Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Post No. 91: Tell Us What You Thought



Last evening, we all watched as President Obama delivered a speech to the world. The “talking heads” have had much to say during this relatively brief Obama Administration.

We here at the Institute for Applied Common Sense have no political agenda.

We simply believe that, by encouraging the exchange of ideas in a civil forum, where the views of each person are equally respected and valued, we will ultimately arrive at better solutions through consensus. Through this process, a Common Sense approach will emerge.

We have several questions of you, the American citizen:

1. What did you think of the President’s speech?

2. What are your thoughts about the first 30 days of the Administration?

3. Did the President’s speech make you feel better or worse about the Economic Stimulus Bill which he recently signed?

Go for it.

37 comments:

  1. I thought that it was a wonderful speech. Direct and forceful and offered optimism along with a fairly complete picture of the severity of the problems. I admire his grit in that he stated that we must attack problems such as health care and education; problems that will not wait.

    In his first 30 days he has made a few slips. I don't think that he engaged the opposition enough on the creation of the bail out package and I think that he allowed Pilosi and Reed too much leeway (perhaps he could do nothing about that) in that they are even more partisan than most republicans.

    While the bill is far from perfect, it showed a willingness to act and made me feel that we were moving in the right direction as a nation.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I did not watch the speech so I suppose I should not comment. I prefer to read transcripts of speeches. This allows me to digest the words, the promises, the items stated as facts (and research them), in an objective manner, without the emotional effect of someone speaking. there are a number of places on the internet where a transcript can be found. There is also a place called factcheck.org. This is a very useful web site but it does not have an analysis of the State of the Union. Foxnews.com, however, does.

    Click here...

    While some of us may dismiss Foxnews because of our (or its) political leanings, "facts is facts" as my mother used to say... somewhat ungrammatically.

    We should always be cautious that what we are being told is either being sugar-coated or muddied. We should beware of politicians who say the situation is so dire that we must act without considered debate (or reading this or that bill), or tell us all is rosy, or that they have the answer to all our problems.

    We should be wary of everything we read on the internet, in blogs, even at respected news sites. We are going through some very troubling times, we are told, so we should carefully examine offered remedies.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Doug, it would be nice if Fox news had ANY facts, but over and over they are shown to be shoddy in their research and inflammatory in their diatribes. You would be served to go straight to the horses mouth, that is, listen to Obama.
    As to my response to the address, I admit to a strong bias for whatever he plans after eight years of dodohead! Even if I disagreed with what he wants to do, at least he is telling openly and honestly.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Frankly, I was appalled. It was a typical Obama speech: all style and no substance; all focused of what a community organizer from the Midwest would worry about. Worst of all, as the "new leader of the (still) free world," he never pronounced, let alone address, the following words and topics: "Europe;" "Russia;" "China;" "Japan;" "Israel;" "Iran;" "Islamic fundamentalism;" I could go on and on. Yet, we need to coordinate our economic salvation operation with Europe; we need China's cash more that ever to pay for all our TARP's, Rescue Packages; bail outs, etc.; we need to prevent Russia from cutting us off from our supply lines to Afghanistan; we need to prevent Iran from getting the Bomb, etc... All of those things if allowed to deteriorate will make our current economic crisis like a tea party. And not a word from our new president? Ghastly.

    Philippe

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dan, meet Phillipe. Phillipe, meet Dan.

    Dan, I do not listen to speeches, I read them. I read them because it takes away any charisma of the speaker and allows me to examine the substance. You may dislike Foxnews (as I pointed out) but facts are facts regardless of who reports them. And these are facts. Research them yourself. Don't rely on me, or Foxnews, or CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, or any other news outlet. Do not trust Drudge, Huffington, the Daily Kos, or any other political blog. Trust yourself. Be truly independent. Do not ever accept a politician's speech as honest and open, they never are.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The speech was masterful. Those who choose to only read speeches and do not listen to them miss a great deal. (reading a libretto does not equal a night at the opera).What the community organizer from the Midwest would be worried about is what an overwhelming majority of the American public as well as a hefty number of people in other countries are concerned about. Economic woes, energy bondage, threats to the eco system of spaceship Earth, health care and education.

    He has gotten pretty much what he asked for in the first 30 days. I believe he has rushed it because of a sense of urgency but more important than the urgency of the moment should have been that transparency that has been and is continuing to be promised AND the removal of pork before the bill was passed. I've been to recovery.gov and it is still only the broadest of strokes with no details. The details aren't there because the plans are not yet being implemented but weren't we supposed to have been engaged and informed BEFORE that happened?

    I am not feeling any better or worse about the package due to his speech. It is a pleasure to have a leader who can string not just a few words but many, many paragraphs and pages together and has the ability to inspire. May I say that one of a Presidents most important jobs is how they handle the bully pulpit. He handles it just fine thank you.

    I am surprised that nobody mentioned Bobby Jindal's response. Some parts of it were very good and I'm proud that he is refusing aide that will in the end cost his State more than they can afford. OTOH I feel he was bit disingenuous when it came to his talk about Federal aide and Katrina. Yes, the money was and is being mismanaged. 147 billion dollars. As far as I'm concerned any land that is below sea level should not be rebuilt and the biggest chunk of that money should have been spent on building the best possible protection for the land that is at least at possible to protect effectively.

    There were 1,337,726 people in New Orleans as of the census in 2000. If 70 percent were made homeless and each family had been given a flat 60,000 USD(56,184,492,000-less than half the 147,000,000,000))in their hands to start off their lives anew we would be better off economically and they would have had a better shot at a new flood free future. The Governor chose to speak of wondrous anecdotal stories that rightly revealed the perils of rules getting in the way of reason. Life doesn't work without and the help and comfort that people can bring each other especially in such times. He did not acknowledge the whopping 147 billion dollars being used to help in the clean-up and restoration.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks everyone for your comments thus far. We are certain that more of you had some reaction to this speech. If you are uncomfortable providing your name, you can post it anonymously.

    ReplyDelete
  8. June, do you watch a movie instead of reading the book? You can. of course, but you will miss a lot of substance. Speeches are wonderful but they are for show, what is said needs to be digested. Like you said "The details aren't there because the plans are not yet being implemented but weren't we supposed to have been engaged and informed BEFORE that happened?" Speeches are the "slight of hand" the magician (speaker) uses to distract while the real trick is played. You have to look behind the curtain when the Wizard speaks.

    I liked your take on New Orleans but I am afraid those things won't happen. They will rebuild in below sea level areas. They have no choice. As the people forget and slowly fill up the available space, those areas will become "needed" and then re-developed. Giving each person $60k would have been also a waste, though, since too many would throw it away, or use it to start over somewhere else (thereby depriving N.O. of the benefit) and then, of course, there would be the demands for "means testing" before it is handed out. And the bureaucracy that would be screaming for their share to rebuild the infra-structure.

    Speaking of the Stimulus bill, it might have been better to just hand out $100,000 (federally tax free) to each family making less than $150k per year. It would have been cheaper, the money could have paid down debt (meaning people could stay in their homes), invested, and boosted the economy. Instead, we got a pork laden bill that won't do much beyond pushing this mess down the road a couple of years.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Douglas-I do read the book as well as see the movie. Do you see the play or just read it? Not to be insulting but what we are writing about is a s-p-e-e-c-h and if you ONLY read it you miss far more than a person who ONLY sees the movie IF the movie was first crafted to be read as a book. Great speeches are designed to inspire and also to provide broad outlines of what action is being planned. Whether you consider Ronald Regan's "Mr. Gorbachov tear down this wall", Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "we have nothing to fear but fear itself" or Dr Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speeches, they were all designed to be heard not just read.

    They will rebuild below sea level but they should not nor do they have to do so. They could move the entire 9th ward 20 miles further north and build a decent inexpensive mass transit rail system to allow for movement into downtown but there is neither the vision nor the guts to just do it.

    I did not want to give 60K to each person but each family however I stand by the idea that it would be better to do so than what has happened with the money. Yes, some would squander it and I would not give one more cent to those that do AND I would let them know it before they got a dime of the money. So what if they would start over somewhere else? Is the money for N.O. or the people whose lives were ruined? Plus more than half of the money would still have been there for securing those parts of the city that engineers could reasonably expect to be able to really protect.

    Give 100K federally tax free to each family and our economy would grow so fast that it would leave China in the dust. What I could do for my business with 100K would be incredible, as would the guy who replaced my passenger side seatbelt last week. He said that would enable him to get out from under a choking debt, give his workers a 5.00 an hour increase and allow him to get the 30K front end alignment machine that he has been wanting to purchase. Funny how every politician under the sun claims to know that small business is what really moves this country yet they barely toss small business a bone let alone the big piece of chicken.

    ReplyDelete
  10. June, most speeches are intended, by the politicians, to make people feel good but not actually inform. Yes, they are intended to inspire, rally the spirit, and so on. But a speech given to a joint session of Congress is more; it is a presentation of policy. This is why I ignore the emotional side in favor of the analytical. I want to know what that other hand is up to. I want to know what he is proposing and how it will be paid for. I want to know how much of what was said was true and how much was lies. If I get caught up in the drama, I won't do that. And that is why I rarely listen to speeches. Your examples, by the way, are "sound bites", pieces of speeches that sum up or provide the essence of the emotions the speech was intended to evoke. Whether you hear the speech of not, you will hear the sound bites.

    Let's petition our Representatives and Senators to do that $100k thing. Maybe if we had been given the time, we could have had that proposed instead of the Stimulus Bill.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Something just popped in our heads about this written transcription versus visual communication issue. Let's assume that you were the member of the military and your general or admiral chose to communicate speech through written form as opposed to the traditional manner. Or perhaps, a corporate CEO chose to do the same thing (which, by the way, they do frequently). Is there some advantage of one means of communication over the other?

    ReplyDelete
  12. [hand raised... ]

    There are times when a commanding officer needs to address the troops and times when he is better off with a written communique. When I speak about reading speeches rather than listening to them, I am speaking from the audience side of the equation. It is how I can better evaluate the intent, the policy, the speech is about. A speech is, as I said, a performance. A metaphor might be a song vs the lyrics. The singers might impart strong feelings about the words but you can determine better what the lyrics mean to you absent the light show, the heavy bass, and the antics of the drummer. There is nothing wrong with listening to a speech but, during one, there is a tendency by the speaker (and those staging it) to engage the emotions of an audience at the expense of its logic.

    Returning to June's question, I have read books and watched the movies at times. What I have found is that the movie is the director's interpretation of the important points of the story. When I read the book, it's my interpretation. I prefer to decide what's important.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Douglas my question was NOT whether you had read the book that was the source materiel for a certain movie(and there are many films that do not use a book for source materiel at all,or those where books are written using the film as source materiel). That was YOUR question. What I asked was do you see a play or just read it? Earlier I likened your approach to reading a libretto rather than enjoying a night at the opera. A play is designed to be acted out. Reading King Lear or Porgy and Bess is edifying but it pales when compared to it being performed. Playwrights are normally writing so the work may be performed. Teachers can and do dissect such works to help students understand structure and even to understand the dynamics of the story and characters. Speeches are designed to be heard though in addition they can also be read. It is a particular form of communication and to judge it solely by your interpretation of what is written without hearing the nuance of the actual speech is to lose a great deal. Perhaps I should have mentioned some of the speeches that GWB bumbled through. Those also spoke more than the written transcripts could ever show.

    The examples I mentioned of well recognized speeches may indeed be reduced to sound bites and the use of a solitary phrase in each of them was sufficient for you to recognize the speeches from which they were taken. I will not yield the point that the design of a s-p-e-e-ch is to first and foremost be spoken and heard. The flip side is something such as as a budgetary report may be discussed verbally but would be lame if not available to be read.

    Logistician-There are many instances where commanders need to communicate with the written word. I can't think of any case when one would do to rally the troops as they go into battle. Can you imagine Patton doing that or William Wallace or Casey Stengel?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I pray you indulge me for this link that is not part of the discussion but perhaps we can all enjoy a minute or two of divine lunacy :)
    This pretty much sums everything up.

    The Galaxy Song (Clint Black)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT7bAuOz8ao

    ReplyDelete
  15. June and Douglas, I both listen and read. I may be a better listener than most since I do hear a good many of the things not be said, or "listening between the lines". Maybe comes from my years as a counselor. Anyhow, I had a hard time keeping down my dinner during that speech. And today as some of it is coming out in print I am having even more trouble with my digestive system. Not going to run on here as my blog is pretty explicit on my feeling and the facts of the Obama Agenda for the United States.

    Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be anything or anyone to stop him; at least not until after the elections in 2010, and one whole Hell of a lot of damage can be done in two years. Just see what he has accomplished in one month! BB

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for weighing in Anonymous. You indicated that President Obama allowed House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid too much leeway. We are unsure whether you are referring to their drafting of the economic stimulus package; however, we will take that on at this point.

    Many have criticized the President for not drafting a bill of his own, or generating a proposal, and sending it down to the Congress. While we understand the theory, isn't it the duty of the legislative branch to make laws? The President is supposed to "execute" the laws, and thus he is the head of the Executive Branch. Were his critics trying to set him up? Did he purposely avoid sending a proposal to Congress to deflect criticism that he is King Obama?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Douglas: At some point during the President's speech, we started counting the number of times that he used the word "responsibility," but discontinued the count. We'd be curious how many times it was used during the speech. We do not usually hear politicians suggesting that we take responsibility for our actions.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Douglas: The Logistician has paid particular attention to your comments, because we have been encouraging him to develop a television show, or some other presentation using visual media. However, he has repeatedly stated his preference for radio. He claims that he does not want his audience to get distracted by the visual component. He wants them to pay more attention to the words, by hearing them.

    Would you have had any interest in listening to the speech on the radio?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks Dan. You referred to the conduct of this administration as being "open and honest." Interestingly, we heard someone earlier in the week refer to the fear that some career analysts and bureaucrats had expressing themselves during the Bush administration. They apparently did not feel that their views were valued.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Log (or whoever), radio would mitigate the effect somewhat. But not entirely, consider talk radio. These are full of monologues (speeches). Limbaugh has become quite wealthy doing them. There are websites dedicated to pointing out Limbaugh's "lies" and "distortions" using transcripts from his show. In some cases, they are absolutely correct and, in others, obviously doing their own "distortions" to make their case.

    June might have made her case better if she spoke about things being "taken out of context" when reading because you don't get the tonal inflections or the emotion involved. She seems to think I am rejecting speeches altogether. I am not. I am only saying that a speech, like the one the President made the other night, was a policy speech. And policy speeches need analysis without emotional attachment. I do not need to be told about "responsibility", I have practiced it most of my adult life. I have a strong attachment to the concept. I also know that others do not and all the presidents of history telling them to practice it won't change them.

    We are inspired by speeches, it is true, but it is most often a fleeting inspiration. Unless you carry around recordings of inspirational speeches, the effects will dissipate rather quickly. The emotion fades.

    On the other hand, there was a certain leader back in the 30s and 40s who plunged his country (and the world) into a great darkness through his oratory skills and uplifting speeches. His counterpart in Italy also had that skill, as I recall.

    While other great speakers have truly inspired greatness in others (Dr. King, Lincoln, JFK, Reagan, etc), the danger is always there that emotion will be used for wrongness. Truly great speeches stand up when the emotion of the moment is stripped away.

    June you are right about plays, to a great degree. However, even those are interpretations by the director. I once saw a Hamlet production done in modern clothing with impromptu items replacing elaborate scenery (a rack of clothes and a dresser depicting a bedroom, for example). It was wonderful, it drew your attention to the acting itself. But, again, it was all about the director's view and not about my own.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Douglas: Unfortunately, "facts" are not "just facts." Ask any economist, policeman, attorney, spin doctor, doctor, or English teacher. Events are subject to characterization, framing, and context. Advertisers spent a lot of money on professionals who specialize in saying things a certain way.

    For many years the Logistician was a trial attorney. During litigation, depositions (questioning of witnesses) are conducted with all parties present. (Now it must be recognized that ordinary witnesses generally do not have the skills and charisma about which you appear to be concerned.) At the conclusion of a deposition, a typewritten transcript is prepared and ultimately signed by the witness.

    There are many instances where parties enter the litigation late, and the law firms representing parties change. Someone operating only with a transcript without having the ability to see and hear the witness functions at a distinct disadvantage.

    Another point. Assuming an attorney actually attended a live deposition, at the conclusion of it, he or she would have to provide to their institutional client a summary of the deposition. However, at the very top of the summary would be a section entitled, "Impression of the Witness." In that section, the attorney would describe the witness' mannerisms, attitude, tone of voice, level of attractiveness, speech pattern, eye movement, clothing, etc.

    Suffice it to say that reading transcripts may suffice for you, and you are perfectly entitled to do so. We feel reasonably certain that reading written transcripts does not work for most people. Lots of us need to look into the eyes of the speaker.

    ReplyDelete
  22. June: We noted your reference to "bully pulpit, which prompted us to look up the definition of that term.

    According to the C-Span Congressional Glossary: “This term stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a ‘bully pulpit,’ meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. Roosevelt also had political affiliation with the Progressive Party, nicknamed the "Bull Moose" party. It got the moniker when Roosevelt ran for President as its candidate in 1912, after declaring himself as ‘fit as a bull moose.’”

    We keep coming back to the fact that there are 3 branches of government. The Legislative Branch, or Congress, makes the laws. The Executive Branch, over which the President is head, executes the laws. Much of the President's power stems from his personal influence.

    As any athlete will tell you, a coach who knows the X's and O's on the chalkboard may be a good technician; however, it is that "something extra" which really inspires them.

    Finally, on Katrina. That will never be resolved. Those folks are "done for."

    ReplyDelete
  23. Douglas: We disagree with you regarding your statement to the effect that "speeches are for show." Speeches are simply one form of communication, which people utilize to get across their message.

    There's no question that if one is good at making speeches, part of the presentation is the show. However, if one is ill at ease, insecure, and not particularly good at utilizing the language, then it's not much of a show at all.

    Much has been made of how gifted an orator President Obama is and it is interesting to see many commentators attack him for that quality. People ought to be able to use any skills and talents they have to get across their message. Ronald Reagan was one of the best at doing so. They say that FDR's Fireside Chats were also very effective. It's simply part of the deal.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks June for your comments about books, movies, plays, and speeches. However, we're going to focus on the issue of re-building New Orleans. Well, sorta. You provided a pragmatic solution to keeping the former residents reasonably close to their city of choice and yet remove them from danger, and reduce the costs associated with the new construction.

    You may not find this particularly relevant, however, when leaders of any sort are attacked and criticized on a daily basis, your acts as a leader become shorter term and shorter term in nature and focus. You do not have the luxury of time or vision to look down the road and to plan for the long term interests of their constituency.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh Brenda, we just loved your statement, "I had a hard time keeping my dinner down during that speech." Never let it be said that this forum is unreceptive to all points of view.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Nice discussion Douglas. It appears that you and June can agree on some things in certain contexts.

    ReplyDelete
  27. To all: President Obama just entered the room to make his speech to the troops at Camp Le Jeune in North Carolina. He will outline his plans for the US withdrawal from Iraq.

    However, we want to focus on the female Staff Sgt. who sang the National Anthem. It was one of the best renditions we have heard in years. It was without musical accompaniment. It was clean. It was simple. It had no dramatic improvisation. It had what the Logistician frequently refers to as the "Power of Purity."

    We suspect that one might argue that if your words are powerful enough, one doesn't need "the show."

    ReplyDelete
  28. Well wasn't this an interesting conversation between June and Doug.

    I both listened to and read the speech.

    I think our President is a far sighted individual who finds it necessary to also compromise with those he works with and for. I also think it's something many individual Americans should learn to do.

    The speech was powerful, moving. But after all is said and done, I am uncertain that anything new was said. President Obama has indicated from the time he began to campaign that he wanted personal responsibility. He has said from the beginning that health care, the economy, education will be priorities.

    We are going to have to just wait and see if he can do what he wants to do. As I said before, he has many to work with, it is not JUST about what he wants. I would bet every president has started out with ideals that quickly had to find a middle ground...this presidency will likely be similar.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Brenda-I thank you for pointing out that it is not the form but the substance that is the primary thing up for discussion. I am not happy with some of the approaches to our nations ills that the President feels is the path to recovery for our country. He has been the President for less than a 100 days and has enormous problems that must be tackled immediately. If some of what is going through the Congress in the way of "redistribution" is whacked then the people of the United States need to write to him and explain what parts are wrong and if that doesn't work than the ultimate fix is to dump the Democrats at the midterm election. There is nothing the President and current Congress are doind that can't be undone. If 8 years of the Bush approach has not caused irreparable harm then a mere 2 years will not do all that much either. President Obama is not Ceaser Chavez. There are no constitutional changes proposed let alone passed. Placing a higher tax burden on those you need to help build up the economy is foolish and I'm hoping he will find that out in short order. The carrot works better than the stick, not to mention the fact that most Americans want to hope that they may enter that 250 thousand plus bracket some day. Things like reducing the tax breaks for the wealthy who give charity can only lead to less money being given to charities at a time when those charities need support more than ever. Still, even with the things that make my eyes roll up in my head there are other very substantial things he is approaching that could make his Presidency a turning point for the best in our country's history. He stated his top 3 priorities.Energy, Health care and education. If we had McCain as President, much as I admire him, he would have focused on a nuclear solution instead of this more far seeing approach and practical path to energy independence and growth for the 21st century. Health care is a mess. Will the Obama way be the best way to reduce costs and extend coverage? I'm still on the fence with that but at least SOMETHING is about to be attempted and I strongly doubt that any fundamental changes would have been tackled by McCain & Palin. Education as we all know is a something that is vital and I know of no President from Johnson through Obama that has not stated that they will do something about improving the state of education in our country. Will he succeed where other have failed? I hope so. There are many things he has proposed to help but I think what he may have done already in getting elected may be the single greatest thing to further education in what has become a permanent underclass in this nation. He is a shining example that no matter the circumstances of your birth it is within your grasp to have a better future. He exhorts people to responsibility and while Douglas and other people here feel they are responsible please remember that there are so many who have not stood up at the plate to do what is right. He is speaking both to the wealthiest and the poorest who have not taken responsibility for their actions or inactions. Whether someone is a deadbeat dad or a polluter who has destroyed a river or a corporation who has enjoyed tax benefits and still sent American jobs oversees while reaping all the benefits that were designed to keep those jobs here; it is time to pay the piper. I think we have elected a man who will do well at the helm of this ship of State but only time will tell...as Holly said, Presidents need to find a middle ground and Obama will be likely to pursue things that work and toss those that don't.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks June. As always, you have us thinking. During the presidential campaign, we frequently asked whether those opposing Obama overplayed the amount of "damage" that he might do should he win the election. We referenced the checks and balances nature of our government structure, and the fact that he was only one man.

    We suggested that government moved slowly, and that, as George Will suggests, there is the inertia that is Washington.

    Clearly the Bush administration did more to change the office of the presidency (and perhaps beyond) than would normally be expected. We suspect that was because of 9/11, and our perceived need to "hand over the reins" to our designated leader. It just so happens that it coincided with the philosophy of the then current vice president and others.

    This country is moving toward more "government involvement" in our lives, arguably because of current exigent circumstances, not because we would really like it to do so. Obviously, this type of action would not occur under normal circumstances.

    That our current president previously articulated more "socialist leaning" opinions is more coincidence than anything. It's serendipitous. A simple confluence of events. He did not lead this country to this point and then say, "Now is my time to pursue my socialist goals."

    We collectively led ourselves to this point, and now that we are in a bind, we are arguing about the way to get out of this mess.

    ReplyDelete
  31. As we type this, a book discussion has just begun on C-Span2 Book TV, in which there is a ranking of past Presidents on peace, prosperity, and liberty.

    http://booktv.org/program.aspx?ProgramId=10156&SectionName=&PlayMedia=No

    ReplyDelete
  32. June, I agree that McCain would have moved more to nuclear power which I am adamantly against, but it is our current situation (the brink of a deep world wide depression) that most concerns me. It is a hard learned fact that one can not spend one's self out of a depression. History has proven this again and again. Now is the time to do nothing. Yes, that's what I said: time to do nothing at all to shake the boat. This is the time to let the economy right itself by letting the weak die (banks, auto industry, mortgage holders who could not afford their homes in the first place, over inflation of housing, etc, etc). All of these businesses if allowed to fail will only hurt those individuals who took a chance and invested in them. That is part of the free market system. You pay your money and take your chances. The bank depositors are the only ones who should be covered from loss and they are. The only other business I see that the government should have taken over and insured people from loss is the insurance portions of AIG. Those who have paid into health and life insurance with this company should be covered by federal funding so as not to lose this coverage that may be irreplaceable. The rest of AIG should be let go.

    Now as to Health care. There is no money! I really think that says it all. Health care was affordable for most American before Johnson's Great Society forced Medicare on all the elderly. 60 % of the elderly had their own Health insurance policies and those who could not afford it could get Medicaid. It was suggested at the time that those who were between the haves and have-nots be allowed to use Medicaid but pay a fee on a sliding scale based on income so that way everyone would be covered. Didn't happen, Congress put all the elderly on Medicare and health care escalated at double digits for the last 40 years and climbing.

    Education: Again there is no money and education was doing fine until the federal government got into the game and then the college fees went sky high with double digit inflation. I graduated in 1962 from a state school and my entire 4 years books, tuition, room, board, clothing and spending money came to a grand total of $5000.00+ and change (I can't give you the exact amount as I forget what it was except for the $5000. My Mom kept track of every penny.) That same school just ten years later for books, tuition, room and board was $8000. a YEAR.

    When the federal government gets into things the costs goes out of sight. That is fact.

    Nothing can be done that can't be undone. Can we get back the lives lost in Iraq? Can we get back the debt of the Iraqi war that our great grandchildren will have to pay? Can we go back to 1965 and undo the harm to our nation that Medicare has done? Now that Medicare is taking 15% of the national budget and combined with Social Security threatens to cost the entire GNP by 2030 can we change any of that?

    All that I see in President Obama's and Congress's actions is that they are being about the total collapse of our economy and bankruptcy as fast as possible. Countries do go bankrupt as we have seen in recent history with this meltdown and before this with profligate spending the Soviet Union went bankrupt and fell.

    Then again, my children who are in their early 40's says let it all come falling down because the mess is beyond repair anyhow. Then they feel perhaps we can rebuild our country even better.

    I might see some merit to that if it weren't that I know too much of history, and I know that governments that fail are never repaired back to what they were. First the thugs and criminals take over, and then a strong man dictatorship arises (Russia today) and then after that if by some miracle we get a bunch of ragged patriots like we had in 1770's America might again be the land of free and independent men and women, but I don't believe we can expect that miracle again. And believe me in all the history of mankind America was a miracle. Sincerely, Brenda Bowers

    ReplyDelete
  33. Frankly, I was appalled. It was a typical Obama speech: all style and no substance; all focused of what a community organizer from the Midwest would worry about. Worst of all, as the "new leader of the (still) free world," he never pronounced, let alone address, the following words and topics: "Europe;" "Russia;" "China;" "Japan;" "Israel;" "Iran;" "Islamic fundamentalism;" I could go on and on. Yet, we need to coordinate our economic salvation operation with Europe; we need China's cash more that ever to pay for all our TARP's, Rescue Packages; bail outs, etc.; we need to prevent Russia from cutting us off from our supply lines to Afghanistan; we need to prevent Iran from getting the Bomb, etc... All of those things if allowed to deteriorate will make our current economic crisis like a tea party. And not a word from our new president? Ghastly.

    Philippe

    ReplyDelete
  34. June: We noted your reference to "bully pulpit, which prompted us to look up the definition of that term.

    According to the C-Span Congressional Glossary: “This term stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a ‘bully pulpit,’ meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. Roosevelt also had political affiliation with the Progressive Party, nicknamed the "Bull Moose" party. It got the moniker when Roosevelt ran for President as its candidate in 1912, after declaring himself as ‘fit as a bull moose.’”

    We keep coming back to the fact that there are 3 branches of government. The Legislative Branch, or Congress, makes the laws. The Executive Branch, over which the President is head, executes the laws. Much of the President's power stems from his personal influence.

    As any athlete will tell you, a coach who knows the X's and O's on the chalkboard may be a good technician; however, it is that "something extra" which really inspires them.

    Finally, on Katrina. That will never be resolved. Those folks are "done for."

    ReplyDelete

"There Are More Than 2 Or 3 Ways To View Any Issue; There Are At Least 27"™

"Experience Isn't Expensive; It's Priceless"™

"Common Sense should be a Way of Life"™

Opportunity to Serve as "Guest Author"

This forum was designed to be YOUR forum for the civil exchange of ideas by people with all points of views. We welcome the submission of articles by all of our readers, as long as they are in compliance with our Guidelines contained in Post No. 34. We look forward to receiving your submissions.