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Old 03-10-2010, 11:40 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azhiker View Post
Patriotism is not a bad thing if you respect America's history.

If, on the other hand, you buy into the leftist worldview that portrays America's history as evil and in need of radical change, and something that must be apologized for at every opportunity by our Apologist in Chief then I suspect you'd be offended by what you'd regard as jingoism.

It really is kind of basic that way. You either thought that America was great and preeminent in most respects by, say, 1960 or so (as was commonly thought and taught back then), or you subscribe to ideas like America was evil and achieved its status by exploiting and misusing all and sundry as is taught today.

The people that made America preeminent are now vilified, and those that are turning it third rate/ third world are lionized. Talk about an Orwellian inversion of values in a mere 50 years.

Anyway, I'm with ZP. Nothing wrong with a little appreciation for your country's history and heroes (and jet noise).
Actually NEITHER of those views are right.
Like any other country America has done good things, bad things, great things and horrible things. Sometimes these things were being done at the same time.

Overall, America has been a good thing - but certainly not always.

Ken
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordBalfor View Post
Actually NEITHER of those views are right.
Like any other country America has done good things, bad things, great things and horrible things. Sometimes these things were being done at the same time.

Overall, America has been a good thing - but certainly not always.

Ken
Well, Ken, I wasn't implying that everything America ever did was great and just. No nation was ever so.

Let me ask you a question, do you think that America was in better shape 50 years ago, or today. And given how things were 50 years ago, do you think the future looked brighter for America back then, or now?

Fifty years ago, did the possibility of America becoming third rate/third world even seem like a remote possibility? Does that eventuality seem more possible now after 50 years of radical change?

Both economically (manufacturing base, debt, unsustainable social programs), and culturally (crime, number of gang members, state of nuclear family, percentage of families with no father around, percentage of kids that are dropouts, would you say that America was relatively better 50 years ago, or today after all these radical changes?

There are many areas (far more than back then) that are virtual unsafe no-go areas, that are more reminiscent of the third world than of the America before all the radical changes.

I think, logically, it is Orwellian to vilify our forebears for creating a society which was imperfect but nearly preeminent, more functional, and much safer and more civil in most respects, all while glorifying people who radically changed that into something far less functional and dangerous.

As to patriotism, I think a healthy society reveres its ancestral heroes and mythology. A society in decline tears down its institutions and forebears.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:23 PM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azhiker View Post
Well, Ken, I wasn't implying that everything America ever did was great and just. No nation was ever so.

Let me ask you a question, do you think that America was in better shape 50 years ago, or today. And given how things were 50 years ago, do you think the future looked brighter for America back then, or now?
Well, after WWII America was pretty much "King of the World". We were still basking the glory of our victory and we were militarily and economically in the best position of any nation on earth. Not only was out military power (compared to other nations) at it's peak, but economically we were situated to become the producer of goods to the entire world since of all the major modern powers, only the US had escaped with our manufacturing infrastructure intact. All of this left us in a supremely advantageous position compared to everyone else (unnaturally so actually). Slowly this began to change, but 50 years ago the situation was still relatively intact so at that point our future seemed very bright indeed.

Compare that today, where we face a situation where we no longer have that advantage of an intact infrastructure as compared to everyone else. Nowadays damage from WWII is long repaired and in fact many of the 3rd World nations are now modernizing rapidly and directly competing with us so we no longer are in an advantageous position and in fact because of the lower labor rates oversea, are now at a disadvantage. That is the new reality.

Now having said that, I'll add that that's the situation for the country as whole. If you were a minority back 50 or say 65 years ago then I'd say you're most certainly better off today than you would have been back then since back in those days it was pretty tough being non-White.

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhiker View Post
Fifty years ago, did the possibility of America becoming third rate/third world even seem like a remote possibility? Does that eventuality seem more possible now after 50 years of radical change?
No and No.
We are NOT on the way to becoming a 3rd World Nation. Do NOT confuse the loss of our longstanding advantage we had over everyone else with us falling into 3rd World status. All that's happening is we now have to compete with capable competition in the rest of the world. This IS a negative for us of course (it's always better to have no capable competition) but it's NOT the same thing as us becoming a 3rd World Nation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhiker View Post
Both economically (manufacturing base, debt, unsustainable social programs), and culturally (crime, number of gang members, state of nuclear family, percentage of families with no father around, percentage of kids that are dropouts, would you say that America was relatively better 50 years ago, or today after all these radical changes?
Again, it depends on who you are.
White Americans have definitely lost many of the advantages they had 50 years ago, while minorities have gained from where they were.
While some things have definitely gotten worse, I would NOT want to return to the way things were in 1960.

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhiker View Post
There are many areas (far more than back then) that are virtual unsafe no-go areas, that are more reminiscent of the third world than of the America before all the radical changes.
As someone who lived through the late 1960's I can say without a doubt that it was MUCH more unsafe back then than it is today (early 60's were pretty safe, but by the late 60's that had changed). Crime rates were MUCH higher back then. In fact, aside from the increases in housing and traffic, without a doubt in general, cities today are better in EVERY SINGLE WAY than it was either when I was a kid in the 60's or when I graduated from high school in 1973. It's not even CLOSE. Economically, safetywise, cleaniness, whatever - in every way cities are WAY better now than they were then. NO COMPARISON.

Look at the crime numbers for yourself (be sure and take note of the difference in population):

http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

Despite what people may think, crime is much lower nowadays than it was for most of the last 50 years.

Ken

Last edited by LordBalfor; 03-10-2010 at 02:33 PM..
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:55 AM
 
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A couple of things I'd point out that make me less than sanguine about America's future.

America has undergone dramatic demographic change in the last 50 years. The very groups that are gaining so rapidly as a percentage of the population are the same ones that have are having the most difficulty in areas such as gang membership, crime, imprisonment, dropout rates, having children out of wedlock, being net tax recipients vs net tax payers, poorer scholastic performance, etc, etc on a host of social metrics. Some of these issues have seemed quite intrasigent over the years, and projected out into the future, given demographic trends, it does raise the possibility for serious decline.

As to manufacturing, I think that part of America's decline is owing to raw greed. Companies would rather relocate overseas and pay workers $10 a day vs a living wage here in America. That didn't happen 50 years ago.

You are right in some respects that conditions for blacks have improved since 1960. Certainly civil liberties and non-discrimination laws. Some of their gains have come at tremendous cost though. Crime and dysfunction have exploded since instituion of the Great Society. The black family has been nearly destroyed. Black out of wedlock births are now at a staggering 70%. In 1965, 24 percent of black infants and 3.1 percent of white infants were born to single mothers. Dependency is nearly endemic.

National debt was all but nonexistent back in the early 60s vs today. Some day (and possibly soon) these bills will come due. http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/debt06.pdf. What happens then is unknown, but nobody, not even a government, can keep spending far beyond their means. Some expect near third world type hyperinflation to result.

As to violent crime per capita, here are a couple of links showing that violent crime is much worse now than in the early 60s:

10. What about violent crime rates?

10. What about violent crime rates?

In 1962, the US per capita violent crime rate was about 185 (violent
crimes per 100,000 persons)

Year US
1962 ~185

1967 ~250

1972 401
1973 417
1974 461
1975 488
1976 468
1977 476
1978 498
1979 549
1980 597
1981 594
1982 571
1983 538
1984 539
1985 557
1986 618
1987 610
1988 637
1989 663
1990 732
1991 758

1994 716
1995 685

Another link with a graph showing violent crime approx 3 times worse now than in the early 60s.

Violent Crime: Clinical and Social ... - Google Books

As noted before, there's a demographic component to these crime stats too. In other words, some groups (those growing in population) are wildly overrepresented.

I'm the same age as you, and your recollection of things being worse back in the day compared to now in terms of crime don't jive with my recollection, nor with these stats for that matter.

My whole point was not to be alarmist, but rather to point out that the society of back then, which is now vilified, was better on a whole lot of metrics, but not only metrics, but based on personal experience, it seemed a far less course society. So I just don't agree at all with you when you note
Quote:
"cities today are better in EVERY SINGLE WAY than it was either when I was a kid in the 60's or when I graduated from high school in 1973."
As noted, there are vast swaths of American cities that are virtual no-go areas now that were not that way before. They are not cleaner, safer, without graffiti, gangs, functional schools, lesser crime, etc.

At this point, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I really was taking issue with the seeming sneering that I perceived about patriotism in general.

I respect your opinion, Ken. We just see it differently.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:20 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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Azhiker -

I note your violent crime rate stats end in 1995
Let's look at the violent crime rate stats since then (since 1995 was 15 years ago):

1996 - 636
1997 - 611
1998 - 567
1999 - 523
2000 - 506
2001 - 504
2002 - 494
2003 - 475
2004 - 463
2005 - 468
2006 - 473
2007 - 466
2008 - 454

These numbers are relatively low - not as low as the early 1960's but certainly lower than the 80's or the 90's and the fact that over the last decade - as the minority groups you refer to (I'm going to assume you are referring to Hispanics here since they are the fastest growing group) have grown, the crime rate has actually DROPPED to the LOWEST LEVEL IN 35 YEARS.

Sorry, I just don't buy your argument that these minority groups are creating rising crime - and the fact is, the FBI statistics back me up. As the number of these minorities has grown dramatically over the last 15 years the violent crime rate over that time has fallen by 1/3rd. Is it still higher than it was in the early 1960's?
Yes.
But has it increased over the last 15 years or so as illegal immigration has soared?
Not a chance.
Over the last 15 years the violent crime rate has fallen steadily, and 2008 (the last year with stats fully tabulated) had the lowest violent crime rate of any year since 1973.

Sorry, but the data just doesn't back up your contention that the recent increase in a certain demographic group has lead to an increase in violent crime.

Table 1 - Crime in the United States 2008 (http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/data/table_01.html - broken link)

Ken

Last edited by LordBalfor; 03-11-2010 at 09:32 AM..
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Tucson
522 posts, read 1,568,372 times
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I won't get into this discussion for what has be covered but there are some things that have changed for the worse IMO.

First, I lived through those same years as well. I have seen freedom of speech reduces dramatically. Partly from what is "Politically Correct" and partly from our unreasonable legal system. You cannot voice many opinions anymore. Such as....if you say you do not like our new president you are a racist, not someone that disagrees with him. If you are angry and say something that angers someone else, you may be in legal trouble. If a young student says he/she hates a teacher he/she now has a major issue that could be viewed as violent.

So what happens, people don't voice opinions anymore.

We are taxed far more than we were in the 60's and 70's. We cannot do many things in our own homes or properties as then either. Some because they will nor allow it and some because the increase in taxes will be so incredably high I could not afford them. I have a 1/2 acre lot. I can't build a garage/shed any larger than 650 square feet. But I can build a house covering about 90% of the lot. Why? Because they can not increase taxes much for utility buildingd but they can for living space. I cannot have a driveway that goes from the street in front of my house to thr rear because I might have to many cars on it. I can't build a garage with upstairs storage because i might rent it out for sameone to live in.

I live in an un-incorporated area and it is worse in the incorporated areas.

I'm sure if I think about it enough I could find many other things as well.

Yes, I still believe this is the best country to be part of but I believe this could change very rapidly if people do not wake up and take notice. Just as has been discussed here about the Tucson government. People are still voting these same people in every election but then complaining about what these people do.

I just want to know what is wrong with the people that they continue this.
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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The violent crime comparison I am making is from the early 60s to today. It is roughly three fold worse today. See: Violent Crime: Clinical and Social ... - Google Books

The first link happened to end in 95 because it was an oldish link. There are many, many links/articles online indicating that violent crime is far worse now than it was in the 60s (the time that I am comparing to now).

Part of the explanation of why violent crime levels have gone down between 1980 and 2003 is that the US incarceration rate more than tripled, from 139 to 482 per 100,000, and the number of prisoners increased from 320,000 to 1.39 million.

"
Quote:
Sorry, I just don't buy your argument that these minority groups are creating rising crime - and the fact is, the FBI statistics back me up. As the number of these minorities has grown dramatically over the last 15 years the violent crime rate over that time has fallen by 1/3rd. Is it still higher than it was in the early 1960's?
Yes.
But has it increased over the last 15 years or so as illegal immigration has soared?
Not a chance.

Sorry, but the data just doesn't back up your contention that the recent increase in a certain demographic group has lead to an increase in violent crime."
When you factor in the huge increase in incarceration numbers, they begin to make sense and be explanatory.

Here are some charts showing percentage gang numbers by race:

Demographics

It basically shows the following:

* The most recent figures provided by law enforcement are 49 percent Hispanic/Latino gang members, 35 percent African-American/black gang members, 9 percent white gang members, and 7 percent other race/ethnicity of gang members.

Given overall population stats, Hispanics are 19 times more likely than whites to be members of youth gangs. Blacks are 15 times more likely, and Asians are nine times more likely. You may not like these figures, they aren't pleasing to anybody, but they are true nonetheless.

Hispanics commit violent crimes at roughly three times the white rate, and
Asians commit violent crimes at about one quarter the white rate.

One of the biggest obstacles to understanding the
relationship between race and crime is the failure of
most national crime statistics to distinguish between
Hispanics and whites. The Uniform Crime Reporting
Program (UCR), which is the basis of the FBI’s
national tabulation of arrests, puts most Hispanics
in the “white” category. The National Crime Victimization
Survey (NCVS), an extensive annual survey
of crime victims, classifies some Hispanic criminals
as white and some as “other race.”


Where can we turn for crime data on groups other
than blacks? National incarceration statistics are
consistent, reliable, and distinguish between whites,
Hispanics, blacks, and people of other races. They
are therefore the best indicators we have of offense
rates for groups other than blacks.

Bottom line, though it is somewhat more difficult to pin down racial crimes stats as regards Whites/Hispanics because the Department of Justice lump both groups together in terms of arrests, you can use incarceration rates as proxy because they *do* distinguish between Hispanic and White in their statistics.

This addresses some of the reasons for the drop in crime since the 90s:

The 1990s saw a substantial drop in crime. As
Figure 23 shows, after peaking in 1991, the murder
rate dropped by 44 percent over the next nine years,
and other types of crime showed similar declines.

There has been much debate
about what caused the drop, but the enormous
rise in prison populations is part of the explanation.
Between 1980 and 2003 the
incarceration rate more than tripled, from 139 to 482
per 100,000, and the number of prisoners increased
from 320,000 to 1.39 million.

Critics of incarceration argue that it only punishes poor people and nonwhites, and does not control crime. However, studies have shown that felons commit 12 to 15 crimes
every year, so locking them up prevents them from
committing those crimes.

According to University of Texas criminologist William Spelman, every one percent increase in the prison population therefore cuts the violent crime rate by 0.48 percent. Prof.
Spelman estimates that if incarceration rates had
stayed the same between 1972 and 1997, there would
have been twice as much violent crime in 1997
.

America’s changing racial and ethnic makeup has
played a role in the rise in incarceration. The number
of Hispanic and non-citizen prisoners is rising
faster than the overall prison population. In 2003,
there were 4.4 times as many prisoners as in 1980,
but the Hispanic prison population rose 10 fold.58
Between 1990 and 2003, the total number of prisoners
rose by 90 percent while the number of noncitizens
in prison increased 4.8 fold.59 This means
that the number of Hispanic and non-citizen prisoners
is rising at more than twice the rate of the total
prison population.


Figure 24 shows the racial composition
of the prisoner population in 2003—black:
44.1 percent; white: 35.0 percent; Hispanic: 19.0
percent; other: 1.9 percent.60
Some experts worry that the growing number of
crimes committed by youth gangs have contributed
to the leveling out of crime rates, and that the problem
will only get worse.61 As we saw earlier, immigrants
and their children are the main source of new
gang members.

The experience of the past several decades tells
us that putting more people in prison reduces crime.
The cost, however, is very high. In inflation-adjusted
dollars, in 2001 the US spent three times as much
on prisons as it did in 1980 (and god knows how many more times than it did in 1960).

So it seems that when you analyze the statistics a little deeper, they do bear out what I am contending.

These are just crime/incarceration facts. Coupled with the dropout rates, out of wedlock birth rates, etc, etc, it does seem to indicate that long term trends don't necessarily look good.

Stats are what they are. Draw your own conclusions.
My initial response had more to do with countering the idea of patriotism (and jet noise) as being fodder for punch lines.

And with that, this has gone pretty far astray. If you're up for dropping this, I am too.

Last edited by azhiker; 03-11-2010 at 11:36 AM..
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:41 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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Azhiker -

Fair enough, I'll drop it. You're right, the discussion has gone far astray.

Returning to the original topic (ie jet noise and patriotism) - I was raised as an Air Force Brat and thus grew up with jet noise and am a big fan of all the cool hardware and love air shows. Having said that, I also have to add that I live near 2 airports here in Seattle (Seatac - the main international airport, and Boeing Field - which is much smaller and services mostly cargo flight with some Boeing test flights and the occasional visit by military planes) and as a result hear jet noise all the time. You get used to it, but I do have to say that I'm looking forward to NOT HAVING IT when we're on our land in Arizona.

Ken
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordBalfor View Post
Azhiker -

Fair enough, I'll drop it. You're right, the discussion has gone far astray.

Returning to the original topic (ie jet noise and patriotism) - I was raised as an Air Force Brat and thus grew up with jet noise and am a big fan of all the cool hardware and love air shows. Having said that, I also have to add that I live near 2 airports here in Seattle (Seatac - the main international airport, and Boeing Field - which is much smaller and services mostly cargo flight with some Boeing test flights and the occasional visit by military planes) and as a result hear jet noise all the time. You get used to it, but I do have to say that I'm looking forward to NOT HAVING IT when we're on our land in Arizona.

Ken
It'll be awesome for you to finally get down here. I know how much you're looking forward to it, and I can't blame you one bit. It's nice down here.

Well, in full disclosure I'm retired military my own self. Love air shows. Best one I ever saw was in Louisville at their annual Thunder over Louisville event. They light up a couple of barges worth of fireworks over the Ohio river, and have bands, and Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, and the Golden Knights doing their parachute routines. An all around good time.

Living near a major airport can be no picnic though. I used to live fairly near to LAX when I was a kid and it was pretty noisy sometimes.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:31 PM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
20,460 posts, read 26,317,985 times
Reputation: 7627
Quote:
Originally Posted by azhiker View Post
It'll be awesome for you to finally get down here. I know how much you're looking forward to it, and I can't blame you one bit. It's nice down here.

Well, in full disclosure I'm retired military my own self. Love air shows. Best one I ever saw was in Louisville at their annual Thunder over Louisville event. They light up a couple of barges worth of fireworks over the Ohio river, and have bands, and Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, and the Golden Knights doing their parachute routines. An all around good time.

Living near a major airport can be no picnic though. I used to live fairly near to LAX when I was a kid and it was pretty noisy sometimes.
I can certainly relate to your military service - as I said, I grew up in that environment and spent half my childhood in Europe at various military bases. Also went on to work "in the defense industry" when I first got into computing and in fact provided software support to the Air Force One aircraft for a number of years. Even got to tour one of the planes (there are 2 of them) back in the hanger at Andrews in 1991. It was right after the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and Bush 1 had just returned from the ceremony there. The very next day I got a private tour of the primary plane and was guided through it top to bottom - even had a chance to sit briefly at the President's desk and stick my head in the cockpit. It was pretty cool.

Of course even if I was still in that job (which I no longer am) I wouldn't be able to do that today. Security was tight back then even to get into the hanger (let alone the planes), but nowadays (after 9-11) I'm sure it's WAYYYYYY tighter.

Still, it was a pretty cool experience and not too many people can say they went aboard Air Force One (though technically it's ONLY Air Force One if the President is actually aboard).

Ken
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