published Friday, September 20th, 2013

The Trap

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

60
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
AndrewLohr said...

Label the saw "Obama." He said he'd halve the deficit in his first term. Thanks to us Teaites and the sequester, it's finally coming down a bit. He was against the individual mandate before he was for it, and against raising the debt limit before he was for it. He's his own civil war.

September 20, 2013 at 12:18 a.m.
fairmon said...

See the stock markets tank as a dysfunctional congress fiddles as Rome burns. How can a difference be reconciled when the president states he will not negotiate and an opposing party says they are not willing to compromise on an issue? Those believing the story that the economy is improving don't understand the economy and how complex it is. We are growing a service industry and servicing each other until there is insufficient money for those that need it most. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs needs to include the words good paying wealth creating jobs that grow the middle class. There are far too many that have nothing to offer an employer including reliability and acting responsibly. They need to be hungry and given incentive and opportunity to improve their lot in life by learning a trade or skill that improves their employability. Obama, Boehner, Reid and others couldn't manage to make water run down hill...

September 20, 2013 at 12:26 a.m.
fairmon said...

nucanuck...

I like my geologist sources better and I didn't mean to suggest the cost per barrel or a gallon of gas could remain low. I also think natural gas is under utilized and plentiful but the cost will be much higher. Granted there must be new and better clean alternatives but probably not solar, wind and fire (batteries).

Our grand children will drive vehicles powered by air, electricity will be primarily nuclear from deep underground safe reactors with geo thermal playing a bigger role in home H&V, movement of goods will be more by rail with engines powered by sources other than oil. Powerful magnets are another interesting concept but not much I understand about that yet. The last 100 years has brought us more than the mind can handle but the next 100 will make the last 100 years pale in comparison. The best alternatives are yet to come.

The young that prefer to learn and be involved instead of tattoos, piercings, how low they can wear their pants or shorts and the funkiest way to wear their hat will do extremely well while those frittering away their youth and life will demand to be taken care of and have the same benefits of those succeeding. Both parties will continue catering to and promising them the world in order to get their ignorant vote.

September 20, 2013 at 12:53 a.m.
MasterBlaster said...

It's such a gas listening to a teabaggee mewling and taking credit for helping to lower the deficit... Pure comedy!

September 20, 2013 at 2:17 a.m.
nucanuck said...

fairmon,

I like your optimism, but as you might expect, I see a different path opening ahead.

Currently about 1.5 billion of us do most of the consuming. That alone puts considerable strain on the world's resources. The rising middle classes in the developing world are now adding 1-2 billion more consumers who will put an even heavier strain on commodities. We, the older consumer nations, will be forced to share and that will mean far less of everything per capita for us. Those who prepare best will live best.

North Americans now consume nearly 25 barrels of oil each per year. We will be lucky to consume half that in less than two decades. Those who try to hold on to the old ways will struggle. Those who adapt will thrive. Western capitalism, as it has devolved, is now dying of governmental abuse and private greed. Something new will have to emerge.

I agree that we have enormous change coming, but not the linearity that you foresee. Whole governing and economic systems are going to be replaced. National boundaries will change. Smaller governing units will be created out of unwieldy larger countries. Intelligence technology may continue apace, but auto, plane, and boat travel will be greatly curtailed. World population will peak at under nine billion and fall, maybe rapidly, to less than half of today's number. By 2100 we would not recognize the world that will be.

Unfortunately neither of us will be here then to see who was more correct, but I am trying my best to prepare my younger family members for a very different world, a world in which we are not consumption based. I don't yet claim great success, but we are making steady progress and having a great life at the same time. It feels right.

September 20, 2013 at 2:48 a.m.
fairmon said...

nucanuck....We are probably both right to some extent. I do think the advances to come are unimaginable so probably not imagined as we describe what we anticipate. The consumption will need to be so much less but the need to consume is likely to be reduced as well.

September 20, 2013 at 4:37 a.m.
degage said...

nucanuck and fairmon, great discussion!

September 20, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
caddy said...

Thanks Andrew

September 20, 2013 at 7:05 a.m.
conservative said...

An illustration of how the aggregate (nucanuck will get it) debt of Owebamination care will add so much to the national debt that it will crush so many in our country.

I am so thankful to God for getting me into a self directed IRA.

But one doesn't really need that for God takes care of those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior - Psalm 37:25, Matthew 6:25-34

September 20, 2013 at 7:44 a.m.
conservative said...

Reminds me of the Frank and Earnest cartoon depicting two rats under a similar hole.

A bundle of money hits one on the head.

The caption reads "ouch, I hate living in a rat hole in Washington."

September 20, 2013 at 9:06 a.m.
ibshame said...

Teabagger Canadian Born Ted Cruz has leaked to the media he's contemplating a talking filibuster to defund Obamacare. I can hardly wait to see that on C-SPAN. LOL

September 20, 2013 at 9:11 a.m.
jesse said...

The country is burning and EVERYBODY in Washington is fiddling!

September 20, 2013 at 9:31 a.m.
ibshame said...

"jesse said... The country is burning and EVERYBODY in Washington is fiddling"

No, not EVERYBODY. If the teabaggers want to play games then as the saying goes: Let the games begin. It's time for President Obama to call their bluff.

September 20, 2013 at 9:49 a.m.
PlainTruth said...

ibshamed: Right. BHO drew a red line on gubment shut-down.

September 20, 2013 at 9:53 a.m.
Maximus said...

Man, Clay is obsessed with the Barry The Coward Lefty Welfare Pimp. I wonder how many women and children died in Syria today? Oh well.....like our President......off to the golf course for some R and R humming...."Let the World Go Away.................:)

September 20, 2013 at 9:56 a.m.
ibshame said...

"PlainTruth said... ibshamed: Right. BHO drew a red line on gubment shut-down."

President Obama said he would not negotiate the debt-ceiling, teabaggers in the House and Senate are the ones who won't get it through their thick skulls the Affordable Care Act is already the law of the land. They can play games and try to hold the funding up as some sort of last ditch attempt to do away with it but it's not going to work. They need to get over it!!

Teabaggers evidently have forgotten what happened the last time Repubs shut the government down. Maybe they should ask Newt to give them a history lesson. LOL

September 20, 2013 at 10:11 a.m.
PlainTruth said...

Ibie, Perhaps BHO wants a shutdown. You guys think he's above playing politics on this? Come on!

September 20, 2013 at 10:14 a.m.
jesse said...

Anybody that has ANY faith in any politician of what ever ILK has been in a coma for the last 50 years!(or longer!!)

HEY JACK, I like your new avatar! KUNG FU KROUT!!!LMAO!!

If he went by my work place to kick my arz this morn,he's outta luck, i ain't there, gonna have to take a rain check i guess!

September 20, 2013 at 10:21 a.m.
RShultz210 said...

Since I promised a person I admire and greatly respect that I would ignore you, I am going to do just that beginning today. I doubt if you understand any significant amount of Japanese since you obviously have none of the gentleness, respect, and discipline your supposed training should have imbued in you, but so far as I am concerned you are murahachibu. Good luck finding a Japanese translator with THAT word in it.

September 20, 2013 at 10:51 a.m.
jesse said...

Anyone think my new avatar might save my arz? Of course that was taken 45 years ago so who knows what i got left!

BTW: Shultz, i spent 6 mo on Okinawa in one of Mas Oyama's dojo's Got my sho dan there!!It's all b/s now of course but i can still move around a bit!LOL(shoto kahn and isshin ryu)

September 20, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.
RShultz210 said...

Plain Truth, disrespect for me I can understand and ignore, but disrepect for those who have passed on is truly uncivilized. MUST you lower yourself to your "buddy" Jesse's level? My opinion of you was quite a bit higher yesterday.

September 20, 2013 at 11:14 a.m.
PlainTruth said...

So Shultzie. Who am I dissing?

September 20, 2013 at 11:16 a.m.
jesse said...

around here your OPINION don't carry much weight yet!

Maybe when ya get over yourself and start making sense that may change!So far ya ain't doing too well!

September 20, 2013 at 11:19 a.m.
PlainTruth said...

jesse: I like your avatar, grasshoppa

September 20, 2013 at 11:32 a.m.
jesse said...

I knew ya would!Ole krout ain't said shat since i put it up!Maybe it will keep me from havin to get the hell outta dodge!Ya think???

September 20, 2013 at 11:36 a.m.
jesse said...

HEY JACK!!!! IF ya don't quit usin dead folks for ya AVATARS?Krazy Krout gonna beez commin ta see ya!BTW: i got a spot picked out up in Montana we can hide out till he gits over his self!Just when i thought this place was ready for the graveyard?What happins?SHULTS shows up and all of a sudden it's " yank the idjit time again!"

September 20, 2013 at 11:54 a.m.
RShultz210 said...

Nucanuck, good morning and again my apologies for the language mix-up. I took the trouble to study the word and I was completely wrong about it AND it's origins. Your prediction of breakup of large National units is rather scary. Do you really expect this to happen with countries like this one for instance? Wouldn't the federal government resort to force rather than allow any region to simply say adios? Or do you expect so much upheaval they just won't be able to hold everything together? Maybe I should be getting a bug out bag together and a plan of some kind in place, to cope with the government causing the "s" to hit the fan, instead of nature?

September 20, 2013 at 12:07 p.m.
RShultz210 said...

Well Plain Truth if you don't know then I suppose if you don't want to take the trouble to find out then I will tell you. John Banner was a kind, humorous, and gentle soul who was a great actor and the irony of him playing a German soldier was poignant as he was Jewish. So your disrespect takes on a worse character than you intended, does it not? And BTW you might tell "grasshoppa" to look up the word "murahachibu" if really wants to know why I have not said anything to him. I'm sure even as slack-eyed and silly assed as he is he can use google as well as anybody.

September 20, 2013 at 12:23 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

Schultzie breakin bad. hahahaha

September 20, 2013 at 12:24 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

Shultzie: I suspect John Banner was thrilled to be playing Sgt. Shultz. No doubt it elevated his income quite nicely. I'm guessing he would not be the least offended by my using his visage. Though I don't know for sure. And you don't either.

September 20, 2013 at 12:52 p.m.
nucanuck said...

RShultz210,

We could probably all agree that smaller countries seem to figure well in the satisfied citizen category. We also witnessed what happened when the Soviet Union collapsed economically: it broke apart into many smaller political entities which are now all relatively healthier and happier than before. The same with Yugoslavia.

These kinds of change only seem to happen during times of great economic and political stress. Certainly the US is different than any of the above, but just as certainly the US (and other developed countries) is (are) heading into very uncertain economic, and probably political, waters. The Central Bankers are trapped in a policy that can't end well and yet they can't end the policy. This is rapidly turning into a world event that will impact us beyond our ability to imagine. Confidence in our ability to cope is in steady decline and confidence is all that holds our economic order together. So where is the tipping point? Can it be avoided? I am just an old man with no special access to inside information so my opinion isn't really worth much, but I believe that this tipping point will be crossed before the next US Presidential election and we will all remember that break in confidence the way we remember November 22, 1963. That will be a time that the world changes forever.

I think that the US would be better served were it to break apart, but I am not forecasting a break-up. The political and religious divisions in the US are so polarized and worsening that it is hard to see any segment able to lead. I hope I'm wrong.

Whatever evolves, we are facing a difficult transition period because we have borrowed far into the future and the settling of accounts will take time. I like the idea put forward by a prominent Australian economist, that of a debt jubilee, but I'm sure that I don't fully understand all the ramifications of such a re-start...interesting however.

September 20, 2013 at 12:56 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

From a tenured prof at the Univ Of Kansas J-School. "The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.” And some people wonder (and deny) why the media is so biased

September 20, 2013 at 1 p.m.
conservative said...

Debt is the fatal disease of republics, the first thing and the mightiest to undermine governments and corrupt the people.

Wendell Phillips

September 20, 2013 at 1:11 p.m.
charivara said...

"Deficits don't matter."

Vice President Dick Cheney

September 20, 2013 at 1:24 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

“Let me be exactly clear about what health care reform means to you. First of all, if you’ve got health insurance, you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you.” -

President Barack H. Obama

September 20, 2013 at 1:32 p.m.
limric said...

Good one today Clay. They deserve to get flattened.

Apparently, House Republicans (which I hereby re-name the Tea Party) can’t for the life of them figure out that the difficulties encountered by average Americans over the last few years came about not because there were suddenly millions of additional deadbeats trying to ‘get over’ on the govt., but because there are millions who lost their jobs and savings primarily because no one demanded the Wall Street Banksters attend Gamblers Anonymous, and have been unable to find work.

Unable to enact their own agenda (as they are devoid of ANY constructive ideas), the Tea Party spend their time obstructing and undercutting….everything. If their latest (un)achievement to cut $40 billion from the federal food stamps was bad, (effectively saying to 3+ million people “eat cake!”) today’s defunding of the Affordable Care Act, and ballyhooing it as a triumphant legislative accomplishment is nothing more than extortion.

Perhaps they think that if enough people go hungry or get sick they should just be banksters like them, or CEOs, or rich. After all, they’ve got lots to eat. “Why can’t you be just like us”? It’s your own fault anyway!!

There is an old story about a farmer that put some sawdust in his chicken feed to cut costs. It didn't seem to affect his eggs, so he kept adding more. And then one day - all his chickens died. That's us kiddies. We are being fed sawdust by the Tea Party, and told it’s for our own good.

While I’m no fan of Obama or the Democrats by any means, the Tea Party tactic of never ending obstruction while offering no alternatives other than tax cuts is a dangerous and retarded strategy that will plague us for decades; leading me to believe the Tea Party (21st century Republicans) are in reality a gang of Down Syndrome terrorists.

September 20, 2013 at 2:05 p.m.
prairie_dog said...

"Maybe you ain't been keepin' up with current events, pal, but we just got our asses kicked!" (Bill Paxton as Pvt Hudson in A L I E N S).

The "no" vote on Obamacare? Oh, no. I'm talking about the realization in Western Europe that the welfare state cannot continue to exist; it is unsustainable. Holland, luckily, has a KING who can tell people what to do, instead of a President who buys votes by giving away free stuff.

The times, they are a changing.

September 20, 2013 at 2:47 p.m.
limric said...

That's pretty good joepulitzer,

No. Capitalists understand capitalism, that's why they're socialists. I guess you've never heard the terms 'Privatizing profits and socializing losses' or 'Socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor'.

September 20, 2013 at 2:52 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

So the R's are scorned because they vote the hearts of their constituents. And others. They vote against an unpopular plan, favored by few. They did NOT vote for govt. shutdown. There will be no govt. shutdown. That's a ploy right out the Dem playbook.

September 20, 2013 at 3:01 p.m.
limric said...

”So the R's are scorned because they vote the hearts of their constituents.”

You’re kidding --- right? If not that’s quite the embarrassing assertion.

Yea right, the Republicans stood up for their constituents/ principles. They defund food stamps making it harder for poor to afford to eat, defund the Affordable Care Act, making it harder for the poorest to access health care. BUT, They sure as hell stand up against ANY tax changes that might impact the richest; and make no mistake, they will try to shut down the government with no regard to the consequences.

WHY?

Because it doesn’t really affect their....‘constituents’ does it?

September 20, 2013 at 3:28 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

^^^^ Why you belong in the faculty lounge, Limmy. With elbow patches. Always safe in there.

September 20, 2013 at 3:40 p.m.
tbs1015 said...

^^^why you belong in a nuthouse PT, with the rest of the conservatives and Republicans that have no intelligence.

September 20, 2013 at 3:44 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

Y thank you, tbs.

September 20, 2013 at 3:55 p.m.
soakya said...

capitalism is dead. just look at the comments on this forum. there's probably only about 4 true conservatives on here that believe capitalism is the answer.

so called conservatives who say government has no business picking winners or losers don't mind the republican state of TN picking them. I have a e-mail from Fleishman where I ask him about the failure of Solyndra, and he says government has no business picking winners and losers, I guess he forgot about recruiting and loading VW, Wacker, Hemlock, Electrolux,and Amazon with taxpayer money. And I would say all but about 4 on here would say the same thing as Haslam and then turn around and say its ok for state and local officials to pick winner and losers.

this is not capitalism. end all subsidizes for all energy, no, end all subsidizes for all companies.

September 20, 2013 at 4:21 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

So soaky? What is your system of choice?

September 20, 2013 at 4:46 p.m.
soakya said...

sorry I meant Fleishman when I said Haslam above. my bad

September 20, 2013 at 4:58 p.m.
soakya said...

A Tale of two cities. A few months ago I asked what was wrong with people moving. Why are we, TN, offering these mega deals to these large corporations? This week I decided to look at Danville, VA financial statements from 2003-2012 because like Cleveland they were in the news recently concerning a flyer that was handed out.

Danville has a population of 43,332 as of fiscal year 2012. Since 2003 Danville's population has shrunk by 5079. Per capita income has grown by $6,214 to $30,587. The tax rate dropped 7 cents per 100 assessed value at the same time debt decreased by over 17 million. The debt went from nearly $105 million to just under $88 million. And apparently they won't have to build any new schools because they lost nearly 1600 students. Government also shrunk during this time by 26 full time equivalent employees.

Cleveland has a population of 41,723 as of fiscal year 2012. Cleveland's population has grown by 4,319. Per capita income has grown by $6,850 to $31,687 for FY 2011(latest year available). The tax rate decreased by 15.96 cents, until this year when it increased by 18.51 cents. Student population during this time has increased by 714.This population boom has contributed over 39 million to the debt. The debt climbed to almost 129 million from around 90 million. Cleveland also added 71 full time equivalent employees during this 10 year period. Both cities apparently have no problem violating first amendment rights but who managed their city better? Which city is heading in the right direction? And Cleveland prides itself on managing its growth. I say its time to quit trying so hard.

September 20, 2013 at 5:24 p.m.
conservative said...

soakya:

I agree with you but as I stated a few days ago the majority, probably 95% don't. We will never beat the system, only survive the system.

I currently own property in a high crime and high tax area in my opinion although my neighbors disagree. I am in transition to an area not within the city limits, has low property taxes, restricted, has very low crime ( I checked out the demographics before buying) and good schools and many churches, yet not that far from the interstate. Children play in the streets, neighbors are quite and respectful of others, reminds me of the fifties. You can guess what county it is not in.

I will escape a lot of taxes this way due to less police, less teacher, and firefighter unions and less to pay for welfare and worthless government programs.

I have a self directed directed IRA which saves me a lot of taxes yet provides a decent income and good growth. I am almost debt free and soon to be completely debt free with all my property paid for.

I am a capitalist, it works.

We can't beat the Socialist system but we can mitigate it's evils and survive the system.

September 20, 2013 at 5:43 p.m.
fairmon said...

Liberals adapt well to prison. Everyone is treated equally, free food, free medical/healthcare, only the police and guards have guns, no one can have anything everyone else doesn't have. Doesn't that sound good just like some slick politicians tell us it should be.

September 20, 2013 at 5:50 p.m.
fairmon said...

Conservatives adapt well to the caste system where the elite rule and deny any vices to the population with laws of social restraint.

September 20, 2013 at 5:55 p.m.
fairmon said...

Libertarians have it right but most voters are trapped in the two party system and fear change. They want the conservatives to protect their wealth guns and religion while others want the liberals to fulfill all their needs through confiscation from others.

September 20, 2013 at 5:58 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

Libertarians have much to offer. Not sure they can carve out a big enough niche.

September 20, 2013 at 6:22 p.m.
conservative said...

Just saw on the Crummy Broadcast System that 23 people were shot (3 dead, 13 in one place) in Chicago yesterday and the police chief blames "illegal guns."

So, some guns obey the law and some don't!

Liberals are Nuts!

September 20, 2013 at 7:11 p.m.
RShultz210 said...

Nucanuck, I hope you are well. I definitely do not place you in the category of an “old man” whose opinion is not worth much. I respect it and you much more than most in this forum. I think stress was the definitely the key word in the description of the factors leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Both stress from without resulting from our and several other key countries. And mostly political and economic stress. The political part came mostly from our ability to design and build the most destructive and outright suicidal weapons the world had ever seen and likely ever WILL see. And the economic part of it didn’t really come from outside. It came almost completely from the communist economic ideology of the original communist himself Karl Marx whose insane concept of value made slaves of an entire population for over 70 years. I don’t think our economic theories have put us where we are on their own. Oh I’m sure they did their part but not of their own accord. I pray that the US doesn’t suffer a breakup of the kind the Soviets did. I don’t think we would survive. Just the thought of Californians running the whole west coast gives me the shivers. When things do tip, I hope they don’t tip in the direction of fools like some of the ones I’ve seen in this forum running things. That would definitely be a perfect example of the SHTF. Good evening.

September 20, 2013 at 7:23 p.m.
nucanuck said...

RSchultz210,

Western nations actually conspired in the 1980s to drive down commodity prices that were backbone of Soviet revenue. Several years with oil, gas, and gold at rock bottom prices did major damage to the Soviet economy and was probably the biggest factor in it's collapse.

September 20, 2013 at 11:23 p.m.
RShultz210 said...

This is true of course, but I have still always believed that the biggest factor in their economic collapse was the basic fallacy upon which communism was built. The economic pressure helped it along certainly of course, but I think when you come down to basics, the simple fact that no amount of labor will turn a mud pie into an apple pie would have caused the system to collapse without external pressure. Just my opinion of course, but I think you would have to agree that on principle at least, this simple kitchen example destroys the Marxian syllogism.

September 20, 2013 at 11:46 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.