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Monday, January 14, 2013

Lessons Learned

I went to see “Zero Dark Thirty”yesterday afternoon and found it amazing how the movie filled in so many blanks, that I was not aware of. I had read a couple of articles about the effort to get Osama Bin Laden, so I thought I knew how the raid went down. For example, it was a miracle that the mission was a successful, considering all the noise that was made  when on of the helicopters crashed  and the demolition it took to get through the locked steel doors at the  Bin Laden compound. The compound looked more like an old warehouse than a mansion the CIA described.

I took away an important lesson from the movie. I think we need to be more receptive in dealing with those who have a different opinion. In the movie, the main character, a CIA agent simply known as Maya, listened to every word one detainee said and compared it to what other detainees said and came to a conclusion that they all knew the importance of Osama’s mail courier. She found a  common behavior pattern among all the detainees who were asked the whereabouts of Osama’s mail courier.  I disagree with those who said the movie glorified torture because to me, it was more about the emphasis on patience,listening,cooperation,and belief from those in authority.

That doesn’t mean we have to always agree but we have to listen if we are ever going to come to a solution or even a plan.You have to know as much as possible about your opponents.

Politico is reporting that the GOP is planning to default and possibly shut down the government. I get and agree with their concerns about the amount of spending over the past decades but differ when it comes to solutions because I’m adamantly opposed to shutting down the government or disrupting the world financial markets with unnecessary draconian moves. At least we have heard their complaints and proposals.

I think the president needs to go on an education trip around the nation informing the public about our challenges and the severity of defaulting or austerity only solutions. He could start by informing the public that we have already started deficit reduction. He should be truthful and say if we do nothing we will be at 90% debt to GDP and are currently at 79% debt to GDP. If we followed the recommendations of Simpson-Bowles, we could be at 65% debt to GDP, but president can say that he has a balanced plan that could get us to 72% of debt to GDP. As I’ve said we will never reduce the debt to zero, but we can get an acceptable downward trajectory in outlining years.

People should know that 77% of Social Security goes to retirees and their defendants,19% goes to the disabled and the remaining 4% goes to minor children of deceased parents.  We have already made steep cuts in discretionary spending, and besides it’s only 6% of the budget, and more cuts in those programs will not make a dent in our overall problem. It’s still all about the big three;defense spending, Medicare and Medicaid. We know a voucher system will not pass but there are numerous ways of reducing costs of two of those programs, like means testing, bulk purchase of prescription drugs, age requirement, discussing the impact of chained CPI but a lot of it is implemented and adjust.

The most common complaint I get from those not wanting any additional gun laws is that they fear it will lead to gun confiscation. The president should refer them to the 2008 Supreme Court case “Heller” where Supreme Court Justice Scalia spelled out the reason a citizen's right to bear arms will never be taken away.


Mike said...

500 ac Multi- event Center..Cool we've been needing one for ages.

Now the Airline Road extension that Legion has been talking about makes sense...:-)

Edith Ann said...

The President's news conference was very good this morning.

Legion said...

Now now Mike, my comments about the Airline extension, building fire stations ect., had to do with A&M building a new campus out that way.

I did say that the city is determined to make the extension happen even if it isn't currently on the cities capital improvement list. That being said, if the event center is approved, what a great way to move the extension on/up on the list.

BTW, I didn't see any mention of the cost to the county, umm taxpayers, for the event center. A outside consultant must be hired I guess.

Someone on the VicAd site commented about the need for a Lacrosse field at the center. About 8 months ago my nephew and his Houston based Lacrosse club team drove here to play some other Lacrosse team at the Stroman football field, so who really knows if a Lacrosse field is needed.

Mike said...

I was praising your insight Legion in putting the dots together....Perhaps I misunderstood.

Lacrosse is right there with ice hockey,also part of the plan.

Mike said...

EA ,he laid down the law and had a word or two for a few reporters....:-)

Mike said...

I just saw an interview with Larry Ward,Chairman of Gun Appreciation Day who said a couple of wacky things.
1. He thinks citizens should be able to have the same weapons as the government.
2. He said if slaves had a right to bear arms,we would not have had slavery....What dah? The slaves came in shackles and were in no shape for an armed rebellion.

It's people like that who make a civil discussion about guns.

Legion said...

My thoughts on the matter have not changed, I still think the Airline extension is a not spoken of to much goal of the city leaders.

The extension of Airline almost happened during the Eisenhower administration, paid for with federal funds. The extension was part of the Foster Field appropriations passed by congress at the time, that is until 8 or 9 months later to close Foster. They did build the control tower though, that's why it wasn't used until recently.

Legion said...

that is until 8 or 9 months later when the decision to close Foster was made.

A lil correction

Edith Ann said...

The Airline Extension was on the CIP recently (had to be ready for the big switch-r-oo) but according to Lynn Short, it has been removed.

Fromthe article (assuming you can trust the Advocate): "During the meeting, Roth said the facility "strictly would be funded by us," with no commitment on the county. Later, he said it would likely be a private-public partnership including the city, county and other players."

I'll take bets on which way that goes...

Mike said...

I can get interested in the sausage making of a large project like this.......who will take the bows at the banquet when this project is complete?

Are you making any money on your bets EA?but of course it was just a metaphor...:-)

Edith Ann said...

Let's see, seated at the head table will be Mayor ARmstrong, Dale Fowler and Claud Jacobs.

Right now witht h city, I have bigger fish to fry--they have had the first public hearing (with next to no public notice) on a change to the city code. They are trying to eleminate trash pick up at multi-family buildings unless they are three units or less. I know my neighborhood is made up of a gazillion 4-plexes. I live in a row of 4 townhouses. I'm going to have to contract with Waste managemnet or, worse yet, my landlord may choose to put in a dumpster! If he does, he ill have no qualms whatsoever hiking the rent again!

He raised our rent in July, to get it 'in line with marktet values'. Then in November he notified us that he was raising the rent 8% becasue of 'Obamacare and the uncertainty of what Congress and the President do' regarding the fiscal cliff! CAn you believe it! I have the world's worst landlord!

Mike said...

I think a lot of landlords raised rents because they could using the demand for housing as the is he providing health care for his employees?I can understand big companies worried about uncertainly and the inactions of the federal government but the fiscal cliff was over hyped....I think your landlord is a film flam artist,liar,or pretty naive.

Edith Ann said...

I like liar and flim-flam artist!