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Comment Archives: stories: Opinion: Ted Rall

Re: “Occupy: What Next?

THe 99 Percent Movement has always been inclusive and should be. That's the point-- we're all in this together and we unifying to overcome the large obstacles the banks and corporations have put in our way. I do not agree with radicalizing or using violent measures. We need to vote and put pressure on our elected officials, and camping in a park ain't doin that.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alexandra Naughton on 07/14/2012 at 8:48 PM

Re: “Occupy: What Next?


"And there should be demands for systemic changes: opening ballots to third parties; making it illegal for elected representatives to talk to businesspeople, much less accept contributions"

Elected officials should not be allowed to talk to businesspeople?

Now there's an idea with real legs. Did anyhone at BW proofread this?

BW is a business. You are OK with being bared from talking to elected officials?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by seekandfind on 07/12/2012 at 5:43 PM

Re: “Occupy: What Next?

Darryl Hall was part of the city's celebration, not Occupy. And, as stated above, this is patently false: "ONG was yet the latest attempt by front groups set up by in order to channel the energies of the OWS movement into the Obama re-election campaign." I know most of the NatGat organizers personally and have for months, and they have nothing to do with Moveon. I'm not sure I heard Obama's name once during the gathering. For all there is to legitimately critique about the event, do please make sure those critiques are based on the truth. Do they have fact-checkers in Boise?

I do tend to agree with the analysis and proposals in the second half of your piece, though.

Posted by jk on 07/11/2012 at 3:06 PM

Re: “Occupy: What Next?

Hi. I'm an organizer of the National Gathering.

This statement is demonstrably false:

"Third, the Occupiers weren't really Occupiers. ONG was yet the latest attempt by front groups set up by in order to channel the energies of the OWS movement into the Obama re-election campaign."

There are more that are inaccurate, inane, and/or fallacious, but I can see you're in a thinking mood, and have hopes you'll sort it out.

Thanks so much

Kenneth Lipp


2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kenneth Lipp on 07/11/2012 at 5:08 AM

Re: “Where's the Legacy?

The problem with Obama isn’t the near $6 trillion in borrowing in just three years, the radical growth in the size of the federal government and its regulatory zeal, ObamaCare, the Boeing plant closure threat, the green jobs sweet-heart deals and Van Jones-like “Millions of Green Jobs” nonsense costing billions on failed solar, the vast expansion in food stamps and unemployment pay-outs, the reversal of the Chrysler creditors, politically driven interference in the car industry, Holder's contempt in the fast and furious gun walking and his executive order to hide info of their involvement of leeting guns get into the hands of the worlds most notorious murderers as a means to go after our second amendment, the failed efforts to get card check, and cap and trade extortion nightmare, the moratorium on new drilling in the Gulf, S. Dakota, ANWR the general antipathy to new fossil fuel exploitation coupled with new finds of vast new reserves that dwarf the all foreign oil reserves combined, the new financial regulations, an aggressive EPA oblivious to the effects of its advocacy on jobs, the threatened close-down of energy plants, the support for idling thousands of acres of irrigated farmland in California due to environmental regulations from a mud shrimp, the constant talk of no taxes only to get higher taxes at a US all time record through Obummer Care the needlessly provocative rhetoric of “fat cat”, “millionaires and billionaires,” “corporate jet owners,” etc. juxtaposed, in hypocritical fashion, to Martha’s Vineyard, Costa del Sol, and Vail First Family getaways, the 17 day Hawaiian vacation, not to mention the BP oil spill paralysis, black panther scandals, suing Arizona, on and on and on.
It was just announced that last month’s unemployment is still above 9% (the real numbers are more in the double digits)— despite the nearly five trillion dollars in Keynesian pump-priming, the near zero interest rates, the expanded unemployment and food stamp support, and the government takeovers and subsidies of businesses. There is a scary sort of deer-in-the-headlights look about Obama and Biden that is quite disturbing, as if they are thinking, “This was not supposed to happened to us. Geithner, Goolsbee, Orszag, Romer, Summers assured us that all this borrowing would turn things around — but they are all gone or leaving, so now we are alone? What to do? Hmmm. More them/us class warfare rhetoric? Embrace more of the California/Illinois/New York blue-state model? More European Union emulation? A national high-speed rail jobs program? Bring back Van Jones and “millions of green jobs”? Borrow another $5 trillion? Maybe negative interest rates? Seventy-five million on food stamps? Four years of unemployment insurance? A new Department of Jobs? Call in Jimmy Carter for advice about 1979? $100 billion more in green subsidies to progressive caring companies? Take over Ford? Another speech from Buffett?
We have all heard ad nauseam that an eight-month-old Republican-controlled Congress has stopped Obama’s legislative agenda for three years.
No worries, all is well. Just keep whistling past the grave yard.
Ignore the polls, they are all wrong.
Ignore the weekly unemployment numbers and the jobs numbers, they lie too.
Ignore the repeated revisions, for the worse, to the weeks previous numbers. They are even bigger lies.
Ignore the inflation numbers. Prices have not gone up.
Ignore the despair you see around you. Those are jut upside down smiles.
Ignore the constant vacations, on our dime, Barry indulges in.
Ignore how he plays the average American, read the working stiff, as the fool.
Ignore the trillions he has urinated away with no benefit at all to anyone but his pals.
Ignore the blatant arrogance.
Ignore the last two special elections.
They are not warning alarms. His ship is not sinking.
Nov 6th 2012 will be a landslide, You can bet the farm on that.
And we will soon after be rid of this nightmare of incompetence and destruction.
All will be well soon as he’s long gone.
Obama’s problem is it’s not 2007 anymore. Obama is a known quantity now. Obama was elected based on a manufactured persona, a lie, put forward by the DNC and the fawning media. And who is Barack Hussein Obama?
Obama is the 1st president in the history of the USA who is not a cultural American, and it shows. No other president, except Jimmy Carter, has ever run down his country to the world as Obama has. Obama has denigrated the people of America shamelessly, and he has no idea of who we are because he is not one of us.
Obama was raised far outside of mainstream American culture. His upbringing was by socialists who indoctrinated him from day one to be a hardcore marxist ideologue. Obama was taught to loath the middle class and to use radical rules to attack it. Since before he was elected Obama has been tearing down the USA and the middle class which he fooled into voting for him.
Obama was billed to be all things to all people. A pseudo-mythical messiah-like figure that rose mysteriously with no background yet was a towering intellect who could solve all our problems. Obama is a man of slogans, and was “going to hit the ground running”, and “ready to lead on day one”. He was going to be the post racial president who would unite the USA and lead us into a new era of enlightenment and renewed respect in the world of nations. Only now we know this all to be a farce.
To those of us who took the time to investigate Obama while the fawning media failed to vet him it comes as no surprise that Obama is a failure. Anyone who tried to point out his radicalism, his criminal associates, terrorist friends, his racist church where he sat for 20 years listening to hatred of America and Americans was branded as a racist. And now we know that Obama is a shallow self-serving man of little experience who constantly resorts to demagoguery of those who oppose his radical agenda. He makes denigrating generalizations of broad swathes of the population and makes it clear he is only the president of those who voted for him and support him. We are much worse off as a nation than we were before Obama and have more than a year of this arrogant fool to endure. The best thing we can do is to vote out every democrat and take away any political power this “president” has. Let’s all watch this impostor vacation and golf and travel the world in Air Force One at our expense while we continue without an inspirational leader and scratch our heads in wonder at the absurd Political Correctness that got us such a ludicrous president.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rumpled Stiltskin on 07/02/2012 at 11:12 AM

Re: “Where's the Legacy?

"Obama enjoyed a worshipful media."

That is insightful. It continues unabated today.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by seekandfind on 07/01/2012 at 9:43 PM

Re: “You're Underpaid

To: bikeboy
"I'll be happy to sit home and watch soap operas and judge shows." Something tells me, this isn't true. You seem like exactly the type of person who would get up and do something productive, even if you didn't have to. Everyone needs a sense of self worth. A sense of self worth does not come from judging shows on TV. It comes from good work. I emphasize "good," and that is the point; not just work for a paycheck, but the inevitable "good" work that comes from each of our souls. Imagine a requirement of 8 hours a day of work (either imposed by others or by yourself) only you don't have to do the heavy lifting (let the people who enjoy weightlifting and not thinking do that, a lot of people enjoy that type of simplicity) and you can do whatever work you feel is truly important to you and to those in your community. Maybe you do the heavy lifting just on Tuesdays and Thursdays, just to stay in shape. If you love your job, you can keep doing what you are doing now, that's always an option as well. I get the feeling this writer is talking not about the next election. I think he is talking about a Utopia. Utopias are the first imagination of a better future.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Same as above on 07/01/2012 at 9:41 PM

Re: “You're Underpaid

I know that the work I would do as a volunteer (if I had a steady income to rely on for basic health and well-being) would be much more valuable to my community than the work I currently do for a pay check. There are many businesses out there that actually make the world a worse place to live in, but they are profitable so they continue to grow and people continue to work for them to get a paycheck to pay the rent. If people only did the work they wanted to do, these businesses would die because nobody would want to work for a company that makes the world a worse place. Especially if they didn't have to worry about putting food on the table. This would be a very good thing for humanity and out planet. Long before money was invented people worked every day for free because they believed in making the world around them better for the sake of their friends, and family. That instinct is in our DNA to this day, it's just being tortured by the sickness of the power of money.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Believe in the Generosity of your Neighbor on 07/01/2012 at 9:25 PM

Re: “Where's the Legacy?

Until the Senate Filibuster is eliminated, the majority does not rule. Which makes your conclusion incorrect. Statistically, the Republicans have filibustered more votes in the last 3 1/2 years than any other time in our history.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Sydney on 06/28/2012 at 11:40 PM

Re: “Where's the Legacy?

Obama's done an amazing job considering that the Repulsicans have been lying about him and opposing him 24/7 since he took office.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mick on 06/27/2012 at 9:14 PM

Re: “Where's the Legacy?

Do your research, Mr. Cynical. Many parts of the Affordable Care Act have already gone into effect--children can't be denied because of pre-existing conditions and there are new options for adults with pre-existing conditions, children up to 26 can stay on their parents' insurance, preventive care is now covered for those on Medicare, no lifetime limits are already in place, etc.

Not to mention that Obama has stood by women every chance he could. When bishops were attacking birth control. When Congress tried to defund Planned Parenthood. Not to mention appointing two Supreme Court nominees who will protect Roe.

I could go on. But since the only things you like about him were done in the past three months, here is a Rolling Stone article on everything he did prior to 2010. Honestly, he's certainly not perfect, but his PR team is what's really the worst--they can't sell the Dream Act, the fight to stop Keystone, or the ACA to save their lives.

And if you think the other option is any better, particularly for women, you've got your head in a hole.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by apstyle on 06/27/2012 at 11:19 AM

Re: “What Recovery?

the problem with the recovery is too many companies are worried about making a profit and not remembering IF more people have money more people will spend money.
IF you Build it, they will come. check out lines are too long, why not hire more people? HEY WINCO that's an idea! Instead of complaining about a problem why not fix it?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pattrick on 06/17/2012 at 11:18 AM

Re: “Poor and Uneducated, Like We Thought

(DRAFT) There are arguments that the U.S. army has been targeting poorer, uneducated, and minority solders for military service. If this is true, within the context of the past operations in Iraq and current operations in Afghanistan, then the generating force (recruiting) within the army is at best acting in an unethical manner and at worst being criminal. Targeting the poor and minorities within the United States because they are easy to convince that military life is better than their civilian lives is unethical and disingenuous, especially if the purpose is to fill the combat ranks with such recruits. If the recruiting force is targeting the uneducated by design because they are easy and there is little competition, then the force is acting criminally. Putting people who are less capable, harder to train, and less able to understand the growing complexities of today’s battlefield into the army during a time of war, by design, places entire military formations and tactical, operational, and strategic success at risk. However, contrary to the growing cries of concern, there is really no evidence to suggest this is the case. Indeed, much of this debate centers on misunderstanding of the data, a lack of perspective, and a genuine concern of the perceived aggrieved groups. The last should be commended, the second can be forgiven, but the first is unacceptable.
While it is possible to conduct a review of the literature that details the often ranting and unsupported statements, this review would offer only a straw man that would be easily countered. Instead I will respond the most well laid out and communicated defense of the thesis that the army targets the poor and uneducated, either by design or by chance.
The first problem with the assessment that the army targets the uneducated and poor is the data. One assertion measures the level of education in the military by the quality of social media posts, General’s on television and the fact that U.S. army Soldiers voted for former President Bush over his opponent at a 4 to 1 ratio. I will accept that these observations are true, even though there is rarely a reference to support the claim. The relevancy of voting behavior is tied to observations that 50% of democratic voters have a bachelor’s degree or higher while republican voters have a lower rate of degrees. However, I cannot accept the interpretation of the National Priorities Project study that Mr. Rall cites in his analysis “Poor and Uneducated Like We Thought: Debunking The Military Debunkers”[1].
First, the assertion that the National Priorities Project study says “Young men and women from affluent neighborhoods--those with average household incomes of $100,000 or more--are three to four times less likely as those from poor and lower middle class areas (under $50,000) to serve in the military. This ratio is increasing.”, as stated by Mr. Rall is incorrect. The National Priorities Project Study[2] shows a general decline in recruitment of the lower 40% of the income range as determined by zip code income, as a percentage of overall recruitments. Generally, the evidence is a growing proportion of the U.S. army recruits coming from the middle class. Growth in recruit numbers has come from the 50-70% (middle to upper 30%) income range. Smaller proportional increases were experienced in recruitment from the upper 20% income ranges. However, the proportion of enlistments from the poor deciles is roughly the same as the proportion of enlistments from the rich deciles. Differentiation does not occur until the 5th and 7th deciles, where the proportions of enlistments are consistently higher in the higher deciles. And this only deals with enlisted Soldiers. Only 11% of the officer corps comes from the lower 20% of neighborhood income areas while 25% come from the highest 20% income neighborhood. Unfortunately, the 11% and the 20% figures come from the Heritage Foundation[3] study that Mr. Rall discredits.
The assertion that, “Many recruits are college dropouts who list their last address--their college dorm--when they sign up. College ZIP codes, populated by disproportionately high numbers of 18-to-24-year-olds who are full-time students and/or work low-paying and part-time jobs.”, is one that I cannot find references to support. I am not saying the evidence does not exist, just that I cannot find any such reference. In order for this dynamic to be true, two assumptions would have to be validated. First, the proportion of the 80,000 annual enlistments in the category of college dropouts would have to be significant. Second, zip codes the colleges were resident would have to have a lower income level than the rest of the nation, on average. I find either assumption to be intuitively difficult to support. However, I am unsure where to go to find any evidence, for or against the assertion.
Mr Rall’s statement, “there's a reason so many of the dead come from high-unemployment, low-wage states like West Virginia. They're desperate. And desperate people are more tempted to accept a job that could cost them their lives.”
Aside from being inflammatory, really has limited basis in facts. Indeed, evaluating the by-state casualty figures[4] against the state income rankings[5] demonstrates only a week correlation (See figure 2). The analysis shows that the trend line related to state income only explains around 13% of why a state would suffer the number of casualties it has in the war on terror. This is pretty strong evidence that there is not a significantly higher proportion of dead from poor states. Indeed West Virginia represents the 49th state in income but only the 37th state in terms of casualties. New Hampshire stands in stark contrast at 7th in state income ranking and 45th in war dead per 100,000 populations. It is essential that when making statements about where, who, and why people suffer that the correct metric is used. West Virginia has suffered roughly 19.71 war casualties per 100,000 of its population. New Hampshire has suffered roughly 23.04 war casualties per 100,000 of its population. Main and Vermont have suffered 25.89 and 26.98 war casualties per 100,000 of their populations but no one is seriously going to make the argument that the wealthy liberal northeast is suffering disproportionate casualties in the war on terror. This is even truer when you look at where recruits come from as in figure 3.
Less damaging, but much easier to dispute is Mr. Rall’s statement that “The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office's "1999 Survey of Active Duty Personnel" (the last year for which such data is available) found that "about 60 percent of enlisted personnel surveyed...reported having no more than a high school-level education when they began their military service." (Heritage jacks up the total to 83 percent by including GEDs.) 90 percent of employed Americans over age 25 have a high school diploma.”
These statements cannot be argued against. Indeed, 90% of employed Americans over age 25 have a high school diploma. However, if we look at the proportion of employed, then we can say that 100% of army personnel have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. The difference is in higher education proportions. Only around 35% of employed people in the U.S. have a bachelors or higher[6]. Each year the army newly enlists around 80,000 personnel and last year over 11,000 of them had bachelor degrees. Each year the army accesses around 5,300 officers into the army and ALL (100%) of them have at least bachelor degrees. Roughly 40% of the 500,000+ Soldiers in the U.S. Army[7] are officers. This means that AT least half of the entire active army has at least a bachelor degree. Roughly 15% of the enlisted force and 100% of the officer force will have degrees. This equates to at least 55% of the active army, without taking into account the education benefits available to enlisted soldiers AFTER they enlist. However, it is appropriate to point out that with deployment rates as high as they have been; it’s unlikely that a significant portion of the operational force (those who fight versus those who train and recruit the fighters) have been able to pursue higher education on active duty during the last four years.
Another of Mr. Rall’s inflammatory assertions is that
“You're more than 35 percent more likely to be in the military if you're black than if you're white. But you're 35 percent less likely to become an officer. Ignore the propaganda--the military is a reflection of, rather than a cure for, racism.”
Here I have to talk in relation to my personal experience, anecdotal evidence, and research conducted by the U.S. Army Accessions Command while I was affiliated with the command. In the last years the army has recognized that it has a disproportionate number of black enlisted Soldiers and under-represents blacks in the officer corps. The issue though is not a reflection of racism. It is a consequence of institutional racism in our society. Blacks as a proportion of the population are much more likely to not qualify for military enlistment because of education and criminal background issues. The Army has actually shifted resources away from recruiting blacks and to recruiting other minorities so that the army enlisted ranks will be more representative of the country. The trend was that blacks would join the army, but not as combat arms Soldiers, but as service support soldiers in order to learn a skill. There are many more support soldiers than combat arms soldiers, resulting in an over-representation of blacks. In 1999 61% of black officers[8] were in non-combat arms branches[9]. Throughout the Global War on Terrorism the percent of enlistments that are African-American has been falling[10].
Additionally, the atmosphere of acceptance and color-blindness that exists in most army organizations should work to keep blacks in the army at a higher rate than other ethnic groups. This is what Mr. Rall is talking about when he acknowledges that blacks retain at a higher rate than whites in his essay. The issue with black officers may have more to do with the small number of blacks graduating from undergraduate degree granting institutions as well as those graduate’s decisions to take their education back to their communities rather than join the military.
The veiled criticism that the U.S. army is retaining poor leadership is apparent in his statement, “In 2005 the Army promoted 97 percent of all eligible captains to major, an increase from the prewar norm of 70-to-80 percent. A Department official told The Los Angeles Times: "Basically, if you haven't been court-martialed, you're going to be promoted to major." This fact cannot and will not be denied. However, the high promotion rate is for a very good reason and starting in 2013 the promotion rate will begin falling back to the historical average.
First, the army had prepared and trained a number of captains (the rank before major) for an army that required a certain number of Majors, given a promotion rate of only about 70%. This would allow for a “culling” of the bottom 30% of a group that represents some of the highest trained and well educated leaders in the United States. However, the need to fight the campaigns of the Global War on Terror and innovations in command and control and organization of the land-fighting component of the army required MORE majors than even the available number of captains could support. It is a wonder, given the operational requirements that the army was facing that it would even allow 3% of its captains to not be promoted and be kicked out of the army. The 3% most likely represented those who were criminally unable to continue their careers. This promotion rate does not take into consideration the large number of captains that, having completed their active duty commitment, chose to take well paid jobs in the civilian sector rather than continue their army careers.
From the perspective of a field grade army officer, the last problem with the arguments about the army wanting to recruit or fill its ranks with uneducated people is an inadequate perspective. People who make these arguments do not think through the implications of such a policy on army command and control, discipline, training and tactical and operational risks. The U.S. army depends on high technology, computers, digital understanding, and abilities to master communications[11] and data sharing in a digital battlefield[12]. The U.S. army prefers to guide, develop, and provide mission orders rather than prescriptive orders and direct control[13]. Finally, the army is divided into two “forces” and each force has, on average, attracted different groups with different objectives.
The number, types, and pervasiveness of technological systems used in the army today require a base of knowledge, comfort with technology, and some exposure to digital technology for even the lowest enlisted Soldiers to succeed. Experience and comfort with digital high technology is not synonymous with poverty or lack of education. The army maintains 11 digital high technology systems just to maintain command and control of units on the battlefield[14]. This does not include all the unmanned systems, radios, major systems components, and computer programs that even enlisted infantry Soldiers must be proficient in using. The last thing that the army wants is people that take large amount of resources to train and prepare for introduction to these technologies. The army wants to recruit a Soldier, spend a few hours introducing them to technology, and then depend on the Soldier’s intuition and experience with high technology to enable individual and group learning. This is the army’s training philosophy; tell them what they will be trained, show them (hands on), and tell them what you told them.
Command and control (Mission Command) is not easy if those you are leading are incapable of understanding intent, lack initiative, have learning issues, cannot reason, or has a bias against education, learning, or self development. The assumption I am making is that for a person to be considered uneducated in the 21st century they must lack these attributes. However, the basis of Mr. Rall’s assertion that the uneducated are targeted by recruiters is based on those with high school diplomas and is critical of including GEDs as “educated”. However, the initiative, dedication, and ethical core demonstrated by individuals who complete their GEDs are just the values that the army cherishes in its enlisted ranks. So, to discount these enlistments or to count them as uneducated is not only disingenuous but a disparagement of these hard working self developers.
I have no doubt that supporters of these arguments have a sincere desire to see these groups not exploited for unethical or immoral purposes. I would also never stoop to question the debaters on their possible exploitation of these groups to attack the U.S. defense establishment. I truly believe that the argument is based on an assessment of American institutional racism, minorities suffering disproportionately from poverty and poor education systems, and a series of historical examples of U.S. army exploitation and discrimination against groups. However, the evidence suggests that the U.S. army is making great strides, and wants to go further, to ensure that the Army’s diversity mirrors that of the nation. Indeed, the army wants to be viewed as “America’s Army[15]” and reflect the cultural diversity of the nation in both the enlisted and officer ranks. The Army views diversity as one of its core strengths as well as a driver for innovation, problem solving, and understanding[16].
There are arguments that the U.S. army has been targeting poorer, uneducated, and minority solders for military service. While I have no direct evidence that contradicts this, the indirect evidence does not support these arguments. Much of this debate centers on misunderstanding of the data, a lack of perspective, and a genuine concern of the perceived aggrieved groups. The strongest arguments for, and defense of, this argument misreports study findings and leaves out contrary data. The arguments lack a perspective that allows for an honest critique of the army’s efforts at establishing itself as representative of the nation’s diversity. Finally, while probably based in a strong ethical core, they come across feeling condescending and perhaps even a tone reflecting a small sense of racial superiority. The army, the command’s tasked with recruiting enlisted and accessing officers, and army officers and non-commissioned officers realize that diversity is essential for mission success. We as an army fight to ensure diverse, highly educated, and high quality human capitol. After all, the army is ALL ABOUT PEOPLE. The navy is about ships, the air force is about planes, but the army lives and dies based on the quality of its people.

Figure 1 Proportion of enlisted in each decile of zip code income.

Figure 2 Relationship between state income and state casualties.

Figure 3 Where military recruits come from (2007)

Some articles on how the army is targeting the impoverished.

Dumb and Dumber
The U.S. Army lowers recruitment standards … again.
By Fred Kaplan
January 24, 2008
Dumb and Dumber

The Poverty Draft
Do military recruiters disproportionately target communities of color and the poor?
By Jorge Mariscal
June 2007
Military Service Preys On Fragile Minds Of The Youth
Posted February 02 2011 at 9:37 pm | Updated February 4th, 2011 at 4:01 pm
By Camilla Chebet

Poor and Uneducated Like We Thought: Debunking The Military Debunkers
By Ted Rall
July 24, 2007
[11] http%3a//

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Jack East on 05/25/2012 at 11:55 AM

Re: “Another Obama Sellout

"Mark Zuckerberg is worth $45 billion."

No, after the IPO he was worth only $21 billion, and he lost about $2 billion of that today.

The real problem with your crocodile tears for the mistreated "home owners" is that you skip over one simple fact. These homeowners stopped paying their mortgages. There may have been some cutting of corners in dealing with the deluge of deadbeats, but I have not heard one of one single case where a paid up on time loan was illegally mishandled.

Most of the cases show simple greed and ignorance. Many of these folks bought way more house than could afford in the hope the real estate price run up would continue so they could sell quickly for a big profit.

Every government intervention has prolonged and worsened the problem.

Posted by seekandfind on 05/21/2012 at 9:52 PM

Re: “Cop Killing on the Rise

In response to publishing Ted Rall’s OPINION – Cop Killing On The Rise.
I would write Ted Rall, but I believe he is syndicated and not a local writer. So, I address this to those who chose to run such an irresponsible article.
In Volume 20, Issue 43, of the Boise Weekly, Ted Rall wrote, “Harsh sentencing laws are killing police officers” and he goes on to describe the motivation of the shooter. He wrote about a “three strikes” sentencing law policy, one that has not been adopted by the State of Idaho. He provides examples of people being in trouble for “third strike” offenses that, in his opinion, shouldn’t land them life in prison. I have some questions for Ted Rall, and the Boise Weekly staff who allowed this article to be published. What were the criminal’s first two offenses? Did they rape someone perhaps your daughter’s age? Did they “accidentally” kill someone your father’s age? Maybe they sodomized someone who looked like your brother. Or they beat someone up so bad, he or she wasn’t recognizable. What happened to telling the whole story? I encourage the staff at Boise Weekly to publish stories that might use some local examples, which means none of them would fit the “three strikes” policy to begin with.
Ted Rall’s argument is weak. He lists “low manpower due to budget cuts” as one reason for a spike in police officer killings. In the same sentence he lists “more aggressive patrolling of those areas…” More aggressive also means more police officers! Rall’s statistics are more than 15 years old. And one statistic, that three-strike laws “increase police murders by more than 40 percent” is 10 years old. How about publishing some recent statistics? Try starting your morning meeting by looking at this website (WWW.ODMP.ORG – Officer Down Memorial Page) every single day. Some police officers do just that. They want to know who died, and how, so they can learn from it and go home at night. So far, GUNFIRE is the leading cause of death in police officers killed in 2012 - Not sentencing laws!
Ted Rall then ends his article with a very irresponsible statement: Remember this article the next time you get pulled over. Ask yourself: How do I feel? Odds are, the answer will involve a mixture of fear and contempt. Then imagine what you’d do if you were one arrest away from life in prison – and you had a gun.
Is the Boise Weekly, by publishing this article, encouraging police killings? Are they supporting Rall’s suggestion that someone might have a better chance if they do kill a cop, since, after all, “it’s a free gamble.” Rall says, “tough sentencing laws provoke violent reactions.” This article will provoke violent reactions. A retraction needs to be issued.

8 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Debi on 04/19/2012 at 1:32 PM

Re: “Stripped Down

Taller is a chicken little. This article leads people to believe they will be strip searched when they're pulled over for speeding. Not the case. If I ever end up in jail by a mistake I would hate to be stabbed by a gangbanger punk who snuck a Sh iv into jail in his buttcrack

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by fishinmuscian on 04/18/2012 at 7:19 PM

Re: “Stripped Down

This is actually a Job Creating decision. More perverts will seek employment in Law Enforcement and more Porn Stars will be employed making Erotic Entertainment videos with a Strip Search theme.

Posted by Mick on 04/11/2012 at 7:38 AM

Re: “You're Underpaid

Ted really oughtta try WORKING for a living! He's way too detached from reality here.

"The solution is clear: to guarantee everyone, whether or not he or she holds a job, a minimum salary sufficient to cover housing, transportation, education, medical care and, yes, discretionary income."

Um, Ted... SOMEBODY has to do the work. My income is my incentive to work... I'm confessing it. The main reason I have a full-time job isn't for the good of society, or because I love what I do - it's because I've grown accustomed to the paycheck lifestyle.

If your Utopian Redistributors provide a paycheck that will cover all my needs, and a few of my wants, I'll be happy to sit home and watch soap operas and judge shows. Somebody else can do the heavy lifting! (I doubt it will be all those rich guys, if you take away all their money - both earned and inherited - to pass out evenly to everybody.)

Nobody takes this seriously, right?

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by bikeboy on 03/15/2012 at 12:39 PM

Re: “Share the Wealth

I agree. The Rich getting richer while the poor get poorer is unsustainable. Aristocrats and Serfs disguised as Free Market Capitalism is Feudalism never the less.

Posted by Mick on 02/29/2012 at 8:33 PM

Re: “Share the Wealth

I think your editorial is ignoring a lot of basic economics. Maybe you don't see any change in your life from Facebook, but I think there are a lot of people who would disagree with you. Facebook as a company is creating wealth - look at all the people who are working for it. Look at the new data centers which have been constructed because of it. These are both commonly accepted examples of wealth creation.

Did Steve Jobs create considerable wealth, wealth that didn't exist before? I think a lot of people would agree that he did, and that it wasn't a zero-sum game. His wealth creation increased the capitalization of the S&P500 - that's a fact.

There are probably some people who are overcompensated. But, for the most part, in a capitalistic society, what something or something is worth is exactly what someone is willing to pay for it in a transaction between two or more parties. It is not what someone simply says it is based on their opinion.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dave on 02/17/2012 at 5:24 PM

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