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01-30-2010, 09:24 PM   #1
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Left Behind...The Series....

I know most everyone is familiar with the Left Behind Series, and while I may have an opinion, it is not as relevant as the new Left Behind Series I have been noticing for some time now. This is the latest example of how America has fallen behind in technology and innovation in the past decade...
NYT: China leads global race for clean energy - The New York Times- msnbc.com

From clothing and other textiles to high tech appliances and autos, America is being "Left Behind". Investors are not investing here, for various reasons, including unbearable regulations and the high cost of labor and benefits...yes, including Healthcare. Whatever you want to add...high taxes and government interference, are most likely a part of the problem too. A large supply of unskilled labor and technically unqualified and uneducated workers is yet another reason. However you cut it, it spells disaster for the coming generation. Your thoughts always welcome....read the article first, it is quite interesting.
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01-30-2010, 09:47 PM   #2
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A quote I once heard and still remember to this day: 'America used to be the workshop to the world. Now we're content to sell insurance to one another.'

Larry
01-30-2010, 10:12 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by larryinlc Quote
A quote I once heard and still remember to this day: 'America used to be the workshop to the world. Now we're content to sell insurance to one another.'

Larry
I haven't heard that in a long time, but it is more true now than ever. Whatever went wrong, went really wrong. My Grandchildren will have to work very hard to get were I got in the coming America. It saddens me, because I was once a part of a different kind of "spirit"..one that felt no limitations on what could be achieved by Americans. Now we seem to be defeated and huddled in a corner accepting our fate as second class in the world. No more "man on the moon" adventures that inspired the world and ignited a new fury of innovations. Is it all over? Are we the new British Empire, just a memory of a great past....?
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01-31-2010, 08:10 AM   #4
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Unfortunately, now the "American dream" is just that, a dream.

01-31-2010, 08:52 AM   #5
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Unfortunately, it is not just technology and trade that are being left behind in America, military might is also becoming threatened.
China?s strident tone raises concerns in West - Washington Post- msnbc.com

While I think the Chinese people are good and hard working people, with hopes for a better life and a wealth of family values, some much better than ours.....I fear their government does not share their interests.
Regrds!
01-31-2010, 09:09 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
Unfortunately, now the "American dream" is just that, a dream.
I don't buy *that,* Flyer: it's just time for some more-lucid dreaming.

What I think a lot of Americans are going to find out is that some decades of anti-intellectualism and profiteering have had a cost.

We're finding out just how much *opposition* there is from a powerful few and their followers, against the idea we voted for in the last election: actually doing what it takes to manifest those dreams... And how many that powerful few are willing to hurt and frighten to keep on top of a heap that's kind of, err, sinking from the middle and bottom. How much they've been stacking the deck against our real dreams all along, and offering only scapegoats and fears.

It's still possible to take this chance to *build something.* Even if the previous decade has really left us with the effects of Republican 'scorched Earth' policies in more senses than one. We've still got a perfectly-good country, here. But to have the employment and security we want, we've got to in fact get back to producing something real, as opposed to numbers and 'finance products' and being basically distributors and salesclerks for cheap stuff from overseas.

The whole 'Green Jobs' thing is really something that people don't understand the potential depth and good of, .... We do have the tech, it's not too late to revive our manufacturing and agricultural knowhow and education, and we are *not* a poor nation, ...the capital exists, it's just in the hands of corporations who think for nothing but their balance sheets. But they're gonna run out of boom and bust cycles to take a big cut off the top of every time, if they don't stop thinking so short-term and selfish.


Frankly, a lot of our 'dirtiest' stuff has already been dismantled, ...sent overseas where it still pollutes, but doesn't employ. factories still there, though. We could take the opportunity to reorganize some of this stuff... tend to a whole lot of neglected infrastructure, promote smaller and more local business, start exporting some more sustainable stuff and practices to a world that's going to find it no less short on an energy supply than we could find ourselves.

We still *can* take a dream and give it substance.

Will we? It seems some are still obsessed with going *back* to what got us in this mess in the first place. Even just as consumers, we still harness phenomenal energies every day, the only thing is the big money and big religion and, increasingly, big media, just have us paying them to drive (and talk) around in circles with it.

Frankly, they try to do this by selling us a *nightmare* Of decline, of the 'end of the world' of 'culture war,' of 'enemies.' Keep us scared to change and adapt. Even if it means trying to stay in a dream gone wrong.

Time for some lucid dreaming.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 01-31-2010 at 09:14 AM.
01-31-2010, 09:44 AM   #7
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Ratlady, I thank you for some reasonable commentary, and applaud your optimism. I want to share your hope, but I will have to see more than I am seeing now before I can get excited like I was fifty years ago.

Instead of seeing billions go in the bonus packs of Fat Cats and Wall Street speculators, I would love to see our Pres announce the immediate construction of 25 new nuclear plants across America, and the use of a million acres of Fed land for Solar...beginning tomorrow morning at 7AM. Instead I see the same old game being played that caused us to crash last year.....you do know the next crash is coming...and it will be Huge. So while I agree, it can be turned around, I don't agree that it will be...not from what I see currently.
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01-31-2010, 10:13 AM   #8
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The idea of hope, that we can change, that we *can do* and in fact the very idea of *leadership* was the first thing the Righties attacked.

Stopped anything from happening, saying, "Too much, too fast, leadership is scary, he's Stalin," appealing to fear, predjudice, and xenophobia, calling it 'Values,' and then, when, mysteriously, not much got *done,* now claim there is some kind of ideological mandate in their favor about people being angry at the Dems for 'not getting 'er done.'

Optimism? I suppose that'd actually mean I think anyone was willing to *get together, sit down, discuss what we actually *want* out of life and this nation, and stop treating *every single thing* like an ideological tug-of-war, totally-dismembered from any kind of vision, big picture, or ...thoughtful dream.

All this stuff *is* connected, more than just being a big pile. Bigotry against folks like *me,* for instance, not only harms the economy, *actual* families, not to mention human civility, and 'Liberty and justice For All,' ...but it also is a primary wedge issue used to elect a lot of these SOBs who've left us with the effects of decades of misrule. It's certainly no fun to *be* the wedge, cause people hammer at you all the time, but it also means the *progressive* stuff you like doesn't happen... And also, the Republicans lose much chance of changing anything cause those threatened and harmed by bigotry are a) stuck with almost whatever the Democrats give us and b) Aren't going to start liking Republicans any time soon.

The financial crisis and housing bubble are not separate from real wages for the workers, real wages for the workers and the employment rate are not separate from the health care profiteering, which is not separate from the depressed local economies and deteriorating local revenue bases and trade deficits, which are not separate from the federal budget deficits which are not separate from the tax rates and corporate handouts which are not separate from campaign finance reform which is not separate from the ecological crisis which is not separate from farm subsidies, which are not separate from trade policies which are not separate from over-reliance on consumer spending which is not separate from the financial crisis.

Lather, rinse, repeat. The solutions aren't in more business-as-was-usual. We have an opportunity to start working our way out of this stuff, though. The advantage is that good stuff snowballs, too. Most of the parts are already there, some of them neglected. Gonna take some good dreams.


Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 01-31-2010 at 10:40 AM.
01-31-2010, 10:39 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
The idea of hope, that we can change, that we *can do* and in fact the very idea of *leadership* was the first thing the Righties attacked.

Stopped anything from happening, saying, "Too much, too fast, leadership is scary, he's Stalin," appealing to fear, predjudice, and xenophobia, calling it 'Values,' and then, when, mysteriously, not much got *done,* now claim there is some kind of ideological mandate in their favor about people being angry at the Dems for 'not getting 'er done.'

I partly agree, the right has been in a rage ever since a Black man defiled their sacred Whitehouse, but there is no shortage of left wing agenda that is directed not for the benefit of America, but for the control of power and money for their own benefit. Left or right, it is always about the good of the elite first....always. America and its citizens are always on the rear burner...set at the lowest setting. You see any hope for change there?
Regards
01-31-2010, 10:56 AM   #10
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QuoteQuote:
I would love to see our Pres announce the immediate construction of 25 new nuclear plants across America
seriously? how about just one, next door? hey, if the waste problem wasn't unsolved, and ionizing radiation could be completely contained, i'd be all for it. (don't hold your breath!)

offshore drilling? "invisible" new technology: 5000 square miles of underwater wells piped to a single platform (40 mile radius, pi x 40mi^2 = 5027mi^2). one earthquake = one big mess.

cover the ground with solar panels? what is the effect of shading so much ground?

what is the effect of rising energy costs on a system dependent on low cost energy? why I can't get local goods for a reasonable price because they get sold to people farther away willing to pay more?

rant throttled here...
01-31-2010, 11:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rhodopsin Quote
seriously? how about just one, next door? hey, if the waste problem wasn't unsolved, and ionizing radiation could be completely contained, i'd be all for it. (don't hold your breath!)
Nuclear power's potentially a useful tool, though after big Energy said, "This is better than alternative energy, efficiency, or conservation, don't do those, pay us billions to make these things, as taxpayers and ratepayers," ... they ended up shutting a lot of them down as less-profitable than the fossil fuels, anyway.

And it's actually quite energy-intensive and environmentally-devastating to *get* the fuel... (out of the ground, anyway) And of course there's the waste no one wants. That said, responsible application of it can buy some time on the energy-supply and climate change fronts: they're actually working on some better stuff over in Europe at least.

It's just no substitute for the basics. A lot of our poorly-insulated houses are polluting and costing more than our cars: that's before the habits of waste and power-hungriness are taken into consideration. There's a great diversity of alternative resources out there. It's our habit of looking for a single magic-technological bullet that tends to pile up the huge waste and result in ...Being almost solely-dependent on single sources.


QuoteQuote:
cover the ground with solar panels? what is the effect of shading so much ground?
We already cover a whole lot of ground, ...with buildings and roofs and agricultural crops and roads and ....you name it. It's just not harnessing the energy except to heat the air above it, and increase AC bills in the summer.

We've already got a lot of practical photovoltaic tech... Germany's buying it as fast as we can make it. Government investment in expanding production would hardly be misplaced. And making that and other technologies cheaper and more efficient and cleaner to make would actually be a real kickstart. Don't expect we'll be driving on solar cells of that sort any time soon, but pretty much everyone needs a new roof some time. And the home renovation sector here actually has a lot of un and underemployed labor right about now.

Meanwhile, less of people's monthly wealth goes into utilities, which means they can afford more efficiency and get their local economies going the more....

This is the kind of thing where getting *out* of the defeatist "Private profit or nothing, give banks money for 'enterprise' which they won't invest... No we can't, no we won't, this isn't happening, but if it is, it's not our fault, which somehow makes doing nothing about it mandatory..." attitude.... Can start having *positive* knock-on effects.



QuoteQuote:
what is the effect of rising energy costs on a system dependent on low cost energy? why I can't get local goods for a reasonable price because they get sold to people farther away willing to pay more?
When the cost of energy goes up and you don't have the local economic produce, the cost of *everything* goes up.

Sure, trade between communities is great/essential, too, but if none of them have any resilience, leaning entirely on needing lots of cheap energy in forms that won't last, ... they can't buy as much of each others' stuff, either.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 01-31-2010 at 11:49 AM.
01-31-2010, 11:52 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rhodopsin Quote
seriously? how about just one, next door? hey, if the waste problem wasn't unsolved, and ionizing radiation could be completely contained, i'd be all for it. (don't hold your breath!)

offshore drilling? "invisible" new technology: 5000 square miles of underwater wells piped to a single platform (40 mile radius, pi x 40mi^2 = 5027mi^2). one earthquake = one big mess.

cover the ground with solar panels? what is the effect of shading so much ground?

what is the effect of rising energy costs on a system dependent on low cost energy? why I can't get local goods for a reasonable price because they get sold to people farther away willing to pay more?

rant throttled here...
There you have it, folks. A perfect example of the thinking that makes us have to fight the Arabs over oil instead of being able to tell OPEC and Hugo Chavez to go to hell.

Last edited by Parallax; 01-31-2010 at 12:20 PM.
01-31-2010, 12:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
There you have it, folks. A perfect example of the thinking that makes us have to fight the Arabs over oil instead of being able to tell OPEC and Hugo Chavez to go to hell.

Bingo! We are in total agreement! Lets cash in our Bingo Cards and see how much we won! LOL! This may not happen again for a while......enjoy!
Regards!
01-31-2010, 12:48 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
There you have it, folks. A perfect example of the thinking that makes us have to fight the Arabs over oil instead of being able to tell OPEC and Hugo Chavez to go to hell.
We're in danger of seeming to agree twice in one day, but I suspect that Rhodopsin was merely expressing frustration at the situation as he perceives it, rather than advocating it.
01-31-2010, 12:54 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
Bingo! We are in total agreement! Lets cash in our Bingo Cards and see how much we won! LOL! This may not happen again for a while......enjoy!
Regards!
QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
We're in danger of seeming to agree twice in one day, but I suspect that Rhodopsin was merely expressing frustration at the situation as he perceives it, rather than advocating it.
O.K., now you guys are scaring me! Rupert, RML, and I all agreeing on something. That has to be the 8th sign of the apocalypse!
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