Recent comments

  • Reply to: White House Astroturf For Social Security Phase Out   12 years 10 months ago
    I would like to present this worst case senerio of the risks associated with the Social Security Reform plan. One problem I see is the looting of our Treasury. What if a very large number of Social Secruity investors had put their moneys into the likes of Enron, World Com, etc. I see the US Treasury forced to bail out these companies to save the Social Security investors. Effectively looting the treasury. Is this a likely senerio? Somebody stop "King George" before he creates more problems for us all.
  • Reply to: White House Astroturf For Social Security Phase Out   12 years 10 months ago
    I'd like to direct my reply to Larry - who sounds real confused and real republican. Social security is and has been a very successful and safe program for many years and benefited many Americans. Rich & poor. You commented that you wished you had been able to handle "your" money and how unfair it is for younger workers to have to pay for others. I don't know many 25 yr olds who are real good at saving and planning however I'm willing to grant that when you were that age you were wise beyond your years and capable of saving.You would have invested your money in the stock market or perhaps bonds or real estate and been very displined about it because you're a real smart guy. You're not only smart - you're lucky - you don't have your money in Savings & Loans, Enron - etc. No real estate bubbles for you. The bond market feeds you a steady stream of dividends. After 35 years you're ready to retire, rich. What a wonderful life - but how about the rest of the population? Those that aren't so savvy? Or educated? Or disciplined? Or just lucky? The point of "social security" was to prevent the utter poverty and terror of starvation and deprivation that had occured in the 1920's and 30's. It is apparent that, you, Larry have never been poor or needy. As for younger workers feeling resentment about the compact made with their parents and grandparents generation - they have more opportunities now to invest in IRA's etc. and the monies that presently accumulate in Social Security will be a safety net for them in the future. There are no guarantees on Wall Street and the consequences of fraud and fees are all too prevalent. Social Security does not need reform - at least not the way this administration wants to do it - but an adjustment of the actuary formulas used for benefits. I hope that young and old Americans will recognize that reform in this instance means the undermining of their collective futures and that they will insist and fight this outright theft of "their" money. I hope you , Larry have done well and at 60 yrs old don't need social security - just remember you don't have to take it. Sincerely, barnmonkey2/12/21/04
  • Reply to: White House Astroturf For Social Security Phase Out   12 years 10 months ago
    When I was 25 and thought SS was an investment, I wished I could have more say in the handling of the money so I could generate a better return. Now that I'm 60 and realize the true character of SS, I don't like the idea of 25 year olds having to support me with their payroll taxes. The ratio of retirees is much to their disadvantage and sure to generate ill will. In either case I would prefer more privatization, although it's too late to do me much good. larry
  • Reply to: Mo' Better News?   12 years 10 months ago
    I'd also love to see a news site that consciously <i>avoided</i> a "neutral point of view." <br><br> In reading blogs for the past couple of years, I've found that, contrary to the moral of the "blind men and the elephant," a collection of opinions can provide better understanding about an issue or event than any "objective" news report. (I've also developed a gag-reflex to the studied blandness of newswriting and the absurd, forced balance of he-said, she said reporting). I think a blog reader (at least those who bother to read more than Rush Limbaugh-type dittohead sites) would be demonstrably better informed about, say, Iraq than someone who relied exclusively on <i>The New York Times</i> and the CBS Evening News, and not just because of shoddy reporting and overreliance on disinformation from government sources. <br><br> Imagine a site that ran a report about the battle of Fallujah featuring short, unmediated essays by: <br><br> - A military expert<br> - A Middle East expert<br> - A soldier<br> - A resident of Fallujah<br> - An anti-war activist<br> - A Bush supporter<br> <br> I know it's possible, because I've come across all of those voices online. The report could also lay out basic factual information and pull together links to historical info, timelines, etc. It'd make the nightly news look like "Barney & Friends" in comparison.
  • Reply to: Mo' Better News?   12 years 10 months ago
    It seems to me that Wikinews could be an I.F. Stone writ large. This passage from Victor Navasky's <a href="http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml%3Fi=20030721&s=navasky">homage to Stone</a> in the Nation could with a little modification could be Wikinews' mission statement: <blockquote>[A]lthough he never attended presidential press conferences, cultivated no highly placed inside sources and declined to attend off-the-record briefings, time and again he scooped the most powerful press corps in the world. His method: To scour and devour public documents, bury himself in The Congressional Record, study obscure Congressional committee hearings, debates and reports, all the time prospecting for news nuggets (which would appear as boxed paragraphs in his paper), contradictions in the official line, examples of bureaucratic and political mendacity, documentation of incursions on civil rights and liberties. He lived in the public domain. It was his habitat of necessity, because use of government sources to document his findings was also a stratagem. Who would have believed this cantankerous-if-whimsical Marxist without all the documentation?</blockquote> That last statement is especially intriguing - he was radical, opinionated, maybe even a little loony, but in the end he was right. And a hell of a lot of fun to read. <br><br> This part also seemed apt: <blockquote>He once told David Halberstam that the Washington Post was an exciting paper to read "because you never know on what page you would find a page-one story." One of his favorite scoops...had to do with our capacity to monitor underground nuclear tests. It happened in the fall of 1957, when he spotted a "shirt tail" in the New York Times. A shirt tail, Izzy explained to the foreign journalists, is usually some wire-service information run as a little paragraph hanging down ("like a shirt tail") at the end of the main story.</blockquote> Seems to me that's a lot like what the bloggers are doing every day. <br><br> Finally, I think the I.F. Stone model would be successful because of the satisfaction contributors would derive, motivating them to do more. As Izzy once said, "I have so much fun I ought to be arrested."

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