Monday, 4/11/11, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

56 responses to “Monday, 4/11/11, Public Square

  1. Smart people who stick to it long enough and try hard enough — this is who Americans are!

    • wicked

      Wow! Considering how many whiteboards I have and am always buying new ones, this is fantastic! Not sure how my landlord would feel about it, though. LOL A great idea for schools, businesses, and kids’ rooms!

      While searching for a small whiteboard, I discovered some comments from teachers who’d bought large pieces of shower wall and cut them up to 10X10 inches, creating whiteboards for their students much cheaper than they could buy them. But this paint beats that!

  2. btw, the ‘Paul Ryan’ character in the header cartoon — he isn’t who Americans are!

    • indypendent

      Actually, when Paul Ryan first unveiled his ‘magic bullet’ budget last year – very few Republicans ran to his side to sign on with the wonder boy.

      Now that tea partiers have made it fashionable and chic to be deficit hawks (even to the detriment of our own citizens) – NOW everybody is running to jump on the Wonder Boy’s wagon.

      • indypendent

        I wonder how those tea partiers are going to react when their Medicare and Social Security gets gutted?

        I know, I know …Paul Ryan and his Gang have stated that no one over the age of 55 will be affected.

        Remember this – these are the same folks that said that extending the Bush tax cuts would create jobs. Those tax cuts were extended – even after being in effect for 10 years – and there is still high unemployment.

        Where are the jobs?

        So why would I believe paul Ryan and his Gang about this promise about Medicare and Social Security?

        Don’t get me wrong – I do think both of these programs need to be looked at and tweaked – but not at the cost of throwing the baby out with the bathwater..

      • Yes, those tax cuts that would create jobs, and were too deep and dangerous to keep in place ten years so they had to set an expiration date because they raised the debt so high. These are now the same folks who want to give more tax cuts to the wealthiest while cutting all safety nets for the most vulnerable citizens.

        Slow learners those GOP folks who worship at the alter of tax cuts.

        WHERE ARE THE JOBS??

        Which jobs and how many will be created by Paul Ryan’s plan?? Details, please?? What is the cost, what are the benefits?? None of this pie-in-the sky crap is going to be believed again. We have longer memories than that.

  3. indypendent

    Not one single Republican has yet to address my question –

    If we cut $100 billion from the budget and then turn around give that $100 billion to the wealthiest corporations – where are the savings???

    But I’m sure if you’re one of those CEO’s getting a huge pay raise , I suspect you would probably not give one thought – until the next time it’s your turn at the government trough to get your snoot full of taxpayer money.

    If these capitalists were true capitalists – they would use their OWN money – not the taxpayer money.

    The way things are done nowadays – these self-professing capitalists are nothing but socialists.

  4. Does anyone else see irony?

    GOP applauds Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, author of a comprehensive plan to reduce the deficit that, among other things, would fundamentally change Medicare, taking benefits away from everyone, costing every American more for their health care.

    GOP wants to kill The Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act which will reduce the deficit and fundamentally changes and improves not only Medicare but our country’s entire health care system, improving every Americans access to affordable health care.

    Do you get the impression they’re sore losers? You see, the GOP hasn’t delivered a single major piece of legislation that benefits Americans in so many years none of us actually remembers them doing anything that we could classify as such. So it seems to me that since they can’t accomplish anything on their own their goal is to tear down and attack what benefits Americans.

    Someone help me see a different perspective?

    • indypendent

      I wonder how many for-profit health insurance companies are going to be banging down the doors of these ex-Medicare recipients who are generally the ones using the most health care dollars?

  5. indypendent

    I think the world is upside down.

    I remember the time when movies showed the good guys and the bad guys. The bad guys were the bullies, thugs, liars, cheaters and usually the wealthiest people with the most power in the town – ie Mr. Potter in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

    Nowadays – the bad guys, as described above, are the ones we are encouraged to adore, worship and give all our taxpayer money to in order for them to make more money.

    And what’s worse – today’s Evangelicals in the Grand Old Party are right there cheering on their corporate sponsors.

    It is a sad time in our society – the world is upside down. But yet no one seems to really care because – after all – people are too weak, or so I’ve heard.

    • indypendent

      P.S. – people are too weak and lazy – don’t forget that – the unemployed are lazy.

      heavy sarcasm///

      • I’ve also heard they’re not just weak and lazy but also of poor character! Probably highly immoral.

      • Do you think the unemployed are as bad as those Mooslums, how about queers, brown people, pregnant women….? And now the GOP is picking on Seniors!

    • Freebird1971

      I agree that the world is upside down but until we do away with the us versus them mentality we will keep getting what we are getting.

      • indypendent

        And sorry to say – that us versus them mentality pays high bucks to those on the media circuit who also just happens to be corporate-owned.

        Another reason we need NPR and PBS ….

      • indypendent

        And if my tax dollars are going to those corporate owned media outlets in way of tax breaks and/or subsidies – then I do not begrudge NPR and PBS the tax dollars they get.

        After all, we must be fair and balanced……

  6. indypendent

    What I have been dealing for the past month is just a taste of what our lives will be like if and when Republicans succeed in corporatizing everything they touch.

    We changed homeowners insurance 6+ months back because our agent (who was very good when we purchased our house in late 2009) changed over to another insurance company. We liked the guy, so why not change to keep him?

    Well – once the new company got our money – we were informed that our cars was with a subsidiary company and the homeowners premium got jacked up higher than the quoted price plus there was a fee charged (of which I specifically asked if there was a fee and I was told ‘no’).

    Well, we kept on with this new company up until last month and we finally had our fill and said ‘good-bye’.

    We went back to the original insurance company we were with when we purchased the house (a members owned company) PLUS we got a better rate on the cars and the homeowners coverage well exceeded what we had and at a cheaper premium. Everything with this company is just as it was before – no problems.

    Now our problem seems to be getting the half-year refunds we are due from the corporate company we changed to when we decided to keep the same agent.

    It seems the new corporate company refunded half of that homeowners policy fee of $25 and since that ‘transaction’ had been processed, the company’s policy is they can do no more transactions on that cancelled policy until 14 days later.

    Bottom line – both the premium and that fee were paid at the same time through our mortgage company escrow account but we only got half of the $25 fee and now we have to wait for the lion’s share of the refund because they can not process more than one transaction every 14 days.

    Hmmmm…….they get to keep my money for an additional 14 days – interest free….Now how sweet is that – if you’re the one getting to keep the money.

    The new company had one phone number but you had to pull teeth to get through to anyone. And then once in, you had to play the shell game as to which policy you were dealing with because it was different companies…blah, blah, blah…

    bottom line again – lousy customer service but don’t they love it when they can keep your money???

    BTW – I have still not dealt with their subsidiary company about the auto policy. God help me please……

    And let’s not forget – this scenario is being replayed over and over all across the country to thousands of people. But now the Republicans want to corporatize everything AND take away any regulations and/or regulators?

    Oh Hell NO…….

    • indypendent

      P.S. – I truly believe the difference is dealing with two types of companies.

      One is a very big corporate company and the other one is a members owned company.

      They are both insurance companies trying to make a profit – but what a world of difference in dealing with the two different types.

      That is what I see our country coming to – what kind of country do we want for our children and grandchildren?

      The type that shuffles its citizens from one shell to the next shell in some crooked game or the type that does what it says it will do and then follow through?

      I much prefer the type of country that cares about its citizens and holds up their end of their bargain.

  7. indypendent

    It looks like ‘Frontline’ is not totally dependent on those federal funds (like some think they should never get) but rather they are going on the aggressive side and looking towards the future.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/11/frontline-phil-bennett-beyond-broadcast_n_847372.html

  8. indypendent

    What are your thoughts about Gov Brownback’s idea to let people move into certain rural counties with the promise of not having to pay Kansas income taxes for 5 years?

    My opinion is –

    If we are so broke, then how can we afford to lose money from current Kansans moving to rural counties? Or is this just for people outside of Kansas?

    And where are the jobs going to be so these people can buy houses in these rural counties to the 5-year Kansas income taxes?

    Are there some developers who have vacant land they want to sell to these people Brownback has chosen to bless with 5-years of no Kansas income taxes?

    Lastly, isn’t this a form of socialism where the government picks winners and losers? I thought Republicans railed against that sort of thing?

    • wicked

      Which counties are considered “rural?”

      • indypendent

        wicked – I copied and pasted this article from the WE website just now….

        Brownback hopes to see rural areas stop losing population by 2020
        11 Comments
        BY RICK PLUMLEE
        The Wichita Eagle
        WICHITA — Gov. Sam Brownback said today he hopes new economic incentives will reverse the decades-long decrease in rural populations by the time the 2020 census is conducted.

        “That is the goal. . . that they will be starting to grow,” he said at Wichita State University.

        Brownback was at WSU as part of a four-stop tour of the state to promote the incentive plan.

        The plan focuses on 50 rural counties — pegged as rural opportunity zones, or ROZ — with a two-pronged approach.

        It waives state income tax for a five years for those who live out of state and move to one of the 50 counties.

        It also pays off student loans up to $15,000 for college graduates who move to one of the targeted counties. That amount would be split between the state and the county, which has the option of whether to participate.

        Brownback easily pushed the bill through the Legislature and he signed it into law last week. Earlier today, he held ceremonial signings in Belleville, Colby and Wichita and was scheduled to make a final stop this afternoon in Yates Center.

        He came to WSU because part of the plan includes helping pay off student loans of college graduates. It doesn’t matter whether the degree is from a Kansas college or out of state.

        “This also will give our rural areas something to sell,” Brownback said.

        Rural populations have been declining since the 1960s. Most the 50 targeted counties have seen population decreases of 10 percent or more over the last 10 years.

        Most of the counties are in western Kansas. Here is a list:

        Barber, Chautauqua, Cheyenne, Clark, Cloud, Comanche, Decatur, Edwards, Elk, Gove, Graham, Greeley, Greenwood, Hamilton, Harper, Hodgeman, Jewell, Kearney, Kingman, Kiowa, Lane, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Mitchell, Morton, Ness, Norton, Osborne, Pawnee, Phillips, Pratt, Rawlins, Republic, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Scott, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Stafford, Stanton, Trego, Thomas, Wallace, Washington, Wichita, Wilson and Woodson.

        Read more: http://www.kansas.com/2011/04/11/1803684/brownback-hopes-to-see-rural-areas.html#ixzz1JFNnLY00

      • wicked

        Thanks, indy. I’m familiar with some of them, having lived southwest of Wichita for 40 years. Not in any of the counties listed, however.

        The counties listed are the ones that have very few employment opportunities. I don’t see that getting people to move there will change that. PrairiePond can address this much better than I can.

        It waives state income tax for a five years for those who live out of state and move to one of the 50 counties.

        Maybe some people from blighted areas of places like Detroit would rather live in rural KS? I sure don’t know. Takes money to move, and a promise of “no taxes” in the future does not a penny make in the present. But then what do I know?

      • wicked

        Sound like Gov. Brownie is blowing smoke up people’s…

      • indypendent

        blowing smoke…..that was my feeling also.

        I also wondered where these people were going to work in order to move to rural Kansas?

        This plan – like alot of politicians’ plans – seems to be long on money being spent but no real positive outcome – huh?

  9. indypendent

    Here’s some new spending that needs to be cut right now…..

    Well, Republicans, where is that budget cutting axe?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/11/libya-us-costs_n_847536.html

    • indypendent

      Oh yeah, that’s right, all military industrial complex budgets are NOT on the cutting table.

    • wicked

      You missed the little disagreement I had with a R friend and one of that friend’s friends on FB. All because Marxists Dems want to fun Planned Parenthood abortions instead of the military. Okay, it wasn’t a direct “You are a Marxist!” but come on. The friend said she “thought” Fed money paid for PP abortions, then when I told her it didn’t, the answer was that it did and PP played a shell game. The final concensus of Friend and her friends was that PP was cooking the books and all Dems are Marxists. My reply today was “Thanks! I always wanted to be called a Marxist!” Now I’m laughing at their foolishness. Not one of them has a clue. It’s wrong for PP to cook the books, but just fine and dandy for Wall Street. Marxist. Ha! I doubt they know the definition. But it sounds so good. 😉

      • wicked

        Scratch one friend. No, make that three. It’s gotten to the point where some of these friends think it’s okay to state their opinions, but the opposition must remain silent.

      • indypendent

        I think Freebird mentioned this previously – it is that ‘Us and Them’ mentality going on.

        If they concede that PP does not do abortions, then they might just have to concede that Fox News is exactly fair and balanced.

      • indypendent

        correction: Fox News is NOT fair and balanced..

      • wicked

        Amazing. The response to my “Thanks! I always wanted to be called a Marxist” was “If the star fits, wear it.”

        People like that are scary. I wonder if the guy–a total stranger–would be interested in saying that to my face. And I wonder if he spits when he says it. He strikes me as being the type.

  10. indypendent

    I would like to simply say that I have absolutely no problem with the government helping anyone – but I’m tired of seeing the different groups being pitted against one another.

    I wish the budget was large enough to help everybody – but it isn’t. And there is not much chance of the budget getting larger because nobody seems to want to pay taxes .

    Well – in the real world – it take money (taxes) to pay for the things we want and/or need government to do for its citizens.

    Otherwise, we might as well just have the last person leaving the country to turn off the lights.

  11. indypendent

    This is really interesting …..a photographer left his camera for 11 hours and captured some really beautiful pictures.

    When I see pictures like this showing the wondrous and beautiful world we have, I just don’t really care what god anybody chooses to worship.

    To each their own – but I have to beleive that some god-like energy made this beautiful world we live in. It’s just a shame people have chosen to make our dailt reality world ugly by their insistence their god is the only god.

    We need to simply appreciate what we have and be thankful.

    http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/04/11/6451052-from-us-to-paris-in-2-minutes-with-northern-lights-on-the-side?GT1=43001

    • Robert

      I couldn’t agree with you more Indypendent, on your god and country issues! The republicans have done a pretty good job of capturing god for the last 30yrs and it really makes me want to gag. I have to say though; I think the american people are probably some of the hardest working non-lazy people in the world. I just think we have alot of burnt out people in this country, and who do I blame, the gov; we should have mandatory time off in this country equal to around 7 or 8wks a yr of vacation and discretionary leave. Pretty much of Europe is already their. When the American people finally realilize their being brainwashed by the Corporate Media things will change. I keep hoping! I heard a trick question for the republicans on taxes. Can we go back to the taxes under the last republican president that balanced the budget? Answer, Ole Ike back in the 50’s. 91% on money over $400000. I wonder how the wealthy would justify the difference between now and then. I think it’s time for a reset! Oh, glad I’m not a wealthy doctor or attorney; for sexual reasons.

      • indypendent

        I’ve pointed out several times in my other blogging sites about Eisenhower being the last Republican to have a balanced budget.

        Then to make the GOP elephants really mad – I threw in the fact that Bill Clinton was the last Democrat president to have a balanced budget.

        And to add salt to their ever-present Clinton injury – I added – and Bill Clinton would still beat any of their current Reagan wannabe’s if he could run again for president.

  12. indypendent

    Kudos to these two celebrities for doing something about this issue.

    I wonder what the statistics are for men buying boys? I remember watching some Dateline-type news show about how many American men (majority are white, wealthy and professionals such as doctors and lawyers) are in foreign countries on the single mission of finding young boys for sex.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/11/ashton-kutcher-demi-moore-trafficking_n_847291.html

  13. indypendent

    robert said – I just think we have alot of burnt out people in this country, and who do I blame, the gov;

    I blame the government and the politicians on both sides of the aisle to allow corporations to rule everything.

    Corporatization + theocracy will be the downfall of America – IMHO.

    Alot of good, honest, hardworking people are tired, beat down by the constant struggle to even survive and then talk radio entertainers, Fox News anchor babies and their minions of so-called christians demonize these people for doing the best they can – WTF…..

    • Robert

      Those ole republican boys have a problem with that seperation of church and state. A republican goof and I were talking the other day and I asked him to name one thing the republicans have done for the the working people of America in the past 100yrs. After some thought his answer, they’ve given us jobs. My answer, you mean like Bush. A friend of mine in KC calls a working republican a SLUG. He always follows with, and try and teach a SLUG to stand up.

  14. Zippy

    Some brief observations:

    1) It’s look like Obama is actually going to say something real about the budget (like he used to do) on Wednesday, in spite of the “gang of six”‘s consensus to ignore reality in the name of political convenience.

    At least we can hope. Give ’em hell, Barry.

    2) More about public broadcasting: it is perfectly okay to object, in a democracy, to tax dollars being used for something like public broadcasting. Certainly one can argue for a Spartan focus on “essentials,” particularly in tough times.

    However, one thing ot consider is that radio and TV space are –still–limited resources and, despite the proliferation of different media in this age–the “spectrum scarcity” argument still applies. The bandwidth is perhaps more efficiently allocated, but, if anything, it is more crowded than it was when the Fairness Doctine was developed, decades ago.

    Secondly, many rural communities — still — have much more limited radio choices than urban markets and — also–fewer dollars to spend on public radio. While a station like KMUW may survive the lack of the federal funding, Salina’s station, say, may go under–and with it, some of the better programming on heard from KPR when I lived in Kansas.

    The point is not that the funding is absolutely necessary, but that defunding is simply a bad idea.

    • indypendent

      Those rural communites were where Rush Limbaugh’s radio show got their start – remember?

      The Rush show was given free to alot of limited rural communities free in order to get his name and following started.

      It was only when his radio numbers ‘jumped’ that advertisers took notice. That, and the fact Rush was not adverse to using many tactics that I find offensive – such as using a young girl’s looks as the butt of a very low-class joke.

      But, hey, simple people may find that funny…..

  15. Looks like cuts in government funding for women’s organizations are proposed in Canada as well: http://www.womensequality.ca/#fundingcuts

  16. Thunderchild

    “Scratch one friend. No, make that three.”

    Now THAT is the proper way to go forward. Try and inform Republicans. But if they are determined to be evil or stupid, cut them off. And tell them why. If there is ANY good in them, they will follow you. I have an aunt I have not spoken to in more than 12 years. If I have anything to do with it, her sister, my mother, will never see my aunt again and neither will I. This is how we on the left have to go forward. Come our way or go your way…and find your friends and loved ones among your fellow travelers.

  17. Thunderchild

    And it seemed you were learning.

    What you have is someone who calls you a friend and will, at best, pray for you or at worst prey ON you should you ever tell them you are in a jam.

    • wicked

      I’m not sure you know what a friend is.

    • I know some who have offered the hand of friendship and it didn’t seem to be enough or done in the correct manner …

      I firmly believe I can hold my own personal opinions only as long as I’m aware that right belongs to each and every other person.

      • Freebird1971

        That is exactly why most of us have friends of diverse beliefs and opinions. Diversity of thought is what makes a friendship vibrant.

      • How would anyone think they deserve respect if they aren’t willing to give it back? You get what you give.

  18. Thunderchild

    Ignorance and evil, and Republicans are either stupid or evil, does not retreat from a diplomatic approach.

  19. Thunderchild

    “How would anyone think they deserve respect if they aren’t willing to give it back?”

    And, if in the time of slavery, I had a friend who owned slaves while I found slavery to be unacceptable, slavery would have continued because my “friend” has a right to have his opinion respected?

    One of many examples.

    Republicans do not understand diplomacy above the level of a three year old. Diplomacy to them is you do things their way. A Republican will remain your friend so long as they have something to gain from it. If they can find gain or advancement in betraying you, they will not hesitate to do so.

    • wicked

      You lump all Republicans together, label them, then dismiss them as evil. That makes you no better than the guy who declared, in reply to my one sentence stating that federal taxes do not pay for Planned Parenthood abortions, that Democrats are Marxist Socialists.

      • indypendent

        Acgtually, alot of those on the right side of the aisle can also be labled Socialists if they believe it is okay to take taxpayer money and give it to private corporations.

        These same folks profess to be capitalists – but whose capital are they using? Certainly not their own money if they are dipping into the govenrment trough for taxpayer money.

  20. Thunderchild

    “You lump all Republicans together, label them, then dismiss them as evil. ”

    Well, no actually, I allowed that the balance of those who vote Republican are simply not terribly bright. I’ve known only a few rich and evil Republicans. The balance of Republican voters I have met, many of them former friends, simply demonstrate insurmountable stupidity.

    • Freebird1971

      Just because a person agrees or disagrees with you is neither a sign of intelligence and morals or a lack of same. Political beliefs are in most cases, a fraction of a person’s character,and is a very narrow way to define a person.