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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-20-2005, 05:01 PM   #41
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

Damn, Cut-Throat, you are confrontational
(at least on this site), just like me. Alas, your posts
always seem to be left leaning. Lighten up a bit.
All of us are going to wind up the same way. Only the details of how we lived and are remembered will
differentiate, and in time even that will fade away.

JG
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-20-2005, 06:14 PM   #42
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

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Damn, Cut-Throat, you are confrontational.
At least he makes sense. The Nords, GDER, etc contingent are only buttering their own already well buttered bread.

And Nords, what a lot of BS about body armor and life expectancy. Many people drawing military pensions have never even faced a bullet, let alone taken one.

The men who actually do the fighting are drawn to combat units because they are aggeessive and patriotic, and maybe life in Alabama didn't look to good. This kind of person isn't really into pensions.

Military pensions are of interest to "lifers", a special breed in any case. I read a study of retention- at least among enlisted men, many men of a actual fighting age left becaue of military bullshit, family stresses, etc-and *not any problems with pensions.

A clerk in a 7-11 probably runs more lifetime mortal risk than most military personnel.

BTW, my FIL retired O-6 in 1964 or '65. He has drawn much more in retirement than he ever earned on active duty. His only actual war was Korea. On the Army dime he managed to get a PhD in applied mathematics, which enabled him to garner another public pension from the U. of Maryland. This guy is 91. and with his high income, cheap commissary food, and Walter Reed Medical care, he looks to be drawing his pension for a good long time beyond the 40 years he already has.

If they mashed their pensioners somewhere close to reality, maybe they could afford to buy amored personnel carriers for the people who are actiually fighting?

Lots of military are good at flying desks.

Mikey

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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-20-2005, 07:07 PM   #43
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

Can't we all just get along?

I am my own fav. charity. Beyond that, I told DW
tonight that I was thinking of leaving my youngest
daughter's share of my estate to The NRA. I was about
half serious. DW was not amused

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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-20-2005, 09:22 PM   #44
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

One could almost take this thread as evidence of a conspiracy, take all of you passionate, actual productive citizens/contributors to society at each others throats over some idealogical issues the two party system made up to keep you from uniting to tar and feather the crooks in D.C. who continue to live fat on your backs!

Still, even when you guys really slug it out, it's still very civil and intelligent when compared to the usual debate at my work.

"maybe a five day waiting period on howitzers is a good idea-"

"COMMIE FAG!!!!" :P
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-21-2005, 06:25 AM   #45
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

A true ER will build his own howlitzer - made my first one at twelve for the 4th of July. Give up the craft for girls at 15 though.

Any red blooded American can build a howlitzer.
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The military is being "fixed" plenty-- part 1/2.
Old 04-21-2005, 06:31 AM   #46
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The military is being "fixed" plenty-- part 1/2.

Quote:
And Nords, what a lot of BS about body armor and life expectancy. Many people drawing military pensions have never even faced a bullet, let alone taken one.

The men who actually do the fighting are drawn to combat units because they are aggeessive and patriotic, and maybe life in Alabama didn't look to good. This kind of person isn't really into pensions.

Military pensions are of interest to "lifers", a special breed in any case. I read a study of retention- at least among enlisted men, many men of a actual fighting age left becaue of military bullshit, family stresses, etc-and *not any problems with pensions.
I'm not trying to fix SS and I certainly can't change your mind, Mikey. *But let me make some comments for everyone's consideration.

I spent 24 years AVOIDING bullet situations-- not seeking them-- and I think we're all glad that I did the same with nuclear weapons. *With apologies to Patton, if you have to fight a war then you win it by making the other country's dumb SOBs face the bullets. *Funny thing: for most of my career we were more undermanned in the submarine force than in both the Army and USMC infantry, despite the relative scarcity of bullet wounds. *I don't think the bullets tell the whole story.

That's my opinion on body armor. *I don't know what affects military pension longevity (just as I was wrong on lifespan gains) but I suspect that body armor has a lot to do with it. *The statistics show that a lot more severely-wounded soldiers are living through combat and able to stay on active duty to collect that pension someday. *We're at one of the few times in history where more soldiers are surviving formerly lethal wounds, and that's the fact that influenced my opinion. *If you were making a joke, well, then, I missed the point.

Of course military survival (even without subsequent disability) costs much more than death benefits, but I think it's worth it. *Hopefully we taxpayers aren't slapping a cost-benefits analysis on that expense.

You read a retention study. *I lived through 20+ years of that crap and I read more studies than reactor plant manuals. *During the Cold War, a pretty aggressively patriotic time, my submarines were chronically undermanned by an average of 15% (some couldn't even get underway) and my shore-duty commands routinely gapped billets by four-six months. *Then it got worse. *

Military pensions have actually changed twice in the last 25 years. *First was the change from the "final pay" to the "high-three" system (started in 1980) which reduced pensions by about 5%. *No one blamed retention on that. *But in the mid-80s, when REDUX started and retention plunged, many of my best troops were stripped away by the detailers to boost the recruiting duty. *In the '90s I went to 5-10 retirement ceremonies a month for several YEARS as many were forced to retire despite the fact that we were still falling short of recruiting goals. *I even watched my budgets get cut 20-30%, perhaps to pay Spike Lee's recruiting commercials of "cool" sailors jamming on the flight deck in their own rock bands. *Despite all those studies & recruiters, the retention picture didn't improve until we stopped booting out the senior people, started paying higher re-enlistment bonuses, and modified REDUX. *(Then we cut back the recruiting corps by 25% and STILL made goals.) *The submarine force is still paying the price for the 1995-6 recruit shortage and I suspect it's not the only community. *Each one of those changes affected a specific group of people, and the money spent on them spoke a lot louder than any of the retention studies read by either one of us.
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The military is being "fixed" plenty-- 2/2
Old 04-21-2005, 06:33 AM   #47
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The military is being "fixed" plenty-- 2/2

Quote:
A clerk in a 7-11 probably runs more lifetime mortal risk than most military personnel.

BTW, my FIL retired O-6 in 1964 or '65. He has drawn much more in retirement than he ever earned on active duty. His only actual war was Korea. On the Army dime he managed to get a PhD in applied mathematics, which enabled him to garner another public pension from the U. of Maryland. This guy is 91. and with his high income, cheap commissary food, and Walter Reed Medical care, he looks to be drawing his pension for a good long time beyond the 40 years he already has.

If they mashed their pensioners somewhere close to reality, maybe they could afford to buy amored personnel carriers for the people who are actiually fighting? Mikey
I wonder how long those 7-11 clerks have to wait until they vest their pensions. And I wonder how long they waited for a 401(k) program-- ask your FIL about the TSP! (I think you're also pretty optimistic about Walter Reed's quality, but that's my opinion and perhaps even your FIL's too.) I pulled down ~$880K nominal (no inflation adjustment) over 24 years. At ~$34K/year it'll take me about 25 years to pull ahead, less if the COLA beats inflation. (And I think it'll take even longer when those numbers are adjusted for inflation.) When the aggressive patriotism cools a little after the first decade of service, pensions are much more important to families than the "thrill of combat"-- and it has a much stronger effect on retention.

I agree with you that no one should join the military just for the benefits or the pension. They're not satisfiers but they sure are dissatisfiers, and long-term retention jumps every time we improve them. It's hard to assess the cost-effectiveness of training when soldiers are getting graduate degrees instead of shot at. But perceptions of overly generous pensions also overlook the pensioner's risk of getting killed (or disabled) before being eligible to draw it. We're encouraging these desk jockeys to stick around and train the junior patriots, or otherwise our military would look like Russian conscripts or the Japanese aviators at the end of WWII. I think a high-risk occupation merits a generous pension or the aggressive patriots won't stay beyond their first enlistment. What's next-- firefighters & police officers? Are too many of them flying desks too?

Here's another data point. The Reserves aren't making recruiting quotas during the last couple years and they're telling Reservists to expect to be mobilized one year out of every five or six. (This hasn't happened since WWII.) Several studies have shown that Reserve mobilizations will reduce civilian 401(k) contributions, civilian promotions, and self-employed business owners. When the legislation passes, let's see what the Reserves age 55 retirement does to recruiting & retention. The extra five years of retired pay is expected to encourage more people to be aggressively patriotic without forcing their families to go on food stamps.

One final question-- if the military pension is so generous, then where are all the other military ERs?
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-21-2005, 07:36 AM   #48
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

GD-ER

Girls, drive in's, cars, rock and roll - a poster child of the late 50's/early 60's. Like the movie - Happy Day's.

1955 Pontiac Chieftain, 1954 Modified Plymouth, 1937 Chevy Coupe - Loretta, Carol and Flo.

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Re: The military is being "fixed" plenty
Old 04-21-2005, 09:28 AM   #49
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Re: The military is being "fixed" plenty

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Your cut is significantly more choosing to leave at 20.
Well I was certainly ready to leave, but it wasn't my choice. By then I'd already been turned down for TERA three times so I think that my desires were pretty clear.

Good point on enlisted pensions. Today's 20-year high-three E-6 pension is about $17,400 and a 24-year CPO pension is about $25,600.

I met Ron Hays this week, former USCINCPAC who retired in 1988 after 38 years of service. He's between 76-80 years old and he's still working as a consultant with his second company. In his "spare" time he's a member of the board of the USS MISSOURI Memorial Association and he's on the board of the proposed Ford Island Naval Aviation Museum. In his defense, he's still smiling and he looks like he's in his 50s.

He asked me "Who are you with?" It took me a few seconds to realize he wasn't speaking of my spouse. I probably passed up the job-interview opportunity of the year...
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-21-2005, 09:59 AM   #50
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

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even - iffff - it's NOT exactly constitutional??! :

I cede the point. But there are so many laws on the books that violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution I have sadly resigned myself to our fate(what does a hate crime have to do with interstate commerce). :P
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-21-2005, 10:57 AM   #51
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

Wouldn't you know that we would get to gun control. Gather around children, let us talk about Constitutional Law.

The Second amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The Supreme Court of the United States has the final say on the meaning of the Constitution, of just what right the Second Amendment protects. But the Supreme Court has given no definitive answer. It did say in a 1930s case that possession or use of a sawed off shotgun did not have a reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia and thus it could not hold that the Second Amendment guaranteed the right to such a gun.

It has not said that this right is an individual right. It also has not said that the right is only a "state" or "militia" right. So we have a lot of arguing with no final answer.

However, the way the Constitution works is that the Second Amendment would at best only bar the federal government from infringing the right to bear arms. A state government or a private entity can infringe all they want, unless a state's own constitution creates a right to bear arms and prohibits infringement of that right.

I have my own opinion about what the second amendment means. But all we have are opinions because only the Supreme Court can decide what it means.
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-21-2005, 11:33 AM   #52
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

Nords, your explanation of retirement benfits was evenhanded and I appreciate it.

What happens to me when anyone wants to "fix SS" is that SS looks to be the only thing I can look forward to the government doing for me. So I act like a Mama Bear does when her cubs are threatend.

Additionally, I am in the camp that feels that social security, and indeed all populist social programs are under skillful attack by neo-cons and their point men. I am opposed to this attack.

Somewhere earlier in this discussion someone said that Medicare was in need of a fix. IMO, that draws the circle too small. US health care is in need of a fix. Singling out Medicare, while failing to mention other problems such as our auto industry being devastated by worker and retiree health costs is a form of divide and conquer age warfare. Politicians understand divide and conquer quite well, and the Bush contingent better than the general run of politicians.

Once they have come for the old folks, be assured they will come for other groups one by one. It's an old technique.

Mikey

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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-21-2005, 12:34 PM   #53
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

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Nords, your explanation of retirement benfits was evenhanded and I appreciate it.

What happens to me when anyone wants to "fix SS" is that SS looks to be the only thing I can look forward to the government doing for me. So I act like a Mama Bear does when her cubs are threatend.

Additionally, I am in the camp that feels that social security, and indeed all populist social programs are under skillful attack by neo-cons and their point men. I am opposed to this attack.

Somewhere earlier in this discussion someone said that Medicare was in need of a fix. IMO, that draws the circle too small. US health care is in need of a fix. Singling out Medicare, while failing to mention other problems such as our auto industry being devastated by worker and retiree health costs is a form of divide and conquer age warfare. Politicians understand divide and conquer quite well, and the Bush contingent better than the general run of politicians.

Once they have come for the old folks, be assured they will come for other groups one by one. It's an old technique.

Mikey
Well put, Mikey.
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-21-2005, 01:20 PM   #54
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

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However, the way the Constitution works is that the Second Amendment would at best only bar the federal government from infringing the right to bear arms. A state government or a private entity can infringe all they want, unless a state's own constitution creates a right to bear arms and prohibits infringement of that right.

I have my own opinion about what the second amendment means. But all we have are opinions because only the Supreme Court can decide what it means.
Well, I feel like I'm challenging a world class fencer with a butterknife, but really I'm just asking questions here:

Many times the Federal government as argued in front of the Supreme Court (and it seems they mostly agree) that Federal law supercedes state and local law (a.k.a. Federal laws against segregation trumping any local or state law in the South). Is it the conspicuous silence or the fact that it is worded, in a negative rather than a positive (i.e. if it said, "YOU have the right to bear arms.")

Also, I would love to hear your opinion on what the 2nd amendment means, considering you have the intelligence to speak on it and the credentials to back it up. I have not gotten old enough to be absolutely sure I'm right on every issue (unlike some on this board ) so I'm ready to put my learning cap on!
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-21-2005, 02:45 PM   #55
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

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Also, I would love to hear your opinion on what the 2nd amendment means
Laurence...you didnt ask me, but thats never stopped me from expressing an opinion before

Our governmental ancestors, in many writings and speeches, had among them two substantial fears that they hoped were addressed by the second amendment. These concerns were that the government would at some time no longer represent the will of the people, and the desire to limit the need for a standing army. They had wisely determined that if you have something, you will likely use it. Not necessarily for the best outcome.

In fact, the maintenance of a standing army for longer than either 2 or 3 years straight (I forget which) was prohibited in the original constitution...another one of those things we laid by the wayside a while back.

The interpreted intent of the 2nd amendment (by many without any vested interest, but certainly not all) was for the general population to maintain arms for the intent to be able to 'speak their mind' with the government if it became no longer their representative, and to form a militia to protect our interests on demand. Considering that at the time, a few dozen guys with a musket, pistol and sword along with a few canons and you had yourself a regular army unit!

In the modern era, with a fairly substantial standing army and it being a crime punishable by death to oppose the standing government, I suppose its somewhat obvious that the original intent is rendered a wee bit irrelevant.

Those with a strong leaning towards gun ownership frequently talk about the need to suppress crime or 'level the playing field' vs a prospective criminal, and to be able to protect their homes from armed invaders.

Theres a bit of disparity between eras in this interpretation. The 'wild west' mentality of carrying and using guns to commit crimes and for personal and home protection came about...well...during the wild west times when the revolver and the pump action rifle and shotgun were invented and became popular. Quite some time after the constitution and second amendment were written.

My personal opinion, as a conservative former gun owner who used to teach gun handling and marksmanship to overpriviledged children in my earlier years, is that the NRA's interpretation of the second amendment is simply one of picking out the parts you want to hear and pretending the rest isnt there.

I think itd be pretty interesting to call up Washington, Jefferson, Franklin or one of their ilk and ask them their opinion on owning an arsenal of weapons capable of killing hundreds of people in a matter of minutes with little or no effort or the benefits of carrying a hidden pistol that could kill 10+ people in moments
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-21-2005, 04:02 PM   #56
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

Th, first off thanks for the answer. I'm familiar with your argument there, but while I agree the FF's (Founding Fathers) did not fathom what was coming in the arena of firearms, that doesn't change the language of the Constitution. I'm not saying there shouldn't be gun control, but how is a Federal Assault Weapon Ban not unconstitutional? My other reference to interstate commerce was that it's my understanding the language referencing that has been used/abused to pass all sorts of federal laws, (kidnapping, etc.).
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-21-2005, 07:36 PM   #57
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

T'is all irrelevant anyway. The genie is out of the bottle and once out, cannot be put back...
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-21-2005, 07:50 PM   #58
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

I know that I repeat here, but I must, I must

I have belonged to The NRA forever. They are not quite
aggressive enough to suit me, but they are the best hope for those of us in the "gun culture". I believe
non-felons and non-mental patients should be able to own practically any kind of weapon as long as they don't hurt anyone with it. And, I don't think they should
have to explain or justify why they need or want it.
"just because" should be a perfectly acceptable answer.
One thing I do not fear at all is arming my fellow citizens.

JG
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-21-2005, 08:05 PM   #59
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

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I'm sure some lib court in the future will determine...
I really have to hand it to the republican party and Fox for so cleverly altering the lexicon of the word 'liberal'.... it's to the point where you could interchange the crude expletive "fu**in'" with 'liberal' and still preserve the meaning of the sentence.... try it in the above quote, it's fun!
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur
Old 04-22-2005, 07:57 AM   #60
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Re: My 1 on 1 with a US Congressman - Social Secur

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I really have to hand it to the republican party and Fox for so cleverly altering the lexicon of the word 'liberal'.... it's to the point where you could interchange the crude expletive "fu**in'" with 'liberal' and still preserve the meaning of the sentence.... try it in the above quote, it's fun!

Well lib me, it works!

Martha, come back, I promise I'll behave myself, I need some more quotes from you to plagiarize during my next office conversation.

JG, I'm confused (happens often, I know) you pay money to one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington yet you don't even vote? You are a bundle of contradictions!

To all of you who served, from a guy who never did, I just have ONE THING TO SAY TO YOU!!!!

Thanks!
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