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September 12, 2007 03:26 PM UTC

Wednesday Open Thread

  • 101 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

“History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.”

–Ronald Reagan

Comments

101 thoughts on “Wednesday Open Thread

      1. reagan’s were trivial ones that accomplished little to nothing. The truth is, they were darned cheap.

        The real problem is that most republicans believe that all wars are cheap. They believe that Johnson or JFK got us into vietnam and the dems took us out early (it was IKE who put us in there, JFK who tried to take us out of there, Johnson who escalated, and Nixon who got us out because he wanted republicans to win big). Sadly, W., while having a history BS, apparetnly never studied it. He would have realized that nation building was the ONLY way that we were going to come out okay on this. Had the idiot simply started fast re-building of the nation, followed by the oil, we would be done and out. To make matters worse, he has not yet learned the lesson, and we are slowly losing afghanastan.  By the time, that he is out of the office (however it occurs), it will be apparent that we are in the same boat as Iraq is in today.

          1. it was a BA (Bachelor of Arts). I think BS (Bachelor of Science) is what you get when you major in an actual science (biology, chemistry, pre-med, etc) not a social science.

            1.   because my school required science majors to take “distribution electives” for well-rounded non-science education in addition to a boat-load of biol,chem,phys, math.

              1. the BS programs are generally much more rigorous than the BAs. In fact, your BA program vs. the BS, shows the BS with a great deal more credits and very heavy sciences electives (as opposed to loading with english, philosophy, politics,  business, or Phs Ed. electives).

                1. And I may not be remembering it right. I do know I took every class available to majors – got a degree in Math too I think.

                  And now I’m a programmer and I don’t think I have used a single thing I learned in college excpet for helping my kids with their homework.

                2. It actually has a longer name, like Biology and Population Studies or some weird thing.  About 1991.  I know that she took lots of “hard” science as part of it.  Enough to be a QC person at two pharm companies aftwards.

                  1. Here, Here,
                    and
                    Here.

                    In general, the BS is a much more difficult degree to obtain. Most, if not all, are far more technical. Generally, your electives are mostly hard core sciences and math, though spread around.

                    One of the arguments against BSs is that they are too technical and lead to students not as well rounded out. BAs are good degrees for those that really do not know what they want to do in life, but must get some degree. Typically, you take use a LOT of your electives in areas like business, liberal arts, and Phys Ed.

                    1. We were very pleased to see how rounded that engineering program is.  Lots of social issues including art.  Most had a science or engineering twist, but nothing wrong with that.

                      For instance, I recall one course on water use and management.  It was not a rah rah let’s conquer nature but a critical examination.  My daughter gave me one of her books, “Cadillac Desert.”  Wow.  I’ve seen someone else here rave about it.

        1. That’s a real shame too because the fight in Afghanistan was a righteous one (at least as far as rooting out the terrorists and booting the Taliban was concerned). They should have sent all the troops there and left Iraq out of it. No Monday morning quarterbacking here, I thought this back in March 2003.

          1. Sending the troops would not have helped. The problem is that these ppl do not have jobs and money. They, like Iraq and America, want opportunities. The taliban is back there and helping them grow poppy which pays a LOT (and that even includes Taliban AND Al Qaeda skimming off the top).

      2. Not every Republican, but a lot of us still abide by Reagan’s principles of lower taxes, limited government and personal responsibility.

        Now, I know you will come back with the fact that government grew at an incredible pace under Reagan, which is true, but that was a direct result of Cold War and Reagan driving the Soviet Union into bankruptcy.  Reagan won the Cold War. 

        1. Reagan didn’t win the cold war.

          1. that makes the assumption that soviet command economy could ever have won.  I don’t think that much of centrally controlled economies. But the supposition that Reagan “won”, assumes that the Soviet union could have won.

          2.  If there was a point that the soviet union realized it had lost it was during Nixon, detante and the negotiation of the SALT treaty.

          3. While the ramp up of the military during the 80’s gave us lots of nifty toys and repaired the damage that viet nam had done to the military, we had no planning for a post soviet world.  We funded many people that have ended up being a problem for us.  Bush the elder at least tried instute a “new world order” for a post cold war security architecture, but his party fought him every step of the way.  The military desperately held onto their nifty toys without considering what the new security needs would be.

          1. because of the massive build up in arms by the Americans and attempts by the Soviets to keep up, it led the Soviets into bankruptcy.  They couldn’t keep up and it allowed reformers to step in and take charge.  Reagan stood fast against the “evil empire” (remember when he said that and the liberals howled) and he brought them to their knees. 

            I agree that we did fund people who have since become problems, but that is a seperate issue from defeating the Soviet Union. 

            1. Because you sure believe in every RW fairy tale out there.  You sound like any number of Limbaugh’s and wannabe’s out there saying the same old lies over and over until, per Goebbbels, you fools believe them.

              Reagan happened to be in the WH when the Soviet Union collapsed.  It was inevitable, the only question was “When?”  Answer: During Reagan’s presidency.  What if it had happened during Carter’s or Clinton’s years?  It could have, you know.

              By making such an absurd claim, you are also saying that no president since Wilson was in a position to scare the pants off of the SU.  How about Eisenhower? Kennedy? Nixon? All weak kneed wusses, I guess. 

              Think about it.  There is the Soviet Union and Politburo doing their thing for over sixty years.  Yet another president comes along who somewhat ramps up our military expenditures.  So they all throw up their hands and yell, “Shit, we better change our evil ways!”

              Yeah, right.  What a moronic belief.

              BTW, we are still paying for the S&L debacle, that military build up, and the indebtedness of RR.  What a great conservative.  Worst president of the 20th C. But hey, he was handsome, talked well, and was everyone’s grandfather.  So what’s to not like.

              FULL DISCLOSURE:  He’s a fraternity brother of mine.

      3. That is not a prohibition against going to war….that is a road map. Rumsfeld followed Reagan’s advice….remember….”shock and awe” “quick and dirty”…”oil revenues from Iraq will pay for the war”…”we don’t need no stinking 300,000 troops”…..”small elite figting force”..
        won’t cost Americans a thing” 

        1. that the generals who said we need 400,00 were right.  If we “had to” go to war, it should have been done correctly.  And it wasn’t.  All the men and women who understood the reality left and we are left with incompetents.

          Other than being a CEO of a company that goes bankrupt, I know of no other job so well rewarded for fucking up.

  1. While this isn’t any great surprise, it only confirms that the myth of the liberal media, is nothing more than a myth. Cons have dominated the Print, Radio, and Television news for years all the while those who are sitting on their throne like Rush Liintball claim otherwise — worst all people repeat their lies.
    http://mediamatters….

    The report shows that conservative syndicated columnists are carried in far more newspapers and have a much larger audience than their progressive counterparts, giving conservatives a distinct advantage in the marketplace of ideas. Here are some of our key findings:

    Conservative Syndicated Columnists Dominate Daily Newspapers — Sixty percent of the nation’s newspapers print more conservative syndicated columnists every week than progressive syndicated columnists. Only 20 percent run more progressives than conservatives, while the remaining 20 percent are evenly balanced.

    Conservative Syndicated Columnists Reach Millions More Than Progressives — In a given week, nationally syndicated conservative columnists are published in newspapers with a total combined circulation of more than 153 million. Progressive columnists, on the other hand, are published in newspapers with a total combined circulation of 125 million.

    Top Syndicated Columnists Are Mostly Conservative — The top-10 list of columnists, sorted by the number of papers in which they are carried or by the total circulation of the papers in which they are published, includes five conservatives, two centrists, and only three progressives.

    In Region After Region, Conservative Syndicated Columnists Enjoy Advantage — In eight of the nine regions into which the U.S. Census divides the country, conservative syndicated columnists reach more readers than progressive syndicated columnists in any given week. Only in the Middle Atlantic region (which includes New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) do progressive columnists reach more readers each week.

    If wee looked at Colorado Dailies, Radio Shows, and TV, I’m almost 100% sure that the Cons would out number the Liberals 2-1.  So much for “Main stream” media. People like George Will, or even local pundits like Mike Rosen, are completely out of touch with Americans yet they keep their jobs while well respected Op-Ed contributors such as Jim Spencer are “let go.”

    1. Maybe you should read Bernard Goldberg’s book “Bias”.  He was a liberal who worked with Dan Rather for decades and saw plenty of liberal bias. 

      http://books.google….

      And I hope you realize that there is a difference between reporting news and the opinion page of a newspaper.  Columnists write opinion pieces – they are not reporting the news.  I would also point out that the Media Matters article does not state the political leanings of the newspaper’s editorial boards, which are predominately liberal.

      As for Colorado, I would like to see the proof to back up your remarks that conservatives outnumber liberals 2-1. 

      Maybe you should visit this site to see the real bias:

      http://www.newsbuste

      or this site:

      http://www.mediarese

      1. Check the title out buckaroo.

        I didn’t say it was a fact that Cons make up 2-1 of O-Ed in Colorado , but I’d be willing to bet it is, just looking at the Rocky, Post, Gazette, Tribune, Sentinel, Chieftan and the rest.

        Off the top of my head, we have John Andrews, Mike Rosen, Vincent Carroll, David Harsayni, Jon Caldara, and Jessic Peck Corry are just a few Cons who a published in the papers weekly.

        A study could be done for Colorado, but I neither have the time or resources.

          1. Look at the editorials around the state. The Post and the Daily Camera are really the only liberal editorial boards. The Rocky is well-known to be conservative, as is the GJ Sentinel, the Springs Gazette and the Ft. Collins Coloradoan. Don’t know about the Greeley Tribune or Pueblo Chieftain.

              1. You just compared independent newspapers, with no home delivery or subscription services that come out weekly to daily, home delivered, large subscription based newspapers.

                Give. Me. A. Break.

          2. The press is corporate owned, profits oriented and part and parcel of recent monopoly ownership. Who are you kidding. Just because you refuse to take your blinders off doesn’t mean the rest of us believe your bullshit.

            Daily newspapers are the most influential information medium in America. About 58 million of them are sold each day. These millions are divided among some 1,456 different publications. According to my research, in 1945, four out of five American newspapers were independently owned and published by local people with close ties to their communities. Today most “local” newspapers are owned by a rather small number of large companies like Time-Warner, Disney, Viacom, and Gannett. Today less than 20 percent of the country’s 1,456 papers are independently owned; the rest belong to multi-newspaper chains. Only 103 of the total number have circulations of more than 100,000. Only a handful are large enough to maintain independent reporting staffs outside their own communities; the rest must depend on these few for all of their national and international news.

            These facts don’t bode well for an educated and independent minded populace. Nor do these facts bode well for a health democracy.

              1. Corporations are only as “good” as the people behind them. Corporations are a legal “entity”, but not human….another form of legal entity. Therefore they do not have a conscience to do either good or bad. Ben and Jerry ran their corporations with a social conscience. The reason they got so much attention because that is rare. Rare makes for good stories. Their ice-cream actually went into space aboard the space shuttle. I really don’t expect you to get any of this. But hey, I tried.

                1. Most liberals are overly sensitive–it is a by product of their compassion and belief that things should be better.

                  Conservatives on the other hand used to be stoics, but have evolved into whiners.  Bias was one of the great whinefests of all time.  I wish that there were a few more actual honest tough guys (hagel, mccain) and fewer fake ones.

                  The so called liberal media suffers more from under funding for investigative journalism.  That is a direct result from corporate ownership trying to drive down costs.

                  1. when they are spending my tax dollars.  Unfortunately they are not nearly as compassionate as conservatives when it comes to volunteering, giving to charity or giving blood.

                    Sure there are conservatives that whine, but I tend to think that liberals whine much more than conservatives. 

                2. …I missed that that was Yokel was trying to employ.  Seemed more like angry rhetoric to me. 

                  “If corporate-owned media conglomeration is bad”

                  “And if Ben and Jerry’s is also a corporation”

                  “Ergo…Chunky Monkey would be a terrible correspondent.”

                    1. They’re all like that, for the most part.  THe shouting and whining is pretty juvenile.  The lefties that do it aren’t any better, though.  Randi Rhodes?

                      Are you justifying calling me names because soem idiot on the radio who’s not me also does?

                      Hmmm.

                    2. It’s not prohibited by the Constitution. 
                      It occurs regularly on this blog.
                      I was following Gecko’s lead.
                      I do in spite of having good arguments.
                      Yokel’s argument was absurd, demonstrably a fallacy.

                    3. It makes you feel good to insult someone because they have a different opinion than you do?

                      Good luck with that, then I guess.

            1. But that does not make them Republican, conservative, or in the pocket of business.

              Look at Rather, Jennings, Browkaw, Couric, Cronkite, Gibson, Williams, Lauer and so on.  they are all liberals. 

              In fact look at this poll done by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that five times more journalists are liberal than conservative:

              http://www.mediarese

              And look at the slant for the leading newspapers, NYT, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Chicago Sun-Times, nad so on.  They all lean to the left.

              I think you are right, these facts don’t bode well for an educated and independent minded populace. Nor do these facts bode well for a health democracy.

      1. Home of Joe Scarborough? Home of Tucker Carlson? Employer of Pat Buchanan? That is your example of liberal bias?

        Cable TV is dominated by conservatives.

      2. quite ignorant (in a frightening way) if you believe MSNBC is liberal.  Or anything owned by GE is liberal!  GE is one of the biggest defense contractors in the world.  Profit and greed, the core values of neocons, is what they are all about. 

        “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” -John Kenneth Galbraith

        I have never seen or heard more justification for greed than from the right wing.  Community angers you, sharing the load for roads, education, infrastructure, public service angers conservatives as they cry discrimination against Christian values.  Christ was the ultimate liberal, the ultimate commune  leader; the poor were his mission; the rich, selfish, church leaders were the bane of community in his mind.

        The hypocrisy of conservatives is obvious and so out there it’s almost comical if it weren’t so tragic.

        1. How about Chris Matthews, who used to work for Clinton?  How about Stephanie Miller, who fills in from time to time?  or Rachel Schwanewede, who gave to liberal causes nad Joel Widzer, who gave money to Democrats?  And this is the same netowrk that had Phil Donahue on. They may not be liberal, but the tilt to the left.

          And I am sure that the MSNBC newsroom booed the State of the Union, not because they don’t like Bush but because Pelosi was sitting behind him. 

          On another note, what is wrong with profit?  Don’t you make a profit by going to work every day?  Have you ever turned down a pay raise?  Does that make your greedy? Are union workers, who make more than non union workers, greedy when they threaten a strike because they want more money? 

          I love community, I understand the need to pay taxes for roads and infrastructure, Police, fire, defense.  I don’t understand why I need to pay taxes for them to be redistributed to someone else.  I don’t see how it is constitutional. 

          I find it interesting that you say “Christ was”.  I think that is the wrong tense.  the correct one would be “Christ is”
          Christ is not a Liberal or a conservative.  He does not have a label.  Jesus told all of us to help the poor and that we should love our neighbor, but he never said the government should do it.  He said WE should do it. 

          The hypocrisy of liberals is obvious and so out there it’s almost comical if it weren’t so tragic. 

           

          1. has said on air, more than a few times, he was raised republican, he is republican…and sheesh the man drools over Bush and Thompson and Guiliani.

            KO is one of how many: KO, Scarborough, Matthews, Tucker Carlson, and at best I would say Abrams is a libertarian or maybe a centrist republican.  So out of five shows, three are right wing conservative, one is liberal and one is maybe centrist.  Give me a break.

            Those are the only shows I know of on MSNBC. 

            Wasn’t talking about the entire world of broadcasting. If I was, then I would really win…..right wing hate radio dominates the air wave.  The ONLY way I can even get liberal  radio is to livestream……

            Christ, the man part, WAS, not is. If you believe his human existence is NOW, fine. I don’t.
            “Render unto Ceaser the things that are Ceaser’s….” all about the taxes.
            and
            “King James Bible
            And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me…..
            Somehow I don’t think Jesus considers dropping bombs on innocents a form of love…or profits to be the be all, end all of life. 
            and
            “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
            If Jesus were a conservative he wouldn’t have shared the loaves and fishes, he would have charged for them to make a profit. 

            But whatever, I happen to like the things Jesus said, and I do believe he would have the label of liberal PROUDLY.  Jesus publicly protested against the policies of his government and his church leaders for the treatment of the poor; for their exclusionary practices. The historical Jesus was a man of the people, not of the corporations or of the bankers (money changers).  Read some history. 

            1. Olberman and Matthews are liberal.  And Abrams is the guy who called Rove the “Constitutional Crippler”.  As for the news portion of the network, it is slanted to the left.  The entire newsroom didn’t boo Bush because they liked what he was saying.

              I wasn’t talking about broadcasting, I was talking about journalism.  Talk radio is not journalism, for the most part, it is commentary.  Commentary and journalism are completely different, wouldn’t you agree?

              I see Christ as fully man and fully God who, was and is and ever more shall be.  The tense of your statement suggested that he “was” but is no longer. 

              You are right about Luke 20:25, it does says “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s”.  It says to give Caesar the taxes he wants, but Christ never mentioned passing legislation to help others.  Christ admonishes his followers to help others and I would say that if we all did our part the government wouldn’t be needed.  Further,
              Christ did say: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” But I think you are taking the passage out of context.  Matthew 19:25-26 goes on to say “When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” So, with God all things are possible, including Rich people in Heaven.  It is unwise to take one verse out of the bible to promote your cause without letting others know the context of the book it came from. 
              As I said before Jesus is not a conservative or a liberal.  As for the fish and bread, he did share and fed the 5,000.  He did not get legislation passed to tax the wealthy, take that tax money and buy food, require everyone who wants food to register with the government and provide proof of need and then scratch His head when the program failed.  Jesus took the initiative and did it Himself without any government help.  I think we can all stand to do more of that kind of helping. 
              I do not think Jesus would wear a label like “liberal”.  The fact is that when you label Jesus and God, you are really putting them in a box based on your beliefs.  My God and Jesus are too big to fit into a box.  I would really encourage you to read the bible in context to better understand what you are saying. 
              God Bless

  2. Here’s a brief history:

    http://www.whatreall

    There are naive and bullheaded posters on this blog who would rather fall in with and goose step in line with the government than recognize this sad truth. The reality is, after a trillion tax payer dollars, and thousands and thousands of American lives lost and mangled, and tens, perhaps hundreds of thusands of innocent Iraqui lives lost, the damage done as a result of this governments lies and rush to an unnecessary and illegal war will last at least a generation. The damage done is incalculable. Heck of a job George.

  3. So … now our fearless elected R’s in the State Assembly are touting the high quality of scientific research that CU-Boulder researchers produce! (Weren’t these same R’s recently denigrating all that is associated with CU?)

    From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:
    http://www.gjsentine

    Of course, it must be OK to promote CU, as long as it is done with the motive to throw crap on the Division of Wildlife. 😉

    As if these Representatives and Senators could recognize quality science if it bit them on the nose.

    It’s patently obvious that these pro-O&G R’s are really doing is getting their collective ducks in a row to question any future advice DOW may offer in developing mitigation rules for the the oil and gas industry.

    (Please note, I am NOT commenting on the quality of science done by either CU or DOW. I am not familiar with the actual studies mentioned in the stories. Rather, I am directing my comments to the mental gymnastics necessary to glom onto the barest wisps of “positive” news, even if it comes from evil CU, as long as it serves the purpose of casting doubt on the integrity of others.)

    What a world! What a world!

    1. Has anyone else noticed that neither Penry or Gardner offer any good news or solutions? They are nothing but snakes-oil salesmen who are pushing ideological fear.

      After much of the western slope told them to sit down and shut up after pushing for BIG OIL to drill on the Roan, the two back benchers had to think of a new mud-slinging plan which included CU and education.

      They both need to get a clue.

        1. The only offer criticisms and one-liners, and that’s how they get elected. Dems have really stepped up to the plate in Colorado offering solutions to the problems, instead of hollow promises are back benching yelps.

          Penry’s one solution was to sell off our public land to the highest bidder. Way to sell out Colorado Josh.

    2. and correct me if I’m wrong…

      Greenback cutthroat trout were put on the endangered species list and DOW’s 20 year program to restore the population to 20 self sustaining populations in 142 miles of waterway has resulted in a range of only 11 miles of waterway because DOW used common cutthroat trout to breed with the greenbacks.

      And this is a sign that Republican legislators are getting “their ducks in a row to question any future advice DOW may offer in developing mitigation rules for the oil and gas industry”?

      OK…

      1. Funny enough, ol Josh loves to say that Russell George “wrote” the Roan Platau plan (not true, as recent quotes/comments from Ron Velarde shows, the terms were dictated to DNR from on high in Washington DC)…but now he wants to impunge the DOW/DNR…

        1. Damn, fish eater!

          Next we’ll be reading headlines, “Republicans Eat Greenback Trout In Caucus!”

          This isn’t a travesty and I’m just feeling frivolous today, but if for the last 20 years the DOW has been breeding ordinary trout with greenbacks, they deserve to be impugned.

          Not exactly what they’re supposed to be doin’, is it?

          1. The Colorado River Cutthroat, although less rare than the Greenback–and not on the ESA list–is not an ordinary trout (that would be the Rainbow).  Sure, its a major FU, and someone should bear the responsibility, but Penry likes to play both sides.  Everything I see him do is based on what he imagines is politically expedient.  I believe the idea that this is to set up the DOW as idiots, and to use that around Roan Plateau, Vermillion Basin, and the new oil and gas regs is not unlikely.

             

      2. Recall that the restocking program began back in the 70’s. This was prior to the advent of genetic tests that could confidently distinguish sub-species. It’s disengenous to blame DOW for using the best available information at the time. (Perhaps they should have waited until now to try to expand the greenback’s distribution?)

        So, DOW went with the data they had at the time. Some sub-populations were, as we are now aware, misidentified.

        Sure, this is a black eye. But, my understanding is that DOW commissioned this study to assess their progress. Good on them.

        That some wingnuts want to make ideological points with this is, well, not so surprising. Too bad. And what’s being proposed? Micromanaging wildlife researchers by politicians. Is this what’s meant by “sound science?” Tsk, tsk.

        [sarcasm] BTW, DOW has met at least 4 of 18 benchmarks. The decision we have now is whether to surge our efforts or declare surrender. Some R’s have chosen surrender. Where do YOU stand? Are you with us? Or against us? [/sarcasm]

        1. No surrender, no pull out.

          We’ve got an insurgency here that affects the DOW in ways no one expected.  Greenbacks are threatened by the Cuththroats and if we don’t help ’em, who knows what will happen.

          Benchmarks/schmenchmarks – we do it for the fish!

        2. See the excellent editorial in the Sentinel today.  Cory “Drill my World” Gardner wants to cut the legs out from DOW before they start implementing the wildlife/o&g bill and other reforms, and before they start acting like biologists and weigh in on what the booming drilling fields are doing to our state’s prized wildlife.  last week Velarde put the lie to Sen Dullard’s claim that the Roan plan was crafted ‘bottom up’ by acknowledging that the feds from DC forced DNR to capitulate on carving their original 40,000 acres of ACECs (areas of critical environmental concern–to protect critical wildlife areas and native trout) in half, to about 20,000 acres.  Oil-money-in-my-pockets Gardner couldn’t deal, and Penry wants that in HIS pockets as he plots his takeover of the world, so they want to bring the DNR/DOW down a notch.  THAT is what this is about.

          Restocking the CRCT in the Greenback recovery areas is a FU, but it is not clear who’s FU it is.  Much of the work happened under Mr. “Hell-yeah-I’ll-sell-out-my-westslope-homies” Walcher’s watch…

    1. says that that won’t do a bit of good.  How many petitions are sent to Washington?  What good have any done?  They just laugh and throw them in the trash.

      I think it’s more of a feel good measure.  Good, busy people spend a minute clicking and think they’ve changed the world.

      BTW, I have a lot of respect for the UCC, so that’s not the issue.

  4. US health insurance costs rise nearly twice as fast as pay: survey

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – The cost of health insurance in the United States climbed nearly twice as fast as wages in the first half of 2007, with family coverage costing employers around 1000 dollars (714 euros) a month, a poll showed Wednesday.

    1. they’re making more small cars and hybrids. But with sloth-like reflexes like that I’m still not investing in them.

      (BTW, are you ever going to acknowledge or debate ALL the issues surrounding the trouble they’re in, or don’t you care if you can’t grind your union ax?)

      1. They were paid more to be less competitive for decades, and this is the result.

        There is a balance somewhere for all the great things that unions could accomplish, but it’s so bad now, and so ingrained in one political party that the system will have to be totally dismantled and rebuilt before it gets better.

        1. that the Big 3’s troubles are much more complicated than that then I’ll have to just let it go. I don’t know what your beef with unions is, but I bet it’s a whole lot less rational than you’re making it out to be.

          1. I’m actually pretty rational.  I’d love to have a great dialogue with a union supporter sometime to show me where I’ve gone wrong.

            I work with DPS kids and I see the CEA as directly responsible for not allowing actions that would save some of these kids from dropping out.  The status quo makes me very angry and the school union folks are somehow smug about their disastrous school systems.  It tends to bleed into other arenas.

            1. not exclusively unions.  Keep in mind that Japanese, Korean and European automakers don’t have to worry about paying for employee health care and retirement…their governments do.

              I (proudly) drive American made–and have for some time.  But let’s be honest, until recent years domestic products just did not keep up with foreign competition. There still isn’t an American made car that is as high quality as a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry (residual values show this too).

              As to the school dropout rate, don’t blame the unions–blame the parents.  Teachers teach–they don’t parent.

              1. blame the unions and the politicians that they completely own like Merrifield.  He doesn’t get to be smarmy or shitty about a 70% minority dropout rate.  Laying it at the feet of the parents sounds good, but it’s not going to solve anything.

                Let me be clear – in most all cases, the teachers are not the problem.

                The people in charge (the unions) of the agenda, budget, and this knee-jerk freakout against charters and vouchers are squarely to blame.

                1. of conservative BS.

                  Unions (before the Reagan anti worker idiocy was bought by ignorant Americans so they could vote against themselves) are responsible for better ending child labor, weekends, better wages and benefits like healthcare and pensions, until of course the right wing took it all away.

                  I am a PROUD member of NEA, CEA and my local.

                  Teachers united together because they were sick of being fired and attacked for their political affiliation; for resisting being pressured by administrators who didn’t know what the h*ll was going on.

                  Voucher and charter schools are the right wing’s road to privatization.  Free market and privatization are their answer to everything. BS, pure and simple.

                  You can come here and blame unions for anything and everything with ABSOLUTELY NO Proof.  Typical right wing mentality.

                  1. The Arrupe School just had a 100% graduation rate with their first senior class. 

                    In a voucher program, it’s just the kind of school Merrifield thinks that supporters of should “burn in hell.”

                    These kids are dropping out, failing, and dying every day and the unions are so intent on holding the purse strings and organizational control, that they are willing to accept the status quo and sacrifice these kids as long as they hold onto power.

                    That’s just not the right thing to do.

                    How many DPS teachers have been fired under Bennett?  I think it’s two. 

                    I was also unaware that the “right wing” had taken away weekends, legalized child labor, etc.

                    Are you a teacher?  That’s a frightening thought.

                    1. …and millions of dedicated teachers.  I started my post-college life teaching, as my mother did.  I expect that upon my return to Sarasota I will be teaching again.

                      One success story does not justification make.  I heartily concur that new concepts are needed, but privitizing education at all levels is not the solution.  My mother taught for years at a new concept school for gifted students.  Yeah, that was new in the sixties.

                      When I was teaching 1969-1972, as jjc2007 says, teachers were at the mercy of the administration.  The Florida Education Association was far from what we would call a union today, such activities were deemed less than professionals.  However, with time and continuing abuses, the state education associations have become more union like. 

                      Remember, a union never gets a toehold in a business where the employers are treated well.  Think IBM, historically.

                      Is the CEA sometimes a problem?  Absolutely.  Is the the root cause of our educational ills?  Not at all.

                    2. I heartily concur that new concepts are needed, but privitizing education at all levels is not the solution.

                      I agree 100% with this.  But the unions and their politicians currently dismiss out of hand any changes to their power structure that has brought this disaster to being.

                      I think there should be a robust union to protect teachers, but right now the union isn’t succeeding in doing anything that protects and aids the students, especially with jackass comments like Merrifield’s.  That’s insulting to me as I watch so many of these kids prepare themselves for a future with nothing.

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