Ultra-Lib David Boren (sarcasm) Writes "America in Grave Danger of Dramatic Decline"

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by ByLoSellHi, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. “The country we love is in trouble,” he said. “In truth, we are in grave danger of declining as a nation. If we do not act quickly, that decline will become dramatic.”

    - David Boren, former U.S. Senator, and now president of the University of Oklahoma

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/05/opinion/05herbert.htm

    Cause for Alarm

    By BOB HERBERT
    Published: July 5, 2008


    Beaches, barbecues and flags as big as baseball fields. Fireworks as loud as thunder lighting the nighttime sky. Hot fun, as Sly & the Family Stone would say, in the summertime.

    Friday was the 232nd anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Celebrations were ubiquitous. HBO offered a marathon telecast of its John Adams series. Bands of wildly varying quality, from one coast to the other, let loose with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

    It was a July Fourth like many others. There was nothing overt to signal anything was wrong. The Red Sox had traveled from Boston to play a weekend series against the Yankees in the Bronx. In Washington, the National Independence Day Parade made its way along Constitution Avenue.

    And yet, there was an undercurrent of anxiety in the land. Vacations have been curtailed because of the price of fuel. Since the holiday fell on a Friday, the monthly unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics were released a day early, on Thursday. They weren’t good. The Times summed things up with a Page 1 headline:

    “Outlook Darker as Jobs Are Lost and Wages Stall.”

    The high and the low were being buffeted. The bad news bears were loose on Wall Street, and the prospects for the summer employment of teenagers were abysmal. The national employment rate for teens in June was the lowest in 60 years.

    But the anxiety seems more intense than the usual concern for a cyclical economic downturn. Something fundamental seems to have gone haywire. David Boren, a former U.S. senator who is now president of the University of Oklahoma, has written a short book that he called, “A Letter to America.”

    His sense of alarm in the opening paragraph could not have been clearer. “The country we love is in trouble,” he said. “In truth, we are in grave danger of declining as a nation. If we do not act quickly, that decline will become dramatic.”

    I couldn’t agree more. The symbols of patriotism — bumper stickers and those flags the size of baseball fields — have taken the place of the hard work and sacrifice required to keep a great nation great.

    You know that matters have gotten out of hand when, as we learned this week, American instructors at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, gave classes on torture techniques used by the Communists to extract false testimony from American prisoners during the Korean War.

    Talk about defining deviancy down! As Al Gore reminds us, this is the first time in American history that “the executive branch of the government has not only condoned but actively promoted the treatment of captives in wartime that clearly involves torture, thus overturning a prohibition established by Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War.”

    There are signs galore of the nation’s turn for the worse. We are fighting a debilitating war in Iraq without any idea of how to pay for it — or how to end it. No one has any real idea about how to cope with the devastating energy crisis, or how to turn the economy around.

    The airline industry is a first-class mess and the knees of the General Motors colossus have buckled. Locks are being changed on foreclosed homes across the country and working families lucky enough to meet their mortgages are watching the value of their homes decline.

    We can build spectacular new stadiums for football and baseball teams (the Yanks, the Mets, the Giants and the Jets are all getting ready to move into staggeringly expensive new homes) but we can’t rebuild New Orleans or reconstruct the World Trade Center site destroyed almost seven years ago.

    This year’s presidential election is the perfect opportunity to place the truth before the American public in the form of a realistic examination of the state of the nation, and an honest consideration of creative ideas for moving forward. Instead, we’re getting hour after hour and day after day of trivia: Who’s up? Who’s down? Who’s patriotic? Who’s not?

    Mr. Boren believes that the combination of unrestrained partisanship and the corrosive influence of big money have all but paralyzed the political process. He worries about the neglect of the nation’s infrastructure, about the growing divide between the very wealthy and everyone else, and about “the catastrophic drop in the way the rest of the world views us.”

    The U.S., with its enormous economic and military power, is still better-positioned than any other country to set the standards for the 21st century. But that power and leadership potential were not granted by divine right and cannot be wasted indefinitely.

    Patriotism has its place. But waving a flag is never a good substitute for serious thought and rolling up one’s sleeves.
     
  2. What a crock of nothing. Who is he talking to? Me? Spare me. What does he want me to do? Is he talking to his former colleagues in the Senate, they probably didn't listen to him when he was a member (nothing to offer there either). He offered no solutions, a typical academic whiner. He is right where he belngs, Murphy's law in action. He is on the job, university president published in the Times. How fitting.
     
  3. Good post nutmeg.

    Not a single solution. And BTW Boren is a Democrat who has endorsed Obama.

    I'm sure the 10's of millions of Germans, Japanese and Vietnamese civilians who perished from American bombers (launched by Democrat Presidents) would have little sympathy for the AlQueda members who were friggin' waterboarded.

    As a sports fan the reference to stadiums cracked me up. Close to 8,000,000 fans will attend baseball games in NYC this year. Building a ballpark that keeps the forlorn South Bronx vital is somehow foolish but pouring in further money to "Nawlins is prudent?

    Here's another way Bush let the media bullshit America.

    The cost of the Federal governments Katrina bailout was about one quarter of what we've spent in Iraq. I bet the average voter thinks it was 1/1000th.

    Just another reason to root for Boone Pickens' Oklahoma State against the corrupt Sooners.
     
  4. Really Pabst?

    That's terrible. You'd think a large American City being hit by a catastrophe, causing thousands and thousands to die, tens of thousands to lose their homes, and hundreds of thousands to lose their livelihoods, would have gotten more attention from our government.

    ([hushed voiced] - pssst, I bet it was no where near a 1/4, either. ;)
     
  5. Unlike you I KNOW because I read Congressional budgets. (certainly not in their entirety :D)

    http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-08-21-katrina-costs_x.htm

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000039&refer=columnist_berry&sid=aZ2ZDJ8JRECM


    Also, thousands and thousands died in Katrina? Get off the kool-aid. 1836 deaths.

    http://halfricanrevolution.blogspot.com/2008/05/keeping-disasters-in-perspective.html

    The Tsunami several months earlier? 225,000. 100x

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake

    url]
     
  6. I didn't read those links, but I'll take your word for it. So it was really a quarter.

    It's still a shame. They say (they being some Nobel Laureate economists) that Iraq will ultimately cost us 3 trillion.

    I consider that some money very poorly spent. They could have spent 1/5th of that (by my math that's 600 billion) and rebuilt New Orleans, with enough money left over to repair the infrastructure of much of the United States.

    It would have helped boosted the economy more directly, too, and helped businesses.

    My car doth protesteth loudly lately given the cratered surfaces of our roads. Oh, and chunks of concrete are falling from overpasses onto cars on freeways all over the U.S.

    And the pipes that carry the water many people drink haven't been replaced in 60, 70 and even 80 years.

    ;)
     
  7. No doubt the war is expensive. I'm agnostic about statements like "worth it", "disaster" ect. Who the fuck knows. Outcomes are ambiguous. In most everything. That's why I'm an isolationist. EVERY war the U.S. has ever fought has been a horseshit endeavor. So I agree dollars should be spent on American domestic programs. Period.

    However there's very disengenuos media coverage on spending. It's like you with the 3 trill figure. Dream on. This thing will be over before it gets to 3/4 a trillion.
     
  8. I'm not a total isolationist, but I definitely think I'm closer to it now because of this administration's major foreign policy travesties, than ever before.

    I mean, if you can't trust the POTUS, in urging the American People to send their kids into harms way and spill blood, or in urging the nation to bear the financial costs of an extraordinarily expensive preemptive war, who can you trust, right?

    Oh, and that 3 trillion figure isn't mine.

    It's Joseph Stiglitz's. I don't assume just anyone has credibility, but he's not exactly an empty shirt, with Nobel Laureate economic status to walk his talk.


    You might want to just 'nah, stuff him...,' which is your right, but I'm prepared to consider that he may just be correct. He probably knows more about this stuff than you and I, don't you think?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=acXcm.yk56Ko&refer=home
     
  9. No way would Congress had replaced all the waterpipes in the country if we had no Iraq war.

    Congress would not have spent a single dollar differently without the Iraq war.

    Why has Congress agreed to all the war spending , even after running for office promising to stop the spending? A lot of that money is going back in to the economy through military contracts and goverment salaries.

    Anyways all the war money is just more debt generated by by fiat.