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Responsibility

A conversation with a closet statist

Eric Krietlow · Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

For those that think NASA and government money is what drives innovation in the world, I ask that you point out some real products brought about by space exploration.  Tang?  Velcro?  Great products, but the literally millions of other things that INVENTORS came up with on their own, like the thousand iProducts, stoplights, peanut butter, manned flight (wright brothers, thanks, not NASA)…  Like the comment said, I do love it when intelligence trumps stupidity.  Even better when it trumps ‘feel good’ commentating.
  • Seth Lougee · North Carolina State University

    No one said NASA drove innovation. He was only making the point that people shouldn’t be so short sighted as to think that just because we can’t see direct implications of NASA landing a fucking sweet tricked out dune buggy on mars doesn’t mean that it isn’t worthwhile. ‘MERICA
    Reply · 3 · Like· Tuesday at 9:31am
  • Eric Krietlow · Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

    Then we might very well spend 15M on a olympic stadium-sized ice sculpture for the Mojave.  Tax for it. Who cares if youre forcing people to pay for a ice sculpture in the Mojave, It’d be cool for about 134 minutes.  And youre right, we don’t see much in the way of ‘direct implications’, in either story.  If someone thought it would be a good idea, they are free to try and find donors for it.  That is, if NASA will let them do it on their own, without mountains of paperwork.  Mountains of paperwork standing between people and innovation/exploration – ‘Merica. 
    Reply · 1 · Like· Tuesday at 9:40am
  • Seth Lougee · North Carolina State University

    C’mon man, don’t take yourself this seriously. I have great respect for our troops so I’m not gonna burn you too hard. And no one is arguing that plenty of money is wasted by our government. (Stimulus package, where did half that money go? or how about we try and figure out how so many of these life-long public servants in our government with salaries of less than 50 k a year have made themselves multi-millionaires)  But, to compare NASA sending the rover to mars to spending 15 mil on a sculpture is a bit ridiculous, don’t you think?
    Reply · 2 · Like· Tuesday at 9:56am
  • Eric Krietlow · Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

    …actually no.  They’re both epic achievements, but nothing is actually coming from either of them.  Think about how much ice it would take, how many human hours of labor, the logistics….  it’s mindboggling.  What did either net us as a society?  Have we a new technology that we might use for curing cancer or connecting millions to one another like , say, google ?  No, we might have a better idea how to send a probe to mars, or how to manage the construction of an ice sculpture in a desert, but there is only ‘feel good’ crap left over.  Youre taking resources for some ‘feel good’ mission, in either instance.  And yea i take it pretty seriously when someone steals my stuff and blows it on a trip to the closest celestial body.  Ask me for a donation next time you want it, kthx. 
    Reply · 1 · Like· Tuesday at 10:09am
  • Eric Krietlow · Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

    And please, if you have some sort of ability to ‘burn me hard,’ don’t hold back because of a picture on the internet. 
    Reply · Like· Tuesday at 10:28am
  • Seth Lougee · North Carolina State University

    Alright, I’m not trying to argue here, although I do seem to be pushing a few buttons. But, there are a lot of questions that we hope to be answered by sending a rover to mars. Is there life on mars? They already have evidence that there might be some small living organisms on the planet. (Bacteria, and what not. I know, I know, who gives a shit?) The fact that it is so similar to our own planet might give us some insight on what to expect in the future. Plus, if we ever want to go to mars, we have to start somewhere. What if fucking Megatron is sittin up there with a stack of cash that he can’t wait to give away. Who knows?   Maybe you aren’t interested in this at all, its clear that you aren’t. But a lot of people are, and yea it sucks that our taxes can’t go exactly where we want them to but if that is what you are waiting o…

    n to be satisfied then you have a long wait ahead of you buddy. I’m not happy that we have increased food stamp distribution by 100% in the last few years. I’m not happy that government officials throw parties and spend millions on catering services, first class flights, etc. What do you think we should do? Stop any and all funding of exploration into any subject that doesn’t have to do with directly funding our dying economy? And its not like we just sent that 2.5 billion to mars with the rover where it won’t be used. We spend it and it willl be dumped back into our economy and the worlds economy. There is a larger picture to be seen and much less worthwhile government spending to be angry at.

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    Reply · Like· Tuesday at 10:38am
  • Simeon Kostadinov · Top Commenter · ПГИИ “Джон Атанасов”

    Thank you Seth Lougee. Reading my mind. And part of what i said earlier is due to the fackt that this kind of exploration tell us not only if there were bacteria on mars but it also teaches us how to servive a long trip like that to mars.And for those who would say yeah but why go to mars. If you have followed that field you would know that a lot of people prodict that in like 20-30 years from now the bissnes will be so involved in all this that they will make colony on the moon and we will be able to go an a vacation to the moon. Imagine what that would be like. you can check out NASA new program, Nasa’s Constellation Program – Earth Moon Mars , I’m not saying that NASA is the best way i just want you to understand that without  that kind of missions like the one that just started and the constellation program no one will send a space shuttle full of civilian ppl and start living on the moon mars or whatever. It’s only a small spet for man kind forward to the next big leap for it when visiting the moon is gonna be like going to hawai .
    Reply · Like· Tuesday at 11:27am
  • Dew Ferret

    we have to get a space program weaponized…. we all know the covenant are coming o.O
    Reply · Like· Tuesday at 1:47pm
  • Mike Wood · SubscribeSubscribed · Kalamazoo, Michigan

    I think some people are missing the point that, yes, NASA spent a boatload of money on that, and many other projects. But look at who benefited from that money spent. Someone had to put that stuff together, and they sure as hell didn’t do it for free.
    Reply · 1 · Like· Tuesday at 2:22pm
  • Eric Krietlow · Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

    “without nasa we wouldn’t travel to space” Said noone interested in space ever. 
    Reply · Like· 23 hours ago
  • Simeon Kostadinov · Top Commenter · ПГИИ “Джон Атанасов”

    With all do respect. Did you even read all the coments like the comment of one Seth Lougee ” The general populace who are upset that this money isn’t being placed directly into their hands? People with only half the information and a tenth of the foersight? Have you considered where we as a world are heading? Close to 10 billion people by the year 2050, resources and space are depleting fast. Maybe these people are considering Mars for human colonization and expansion. Our population could easily be double what it is now by the turn of the century. We’re gonna need a lot more space.” whether you are interested  or not it’s most likely to become necessary.
    Reply · Like· 23 hours ago
  • Eric Krietlow · Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

    …when it’s necessary do you not believe someone will pay to have it done?  Again, you’re seemingly assuming that ‘without NASA, it would never be.’  Without state schools, we’d never have education.  Without murder laws, we’d have no idea that we shouldn’t kill one another.  Without speed limit signs, we’d all drive 92 miles per hour through school zones.  This is the only thing that I can infer from your comments.  …and yes, I read them.  All of them. 
    Reply · Like· 23 hours ago
  • Simeon Kostadinov · Top Commenter · ПГИИ “Джон Атанасов”

    i’m not saying assuming or whatever that without NASA it would never be. but for know they are the onlyonce that do somethink about that. and about “…when it’s necessary do you not believe someone will pay to have it done? ” yeah cuz if someone pays a but load of money rightnow he will be able to go to mars this kinda thinks doesn’t happen overnight. and don’t get me wrong i’m not saying that NASA-way is the most wright or the best way.
    Reply · Like· 23 hours ago
  • Eric Krietlow · Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

    Just because they are the only ones doing it, doesn’t mean you steal from me to fund it.  Definitely don’t steal from me if you acknowledge that they’re not even the ‘right or the best way.’  Fund them yourself.  That’s all I ask.  When it’s necessary we will go there.  Someone will pay to fly to the moon.  Someone will pay to fly to Mars.  All it takes is someone wanting to go, and government getting out of the way to let them do it.  See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuL8teeuJD8&feature=relmfu For a great example.
    Reply · Like· 23 hours ago
  • Seth Lougee · North Carolina State University

    You differ in opinion and that’s fine. Plenty of intelligent people feel the way you do. I’ve said all I can on it but you are resolute. It seems like you think that because anything government funded that a group of people aren’t interested in (even if that group of people is the majority, which it isn’t) should not be done. You can think that just don’t expect everyone else to agree. If government corruption and lack of priorities is what is actually your issue, then NASA is a pretty small piece. You don’t think it is necessary to start now, I disagree. But you are right on this, it will take tons of money; government funding won’t even come close to enough to put a colony on mars. Ideas from the private sector are being considered though. Check it out. http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/06/06/mars_one_s_reality_tv_plans_for_colonizing_the_red_planet_video_.html But why put all our faith into one facet of humankind? Why can’t it be a collaborative effort by NASA and private companies alike?
    Reply · Like· 22 hours ago
  • Eric Krietlow · Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

    …one facet of humanity?  The free market is EVERY facet of humanity, minus government.  My way taps every source of human innovation, yours slogs with NASA and whomever they decide to let play the game.  I never said ‘we shouldn’t start now,’ but what I did say is when it’s time, it will happen.  It has to, unless government bans it or regulates it out of possibility.  …and by the way, government corruption, on any scale, is a big problem.  It’s corruption with MY money, and that of my 3 year old son’s, since 40% of everything government spends is borrowed on his future earnings.  You might think differently, but don’t expect everyone else to agree.  At least when we disagree, we’re not stealing your money while disagreeing. 
    Reply · Like· 22 hours ago
  • Seth Lougee · North Carolina State University

    Maybe, but I think its necessary to start now. And I think that without missions like the mars rover then it might not happen in time. It could obviously happen in time if a group of individuals were dedicated enough and came together. And if the miles of red tape set by the government were not there. Maybe, who knows? I and many others don’t think it is worth the risk. I’m grateful that NASA is doing something about it now. We’re preparing the best way we can within our system. That system might be broken and, believe me, you will find no argument here about the level of government corruption and selfishness that goes on. But, just like colonizing mars, a fix is not something that will come over night or if we throw enough money at it. Just like sending a probe to the moon, this is the first step into getting someone on mars. Disregarding the alleged doom that might or might not come with the insane population increase that will happen in the next century, there are other reasons for the Mars rover project. Corey Andrews said it best above but you read his post and stated how you felt on it. If you expect an immediate return on why we are sending a rover to mars then I can’t give you one and probably no one can. But hopefully, showing the foresight to do so will help. Just as a side note, to answer your question above, the reason we sent it to Mars and not another planet was because it is most like our own planet.
    Reply · Like· 22 hours ago
  • Eric Krietlow · Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

    You think it’s necessary, so that’s fine that you’re stealing from anyone who disagrees.  I understand, and it eases my mind that you are grateful they are stealing from me for something you like.  the question i asked about why sending it to mars, is if we can figure out why mars doesn’t have life on it, why can’t we just save the money and figure out how to fix our own planet if there’s something ‘wrong’ with it?  Again, great reasons, but I disagree that they’re worth stealing for.  Donate your own money next time.
    Reply · Like· 21 hours ago
  • Seth Lougee · North Carolina State University

    This really just comes down to a difference in opinion between one thing. You don’t think tax dollars should fund the mars rover project and I do. If you consider your tax dollars going to anything that you don’t wholeheartedly support theft then every citizen of any government is a victim of theft because no one supports every decision made by said government.
    Reply · Like· 21 hours ago
  • Eric Krietlow · Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

    …every tax dollar is theft.  If it’s not voluntary it’s theft.  It could be a reason one really smart person said: “Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.” So yes, we do disagree on one thing – you think it’s perfectly fine to legally steal, I find it little better than me personally stealing your money for my pet project.  Maybe if I declare myself a government, that would be ok.
    Reply · Like· 21 hours ago
  • Seth Lougee · North Carolina State University

    Its easy to complain and be a cynic, to point out all the fallacies and mistakes a system makes. Much harder to recognize achievement and be the person who does something about it.
    Reply · Like· 21 hours ago
  • Eric Krietlow · Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

    Like you are doing something about it, by urging its continuance based on your belief that one part of it is good?  Easy to call someone a cynic who actually disagrees with the system, and wants it fundamentally changed;  All the while saying you disagree, while supporting the same system which you acknowledge is ‘flawed and fallacious.’  I recognize achievement when it’s not based on things stolen from someone else.  Your touted ‘achievements’ are highly based on stolen money.  Congrats on that achievement.  I suppose I could achieve a lot in returning the natural balance to the world by burning your home down and filling it in with dirt.  That would be property destruction.  Again, maybe if I ask the government to do it, then it will be ok. 
    Reply · Like· 21 hours ago
  • Eric Krietlow · Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

    And by the way, I am trying to change it, by changing your belief that urging the governemnt to steal from someone to fund your pet project is no less theft than if you did it yourself. 
    Reply · 1 · Unlike· 21 hours ago
  • Seth Lougee · North Carolina State University

    What you call a pet project, I call a necessary one. One that the government should be aiding in. But, you are upset that that money isn’t directly funding your quality of life. Forget future generations and our world as a whole. We should probably just take any and all money that is put towards projects that won’t directly change people’s lives immediately and give it back to the people? Yea that is great foresight and wisdom. I’m glad there are people in this world who see differently.
    Reply · Like· 21 hours ago
  • Eric Krietlow · Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

    “What you call a pet project I call a necessary one” – says everyone who wants the government to do something, from farm aid, to defense spending, to welfare, to housing, to healthcare, to quite literally every thing else.  Everyone says their pet project is necessary, it’s the one thing government needs to do.  You haven’t separated yourself from the pack in any minutia.  I’m sure you are happy othere people like to steal from unborn generations, because if you didn’t have a majority behind your corner, you wouldn’t be able to steal from me and my son, and any other children I might have in the future, and still feel so great about yourself for it.  I’m glad there are people in this world who see things differently from you, also.  People like me never really hold ‘3rd party theft’-advocates to the the ones who can claim the moral high ground for their actions.  “I stole from you, but it was for a good cause, so stop complaining.” 
    Reply · Like· 2 seconds ago
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Excessive Freedom

What the hell is it?  Where does one find it?

How in the world do you think it exists at all, much less now?


On ‘Universal’ Healthcare

This essay was written to our local paper in response to a very pro-Obamacare op-ed, the other day, if not today.
“The United States does have universal health care, in contradiction to the assertions made by Mr. Snedeker.  We provide 100% guaranteed access to services to the most needy.  You know, the ones in an emergency.  You can thank the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, which quite literally covers everyone, sick and old, young and virile.  Take care of the children?  Well, we currently do that also, with the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides services to those 200% or below the poverty line.  How much more needy can you be?
Healthcare for the elderly?  We have MEDICARE for that, and it’s so great there are 14 supplemental policies outlined at Medicare.gov alone to cover things that Medicare.gov acknowledges it will not cover, not to mention the 15+ companies per policy page offered by groups such as Avera Select, and who can forget the AARP (who also helped cram the oh-so-“derisively”-termed ‘Obamacare’ down our throats – with the help of our well-meaning legislators on a highly partisan vote.  The rollcall vote is viewable at the Senate website).
Who else needs coverage?  The poor in general?  We’ve got Medicaid.gov.  “Medicaid and CHIP provide health coverage for 60 million Americans” – right from the splash page of their website.  That’s 20 million more than you say STILL are not covered by insurance.  Including Social Security, these few Federal programs comprise nearly 43% of all spending the government does.  Almost half of all spending from 4 programs, or $1.3T.
How much more should we spend?  Will this program be enough?  Obamacare, in all its greatness, doesn’t get rid of Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP.  In fact, it siphoned money from Medicare in order to make itself look less expensive.  I’m all for ending the programs that don’t work, but starting a bigger one (that also won’t work) in their place makes just as little sense as having a whole bushel basket of them that obviously don’t work, or else you wouldn’t have written such a thought out and page-dominating essay about the shoddy healthcare we “receive” in this country.
What I fail to understand, is why do people continue to fly to the US for treatment?  Even Michael Moore (director of the single-payer Canada’s system-loving film, “Sicko,”) went to a private weight loss clinic in Miami, Pritikin Longevity Center, to try to control his weight.  In fact, the only time I ever even read about someone leaving the US to go to another country, is when the FDA will not approve the treatment in the US.
And as for the comments about the ‘constitutionality charade,’ I ask that you remember we are not a Saudi Monarchy, where the government is ruled by decree, we are a Constitutional republic, founded by people who realized the disgusting reality of life under the same idiotic style of government that Mr. Snedeker left, where people are better than you by virtue of their born-into family.  I was born into royalty, so I deserve your fealty.  Ridiculous.  In America, the Constitution is the law, and just because you find it ‘immoral’ to *NOT* force someone to do what you want (logical?), that does not mean you can simply demand the government do it for you.
And, while you’re in America, feel free to donate to any charity you wish, or just give it directly to the people you want to help.  I will never stop you, nor will I ask a legislator to do it for me.”

On college

I recently dropped out of college after receiving my Associate’s in psychology.

I have always had a dream, which I now see as a pipe dream, to be a psychiatrist/psychologist, helping people who can’t really help themselves, or doing what i can to better mankind.

…then I went to school for it.

I saw the costs…  I saw the regulations that States require for anyone dreaming of similar goals… I saw the requirements to ‘systemize’ mental health, where only those with degrees can ‘learn’, and only those with licenses can ‘teach.’

Instead, I dropped out.  I work full-time at a job that I do not love, but pays the bills and I work quite hard at it.  I have slowly moved up and improved myself at it, and because of it.  Had I foregone college I would have lost the opportunity to see how poorly laid out the ‘system’ truly is, and how much of a downright scam it is, but I would have earned significantly more money by working more hours that I had devoted to filling out papers and reading books that I paid hundereds of dollars for, when the information is free on the internet.

That is how ‘higher education’ works, it is also how government works.  Arbitrarily expensive requirements for little to no economic improvement.


On the Corn Palace remodel/reconstruction

Unfortunately I was working during the Corn Palace debates, but here are some thoughts.
The price tag at 35M seems quite high, especially considering that is just renovations…  What would the cost be to simply tear down and reconstruct the entire facility in its place? We definitely don’t need a museum at taxpayer cost.  If we are going to use the CP as both a tourist trap and a ‘convention center’ of sorts, then expand it side walk to side walk, with one row of parking for CP staff only.  With city hall out of the way it could all be floor space or seating.  I’m definitely not suggesting we build it bigger simply for the games, and moving city hall is hardly a priority, but if that’s what we want we should be smart about it and make sure city hall moves into an unoccupied building in town rather than simply building a new one at the taxpayer expense.
How about we save the $35M, repay much of the city’s debt, and lower taxes/simplify all regulation on businesses on main street to encourage long-term development and growth?
I do know this – if we simply move the CP somewhere else, and that somewhere else is anywhere close to the interstate, the northern end of town will die off.  It’s already struggling as it is, with empty office space and empty buildings dotting main street.  Don’t subsidize them, just be smart about it and get tourists to drive through town a ways to find the Palace.
By the way – raising taxes on motels (where tourists stay) to pay for a tourist trap – is idiotic.

On isolationism

For some, the term is directly linked to anything that has to do with either a) limiting government spending on anything it determines to constitute ‘defense’, or b) refuses to invade other countries on vague, murky or outright outrageous ‘evidence’ showing the constitution of a threat.

For others, isolationism is directly linked to the idea that one is inherently a hermit, simply because they refuse to come to your house and smash in the windows.


On support

If you are reading this, either you accidentally clicked a link and are moving on, or are still reading.  In that case, you may be interested enough to answer, what exactly do you support?  Or perhaps, whom do you support?

Do you support everything remotely tied to a certain word or person, or perhaps abstain from even reading about something or someone because of your distaste for them.

Have you ever had a friend who did something you did not like?  Was it bad enough that you ‘disowned’ them, or perhaps tried to get them to change their ways, maybe just said to yourself, “they are my friends, and what they did was wrong, but I cannot fault them for not being perfect.”

What if someone held you to such a degree of similarity that when they saw the bad thing your friend did, automatically placed blame on you as well, for being a friend and therefore a ‘supporter?’  Would you openly support them as a friend, but decry their actions, perhaps  you would drop your friend after public opinion ‘demanded it?’

Who you support can and must be seen two ways, from the way you see it, and the way others do.  This must also be taken into account when ‘visualizing’ the support others have for things or people you like, or dislike.

Support, like beauty, seems to be in the eye of the beholder.