Democrats & Liberals Archives

America's Future

The gradual prosperity I witnessed growing up in the 70s 80s and 90s seems to have stalled or in some cases receded. It was a given that one generation would work to make things better for the next. Our children would be better off than us, their chidren better off than them.
I remember older people I spoke with as a child telling me, “you don’t know how good you have it”, or” things are better now than when I was growing up.”
Incomes were up, education requirements raised, racial barriers fewer, gender barriers decreased. Things were progressing nicely. Most citizens of the United States were very proud to be American and felt a sense of priviledge because we were fortunate to be born in the United States of America.
Alot has happened since then.

Americans have a responsibility to future generations to stand up and say enough already. We are passing on a tarnished reputation and crushing debt. We are giving them a broken Democracy that is failing the American people. We are not the "land of the free", we are the land of the divided, fearful and frustrated.
Look in todays paper. Watch the news. It's sad to see our gift to the future generations of this country is complacency, greed, debt and a deeply divided nation that has been weakend by it's own government. An education system that has been gutted and replaced by the theoretical "brainchild" of a Republican "think-tank" that has no investment or connection to the average American.

Todays News:

Secretary-General Kofi Annan said " The United States should close the prison at Guantanamo Bay "because it is effectively a torture camp." He went on to say there are "people held in perpetuity without being charged."
This is something to be proud of?
The United States is seen as the bad guys by more and more people. We have less and less credibility. Our children better posess excellent public relations skills. They will have to do alot of damage control thanks to our current government.

The war in Iraq now costs about $5.9 billion a month.
Do you think our children and grandchildren should be in debt to China, India and Japan so that the military industrial complex, Haliburton KBR and the giant oil companies can get wealthier?
If you still buy the "Iraqi Freedom" crap from this administration then at least you know what's on the price-tag.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales refuses to remove himself from the investigation of the administration and their cronies even though he is a part of the administration and one of the cronies. Hey, if Tom Delay can investigate himself why shouldn't this load of nonsense float?
This is the corrupt system we are turning over to the future? This is the system we want to proudly pass on?
A system that blatantly disregards it's citizens in favor of Lobbyists and the wealthy who use them to gain access to our governments pockets and buy legislation right out from under us?
Senator Arlan Specter defends his influencing and attaching items to military appropriations bills that netted a friend $50 million dollars.
What's the defense? They do it too. How sad is that?

If this administration has it's way they will have the ability and the right to spy on any U.S. citizen or agency that speaks out against it. Sadly there are some people out there who's cowardice outweighs their sense of Patriotism and defend this program. While Republican Senators continue the "back-door" meetings with the Bush administration to continue a program that a majority of people think is unconstitutional and illegal ,we are expected to sit back and suck on it. Why? Because this administration and the Republican party has erased the checks and balances that are so vital to our Democracy. They use the complacency of the American voters, the fear of terrorist attacks and the ignorance of those folks who follow this administration like sheep.
So future generation, learn from our(Red States)(It's all their fault) mistakes and vote wisely or you too will feel the guilt my generation feels now.

P.S.
To future generations,
If there is still a planet and it is inhabitable.
I would like to apologize on behalf of this generation for passing such a lousey torch. I hope you can forgive us.
Oh, and a word of advice, don't ever vote for a President based on fear, who divides the country and used to work for "Big- Oil" or the Pharmaceutical Industry.
It never works out.
Oh, I almost forgot, don't ever go hunting with a person with the last name Cheney.

Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at February 17, 2006 9:44 AM
Comments
Comment #126385

If you strip aways some specific references, I have read of heard this speech every year of my adult life (since around 1973) usually in the spring time. It goes with the equally hardy perenial that businesses will soon begin seeking out people with degrees in history and political science for management. I used to be distressed by the former and encouraged by the latter, but I now know that niether has much validity.

I have three kids. I hope to have grandchildren. I will be reasonably proud of the world I pass along to them. Not perfect, but not bad.

Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2006 11:53 AM
Comment #126415

Andre,

To future generations, If there is still a planet and it is inhabitable.

I would like to apologize on behalf of this generation for passing such a lousey torch. I hope you can forgive us.

Oh, and a word of advice, don’t ever vote for a President based on fear, who divides the country and used to work for “Big- Oil” or the Pharmaceutical Industry.

It never works out.

I wonder if you can see the irony of writing a post declaring that because of Bush, “It’s all over,” and, “We’re all doomed”, and then saying, “Don’t ever vote for a President based on fear…?”


What I love about the left is their sense of the melodramatic.

By the way I’ve been working on a post that is complementary to this one; in that the subject is leftist predictions of doom, is it ok if I quote you?

Posted by: esimonson at February 17, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #126418

If you wonder how we got here Andre just read Jack’s response. Unfortunately his attitude represents the majority of America’s non-thinking generation.

Posted by: Robinsong0 at February 17, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #126420

Sorry Andre, I forgot about the non-caring, thank you for the reminder esimonson.

Posted by: Robinsong0 at February 17, 2006 1:11 PM
Comment #126430

Andre,
Occasionally people on this blog have ventured their views of the key diffence between the parties. I think you have hit on the real answer in this thread:

Democrats genuinely try to make the world a better place. Republicans genuinely care about the here and the now, themselves and their peers.

Posted by: Schwamp at February 17, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #126431

ericsimonson,

Feel Free.

Do you wish to argue any of the points I made or will you do your usual, attack the persons political view or opinion without arguing a counter-point and insert fingers into ears and repeat la la la la la la until we walk away?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 17, 2006 1:21 PM
Comment #126436

Robinsong

I have thought about it a lot, traveled all over the U.S. and the world and that is how I came to these conclusions.

Don’t mistake it with not seeing problems, but this kind of doom and gloom stuff we see too often is what affluent children come to when they are sophomores and find out that the world of their childhood dreams is not the real one but have yet to understand it in its complexity.

And Eric really puts his finger on the utter stupidity of the Bush bash. A president, any president, does not have complete power to do anything he wants in politics. Politics, any politics, does not have complete power to control society or the economy.

The environment is cleaner now than any time in our lives up until now. Nothing the president COULD have done could have changed that so fast.

Now IF one man in the course of five years can completely turn around everything you think is valuable, perhaps your frame of reference needs to be adjusted.

Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #126444

Jack:
“I have thought about it a lot, traveled all over the U.S. and the world and that is how I came to these conclusions.”

You aren’t the only one who has done those things — and I think that Andre’s post is right on target.

Well done, Andre.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 17, 2006 1:36 PM
Comment #126445

I grew up in the 70s and I am not happy with the torch that was passed to me. I grew up with high inflation and interest rates, STDs skyrocketing, the family under constant attack, the MSM turning into instuments of propagada and a gutless President (Carter) who made us extremely weak…but the “world” did like us, since we continually caved to every 3rd world dictator!

Am I happy with everything Bush has done…No. But I am very happy we don’t have Gore or Kerry at the helm. If we did, I’m sure we’d have a cresent moon on every building and prayer calls 5 times a day.

And please don’t be so pompous, Andre, as to think that you speak for my generation. As a Liberal, feel free to apologize to your own kind, they’re the only ones who will accept it. I’m working to pass on to my son, the best world I can and have him prepared to succeed no matter what.

Posted by: mac6115cd at February 17, 2006 1:38 PM
Comment #126455

“The environment is cleaner now than any time in our lives up until now. Nothing the president COULD have done could have changed that so fast.
Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2006 01:24 PM”

Cough, cough, gag, gag……………may I recommend the reading of some simple scientific opinion:

Bad Science and the Bush Record
How the Bush administration has systematically distorted science to weaken regulations and serve political ends.
http://www.nrdc.org/bushrecord/science/default.asp

Great post Andre. This one will bring the wing-nuts out of hiding.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 17, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #126458

mac6115cd,

“And please don’t be so pompous, Andre, as to think that you speak for my generation. As a Liberal, feel free to apologize to your own kind, they’re the only ones who will accept it.”

I don’t claim to speak for your generation. I’m simply apologizing to future generations for some of the things being done by our government that folks like you voted for. The reason i’m doing so is because the sheep who still follow this criminal administration refuse to admit that they voted for the worst president in my lifetime.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 17, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #126464

Adrienne

I disagree with most of Andre’s premises about how rotten things have become in general. I suppose we could argue why you think 4.7% unemployment is bad and 3.5% growth is inadequate etc.

Things Take Time
One thing that is undeniable, however, is that no matter how bad you think this president is, he could not be responsible for most of the things Andre accuses him of doing directly or by implication. And don’t try to avoid the idea that this is a Bush bash, since he specifically talks about things getting better until the 1990s.

Consider this gem, “An education system that has been gutted and replaced by the theoretical “brainchild” of a Republican think-tank that has no investment or connection to the average American.” What is he talking about? Since most funding is local and most decisions are locally made, by locally controlled school boards, how could this have happened? You could well argue that the situation has been getting bad for a generation, but that is not what Andre did. He blamed recent policies and he is clearly wrong. What is it that Bush could have done to move all these local jurisdictions in the same ruinous direction so fast?

Everybody has a right to a right to his own opinion but not his own facts.

Take another area, the environment. As Andre says, “If there is a planet” (how arrogant is that?) The U.S. environment is cleaner now than it was five years ago. But let’s assume the opposite and stipulate that Bush was really bad and actually wanted to make the environment dirty. So we can all understand, he is one of the smoggies in Captain Planet. How would he do it? Even if he eliminated all environmental laws, we still have factories, houses, cars etc build to the former specifications. AND the factories, houses and cars built today were often in the planning stages before Bush took office. Besides, not everyone is just waiting to make pollution. (As an owner of some things, I often give up profit for the environment without needing a law to tell me about it.) You see it is IMPOSSIBLE for his programs to have a significant effect. You could metaphorically say that the air you are breathing today was planned at least five years ago.

Once again, you can hate Bush all you want, but you should not blame him for something that is not a problem and you cannot blame him for something he could not have done.

A big flaw in this analysis is the lack of understanding of cause and effects and lead times. I work in forestry. I know that the trees we harvest today are based on decisions made at least twenty years ago and maybe a hundred years ago. People without this kind of experience have simply lost their intuitive ability to understand that things take time. They also have grown up with short TV shows and video games were time is not a factor.

And this doom and gloom is very, very old. I do think it has something to do with sophomore year, since it always comes out in the springtime.

Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #126469

Andre,

Feel Free.

Do you wish to argue any of the points I made or will you do your usual, attack the persons political view or opinion without arguing a counter-point and insert fingers into ears and repeat la la la la la la until we walk away?

Since your main point was that you were entirely pessimistic, I don’t think that I can argue with your point— I agree with you. You are entirely pessimistic!

You’re a little vague on the details about why, but I’ll bite.

Are you saying that America is worse off in 2006 than they were in 1970? Or is your argument more that the 80’s were better than the 70’s, the 90’s were better than the 80’s, but the millenium is either the same or less well off than the 90’s — and that it’s all Bush’s fault?

If so, then I’m glad you’re on record as saying that the 80’s were better than the 70’s because that’s when the Reagan Revolution began turning around the malaise of America as a semi-socialist state. What with deregulation, and the re-institution of American values in cutting taxes and reversing the statist trends from the 40’s.

—-

One thing that is a little frustrating about the last part of your comment is that it seems that your response is not atypical. You seem to be saying that I attack liberals personally, that I usually don’t argue a counter-point or listen to the points being made. I certainly don’t think that’s true.

When you say, “attacking the persons political view,” do you see this as a bad thing? Because that’s what I thought this whole site was about. In fact, it’s what your entire post was about. I think that in general you may be misinterpeting criticisms of your political view as personal attacks.

Also, please remember that if I could I’d post on watchblog 24 hours a day, but alas I can’t. So if it seems that I disappear from an argument, it may be that I just can’t physically (timewise) continue. With a wife and 3 daughters it’s wonder I am allowed (yes, allowed) to do as much as I do.

So, in a sense, if I am compelled to post a comment consider it a measure of esteem for your post. You either pushed my buttons, or hit a nerve, or struck upon a subject I care about.

Posted by: esimonson at February 17, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #126472

“It’s sad to see our gift to the future generations of this country is complacency”

We have created generations who are dependent on the govt. which has led to this complacency.

“greed”

Been around since the beginning of time.

“debt”

Amen!

“and a deeply divided nation that has been weakend by it’s own government”

We were a weakened, divided nation way before Bush came along.

“An education system that has been gutted and replaced by the theoretical “brainchild” of a Republican “think-tank” that has no investment or connection to the average American”

Uh, no. There have been a few attempts to put ID on the teaching list, but religion is still looked down upon by schools. They also still teach lies like America is a democracy and other personal opinions that have no reason to be in the classroom.
So, gutted and replaced? Hardly.
The schools are still telling our children what to believe and how to think.

Anyway, good luck with explaining to future generations about what went wrong, especially if your going to ignore the past and use the “its all Bush’s fault” line.

Posted by: kctim at February 17, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #126478

“Don’t mistake it with not seeing problems, but this kind of doom and gloom stuff we see too often is what affluent children come to when they are sophomores and find out that the world of their childhood dreams is not the real one but have yet to understand it in its complexity.”

Jack - actually, I think the affluent children have become sophomores, are already in power and keep trying to change the world into their childhood dreams - more money for them, while the lower classes pay for their playground.

Posted by: Lisa C. at February 17, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #126485

>>A big flaw in this analysis is the lack of understanding of cause and effects and lead times. I work in forestry. I know that the trees we harvest today are based on decisions made at least twenty years ago and maybe a hundred years ago. People without this kind of experience have simply lost their intuitive ability to understand that things take time. They also have grown up with short TV shows and video games were time is not a factor.

Jack,

I’m pretty sure that you’ve just agreed with Andre about this administration. Proposing that we open drilling the Alaskan tundra for 3% of the world’s oil reserves, castrating the clean air act, allowing unlimited clear-cutting in national forests, ignoring at best and/or shunning Kyoto, and more, are all things our decendants will be paying for forever. Now, let’s talk about the national debt…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 17, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #126487
Secretary-General Kofi Annan said ” The United States should close the prison at Guantanamo Bay

And how many UN investigators actually went to Guantanamo Bay, even though they were invited?

Zero. Their reports are completely based on those were released and lawyers.

Posted by: Winship at February 17, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #126488

>>We were a weakened, divided nation way before Bush came along.

kctim,

Is this one of your usual snipes at Clinton?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 17, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #126491

>>And how many UN investigators actually went to Guantanamo Bay, even though they were invited?

Winship,

How many prisoners were the inspectors going to be allowed to interview when they answered the invitation to visit? ZERO! What could a visit like that possibly accomplish?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 17, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #126502

>>Anyway, good luck with explaining to future generations about what went wrong, especially if your going to ignore the past and use the “its all Bush’s fault” line.

Posted by: kctim at February 17, 2006 02:23 PM

kctim,

Not Dubbya by himself…he’s had a lot of help from his Repub-Robots.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 17, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #126528
What I love about the left is their sense of the melodramatic.

Sort of like the Bush administration scaring the crap out of everyone with red alerts and talk of mushroom clouds just before the election and lead up to war.

Now thats melodramatic.

BTW why haven’t we had any red alerts after the election? With all the illegal wiretaps on Americans we must have at least two million Al Queada operatives living in this country.


Posted by: Pat at February 17, 2006 3:37 PM
Comment #126529

Dude
Nah. Its my usual swipe at people who actually believe all of todays events just started in 2000.
This doom and gloom isnt anything new. In fact, I heard the militias talking much the same way in the past.
Only, instead of “evil Christians creating a theocracy,” it was the “UN” taking away our rights. Instead of the govt tampling our 4th Amendment rights, they were coming for our guns. Instead of Abramhoff (s?) it was Hung and monks. Instead of selling us to Arabs, it was selling us to china. etc…
You say Repub-Robots, I say govt-robots.
You say libs will do better, I say they had their chance and showed the couldnt.
You say liberals and Conservatives, I say there really isn’t that big of difference between the two.

Posted by: kctim at February 17, 2006 3:37 PM
Comment #126530

“Sort of like the Bush administration scaring the crap out of everyone with red alerts and talk of mushroom clouds just before the election and lead up to war”

Mushroom clouds or more Columbines, whats the difference?
They treat us as pawns in their little game and we let them.
Its our own fault.

Posted by: kctim at February 17, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #126533

Marysdude

I suppose re clear cutting national forests, you are talking about the Healthy Forest Initiative, which will help do what the name implies. All our nations forests are managed in some way. We can do it right or not. This initiative is a good thing.

The clean air act has not changed much. We substituted some market-based initiatives. NONE of this means reductions in protections. The argument is to the extent people believe future reductions will be made.

I don’t have a strong opinion about ANWAR. I do believe, however, that oil can be extracted without significant environmental damage and since every resource has to come from somewhere, I don’t see any particular reason to put this whole place off limits. We are talking about a very small footprint.

Kyoto just won’t work to do the things it is designed to do. It is also interesting to note that since Kyoto was negotiated, U.S. emissions of CO2 rose by 4.7%, while those of the EU rose 5.3%, even though our economy grew faster during that period.

Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #126539

Jack:
“Consider this gem, “An education system that has been gutted and replaced by the theoretical “brainchild” of a Republican think-tank that has no investment or connection to the average American.” What is he talking about? Since most funding is local and most decisions are locally made, by locally controlled school boards, how could this have happened? You could well argue that the situation has been getting bad for a generation, but that is not what Andre did. He blamed recent policies and he is clearly wrong. What is it that Bush could have done to move all these local jurisdictions in the same ruinous direction so fast?”

I’ll tell you why I agree with Andre’s assertions. Because Bush’s handling of the economy has put more pressure upon the states for all their funding dollars — most especially education funding dollars. And, because his assinine “No Child Left Behind” mandates put requirements upon the schools but did not fund those requirements. It also put more requirements upon teachers to have more advanced degrees to keep their jobs, but did not offer funding breaks for them either, which has caused many teachers to leave the profession because their salaries were too low to begin with. Many are saying they simply can’t afford to go back to nightschool — and why should they be forced to when it won’t even bring them a higher salary? Bush is responsible for all these things.

“Take another area, the environment. As Andre says, “If there is a planet” (how arrogant is that?) The U.S. environment is cleaner now than it was five years ago.”

Listen Jack, we’ve had this argument before. As I’ve told you previously, my Dad worked for the EPA and he tells me that environmental protections are working in the opposite direction to your claims, and that this administration has been lowering standards in order to claim improvement while at the same time cuts his big polluter buddies a break. Sorry, but I’m going to take the word of my doctorate degreed Dad who spent his whole working career as a scientist, rather than listen to your oft-repeated, but completely unstudied claims on this issue.

“(As an owner of some things, I often give up profit for the environment without needing a law to tell me about it.)”

Good for you. Not all “owners of things” will do the same, instead, some must be forced by law to comply with what is more safe and more healthy for our people and for the planet at large.

“Once again, you can hate Bush all you want, but you should not blame him for something that is not a problem and you cannot blame him for something he could not have done.”

Bush is a criminal. I hate the fact that we have a criminal for a president. I do blame him for what he has done and for what he continues to do.

“People without this kind of experience have simply lost their intuitive ability to understand that things take time. They also have grown up with short TV shows and video games were time is not a factor.”

People such as my Dad who have an enormous amount of knowledge and experience in their fields know that this president has rolled pollution standards back to the pre-Nixon era, and they know it doesn’t take much time at all for that to start having a serious effect on people, and upon the environment. People like my sister who is a teacher have told me of the many problems that have arisen in public schools since Bush took office. My Dad didn’t grow up watching TV or playing video games, and my sister and I as his daughters and under his guidance, didn’t either.

“And this doom and gloom is very, very old. I do think it has something to do with sophomore year, since it always comes out in the springtime.”

Again and again you display a see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil about this president and his administration, but I see right through it, even though I am unable to determine whether it is due to blind partisanship, willful ignorance, or some other mysterious and unknown reason.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 17, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #126544

Jack,

You say potahtoe, I say potatoe, and then we ask our ex-VP if we spelled it correctly…you say a small footprint, I say a huge footprint in a pristine environment…you say oil companies can extract the oil without damaging the area, I say they might be able to, but won’t…you say Kyoto won’t work, and I say we haven’t even tried to adjust it…you say clean air can be achieved within market-based parameters, I say the market will suck every dollup of clean air there is left, unless the market is rigidly supervised…you say healthy forest initiative, I say clear cutting…oh well, (shoulder shrug) I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. But, if I’m right future generations will never recover, and if you’re right I’ll have to eat my words. It’s your gamble…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 17, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #126551

Hey folks!
I honestly believe that most people want a better world for their children than the one they grew up in. And yes. I remember the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s very well.

I remember the whole country coming to an almost stand still while we watched the Challenger explosion. I Remember the poem that Reagan recited about how they were now with the angels of God.

I remember living in the south during a massive draught, and how the mid-west sent hay to feed our cows. And how the following year we did the same to them with they were hit by another draught.

I remember much the worry and prayers as the country watched as men and women worked feverishly into the nights to save one baby, who’d fallen down a well. Baby Jessica brought us all together for a while.

I remember when the comedy/drama MASH went off the air. After so poignantly betraying life in a war-torn area, the final episode touched thousands of lives.

I also remember the saving of 9 miners in West Virgina. How most everyone’s breath seemed to be on hold.

I remember how only yesterday we banded together to try to help strangers harmed by the tsunami at hit in Asia.

And lastly I remember the caring and love for the victims of the Gulf Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.

I also remember the 14 miners who died recently and the horror of their deaths bringing home to most of us the realizaton that we have to change our lives to save others.

I know we are all very unhappy with many things about our country, but as a country, we can still stand proud.

Did anyone notice that none of these things were governmentally sanctioned?

They all came from OUR hearts. The heart of the United States of America and it’s citizens. If we leave only this to our children, they will be far better off than I was.

Posted by: Linda H at February 17, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #126555
The U.N. representatives declined the invitation to visit Guantanamo because they were told that they would not be able to interview detainees during the visit, Mr. Whitman said.
True they would not be allowed to interview the detainees but what about the guards and seeing the living conditions. I think that would be important. Besides..
…. are regularly interviewed by representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, ….


Posted by: Winship at February 17, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #126560

Adrienne

No matter what you or any of your relatives thinks, things take time to happen.

How long does it take to build a factory from design to working factory? How long do you keep a factory in production? Do you really think that firms abandoned all their infrastructure and replaced it with dirty plants in the five years Bush has been president.

How long do most people own their cars or their homes? Have we changed the housing stocks or vehicles in five years? BTW - does an auto sold today make more,less or similar pollution than one sold five years ago?

How craven are the American people (not Bush) if they hasten to buy products that are less benign, but that is what they would have to have done.

You just don’t for all these things to happen.

About schools. The president and the Feds contribute not much to schools. Last year in my county 77.5% of the funding comes from us local taxpayers, State education aid accounts for 16.9%. We started the year with 1.1% and got 4.5% from all other sources. I think if we are doing well (and we are) it is mostly our credit and if we are doing poorly, it is mostly our fault. If your sister blames Bush, maybe she works in a less self reliant place, but if Bush can manage to wreck them in less than five years, they may consider changing their ways.

Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2006 4:25 PM
Comment #126562

To those who say I’m blaming Bush for everything,

“It’s sad to see our gifts to the future generations of this country are complacency, greed, debt and a deeply divided nation that has been weakend by it’s own government.”
I believe our legacy is wasted on a misguided war, the destruction of our planet, complacency during elections, Red States vs. Blue States division, open government corruption, torture, secrecy etc.
I’d love to see our nation strong again.
Corporate welfare, secrecy, lobbying, the war in Iraq, corruption, cronyism, cutting programs that help the elderly and children, ignoring science when it comes to environmental protection, elections that are paid for by corporations and special interest groups, poor planning and management of domestic agencies is not going to fix the problem. It will exacerbate the problems and create more for the future.
We need to stand up and force our government to change.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 17, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #126566

>>True they would not be allowed to interview the detainees but what about the guards and seeing the living conditions.

Winship,

If I administer to a prison and I’m accused of atrocities, the first thing I want to limit is access to the population.

I’m sure the UN inspectors would take the word of the very people being accused…wouldn’t you? Sure, the guards are going to speak right out about their complicity.

The population might show physical signs of torture or abuse. As the one in charge, I’d sure like to restrict THAT…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 17, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #126567

Jack you’ve addressed nothing in my post. I’ll stand on what I wrote.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 17, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #126579

Great post Andre,
During the whole time that Clinton was president, I worked for 3 companies, and that was only because the first two companies closed their local offices.

During the time that Reagan was president, I worked for 13 companies, in addition to collecting unemployment for a full year.
During one year under GWBush I worked for 5 companies, that was a fun tax return.

A young person who attends UCSantaBarbara told me over the winter break that there is still gunk there this many years after the oil spill in 1969.
We can drink up all the oil in Alaska in a very short period of time if we do not increase mileage standards drastically. We might as well change the terminology from Big Oil to Pig Oil.

Greenland is melting, if you do not live 20 feet above see level, you had better buy a boat.
In other news today, at “>http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4725026.stm”>
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4725026.stm , there is a huge mudslide in the Philippines, burying unknown numbers of people, but officially not linked to deforestation.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 17, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #126603

OOOPPPSSS! I most humbly appologize.

I just realized I left out my point. As Americans we are a caring loving people. As a nation we can accompolish much. However with our governement, we accompolish little.

If we are going to be bringing home troops, then why is the Administration asking for 63+ billion more dollars - for the next 8 mos. with more to be requested in the Fall?

Why are the victims of the hurricanes being tossed out of their hotels if we can raise 63+ billion for Iraq?

Seems to me that our current government may not have it’s heart in the right place - but many it’s citizens do - at least I continue to hope so.

Oh, and why was it that we managed to go for years with peace in our nation, only to emerge as a war mongering nation who professes a peaceful face, but instead seems to be eager to jump into another war/s? North Korea, Iran, Syria, - where does it stop?

Posted by: Linda H at February 17, 2006 5:53 PM
Comment #126613

Adrienne

What points?

You told me Bush is a criminal. I disagree.

You told me your father and sister know more about things. I showed you funding sources and lag times that indicate that they probably are mistaken in these particular cases.

My three kids are in public schools. One at university, two in HS. Their schools are better than those I attended. I do a lot of running and hiking in the woods, so I see the environment and feel it in my lungs. I see healthy forests and the air I breath is cleaner than it used to be. Our crime rate is low and our unemployment rate is dropping.

We obviously live in different realities. I guess where I live is just much nicer than where you live (at least from the way you describe your failing schools, dirty air, rising crime and unemployment). Sorry about that. Maybe you should consider relocating.

Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2006 6:16 PM
Comment #126648

>>But, if I’m right future generations will never recover, and if you’re right I’ll have to eat my words. It’s your gamble…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 17, 2006 03:58 PM

Jack,

I guess you believe it to be a good gamble…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 17, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #126650

All life is a gamble, but the odd on this one are very good.

What are your alternatives, in any case? All alternatives include risk and rewards.

Dems seem to think they have some kind of sure thing. There have been many such sure things on this blog. Kerry was going to win. Fitzmas was supposed to be fatal to Repubicans. Elections in Iraq were supposed to provoke civil war - three times now. The economy was going to tank last year and the year before that.

You will excuse me if I am not impressed with your predictive power.

Posted by: jack at February 17, 2006 8:06 PM
Comment #126652

“You told me Bush is a criminal. I disagree.”

Because you deny everything he’s done.

“You told me your father and sister know more about things.”

They know more about those topics since they’re professionals within those fields, so yes, naturally they would. Furthermore, they are my family and they’ve never lied to me, so I trust them when they tell me things.

“I showed you funding sources”

You brought up funding for schools by the federal government, but I made no claims that public schools had been primarily funded by the government. I said that state funding for public schools has become a problem due to hard times being felt by state budgets due to the economy, and that “No Child Left Behind” mandated requirements have recieved no additional funding for implementation so the schools are really up against it — all thanks to your Dear Leader.

“and lag times that indicate that they probably are mistaken in these particular cases.”

It is ridiculous to talk about lag times with air pollution when we speak of people who already suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems — of which growing numbers of our citizens do, most especially among children. And the EPA standards HAVE been drastically reduced by this administration (in some cases as regards a certain number of pollutants and other carcinogens to pre-Nixon era levels) that is a fact.

“I do a lot of running and hiking in the woods, so I see the environment and feel it in my lungs.”

This means nothing. People often don’t know when they are being adversely affected by pollution.

“I see healthy forests and the air I breath is cleaner than it used to be.”

It is now growing dirtier after years of stringent EPA standards being upheld had made it cleaner. The lowering of standards also applies to the water. Also the clean up of Super Fund sites has been stalled or stopped altogether due to a lack of funding.
GWB has been an absolute failure when it comes to environmental issues — just as he was in Texas when he was the state governor.

“We obviously live in different realities.”

Obviously. I prefer mine because it doesn’t require me to close my eyes and defend a complete incompetent who caters to corporations and members of his wealthy base.

“I guess where I live is just much nicer than where you live (at least from the way you describe your failing schools, dirty air, rising crime and unemployment).”

I live in Northern California. My sister lives in North Carolina. My Dad lives in New Jersey. All are very nice areas that have failing schools, and air and water that is now growing dirtier, and high unemployment (even though many people are now off the unemployment rolls) due to the disappearance of manufacturing jobs, plant closures, outsourcing, the dot com bust, etc. etc. Crime I’m not sure about, so I won’t comment there.

“Sorry about that. Maybe you should consider relocating.”

Funny you should say that! I will be relocating shortly — to lovely Berkeley (that’s right sir, you will now be debating with a rightwingers worst nightmare, the dreaded and much-maligned Berkeley Liberal! ;^).
See, this super-rich guy who owns a huge chunk of land that abuts my own at the back of my property took all that tax cut money Bush put in his pocket and decided to buy my land and several of my neighbors — he wants to try to make himself millions by building high rise condos with retail space below. Anyway, whether he’ll be able to make his greed work for him or not is not my business. All I care about is that we’ve negotiated enough money to buy the Arts and Crafts Era house of my dreams, with a giant backyard graced by gorgeous mature fruit trees (2 fig, 2 lemon), in a beautiful neighborhood. We’re to close on it the second week of March.
I’ll tell you, buying my house really is the best investment I ever made — I bought a dump four years ago for a hundred and sixty thousand, and I’m now buying a house for seven hundred thousand — not too shabby, eh?
So now I guess you’ll expect me to be all in favor of Bush’s tax cuts since I’ve actually benefitted from them — but I’m afraid I’m just not that selfish a person. I see that what he’s done is truly hurting others — many, many others, all across this country — and I don’t approve. Not at all.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 17, 2006 8:12 PM
Comment #126670

Adrienne


You will benefit from the housing exception up to half a million. I don’t know if that is particularly a Bush cut. Nothing wrong with making money.

We are going in circles. I would only say again that it takes a long time for the effects of any change to happen in the economy. It takes an even longer time in the environment.

What do you think are the sources of this new pollution? Would a car, home, or factory built in 2001 or before make more pollution after Bush became president? Industrial processes have various pollution control built into them. It would cost firms a lot to go to a dirtier process and they would not do it in the short run. BTW - do you or your father know of any firms that have relaxed their pollution control efforts since Bush took office? Have any localities changed for the worse how the regulate local air and water pollution since 1999? Pollution has to come from someplace. It doesn’t just come from Bush.

As for the schools, they do their budgets yearly and they hire long term. Bush’s budget didn’t come on line until October 2001. The effects of his policies would not be felt until 2003. Even if everything went to hell immediately, we just don’t have much time for all these bad effects to take place and the ripple through the various budget processes.

Many people don’t like the no child left behind. Would you like to abolish it?

So I am not defending Bush, I am defending time. Effects don’t precede causes. They follow at some interval. You cannot change things so fast in the environment or the economy.

Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2006 8:53 PM
Comment #126679

Jack, Bush let his big oil buddies voluntarily comply with pollution standards. If you can explain how this is a good thing, I’ll be your indentured servant for, well, only an hour or so but I would like to see you defend this.
Way to go Adrienne. Love to see someone making it big especially when the odds are against you. I have to brag a bit myself. Although not even graduating from high school (parents wouldn’t let me, honest to god) I bought a house when I was eighteen and have moved up twice since then and have a new home almost paid for and I’m only 50 years old. The wife and I are maxing out our retirement plans and we still can have a little fun and some vacations now and then. But it isn’t easy for the majority of people, I will say that. Ask any Ford or GM employee.

Posted by: ray at February 17, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #126685

By the way, before Jack comes along and says “see how good things are” I must tell you all that the reason I was able to pull myself up by my bootstraps is because I pulled myself up by my bootstraps. I bought my first (small) house instead of renting. I bought used cars for cash instead of paying outrageous finance charges. I did this while Carter was President and I’m doing it while this dope we got now is in office. Anyone can do this if they choose. But I still stand by my thinking that things ain’t all that great.

Posted by: ray at February 17, 2006 9:38 PM
Comment #126695

Ray (and Adrienne)

That is exactly the point that you and Adrienne miss. The odds are NOT against you. Adrienne seems to have been lucky (good for her) and smart to buy. You seem to have worked hard and made the right choices. Success is not supposed to be easy, just possible. I don’t know how many times I have heard good people tell me how hard it was for them to make it - but they made it. That is the way it is. I see it with friends and family, and you probably do too.

And you sacrified not to buy the new cars and to buy the houses. What if you just went to nice restaurants or pissed away the money on video poker? Should the government guarentee your results?

The President does not have the right to give special exemption to pollution laws to his “big oil buddies.” We hear a lot about this, but we don’t get specifics. Which firms are those that changed their procedures from 1999 to 2004? Did Exxon or Texaco take the pollution controls off their refineries?

One thing I will also say about presidents. You have not head me say many bad things about Clinton and you won’t. If you look at the U.S. economy you see long trends that don’t pay much attention to who is in the White House. The U.S. environment has been improving since the 1970s. Nixon is the one who founded the EPA. Carter began deregulation of the trucking industry.

I am partisan in politics, and I believe Republicans are better more often than not. But I am not partisan in every part of my life and I am American first. Carter was my president and I defended Bill Clinton’s policies. I am sorry that you guys cannot see beyond your party.

I know. Bush is a criminal. Nobody has ever been worse and we are living in conditions akin to the Great Depression where you guys are.

Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #126718

Jack,

It’s a function of partisanship. If Gore had been elected (had he recieved more votes) the entire blue column here would be proclaiming the continuation of the Clinton Prosperity- the greatest economic growth in history!

Posted by: eric simonson at February 17, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #126758

What? Problems?
Haven’t ya’ll heard?
Everything is “very good”
For instance.
What more do you want ?

Nobody is perfect. Why get so upset about any of the following?
[] The tens of thousands of abuses of eminent domain from 1998 to 2002 and who knows how many since 2002.
[] Spc. Sean Baker, beaten and brain damaged at Guantanamo Bay ?
[] No WMD ?
[] Ufair taxation ?
[] Wire-tapping and unlawful search and seizure of citizens without a warrant ?
[] Ignoring Habeas Corpus ?
[] Secret prisons ?
[] Negligence and incompetence in New Orleans ?
[] USPS stealing mail in my area (5000 people affected); stealing it out of those blue mailboxes ?
[] Rampant election fraud and no one held accountable ?
[] Falling median wages for the last 4 years ?
[] Increasing foreclosures (nationwide) for the last 13 months ?
[] growing trade deficits ?
[] Bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians refuse to pass any common-sense reforms ?
[] Abused presidential pardons, even for felon buddies that pled guilty, like the 140 felons pardoned by Bill Clinton ?
[] Perversion of the laws to do the very thing the laws were originally supposed to prevent ?
[] The growing problem of coporations stealing pensions and disability (such as ASRCO) ?
[] Despite warnings about New Orleans, they did nothing. Funds to strenghten the levees was plundered and redirected.
[] Despite warnings about securing cock-pit doors and illegal immigrants movements, they can’t connect the dots or prevent planes from being used as missles.
[] Despite warnings about illegal aliens, and New Mexico and Arizona declaring a state of emergency, and a Dallas policemen (among numerous other victims each year) is shot and killed by and illegal alien 13-Nov-2005.
[] Despite warnings about Social Security, Medicare, and 77 million retiring baby boomers, they continue to plunder (steal) the surpluses that would now keep them solvent. And, to make it worse, they pander to buy votes for a prescription drug plan that will cost several hundreds of billions more per year (and escalating fast, with the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs).
[] Despite warnings about $8.2 trillion National Debt, $32 trillion private debt, huge trade deficits, and more deficits planned for years to come, they keep on spending, borrowing, and printing money more.
[] Despite warnings about pension systems, the PBGC and pensions are $1.6 trillion in the hole.
[] Despite the warnings, they ignore sea port security. In fact, they are selling port operations to foreign nations.
[] Despite warnings, the administration was totally unprepared to enforce order (i.e. to prevent looting and chaos) in Iraq.
[] What about the pork-barrel, graft, and corporate welfare ?
[] What about this outrageous behavior , while our troops risking life and limb?
[] And, despite all of the above, they still feel they deserve special, cu$hy perk$ , and tax-payers get to pick up the bill.

So, what’s to worry about?

Seriously, who can justify any of that ?
Well, it depends. Your outlook will be much rosier if you get some of those rose-colored glasses they are handing out in the rose-colored column.

That’s why I’m voting out irresponsible incumbents, every election, always, until no more irresponsible incumbents are left. And you should too ! That’s what we were supposed to be doing all along.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 18, 2006 12:27 AM
Comment #126761
It’s a function of partisanship.
Look whose talking.

Altogether now, Koom-ba-ya …
… uhhhmmmm … where can I get some of those nifty rose-colored glasses ?

I ran out of Prozac, and those glasses seem to be workin’ pretty good for ya’ll

.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 18, 2006 12:38 AM
Comment #126763

Andre M. Hernandez,
Good work. Good article. Keep up the good work.
Many badly-needed, common-sense reforms are needed, but, none will ever happen until we get rid of all the irresponsible incumbents, that won’t let newcomers pass any reforms.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 18, 2006 12:41 AM
Comment #126790

“Jack you’ve addressed nothing in my post. I’ll stand on what I wrote.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 17, 2006 04:51 PM”

Adrienne,
He also never said a single word about my link regarding the scientific condemnation of Bush’s environmental policies.
What’s amazing is Bush pulled off his election in ‘04 with the same strategy. Never, ever answer a question, just say something like Kerry flip-flops.
Never try to confuse a Republican with the facts, they speak and everyone listens because we’re baby killers and queer lovers and we’re weak.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 18, 2006 1:56 AM
Comment #126794

Jack:
“I would only say again that it takes a long time for the effects of any change to happen in the economy. It takes an even longer time in the environment.”

We’re feeling the effects on the economy right now — and as David and Dan have been spelling out in the center column for the past several days, we’ll no doubt be feeling them much more strongly in the years to come.
As for the environment, you’re wrong. There has never been enough money allocated for Super Fund clean ups and for making sure businesses met EPA standards (boy could my Dad tell you stories), so many have been cheating regulatory standards for many years.
According to my father, it doesn’t take as long as you’re claiming for the negative effects of increased pollution to be felt by our population. It first starts with people who are already sick, or have chronic diseases (like asthma), or have weakened immune systems and then, years later will begin to show up in increased rates of various diseases or cancers on previously healthy people with no family history. I know a little something about this because my Dad e-mails me articles all the time on these kind of things (he always assumes I’m going to be as interested as he is — which I find adorable), so he keeps me up to date on how he’s noticing an upsurge in one kind of health problem or another and then tells me why he believes this may be happening by describing the chemical, industrial, or environmental factors by location.
He’s a real font of knowledge, my Dad, and sharp as a tack — so much so, that close to twenty years after retirement he still recieves calls all the time from health professionals all over the country asking him his opinions on unusual cases or problems they’re experiencing within their states.
On top of all that, I trust my Dad, but I realize I can’t ask you to do the same.

“What do you think are the sources of this new pollution?”

Whenever standards and regulations are relaxed, all kinds of industries will immediately take advantage by getting away with whatever they can. Surely you realize this?

“Industrial processes have various pollution control built into them. It would cost firms a lot to go to a dirtier process and they would not do it in the short run.”

You’d be surprized. Many safeguards which have been developed to meet EPA standards are often air filters or machines that are secondary units added on to various industrial processes — it can often be as simple as shuting off power or disconnecting things. And let’s face it, if it saves any amount of energy or maintenance money to do so, many industries shut these things down automatically.

“BTW - do you or your father know of any firms that have relaxed their pollution control efforts since Bush took office? Have any localities changed for the worse how the regulate local air and water pollution since 1999?”

If you’re actually interested, you might read this this report (in pdf format) that came out last January which covered rising pollution from power plants — our number one polluter, and the number one cause of green house gas emissions. Also, you can check out some of the info and great links on this website: Natural Resources Defense Council
Also, since my Dad is a big supporter of the Precautionary Principle, I’ll give it a plug it by supplying this link describing what that means.

Ray:
“Way to go Adrienne. Love to see someone making it big especially when the odds are against you.”

Well, it may seem we’re making it big, but with the housing costs in my area, it’s actually fairly modest for a house in a decent neighborhood. (I know that sounds crazy but it’s true) Maybe when we retire we’ll sell it for a lot, and then go live high on the hog somewhere else! :^)

“I have to brag a bit myself. Although not even graduating from high school (parents wouldn’t let me, honest to god) I bought a house when I was eighteen and have moved up twice since then and have a new home almost paid for and I’m only 50 years old. The wife and I are maxing out our retirement plans and we still can have a little fun and some vacations now and then.”

Wow, that’s awesome. That’s way more impressive than some filthy rich guy just agreeing to lay a pile of cash on us in exchange for our property. Quite an achievement, Ray.

“But it isn’t easy for the majority of people, I will say that. Ask any Ford or GM employee.”

Seriously. I’m planning on paying my own good fortune forward by doing more volunteer work now that I’ll have more time (no more repairs on my old house). There are a lot of people struggling right now and always too few volunteers working programs that try to lend a hand.

“By the way, before Jack comes along and says “see how good things are” I must tell you all that the reason I was able to pull myself up by my bootstraps is because I pulled myself up by my bootstraps. I bought my first (small) house instead of renting. I bought used cars for cash instead of paying outrageous finance charges. I did this while Carter was President and I’m doing it while this dope we got now is in office. Anyone can do this if they choose.”

I share a similar attitude, but I feel I got a good upbringing that taught me what was important and what wasn’t.
I’m also aware that there are many other people who have to learn things like this by themselves — and often end up learning the hard way after many mistakes.

“But I still stand by my thinking that things ain’t all that great.”

I agree, they aren’t. But Jack disagrees with this viewpoint all the time — maybe he doesn’t meet enough people who are struggling? Just a thought.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 18, 2006 2:05 AM
Comment #126795

Kansas Dem:
“Adrienne,
He also never said a single word about my link regarding the scientific condemnation of Bush’s environmental policies.”

I noticed that! Don’t think I didn’t.

“What’s amazing is Bush pulled off his election in ‘04 with the same strategy.”

You’re right, and that’s sad, because it means that no one is interested in the truth. :^/

Posted by: Adrienne at February 18, 2006 2:10 AM
Comment #126910

KansasDem

we’re baby killers and queer lovers and we’re weak.

Finally, a lib who speaks the truth. I never thought I’d see it.

Adrienne
See, this super-rich guy who owns a huge chunk of land that abuts my own at the back of my property took all that tax cut money Bush put in his pocket and decided to buy my land and several of my neighbors — he wants to try to make himself millions by building high rise condos with retail space below. Anyway, whether he’ll be able to make his greed work for him or not is not my business. All I care about is that we’ve negotiated enough money to buy the Arts and Crafts Era house of my dreams, with a giant backyard graced by gorgeous mature fruit trees (2 fig, 2 lemon), in a beautiful neighborhood. We’re to close on it the second week of March.
I’ll tell you, buying my house really is the best investment I ever made — I bought a dump four years ago for a hundred and sixty thousand, and I’m now buying a house for seven hundred thousand — not too shabby, eh?

You lost me on this one. The difference between you and the super-rich guys is? I would have thought you would take the profit and help someone besides yourself, how selfish of you.

Posted by: Nunya at February 18, 2006 8:40 AM
Comment #126917

Adrienne

I almost forgot, did the big bad super-rich guy make you sell your property for that much profit. It looks like your greed worked for you, maybe he will be so lucky.

Posted by: Nunya at February 18, 2006 8:49 AM
Comment #126948

People still confused about global warming should know that our government is in a legal battle with the Canadian government because the polar ice cap in the Canadian Arctic is melting. In the next couple of decades, commercial ships may start plying the Arctic route instead of going through the Panama Canal, a shortcut of more than 4,000 nautical miles. See
a href=http://csmonitor.com/cgi-bin/durableRedirect.pl?/durable/2000/06/07/p1s4.htm

Steadily melting Arctic ice is not just exposing vast unexplored fishing stocks and mineral wealth. It’s also rapidly making the Northwest Passage - the passable sea route sought by Henry Hudson and other explorers of the 16th and 17th centuries - fully navigable in the summer.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 18, 2006 10:34 AM
Comment #126961

Nunya:
“You lost me on this one. The difference between you and the super-rich guys is?”

Jeeze where to begin? Well, first off, if I had his kind of money I’d be content, not trying to make more millions. Second, I’m middle class, which means I pay taxes and am a Liberal, while he gets huge tax breaks from the Neocons, probably still takes loopholes, and is a Republican. I’m not a snob that wears designer clothes and drives a Mercedes, he is. The list goes on and on…

“I would have thought you would take the profit and help someone besides yourself, how selfish of you.”

Well, then I would have to leave the area because the money I’m getting is the price of median home in a decent neighborhood in the SF Bayarea. That might seem unbelievable to you, but then you probably don’t live in the most expensive housing market in the country like I do. You can’t buy a big fancy house here for under a million. So you see, I’m not making a profit, I’m simply getting into move to a house that doesn’t need a major overhaul.
That is the best part of the deal for us, because on our house was a totally neglected wreck when we’d bought it, and my husband and I had already poured a new foundation, remodeled the bathrooms, drywalled everything including the ceilings, put in new plumbing and electrical and did a thousand other improvements — all with our own two hands. Because of this, we won’t have to tear off and replace the siding this summer!
I suppose I could have moved back to the ghetto (where I lived previously in order to buy my wreck of a house for 160K), and given all my money to charity, but I’ve never aspired to be a martyr. My charity has always come in the form of being a unpaid volunteer to worthy causes.

“I almost forgot, did the big bad super-rich guy make you sell your property for that much profit.”

No, he didn’t make us sell, just said he’d be building anyway. If we hadn’t worked a deal, we’d have lived in a constrution zone for a long while and when it was done, would have had a highrise building looming over our backyard that would have blocked out most of the sun to the garden.

“It looks like your greed worked for you, maybe he will be so lucky.”

Yeah, my “greed” worked for me. He on the other hand doesn’t need luck, since he’s got so much money.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 18, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #126967

Adrienne

I am not sure you read the links you provide and/or you are taken in by the spin.

Your clear the air site is a good example.

You should always read research reports BACKWARDS. First look at the statistics on which they base their conclusions and then see if the conclusions are justified. If go to the cover you see the ominous title and a scary picture.

The summary is a frightening story about the decline in public health. But when you go to the stats you find that indeed CO2 is up 9%. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and we should address it, but it has no particular health hazard. You produce CO2 every time you breath. Let’s talk about the real health problem gasses:

Nitrogen oxide DOWN 29% (p47)
Sulfur dioxide DOWN 10% (p39)

This is YOUR REPORT that proves even beyond my point. I was only giving you a problem with your logic. You have provided data to contradict you assumptions.

Many liberal arguments are like this. They write things in the summaries that THEIR OWN DATA DOES NOT SUPPORT.

The precautionary principle, BTW, has nothing to do with science or logic. It is fear based. Had we employed it in the past we would not have electricity. In fact it would have argued against the use of campfires. It is a religious ideal dressed up. I am sorry your father believes it. I am sure he is sincere, just as most people who hold ideas based on faith alone.

Adrienne

You complain when that I don’t read your links. Your bigger problem is when I do. These reports are not meant for us unbelievers, who do not take them on faith alone.

I give them credit for honestly printing their data, but they do it because they know that most people won’t get beyond the scary picture. Of those who do, most will read only the summary and they will go forth and spread disinformation.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #126983

Jack, obviously you didn’t read the recommendations page. Bush has been in the process of trying to gut the Clean Air Act by making various safeguards a voluntary option (btw, power plants aren’t the only ones who are getting that kind of a break, it’s happening all across the industrial spectrum). At the same time, as I told you before, he has been rolling back previously stringent EPA standards — and that is the reason it appears as if things are better than they actually are. My Dad and his collegues know this and see the way that rising pollution is already creating more health risks and disease.
So you won’t believe this. Fine. I didn’t really expect you to. We’ve gone around on this subject before and ended up in the exact same place.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 18, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #126991

I honestly think we should be talking about things that are important. There were a couple comments by kctim, Linda H and d.a.n. that should really put all problems into focus.

kctim - “We have created generations who are dependent on the govt. which has led to this complacency.”
-“You say liberals and Conservatives, I say there really isn’t that big of difference between the two.”
-“They treat us as pawns in their little game and we let them. Its our own fault.”

Linda H. - She pointed out about how it wasn’t our gov’t that helped out in some key situations and commented…”Did anyone notice that none of these things were governmentally sanctioned?

They all came from OUR hearts. The heart of the United States of America and it’s citizens. If we leave only this to our children, they will be far better off than I was.”

d.a.n. had a long list of things that our gov’t has done wrong and continues to do wrong. His solution: “Many badly-needed, common-sense reforms are needed, but, none will ever happen until we get rid of all the irresponsible incumbents, that won’t let newcomers pass any reforms.”

We (as Americans living in the U.S., or any country and their citizens) can go back and forth all day long and blame the democrats, the republicans, the libertarians, the communists, the socialists, the greens, whoever. The problems is, it all comes back to the citizens and the masses who vote them in and put our trust in those people in whatever form of government they have in that country.

There are many problems that we can argue about, but the one that should be of most concern is that of the divided country. It has come up quite a few times in this blog, but mostly we are arguing with each other trying to prove our side and in the end fulling that problem by blaming the other parties and their supporters.

The only way the U.S. will ever really have any serious problems is if we are conquered and reduced to a nation without law, without freedom and without any direction. We could be conquered by foreign armys, domestic armys, foreign law, domestic law. It would all end the same. The one thing the U.S. does have is a Bill of Rights and Constitution that is arguably the best ever written for it’s people and it’s country in the history of the world. It’s not perfect, and many involved in writing it didn’t think so either, but nothing is. The only reason it should and does work, is because the citizens have the power. That’s what makes it great.

Right now, we’re being divided and systematically conquered by everything mentioned above. All of the things that people are complaining about in these posts, in the media. That’s the direction that we are headed. A divided and subsequently conquered nation. It may take years, but people can find things they don’t like now as well.

The only way any of that is going to change is by changing it yourself. Go and vote people out like d.a.n. does, go and support people in need. Whatever it is, do it. Most people should agree on that.

Stick with what the basics are, and we can unite this country again. We were united on 9/11 and had great patriotism. We were united on Jan. 28, 1986 when the space shuttle went down. It’s coming together that makes this country great. No matter who the people are, or what their political affiliations. That’s what the U.S. and being an American is all about. Unity.

I personally don’t want a socialist state or a communist state, or a totalitarian state, but if that’s what is going to unite people, then let’s do it. So long as the people are in power.

My fear is this is the direction we are going. More and more people are being acclaimated to a World Government. It’s in t.v., movies, news, internet. More and more is focused around the ideas of consolidation. It’s a good idea in some cases, like the citizenry. Bad idea for corporations, wealthy and powerful individuals, and governments. If the power lies with those rich families who have passed their money and power on to their decendants it can only end what we all love most. Those items in the U.S. Bill of Rights and Constitution.

It seems right now we all are in a losing war against tyranny and oppression by all those people who we place our trust and power in and I don’t know anybody who wants to lose their freedom and unity in our country.

But in order to have some unity and keep the power of the citizenry, we have to quit blaming the other parties, or trying to throw all of our support to those parties that are causing us all of these problems. Those in the elite with the power. It sounds like that’s our common enemy. Those who want more money and more power. Everybody wants it. Everybody would love to sit on that pedistal, but nobody should.

That power always has, and always should reside with the people and the masses.

So if we’re going to argue about something, can we argue about that and how the citizens are going to keep that? Because that’s not something that is taught or talked about all too often.

I say we do what d.a.n. said, but don’t vote for people with the power already. Vote for local people who you know and respect. Vote for those people who will defend our country, our way of life in whatever party they are affiliated with. Vote for those people who are going to defend you and listen to you. We have the power, not the gov’t. Eventually those local people will gain more respect and support and be able to move up to a county, state and federal level and they will all the while support the people. That should be the direction we take, not dividing the masses with little quarrels that are pointless.

And I don’t mean any disrespect to those who just want to converse or argue for enjoyment, I know some people like that as well.

Posted by: This Guy at February 18, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #127002

Adrienne

This is exactly the difference between spin and reality. The reality is ACCORDING TO YOUR REPORT that POLLUTION HAS BEEN DECREASED.

The spin is in the recomendations, the pictures and the summary. Your dad and his friends CANNOT be seeing the effects of greater pollution because it is not greater. It is like proving that 2+2+4 and then making recommendations based on it being five.

This is a persistent problem of partisans. You prove you are wrong and then make recommendation based on your error and point to your spin as proof.

If you (and you dad) want to argue that the future will be worse, you can do that. We can’t predict the future. But you are wrong about the present.

Remember that effects must follow causes. You can’t have more people getting sick from more pollution IF you have less pollution.

If the premises of something are wrong, the argument, no matter how elegant is not valid.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #127038

>>Remember that effects must follow causes. You can’t have more people getting sick from more pollution IF you have less pollution.

Jack,

Again you warp the point. If the relaxation of current clean air laws will cause our air quality to return to the harmful good old days when athsema and other respiratory diseases were abounding, we put the burden on our decendents.

Isn’t that what Andre was pointing out? Cheney/Bush are trying to return us to the ‘good old days’.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 18, 2006 2:08 PM
Comment #127050

Adrienne

If he is rich like you say, he probably pays MORE taxes that all of us together.

but I’ve never aspired to be a martyr.

But what, the developer is supposed to be a martyr. The land he develops will create jobs. All the jobs associated with the products required to create the raw materials. The jobs to develope the land. The jobs to work in the business located in the developed land. The jobs to make the goods sold in the business and on and on.


You make it sound like the developer doesn’t work for his money.


Posted by: Nunya at February 18, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #127057

Marysdude

No. I am not. The point people are trying to make on this blog is that the air or water is dirties because of Bush. This is empirically false. You are now saying that you believe the Bush policies will cause more pollution in the future. This we don’t know. Bush policies on off road diesel are the biggest step forward in fighting pollution since Bush I and the clean air act, but I bet you have not heard of it.

The problem the left has is that it is more fond of its comments than the facts it is based on.

Andre is probably wrong in his opinion about the future, but I can’t say for sure.

What I can say with absolute moral certainty is that he is wrong about the present.

So if you all want to say - THE ENVIRONMENT IS CURRENTLY CLEANER THAN EVER in the U.S. but we believe it will become worse, you can say that. But then you also might have to be specfic and that is something you guys don’t do well.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #127060

I have to thank Andre and all the others who have contributed to this thread. This is probably the most complete whuppin we have given you all on this blog since 2004. It is really fun to watch you all reach for the straws. You really over reached on this one.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #127063

>>So if you all want to say - THE ENVIRONMENT IS CURRENTLY CLEANER THAN EVER in the U.S. but we believe it will become worse, you can say that.

Jack,

I’m merely following your lead on this. You say it takes years for a change of policy to have an effect on ecological conditions. If that is so, past policies are what have made our air and water cleaner. That being the case, how can Cheney/Bush’s castrating those things that helped the environment not have a bad effect on the future. Please make up your mind. Either past actions have not improved things, or changes now won’t effect the future. I hope you’re satisfied…I think I’m talking in circles.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 18, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #127072

Jack,

I’m sorry we have presented our case so badly. Poor presentation does not mean we are wrong on the subject though.

Bling-Bling…is that all this has been to you?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 18, 2006 3:31 PM
Comment #127080

Marysdude

We now have the proper frame. Of course the debate would now be whether or not you are right in your prediction. The Bush environmental policy, however, is not what you think.

We did a great job in this country with the command and control regulatory regime. It worked back in 1970 and between then and now we have won that battle. It works against big smokestack pollutors. They are mostly gone.

The challenge now are non-point sources that we can’t easily find. End of the cow, not end of the smokestack etc. A bureaucratic approach can’t work as well. Dealing with these requires cooperation and innovation from those being regulated, the redesign of processes, not just a filter at the end of a pipe. This responds to market incentives, not command and control. It should still be illegal to pump smoke into the air, but we have to go beyond that. Bush policies are moving in that direction.

Think of it like this. The government is good at big things, but not at details. We need to get people and firms involved in the solutions.

I have been a committed environmentalist all my life. I am interested in making it better by whatever method works best. I am not interested in punishing firms and I am not angry, as so many people seem to be.

BTW - sorry for the gloating. I have fun with arguments, even when I lose (which is rare :)). But I think that most people who take the time to write are looking for solutions and you guys don’t deserve my derision (unless it is cleverly done).

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #127084

>> It should still be illegal to pump smoke into the air, but we have to go beyond that. Bush policies are moving in that direction.

Jack,

But, that’s not what Cheney/Bush want…they want the same amount of pollution, but for polluters to bid for the right to pollute.

>>But I think that most people who take the time to write are looking for solutions and you guys don’t deserve my derision (unless it is cleverly done).

Damn, you are arrogant!

Posted by: Marysdude at February 18, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #127100

The Bush idea are based on the successful cap and trade that largely eliminated the problem of acid rain in the 1990s. There will always be hot spots. It might be possible to elminate ten units of pollution in one place for the same effort as eliminating one someplace else. Over time, you reduce the total AND you do it in the most efficient way. If pollution becomes a cost, firms will try to reduce it. If it is just against the law, they will hire lawyers to figure out loop holes. Experience clearly shows which is better.

The problem is with the puritan wing or environmentalist who are seeking their definition of perfect all at the same time and all over. This they cannot have.

The market works best. Just like the Soviet style system was very good at making big crude gains, but fell apart when it had to do details. Our environmental policy has now moved to the stage of the details.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #127105

BTW - re arrogance, I wrote that mostly to see what kind of reaction I would get from Adrienne, but you got there first.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #127111

>>The market works best.

Jack,

The ‘market’ got us to the point of no return. The market achieves good pricing, effecient manufacturing, great wealth for the few, etc., but the market DOES NOT improve the environment.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 18, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #127114

The Market gave us child labor, sweat shops and poverty. Unions got us fair labor laws and a minimum wage. Both the MARKET and LABOR are lettingus down now. Just look at Wal Mart. The havock they have wrought on our economy is irreversable. The market…bah! Corruption is too easy for the market to help now.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 18, 2006 4:41 PM
Comment #127118

In 1750 if you took all the wealth in all the world and divided it between all the people alive at that time, none of them would even achieve poverty by our standards. The market has made everyone in the U.S. a member of the wealthy few. The market economy is the whole complex by which we set prices, distribute good and give people choices about what they want.

The most horribly polluted places in the world were/are in the least market oriented countries. Remember the Soviet block. I do. In E. Europe in 1990 with filthier than any place in the U.S. A few years of the market economy and it was unbelievably better.

There was a horrible steel mill called the Lenin Steelworks near Krakow. Its pollution nearly destroyed that beautiful city. When Communism fell, the market quickly decided that the inneficient plant would mostly shut down. A few years later only the most efficent 10% was left and with it went more than 90% of the pollution.

What about the classic tradgedy of the commons? People protect what they own. Nobody washes a rental car and what do the words public and restroom bring to mind?

And speaking of the market, pollution and the U.S. we DID use the market to clean up acid rain. It was not long ago. The process worked.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #127142

Jack:

“BTW - sorry for the gloating. I have fun with arguments, even when I lose (which is rare :)). But I think that most people who take the time to write are looking for solutions and you guys don’t deserve my derision (unless it is cleverly done).”

Hilarious. You’re a true Rovian Neocon, Jack.
Even when you’re wrong, you simply won’t admit to it, and in doing so claim that you somehow won something.
Look, just do the math. You really don’t know what you’re talking about, and I get tired of arguing with you on this subject because all you ever do is try to twist everything up like a pretzel.
And the worse part is that you only do it only to get Bush’s half assed “science” off the hook. The Neocon plan to harm the environment and help big polluters while claiming they’re doing the exact opposite is BOGUS NONSENSE, and all of your arguments on this topic are as well.
Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it happens to be the truth.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 18, 2006 5:56 PM
Comment #127185

Adrienne

Your numbers, not mine show that SO2 is down by 29% and NO down by 10%. I didn’t crunch those numbers or twist them. They are include in the report you linked to in exactly the form I quote. I even gave you the page numbers. So if what I am saying is bogus nonsense, you have to throw out your sources.

As for the second link, that one refers to numbers THEY project, not what is now or has happened. Even there we find a caveat. YOUR NEW REPORT admits that the air will be cleaner in 2020 than it is today. They are comparing the GAINS they estimate from the current Bush proposal with larger gains they projected from an earlier one.

Bottom line again is that the air is cleaner now than it was five years ago and will be cleaner five years from today. YOUR REPORTS SAY THAT.

Is that what Karl Rove does? Shows liberals why the angry conclusions they draw are not supported by their own data?

Let me say again, I am not presenting any of my own data. I accept most of what you have given me. All I am doing is using what you supplied and I am not altering it in any way.

We can talk about improving the environment. Much more can be done. But we should start from accurate assumptions.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2006 7:49 PM
Comment #127223

Jack,
The Clean Air Act is what has been bringing those numbers down, but no thanks to Bush, do you understand that? I haven’t been debating that the Clear Air Act isn’t effective, I’m claiming Bush’s plan intends to destroy almost all the significant gains that have been made over many years.
Bush tried to push his “Clear Skies” crap to REPLACE the Clean Air Act, but the Senate didn’t buy into it, because they knew it would be a giant mistake. At the time of the vote, Lincoln Chaffee said that he thought the negotiations on “Clear Skies” were conducted in bad faith, that the pollution-control targets were too low, and that the bill contained irresponsible loopholes.
He was right.
And thanks to him and Jim Jeffords the legislation didn’t pass. Jeffords at that time was quoted as saying:
“This legislation denies plain scientific evidence of human health damage from toxic air pollution and of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions.”
He was also right.

However, Bush has been able to help many of his big polluter buddies despite the fact that he didn’t get his plan passed — by back-door strategies of pushing for the same weak emissions controls through the regulatory process. He also changed something called New Source Review in the Clean Air Act.
See, before Bush, when old, pollution-spewing power plants made major modifications that substantially increased their air pollution, there was a that law that kicked in requiring that their pollution controls be upgraded. Bush changed all that by pushing through changes that weakened the former provision. So now, dirty old power plants can be almost completely rebuilt without ever having to install any modern pollution controls.
(He tried to push through another round of changes that would have basically eliminated New Source Review entirely, but that was blocked by the DC Circuit court.)
This means that not only that there is more power plant pollution in the air today, but that these plants are going to be able to continue to polluting unchecked into the future.
There is only ONE reason he did this — to let some of the nation’s biggest polluters who had been flouting the law for decades completely off the hook.
Until a Democratic president is elected and sees that the law is changed back the way it used to be, we’ll most likely never see any of these plants forced to clean up their act.

So what I said before still stands — Bush has made our air dirtier on behalf of his big polluter buddies. And just like my Dad shows me in his frequent e-mails on this subject, people who are sick, or highly sensitive, or predisposed to reacting negatively to pollution, are right now starting to suffer as a result.
And you can try to spin it, and twist it, and tell me that study was poor (as usual, every link I give you is always inadequate, so I wasn’t really surprised) but those are the facts, and that is the awful truth about your Dear Leader.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 18, 2006 10:12 PM
Comment #127240

Adrienne

If the air is dirtier, why isn’t it dirtier? Your figures show 29% less SO2 and 10% less NO. After that any other arguments are invalid.

I didn’t tell you your study was poor. On the contary, you have been denying its data, not me.

It reminds me of the quote from Galileo to the inquisition. Eppur si muove - “And yet it [the earth] moves”. You have some very nice arguments, but you can’t deal with the negative 29% and negative 10%.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2006 10:56 PM
Comment #127242

Andre,

“It’s sad to see our gifts to the future generations of this country are complacency, greed, debt and a deeply divided nation that has been weakend by it’s own government.”

I believe our legacy is wasted on a misguided war, the destruction of our planet, complacency during elections, Red States vs. Blue States division, open government corruption, torture, secrecy etc.

I’d love to see our nation strong again.

Corporate welfare, secrecy, lobbying, the war in Iraq, corruption, cronyism, cutting programs that help the elderly and children, ignoring science when it comes to environmental protection, elections that are paid for by corporations and special interest groups, poor planning and management of domestic agencies is not going to fix the problem. It will exacerbate the problems and create more for the future.

We need to stand up and force our government to change.

Complacency: What is that? Are you actually blaming the American people for not voting Democrat?

Greed: You’d need to define what greed is before we could discuss it.

Debt: Here we would find an agreement. I don’t like the fact that our federal debt is so high. BUT, you need to take into account the downturn Clinton left on, as well as the economic effects of 9/11.

Divided nation: You have the answer to this one. Stop dividing America. We are divided because the left is intolerant of the right.

Posted by: eric simonson at February 18, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #127250

Jack:

“If the air is dirtier, why isn’t it dirtier? Your figures show 29% less SO2 and 10% less NO.”

It isn’t dirtier because Clear Skies WASN’T passed by the Senate, not because Bush is any kind of champion of the environment. Indeed had his assinine, scientifically flawed plan passed in 2003, that study in 2005 would have shown an INCREASE in those gasses, rather than another Clear Air Act drop.

“After that any other arguments are invalid.”

What is invalid, almost unbelievably so, is you going on about those two statistics as though it actually supports your argument. Go take a good hard look at that report again. Notice where SO2 and NO have gone way up at various plants in various areas of the country recently? That’s where you’ll see the face of your Dear Leader’s backdoor, environmentally hostile, big pollutor friendly, policies staring out at you.

If you don’t understand the point I’ve been trying to make to you by now, I think you’re being either purposefully dense or very dishonest with me, so let’s just drop the subject, m’kay?

Posted by: Adrienne at February 19, 2006 12:03 AM
Comment #127256

I feel the same way. I understand the point you are trying to make. It is something like, “I am right because I feel passionately about it and my friends all agree.” But you are running into a reality problem.

Yes, some plants are worse. Yes some are better. Half of all the plants are worse than average, half are better. This is meaningless and a tautology. The bottom line is there is less pollution.

As I wrote someplace above, you can change your argument to something like, “the air today is cleaner than ever, but I believe that in future it will be worse.” But you can’t legitimately talk about an increase of pollution today or find the effects of something that has not happened.

With that we can drop this subject.

Posted by: Jack at February 19, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #127257

Let me clarify this sentence:
“It isn’t dirtier because Clear Skies WASN’T passed by the Senate,”
Make that:
It isn’t dirtier in an overall statistical sense because Clear Skies WASN”T passed by the Senate,

There, now you can’t claim you still don’t understand — because the air is definitely much dirtier than it had been in some locals, thanks to Bush’s policies.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 19, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #127269

… and much cleaner in others, hence the idea of average.

Posted by: Jack at February 19, 2006 1:26 AM
Comment #127275

Jack,

If it’s dirtier for some and cleaner for some and that constitutes an average, how can you give Cheney/Bush an A+ for improving it? Wouldn’t that ‘average mean no gain? Wouldn’t no gain mean future generations will have to suffer the consiquences?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 19, 2006 1:49 AM
Comment #127297

Ah, but then, those averages are also skewed by the Bush administration because of their lowering of standards at the EPA.

Speaking of which, here are some interesting facts about EPA Administrators under the Bush Administration:

Christine Todd Whitman as head of the EPA disavowed global warming (right along with the President at the time) and the validity of a government-commissioned report about human contributions to global warming. She ended up going along with Bush’s efforts to edit and rewrite the entire report, removing all references to global warming, and replaced an National Academy of Sciences study that proved the human component with results from an American Petroleum Institute study that basically denied global warming. When she resigned from her position in 2003, the number of officially designated smoggy days in the US was up by 32% and the completion of cleanup of Superfund toxic sites was down by 50%. Since her resignation many people began questioning her role in the coverup of the toxic chemicals in the air at Ground Zero after 9/11. She is now facing a class action lawsuit because she told workers and volunteers that there was no threat to their health (which was actually contrary to EPA scientists conclusions). It has since been shown that the EPA did know about the the enormously high levels of dioxins, asbestos, PCBs, and heavy metals released by all that destruction.

Michael O. Leavitt came after Whitman. He wasn’t there long, but just before he was transfered over as the director of Health and Human Services, a lawsuit was being prepared by 9 states (CA., NJ., NH., NM., NY. Mass., MA., CT., VT.)due to the fact that the EPA’s inspector general determined that the agency’s regulation of mercury emissions did not follow the Clean Air Act, and that regulations had been influenced by top political appointees.
Under Leavitt it seems the EPA had suppressed a study it had commissioned from Harvard University which had contradicted their position on mercury controls. The lawsuit claimed that the EPA’s rule allowing exemption from ‘maximum available control technology’ is illegal, and charged the EPA’s new system of pollution “credit trading” allows power plants to be exempt from having to reduce mercury emissions.
Then the current Administrator came in — Stephen Johnson.
The lawsuit I just mentioned ended up turning into an even larger lawsuit that is being brought by fifteen states and numerous health and environmental groups but as far as I know, has not yet gone to court.
In the meantime, in Sept. 2005 a resolution on mercury emissions from power plants was introduced by Senators Leahy(D),Collins(R),and Snowe(R). It was struck down. They’d brought the resolution to the senate floor because they know how dangerous mercury is for children and expectant mothers, and because in March of last year the EPA had finalized a set of rules that put weak controls in place to reduce mercury pollution from power plants.
Rather than enforcing the Clean Air Act directives that put stringent controls on all toxic pollution from power plants, the EPA took power plants completely OFF the list of toxic pollutants, and instead created their pollution trading scheme that takes much longer to get fewer reductions than regular enforcement of the Clean Air Act laws.
This is the Brave New World of the EPA under Bush — they’re allowing power plant polluters off the hook for at least a decade or more. This new plan of theirs is designed to give the worst polluters in this country until 2018, or beyond, to make a dent in their mercury emissions, and doesn’t require all the plants to install mercury pollution control technology.

Btw, a few facts about current Administrator Johnson — he was criticized for his support for using human subjects in pesticide testing before the confirmation vote to his position. For a short while, a hold was actually placed on the vote when he refused to cancel the Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study — which advocated testing the effects of pesticides on infants up to age 3. Finally folding to the pressure and outrage, Johnson canceled the study, and was then confirmed.

“you can’t legitimately talk about an increase of pollution today or find the effects of something that has not happened.”

Like I said Jack, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
Because it has happened.
It is happening.
And it can only get worse when we put the desires of industrial polluters above the health and the rights of We the People and our Environment. Which is exactly what Bush is doing.

Okay, now I really am dropping this subject.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 19, 2006 3:34 AM
Comment #127379

Marysdude

All I am trying do is ask how you guys can see a reduction of 29% of SO2 and a REDUCTION of 10% of NO (two of the major pollutants we track) as an increase in pollution. I got these numbers from a report Adrienne gave that she thought supported her argument. I didn’t give Bush an A+. I didn’t even say he was responsible for the improvement. All I said - and it is empirically true - that you cannot blame him for something that didn’t happen.

You and Adrienne misuse the nature of average. It is a common trick and liberals usually get away with it. You can always find something that is lower than average. So the line goes, “the average is good, but this situation is bad.” To this I say, you are right. But your argument is irrelevant. Half the anything is below average - always.

The second part of the spin is what Adrienne does. She accepts the statistic that things have improved and then gives lots of stories that shows she doesn’t.

Consider this MO in a simple example.

I postulate that although there was no incident, IF you were in a car accident, you would have seriously injured someone.

You point out it didn’t happen.

I start talking about the serious injuries of the people involved and give details about how the local hospital could not deal with it.

You point out that it didn’t happen.

I complain that nobody even cared about this accident and I passionately accuse you of being insensitive to the suffering and of not answering my charges.

Your logical and valid answer is that it didn’t happen, period. But it still looks bad for you. I have made many charges and it looks like you are not responding.

So the bottom line is this and nothing else matters.

SO2 REDUCED by 29%
NO REDUCED by 10%.

I will repeat the story about Galileo and the inquisition. Galileo knew that celestial bodies moved, but this went against the church dogma that held that such things were stationary. The inquisitors had thousands of reasons why they were right. Their arguments were passionate and unassailable. Galileo could not counter them. At the end, Galileo just mumbled, Eppur si muove - “And yet it [the earth] moves”. When you guys are all done with all the passion, all I need to do is say, “but it is cleaner”.

Posted by: Jack at February 19, 2006 10:21 AM
Comment #127423

>>When you guys are all done with all the passion, all I need to do is say, “but it is cleaner”.

Jack,

When you are all done, all I can say is…Bush didn’t make it better, and his actions will make it worse in the future…sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 19, 2006 12:54 PM
Comment #127424

Jack,

PS:

The title of this blog was ‘America’s Future’. It’s what I thought we were discussing…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 19, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #127427

The parallel I would draw with Galileo is very different. After he was persecuted for his scientific proof, Italy was doomed to become a backwater, even though it was still prosperous and had many universities, like us today, with the attempts to silence scientists for having unauthorized proofs. Scientific development moves away from places that have more repressive institutions.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 19, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #127446

Marysdude

You can say that. But the basis of this post (like many others) is that conditions today are already bad. This is not the case.

So yes, you can say, things are pretty good now. Our economy has been growing well for three years, unemployement is low, our environment is cleaner than any time in the recent past, BUT it will get so much worse that we will have to appologize to the next generation.

Ray

I am not drawing a close historical parallel, just the narrow one that I am going against the dogma on this thread and despite all the arguments, we have a a on the ground truth that is uncomfortable for those who want to have their argument.

Posted by: Jack at February 19, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #127459

>>I am not drawing a close historical parallel, just the narrow

Jack,

Hmmm…just as I thought…an empty bag. Ecologically, we are worse off today than yesterday, because we had continued to improve for several years, and now must backtrack because current policies so dictate. The end of improvement is not better, it is worse.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 19, 2006 2:52 PM
Comment #127500

Marysdude,
Spot on. And what makes it worse is that, as I showed in my last post, Bush’s appointee’s to the EPA are willing to lie for him and suppress scientific proofs, and lower standards on pollution. Additionally, the Republican majority in Congress have done his bidding on behalf of big pollutors and have blocked sincere attempts to safeguard our citizens from harmful emissions. So now we cannot trust that the statistics or the information they put out is factually correct.
And people like Jack will keep defending all this as long as it continues to make the president appear responsible when he is anything but that when it comes to safeguarding public health or our environment.
It is a disgrace.
What I find most amazing and bizarre about this is that if Jack went to the homepage of that Clear the Air website link that I put up on an earlier post (the link highlighted the words “just do the math”), and goes to the state map showing power plant pollution hotspots, he will note that the people in his state (Virginia) are in very high danger of suffering serious health effects as a result of Bush’s flawed policies.
So what he is actually defending for partisan purposes, is endangering the health of himself and his own family.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 19, 2006 4:26 PM
Comment #127519

Jack, you’re my hero.

And not just because Adrienne finds herself being cornered by the facts you calmly present to her. Well, actually it is mostly that.

I don’t think she wants to argue about the facts though. She already has all the ‘facts’ she needs:

Bush is a criminal. I hate the fact that we have a criminal for a president. I do blame him for what he has done and for what he continues to do.

And guided by this ‘fact’ she can reason that all things which do not support this conclusion are heresy.

Posted by: eric simonson at February 19, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #127521
This Guy wrote: Right now, we’re being divided and systematically conquered …

Yes, we are. Very perceptive of you. Many don’t recognize it for what it is.

And, it is all by design.
It has been going on for all time.
It is all by a very clever, old, but effective brainwashing tactic.

I’m not sure what to call it.
Maybe it already has a name?
Let’s name it: “The-Cheaters-Dialectic”.

Incumbents politicians in government use the dialectic to divide the voters.
The divisiveness helps to ensure that a majority can never exist to vote out irresponsible incumbents (The Cheaters).
And, incumbents politicians are also always trying to make it more difficult to be ousted, and secure their cu$hy, coveted seats of power.

The Cheaters-Dialectic requires a focal point; a detractor.
The favorite detractor these days is partisan warfare.
In the past, other detractors have been used (e.g. race, religion, gender, class, profession, wealth, etc.). These are becoming less popular, but the religion detractor is one of the most dangerous.

No matter what the detractor is, the invisible Cheater Dialectic aims to create a circular pattern to control both the conflict, resolution of differences, and leads everyone involved into a new cycle of conflicts (a new detractor).

What ever the detractor, the goal is to create a circular pattern of thought and behavior to divide the voters, to detract (i.e. distract) from more substantive issues being neglected by The Cheaters, and keep the voters that have been seduced into the circular pattern, from ever realizing that they are being manipulated. It is very powerful. I too was once seduced into the circular pattern of The Cheaters Dialectic (petty partisan warfare). But, anyone that knows me, now knows that I no longer have any allegiance to any party. Parties are not the problem. The Cheaters in all parties are half the problem, and the other half are the more numerous population of voters that do not realize how they are being controlled, or refuse to believe it is true.

People must become educated to The-Cheaters-Dialectic.
Ignorance is not an excuse.
So, reject the petty partisan warfare.
It isn’t hard to see the partisan motivated arguments.
They give themselves away by cherry-picking facts to suit their argument, while cleverly ignoring the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Learn to identify “The-Cheaters”.
Don’t let “The-Cheaters” control you.
Don’t let “The-Cheaters” divide you.
Don’t let “The-Cheaters” seduce you into the circular pattern.
Don’t let “The-Cheaters” trick you with truths mixed with half-truths.
Don’t let “The-Cheaters” get away with it. Hold them accountable.

Also, although no profession is bad, just like no race, religion, or gender is either - learn to recognize that “The-Cheaters” gravitate to certain positions of power more so than others. Therefore, you must recognize that “The-Cheaters” gravitate to politics or professions that are often in-league with government. Cheaters are everywhere among us. You’ve probably met a few. They are numerous in D.C., because that is where the power and opportunity for self-gain is. That is where The-Master-Cheaters reside. There goal is much like all of the rest of us. We all want security and prosperity with the least amount of effort and pain. The only difference between “The-Cheaters” and the non-cheaters, is that “The-Cheaters” will resort to unethical (even illegal) methods. The more power “The-Cheaters” and more opportunities for abuse that exist, the more corrupt they become. Only transparency (simplified processes and procedures) and accountability (law enforcement, consequences) can limit it.

This is why the voters must be educated, and remember to do the one, simple, common-sense, no-brainer, non-partisan, inexpensive, peaceful and responsible thing they were supposed to be doing all along: Vote out (or recall) irresponsible incumbents, always, every election, until no more irresponsible incumbents exist, and government finally agrees to pass the many badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer, responsible reforms that incumbents have refused to pass for so many decades.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 19, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #127526
eric simonson wrote: Jack, you’re my hero.
How revealing? You guys aren’t foolin’ anyone. All the cherry-picked facts while ignoring the big picture prove nothing? The partisan motiviation is all too obvious. You just don’t want your party to look bad. I have to say, they are makin’ difficult lately, aren’t they?

But, it probably wouldn’t be that way if the rest of us too also had some of those rose-colored glasses that the majority party (currently the rose-colored party) is passing out in the rose-colored column. : )
Got any rose-colored tin foil to go with it ?
: )

This is how much regard government has for you, the voters.
We need to vote out all irresponsible incumbents, regardless of party (always).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 19, 2006 6:11 PM
Comment #127552

They use the complacency of the American voters, the fear of terrorist attacks and the ignorance of those folks who follow this administration like sheep.$$$$$$$$$$$$
Dome dispare and agony on you deep dark depression excessvie misery if it warnt for Dick Cheney you would have no news at all so doom dispare and agony on ya all.

Posted by: angry white man at February 19, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #127568

I’m 19

I fear for my future.
It’s not only the red states. When will the ‘blue states’ stop caring about how they look, and step up to the plate, to put their foot down and support what they believe? IF the dems care so much about my future, then do something. It doesn’t matter if you seem pushy, get something done. NOW!

-einghf

Posted by: Einghf at February 19, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #127595

dan,

How revealing? You guys aren’t foolin’ anyone. All the cherry-picked facts while ignoring the big picture prove nothing? The partisan motiviation is all too obvious. You just don’t want your party to look bad. I have to say, they are makin’ difficult lately, aren’t they?

I know, I know, if the facts go against you then they are cherry picked— but the ‘big picture’ you have in your head is still right. I believe that’s called cognitive dissonence, when you encounter facts that contradict your worldview. You can either deal with it and examine why these facts do not seem to fit in your worldview, or you can ignore, discount, and otherwise go into denial about them.

The honest thing to do is question your assumptions. Have an open mind. Expand your horizons to include points of view besides your own. :)

Posted by: esimonson at February 19, 2006 11:03 PM
Comment #127763

Eric,
There are valid, justifiable reasons for concern.
To say everything is “very good” just does not ring true.
You have one unfair advantage too.
No matter what concern anyone voices, they are doomsdayers and pessimists.

The fact is, many people are simply and justifiably concerned.

There are thousands of indicators, and hundreds of obvious indicators, and still, neither you nor I really know where it is headed.

My point is caution and reform is needed so that we do not make recovery from the next down-turn (that you yourself correctly say is inevitable) more difficult and painful.

Why? Because it may turn a recession into a depression. The potential exists. No? You disagree with that?

[] If you are going to look at historical norms, you can see that %Debt to GDP has never been higher since WWII.
[] The Debt (adjusted for inflation) has never been higher (true, there has been growth in GDP too).
[] The size of the government has never been higher. The trade deficits have never been higher.
[] The amount of wealth belonging to 1% of the population has never been higher since the Great Depression.
[] And, foreign competition has never been higher (and increasingly better educated). Global Corporatism has never been higher.
[] The troubled entitlement systems and dependency on government has never been worse.
[] Not, to mention all of the rest of these problems growing in number and severity, and an increasingly corrupt government (that’s a given since we know that is simply what governments do, always, until forced to reform).

So, there are many undeniable facts to build a case that we are on the wrong path, we are making the next recovery more difficult and risky, and we would be wise to get some fiscal responsibility now, before it is too late.

We can go back and forth forever over one thing or another, but the big picture is the bottom line.

I truly beleive any prudent person would see it the same way and advise caution. Certainly not persist that it is “very good”. Not because they are all wrong or brainwashed. Because the facts warrant it.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 20, 2006 11:14 AM
Comment #127765

Einghf,
You are 19, so you can now vote.
Don’t despair.
Giving up won’t solve anything.

Here is the Problem and the Solution.

Government (all parties) is only half the problem.
The other half is voters that tolerate it.

Voter education is needed.
They don’t realize (or maybe they’re catching on) how they have been and are being manipulated and controlled.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 20, 2006 11:23 AM
Comment #127799

dan,

Oh I know I can vote. BUT the people I vote for have to be capable of doing something. There is no reason why anyone should have to pick the lesser of two evils, we should actually have competent people who run for office.

-einghf

Posted by: Einghf at February 20, 2006 12:50 PM
Comment #127963

>>The honest thing to do is question your assumptions. Have an open mind. Expand your horizons to include points of view besides your own. :)

Posted by: esimonson at February 19, 2006 11:03 PM

es,

I want an open mind just like yours.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 20, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #128136

-einghf,
Yes, we need competent people.
But experience is useless if the person is corrupt.
It is less important who you vote for, than what they’ll do soon after being elected.
Newcomers want to pass reforms, but incumbents won’t let them. Incumbents always outnumber newcomers.
The problem is a corrupt system that incumbents will not allow anyone to reform.
Incumbents refuse to pass many badly needed, common-sense, no-brainer, constructive reforms (e.g. campaign finance reform, election reform, one-purpose-per-bill amendment, balanced budget-amendment, tax reform, etc.).
Incumbents vote irresponsibly (e.g. pork-barrel, graft, waste, corporate welfare, etc.), look the other way because they lack the peer-pressure to police their own ranks, and continue to grow government and the national debt to nightmare proportions, which is threatening the future and security of the nation. The national debt is so large now, it would take 139 years to pay off the debt if the federal government started now to (a) stop borrowing $1 billion per day, and (b) also started paying back $1 billion per day (slightly more the daily interest alone). It is irresponsible and immoral to be heaping that much debt onto future generations.
Incumbents are bought-and-paid-for, too beholding to their big-money-donors, and refuse to tackle tough issues for fear of risking re-election, or defying their big-money-donors.
Incumbents spend too much time and tax-payers money raising more money for their campaign war-chests.
Incumbents pressure and seduce newcomers into Congress to conform to the status quo, look the other way, or be shunned and isolated.
Incumbents fuel the partisan warfare, and seduce voters into a circular pattern that distracts the voters from more substantive issues.
Therefore, the voters can and should peacefully force government to pass many badly-needed reforms, because government will not do it themselves. Voters are supposed to vote out (or recall) irresponsible incumbents, repeatedly, until elected officials are responsible and accountable. That is what voting is supposed to be all about. That is what the voters are supposed to do, and should have been doing all along.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 21, 2006 8:10 AM
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