Guest

Eight False Things The Public “Knows” Prior To Election Day

By Dave Johnson at Campaign for America’s Future

There are a number things the public “knows” as we head into the election that are just false. If people elect leaders based on false information, the things those leaders do in office will not be what the public expects or needs.

Here are eight of the biggest myths that are out there:

1) President Obama tripled the deficit.

Reality: Bush’s last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama’s first budget reduced that to $1.29 trillion.

2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.

Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the “stimulus” was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.

3) President Obama bailed out the banks.

Reality: While many people conflate the “stimulus” with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be “non-reviewable by any court or any agency.”) The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.

4) The stimulus didn’t work.

Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.

5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.

Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.

6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.

Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.

7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is “going broke,” people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.

Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.

8) Government spending takes money out of the economy.

Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on “welfare” and “foreign aid” when that is only a small part of the government’s budget.

This stuff really matters.

If the public votes in a new Congress because a majority of voters think this one tripled the deficit, and as a result the new people follow the policies that actually tripled the deficit, the country could go broke.

If the public votes in a new Congress that rejects the idea of helping to create demand in the economy because they think it didn’t work, then the new Congress could do things that cause a depression.

If the public votes in a new Congress because they think the health care reform will increase the deficit when it is actually projected to reduce the deficit, then the new Congress could repeal health care reform and thereby make the deficit worse. And on it goes.

Airport Expansion Research Links

photo by D Wray

Vance Brand Airport, Longmont, CO

Reproduced from the CARE website due to repeated pseudonymous claims that CARE is ‘distorting’ the facts. I’ve read many of these and they’re quite definite. Other communities have gone this route and airport expansion is not the great boon that its proponents claim it will be. Longmont citizens are encouraged to educate themselves. There are private monetary interests at work and in my opinion, it is they, not CARE who are distorting the facts. –frl

Note:  The studies referenced below collected data AFTER airport and runway expansion.  These are not studies that predict outcomes but analyze the outcomes of expansion.  Some of the studies point out that predicted benefit outcomes of airport expansion fell short of expectations and costs of expansion (enviromental impact, noise, negative economic impact, etc.) where higher than predicted.

NOISE
FAA Aircraft Noise Levels
http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/aep/noise_levels/

Effects of Aircraft Noise on Housing Values.  Commissioned by FAA.  Extensive bibliography.
http://airportnoiselaw.org/propval.html

Health problems in children resulting from chronic airport noise.  Cornell University.
http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/March98/noise.stress.ssl.html

Children living near airports lagged hehind in reading skills.  The Lancet , British Medical Journal (2005)
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673605666603/abstract

Children in noise impact zones are negatively affected by aircraft.  Fican Report
http://www.fican.org/pdf/FICAN_Findings_on_school_study.pdf

A link between chronic noise exposure and lower academic achievement in reading skills.  Cornell University
http://robbinsville.freeservers.com/cornell.htm

NOISE COMPLAINTS TO FAA
To report a violation the concerned citizen should contact the Flight Standards Offices (303) 342-1170 with any information they have on the plane (color, number on tail, one/two engines, time of day).

THE 5 LINKS BELOW WILL TAKE YOU TO ARTICLES ON FAILED OR FAILING RUNWAY EXTENSION PROPOSALS AT SMALLER AIRPORTS.   REASONS INCLUDE:   ENVIRONMENTAL/NOISE, INACCURATE DATA PROVIDED BY CITY, TAX PAYER REVOLT, AND-BELIEVE IT OR NOT- THE EXTENSION WOULD ACTUALLY REDUCE SAFETY.  SOUND FAMILIAR?  LINK AND READ.

FAA rejects West Bend, WI runway extension.  Environment and inaccurate flight data provided by city.
http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/51411037.html

FAA rejects Blue Earth, MN runway extension.  Taxpayer revolt, environmental issues.
http://freedomfoundationofminnesota.com/small-airports-big-plans-grounded-by-faa-following-taxpayer-turbulence

Kodiak , AK  Advisory Board unamiously rejects runway extension.  Environmental Impact.  Citizen protests.
http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com/?pid=19&id=7598

Ann Arbor, MI.  Township rejects runway extension.  Extension would reduce safety. Misleading city data.
http://www.annarbor.com/news/residents-applaud-pittsfield-townships-opposition-to-ann-arbor-municipal-airport-runway-expansion/

Madison County, AL.  FAA stops extension.  Environmental impact.  Citizen protest.
http://blog.al.com/breaking/2010/02/faa_puts_runway_extension_on_h.html

IMPACT ON PROPERTY VALUES
Just the announcement of an airport expansion reduces property values.
http://libres.uncg.edu/ir/listing.aspx?id=2158

The negative impact of airport expansions on property values.  Note conclusion statement.
http://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/review/03/05/Cohen_Coughlin.pdf

CITY COUNCIL
http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/city_council/index.htm

AIRPORT MASTER PLAN INFORMATION
http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/

LONGMONT AIRPORT INFLUENCE ZONE MAP
http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/planning/maps/documents/airport.pdf

LONGMONT AIRPORT-VANCE BRAND
http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/airport/index.htm

AIRPORT ADVISORY BOARD
http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/boards/directory/airport.htm

Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now! returns to Boulder

Friday November 5th 2010 7pm

Unity Church 2855 Folsom St Boulder

Buy tickets here

Amy Goodman, award-winning host of the daily, internationally broadcast radio and television program Democracy Now! returns to Boulder to give a benefit talk for KGNU Community Radio & Fraser Valley Community Media. Goodman is an award-winning investigative journalist, columnist for King Features Syndicate, author and the host/executive producer of Democracy Now! airing on nearly 900 stations worldwide.

Goodman is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.” Goodman is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, most recently, Breaking the Sound Barrier, and three co-written with her brother, journalist David Goodman: Standing Up to the Madness, Static, and The Exception to the Rulers.

This event is a fundraiser for KGNU Community Radio 88.5FM & 1390AM and Fraser Valley Community Media. KGNU has been on air the air for 33rd years, serving Boulder, Denver and beyond with independent news & eclectic music. Fraser Valley Community Media is in the process of building a new, full-power, noncommercial community radio station in the Fraser Valley located in Grand County CO . More information is available online at www. frasermedia.org

Tickets are $10 for KGNU Listener Members and $15 for the General Public. A limited number of tickets are available at $120 for a private reception with Ms Goodman. KGNU broadcasts Democracy Now! Weekdays at 7am and again at 3:30pm. Tickets are for sale in advance by calling 303-449-4885 during business hours.

Democracy vs Materialism

Might makes right? Sure, as long as it also makes a profit.

The United States was forged as a revolutionary concept: Government would be determined by the will of the people, not by a royal bloodline. But America also had a parallel heritage of brute conquest, fulfilling its “manifest destiny” by attacking anybody that got in its way and decimating the Native American population in the process.

And when we drove inexorably across the continent, we abused, for example, Chinese laborers to build a transcontinental railroad that linked Atlantic Ocean America to Pacific Ocean America – and everything in between.

Until the Civil War, southerners and northerners (who used the raw materials from the slave states in industry) benefited from labor done by men and women whose lives were owned by others.

This history of “winning” by sheer power of will and fortitude has constantly been at odds with the spirit of a democracy that embraces diversity and peace. Today, in 2010, we are still seeing these two intertwined historical trends at odds, with the “manifest destiny” advocates once again holding the upper hand in defining our national debate.

Now we battle in far off wars, with military bases around the world, more for ensuring our comfort and national resources than for the protection of liberty. Material well-being has superseded our revolutionary principles of democracy.

I recently read that “advocates of manifest destiny were citing ‘Divine Providence’ for justification of actions that were motivated by chauvinism and self-interest.” Sound familiar?

And for that selfish indulgence, our Constitutional rights and privileges pay a dear price.

Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

Tea Partiers = American Taliban

Hat tip to Say It Ain’t So Already

Tom Ross, Delaware GOP Chair, Threatened with “Bullet in the Head:

The chairman of the Delaware Republican Party received a death threat last week over his support for Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del) over Tea Party challenger Christine O’Donnell…

The threat, issued in the form of an email, told chairman Tom Ross that he deserves “a bullet in the head” for backing “political ass-kissing RINO’s”…

The Taliban assassinates people in Afghanistan if they don’t toe the party line.  Tea Partiers are heading down that road here.


Fascinating!

So that love affair the far right politicians have with the gun nuts may not be such a great thing after all… especially when they’re violent, unprincipled thugs. How’s that ‘freedom to bear arms’ workin for ya? Not so good it appears.

It’s about doing what’s best on the issues.

The following are excerpts from an article of the same title by Laurence Lewis that appeared in the September 12th edition of Daily Kos . The excerpts have been rearranged for the sake of brevity. The full article can be read here.

Elections almost always turn on the economy. People who have lost their jobs, who fear losing their jobs, who have lost their mortgages, or who fear losing their mortgages mostly aren’t paying attention to the nuances of political dialogue, they are paying attention to their own lives. It may be that many of them are now beyond the reach of political dialogue, but that doesn’t mean that reaching them shouldn’t remain this election year’s primary goal.

The polls show a potentially devastating enthusiasm gap…For the most part, it’s about the economy. Health care and war and human and civil rights and the environment matter a lot to a lot of Democrats, but elections almost always turn on the economy. That turning almost always is based on present economic conditions, not on how those conditions came to be.

Progress doesn’t happen all at once, and it never ever ends. The forces of regression always will be there trying to undermine it, and new progressive needs will continue to reveal themselves. And it is incumbent upon all who care about progress to stay focused on progress, no matter the politics, and no matter the politicians. None of this should need to be said. Criticism of inadequate progress should not be taken as an excuse for apathy or nihilism, and neither should it be confused with despair. We survived Joe McCarthy and Nixon and Reagan and a double dose of Bushes, and every great progressive president has been deeply, profoundly flawed. If you’re looking for idealized heroes, read old comic books. If you’re engaged in politics then you should understand that every politician is a flawed human being. Anyone who despairs at recognizing such isn’t recognizing politics for what it is.

The irony of the enthusiasm gap is that it is most likely to cost us the House. If you or anyone you know is even thinking of not voting this November because of the failure of the administration or the Congress to enact a more liberal or progressive agenda, then know that not voting will contribute to a less liberal or progressive agenda going forward.

The House is the best we have. Speaker Pelosi is the most progressive leader we have. Punishing the House because you’re upset with the White House or the Senate smacks of petulance. Punishing everyone because our elected leaders aren’t doing a good enough job of leading smacks of something worse. Do you care about the issues? Will not voting help with the issues? Those that reflexively defend anything and everything the White House does or does not do are not focused on the issues, but neither are those that will walk away because they’re not getting their way.

Those that care first and foremost about the issues never will give up. They never will give in to despair. They never will pretend things are better than they are, but neither will they ever stop trying to make things better. Forget about the politicians and the politics and ask yourself if you care about the issues. If you do, you never will stop trying to work the politicians and the politics to do better jobs on the issues. And that does mean voting, even if that means holding your nose while doing so. It also means encouraging others to vote.

If you care about the issues,…you only need to be honest with yourself about how to make progress on the issues. Incremental progress is not enough, but it is better than no progress or reversals of progress. If you care about the issues, inspiration doesn’t come from without, it comes from within.

What if ancestors had a better grasp of the natural world?

Science, not faith, determines how the real world operates” by Richard Juday is a letter to the editor that ran only in the print version of the Times-Call and is reproduced at FRL with Mr. Juday’s permission. – FRL

Letter to the editor of the Times Call from Peter Gifford reproduced by permission of the author.

Hunter gatherers

Would society be different if they understood the physical world more?

Richard Juday’s piece and its responses bring to mind a question I’ve asked myself: If I alone could go back in time — only once — and do anything I wanted, what would I do?

I could put myself just outside the door of Jesus’ tomb when the stone was moved, clarify the Second Amendment, kill Hitler, establish Israel in a way that didn’t enrage Muslims, prevent JFK’s assassination or stop the 9/11 attacks.

But I always return to this: I would somehow convince prehistoric humankind that the sun, moon, stars, weather, seasons, beasts, trees, mountains, rivers, oceans, even earthquakes and volcanos, are all natural phenomena and not caused by spirits.

Would we still have religion today? Almost certainly, in some form. It seems like the human genome includes an indelible sequence for self doubt. Many of us would still be unable to cope, just among each other, with random misfortune and disaster, evil in others, our own personal failings, the world’s ills, being the highest known form of life or the age-old question “why am I here?” They’d need something more.

Would we still have nations and wars? Probably, but perhaps only for land, water and riches, without crusades, inquisitions, genocide or jihad. Would we still have rich and poor, vice and virtue, crime and punishment? Undoubtedly, but perhaps without so much arrogance, prejudice and intolerance.

Would we still have wondrous art, music, science and charity? Absolutely. Innate human talent, genius and altruism will always insist on expressing itself, like a weed breaking through concrete, religion notwithstanding.

But if our prehistoric ancestors had devised an explanation for their world that relied on even an inkling of actual nature, rather than the metaphysical, we’d all be a whole lot better off today.

Peter Gifford
Longmont

Science, not faith, determines how the real world operates

Composite by Doug WrayRecently, Leif Bilen wrote about a purported anti-Christian bias in the media. I’ll respond as a scientist and technologist.

Briefly: I am a realist in the sense that I am more likely to believe what’s observable and non-miraculous than the contrary. I have problems with some of Christianity’s influence on our society, and I think it healthy for the media to examine its role. We should found our society on what works within our psychology, our economy on what is useful and sells and our science on what is demonstrably true.

I’ll focus on tax exemption, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), evolution, intolerance, freedom of religion – well, OK, that’s not very focused. But I’ll try to make this locally significant and practical.

I don’t mind anyone’s religious view differing from mine so long as it remains private, I don’t have to support it and it does not work against social benefit. But I do object to being required to support others’ religious beliefs – especially those professing demonstrably false “facts” and influencing our kids.

Abuses of religious tolerance abound in our society. To gain tax-exempt status, an organization need only claim to be a religion, and then the resources of the community are marshaled to its support (think fire, police, streets, utilities, etc.).

The Religious Land Use and institutionalized Persons Act says that a civil authority may not challenge the organization’s self-determination as to what portions of its holdings are put to exempted use. We have seen this recently in Longmont, when LifeBridge said it would pay all required taxes (itself a pretty useless statement) but would not negotiate with the city to nail down exactly what that meant. Indeed, even before the annexation recall petition, we heard mention of the “sports ministry” that seemed to be leading the way to avoid taxes on a really valuable venue. I hope Firestone has been paying attention.

I know Christians who would like to see the Ten Commandments become law. But the first four are about religion’s sustaining itself. Only six codify behavior. We evolved as a family (tribal/ communal social animal, and it is as effective to follow Rodney King: Act so that we can all get along together. We don’t require divine inspiration to know how to behave.

It’s almost too easy a target. Christianity is associated now, and in the past, with serious fallacies, abuses of power and social misbehavior (crusades, inquisition, Copernican theory, Galileo, child abuse and cover up … ). A problem is that religion fosters closed social groups with god-given higher status, the right to look down on others as less worthy and exploitable. Even today, there are U.S. communities where one can’t be elected if non-Christian.

But a real problem of personal significance to me is an anti-science attitude. It seems narrowed to evolution, but an attack on evolution is an attack on all science, since the very method is called into question: observe, hypothesize, experiment. Rinse and repeat. Build a theory. Use it. It’s truly said that nothing in biology makes sense except in view of evolution.

Yet a loud (and well-funded) subset of Christians attacks evolution because it conflicts with their scientifically unsupportable – and actually demonstrably false – beliefs. I’ll put my faith in what’s read in the rocks, stellar spectra and genomes where it conflicts with what an agrarian society wrote a few thousand years ago.

Science determines how the world works. (If you must, science determines the rules God set up.) Then technology puts those laws to our use. However fervently the Brits might have prayed, building the Spitfire did more to win the Battle of Britain than all the praying did – I sure know which of them I would put my faith in.

Similarly, it is not seminarians, philosophers and English majors whose work underpins medicine at Longmont United Hospital and AMGEN, storage at Seagate, zymurgy at Left Hand Brewing. It’s the scientists and technologists.

If we’re to cease borrowing our way into temporary semblance of wealth, and if we are to make stuff to sell abroad to do that, then let’s not hamstring our youths’ education by filling their heads with mythology to the exclusion of facts. Even as the largest selling book, the Bible is not really an economic engine.

Richard Juday has resided in Longmont for nine years.

Words

By Ed Stein

I’ve been having a lively conversation with one of the readers of this site about, among other things, the meaning of words. As many others have in the past, he has predicted that if I don’t like what he has to say, I will “censor” his postings, as have the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post previously. This is one of those statements, repeated many times over the years by other readers, that rankles me. Censorship applies only to governments or their agencies. A private enterprise such as a newspaper or, me, for that matter, cannot by definition censor. I set the rules for my website, and for what can be posted. I prefer a civil discussion, and when a reader veers into the all-too-common practice of name-calling in lieu of actual argument (or worse, an obscenity-laden tirade), I make a judgement about the worth of the comment, and occasionally kill a reader’s posting. I generally do this only after warning the commenter first. This is not censorship. If someone persists in breaking my rules, I have every right and reason to boot him (or her) off my site.

Why is this seemingly trivial argument important? Because words have power. Words lead to action, and actions have consequences.. We have seen in the last year that the misuse of language–the deliberate and repeated misstatements of the content of the health care overhaul, including the infamous “death panel” lie, and the overheated rhetoric of the last couple of weeks, have led to threats and acts of violence against members of Congress.

During the debate last week, members of the minority party frequently launched into such hyperbolic rhetoric it was hard to believe the words were coming from our elected leaders. Rep. Devin Nunes may have topped them all when he said that Democrats “finally lay the cornerstone of their socialist utopia on the backs of the American people.” This sentiment was echoed, perhaps not as vividly, by others during the debate, often to the applause and cheers of Republicans on the House floor. It was an ugly, appalling spectacle. Death threats against Congressmen who voted for the legislation followed, along with bricks thrown through Congressional office windows.

Now, of course, Republicans whose words inflamed citizens opposed to the bill are distancing themselves from the consequences of their irresponsible rhetoric. There’s a whole lot of “Who me? Why, I never dreamed. . .” going on, and, of course, the traditional, cynical ”Democrats are trying to exploit…”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, not one I normally accuse of eloquence, had a perfect pitch response. While saying that she doesn’t “subscribe to the fact that these acts of vandalism sprang from any words of my colleagues,” she added, “I believe words have power. they weigh a ton. And they are received differently by people depending on their, shall we say, emotional state, and we have to take responsibility for words that are said that we do not reject.” She concluded, “We have to. . .understand our leadership role, the responsibility we have to be an example in how we express our differences and understand the impact our words have on others.”

I couldn’t have said it better.

Home = Humans Live Here

It’s about time some of these issues got dealt with. – mdw

From BoulderBlueLine.org:

Boulder Gives Birth to Senate Bill on Mobile Home Dwellers’ Rights

Mobile Home parks – have you thought about who lives in them? Have you considered what contribution they make to low income housing in Boulder and beyond? Have stereotypes blocked much thought about them? The answer for the City of Boulder is yes – we have thought about them and we are willing to bust through stereotypes and take action. Boulder has spearheaded an effort to update the antiquated and feudal situation in mobile home parks in Colorado and to balance more equitably the rights of mobile home owners and owners of mobile home parks. Why is this important? Well, because mobile homes are not mobile despite their name. Most never move more than once from factory to site and the ownership and equity then become critical with a privately owned home on top of separately owned land.


It’s all about power, folks. -mdw


It is a bit heart rending to realize that Senate Bill 10-156 includes things that are basic rights for most Colorado residents:  the right to consistent delivery of utilities and water and the right to gather in open spaces in the park.  A future bill to build upon SB 10-156 could include:  1) limits on pad rents (which is not the same as ordinary rent control), a provision that more than 30 other states have in their current laws.  This provision would address the “conflict of ownership” issue that is similar to that of condo ownership on rented land; and 2) it could meet the nationwide tend towards resident owned trailer parks.   Seventeen states have specific laws providing residents with an “opportunity to buy” their mobile home park if the landlord decides to put the park up for sale.


Exactly right. I’m very curious to hear what all the ‘property rights’ wingers have to say on this. My bet: nothing except a soft water-dripping sound.

Watch the big-money interests go absolutely insane fighting this.

Scott Gessler’s Fundraising Black Hole

Article reposted from :

Colorado Pols
Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 13:44:30 PM MST

Scott Gessler, Republican candidate for Colorado Secretary of State

Scott Gessler, GOP candidate for Colorado Secretary of State

You can say this about Scott Gessler, the Republican candidate for Secretary of State: At least he isn’t running for State Treasurer.

We’ve wondered about Gessler and his bizarre spending habits ever since he first entered the race for Secretary of State last year. If you haven’t been following the story, through the first three quarters of 2009 Gessler managed to spend an incredible 82% of the money he raised.

Gessler’s Q4 campaign finance report shows that he raised $19,618 in the last three months of 2009, but he also spent $19,374. You read that correctly — Gessler netted just $244 in three months.

All told, Gessler has now raised $86,799 for his campaign and spent $74,567. He has only $12,231 in the bank after spending a whopping 86% of the money he has raised.

For comparison’s sake, Democrat Bernie Buescher has raised $92,921 and spent $27,877 (just 30% of the total), leaving him with $65,043 cash on hand.

Folks, we’ve never seen a legitimate candidate with a burn rate like Gessler’s. It makes you wonder how Gessler is going to continue to solicit money when donors start to realize that he’s just pissing it all away, because if Gessler can’t save enough money to advertise on television next fall, there is absolutely no way he can unseat Buescher. Donate now to Scott Gessler — for every $10 you send, almost $2 will go towards winning the election!

This kind of fiscal irresponsibility is bad enough for a candidate for statewide office, but wait, there’s more! On the same day that he filed his Q4 finance report, he sent an email blast to supporters that, well, you just have to read it yourself. Click below to find out how electing Gessler will bring Democracy to the Middle East, or something.

Read the rest at ColoradoPols.com