The Ups and Downs of Nikola Tesla (Speech)

Posted: 8th November 2012 by ThatsJustLikeYourOpinionMan in Uncategorized

Student: Ricky Stinnett

Professor: James Ackerman

COM 105, Fall 2012 118

10/31/2012

The Ups and Downs of Nikola Tesla

Specific Purpose:       To inform my audience of the highlights and low points of the life of Nikola Tesla.

Central Idea:              Nikola Tesla’s career had many successes, but was also fraught with disappointments and betrayals.

Introduction

Everyone has high and low points in their life, but if not for some gargantuan betrayals, the history of electricity in America and the world might be quite different. The very fact that I can stand here in this way and deliver this speech in this illuminated environment is a testimony to Nikola Tesla. I have been interested in Nikola Tesla for much of my life, but the research I have put into this project has furthered my understanding of Tesla as a person who needed but did not always want, alliances. So that you might better understand his life and life’s work, we will examine three of these high profile alliances and their successes and eventual downfalls.

(Internal preview: So let’s look at some of the major ups and downs in the career of Nikola Tesla.)

Body

According to Inez Whitaker Hunt’s 2012 biography in the Britannica Biographies, Tesla was born in Smiljan, Austria/Hungary or what is today known as Croatia (Hunt, Para 1). Nikola’s father was a priest and wanted his son’s to follow him into the priesthood, but when Nikola contracted cholera and almost died, he convinced his father  to allow him to study physics abroad. After studying and working his way around Europe, he began his high profile collaboration with Thomas Edison in 1882 (Hunt, Para 3).

A 2005 web biography called Nikola Tesla & The Taming of Electricity tells us that two years before Tesla met Edison, he began working for the Continental Edison Company in Europe (Taming, Para 68). Tesla was assigned to an Edison project in Strasbourg, France to correct the lighting at the German Railway Company. In a foreshadowing of his career, when the project was completed, Tesla received no compensation. Tesla had grand ideas and could visualize his inventions in his mind, but he was terrible with money. It was rumored that he often told his employers, “The last 29 days of the month are the hardest” (Taming, Para 62). Knowing the complexity of his inventions, Tesla thought that only one man would be able to help him bring his dreams to reality, Thomas Edison.

Upon arriving in America in 1884, Tesla, who had 4 cents and a letter of recommendation for his earthly possessions, was introduced to Edison. Edison was familiar with Tesla and his expertise with alternating current. Not wanting his direct current (DC) system to have to compete with alternating current (AC), Edison figured the best way to keep from competing with Tesla was to keep him on the payroll, and perhaps working on the DC machinery would convince him to give up his dreams of AC. Edison offered Tesla $50,000 to improve the performance of his DC motors and dynamos (Taming, 60-82). This was the big break Tesla needed.

Tesla worked long hours, often with as little as five hours a day away from Edison’s machines. When he was done, everyone was pleased beyond their expectations. When Tesla asked Edison for payment on the $50,000 contract, Edison laughed. Nikola Tesla & The Taming of Electricity  quoted Edison as saying that he was, “only joking” and that Tesla “Didn’t understand our American humor” (Taming, Para 82-85).

Tesla walked out on Edison adding fuel to what would become a fierce rivalry. Without the payment from Edison, Tesla was forced to work for over a year as a ditch digger for $2.00 per day.

(Transition: After his up and down relationship with Edison had fallen apart, Tesla was destined to a similar experience with another electrical pioneer.)

The PBS documentary Tesla: Master of Lightning informs us that in the 5 years after he left the employ of Edison, Nikola Tesla was awarded over 20 patents in the US for alternating current motors, generators, transformers and transmission lines (Master, 17:37). The value of these patents alone should have made Tesla a rich man for life. Having heard of the genius of Tesla, George Westinghouse visited Tesla at his lab. By the end of their visit, Westinghouse had made Tesla an incredible offer: $1 million in cash and stock and $2.50 per horsepower generated from a Tesla invention. Tesla had hit the jackpot with his inventions. Keep in mind this was 1888, when a million dollars was a lot of money.

Edison and Westinghouse competed ferociously during this time period in what was called “The War of the Currents” (Master, 18:51). The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair was to be the first lit by electricity and Edison and Westinghouse were the only bidders. The Westinghouse offer was reported to be about half of the offer from Edison, and they were awarded the contract. When the switch was flipped on the World’s Fair, Westinghouse was the hit of the industry and the War of the Currents shifted dramatically toward AC (Master, 20:28). AC was the way of the future, and as Tesla and Westinghouse succeeded, Edison’s fortunes sank. He was even forced out of his own company. With a fragile economy and using some money market manipulations along with nasty rumors among investors, Edison put pressure on Westinghouse and tried to cause trouble for the company financially. Westinghouse was in a situation where he needed to partner with other smaller firms to survive, and Tesla’s royalty was a stumbling block in any negotiation. Westinghouse asked Tesla to void his royalty contract, on which he already owed around $12 million, and which if it were still in effect would have been worth billions. But Tesla wanted AC to survive more than he wanted the money, and he felt that when success came, that George Westinghouse would take care of him, so he tore up the contracts (Master, 26:49). Westinghouse completed their mergers and topped Edison and his backers once again.

Fresh from the success of the Chicago World’s Fair, Westinghouse was awarded a prize contract to harness the power of Niagara Falls. This had been a boyhood dream of Tesla’s and suddenly his monetary sacrifice seemed more worthwhile. As Westinghouse succeeded at Niagara, and eventually powered both Buffalo, New York and New York City, Edison faded from the scene. AC had again won the War of the Currents and Westinghouse held all of the patents. Tesla’s work at Niagara and Westinghouse was complete. Tesla never asked George Westinghouse to compensate him for saving the company, and Westinghouse never did.

(Transition: When Westinghouse did not live up to his expectations, Tesla was again looking for financial backing for a new project.)

Tesla had proved all he wanted to about AC electricity and now, armed with plans and early studies, was enamored with wireless communication. Two public demonstrations by Tesla garnered much publicity, His teleautomatic boat was the first wirelessly remote controlled device and is considered the first robot as well (Master, Para 210). According to Tesla’s Biography on the Tesla Memorial Society of New York Website, his second demonstration was the lighting of a field full of light bulbs from 25 miles away with no wires(Biography, Para 26). These demonstrations got the attention of his next financier, J. P. Morgan. Morgan saw a potential to benefit from the electricity business and had been looking for and entry. Tesla had impressed Morgan with his designs for the World-Wide Wireless System, a network of transmitters and receivers around the world that would facilitate the broadcast of information, music and voice messages. Morgan was ready to invest, but as was his way, he did so by buying 51% stake in all of Tesla’s current or future patents related to telephony and telegraphy. Tesla had hoped for $1million for the project, but Morgan offered only $150,000. Tesla felt confident that Morgan would see the potential in his invention and continue investing as needed (Hunt, Para 10). Tesla began construction on Wardenclyffe Tower on Long Island, New York. This was to be the 187 foot centerpiece of his worldwide network of towers. Between 1900 and 1905, Morgan did continue his financial backing for the tower project, but in 1906, soon after he learned that the tower would be capable of transmitting free electricity to anyone with the means to receive it, he ended his backing for the project and his association with Tesla. According to Tesla’s biography on the Tesla Memorial Society of New York Website, it is reported that Morgan said, “If anyone can draw on the power, where do we put the meter? (Biography, Para 30)” In the end, Morgan was only concerned with profit and not progress.

In 1943, Tesla, who had received approximately 700 US and foreign patents (Biography, Para 14), died penniless (Master, 1:13:10). His inability to retain financial support was a common theme in his life.

(Internal Summary: So let’s review what we have discussed.)

In his long career, Tesla allied with industry and financial giants only to provide benefit to and in the end be forsaken by them. Edison, seeing Tesla as a probable competitor reneged on his deal to pay Tesla for updating his equipment. Westinghouse begged out of his contract with Tesla that would have set even the free spending Tesla for life. When Westinghouse’s fortune was renewed, he still did not compensate Tesla for his gracious sacrifice. J.P. Morgan withdrew his backing for Tessa’s Wardenclyffe project when he couldn’t envision how he would profit from the investment. Since history is written by the winners, J.P. Morgan, George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison all bask in a glow they owe in no small part to Nikola Tesla, a man that David L. Godstein, Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology calls, “a genius of the first magnitude” (Master, 2:24).

Works Cited

Hunt, Inez Whitaker. “Tesla, Nikola.” Britannica Biographies (2012): 1. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 30 Oct. 2012.

“Nikola Tesla & The Taming Of Electricity.” Nikola Tesla & The Taming Of Electricity (2005): 8. Science Reference Center. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

“Nikola Tesla: Master of Lightning.” Prod. Robert Uth. Life and Legacy Inside the Lab. Public Broadcasting System. PBS, Dec. 2000. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

“Tesla’s Biography.” Tesla’s Biography. Tesla Memorial Society of New York, 10 July 1998.    Web. 25 Oct. 2012.

What Happened? What Happened!

Posted: 8th November 2012 by ThatsJustLikeYourOpinionMan in Uncategorized

Okay, I have waited almost a day since the election results were obvious before commenting. Believe me, this is a restraint on my part. I will start off by saying that I am a partisan liberal, and for the first time I can remember, I did not vote for anyone without a “D” by their name. In the past (living in highly-conservative Southern Missouri) I have voted for the Republicans who ran unopposed and for a few who had done good things for the good of our communities. This time around, however, I left those votes blank. The Republican party is not what it used to be. It has been hijacked by extremists and anyone who doesn’t agree with the extremist wing is opposed in the primary and ostracized. The letter on the ballot beside these candidates name might as well be a capital “T”.

Secondly, I must say that I have a politically diverse group of family, friends and acquaintances who are “D”, “R” and even “T”. My Facebook page occasionally gets rowdy, but not too often. Most of the people on my page either agree with my opinion, or agree with my right to have my opinion. Much like I sat home last night hoping many of my group of Facebook friends would go to bed very unhappy (that wasn’t the context of my hopes, but hey, that is the end result), I am sure those same people were hoping the same thing about me. I love and respect all of my family and friends (and even the acquaintances that I know who the hell they are) and I am glad that they have their own thoughts and make their own decisions. I hope that they continue to respect my independent thoughts and ideas too.

What happened last night was a culmination of what has been going on for some time. I will start off by conceding that in my opinion, Mitt Romney should be President. Wait, let me finish. I don’t mean I think he would be better at it, or that I want him to be, but that if the “T” had not forced him to tack so hard to the right, then President Obama would have had a much more difficult time running as an incumbent in this economy. I will point out that the bad economy falls equally or more on the “T”s too. They roadblocked everything the President tried to do to help the economy (and I know some of you disagree with the word “help”), and hoped that the economic gloom would doom the President. That strategy failed.

Also, there should be a Republican Majority in the Senate. The continued insistence that “R”s meet some “T” litmus test keep the ballot filled with impractical, unqualified and in some cases ridiculous candidates running against “D” candidates in strongly “R” districts and losing. This has been super evident in the last two election cycles. If moderate “R” candidates with a policy of compromise (instead of oppose at all costs) do not re-emerge on future ballots, the make up of congress will be skewed much more “D”. Hey, I am not complaining, and I know if I say “Thank You” it would be insulting, so I won’t say it. Know, however, that many, many “D” candidates and constituents are out there thanking the “T”s for the likes of Claire McCaskill and  Tammy Baldwin being able to get elected (or re-elected) in traditionally “R” areas.

The next thing that is happening is that old white guys (of whom I am one) are no longer the majority voting block in the US. Hey, it was good while it lasted (good for old white guys), but those days are gone. Women won the right to vote a long time ago, but now they are exercising that right. Latinos, Gays and other minority groups are showing up at the polls to express their opinions. It surprises me the amount of these groups that vote for “R” candidates, but believe me, without less hate on the “R” side they will never get enough to compete politically.

President Obama ran in 2008 promising change, and to some extent he delivered it. The far left have been vocal about his not going far enough and the far “T” has been been vocal about his going too far, but it can be agreed (I think) that he brought change. What I don’t think even he envisioned is that he would bring change to the “R” party, but if they don’t use this impetus to change, future ballots can be printed with a big “D” and a little “t”.

As always, this is just my opinion, man.

Opening Day Hope

Posted: 31st March 2011 by ThatsJustLikeYourOpinionMan in Uncategorized

Ricky Stinnett

ENG 101.W02

Argumentative Essay Final Draft

26 Feb 2011

Winning the Pennant

The Kansas City Royals, long a laughing stock of Major League Baseball, are right around the corner from competing for a pennant. I know this is bold talk, but it is, nonetheless, a strongly supported fact. There are those who would seek to impugn my credibility, by pointing out that I am a die-hard fan of the Royals and that I am a non-expert. I will concede these facts, for it is not my credentials as an expert that is required to prove my hypothesis. I indeed am a fan of the Royals, as I have followed them since the early 1980s, when I relocated to Kansas City.

Before that time, I was a fan of the Atlanta Braves. I know when most people think of the Braves, they think about the teams that have been in the post season sixteen times since 1981, including winning the World Series in 1995. That is not when I was a Braves fan though. I was a fan from about 1970, when I first started watching sports, until 1980, when I pledged my allegiance to the Royals. During that period, the Brave’s futility was legendary. In this regard, I suppose you could say that I am an expert in following losing teams; although to be fair, the Royals were a winning team when I started following them.

There are those who would say that winning and losing are cyclical, because most teams go through periods of despair, and periods of glory. The Royals won the 1985 World Series and, before that, several divisional and league pennants. I think though, the cyclical hypothesis must be contextualized differently. If the talent stays the same, and the decision-making stays the same, then the results will stay the same within a small margin of error. This margin of error I attribute to luck.

The timing of my statement may be a point of contention for some as well. During the past off-season, the Royals traded away their Cy Young winning pitching ace, Zach Greinke, as well as David DeJesus, who tied for the team lead in runs batted in (RBI). While perusing the internet looking at how badly these trades would affect the Royals in the upcoming season, I happened upon a serendipitous realization. The players the Royals traded away, and whom we would have lost eventually through free agency, netted them promising prospects for their minor league system. Through the DeJesus trade, they acquired major league pitcher Vin Mazzaro and minor league pitcher Justin Marks. For Zach Greinke, they got shortstop Aclides Escobar and center-fielder Lorenzo Cain and minor league pitching prospects Jake Odrizzi and Jeremy Jeffress. While the major league pitching has definitely regressed with the loss of Greinke, the defense at the major league level has been strengthened, as both Escobar and Cain are faster and better defensive players than those they replace. The most notable upgrade to the organization is the addition of highly regarded prospects to an already strong minor league system.

The major league team has two of the leagues best in designated hitter/ first baseman Billy Butler, and closing pitcher Joakim Soria. Based on their past performance, infielder Mike Aviles, outfielder Alex Gordon and starting pitcher Bruce Chen have some strength. These were all players from last year’s team that lost 95 games. In fact, the Royals have lost 100 or more games three times this decade and have only two years this decade with less than 90 losses. Depending on a handful of holdover talent is not going to do much to support my argument. There have been a couple of free agent signings this off-season, but while outfielders Jeff Francouer and Melky Caberra are above average players, they are hardly the quality of players that would inspire optimism. So what is the nugget of data that would cause me to state overtly that the Royals are on the cusp of post-season contention?

Success in baseball, while contingent on things like hitting, fielding and pitching, can be condensed down even farther. Success in baseball is a result of three main factors: decision-making, talent acquisition, and luck. To be sure, there are cross over points in these components. Decision-making is a large component of talent acquisition. I would stipulate that so is luck. There is no other explanation as to why Hall of Fame infielder George Brett was a second round pick in the 1971 draft but Roger Schmuck was their first round pick. If you have never heard of Roger Schmuck you are not alone. Most likely, you will, only find his name by searching draft databases for meaningless data (First Year Player Draft History). Luck could also play a part in decision-making; when to hit and run, steal a base, or intentionally walk a batter could have an effect on the outcome of specific games.

The General Manger for the Kansas City Royals is Dayton Moore. That might not seem to be a big revelation, until I tell you that Dayton Moore was a scout for the Atlanta Braves and played a substantial part in their transformation from that struggling team that haunted my childhood dreams into the sixteen-time playoff team mentioned earlier. I would submit that the decision-making with regard to talent acquisition is in place. Ned Yost, manager of the Royals, is a former catcher and manager for the Milwaukee Brewers. As a catcher, Yost learned the art of “calling a game”; and as a manager, he brought a hapless Milwaukee team to the cusp of respectability without a great degree of player talent. I would secondarily submit that the day-to-day, in game, decision making is in place. Luck is what it is, but again, unless your team has a curse on it, over the course of a 162 game season, it would not be enough to change the fate of a perennial cellar dweller. So, what about talent acquisition?

First, some background: “Baseball America” is a full-service media company specializing in baseball. They publish a bi-weekly magazine, four annual books, several special publications and the website BaseballAmerica.com. Each January, Baseball America publishes a ranking of the top minor league farm systems in baseball. This year, the Royals were ranked number one. I will point out; the rankings were done even before the Zach Greinke trade brought more highly touted prospects to the system (Baseball America Rates the Royals as the #1 Farm System in Baseball). MLB.com also lists six Royals minor leaguers in its list of the Top 50 prospects in all of the minor leagues (KC places six prospects in MLB.com’s Top 50). Keith Law of ESPN.com rated the Royals organization as his number 1 (2011 MLB organizational rankings). Baseball America, MLB.com and ESPN are experts regarding baseball.

There are some players we know about, whom some call “can’t miss” prospects, like Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, and Will Myers on offense; Christian Colon on defense; and Mike Montgomery, John Lamb and Chris Dwyer pitchers. There are plenty without consensus or that we just do not know enough about. All this talent on its way to Kansas City is heartening. Very few of these prospects are set to debut in Kansas City this year, so I would not be surprised to see yet another season with 90 plus losses.

Therefore, the decision-making is in place; the talent acquisition is in place; the major league talent is improved marginally; and, the minor league talent is improved dramatically; so all of the building blocks are in place to develop into a successful team. There is more than simple cause and effect rationale to consider here. There is the intangible; something that on the surface may not seem extremely scientific, but when scrutinized more carefully, meets the test for the scientific method perfectly. If a scenario is repeated over time with an observable phenomenon, and the measurable results, when they are repeated predict future results, then the hypothesis is proven.

In the last ten years, the team that has won the Baseball America number 1 system ranking has gone on to the playoffs within 5 years. In fact, every team but one who has gained this distinction since 1992 has gone to the playoffs within 5 years. You may argue that if every team, except one did this, then maybe the Royals will not make the playoffs. I would argue that if you were going to take a position premised on a statistical outlier, then my argument is the stronger argument. Check back with me in five years. I will be the guy in the KC Royals Championship shirt.

Capitalism vs. Socialism

Posted: 13th December 2010 by ThatsJustLikeYourOpinionMan in Uncategorized

Capitalism vs. Socialism

by Rick Stinnett on December 13, 2010

The Monopoly Experiment

If you have ever played a game of Monopoly, it is evident that over time, one player owns all of the property and has all of the money.  I have played games that took days to complete, but in the end, the only way to win is to financially dominate all others.

When I was younger, and did not quite understand that the whole game is an experiment pointing out the shortcomings of Laissez-faire Capitalism (Laissez-faire being loosely interpreted from French as “Let it be”), we used to “loan” money to people that were about to be tossed from the game.  This is “socialism”.  Helping someone who is about to lose at the game (of life) is “socialism”.

Of course it never matters.  The powers that be (Those holding the money.  We’ll call them the Winner.) would never “loan” enough money to the player being ousted (we’ll call him the Loser) to actually recover from his situation.  As I stated before there is one Winner and everyone else is a Loser.

So it is with Laissez-faire Capitalism, you are heading up or down the ladder of success.  If you are standing still you are losing.

The Casino Experiment

The worker need not necessarily gain when the capitalist does, but he necessarily loses when the latter loses (Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844) ~ Karl Marx (I refuse to shrink away from learning from all, even if some choose to belittle through demagoguery.)

It has been explained that what Karl Marx was talking about was akin to a semi-permeable membrane where wealth can pass freely in one direction but not pass freely the other direction.  Obviously, eventually, all of the wealth eventually ends up on one side of the membrane.  When Capitalists lose money, they must pass on the loss to the workers.  When Capitalists make money, they only sometimes pass the profit on to the workers.

The problem inherent with wealth accumulation is that over time great inequities continue to grow just as Karl Marx predicted they would.

In this example, one walks into a casino with, let’s say, $600 million, or so.  In this example, there is not table limit, you could walk out with $1 million profit any time you want.  How?

You place a $1 million dollar bet on red (or black, it doesn’t matter as long as you don’t change).  With a standard roulette wheel you have just over a 47% chance of winning (and thus just under 52% that you lose).  Assume you lose.  You place a $2 million dollar bet on the chosen color.  Let’s say you lose again.  Then you place a $4 million dollar bet on your chosen color.  You can see where I am headed.  With no table limit, it is just a matter of time before you break even again.  Then you place your $1 million bet on your color again.  If you lose, you go through your doubling scenario again until you break even.  Eventually, that first bet is going to win.  Bam! There is your $1 million.  Since you can’t lose, but you can win, it is again an absolute foregone conclusion that you will own the casino over time.

Socialized Medicine

Let’s assume that Warren Buffett is walking down the street and he steps on a nail.  He would be rushed straight to the nearest hospital and given a tetanus shot and possibly stitched.  You know why?  Because even if Warren Buffett doesn’t have health insurance, he could reach in his back pocket and pull out enough money to pay for his treatment.  Now let’s assume that you or I are walking down the street and step on that nail.  Even if we do not have health insurance, which I currently do (but I have gone years without), the hospital would have to treat me and if I cannot pay, it would not matter if I stepped on another nail next week.  Since many others are walking around without insurance, this is the status quo.

If everyone is not required to have health insurance (much like all states require all drivers to have car insurance), then the insurance companies can only afford to pay claims by excluding high-risk candidates.  They do this by excluding those with pre-existing conditions.  Requiring all to have insurance is being described as Socialized Medicine.  Of course, it is not.  Socialized Medicine is where you buy your medical care directly or indirectly from the government.  Is this bad?

Maybe we should ask the millions of older American’s who are on Medicare, the veterans who are receiving health care from the Veteran’s Administration or the infirm and indigent and their dependents who are on Medicaid.  These programs form the political third rail (along with Social Security).  Touch these and you may as well retire.  Look around you and ask yourself, “What if my mother stepped on a nail?”, “What if my grandmother stepped on a nail?” ,  “What if Mr. X stepped on a nail?”.  It will not take long for you to stumble on someone who would have a financial catastrophe if this happened.  Then replace “stepped on a nail” with “got cancer”.

I think the compassion to help those who cannot help themselves is a positive quality.  Folks like the aforementioned Mr. Buffett, who can (and would not mind) pay more taxes to cover the basic necessities of life for those who are less fortunate.

Mixed economy

So Socialism is better? No.

Capitalism is the best economic model ever invented, but, un-tempered it is a one-way-street to ultimate financial disparity where all but the small select group are “Losers” and the select few are “Winners”.  I have heard it argued from some of my staunchest anti-socialists, that they would choose to keep working and saving to try to get into that select group of “Winners”.  They are more likely to win the lottery.  If you were not born into big money, or did not stumble into big money (.com bubble, etc.), you are not going to get there by putting 5% of your pay into your 401K.

Ever since we started Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the GI Bill, the VA, we have been a Capitalists Economy tempered by Socialism.  The question now is not whether or not to continue to be a Mixed Economy, it is how rich or lean that mixture should be.

References: Samuel D Bradley – Communications and Cognition blog,  Lawrence O’Donnell – The Lawrence O’Donnell show, Karl Marx – Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844

Obviously, I Do Not Feel Your Pain

Posted: 30th November 2010 by ThatsJustLikeYourOpinionMan in Uncategorized

Springfield Missouri City Council members snuffed out a proposal Monday night to encourage Missouri legislators to enact a medical marijuana law.  Counsilman Doug Burleson, arguing for the addition of medical marijuana to the city’s list of priorities said,  “I think it’s a travesty people are undergoing pain and in terminal situations we’re not allowing certain medicines to those folks”.

The council then abruptly voted 6-2 against the addition.

We are not talking about a California type ammendment here either  (Although that is what we should be talking about).  We are talking about a strict measure that would limit usage to those with terminal and other serious, painful maladies.

By voting against, Springfield’s city council in effect said, “Let them suffer!  Obviously, we do not feel your pain”.  Of course, no one on the council had the intestinal fortitude to oppose the measure on any substantive grounds.  Just kick it out and let the State take it up or let it be debated by the community at large.

Precisely to wish ill on my fellow men, I hope they endure the type of pain in their lives that they ignorantly refuse to help ease in others’.

This is my opinion and I do feel your pain.

Follow the Money

Posted: 29th November 2010 by ThatsJustLikeYourOpinionMan in Uncategorized

Follow the Money

It is the best way forensically to solve crime (or at least to find who is responsible for crime).  I propose that it is also the way to tell who politicians care about.

Democrats (who are always incorrectly labeled as money spenders) spend money on things such as extending benefits to the long term unemployed.  They spend money on Healthcare for all.  They spend money on making people’s (mostly underprivilaged people’s) lives better.

Republicans (who are usually incorrectly labeled as savers) shovel money to the ultra-rich.  Poor people be damned.  Until all of the money is in the hands of the rich, there is no leveling of the playing field (not even for basic necessities like food, shelter and healthcare).  They want all of the money.

Look at congress right now.  The Republicans are filibustering extending benefits to the long term unemployed and holding middle class tax cuts hostage unless the richest 2% get their 36.6 billion share.

Who does it appear that is looking out for whom?

Think before you vote.

Think, think, think.  This is not a popularity contest.

There is a difference in being disappointed in a Democrat and being raped by a Republican.

This is my opinion (it is, however, supported by fact)!

Chance

Posted: 23rd November 2010 by ThatsJustLikeYourOpinionMan in Uncategorized

I hate it when they say “There is a 100% chance of rain”.  100% is not a chance.  100% is a certainty.  If there is a 50% chance of rain, then there is a 50% chance it won’t rain.  Even if there is a 99% chance of rain, there is a 1% chance that it won’t rain.  If there is a 100% “chance” of rain; it is going to rain.

Well congress is back in session.  There is a 10% chance of something happening that is good for America.  In January the new congress is seated.  There is a 100% certainty that it will suck.

There is a 100% “chance” that this is my opinion.

Maybe you disagree, or maybe you’re not listening!

Posted: 17th November 2010 by ThatsJustLikeYourOpinionMan in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

The lame ducks are not doing anything.  They are basically trying to decide what to even take up before the new house is seated.  If they decide to take anything up, then it can most likely be filibustered or die in debate.  So nothing gets done (of any consequence anyway).

But I am hearing alot of people on news programs discussing the Deficit Reduction Committee’s report (which I understand is not even a report, but more like a leak of a report to come).  There are talks about raising the retirement age, reducing benefits etc. to bring down our deficit.  Voices from the Right think this does not go far enough and would like to see entitlement program de-funded or eliminated.  Voice from the Left are fighting back by trying to reduce the amount of the reduction of benefits.

The Right is trying to reconcile deficit reduction with extending the existing tax cuts (GWB’s) to the richest 2% of Americans.  The Left is pushing back (but not hard enough on this).

I think that much of the system does need to be re-thought.  In my opinion, the problem is not entitlement programs to help the less fortunate, it is our ridiculous “War on Drugs” and most of our other wars too.

We need to protect our citizens and our interest aboad and domestic, but we go too far.  We try to be the school yard bully to the world and end up being the police force for the world.  Humanitarian missions like Darfur and Somalia are dropped cold while quicksand efforts like Afghanistan and Iraq trudge slowly on.  I appreciate the end of combat operations in Iraq, but we still have too many people and spend too much money staying there (even to the extent that we are still there).

Some want us to get all macho with Iran and Russia too.  Strong-arm diplomacy.  How has that been working out for us lately?

And, domestically and abroad, our “War on Drugs” is costing us billions.  The result of this bloated spending?  Is drug use down?  Are citizens safer?   No.  The net result is we have jails and prisons full of people who are not, and never were a threat to anyone’s safety and security.

The problem with our deficit is not Healthcare.  The problem with our deficit our lack of focus on effecting positive change in people and focusing on bullying them into living up to someone else’s ideals.

We need to get out in the communities and in the streets and shout from the rooftops

: ” End the War and End the War on Drugs!”  We need to create a movement of citizens who want to live without the government bullying us and without the world hating us because our government bullies them.

We could reduce our deficit immediately and balance our budget quickly without reducing anyone’s benefits or raising their retirement age.

Maybe you disagree, or maybe you’re not listening!

Self Interest

Posted: 9th November 2010 by ThatsJustLikeYourOpinionMan in Uncategorized

While reading Sam Bradley III’s blog in class warfare, which you can and should read here, I had the same question rolling around in my head that I have had for a while now.

Why?

Sam’s article is articulate and well written, as well as professional quality (his education serves him well), while mine is more conversational in tone here.  Sam posted the percentages supporting his view (correct view in my opinion), and the numbers reflect that the less money you make, the more likely you are to vote Democratic and the more money you make, them more likely you are to vote Republican.  Okay we will take that as a given.

Now let’s also assume that there are Warren Buffet type guys that have more money than God and still can be capable of voting Democratic.  Likewise, there should be a correlating percentage of people that make little money and still ideologically find themselves Republican leaning.

But the percentage astound me.  40% of people with incomes under $30,000 voted Republican.  Add to that 45% of people making between $30,000 and $50,000.  For the sake of this unscientific argument, let’s say that if you make $50+ as a family you are upper middle class (which you aren’t).

Those percentages, while the minority percentages, are vast numbers of people voting to save rich people money.  They (to some degree) are people who need things like healthcare, social programs and public assistance that the Democratic Party is more likely to provide than the Republican Party, yet time after time we see them voting against their own self-interest.

If these people could be reached with logic, which apparently they can not (because their opinions are dictated by Rush and Fox News), then election cycles in the United States could be decided in the primaries.

The Tea Party Republican’s may be on there way to helping Democrats the more they exclude mainstream and moderate Republicans.  Fred Upton – R Mich is seeking the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, but because he co-authored a bill with a Democrat to reduce incandescent light bulbs, he is the enemy and should not ascend to the chairmanship.  It will be fun to watch this from the sidelines and see how it plays out.

The more hate and exclusionism that they display inside their own party, the better life will be in the big tent.

Think Then Vote!

Things that make you go Hmmm???

Posted: 9th November 2010 by ThatsJustLikeYourOpinionMan in Uncategorized

I read a lot on the internet.  I don’t think that makes a difference to this posting, but it is a fact.  Before the internet, I read a lot of newspapers (well, not really before the internet, but before it was so big and full of stuff).  When I used to read an article in a newspaper, when I finished it, I would think, everyone who reads that is going to think “this”.  Now on the internet, at the end of each article is a place where you can leave comments.  Very often, I get more enjoyment reading the comments of 18,347 people than from the article itself.

One thing I have absolutely learned, all kinds of people have all kinds of different opinions after reading the same article.

I read this one article about Nancy Pelosi and wheter she would seek a leadership position in the new congress after republicans won the majority in the recent election.  There was not any discernible slant to the article, and after reading it my feeling was to wonder whether or not she would take a leadership position in the minority side after having served in a leadership position on the majority side for two years.

Then I read the comments (mostly un-supportive of Ms. Pelosi), and found that she is commonly referred to as a witch.  On Rush Linbaugh’s radio program, he played the wicked witch is dead.

It seems to me that as long as the other side of the political spectrum has a candidate that has to run an ad stating “I am not a witch”, maybe you shouldn’t be throwing stones at someone because they differ with your political opinion.

That is my opinion, and you can not prove that I am a witch.