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Family Politics

2005-07-25 12:50:22.129283+00 by meuon 26 comments

My Dad ranted yesterday about 'environmentalists'. "They should all be put on a ship to visit the whales, and sunk", then ranted about PETA. Although the phrase 'People Eating Tasty Animals' came up and was funny. He's an avid listener of radio talk shows like: Savage Nation, and it's starting to show in bad ways. The issue is extremism. Our society is a fairly 'moderate' place, and gets pulled slightly left or right by activists working the fringes. But hate is a powerful force, focus it and bad things happen. If you have not checked out the other fringe lately, wrap yourself in red while and blue camo and start clicking: Savage Nation

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Work, productivity and environment Television Machinery ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-25 13:59:44.999529+00 by: mvandewettering

Or, better yet, don't.

Michael Savage is one of the most irrational, hate-filled piles of mucous ever to walk the planet, and the only thing worse than his existance is the fact that anyone pays any attention to him at all, except as a clear cut case of rampant paranoia.

It's a pity that he seems to have infected your family, but there really is nothing to be learned by staring at him under a microscope.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-25 16:05:20.221802+00 by: Shawn

there really is nothing to be learned by staring at him under a microscope

Except to understand what is being injected into the minds of others.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-25 17:30:23.525851+00 by: DaveP

Umm. "The other fringe" makes it sound like there are only two.

As a guy who won't vote for the LP because they're "too big government", I think you may want to consider that there are additional fringes (or perhaps tassles).

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-25 18:49:20.453613+00 by: meuon

Re: other fringe - I could have said that better, there are many 'fringes'. - and like Shawn, I want to know what others are thinking and are being fed. Even if it is twisted and scary.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-26 12:22:54.729455+00 by: polly

"Savage warns that our country is losing its identity, becoming a victim of political correctness, unmonitored immigration, and socialistic ideals:" hmmmm, i think i like how this man thinks....looks like i need to do a little more digging to see what this fella is all about <so sez the teacher>

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-26 15:03:22.914006+00 by: meuon

Some of his points (like any nutcases) are valid and of concern. For example "identity" - Well.. that's an evolving thing in any country (unless it's dead and stagnant). Our identity SHOULD evolve over time. We should be active in it's evolution. Have we lost it? Well.. did we ever REALLy have the identity of the post nuclear family held as an ideal through "Happy Days" and other fantasy TV shows like "Leave It To Beaver". - Sure, in some places.

Policical Correctness is a problem. - The problem is being afraid to say what we mean, and stand by it. I do, and get in trouble for it sometimes, and pay the price in some business relationships, but am also respected in others and gain business because people know I don't BS about things. I call em as I see em.. (and sometimes change my mind and admit it). I say: Get some cahones, say what you mean, defend your position.

Unmonitored immigration. - It's why I'm here.. - It's also time to stop this, the country has enough people, if you want to be here as well, you should show that you have something we need.. smart, rich, talented.. and want to be American, be good at something we need. Australia seems to have this policy, I need to research it more. On the flip side, we need manual labor as well and Americans have gotten lazy, "entitled".

I think our brand of socialistic ideals are also a twisted view of Christian ideals. It stems from our wanting to help, to support the downtrodden, the injured, the un-able.. we have done so so well we have created a parasitic sub-society so large it is killing it's host. It's time to change the way we help these people. Sometimes you help them by forcing them to support themselves, lower the safety net lower and lower until it's gone and they are supporting themselves. Tough Love. - Laughing.. it works for things other than teenagers.

Do I sound a bit like Savage? I might. I think the difference is the method and ethics we apply to making these changes. I've gotten involved in my local society, I vote, and I make changes, even small ones, everywhere I go. If enough of us make these small changes every day, the society will change.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-26 18:50:39.169893+00 by: crasch

Unmonitored immigration. - It's why I'm here.. - It's also time to stop this, the country has enough people, if you want to be here as well, you should show that you have something we need.. smart, rich, talented.. and want to be American, be good at something we need.

Hmmm...how do you know how many people is "enough"? Would you tolerate laws requiring you to demonstrate that you were smart, rich, and talented in order to cross state borders? If not, why would you tolerate them when crossing national borders? As long as someone behaves peacably, what business is it of yours why someone wants to come to the U.S. ?

Like Mike Linksvayer, I think legal restrictions on the ability of people to travel, work and live across national borders is equivalent to apartheid.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-26 19:15:45.032829+00 by: topspin [edit history]

What's that lady in the harbor say? "Give me your smart, your rich, your talented leaders who want to be Americans, the golden kids from your wealthiest few citizens; Send these, the worthy, well-educated to me, I lift my Rolex to look for our tee time."

Uh..... meuon..... perhaps not

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-27 03:51:49.91252+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Crasch: To just cross state borders.. no.. that is why we are the 'United States of America'. Probably because the fight for increased States rights failed in the 'War of Northern Aggression" (laughing). But the reasons to cross national borders should be controlled.. monitored.. I'm not against immigration, but we are no longer an expansionist nation, and we should not be so lenient to illegal immigrants who come to this country just to be a parasite.

Topspin is right, that French Statue says: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free.." That was 1883, America was a growing expanding country that needed settlers as well as lots of manual labor. Pre-OSHA, Pre-Strong-Unions, Pre-Assembly lines, Pre-Govt Paid Health Care, Pre-Unemployement, Pre-Welfare, Pre-Wic.. Pre-Social Security..

I contend that America has changed. To IMMIGRATE (not visit), you should meet basic criteria.. and if fact, those rules are in place are reasonably well enforced. I don't agree with all of their policies and rules, but I think they are at least TRYING. The issue is "illegal/unmonitored" immigration. IE: The train car that shows up in Dalton Georgia full of Guatemalens to work in the mills..for less than 'minimum wage' and when "discovered" that they are illegal, get granted work visas and start working towards citizenship. They're actually not too bad, they usually become pretty decent citizens, eventually adding to our wonderful tax base. What bugs me is why the leeches living in our "Planned Urban Development's" sucking welfare, aren't hopping a bus to work there. Oh.. because the factories want people that can actually work and are motivated to do so.

Sour eh? Guess I've just paid too much in taxes. hired too much day labor.. spent too much time living in the 'hood.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-27 14:19:25.831389+00 by: Dan Lyke

Every time I think about the immigration issue, I end up thinking that illegal immigrants are exactly the sort of folks we need: They're the ones who are bad-ass enough to crawl under the barbed-wire and across the desert so that they can work.

Unfortunately, an amnesty program seems like it'd feedback into the motivations and have the bad effect in a macro sense, but without that feedback loop I think that's what we want in immigration qualifications.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-27 14:54:12.956026+00 by: meuon [edit history]

In a way. yes. Over-generalizing, but based on my experiences, there are three types of illegal immigrants:

  1. - Sneak ino the USA to work, support/start a family, become Americans. Attempt the dream.
  2. - Sneak into the USA to work, send money home to family, to build a house.. and then "retire" back home. I saw, met and stayed with, a LOT of these types in Mexico. Nice people, loved their country (Mexico) and family, but needed money to build a house, support a village.. and the USA loves them as laborers.
  3. - Sneak into the USA to leach off the system or exploit our society via legal and illegal means.

Like you, I like "A", "B" can be tolerated.. but "C" should be sent back across the border.

Digressing: Recenly tried to get 3 "landscapers" to clear off the hill in front of my house. All refused, too dangerous. (and it probably is with power tools). Two Type-B Mexicans cleared the hill with machettes, and hauled off all the brush for $160.00 and went looking for more work for that late afternoon.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-27 15:20:28.364043+00 by: ebradway

meuon: Do you really see that many "type C" immigrants? I'm in San Diego right now, staying three miles from the Mexican border. All of the bums here are anglo-saxon. As far as living off welfare, it's way too expensive here to live any other way than to work your ass off. Average home price is around $500K. Only 20% of residents in San Diego and the surrounding cities can actually afford to buy a house here. You wonder why the election is screwed up!

And besides, do you think the cost of this "parasitic sub-society that's killing it's host" is anywhere near the cost of the War in Iraq?

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-27 18:20:41.180675+00 by: meuon

As for "Type-C", yes, I see some, can even name a couple personally (although they are fighting to stay here). Good question though: is our Iraq, Afganistan, etc.. wars costing more than the "parasitic sub-society"? probably. but hopefully it's shorter term. I could not find numbers I felt were 'real' for either, although I liked the: Public Budget Database.

And the leeches here in Chattanooga are.. mostly.. Black.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-27 20:34:50.403452+00 by: Dan Lyke

All of the "C" types I know are native born citizens. And the systems we have in place are costing us money now, but they're also costing us money in the future because the programs designed to help these people are offering short term solutions without changing long-term habits.

Got several people in my life that I'm trying to help grow and change out of those patterns, and... well... letting my bile at the systems which have created this mess out in this forum could spill over into my life in ways that would be counter-productive.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-27 21:41:35.28197+00 by: meuon

"offering short term solutions without changing long-term habits." - Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he'll feed his family forever.

It sounds good in theory, there are serious problems with how we do it:

Aquanetta (real name), got a little extra welfare money for day care and to go to school. But when she gets out of school, and actually shows up in the workforce as a 'medical transcriptionist', the hospital dress code requires her to trim her nails and not wear so much perfume. She quits after a 1 day, goes back on welfare, qualifies for a retraining/re-education program and starts the cycle over again. Why? Because she can, and her "social worker" would be fired if she told her to "un-ghetto, clean-up and de-perfume and get your lazy ass to work". This way, she gets subsidized housing and assistance while going to school 2-3 hrs a day, rather than working 8+ hours a day to get her assistance lowered and maintain the same quality of life, and the cash her 'boyfriends' leave on the dresser don't count.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-27 22:14:58.440979+00 by: Dan Lyke

As Terry Pratchett[Wiki] wrote: Give a man a fire and he'll be warm for the evening, light a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-27 22:55:33.433285+00 by: topspin [edit history]

As it's the new millenium, I think the maxim deserves an update:

Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to phish and you can both disappear to South America in a few months.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-28 01:49:46.644246+00 by: ebradway

And the leeches here in Chattanooga are.. mostly.. Black.

And how does this relate to immigrants? I thought you said we need to limit immigration to keep the Type Cs out. If I recall right, black people didn't generally immigrate here by choice.

But here's a good question for anyone out there:

Are there any worthy endeavors that might not or should not operate as a profitable industry?

I find that answers to this question create greater divisiveness among my friends than even "Do you believe in Evolution?"

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-28 05:54:49.915847+00 by: crasch

meuon -- I have no beef with discouraging parasitism. If you were advocating abolishing welfare, social security, or public schools, I would be right there on the barricades with you.

But instead of attacking the root, you advocate wholesale restrictions on freedom of movement based solely on which side of an arbitrary line the would-be immigrant happens to be born. The arguments that you present could apply equally well to intrastate movement. Suppose welfare benefits in California were much richer than welfare benefits in say, Idaho. Should California be allowed to prevent Idahoans from moving to California because some Idahoans might abuse the California welfare system?

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-28 12:43:19.912286+00 by: meuon

Crasch. people and states do some of that already (try to limit aid to state resident status). You are ignoring of the differences between a soveriegn nation and a state that is part of such a nation in your example, and I think they are BIG differences. It not hard with friendly nations, and I admit that I only have travelled to reasonable friendly places, and only hang with friends who go to unfriendly places and hear stories. And actually, I have been attacking the root, We started this digression by responding to Polly's 3 points she found valid from Mr. Savage.

And Eric, I hate to admit, I really don't understand the question, but would an example answer be: NASA?

--Feeling like Fido362 on Flutterby

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-28 15:20:02.920014+00 by: ebradway

Meuon: Perfect example. Now think about some other things, like schools and social welfare. Do recall that the Preamble to the Constitution states that we should "provide for the general welfare" and not "provide for Martin-Marietta to become rich while we put a couple white males on the moon". But like I said, this question divides my friends pretty strongly and it appears to do so across other parameters.

I work at an "insititute of higher learning". We are dealing with major cutbacks and having to increase tuition at alarming rates. The people in the state legislature think that because some departments (like the SimCenter) can make a stab at being self-supporting through DoD grants, the University as a whole should be able to become self-supporting through grants. Have you ever heard of an English department being self-supporting?

On campus, I see an interesting trend. In some departments, like English and Philosophy, getting a grant for $1000 to buy some new texts for the library or develop new curricula is big news. In the SimCenter, because they are focused on DoD research grants, they see numbers commonly like $100,000 and $1,000,000. What's even more interesting is that I see projects get those big grants in the SimCenter that really don't have a scope much greater than some things I see done in Environmental Science, for instance, for a few thousand dollars.

But I guess it's just a matter of where American's feel their money should be spent. Should we operate our military as a profitable business? I think we have the only economy in the world that can afford such a fine, luxurious killing machine...

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-28 22:14:17.816623+00 by: TheSHAD0W

That's promote the general welfare, not provide welfare.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-29 11:20:22.133427+00 by: meuon

Eric, the Environmental Science guys aren't showing off fancy presentations locally about how they are the #?? fastest number-crunching computer in the world while showing off colorful airflow diagrams showing the fluid dynamics of semi-trucks... whose tweaks to the trucks will probably never get implemented... and a company providing "rapid fluid exchange" (fast oil changes) via a special fitting and pump system wins the much hyped 'Kruesi Spirit of Innovation' award. (Didn't US-Express win 2003?).

Gotta remember, this is Chattanooga, they understand cheap fast food, tourist traps and trucking, although, AquaShield "stormwater treatment solutions" won 2004's award.

Chattanooga got the post-ST3 blinky-light "yes, we have technology" company here they always wanted: The Sim-Center. It's a political darling.. might as well get used to it.

--Now that you have changed the subject, what were we all ranting about?

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-29 16:26:39.339608+00 by: ebradway

shadowL Promote/provide, it's all in the interpretation (I'm being sarcastic and thanks for the correction - interesting slip of the mind.)

meuon: it's not just here at UTC - it's pretty much throughout the country. If you work on military contracts, the grants are several orders of magnitude larger than projects of similar scope in other fields.

Oh, and it's something like the 25th fastest computer in the world. It's actually just a 500-node beowulf cluster on Dell boxes. It happens to be parked at street-level with just a window between it and MLK. When I tour there last fall, I told them about the drunk Guatemalan who almost took out COL by driving up a significant embankment and almost hitting the propane tank. You could take out the SimCenter's computer with a well-place Honda.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-07-30 13:42:08.316634+00 by: meuon

Yeah, it's a neat Beowulf cluster, there is actually 3 'clusters' there, and they are working on getting in another one, but brilliant minds put in Lieberts with through the floor space ducting (works great for mainframes designed for it), but sucks for racks of horizontal flow rack mount PC's. They are currently HVAC bound. But Dell graciously offered to purchase more AC for them to go with their next purchase. So it'll soon have several more cabinets of nodes.. I really like the Beowulf clusters at ORNL as well, they have real Cray's with fancy cooling systems. Still it looks high-tech compared to the IBM rack mounts of pseudo-standard PC's (they are 'special' 4 processor per node).

And although they show some kewl stuff, it's hard to cost justify it with what I have seen them do with it.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-08-04 23:03:00.693663+00 by: Diane Reese

Wow, finally something techish that I know something about. The supercomputer at the UT SimCenter at Chattanooga is now ranked #129th fastest on the Top 500 List. (The 25th such list was just published in June. ORNL is #11.) The computer I help manage is ranked #21, and there is some nifty-keen work being done on it.