Join In On The Action "Register Here" To View The Forums

Already a Member Login Here

Board index Forum Index
User avatar
Dignitary
 
Posts: 3356
Joined: 02 Oct 2000, 9:01 am

Post 31 May 2015, 7:48 pm

geojanes wrote:Saw the 9/11 memorial yesterday. It didn't really do it for me.

Part of it may be the fact that it's designed to be this serene place, but right now, it's in the middle of a construction site surrounded by chain link with cranes moving steel overhead. The grass is dead, and the trees are bare, and you get to it in a decidedly unpleasant way, walking on a part of a street fenced off from traffic by another chain-link fence. It may be that the environment right now is so unpleasant that any design would fail, but was wondering if anyone else has seen it and has an impression.


I was back there a week ago, and it really is much better than it was three years ago. No more fences, no more security screenings, you just walk in from the street. There are still a couple of construction cranes, but they're in the background. It was packed on a beautiful memorial day weekend, so it didn't have a somber feel, but that was the crowds more than the memorial. It went from a D+ to a solid B in my judgement, and probably more importantly, it did seem to make an impact on many of the visitors who were there.
User avatar
Dignitary
 
Posts: 3356
Joined: 02 Oct 2000, 9:01 am

Post 11 Sep 2016, 8:14 am

The legal basis for the war terror is discussed at length in the following, fantastic, radio show:

http://www.radiolab.org/story/60-words/

It was replayed this weekend for the 15th Anniversary. So long ago, yet not.
User avatar
Dignitary
 
Posts: 3356
Joined: 02 Oct 2000, 9:01 am

Post 12 Sep 2017, 5:15 am

A short video about the falling man photograph that ran on the front page of the NYTimes 16 years ago today.

http://time.com/4453467/911-september-11-falling-man-photo/
User avatar
Ambassador
 
Posts: 4890
Joined: 08 Jun 2000, 10:26 am

Post 12 Sep 2017, 5:36 am

geojanes wrote:A short video about the falling man photograph that ran on the front page of the NYTimes 16 years ago today.

http://time.com/4453467/911-september-11-falling-man-photo/


Thanks
User avatar
Dignitary
 
Posts: 3356
Joined: 02 Oct 2000, 9:01 am

Post 11 Sep 2020, 10:50 am

Our president 19 years ago:

"I mean, 40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually before the World Trade Center the tallest, and then when they built the World Trade Center it became known as the second-tallest, and now it's the tallest,"

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-bragged-tallest-building/
User avatar
Dignitary
 
Posts: 3356
Joined: 02 Oct 2000, 9:01 am

Post 13 Sep 2020, 2:56 pm

A few others:

I now think the memorial is quite nice.

I will never go into the museum again. It was really disturbing for me, but that was me.

I keep wondering if the pandemic will change our world more than 9/11. I hope not.
User avatar
Statesman
 
Posts: 11156
Joined: 15 Aug 2000, 8:59 am

Post 14 Sep 2020, 7:34 am

geojanes
I keep wondering if the pandemic will change our world more than 9/11. I hope not


One incredible thing might happen in Canada. The introduction on guaranteed annual income to all adults... It looks like the Liberals will introduce legislation for this next Parliament.
I thought this was a pipe dream for years. Even though, logistically GAI is the cheapest and easiest way to eliminate poverty. GAI would eliminate the need for most welfare programs (administration of these is expensive), and eliminate many other problems that endemic poverty causes.

Covid is largely responsible for this...as Covid payments in March and April were made available by the Federal government to everyone and have largely helped keep the economy floating. It became a practical example of how to ensure that people in need get help in the easiest way possible - with a guarantee through taxation that those who got but didn't need will pay it back. The bureaucracy in place to handle taxation was capable of handling all of this... and no one has the impression that anyone not in need got something they didn't deserve.

GAI would be a way to make the economy and society bullet proof from the effects of another Pandemic or a financial collapse like in 08. And at the same time, pretty much eradicate poverty.
And today, its seen as practical. Because its been experienced.
User avatar
Dignitary
 
Posts: 3356
Joined: 02 Oct 2000, 9:01 am

Post 14 Sep 2020, 8:37 am

rickyp wrote:geojanes
I keep wondering if the pandemic will change our world more than 9/11. I hope not


One incredible thing might happen in Canada. The introduction on guaranteed annual income to all adults... It looks like the Liberals will introduce legislation for this next Parliament.
I thought this was a pipe dream for years. Even though, logistically GAI is the cheapest and easiest way to eliminate poverty. GAI would eliminate the need for most welfare programs (administration of these is expensive), and eliminate many other problems that endemic poverty causes.

Covid is largely responsible for this...as Covid payments in March and April were made available by the Federal government to everyone and have largely helped keep the economy floating. It became a practical example of how to ensure that people in need get help in the easiest way possible - with a guarantee through taxation that those who got but didn't need will pay it back. The bureaucracy in place to handle taxation was capable of handling all of this... and no one has the impression that anyone not in need got something they didn't deserve.

GAI would be a way to make the economy and society bullet proof from the effects of another Pandemic or a financial collapse like in 08. And at the same time, pretty much eradicate poverty.
And today, its seen as practical. Because its been experienced.


Wow, That would be pretty awesome. I've been thinking about the dark, dank side of the changes due to the pandemic. I guess there could be an upside too.
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 3357
Joined: 17 May 2013, 3:32 pm

Post 14 Sep 2020, 11:20 am

As horrible as the pandemic is--not just the direct effect of the virus but the societal changes that weve put in place to fight it--I think the effects of the pandemic are likely to be positive. The pandemic (I think) has helped illustrate how dependent we are on each other. That realization may have contributed to turning a corner on racial justice.

I hope it means moving towards a guarantee that everyone have a basic right to food, shelter, and health care. How best to do that is up for debate. The puritan in me would demand that everyone do what they can to make their community better in return for assistance from the government, though. Given the problems that people have with drugs and alcohol, I am not in favor of just giving money to people. Putting money on a card that only can.be used to purchase certain things (primarily food) is more my speed. We already have Section 8 which I think is a great program; massively expanding that would be a great idea. And I would want people doing something in return for it. I dont think it's a great idea to have people going through life with such entitlement. Put in 25-30 hours a week cleaning up the community, do volunteer work, help out at the schools, whatever. Just do something that entitles you to that money. Everyone has to contribute in their own way.

And of course most people would not be satisfied with that basic level of subsistence and the restrictions that come with it. They would want more out of life. But at least there should be a firm floor at the bottom that everyone knows is there. If everything in one's things goes to pieces at least you know you have a place to stay and enough food to eat and other basic essentials and you have access to medical care.
User avatar
Statesman
 
Posts: 11156
Joined: 15 Aug 2000, 8:59 am

Post 15 Sep 2020, 6:52 am

freeman3
How best to do that is up for debate.


That was part of why the CERB payments in Canada illustrated why GAI might be possible. The experience found that the overwhelming majority don't need government to tell them how to spend money or manage their lives for them.
Everything you're talking about is part of the demeaning experience of requiring assistance today in many jurisdictions, and especially in the US.
Somehow, because you are down on your luck, now government gets to manage your life and make you dance for the dime...
With CERB it showed people that circumstances could put everyone into a bind. That a large part of the populace is a month or two from becoming very vulnerable to homelessness, hunger, deprivation...
It also demonstrated that when you give the overwhelming percentage of people a hand, they act responsibly. So you don't have to build up bureaucracies to watch over people.
And the pure efficiency and decency of the notion that society will take care of everyone with dignity by providing a minimal income begins to make sense. All the other half measures put in place - welfare bureaucracies, food banks, temporary housing, come with high management costs.... Ensure people have the means to deal with necessities themselves and the market will take care of meeting demands...
By the way, people who don't suffer from food insecurity or worry over homelessness are far more able to work to improve their personal situation. And they do so. If education is also free or inexpensive ... If health care is also free at point of service based on need... Now you have a truly free populace making their own decisions.
All you have to do is trust your fellow man, and not worry that someone is getting a little that they somehow don't deserve. (well, you think they don't deserve.)
And in the end, if they are, you tax that back. If they are going to spend the money on drugs or alcohol, they are going to spend any money they get on drugs or alcohol. Instead of trying to starve them from their addictions, treat their addictions like the diseases they actually are rather than failings in moral character. After all, a disease you can often treat.
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 3357
Joined: 17 May 2013, 3:32 pm

Post 17 Sep 2020, 11:55 am

Ah Ricky...must be nice to be that naive about people. First of all, GAI to the overall population is not the same as GAI to people who have difficulty because of lack of skills, education, mental illness, drug and alcohol problems and sometimes lack of responsibility to function in society without government assistance. Thats not prejudice/bias...thats just reality. And not a small amount of people will manipulate the system as well. I live in Southern California, I am a lawyer...I dont have to imagine this stuff. Just as a lot of rich people manipulate the system to make money with little effort!

Human beings respond to incentives and disincentives. Thats why in Communist countries when they started allowing farmers to have their own plots of land...all of a sudden they were much more productive!

One of the moral reasons for helping people with GAI during the pandemic is that their economic distress was due to matters beyond their control. And of course in a modern economy thats true as well. We need 10% real unemployment to keep inflation down. So for people at the bottom of the economic strata it becomes difficult to get jobs. Those who simply dont have the education and skills to function in a modern economy, or have criminal records, who have health issues that make it difficult to work, or have drug and alcohol problems or are mentally or physically disabled have difficulty finding employment. Also people who suffer from from discrimination and bias. But that doesnt mean they should go through life making no contribution to society. We can and should demand they do something. When youre a kid and youre financially dependent on your parents, they get to tell what to do. When youre financially dependent on the government, it gets to tell you what to do. Dont like it? Become financially independent!

And of course I strongly support those who work receiving liveage wages, far more vacation, health insurance, and contributions towards retirement. This should be our contract with American workers. I would emphasize this before GAI though I do also strongly support an adequate safety net.
User avatar
Statesman
 
Posts: 11156
Joined: 15 Aug 2000, 8:59 am

Post 18 Sep 2020, 7:34 am

freeman3
Ah Ricky...must be nice to be that naive about people.


It must be miserable to be so skeptical about people.

freeman3
Human beings respond to incentives and disincentives.

yes. And almost everyone won't be content with living on a basic income. So they'll want to improve their circumstances.

freeman3
I would emphasize this before GAI though I do also strongly support an adequate safety net.

well sure. But coming from a nation with a fairly strong safety net, (health insurance for everyone, reasonably inexpensive education etc) with the experience of proving CERB through Covid lock downs - its obvious that people don't need the nanny state to tell them how to live if they have the money.
Americans always brag about being so free, but in fact you all seem to want government to intervene in the lives of the poorest among you...

Once a society has determined that it will care for the least amongst them, then it becomes a question of how is it most efficient to do so.... How do you ensure that everyone can have access to health care? Put in place some convoluted system like Obama care or simply install a single payer system that can control costs while providing free at point of care access. The US health insurance system is expensive in part because it spends so much money on administration .In part because their is no recognition that health care doesn't function like any other market.

Once you've decided as a society that the least amongst won't be allowed to starve how do you put in place a system that ensures this? The easiest way is just to ensure every household has sufficient income to buy their own food. The most difficult way is to micromanage the poor with demeaning rules and procedures that cost an inordinate amount of money to support the bureaucracy . Then be sure to put in place programs like school lunches for poor kids, that set them apart from the general school population...

There are always going to be people who attempt to scam the system. Most of the scamming isn't by the poor though. Its by the corporations and industries who seem to think things like enormous subsidies for corn are justifiable, but a minimum income for working families aren't a rip off.

Today, most western economies are consumer economies. The US economy is 80% (maybe more?) the domestic consumer economy. The fastest way to improve such an economy is to make sure those who spend most of the money they get (the poor and middle class) have an income. In 08 the countries that rebounded fastest from the crash were those that had social safety nets that kicked in immediately when people began to lose their jobs. Since they continued to have money to spend, their domestic economies never shrank the way other countries did, and they came out of their shallower hole faster as well...

A GAI would do that incredibly well, and as an extension of the IRS would be easy to manage. Plus, its a lot harder to scam the IRs than some welfare manager ...(Unless your name is Trump I guess)
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 3357
Joined: 17 May 2013, 3:32 pm

Post 18 Sep 2020, 9:24 am

I am not asking people to take drug tests; I am simply asking they contribute to society. It is not demeaning to require you do something to earn your keep, to make a contribution. And having some control over how money is spent ensures that money goes for its intended purpose (which helps makes sure that children are taken care of).

Now there is a point that this is just the easiest way to get money to people with no bureaucracy. Otherwise, when someone writes you a check every month and youre asked to do nothing...thats just too easy. You seem to have no idea of how people will manipulate this if allowed. You get your check and you do odd jobs in the cash economy to supplement your income. Or you can work 2000 hours in a crummy job, maybe have to try and find child care, have to commute. It just would be rational for people to just take the check. The problem with welfare reform was they didnt deliver on getting jobs. Im not asking that. Just do something to better your community. That's it.

Maybe in Canada no one in manipulates the system. In America you invite Grandma to emigrate from the old country and have a family member get money to be a "caregiver". Of course Section 8 is applied for when eligible. And she goes on medicaid as soon as she is eligible (you cant get federal benefits for five years after you become a permanent resident). Food stamps.Then after five years she goes on SSI for the poor. Why is this problematic? Because that person has never contributed to American society and is taking scarce assistance that could be going to someone born here who has worked, who has paid taxes, who has contributed to society.

If all the racists/xenophobes knew this...they would really throw a fit! So please dont lecture me about being miserable in being skeptical about people. Well, I guess I said you were naive so I should expect something in kind. That's ok; let's not be snowflakes. The point is that I have some real-world experiences and observations for what im saying. My opinions are not from ideology; they are coming from "eye-deology".
User avatar
Emissary
 
Posts: 1535
Joined: 15 Oct 2002, 9:34 pm

Post 18 Sep 2020, 2:44 pm

I work on Long Island. I remember going into the city a month after the attacks. Some of the police and firemen realized I was a pedestrian but didn't bother to stop me as I walked past the fencing. In fact, they simply nodded hello. Maybe they thought I was a volunteer or one of them. Not sure but they continued warming themselves by a fire set up in a metal trashcan. While massive dump trucks continuously roared by, the area was otherwise quiet. It was after dinner.

When I got to ground zero the debris field was still smoldering. There was a trailer acting as some kind of command center. Outside of it was a makeshift street sign that had been put up next to the trailor.

The sign had various arrows pointing in different directions to different major cities of the world.

I don't remember the signs now but say London, 3,000 miles, Paris, 3,500 miles, Tokyo 5,000 miles etc.

I don't remember if it was at the top of all the signs or midway up the sign pole but I remember a sign that read Kabul, Afghanistan, 6,500 miles.

When I saw that, I instantly knew we would be avenging what was done.

I sing in a choir. There's a gentleman who is a bass who sits behind me. He's new to the choir. When I first met him I thought to myself, wow, this guy must have had terrible acne as a teen. One side of his face is pock marked up and down. I'd put him in his 70s.

I later learned that he had survived 9/11. What I thought were acne scars were actually small particles of glass still in his face. The doctors managed to get all the large pieces but half of his body is today riddled with small glass fragments and scars from that day.

I went on to learn that several others in our choir were also there that day and survived. Many others lost family members or friends.

In any case, I made it to the memorial not long after it was erected and walked along the fountains. I considered going inside with a couple of friends but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Maybe some day.

The memorial outside is powerful. I've been several times to the outdoor memorial with family and friends and each time I spot folks overwhelmed with grief, openly weeping.

When I think of what might have been done with the site, I can't imagine simply erecting shops and the like as if nothing had ever transpired there.

I will admit that seeing the new One World Trade Center dominate the NY skyline again is refreshing. Somewhere I caught a documentary on its construction. That story is worth watching if you can find it.

I wish I could comment on the museum. Everyone I've spoken to about it does so in glowing terms. I'm not sure exactly what they mean when they say it's tasteful, not too gory, not too graphic but powerful nonetheless. I've never asked for clarification. I don't want to know.

At this point in my life I don't think any good could come from the experience. I don't need to become burdened with any more sadness, anger, resentfulness, hate, prejudice, etc than I already possess.

But I am relieved for those who have found the Memorial to be a source of connection and healing.
User avatar
Statesman
 
Posts: 11156
Joined: 15 Aug 2000, 8:59 am

Post 19 Sep 2020, 8:57 am

freeman3
Otherwise, when someone writes you a check every month and you're asked to do nothing...that's just too easy.

We ask them to take care of themselves and their families...if they have such.

freeman3
You seem to have no idea of how people will manipulate this if allowed.

Actually we do. There have been two small tests of GAI in small cities in the past. And the CERB payments have essentially been a few questions asked GAI system for the last few month that millions have participated in...
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benef ... eport.html

Anyone who gamed the system will be taxed back.... If they gamed it through odd jobs paying unreported cash I guess they could get away with that - but these opportunities are pretty small because businesses can't report this as an expense then and all payments as salary must be reported as part of taxation with the recipients social insurance number. (Its why we have few undocumented working illegally too, which is why illegal immigration is so low).
The reason you have so many loop holes for illegal immigrants and scamming the system is that corporations have resisted many of the regulations that would stop illegal immigrants from working. Mostly because the lower pay they can get an illegal to work for offsets any tax benefit. And if they play along with fake social insurance numbers even that is eliminated.

By the way, if you think so many people would game the system to work at odd jobs, doesn't it contradict the notion you've put forward that you'd eliminate people's motivation to work?
Look, everyone wants to do better for themselves and their children. But when you make people jump through hoops to get basic assistance when they hit a rough patch, you make it harder for them to actually successfully improve. The notion that poor people need to be closely monitored lest they spend a few dollars enjoying themselves seems like a vestige of the Puritans.
Hell, if the same kind of effort was spent on policing the super rich, I suspect far more savings could be found in unpaid taxes and misappropriated funds.
.
BTW we've also being paying Old Age Assistance, which is Guaranteed Income to Senior citizens for many decades. You know, it didn't lead to senior citizens wasting it all on drugs and bingo. They actually spent it on rent and food... (well, some on bingo, a little on rum...)

freeman3
Maybe in Canada no one in manipulates the system.

Sure we do. And things like welfare are expensive to administrate for cities and provinces because they try to totally eliminate the manipulation be a minority of recipients.
But stuff like employment income and taxes, because employers generally won't risk breaking rules, is very very hard to manipulate. As the cash economy shrinks even more with electronic banking this gets even harder.

By the way, the GAI isn't a sure thing here... We'll see in the next Throne speech if its introduction is planned for this year though...