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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

Panorama: Poor America

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Zaune
 Post subject: Panorama: Poor America
PostPosted: 2012-02-15 10:31pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Posts: 3845
Location: In Transit
BBC iPlayer.

Started watching this, only made it through the first ten minutes. Newt Gingrich and that ignorant self-righteous prick from the Heritage Foundation were all I could stand. I mean for love of all that's holy, a credible candidate for President of the United States is talking about instilling "the habit of work" by reintroducing child labour? It's like real life has turned into "You're in an over-the-top parody of 80s Dystopian cyberpunk fiction (RAR)".
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Haruko
PostPosted: 2012-02-16 12:29am 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2005-03-12 05:14am
Posts: 1104
Location: California
Heh, I cannot download that video because I do not live in Britain. Instead, I live in the country it is about. Reminds me of when I tried to download an mp3 from a Britain-hosted website.
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Chirios
PostPosted: 2012-02-16 01:18am 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2010-07-09 12:27am
Posts: 502
Haruko wrote:
Heh, I cannot download that video because I do not live in Britain. Instead, I live in the country it is about. Reminds me of when I tried to download an mp3 from a Britain-hosted website.


Try bbc america. I think they have iplayer.
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madd0ct0r
PostPosted: 2012-02-16 01:22am 

Sith Devotee


Joined: 2008-03-14 07:47am
Posts: 3434
there you go.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXaJKeYGzDU

now, if someone could embed it?
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Dominus Atheos
PostPosted: 2012-02-16 02:06am 

Sith Devotee


Joined: 2005-09-15 09:41pm
Posts: 2927
Location: Portland, Oregon
Why are there so many people who don't get how to do that? It's just:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXaJKeYGzDU[/youtube]

The only trick is that it can't have anything after the ID number like &feature=related
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madd0ct0r
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 04:01am 

Sith Devotee


Joined: 2008-03-14 07:47am
Posts: 3434
Did anyone else actually watch this? it's pretty damning.
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Haruko
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 06:06am 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2005-03-12 05:14am
Posts: 1104
Location: California
OK, I am almost done with the documentary (only 30 minutes eh?) and none of this surprises me. The doc talks about Detroit. Well, that interests me because of the following I posted at my forum recently:

Quote:
Medora, post: 47006 wrote:
I live in San Bernardino, California.


From "Starving For Attention," a November, 2011, article for Inland Empire Weekly (Volume 6, Issue 32), a local paper:

Quote:
The latest round of data from the U.S. Census Bureau—taking into account the social service programs that will be facing draconian cuts from Congress over the Thanksgiving weekend—is harsh evidence that the future is about to get even more bleak for the have-nots of the San Bernardino Valley. Policymakers continue to ignore the plight of their constituents after years of high unemployment rates and a record number of foreclosures. The lines for essential social services at Mary's Mercy Table in downtown San Bernardino grows longer as hunger peaks and the last hope that remains fades.

"It has been a dubious distinction for San Bernardino to be ranked second in the nation in poverty," says Marlene Marrow, the public information specialist for the Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County (CAPSBC).... With a poverty rate that competes only with the 8-mile section of Detroit for being the worst in the nation...


There was an Occupy Wall Street rally near City Hall last week. I pass by City Hall frequently, and it is appropriate that that building is surrounded by banks.

I live in San Bernardino. I have seen the run down areas. I see homeless all the time. Even though I live in a part of the city (i.e., right next to highland, and the San Bernardino International Airport (which has been renovated but I am not sure will ever attract a carrier, by the way)) that has seen unusually high amount of development including three new schools, several corporate headquarters (including for Stater Bros) and a proposed "golden triangle" shopping center further east in the neighboring city of Highland that may be built in the foreseeable future, there is something disturbing to notice about this.

The development is centered around the airport. The rest of the development is centered in the affluent enclaves near the Big Bear mountainside, or to the north. Every night most of the lights are off. Even the elementary school lights are off. There are roads nearby so run down that all the "bandages" they placed on it has made it worse than a dirt road. I saw an entire neighborhood downtown boarded up next to a church (the only structure not run down) within a quarter mile.

Then I drive over to the rich enclaves here and I can drive for over a mile with a long stretch of street lights serving nobody. As in there is nobody there. Keep on going and you eventually reach some $500,000-$2,000,000 or so homes, but beside that and on the opposite end is nothing but desert. The traffic is very light and the population small and there are three lanes each side but you can bet your ass it is the best lit area in the city. Edit: Oh, by the way, construction crews recently added more pavement to that already wide and well maintained road. Thank God.

Hell, at one point I felt like sending a letter saying that I understand why run down areas should be deprived of all these street lights, but that I do not understand why they are built there when they are never used, and the money saved by not building them may allow more lit street lights in the affluent areas, and even more of those fancy flashing lights for crosswalks that are found all over the affluent areas, but only one of which I found in a run down area five minutes drive from the San Bernardino capitol.


_______



Ranting aside, Newt is a clown.
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Haruko
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 06:18am 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2005-03-12 05:14am
Posts: 1104
Location: California
Instead of "there is something disturbing to notice about this", I should have said "it is notably concentrated."

Also, wanted to add near the end: I can travel 15 minutes west from where I live (next to Highland) and it is like a short cut to the worst stretches in Detroit.
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Haruko
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 06:25am 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2005-03-12 05:14am
Posts: 1104
Location: California
Oh, and the documentary is wrong about the government not liking welfare, and preferring the market over a welfare state. The government is all about welfare. Just ask the banks. Also, how is Sr. Bush's beachside home doing since this (emphasis mine):

Politics professor Michael Palenti, Democracy For The Few (Seventh Edition; p. 103). Mr. Palenti cited the following: Los Angeles Times, 18 April, 1992 wrote:
Upper-income people who own beachfront homes receive federally subsidized insurance that leaves the government liable for billions of dollars in claims. One such beneficiary was multimillionaire ex-president George Bush, who regularly preached free-market self-reliance while benefiting from federal insurance that covered most of the $300,000 to $400,000 storm damage to his Maine estate.

That sounds unfair, but for all we know that property was then used to house homeless.

Let us play a game: Every time you hear the word subsidized or subsidy, replace it with a related word that the poor wish applied to them. Find out what that word is first, then find out another word they use when giving to businesses for extra credit (hint: it rhymes with "attentive").
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 08:05am 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2004-01-02 08:04pm
Posts: 21305
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
"What happened to President Obama's vision for America?" - nothing, you idiots. NONE of this started with Obama and there was no way in hell he could reverse the years of damage leading to what is seen in the video. The tent cities and homeless children were there before he took office. Yes, I, too, think he could have done more but I think this video tends to put more of the blame on him than is fair. There has a been a lot of systematic stonewalling in government on the part of the Republicans who are more interested in scoring political points than solving problems.

For me, at least, none of this is news. Hell, I even helped gather the Census data they quote. I suspect it is news to quite a few folks outside of the US, though.

It's not a matter of the poor being lazy - as I've mentioned elsewhere, three of my co-workers are currently homeless. Yep, work full time and still don't have a place to live, although that should change as they slowly accumulate sufficient funds for a security deposit on a rental place. The shop in Valpo has a refrigerator full of food and a shelf full of food purchased by the two homeless employees who live there, as they can't keep the food at the shelter without others stealing it. So they show up early, eat breakfast there, eat lunch there, and sometimes stay after hours to eat dinner.
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Thanas
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 09:27am 

Magister


Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm
Posts: 25301
Broomstick wrote:
"What happened to President Obama's vision for America?" - nothing, you idiots. NONE of this started with Obama and there was no way in hell he could reverse the years of damage leading to what is seen in the video. The tent cities and homeless children were there before he took office. Yes, I, too, think he could have done more but I think this video tends to put more of the blame on him than is fair. There has a been a lot of systematic stonewalling in government on the part of the Republicans who are more interested in scoring political points than solving problems.


I dunno, when you do not even try you deserve all the blame you get. And when politicians promise something and do not deliver on it, they also deserve the blame.
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 09:28am 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2004-01-02 08:04pm
Posts: 21305
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
You grossly underestimate just how obstructionist the conservatives are in this country.
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Thanas
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 09:35am 

Magister


Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm
Posts: 25301
Yes, I am sure the conservatives forced Obama to hire exclusively Goldmann Sachs advisors and forced him to propose only their stuff. How about you explain that?
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Thanas
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 09:55am 

Magister


Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm
Posts: 25301
I have just viewed the entire documentary and it is very fair and balanced. Typical European media, I would think and high quality reporting. The fact that somebody like Broomstick thinks it is an attack against Obama is pretty enlightening as to how coddling US media is. (One could almost see the same in the questions asked to the politicians. These guys were not accustomed to it).
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Serafina
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 11:55am 

Sith Acolyte


Joined: 2009-01-07 06:37pm
Posts: 5216
Location: Germany
Really, the question "what happened to President Obamas America" is just an introduction to showing what happened to America in the last years. It's hardly a "lol look at that buffoon screw up"-thing.

As Thanas said, pretty typical for European media and hardly an all-out attack against Obama.
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Darth Wong
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 12:51pm 

Sith Lord


Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Posts: 70016
Location: Toronto, Canada
Thanas wrote:
Yes, I am sure the conservatives forced Obama to hire exclusively Goldmann Sachs advisors and forced him to propose only their stuff. How about you explain that?

Obama has technocrat leanings but not technocrat skills (he's a lawyer, not an economist or scientist), so he relies upon people who are perceived to have the most qualifications. In other words, he was tricked by a bunch of very smart and well-connected people into thinking that only they could understand the system and solve the problem.

I don't believe he's a conservative in disguise, but I do think he got hoodwinked early in his presidency by some clever conservatives who outsmarted him.

And then there's the national security issues, where I think he's just reflecting the prevailing attitude of the voters. He did propose shutting down Guantanamo early on, and there was a huge backlash over the idea once Americans realized they would have to actually bring those prisoners onto American soil and give them proper trials. Ultimately, I still blame the voters for most of the problems.
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Civil War Man
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 02:34pm 

NERRRRRDS!!!


Joined: 2005-01-28 04:54am
Posts: 3006
Serafina wrote:
Really, the question "what happened to President Obamas America" is just an introduction to showing what happened to America in the last years. It's hardly a "lol look at that buffoon screw up"-thing.

As Thanas said, pretty typical for European media and hardly an all-out attack against Obama.


Pretty much this. The closest it really comes to blaming any of it on Obama is saying that he could have done more, but missed his opportunity because of his focus on trying to compromise and build consensus. More of the blame is put on political opposition blocking any changes, watering them down, drawing them out so most of it gets implemented years down the road, or actively dismantling any changes that have been made.

I mean, just look at the sections where you have a Heritage Foundation stooge claiming with a straight face that no American child ever goes hungry right after we hear a kid talk about how her family was forced to eat rats one night because they couldn't afford food. Or being shown wide shots of boarded up police stations and elementary schools while the Michigan LG claims that the economy will turn around if we just continue to cut funding to institutions that already can't afford to even maintain their existing facilities or pay their employees.
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Zaune
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 04:17pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Posts: 3845
Location: In Transit
Not to put too fine a point on it, but a President who's granted himself the power to order US citizens extra-judicially executed by Predator drone strike on whatever dubious "national security" grounds he cares to claim has no excuse for complaining that he's being obstructed from acting on his manifesto pledges by the conservatives in his own party. Especially when they threatend to totally destroy the US economy and political system one of the few times he showed any inclination to stand up to them!
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Chirios
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 04:42pm 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2010-07-09 12:27am
Posts: 502
Re: The guy who had a hernia for 10 years.

Something I don't understand about his medical bill: $20000 seems ridiculously high. Is it the same price in the UK? Is it just that the costs of those kinds of operations are spread out across the entire country so it ends up being affordable; or are the hospitals charging more than the actual cost of the operation to make a profit?
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Dominus Atheos
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 04:43pm 

Sith Devotee


Joined: 2005-09-15 09:41pm
Posts: 2927
Location: Portland, Oregon
Darth Wong wrote:
Thanas wrote:
Yes, I am sure the conservatives forced Obama to hire exclusively Goldmann Sachs advisors and forced him to propose only their stuff. How about you explain that?

Obama has technocrat leanings but not technocrat skills (he's a lawyer, not an economist or scientist), so he relies upon people who are perceived to have the most qualifications. In other words, he was tricked by a bunch of very smart and well-connected people into thinking that only they could understand the system and solve the problem.

I don't believe he's a conservative in disguise, but I do think he got hoodwinked early in his presidency by some clever conservatives who outsmarted him.


No one is saying he's actually Rick Santorum in blackface, but he does have right-wing national security views and right-leaning economic views while being at best centrist on social issues. And don't say he was "hoodwinked" by "clever" conservatives, say what actually happened: he's a complete moron when it comes to economic issues and hired the people everyone said were good at their jobs despite the fact that people only said that before they crashed our economy.

If he were actually competent he would have fired those guys after so many instances of them being completely wrong about everything they say.
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Zaune
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 05:31pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Posts: 3845
Location: In Transit
Chirios wrote:
Re: The guy who had a hernia for 10 years.

Something I don't understand about his medical bill: $20000 seems ridiculously high. Is it the same price in the UK? Is it just that the costs of those kinds of operations are spread out across the entire country so it ends up being affordable; or are the hospitals charging more than the actual cost of the operation to make a profit?

Probably some of both, plus the fact that if he'd had access to proper medical care at a reasonable rate then he might have had corrective surgery at an early stage when the damage was more easily repaired.
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Terralthra
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 05:37pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2007-10-05 09:55pm
Posts: 3649
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Darth Wong wrote:
Obama has technocrat leanings but not technocrat skills (he's a lawyer, not an economist or scientist), so he relies upon people who are perceived to have the most qualifications. In other words, he was tricked by a bunch of very smart and well-connected people into thinking that only they could understand the system and solve the problem.

I don't believe he's a conservative in disguise, but I do think he got hoodwinked early in his presidency by some clever conservatives who outsmarted him.

And then there's the national security issues, where I think he's just reflecting the prevailing attitude of the voters. He did propose shutting down Guantanamo early on, and there was a huge backlash over the idea once Americans realized they would have to actually bring those prisoners onto American soil and give them proper trials. Ultimately, I still blame the voters for most of the problems.


One of my favorite articulators of science, Neil deGrasse Tyson, had this to say about the idea of Presidents fixing things and where fault can be laid:
The question, “If I were President I’d…” implies that if you swap out one leader, put in another, then all will be well with America—as though our leaders are the cause of all ailments.

That must be why we’ve created a tradition of rampant attacks on our politicians. Are they too conservative for you? Too liberal? Too religious? Too atheist? Too gay? Too anti-gay? Too rich? Too dumb? Too smart? Too ethnic? Too philanderous? Curious behavior, given that we elect 88% of Congress every two years.

A second tradition-in-progress is the expectation that everyone else in our culturally pluralistic land should hold exactly your own outlook, on all issues.

When you’re scientifically literate, the world looks different to you. It’s a particular way of questioning what you see and hear. When empowered by this state of mind, objective realities matter. These are the truths of the world that exist outside of whatever your belief system tells you.

One objective reality is that our government doesn’t work, not because we have dysfunctional politicians, but because we have dysfunctional voters. As a scientist and educator, my goal, then, is not to become President and lead a dysfunctional electorate, but to enlighten the electorate so they might choose the right leaders in the first place.
emphasis mine
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Darth Wong
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 05:54pm 

Sith Lord


Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Posts: 70016
Location: Toronto, Canada
D.A., I don't know how many times I have to point out that he never painted himself as a leftist in the first place, and that a real leftist would never get elected in your country.
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Darth Wong
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 05:58pm 

Sith Lord


Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Posts: 70016
Location: Toronto, Canada
Terralthra wrote:
One of my favorite articulators of science, Neil deGrasse Tyson, had this to say about the idea of Presidents fixing things and where fault can be laid:
The question, “If I were President I’d…” implies that if you swap out one leader, put in another, then all will be well with America—as though our leaders are the cause of all ailments.

That must be why we’ve created a tradition of rampant attacks on our politicians. Are they too conservative for you? Too liberal? Too religious? Too atheist? Too gay? Too anti-gay? Too rich? Too dumb? Too smart? Too ethnic? Too philanderous? Curious behavior, given that we elect 88% of Congress every two years.

A second tradition-in-progress is the expectation that everyone else in our culturally pluralistic land should hold exactly your own outlook, on all issues.

When you’re scientifically literate, the world looks different to you. It’s a particular way of questioning what you see and hear. When empowered by this state of mind, objective realities matter. These are the truths of the world that exist outside of whatever your belief system tells you.

One objective reality is that our government doesn’t work, not because we have dysfunctional politicians, but because we have dysfunctional voters. As a scientist and educator, my goal, then, is not to become President and lead a dysfunctional electorate, but to enlighten the electorate so they might choose the right leaders in the first place.
emphasis mine

I like Neil D Tyson, but I think it's totally unrealistic to expect that the average person could be enlightened in this manner. The average person is stupid: this is something that someone like Dr. Tyson, with his high intellect and high-IQ peer group, might have trouble recognizing.

It would be nice if stupid people at least realized that they don't understand these issues. But the constant drumbeat of anti-intellectual rhetoric in the US makes that impossible. People love the idea that "common sense" trumps specialized experts.
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Dominus Atheos
PostPosted: 2012-02-17 06:03pm 

Sith Devotee


Joined: 2005-09-15 09:41pm
Posts: 2927
Location: Portland, Oregon
Darth Wong wrote:
D.A., I don't know how many times I have to point out that he never painted himself as a leftist in the first place, and that a real leftist would never get elected in your country.


Non sequitur much? When did my post say I thought he ran as a leftist?
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