168 We get into some of the craziest flacks.

Comments

Tom Garrett 1 year ago

The U. S. is attending a conference in Bangkok over global biodiversity. The U.S. has made a proposal to streamline moves in and out of some countries by issuing a special "musical passport."

Yeah, I know. You're groaning and saying, "Oh, man! Not another goofy %$#@! high-tech lunatic idea!"

Relax. This is not high tech and it makes sense.

Suppose you are a musician and you visit some country carrying a musical instrument that has some "endangered wildlife product" in it, such as exotic hardwoods, ivory or tortoise shell? Suppose they grab your six thousand dollar, 180 year old violin bow made of exotic hardwood and keep it?

There are now--at last count--over 35,000 plant and animal species that are protected by someone or other. If the proposal is approved, then any traveler could be issued a "musical instrument passport" valid for three years which would nicely avoid a problem.

The trouble is, you see, someone walking into a store and buying something cannot possibly be required to know what country some part of it came from, or if that country has made it illegal to use that particular substance. Would you know?

How about that guitar you bought in that yard sale last week? Or that ebony statue of Buddha that Lolly and I brought back from India 50 years ago? Or some of the shells in Lolly's collection--the ones that are now protected, but weren't when they were picked up off a coral reef on Okinawa in 1964? You want to argue with a customs officer in Sri Lanka, Iraq, or China about that?

By the way, what would your solution to a shoirtage of some rare wood like ebony? Would you make laws about buying and selling it or would you plant more ebony?

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Pat Randall 1 year ago

Think of all the things, plants and animals that have become extinct. Do we really need them? Do we need the spotted owl, wolf, some endangered rattlesnakes? Sure we do, just like all the large reptiles that are gone. Do we need elephants, crocidiles and all the rest of the endangered species? If one tries to attack and eat us we won't have guns to protect ourselves so why worry?

Plant more ebony if it is needed.

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

"Do we really need them?"

Answer: No.

We are far better of without some of them. Think about having a T-Rex running around in your neighborhood.

We have screwed up a federal conservation program which was intended to conserve the wildlands for "posterity." Instead of doing things for posterity (meaning PEOPLE), as it was intended, the program has been twisted into one that fights nature itself in a vain attempt to keep the planet in the same condition it was in during the years some very silly and unscientific laws were written.

For crying out loud! If humankind had arisen during the Age of Reptiles do you seriously think we would have been able to keep the dinosaurs from going extinct? If you want to do something for nature you need to pull on the rope in the same direction nature is pulling. We're trying to push a rope up a hill.

I'd like rabid environmentalists to explain to me where they are going to get the house jacks they'll use to keep the plate Los Angeles is sitting on from toddling along until it is a sister city to Anchorage. Or how they are going to keep the Colorado Plateau from continuing its upward movement, from sea level 5 million years ago, to the over a mile and a half above sea level it occupies now; and it is still going up. How you gonna stop it?

Four things should set the laws:

  1. We must ask how much actual scientific proof there is concerning CAUSES, not regarding observed changes, but regarding what is causing those changes.

  2. No action should be taken which shovels against the tide of plate tectonics, which causes changes totally beyond our control.

  3. If there is a tension between doing something and letting nature have her way, the only action we should take is working with, not against, nature.

  4. We must always ask what percentage of our national budget we afford to expend on programs to lessen the effect of natural changes which we cannot control.

Right now our laws ignore all four of those, but time which show how foolish and short sighted we are at the moment.

And yes, plant more ebony!

If there is some part of nature which we admire, part we care about and can preserve, and if there is a natural approach to protecting and increasing it, and it does no harm to humans, then do it!

Just don't tilt at windmills.

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

  1. There is actual scientific evidence that smog is bad for breathing, oil spills kill fish and other animals, that fracking pollutes ground water, that ^carbon emission is correlated with ^ temperature, and that radiation causes cancer, but only if you care to look.

  2. No argument there. But interestingly, fracking may be causing issues with fault lines.

  3. There is always tension between building something and letting nature have her way. I agree that we should work with, and not against, nature, but that rarely happens.

  4. We must always ask what percentage of our national budget do we spend on corporations that actually cause harmful effects to nature and humanity, and we do have control over those actions. We should spend ZERO tax dollars subsidizing Big Oil, Monsanto, AIG, the auto industry, or any other Corporation for that matter.

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don evans 1 year ago

Right on. That would leave more money for more entitlement benefits for "where is my free Obama phone" programs. Tell those evil corps. to quit mfg your prescription meds and your medical devices. Shut down all domestic oil production and return to camp fires for warmth. Down with profit making, no body excels at anything over anyone else. Power to mother Gaia over humankind. We are a virus.

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

Robbin,

My! My! This is going to be a long post. Has to be, out of respect for your detailed, thoughtful reply.

First, welcome. Haven't heard from you before. Glad to have you as a participant. I'd like to point out that I genuinely enjoyed reading your comments, but I see that Don didn't. You pushed a lot of buttons. These issues are odd ones. They sprawl over both scientific and political areas, creating a lot of flak.

  1. I agree with you that there is scientific evidence that "smog is bad for breathing, oil spills kill fish and other animals, that fracking pollutes ground water, that ^carbon emission is correlated with ^ temperature, and that radiation causes cancer...."

Let's take a look at those comments, though, and see why scientists get angry at how such evidence is used, and just what it may be evidence of. I can comment on that because I am a scientist (undergraduate degree in chemistry, physics and biology, with support courses in the earth sciences, psychology and so on).

We can set aside "smog is bad for breathing" and "oil spills kill fish and other animals" because they are rarely used for political purposes.

However, when it comes to "carbon emission is correlated with temperature," we enter an area where there is currently more mistruth being spoken than truth. C02 is well known for its ability to act like the glass windows in your car, letting in visible light and reflecting back the infrared, thereby causing an increase in temperature. I'm sure you know that is called the "greenhouse effect." That's proven science.

But the minute that effect is extrapolated to provide "proof" that the current increase in Earth's temperature is human-caused the chain of evidence breaks down. Notice the word "caused." Proving that an effect has a specific cause is one of the most difficult of all scientific tasks, especially where long term, planet-wide events are concerned. A careful look at all available evidence, however, shows that the current increase in temperature is almost perfectly correlated with events on the sun, and is not at all correlated with increases in C02. That makes perfect sense because climate change events in a geological past have been far more severe than what we are currently seeing, and we weren't here to create them. However, the question is, "What evidence have we one way or the other?"

I have a PDF copy of beautifully scientific and non-political study published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (2007) 12, 79-90. I wish I could send it to you, and would, but I'm afraid the Roundup e-mail system will not handle a PDF file. However, if you would care to click on my name and make a comment that includes your e-mail address I will send it to you. Your e-mail address will go nowhere else and I know you will enjoy reading the plain truth. The study is in-depth but easy to read and contains many graphs, one in particular that you will love seeing; it has this caption comment:

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

"Figure 3: Arctic surface air temperature compared with total solar irradiance as measured by sunspot cycle amplitude, sunspot cycle length, solar equatorial rotation rate, fraction of penumbral spots, and decay rate of the 11-year sunspot cycle (8,9). Solar irradiance correlates well with Arctic temperature, while hydrocarbon use (7) does not correlate."

Here is an abstract of what the study concludes:

"ABSTRACT: A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth’s weather and climate. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future in creases in hydrocarbon use and minor greenhouse gases like CO2 do not conform to current experimental knowledge. The environmental effects of rapid expansion of the nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries are discussed."

As to "radiation" causing cancer, I suspect you already know that we have to be careful about general terms like "radiation." Interestingly, we just had a discussion of that exact subject. The string was "181 As promised, some facts about cell phone radiation." In it, the point was made that ionizing radiation, such as that from radioactive materials, is a known carcinogen. The jury is still out on non-ionizing radiation, but microwaves (such as those used in cell phones) can cause brain tissues to warm and so we talked about steps that people could take to protect themselves if they were concerned (I would be).

  1. I don't doubt that fracking can have an effect on fault lines. Somewhere, many years ago I read some data on the effect of liquids on fault lines, long before fracking came along. I suppose we'll hear more about that. Since an earthquake occurs when the pressure between two plates grows to the point that they move, it makes sense that "greasing" the area of contact may have an effect. I've read studies done years ago that suggested that one way of reducing the danger of a catastrophic earthquake might be to force liquids down a fault line to cause the plates to slip more often (in mini-quakes), thereby reducing the danger of the "big one." Has anyone done that? I don't know. I suspect people would worry about the legal aspects. I can see the lawyers having field day with that one when a quake occurred.

  2. "...rarely happens." Amen! Back in the 60's we had "conservationists" who tended to be scientists who wanted to fulfill the original desire of legislation to do what we could for posterity. The movement has been taken over by people who seem to think that we have God-like powers to maintain 1970 forever, and who have forgotten that wolves were shot out because they were a menace to humans.

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

  1. We have problems at both ends of the political spectrum. Neither control freaks like Mayor Bloomberg nor greedy businessmen should be allowed to improperly affect how much we collect in taxes or where they go. We are currently kidding around on a string that touches on the sugar price-support laws, for example. At times, farm price-supports seem wrong, and at times they seem right. Hard call. We need the farm produce, and farming can be a daunting business because of speculation on "futures" (which I think should be halted). Until we take care of some far more critical issues, like putting the stolen money back in the Social Security trust fund I plan to stay away from price supports and tax breaks. Too complex. Too much hidden data.
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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Wow, thank you for your comment. First, I never said that ^carbon was human caused (but there is good evidence that it is.) There is evidence that ^carbon in the past from "super volcanos" has increased the earths temperature. But for arguments sake, lets just presume that humans do in fact have an effect on the environment. We build dams to control water, destroy mountains to extract coal, improperly store radio active material that I am quite sure you wouldn't want to live next to, poison streams to make it cheap and easy for "corporations" to get rid of waste, just to name a few examples. So, yes, people and humanity does have an effect on this planet, I am personally willing to accept responsibility for the effect that I have and do in fact try to be a "good steward" of the land. I seriously wish people would take their blinders off and realize that people do in fact have an impact. As long as people are running around believing that they have no impact then they don't have to look at what that impact is and how they could change their behaviors to make a positive difference for future generations. So, lets do nothing to mitigate the impact/damage. As far as tax dollars being used for "corporate welfare," will have to wait until I have more time, but I will say this, IT IS WRONG.

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

Robbin,

I agree, and I think that all reasonable people do, that humans are adding to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Where scientists go bonkers is when they hear politicians trying to place the blame for the current global warming, which has been going on for more than 20,000 years that we know of, on humans alone. Our effect on the planet is far too small to be of much significance in that regard, but instead of doing what can be done about things we should change, some bongo brains try to use a bat to kill a flea. Of course there should be controls on pollution, and of course there have been, and still are, companies that would just love to be left along to gouge as much money out of us as they can without any fear of penalty, but when politicians use lies and half-truths to get votes they defeat their own cause; they put themselves in a position where it can be shown that they have fudged the facts, kicking the slats out from under the whole program.

I go bananas when I see someone trying to save some %$#@! frog which is doomed by the uplifting of the Colorado Plateau. And I go even crazier when I see some nut trying to re-introduce some %$#@! wolf we shot out because we didn't like them eating out kids for breakfast.

There has to be a line drawn. Draw it in the right place and the world will follow you. Try to draw it where it is a lie and you can forget about support from reasonable people.

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

"Where scientists go bonkers is when they hear politicians trying to place the blame for the current global warming." Its not the scientist that are bonkers, they just gather and analyze data. There has always been fluctuation in the earths temperature and carbon, but what is different is that since the "industrial revolution" there is evidence that people are making a significant impact on the earth and ^carbon. Our effect on the planet is NOT small, in fact it is huge. Land degradation, over fishing, water pollution, rain forest destruction, over population to the point of unsustainability and famine, genetic manipulation of our food crops, giving people food stamps so they go out and use tax dollars to purchase Pepsi and Nabisco products so they can become disabled and obese which ^health care costs, etc... And, America is not doing what can be done about things we should change, not even close. The controls on pollution are a joke and are insignificant and we do largely leave corporations (which are people) alone to they can continue pollution with minimal penalty and are indeed left alone to gouge as much money out of us as they can, while paying minimal wages to pollute with little fear of significant penalty (Wall Mart for example.) Politicians use half-truths to get votes to perpetuate the cause of corporate subsidies or social programs. If there were not corporate subsidies there would be no need for the social programs, so its a sick, dysfunctional system paid for by tax dollars, and there is no end in sight.

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Pat Randall 1 year ago

What does Walmart do to pollute except give thousands of people jobs? The trucks exhaust while delivering to stores.

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

"Its not the scientist that are bonkers, they just gather and analyze data. "

Robbin, you misread my comment. I'll put it up again and explain it. You have to understand that when I speak I do not speak for myself unless I make that clear. Often I'll say "My Opinion," but there are times when it is so obvious that I am on one side of an issue I don't bother to say it. I do my homework. I quote reliable, non-political sources. I couldn't care less where the axe falls. Left, right, or middle, it is of no interest to me. If you were to go back about three years ago on this forum you would find me fighting tooth and nail over some comments made against President Obama which were not true. My interest lies solely in the truth, and I do my level best to learn what that truth is. I have not watched or listened to a news program in over 6 years now.

What I said was: "Where scientists go bonkers is when they hear politicians trying to place the blame for the current global warming, which has been going on for more than 20,000 years that we know of, on humans alone."

As a scientist, what I am saying is that we scientists go nuts when they hear politicians trying to place all the blame for global warming on human activity. There is no evidence for that. There is plenty of evidence that the Earth is currently in a warming cycle, but it does not directly correlate with human activity. Human activity is added on top of a natural warming trend.

My conclusion, which I feel is the only valid scientific conclusion, and one that the scientific community endorses, is that while we should do what we can to lessen the human effect on global warming, we cannot reverse the trend no matter what we do or how hard we try because we are not its primary cause, which apparently is the normal cyclical variation in solar variation, which has caused wide swings in planetary warming and cooling in the past, and will no doubt go on doing so, even if some tragic accident were wipe out all the humans on the planet.

(more)

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Dear Pat, What doesn't W Mart pollute is a better question. In 1986, Hillary Clinton became W Marts first female board member, and it was a fraction of its current size. Today, its the world's largest retailer and largest private employer, with $312 billion in sales and 1.3 million employees in the US. But now this company has unacceptable practices. For example, poor wages, lack of health coverage for most employees, and 75% of the products it sales are from China, the rest from Mexico.

W Mart's early success was from its "Made in America" campaign, which for years provided the company's sales of American products in its stores. Made in America has vanished because the environmentalists made polluting corporations move overseas. Uneducated, impoverished Chinese and Mexicans do not need fresh water or clean air. And, there is no pesky EPA do deal with.

So now, when you buy a Made in China product or food, it has to travel approximately 1500 miles to get to your plate or home. And because we "subsidize" the oil industry it is affordable to do this, instead of paying for labor or pollution controls here.

The poor wages, create "latch key" children because both parents make $10 per hour at 28 hours per week, instead of one parent making $20 per hour at 40 hours per week. Additionally, the poor wages are just enough to keep the employees in poverty so they can still get food assistance and AHCCSS, another tax funded subsidy. The food aid is from the US farm bill (tax dollars,) and where do people spend their food aid money? Can you imagine how much better Payson would be if the largest employer did the RIGHT thing and paid a living wage?

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

Politicians whose agenda is not to benefit us, but to control us, often take a few genuine facts and try to stretch them to prove something they don't prove. And the media is even worse. They feed the fires of fear to sell air time.

I get my information about scientific questions from scientists and consider what anyone is saying in terms of what I know to be scientific fact and method. I do not accept what politicians or the evening news have to say on some subject. For example, I get my information about the current flap over the tragedy in Connecticut from the FBI, the Secret Service, the CDC, and the Department of Justice, not from the evening news. I go to the studies. I read them. I quote them.

Hm-m-m-m. Maybe it will help to use that as an example.

Let's digress for a moment to see how the media works, and how politicians use the media. Let's take a subject on which I could drag out pages and pages of data from studies done the most respected and reliable non-political agencies in the nation, studies most people never seen because they do not search them out and read them.

The news media has hyped the recent tragedy in Connecticut, my home state, and the Obama administration is trying to use that hype to cripple Second Amendment rights by targeting, not the genuine problem, but ordinary Americans. I could put up pages of data that prove that, and I'll do that if you like, but just consider these general facts:

I have four studies, done by reliable, non-political, government agencies who simply tell the truth when it comes to school shootings. One is done by the CDC, another by the Department of Justice, a third by the FBI, and the fourth by the Secret Service. All four of them put the lie to what Obama is currently trying to do. All four of them say that the laws he is trying to ram through with fear tactics will do NOTHING to abate the actual problem. I'll quote from just one of them regarding how much truth you are hearing from the media.

The study is: "The School Shooter: A THREAT ASSESSMENT PERSPECTIVE"

I'll put part of it up in the third post, but if you like I can put up links to all four studies. (Can't fake it when you actually go to trusted experts, you see.)

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Dear Tom, the earth has actually been cooling for 4 million years, I believe that it once was a mass of hot lava (if memory serves). My concern is not with ^Carbon, but with pollution in general. I just don't think it is a good idea and don't want my family to live in a polluted environment when it can be avoided. ^Carbon comes from many sources, not just from humans. No argument there.

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

(Please note that this is only a very small portion of the study. However, these words are NOT, as you can readily see, taken out of context or twisted in any way.)

"The School Shooter: A THREAT ASSESSMENT PERSPECTIVE"

"Misinformation About School Shootings"

"Though school shootings are extensively covered in the news media, the information available in news reports is not necessarily complete, accurate, or balanced. News coverage is inherently hasty and often relies on sources who themselves have incomplete or inaccurate information."

"News coverage magnifies a number of widespread but wrong or unverified impressions of school shooters. Among them are:

• School violence is an epidemic.

• All school shooters are alike.

• The school shooter is always a loner.

• School shootings are exclusively revenge motivated.

• Easy access to weapons is THE most significant risk factor.

• Unusual or aberrant behaviors, interests, hobbies, etc., are hallmarks of the student destined to become violent."

That's a direct quote. Notice how many things you thought were true are listed by the FBI as untrue. What does that tell you?

Consider the current attempt to rewrite the Constitution in light of just one of the comments made by the FBI:

"News coverage magnifies a number of widespread but wrong or unverified impressions of school shooters. Among them are...[the statement that] easy access to weapons is THE most significant risk factor."

Now. How many times have you heard that exact statement used to justify taking away the right of honest, law abiding Americans to own and bear arms?

Facts. That's what counts, facts. And truth. An honest assessment of the truth.

Let me know if you want links. to the four studies.

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Tom, I mean cooling for 4 billion years. As far as gun laws go, Arizona has the best gun laws in America and we have the second lowest mass shooting rate (behind New Mexico.) The mass shooters have a mental health problem which involves "Homicidal Ideation." The areas in the US that have the highest incidence of mass shooting have the toughest gun laws, like California and New York. Also, all the mass shooters have been men and not women, kind of a strange phenomenon. But anyway, I hope the Payson schools will arm some of the teachers, who want to be armed. Hopefully, the school is working on policy and training for guns in our schools. In response to one of your earlier post, I had to look up what a vegan was. As far as I can tell, its people who like to eat fresh fruit and vegetables and oppose animal cruelty. I don't think that makes for a bad person anymore than eating meat and potatoes makes for a good person. I also looked up "Hippy" which is an antiquated term for a group of youth who had a failed peace movement in the 1960s. I was born and raised in Arizona, no hippy's here, but some of their ideas about peace and being healthy are starting to move into my native Cow Hugging state. I think you and I both know they have little chance at success. Good luck, Peace Loving, Vegetable Lovers, just don't get between me and a big, fat, juicy, elk steak.

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Pat Randall 1 year ago

Robin, Go to Safeway or Basha's and read on thier canned goods and see where they come from. It is in really small print. Probably will say packaged for Dole's or some other familiar brand by some forgien country. The only difference is you will pay quite a bit more. Libby's canned corn beef has been shipped from South America since I was a little girl. Over 65 years ago. Back when there were plenty of cattle in the US. It has reached the point that if all imported food was cut off there would be a lot more starving people here in our country. There are few farms and cattle ranches left. Not near enough to feed us all. And no where to process it. When was the last time you saw a feed lot in Arizona? Or farms growing food?

All the people that complain about cruelty to animals haven't given up thier leather shoes, belts, wallets and purses.

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

"All the people that complain about cruelty to animals haven't given up thier leather shoes, belts, wallets and purses." True that is, and they still shop at WalM. Bashes does offer more local products, and 30% of their retail dollars stay in Arizona, their is no comparison in the meet department, or the vegetable department. Also, they treat their employees better. So when you shop there it is better for the Arizona and not the China economy. I hear that their food is more expensive but that is not really my experience. I have paid .10 more for creamer or yogart but it is worth the better quality for me. Also, their milk is cheaper and way better, they have a non generic cheese selection that W doesn't have. I don't know much about Safeway except that Costco owns them and the starting salary for a Costco employee is approximately $16 per hour and they are a very successful corporation even while paying a decent wage.

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Dan Haapala 1 year ago

Sillest posting I've read in a while. What ego driven belief gives anyone the authority to say that this micro second of human life on Earth has affected anything? Just asking.

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Dear Pat,

I will NOT go to Bashes or any store and buy "foreign Products" especially anything from China. As Tom might say, "it drives me #@&^&%# Bonkers" when people complain about lack of jobs or socialist programs in America. I am a stone cold, Ann Ryan loving, TRUE American Capitalist. If you want jobs in America, support American made products. If you don't like socialism STOP buying Socialist China products, period! As Americans the only true vote that we get is how we spend our "In God WE Trust" dollars. Is God even allowed in China? People need to stop supporting what they don't want, and stop using the excuse "I don't have a choice." Yes you do! Spend the extra dollar to support what you want - AMERICA, consider it tithing. Also, politicians don't run the country, corporations do. So, only support the corporations that match your real values, and stop letting the corporations tell you what your values are. ((Side note: Remember that SCOTUS deemed corporations to be people. So now the US Constitution "We the people", means, "We the Corporations.")

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

"In response to one of your earlier post, I had to look up what a vegan was."

T'weren't me, but I didn't know either, so thanks. :-)

Robbin, here's an amazing truth that may startle you. It actually costs less to ship materials by sea, even over immense distances than it does to truck them Pound for pound the resultant pollution isn't just less, it is far less, perhaps as little as 20% as much. I only happen to know that because the branch of the Air Force that I spent about two thirds of my time in was the Military Airlift Command. In fact, this may astonish you--it astonishes most people--freight carried aboard ships is charged by cube rather than by weight. Just to be I am being clear, I'll add that cube means how much space it takes up. There's a lot of interesting history tied up in those facts. For example, southern cotton growers had special machines for compressing ordinary cotton bales into about a third of their normal size when they were to be shipped overseas.

So what? Well, I hate to admit it because I'd like to see us make and grow everything we use so that we have 100% employment, but it is cheaper and far less polluting to have some things made or grown elsewhere.

I may as well add that my political stand on the issue would be that full employment is far more important than saving a buck at Walmart. And I'll add that we don't save much by importing manufactured goods because the blood sucking leeches who run many corporations just pocket the difference. (And no, although I am strong on private enterprise I am not a fan of CEO's who make $143 million a year, cutting the salaries of employees, failing to pay dividends to the people who own the company, and ignoring the best interests of the company itself."

I'm with you on guns and schools. You're right on par with the research.

As for much of what everyone is saying, a lot of things are a matter of choice. That's the way they have to stay. Is it cruel to wring the neck of a chicken and eat it? You bet! Do I go to KFC? Every week.

Dan, you fired that one right over my head.

As to Walmart, it is going the way so many other retail businesses have gone in my lifetime. First, a wise and wonderful founder. Then, those who inherit. Then, the MBA folks who take over. Then, a chapter something or other bankruptcy. Then, an empty space in the shopping center. It's like evolution occurring right before your eyes except that nothing MBA's touch ever gets better.

Want an education? Read "Call Me Ted." (Ted Turner.)

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Tom, yes products do cost less via ship, but once the products are off the ships, then they have to be trucked (Remember US tax dollars go to subsidize big OIL.) The pollution is tremendous over what it would be if local. Believe it or not, 1500 miles is the distance traveled by foreign products to the average US house hold. (side note: Interestingly, the US military is the largest user of oil and gas in the world.) Plus, there would be employment for US citizens.

Well if you want to see us make and grow everything we use and have plenty of jobs, lets create the jobs here to be less polluting. Lets put our money where we say our values are.

And, yes, please tell me why it is OK for a CEO of a health care intermediary (insurance company) to make $25 million per quarter. [answer: because America is ran by corporations, and that's why "cutting the salaries of employees, failing to pay dividends to the people who own the company, and ignoring the best interests of the company itself," is OK.

I always use correct research information. I am educated just like you, and have at least the same degree you have.

A lot of things are a matter of "perceived choice" dictated by the "TV and Media" to Americans. And yes things can change, if people wake up and use their dollars as a vote.

And damn, if KFC isn't delicious, it is hard to find anything tastier, but I do try to avoid it now, except about a month ago, I couldn't help myself (yum, yum.)

As to W mart, did you know that the 8 owners of W Mart have as much wealth as the bottom 40% of Americans? Its not the MBA that you need to worry about, its any government that takes your money and gives it to someone else, corporation or person!

Do you mean UN supporting, Ted Turner?

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Pat Randall 1 year ago

Robbin, I drink a coffee that comes in a 7.2 oz. can. It is made in America and I pay almost $2.00 less at Walmart than at Basha's. Check the vegetables and fruit at Basha's and Safeway to make sure there isn't a little sticker with Mexico on them.

If you own a car, computer, TV, or any electronic products, you are buying from a foreign country. Maybe the complete machine is assembled in the US. but there are parts that came across the water. Three of the last Fords I bought were assembled in Canada and Mexico with parts from overseas. Toyota has a couple of plants in the south now. How about that?

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

"I always use correct research information. I am educated just like you, and have at least the same degree you have."

Is that a response to this? "Want an education? Read 'Call Me Ted.' (Ted Turner.)"

Had nothing to do with anyone's education. Just tells people that if they want to know what the dog eat dog media world is like, a good place to start is with his autobiography. I don't think I've ever seen anyone so startled as Ted Turner when he got into yet another one of his business deals, forgot to cover his rear end by owning enough of the stock, and found himself on the outside looking in. It IS an education.

You had me there for a minute. I thought you meant un-supporting...

Then I realized you meant he supports the U.N.

Yes, I know his views are remarkably leftist for someone who spent his life in the cutthroat business end of the media world.

Pat,

The Japanese have shown themselves to be the smartest of all foreign nations when it comes to marketing in the United States. They know that if they place their plants here we will not complain about them taking their profits home with them because they have at least employed Americans. That's a wise way to do things. Compare that to--say--Apple, which puts its plants in China, sells to Americans, and then pockets the profits.

The whole thing is stupid. If you put the people out of work who are going to buy your products, where are they going to get the money to buy them? It's just another example of people--NOT corporations--being stupid.

Please note, by the way, that over these many years I have consistently blamed the actual people who rake off profits of companies, pay off politicians, and destroy the economy with the crooked games, NOT corporations. There is nothing inherently wrong with a corporation; in fact allowing people to invest their surplus money in companies of their choice and make a buck is a fine way of sharing the wealth.

That is why I believe our laws should be changed to punish those who are guilty, not those who invest their money in business. (Not me. I don't have a buck invested in anything.)

We have laws about racketeering that need to be looked at and then applied to white collar crime. If someone is found guilty of racketeering he is impoverished. His money is taken, his car, his house--everything he has. What if we did that to the CEO and other administrators in the hospital in California that was dragging in homeless off the streets, treating them for things they didn't have, and charging Medicare? All that happens when things like that happen is that the corporation is fined, thereby doing nothing to the crooks.

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Pat, no doubt you are correct, that is my point, exactly. Buy products made in the US from W mart, and tell them you want American made products. I don't buy food from Mexico or China, yuck! Remember that most Americans (including California) don't want to know what is on, or in their food. But, I do know that Mexico and China can do what ever the he!! they want and nobody is really looking. So, I do look at the little stickers, because I am a conscious American consumer and a capitalist. And, by the way, Agriculture is huge in Arizona there are farms all over that grow crops, and yes there are feed lots in Arizona as well (W mart quality beef.) I do drive a Dodge that gets poor gas millage, so I minimize my driving as much as possible. I do not do TV. I am a grateful American who has been very blessed in this life, and I know it. But, things could be improved in Arizona and I don't see why we shouldn't try. Before 1970 every generation did better than the previous, but not since. If we keep supporting non American based jobs, what is the consequence of that on US? More food aid, kids in poverty with a poor education, more pollution and degradation of our country, etc... The thing that makes the biggest impact on pollution is wealth and education. If we keep supporting non - US jobs, in essence, we are creating "globalization" just by not supporting OUR LOCAL JOBS, CULTURE, AND ECONOMY. Spend US dollars on the US, in my opinion, that is the only thing that will change "corporate" behavior.

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Pat Randall 1 year ago

With your education you should know most coffee comes in a can and you add water. (:

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Pat, Come on, that's not the point. Remember - globalization (one world economy and government via the UN), unemployment, corporate tax subsidies which cause poverty, and pollution? Do you like living in Payson? If we don't protect it, we will loose it all to W Mart type business practices. That corporation is a blight on this community and country and we are supposed to support it but it does not support us. It only takes from us, like TAX subsidies, it provides low wages, and is a major POLLUTER, and it closed down many local business. Do you really want the government to tax your earnings and give it to big oil and w mart employees? How the f%$&# is that a good idea? Hillary Clinton is a genius to have set this up for w mart, but I like Sam Walton's morals way better. There is a very high price to these "low costs" all because of TAX subsidies, paid for by you and me. I can't believe how effective the media is at getting people to look the other way.

I have been reading you and Tom blog for a while on the Payson Round-up (best part of the paper), and you all have inspired me to risk "blogging" and put my opinion out there, I am on your side and I admire you both. But seriously, I want to protect the Arizona culture and I see it all eroding away, while everybody just complains and puts their head in the sand and continues the same behaviors that got us to this place. I think we can do better. If we have a capitalist country and the way we spent our past money got us here, then, the way we spend money now is the only way to change the direction of the future. IF WE CREATED IT, THEN WE CAN UNCREATE IT (as my mom would say.)

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

"Before 1970 every generation did better than the previous, but not since."

That came about primarily, as you probably know, through "deregulation," particularly the change in corporate operating regulations. Too bad; just as you say, we need to undo a lot of terrible laws passed by Congress. What puzzles me is the fact that when we get a Democratic president, and even a Democratic Congress, they do not address our real problems. Instead, they just let the greedy go on gouging the nation and try to balance the result by adding freebies for the poor (like Obamacare). But that won't work unless the tax structure is changed to tax the living daylights out of people who make a lot of money, and that is NOT the solution. Why? Because some of those people EARN that money, primarily by owning a large successful company. I suppose we could distinguish between administrators who are nothing but raiders of corporate profits and people who actually earn what they make, and make laws that tax the one very heavily and the other more lightly, but I'm willing we'd screw it up, and it smacks of socialism as well.

The end result could be predicted by any third grader: the country runs in the red all the time, the national debt goes up, and too much of what we budget each year goes in interest on the national debt.

The answer? RE-regulation of corporations; pay scales for everyone that are in accord with profits, along with mandatory production of some goods within the United States. I would make exceptions for some things, like fruit and vegetables, which are seasonal, but until we had 100% employment and all illegals had been sent home (with the usual humanitarian exceptions) I would be very hard on who could sell us what or how much an American could make overseas. In fact, I might even consider VERY high taxes on money made elsewhere and VERY long prison sentences (20 or more years) for hiding money off-shore.

"If we keep supporting non - US jobs, in essence, we are creating "globalization"..."

Amen!

"Spend US dollars on the US, in my opinion, that is the only thing that will change "corporate" behavior."

It's a thought. If things get bad enough we may get that to work. It would require people to boycott places like Walmart that buy too much overseas. Boycotts hurt.

"...to risk "blogging" and put my opinion out there..."

I hear that from a lot of people. I get I do not know how much e-mail from people I know who I suspect really hope that I'll put their thoughts up here for them, but I don't. And the reason is important. The very best way for a democracy to run is for the people to voice their opinions loudly, and in public, to let politicians know they can't fool the people.

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Deregulation in deed. The repeal of the Glass - Steagal Act, was the very most damaging. We lost our "firewall" between us and the investment banks. I don't think the laws in congress are going to change anything. The only thing that will matter is how we spend US dollars, the "laws will follow the money." Any time we want anything from the government there will be unintended consequences. Minimal government intervention and capitalism is the way to go. Democrat vs. Republican, makes no difference, because they both represent corporate interests. Public officials are not there to solve problems for people but for corporations, period. As far as "the greedy" goes, it is the people who support them financially, don't like "greedy corporations," DO NOT PURCHSE THERE PRODUCTS. You want to start a campaign that makes a difference, right the corporations and tell them to increase wages and take less personal profit. The government can't and won't accomplish this. The government did just raise the minimum wage to 7 something an hour, well big f*&^ing deal. Now there are adults with children in Payson making mostly 8 to 10 per hour. Ever wonder why there is so much abject poverty, and need for social programs in our town? The corporations and practices are gouging the nation and creating the need for "freebies for the poor." Leveling out the tax structure will most definitely, help but is not the entire solution. (If someone has to pay higher taxes or better wages, I bet they will choose better employee wages.)

And because of the current unfair, tax structure, and a deregulated market / banks, most current, large corporate business models do favor and encourage owners, management and administrators who do keeps most of the corporate profits, and people who actually produce the work product "are lucky to have that low paying job." If that ain't socialism, I don't know what is.

How about just fair taxes on overseas money. You only get VERY long prison sentences if you steal from a corporation, but if a corporation steals from you, that is of course, OK. But the CEO will be handed a slap on the wrist, just for good measure.

"Spend US dollars on the US, in my opinion, that is the only thing that will change "corporate" behavior." I am not suggesting Boycott. I am suggesting that we INVEST in American products, produce, jobs and local businesses. If we don't buy a piece of crap toy that was "Made in China" that doesn't hurt anybody. It helps all of us, it helps reduce pollution, and most importantly it helps by sending a financial message that we "don't want that crap," anymore!

Also, Check out the legislation that is coming forward to censor the internet. SUPER SCARY! There will truly be no more "freedom of expression" it this legislation is passed.

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Pat Randall 1 year ago

Robbin, How about Home Depot, Pet Smart and some of the other big stores moving in? Check where their merchandise comes from.

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Dear Pat, Once again, I do not purchase foreign products. I support America with my financial vote (every dollar), and yes it takes a bit more effort and sometimes slightly more expense. The way I look at it is, if it wasn't grown, produced or made by an American, I don't want or need it.

Either you support globalization (the IMF and the UN ruling America and the world) or we are American Capitalists. The almighty US dollar has the power to move the markets, the world and our community. Please spend your money wisely, and don't just blindly purchase a product cuz' it cheep.

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Pat Randall 1 year ago

Robbin, You must live under a tree if you haven't bought anything that does not have something in or on it made in another country. How about the drywall in your house? Telephone or cell phone? Furniture. You said you drive a Dodge. Where does the gas and oil come from that it runs on? Does it have a radio?

Where are all these farms and feed lots in Ariz? Where have all the citrus farms gone? The few that are left in and around Mesa are dying because the owners are just waiting for a subdivder to come by and plant houses.

I also was born and raised in Arizona. Went thru school at Julia Randall school when it had all 12 grades there. Have owned 6 businesses. A cattle ranch west of Payson. A business in Punkin Center. Real estate office in Lake Havasu City. Was a Realtor for about 23 years. The others in Mesa and Tempe. Paid fair wages at all of them. I spend my money quite wisely, thank you. I also give to charities. I can't take it with me.

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

Pat,

I think when Robbin said, "I do not purchase foreign products." she meant that she didn't buy foreign products wherever she could avoid doing it.

But I loved that part about living under a tree. I Live under a tree. Two of them in fact. I imagine if a fire every starts here in Pine I'll wish I didn't. I'll wish we were wise enough to face the fact that the only way to be safe is to cut down the conifers of all kinds within the town and plant trees that do not support fires. Trouble is, that takes brains.

I think we are all together on most of what Robbin is saying because we've all said it before. We all believe in private enterprise. And as far as "globalization" is concerned it's nothing less than an excuse for sending American businesses overseas.

"I can't take it with me."

I can. I haven't got anything and that's what I plan to take. :-)

Sorry about cracking a couple of jokes during such a serious discussion, but I just get so worried about the way things are going that I find it hard to focus at times. A little smile here and then helps.

And now for the horrifying truth.

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

I really think that Ron Hamric may be right. The country may really be falling apart right before our eyes. I just hope Lolly and I have a few years left and that we go before the axe drops.

And drop it will. The Earth can only support so many people. We are right now well beyond that number and getting farther and farther in trouble every day. Right now crooked politicians on both sides of the aisle can still pander to greedy, uncaring, unwise, half-blind idiots who cannot see beyond the money in their wallets because we can turn a blind eye to the 35,000 people who starve to death every day.

Yes, 35,000 people starve to death every day, a total of 13 million people every year. We have managed to lower the numbers slightly, but as fast as we are reproducing we can no longer hope to do that.

But both the greedy and the politicians will be able to do nothing about it when world hunger drives us into wars of scarcity. Think about it: What would you do if an oil shortage stopped the flow of food to Payson? Where would you go? How would you get there? What would your money be worth? How hard would you fight to get what you need to stay alive?

In the film, "Three Days of the Condor," the horrible truth is faced. At the end of the film the two main characters talk. Higgins comes driving up in my Green 1974 Ford Torino and talks to Robert Redford.

Higgins: No. It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? In ten or fifteen years, food. Plutonium. And maybe even sooner. Now, what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then?

Turner: Ask them.

Higgins: Not now — then! Ask 'em when they're running out. Ask 'em when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask 'em when their engines stop. Ask 'em when people who have never known hunger start going hungry. You wanna know something? They won't want us to ask 'em. They'll just want us to get it for 'em!

If that day ever arrives, and I see nothing telling me that anyone in Washington is doing anything to keep it from arriving, people will look back on today as the end of the Golden Age of Peace and Plenty. Then they'll kill each other for a scrap of food.

I just pray that Lolly and I will be gone when that day comes. We have done nothing to deserve to be part of it. We have worked hard, paid our taxes, stolen nothing, lied to no one, and asked for nothing that we haven't earned by paying into a program exactly as required. Many Americans--including you two--are in that category. It will not matter. The innocent will suffer along with the greedy unless we somehow find a way to reverse what is happening.

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Dear Pat, Our house is surrounded by fruit trees, planted by us.

It's not that we don't purchase products that don't have parts or components from other countries, but we do our best. In the past we didn't have the same awareness that we now have about Capitalism. The dry way is US gypsum. No telephone. The cell phone, Motorola, an AZ company. Furniture - leather from AZ. I drive an old Dodge, don't know if Mopar moved to China or not . Shell or Chevron gas. I need a new radio, so if you know of an American who can do this let me know.

Seriously, agriculture is still huge in Arizona, but certainly not like it was in the past. There is still citrus farms in Mesa, but not like it was. However, the water isn't like it was either (Phoenix has drained their ground water by 90 feet and is unsustainable at this rate.) The type of houses and all the golf courses have severely damaged that desert.

We have similar histories and I'm glad that you were a fair employer, those days are gone in this current corporate environment. Spending money wisely is important, but, at this day in age, its about spending money in a way so as not to create more damage to American jobs. You may not be able to take it with you, but what you leave behind will either go to America or China.

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Dear Tom,

The country is intentionally being torn apart right before our eyes. The earth will cap out at 10 billion people. (See TED.com.) The earth can support that many people with appropriate use of resources and technology, or not.

If we continue to live the way most Americans live now, the earth is definitely not sustainable to humans beyond 2100.

We don't need to have scarcity in Payson, and if we know its coming, if it happens here, its our communities fault and nobody else's. We need more gardens like the community garden off Tyler Park Way. There should be fruit trees in every available yard. Lets move back to trade and barter. For example, we could have a "tool check out" at the library, so if you need a tool, you just check it out and return it.

Currently, money is not worth anything of value except the interest owed.

Planet of the Apes, disturbia, and guess what, scientist are actually using human genes in animals, as we speak, do some research and it will make you sick.

You don't need oil, to get food if you grow your own. Prior to 1950's grocery stores didn't even exist. Most people in the US did grow food and you bought rice, beans and the basics at the corner store. There is no actual need for plutonium or pepsi.

Washington is expediting globalization, but its not the government doing it, it is the American Consumer making poor choices with their dollars. Americas #1 industry is WAR and all things war, I have never known of peace in my life time, just times of less war.

The only way to reverse what is happening is to NOT look to the government to fix it, as they can only make it worse. The only way to fix "it", is by spending money on food, products and manufacturing in America. Stop tax subsides to all corporations! If you can't stay in business without taking tax dollars, you should NOT be in business.

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Pat Randall 1 year ago

Robbin, You have said more than once you DO NOT buy anything not American made, now you are changing your story. Motorola uses parts from other countries. Are fruit trees allowed to be planted in Payson? You must know Mr. Buzz does have a list of plants and trees that can and cannot be planted to save water for who ever may move here later. Like ASU ? We can't have grass.

Tom, Maybe we could write checks to ourselves and take them with us. (:

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

"Prior to 1950's grocery stores didn't even exist."

Robbin,

Didn't know you were so young. In the 30's when I was a kid there were grocery stores everywhere. The A&P Super market opened a store a week during the Depression.

And I have pictures of grocery stores dating from the Civil War era.

I'll bet you meant to say 1850. That would be would be just about right.

In any event, I agree with you, as I'm sure everyone does, that we have too many people on the planet. The answer is to reduce it back to about what it was in 1930--about a hundred million here, and the equivalent numbers elsewhere. Won't be easy, but must be done. If it isn't done now, it will have to be done when it is forced upon us. There is NO alternative. Luckily, I'll be gone when it happens.

If you mean a new car radio you may be able to find someone who can fix one. I would stay away from a new one. It'll cost you more than your car. You might try one that can plug into your cigarette lighter. That would be a solution. Look on the internet. There's one of everything out there.

As to growing our own, can't be done. One man with a McCormick reaper can harvest more grain in one day than 10,000 people can do by hand in two weeks (actual numbers, not guesses). It's this advance in technology that helps us to feed the surplus people we have, but it cannot continue to stay ahead of the curve.

Mind you, I used to love having my own vegetable garden when I was young, but this is not the place for one. Tried it. No rain. Growing season too short. Too dry in summer and too cold in winter. Not like back in New England, where I could grow peas, string beans, lettuce, onions, green peppers, potatoes, corn, tomatos, squash, lima beans, swiss chard, brussels sprouts, carrots, and cucumbers in such a plentiful supply in a small garden that we always had to give some away even though we canned a lot.

Here, anything you plant is immediately targeted by the birds and the animals, especially the %$#@! birds. Even one out of every two apples is ruined by birds pecking at them. That's why people never moved here until the country ran out of other places to live. We are too dependent upon shipped-in food and other supplies.

Pat,

Not a bad idea. :-)

Actually though, I'd just as soon give it to the kids, what there is of it, which isn't much, just what accumulates from not going anywhere or doing anything.

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Pat,

"Prior to 1950's grocery stores didn't even exist." Like they do today, is what I should have said. Meaning that most of the products available were from America. and actually commerce between humans has gone on for at least 10,000 years that archeologists can account for.

I never said that we have too many people on the planet. What I meant to say is that this planet can sustain the 7 billion people hear, and the 10 billion people expected on this planet if (and only if) we use the earths resources' wisely. And, no it won't be easy, but may be done, if we choose to do so. I agree that "If it isn't done now, it will have to be done when it is forced upon us." But I disagree that, "There is NO alternative." There are many alternatives. Payson and Gila county are in a unique position in American, we have very little privately held land (the least out of any county in America.) You are hear, NOW, and it matters, and as such, you get to direct how the future of our town unfolds, just like you contributed to the past, they are connected.

I grow, "peas, string beans, lettuce, onions, green peppers, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, squash, swiss chard, brussels sprouts, carrots, cucumbers, garlic, arugula, chili peppers, strawberries, black berries, raspberries, asparagus, goji berries, elderberries, persimmons, pecan, walnut, almond, peach, apricot, apples, plumbs, nectarines, etc. Without any problem. I jar food and a lot of it. So, it can be done, here, in a plentiful supply, in a small garden. We have an excellent environment for growing if you so choose. Citrus and tropical plants are the only thing that don't do well here. "One man with a McCormick reaper can harvest more grain in one day than 10,000 people can do by hand in two weeks." I will buy wheat from him, but that is all he is growing. I have variety.

It's this advance in technology that created the surplus people we have. And "it cannot continue to stay ahead of the curve," unless there is a big change in current farming methods away from "mono-crops." Nature doesn't work that way.

"We are too dependent upon shipped-in food and other supplies." This is true, only, if you choose that way of life.

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robbin flowers 1 year ago

Pat, Not changing my story, at all. "Motorola uses parts from other countries." Is true, I'm sure but it is a Arizona company, employees Arizonians, pays them fairly, etc. I'm sure the boxes they ship products in are from China.

So, what I'm hearing you say, is that there is no use in trying to preserve America, much less Arizona, so why bother. Just submit to Chinas socialistic ways and globalization. I guess we should all just give up and keep taking it in the rear.

Yes, fruit trees are allowed to be planted in Payson? Just go to the nursery on 260 (a local business) and get what ever you want. Growing grass in a yard in the desert of Payson is stupid, because you can't eat it, and it grows for the animals in the forest.

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Pat Randall 1 year ago

Robbin, I don't know where to start. My grandfather had a store here in Payson in 1913. Yes it wasn't like they are now but he carried the staples like flour, sugar, coffee, and other things along with clothing, shoes, nails and other hardware. Our family still have some of his ledger books as almost every one charged things including the FS when they were building the Ranger Station in 1913.
People had gardens and ate wild animals if they didn't raise thier own beef and poultry.

Not everything comes from China. I bought Dole brand peaches that came from Africa and canned meat has been coming form South America as long as I can remember. So you have a garden and fruit and nut trees. By the time you pay for water, electricity or gas if you don't have a wood stove, jars, lids, sugar and all the other things it takes to do your canning you are probably spending more money and wasting natural resourses than if you went to the store and bought it all. But if it gives you a feel good feeling, hang in there.

Having grass in your yard is not stupid. I don't know where in Ariz. you grew up but kids need a place to play at home. Not be driven to a park that every one has to pay for whether they use it or not. Gravel or granite is not a fun place to play. We had a small lawn at our houses here in Payson with our own wells. Water was pumped by windmills, or hand drawn with a rope and bucket.

Next time you put on a silk dress or scarf, think where the silk came from. China is not the only enemy lurking out there.

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Pat Randall 1 year ago

Motorola was first the Galvin Manufacturing Corp. 1928-32. Began in Chicgo ILL. Headquarters for Motorola is in Schaumbutg ILL. Have branches in other places. One in Glostrup Denmark. Do your research Robbin. (: Motorola is listed on the NYSE as MSI. I think the value is about $65.00 today.

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

"Like they do today, is what I should have said. Meaning that most of the products available were from America."

Ah. I knew there had to be an explanation.

Robbin,

I'm not going to debate anything you said because I believe much of what must be driving you. And I think Pat does too. I'd say it was:

• A wish to see full emplyoment here by buying American.

• A wish to keep business interests from dominating politics.

• A wish to see America, and the planet, avoid over-population and ruin.

I agree, as I think we all do, with those wishes.

There is, of course, a tension between things that we all want and things we all DON'T want.

For example, it is better to have China (and whoever) as a peaceful trading partner than as an opponent in a war. Prior to our era the only way nations split up the planetary pie was to fight for a bigger slice. It was a habit inherited from the days when we ran around naked, took whatever we could grab, and beat the other guy over the head with a branch if he tried to get a piece of it.

It was World War I which showed that we could no longer settle out differences that way; I just read another book about WWI ("No Man's Land") and once again was faced with descriptions of horror beyond anything imaginable: On the battlefields alone, we slaughtered 16 million and severely wounded another 20 million. World War II was just WWI, Part II, where we once again learned that we cannot win by fighting, only by learning to live in peace. And the Cold War, with the threat of annihilation hanging over the entire human race, dotted the last I and crossed the last T in that truism.

So we have to learn to live in peace, we have to get together as a planet and decide on a method of reducing the population to about what it was in 1930, and we have to start soon. But we also have to walk a tightrope to avoid cutting off nations like China entirely because we're a lot better off working with them instead of fighting against them. And the Chinese are, after all, just more of US, aren't they? Put some of them in this country, let them see what democracy is all about, and in a few years you can't tell them from anyone else.

It's a problem. I get mad as yell at Chinese junk that breaks the day you buy it. Someone gave me an apple peeling machine because I make tons of boiled and seasoned apples for Lolly. I put one apple on it, turned the crank just five times, and had the handle strip because they had made it of pot metal. I get even madder every time I think of some lousy corporate employee paying himself a $143 million salary while his company pays no dividends to the people who own it, and the rest of its employees are scraping for a living. And I go bananas when elitists like Adolph Bloomberg trying to tell "ordinary" people what to do and think.

You know what I think?

Come to think of it maybe you don't. Maybe no one really does. Here it comes. Second post. Garrett's bottom line.

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Tom Garrett 1 year ago

There are NO ordinary people. We are all equal. Race, color, creed, sex, brains or no brains, or whatever, we are all equal.

We just need to keep that fixed in mind, go about our daily lives trying our best not to interfere with anyone else, try to do what we can about the rising sea levels even if we sometimes wish that New York were under water when we see the laws they make over there, fight like hell for freedom when necessary, think out our problems, pay the price for liberty whatever it may be, and get the %$#@! job done.

It's not all that hard. If only we could get someone in Washington who cared about the country instead of his own crappy extremist ideas or the size of his bank acount we'd be home free in 30 years.

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Pat Randall 1 year ago

If all the illegals were deported there would be plenty of jobs. A lot of families have been on welfare, free medical, free food, unemployment and all the rest so long they don't want to work. They can buy cigarettes, booze, drugs, have thier hair done at the beauty shop into three or four colors while getting a manicure and go get tatoos all over thier body. Almost forgot, most of them have a cell phone or two. There are jobs out there, get up, get a low paying job, do the work right and be promoted or get a raise. Every one does not get to start at the top, nor end up there. Yes there are people that need help, I don't have a problem with that. There should be a limit of time how long a healthy person can sit on thier rear and not work. The length of time anyone can draw employment should be a lot shorter and they should have to prove they have tried to get a job. I have two grandsons that are working in New Mexico, but they are working not sitting at home watching TV. They live here, but are working a long ways from home and thier families. But they are working! ONCE AGAIN SEND ALL THE ILLEGALS BACK WHERE THEY CAME FROM. I had a lot more typed, turned around to see something on TV and it all went away.

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Tom Garrett 12 months ago

True, Pat.

As much as I oppose anyone breaking the law by coming across our borders without the necessary permission, I am almost as sorry for the illegals as I am angry with the people who are using them--and their friends and relatives--for their own purposes. I've recently done some research on Mexico (I put some of it up on another string) and found that the diaparity between the rrich and the poor is greater there than in all but four or five other countries in the entire world. They really are here for work, and because of that they need out support. But not in staying here and screwing up out economy; in getting Mexico to get some equality into their laws.

As for welfare, it is a once good thing gone bad. There are third and fourth generation people on welfare, people who milk the system. And again it is politicians who are at fault for all this.

We have so many programs that are started by venial politicians, sold to us as something to help those who need help, and then run as vote sales.

The real causes of poverty in this nation are easy to see:

• Too much of what we earn going to too few people.

• Too much waste of federal funds in programs intended to gather votes.

• Too much of our national wealth being sent overseas.

I listed them in order of importance.

But Pat, what you wrote is almost a perfect summary of our problems. If we can see it so plainly, why can't we get someone in office to straighten it all out?

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robbin flowers 12 months ago

Pat, I'm excited to hear about your grandfather's store in Payson in 1913. That was back when stores sold mainly real food, like the staples. Now when you walk into a store, there is so much "mega processed" items being sold as food, but it is not nutritious or good for people, and it gets paid for by our tax dollars in the form of "food cards." Tere are still people with gardens, who eat wild game, and some who raise thier own beef and poultry. But it is amazing to me how many people are not capable of growing any vegies or food and the greater populous has lost the knowledge to care for a garden or themselves.

"Not everything comes from China." Indeed, but in our town the largest store has upwards of 75% of their products from China, so that's is the example I reference. Also, I wouldn't buy a can of peaches produced out side of the US no matter what. I'm sorry but canned meat just doesn't appeal to me, from South America, who knows what's it?

Growing food is fun and work, and there was a pretty good up front cost, for fencing, solar powered well pump (looking at windmill as well.) But, I don't even come close to "wasting natural recourses" like I would by purchasing processed food from China or S America. The water from the well just goes right back into the ground we pull it out of (no runoff), no electricity required. Plus, I don't have to drive to the store to get greens, fruit, or vegies - I can just go pick it and eat if fresh. The store bought stuff can't even compare to the quality, taste or food safety, I choose to provide my family. And it yes it does give me a good feeling, when I can stand in my yard and eat a peach, strawberries and raspberries, all in the same area, yum, yum.

And your right, it is not stupid for some people to have grass in their yard, it is just for me because it interferes with my vegies. I could care less if someone else wants grass, but I don't think it is a good Idea for the government to tell people they can' t have it.

"China is not the only enemy lurking out there." Absolutely Right, I don't even think China in the enemy, it is the mega corporations have taken over most governments, and the policies in place to direct this "global" advancement against freedom that is the enemy.

As far as Motorola, ok, I looked into it further, another product I will not purchase has been added to my list. I also looked up AZ top 100 employers, they are all multinational global conglomerates and guess who is the number one? Also, nice pollution and super fund cleanup site off the 202 from all the toxins Motorola dumped into the water aquifers of Mesa and Tempe, just sickening. The insanity just keeps on going on.

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robbin flowers 12 months ago

Tom,

I am sorry for the American workers who are very hard working, do all the real work and are then discarded when ever they aren't at there peak, they are paid unfair wages, especially in AZ, a right to work state, with the largest income disparity of all the states. Right to work means "you can get fired any time for any reason, you get to work for low wages, with no benefits, and don't even think about collective bargaining for fairness." Arizona needs to worry about getting some fairness and equality into our laws before we can even think about Mexico, our unfair laws directly impact them.

As for welfare, it is politicians, corporations and consumers who are at fault for all this. The biggest culprit is the US Farm bill at 285 billion dollars, that 80% of goes to a handful of corporations.

The real causes of poverty in this nation are easy to see:

• "Too much of what we earn going to too few people", because of monopolies, unfair labor laws and corporate greed that is encouraged and supported via the US government.

• "Too much waste of federal funds in programs intended to gather votes."

• "Too much of our national wealth being sent overseas." THIS IS ALL CONSUMER BASED, ONLY, THE WAY WE SPEND OUR MONEY NOW, WILL CHANGE THIS.
The American public was manipulated, via the TV, to go buy all the foreign crap and unnecessary stuff "to keep up with the Jonses" they were given credit to do this, while losing there jobs, so the top earners of corporations could reap all the profits, poison without regulation and avoid paying taxes, while getting tax funded subsidies to do so. Is the typical American Consumer going to continue creating this corporate globalization?

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Tom Garrett 12 months ago

Robbin,

What's interesting about this string is that although some of us have sometimes disagreed on some details, we are united in fundamental beliefs.

It may seem a bit selfish of us to want all Americans to have jobs, as opposed to allowing illegals to come here or buying too much stuff overseas, but I think it is the right path for us to follow.

No one cans ay that America has not shared, and does not now share, its wealth with the world.

All we ask of Washington is a few very reasonable things:

• Regulate corporations so that highly placed employees cannot loot them (go read the way Sam Walton ran WALMART while he was alive to see how that is done).

• See to it that America buys American until we have full employment.

• Send all illegals home except those who were brought here as children and have grown up feeling like they are a part of America. If it can be done without overwhelming our ability to employ people, try not to separate families, allowing some illegals to stay to meet that goal. Otherwise--home you go! We love you, but we have rules about who can come here, and how many people we can absorb each year. Go tell your government to shake a few pesos out of the super-rich.

I see nothing evil, grasping, or unChristian in that.

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frederick franz 12 months ago

Tom,

This is a very interesting string. Thanks to Robbin, Pat and of course, Tom!

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Tom Garrett 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Thanks, Fred.

You know what puzzles me. If people of all kinds agree so well on the fundamentals of our way of life, why is it that Congress always sounds like two enemy nations at war with each other? If the people of this country agree on most things, why can't they do it? Oh sure, we have different ideas on how to solve the same problem sometimes, but we all agree that it's a problem, so why do we go on year after year with no actual solution?

I'll give you just one example: Is there anyone reading this who does not believe that the only people who should be in this country are ones who apply to come here and are approved? Is there anyone, even one person, who thinks that is wrong? I mean Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Jolly Green Giant, or whoever?

Honestly. If you and I, the ordinary people of this country, believe that, why is it that we have been listening to the same things for the last 35 years?

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Pat Randall 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Robbin, Ariz. being a right to work state means you don't have to belong to a union, pay dues and wait for them to tell you that you can work. You have to pay dues and when there is a strike called to 'help' you the higher ups don't lose any wages while they negotiate. Do you realize how much money you lose during a strike and how long it takes to make it up? Didn't think so.

My husband belonged to a union for a short time when he worked on road construction. Finally said to heck with it. Got his own contractors license and was never union, later was part owner in a Ready Mix plant and was never union. Paid better wages than the union asked for at all the other Ready mix plants that were union.

I believe that is called freedom of choice.

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Tom Garrett 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Pat,

Both you and Robbin are on target.

That may seem like an impossibility, but it's true.

It is undeniably true that some unions still go too far and harm employers, workers, and the public in the process. Selective striking in the auto industry, for example (threatening only Ford with a strike, for example), has resulted in wages that are far too high; that harms everyone.

There was a time when legislation was needed to halt some union practices, and some good legislation was passed, legislation which has come very close to doing what was needed. There are few things which still remain to be done, such as requiring that unions not interfere when an employer hires general workers, or even hires workers in a specific field, and then uses them for something else when things are slow.

For example, my son belonged to the Teamster's, was considered VERY lucky to have gotten into the union, and only got in it because a friend had some pull. At first, when he would park his truck and people started unloading it he used to pitch in and help if he wasn't tired out from a long drive. The union went ballistic and told him he;'d be fired if he did it again, that he better just sit on his butt and let the other union members work. The result? He tore up his card and got another job.

On the other hand, Arizona has laws that interfere with the right of people to make their own decisions even more than unions do. "Right to work" is a euphemism for a body of laws that deny people their rights. A group of people should be able to come together and negotiate with an employer. It is a natural right. So is the right to say that if you do not join the union and pay your dues you do not get the benefits the union bargains for. But Arizona interferes with that right.

Arizona even goes so far as to dictate to school districts how they choose their employees. All states know that experience is a prime factor in making a good teacher. In recognition of that fact, states require that school districts, all other factors being equal, hire and renew the most experienced teachers. They do that because they know that local school boards often lay off teachers with years of experience to spend money on fluff. Why? Rookie teachers are paid less. Arizona once had a law like that. Three years ago it changed it to read that length of experience CANNOT be taken into account in renewing contracts

How would you like it if AZLEG passed a law that said YOU could not take experience into consideration when hiring? I'll bet you'd say "get (bleeped)" and you'd do it anyway.

The truth is that there is wrong on both sides, and that whenever--under our idiotic winner take all system--one side gets a majority it does nasty things to the other side. All that does is make things worse for you and I.

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robbin flowers 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Tom,
It shouldn't puzzle you that "people of all kinds agree so well on the fundamentals of our way of life, why is it that Congress always sounds like two enemy nations at war with each other? If the people of this country agree on most things, why can't they do it?" Because they don't want to do it, is the answer. There is 310 million people in the US and we have very little actual "representation" in congress. Let just say less than 800 elected officials who run the fed gov. Do they represent you? No. Do they represent corporations? Yes.

But "they" ingeniously keep all the infighting going on with the American public over abortions, guns, and other "personal" choice decisions, so that allows "them" to pollute, poison, frack, and exploit resources (which supposedly belong to all of us.) The "commons" (the air we breath, grazing land, farm land and the water we drink) is actually what does and will effect all of us now, in the past and in the future.

Horrifyingly, there is a lot of hydro-fraking going on and a lot more coming down the pipes. So the corporations like Halliburtin will poisen all the ground water in an area, exploit the resources, then leave the area when "all the oil" is used up, then sell you drinking water because "they" poisened all of yours. So, is that more harmful to people or is guns and abortion more harmful?

The "illegals" are here because the corporations want them here, they are here because "a corporation" doesn't want to pay a US Citizen a fair wage, because it will cut into the CEO profit margin. Simple solution, make a federal law that it is "illegal" to hire an undocumented worker.

"If you and I, the ordinary people of this country, believe that, why is it that we have been listening to the same things for the last 35 years?" ANSWER: Illegals make better slaves.

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