiple tours in two foreign countries that the only power they have is oil.

        That does not bother you?

        I beleive in our country and it’s ideals – but I am also intelligent enough to know that our leaders are not always into those ideals as much as they are into the power and money.

      • Freebird1971

        It bothers me that we think we need to be the world’s 911 for everything.
        I have seen enough of TC’s posts to know that he views the military with utter disdain using terms like stupid,not too bright,people who like to kill,etc. so no I don’t think that is his beef with the military

  14. Thunderchild

    I’ll invite you to submit proof of your accusations.

    Oh I HAVE commented that the military recruits dishonestly. I have had personal experience with that. And I HAVE commented that many who voluntarily join the military have an urge to visit foreign people and kill them.

    Disdain for the military? No. That is the province of the right who treat them as their agents to grow their own wealth and stand in stead for their own phony patriotism.

    • Freebird1971

      I know what I have read and understood what you wrote.Not going to get into a pissing contest with someone who considers those that don’t think like you as enemies. Don’t believe a thing you believe in but that does not make you an enemy

  15. indypendent

    Actually TC and FB – the military should be something that we need but rarely use.

    Since Reagan’s time – the military has been used for corporate interests – not defense of our country.

    As for the TC calling the military stupid – my son was called repeatedly by the SAME recruiter when he turned 18 and this continue for 5 years!!!!!

    My son is an insulin dependent diabetic – guess what – that disqualified him for military service.

    My son asked the recruiter if he knew that fact and the recruiter replied that he did not know, it was written on the files and yet he was ordered to continue to call.

    Did the military think the insulin dependent diabetes was going to be cured?

    If so, then give me the number of the cure guy so we can call him and get my son cured.

    Doing the same thing over and over and over and getting the same failed results is not exactly smart. In fact, one might even call it STUPID.