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Memorial Day

red61544

Tomorrow, I'm driving south for my annual pilgrimage to the Wall. Every year, I seem to find another name of a friend who didn't make it back. I hate that damned thing, but I keep being drawn back to it year-after-year. For all of you who served, remember your friends who never came home. For those of you who were waiting at home for a loved one who didn't return, you will be in my thoughts as I cry in front of that damned wall.

StarFleet Carl

@red61544

For all of you who served, remember your friends who never came home.


Friends and family both. And some of them came home physically, but never could make the adjustment. Complete agreement with you, and complete understanding why you do what you do. Remember.

US Army
1980 - 1984 (medical discharge)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@StarFleet Carl

US Army
1980 - 1984 (medical discharge)


Thank you.

Dominions Son

@red61544

I'm not old enough to personally remember anyone who was lost in the Vietnam war, I was only 4 when the US pulled out of Vietnam.

Of course, they had to build the wall in DC. You shouln't have to subject yourself to that in order to visit the wall.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP

@Dominions Son

Of course, they had to build the wall in DC. You shouln't have to subject yourself to that in order to visit the wall


But it is fitting that they collocated the monument in the same area as the other war memorials.

US Air Force
1965-1971

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

But it is fitting that they collocated the monument in the same area as the other war memorials.


They all deserve to be further away from the idiots in charge in DC. :)

Replies:   REP  red61544
REP

@Dominions Son

I agree. We would all be better off if our politicians lived in some other country. Preferably half-way around the globe. That would put them somewhere around Australia, but they don't want them either.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

I agree. We would all be better off if our politicians lived in some other country. Preferably half-way around the globe.


My thought was relocating DC to the surface of the Sun. :)

Replies:   REP  PotomacBob  Ernest Bywater
REP

@Dominions Son

That would work also, but as a tax payer, I wouldn't want to pay for their relocation. :)

PotomacBob

@Dominions Son

We would all be better off if our politicians lived in some other country


If you were to get your wish, who would make decisions on our behalf. Or we just duke it out in the streets?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@PotomacBob

If you were to get your wish, who would make decisions on our behalf.


More than half the decisions they make leave the rest of us worse off than we were before. We very much need fewer decisions made on our behalf.

What we do is start over from scratch, going back to a part time Congress that only sits in session for a few months per year.

Replies:   PotomacBob  REP
PotomacBob

@Dominions Son

Then, in the meantime, the bureaucrats run the country?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@PotomacBob

Most of the federal bureaucracy is located in DC. If you shut down the federal government, it will be months before anyone not dependent on government handouts notices.

red61544

@Dominions Son


They all deserve to be further away from the idiots in charge in DC.


But the veterans own the mall - the monuments there are beautiful and tragic at the same time. The politicians can't compete with the sacrifice that those monuments represent. Our politicians don't reflect the greatness of this country; the people honored by those monuments do! There are 55,000 names on the wall with not one bone spur among them!

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

My thought was relocating DC to the surface of the Sun. :)


You'd be in serious trouble for causing major pollution issues if you did that.

JohnBobMead

@Dominions Son

If you shut down the federal government, it will be months before anyone not dependent on government handouts notices.


Ahem.

Social Security would be directly impacted.

Those in the Armed Services would notice that their pay went away.

The Centers for Disease Control would be impacted.

The Library of Congress & the National Archives and Records Administration would suffer.

The Interstate Highway System would notice it if the Department of Transportation were shut down. As well as Amtrak, which many people do still utilize.

But it may be that these are all things that you consider government handouts, rather than necessary infrastructure, in which case we have no common ground for discussion.

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@JohnBobMead


Those in the Armed Services would notice that their pay went away.


And who would pay the defense contractors? NASA? The weather service? The agricultural department? The Veterans Administration? Federal grants for education? Who would pay the Medicare bills? For drug prescriptions for seniors? And, for especially those of us in this forum, the National Institutes of Mental Health? In many of the Midwestern and Plains states, federal payments to farmers account for one-half to three-quarters of their income. The Park Service? (The Washington Monument would shut down). Who'd inspect our food for safety? Who'd pay the big corporations their corporate welfare? Who'd collect the taxes? Who'd pay the Supreme Court?

Replies:   Michael Loucks
REP

@Dominions Son

going back to a part time Congress that only sits in session for a few months per year.


I think that is what we have now. :(

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
REP

@red61544

with not one bone spur among them


:)

REP

DS and I were just bantering. Although we both seem to agree that Americans and others would benefit from a major change in the way the government is run.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

I'm not old enough to personally remember anyone who was lost in the Vietnam war, I was only 4 when the US pulled out of Vietnam.

My father died from Agent Orange exposure more than a full decade after the war ended. I still consider him a victim of the war, though a victim of the American actions in Vietnam). (Not intended to be a rebuke of those who fought, merely an accusation of those deciding how the war was fought.)

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
Capt. Zapp

@REP

going back to a part time Congress that only sits in session for a few months per year.

I think that is what we have now. :(


Nah, what we have now is a full time Congress that only sits part time, and many of them apparently use their sitting time to catch up on their sleep or play games on their phones.

Replies:   REP  PotomacBob
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

If you shut down the federal government, it will be months before anyone not dependent on government handouts notices.

You mean corporations (like the sugar, energy and automotive industries), or those who operate cars or trucks on our national infrastructures, or those in most rural Republican States who are 'subsidized' by the taxes on large cities in the Eastern half of the country?

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP
Updated:

@Capt. Zapp

I've heard that a few of them have to be woke up when it's time to vote and their comrades tell them how the party wants them to vote. :(

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Crumbly Writer

@REP

Although we both seem to agree that Americans and others would benefit from a major change in the way the government is run.

You mean a legislature which actually passes laws, rather than a government run by fiats issued by the White House (an action spurred by the inaction of the Legislative branch).

Replies:   REP
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

You mean corporations (like the sugar, energy and automotive industries)


Yes.

or those who operate cars or trucks on our national infrastructures


Most of that infrastructure is actually maintained by the states. A federal shutdown lasting a just a few months isn't going to have that much of an impact.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

Yes. I would also add a legislature that is responsive to the voters who elected them rather than big business, lobbyists, and rich supporters.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
PotomacBob

@Capt. Zapp

Methinks they spend their time raising campaign funds. I've read that for some seats the incumbent must raise at least $10,000 for each day in office, just to have enough money to run for re-election.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
StarFleet Carl

@Crumbly Writer

merely an accusation of those deciding how the war was fought


Remember that in WWII, due to lice, typhus, and other insect borne diseases, people were directly sprayed with DDT to control the bugs.

Keep in mind that the generals in charge during Vietnam - Westmoreland and Abrams - were both World War II and Korea veterans. Westie was Field Artillery, Abrams was Armor. AND keep in mind as well that generals have nearly always been fighting the LAST war, regardless of WHICH military it is, and no matter what weapon improvements have been made.

That's one reason the American Civil War had such horrendous casualties. We'd learned to mass fire with formations because muskets were inaccurate - only now we had rifles which COULD hit the broadside of a barn, as well as cannons that were MUCH more accurate, with longer range and deadlier payloads.

And then in WWI, the British and French still wanted to charge across open fields - and they met the invention by Maxim. WWII ... you wanted to take out one building in a town, you'd flatten the whole town just to make sure you got it. And civilian casualties didn't matter.

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Capt. Zapp

@REP

I've heard that a few of them have to be woke up when it's time to vote and their comrades tell them how the party wants them to vote.


They should fine them an amount that would hurt their pocket if they are caught sleeping or playing with their phones, or just not paying attention. $10,000 per occurrence would be a good start, doubled for each occurance. They should also be limited to the amount of time they are allowed away, and not be paid for the time they spend campaigning either for themselves or other candidates.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Capt. Zapp

@REP

Yes. I would also add a legislature that is responsive to the voters who elected them rather than big business, lobbyists, and rich supporters.


Corporations should not be allowed to lobby for legislation. Legislators are (supposed to be) elected to represent the general populace, not corporations.

Capt. Zapp

@PotomacBob

Methinks they spend their time raising campaign funds. I've read that for some seats the incumbent must raise at least $10,000 for each day in office, just to have enough money to run for re-election.


It is amazing that politicians will spend more campaigning for a single term than the job pays. For as little as the job pays, it is amazing how there are so many millionaires in their numbers.

Dominions Son

@Capt. Zapp

Corporations should not be allowed to lobby for legislation. Legislators are (supposed to be) elected to represent the general populace, not corporations.


If legislatures didn't have the power to do things that change/create winners and losers in the marketplace, corporations wouldn't waste money on lobbying the government.

Crumbly Writer

@Capt. Zapp

They should fine them an amount that would hurt their pocket if they are caught sleeping or playing with their phones, or just not paying attention. $10,000 per occurrence would be a good start, doubled for each occurance. They should also be limited to the amount of time they are allowed away, and not be paid for the time they spend campaigning either for themselves or other candidates.

Except, politicians don't get rich off their government salaries, but off the various kickbacks, inside information, associated business opportunities, siphoning off their campaign funds or paid speaking engagements. In short, they get paid, maybe $50 K a year, but end up earning tens of millions a year.

In short, they could care less whether they were fined, as long as they could keep sucking up the rich gravy train they create for themselves. They're so busy swallowing up other people's money, they can't spare the time doing their REAL job!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

In short, they get paid, maybe $50 K a year,


You are about 50 years out of date. US Congressional salary was $57,500 in 1978. By 1990, it was $101K and it hit the current level of $174K in 2009.

awnlee jawking

@Capt. Zapp

Corporations should not be allowed to lobby for legislation.


I think that's wrong on two counts.

First, corporations are taxed, and morally that entitles them to representation.

Second, governments often churn out really crap knee-jerk legislation and corporations should have a route enabling them to explain to government why such legislation is not in the country's economic interests.

AJ

Replies:   REP
REP

@Capt. Zapp

Legislators are (supposed to be) elected to represent the general populace, not corporations.


I know and that is part of why I think the way the executive, legislative, and judicial branches would benefit from a few changes.

REP
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


I think that's wrong on two counts.


Big Business should be entitled to the same representation that the average citizen has. But they use their dollars to buy representation and legislation that benefits their interest not what is good for the country's interest. Although on occasion the two coincide.

I would say that a lot of that knee-jerk legislation is in response to the lobbyists pressing for legislation that benefits their clients.

minor edit

Dominions Son

@REP

I would say that a lot of that knee-jerk legislation is in response to the lobbyists pressing for legislation that benefits their clients.


Probably true, but on that count, big business isn't the only group of lobbyists, nor are they the most significant in terms of dollars spent.

awnlee jawking

@REP

I agree that money for influence is a scourge that urgently needs to be addressed, both in the US and the UK. Here, millionaires, both foreign and tax-exile, are trying, with some success, to derail Brexit.

I would say that a lot of that knee-jerk legislation is in response to the lobbyists pressing for legislation that benefits their clients.


You can add to that environmentalist lobbyists. They attach themselves to a cause and press for it relentlessly, yet so often the consequences turn out to have a net detrimental effect on the environment eg subsidies for wood-burning stoves and power plants, and the carrier bag tax.

AJ

Vlad_Inhaler

@StarFleet Carl

WWII ... you wanted to take out one building in a town, you'd flatten the whole town just to make sure you got it. And civilian casualties didn't matter.

My parents grew up during that war and they had a different take. The point of bombing soft targets like the cities was that the Germans should *know* they were beaten, none of this "Dolchstosslegende" after WW1. My parents were young enough to lap up that thinking as gospel, they also spent a lot of nights in bomb shelters in their respective gardens and revenge was *good*.
Hamburg was targeted for three nights in a row, basically to kill the munitions workers.
Dresden and Pforzheim had no industry to speak of, Darmstadt was an administrative centre.
I assume the bombing of Hanoi came from a similar mindset.

Michael Loucks
Updated:

@PotomacBob


And who would pay the defense contractors? NASA? The weather service? The agricultural department? The Veterans Administration? Federal grants for education? Who would pay the Medicare bills? For drug prescriptions for seniors? And, for especially those of us in this forum, the National Institutes of Mental Health? In many of the Midwestern and Plains states, federal payments to farmers account for one-half to three-quarters of their income. The Park Service? (The Washington Monument would shut down). Who'd inspect our food for safety? Who'd pay the big corporations their corporate welfare? Who'd collect the taxes? Who'd pay the Supreme Court?


While I could address all of these, one sticks out:

'Federal grants for education' - this, together with effectively unlimited student loans, has led to an insane increase in the cost of higher education, impoverishing the very people it's intended to help while enriching university administrators. Student and teachers get royally screwed in the process.

Replies:   REP  PotomacBob
REP

@Michael Loucks

One of my friend's daughters milked that system.

She funded her education using student loans. In addition to paying for college, she also used the money to travel to places like Italy, Greece, France, Mexico, etc. Now she just pays the minimum from time to time. She also has a medical condition that is likely to paralyze her so she can't work.

If the government is going to step in and help potential students, there also has to be more oversight on how the money is spent and increases in tuition.

PotomacBob

@Michael Loucks

While I could address all of these,


I wish you would!

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