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    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

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rshow55 - 12:16pm Apr 5, 2002 EST (#1102 of 1115) Delete Message

Krugman and Kristof did superb pieces today, and searching other pieces they have done, I came across these postings from this MD thread, from last year:

rshowalt - 01:04pm May 30, 2001 EST (#4346 of 4466)

In The Wicked Tao of Lee http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/30/opinion/30DOWD.html MAUREEN DOWD deals with Republican leaders as total scoundrels, frauds, and criminals, for what appear to be good reasons.

Bad Heir Day by PAUL KRUGMAN http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/30/opinion/30KRUG.html includes this:

" The Bush tax plan was always peculiar: in order to hide the true budget impact, its authors delayed many of the biggest tax cuts until late into the 10-year planning period; repeal of the estate tax, in particular, was put off to 2010. But even that left the books insufficiently cooked, so last week the conferees added a "sunset" clause, officially causing the whole bill to expire, and tax rates to bounce back to 2000 levels, at the beginning of 2011.

" So in the law as now written, heirs to great wealth face the following situation: If your ailing mother passes away on Dec. 30, 2010, you inherit her estate tax-free. But if she makes it to Jan. 1, 2011, half the estate will be taxed away. That creates some interesting incentives. Maybe they should have called it the Throw Momma From the Train Act of 2001.

" That's by no means the only weird element in the tax bill. Almost as bizarre is the sudden tax increase for upper-middle-income families scheduled for the end of 2004. Anyone who has been following the tax debate in particular via the extremely informative Web site of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities knows that the alternative minimum tax is a major land mine lurking in the road ahead. Under the tax bill just passed, the number of taxpayers subject to this tax will balloon from 1.5 million to more than 36 million, with the result that many people typically well-off but not rich families who already pay high state and local taxes will find the tax cut they thought they were getting snatched away.

" So why not fix the law? Because that would raise the budget impact of the tax cut by hundreds of billions of dollars. Still, the conferees felt they had to do something; so they included a partial fix for the A.M.T. problem. But even that partial fix, if maintained over the whole decade, would have made the tax cut too big to fit the budget resolution. So guess what? The A.M.T. fix is scheduled to expire in 2004, which means that according to the law millions of families will face a sudden large tax increase.

" In short, the tax bill is a joke. But if the administration has its way, the joke is on us. For the bill is absurd by design. The administration, knowing that its tax cut wouldn't fit into any responsible budget, pushed through a bill that contains the things it wanted most big tax cuts for the very, very rich and used whatever accounting gimmicks it could find to make the overall budget impact seem smaller than it is. The idea is that when the absurdities become apparent when mobs of angry junior vice presidents from New Jersey start demonstrating against the A.M.T., or when elderly multimillionaires develop a suspiciously high rate of fatal accidents Congress will always respond with further tax cuts. And if the result of all those tax cuts is to prevent the government from ever providing the things Mr. Bush promised during the campaign, like prescription drug coverage under Medicare or increased aid to education well, that was also part of the plan.

" Someday, responsible politicians or is that an oxymoron? will have to untangle this mess. . . . . .

rshow55 - 12:17pm Apr 5, 2002 EST (#1103 of 1115) Delete Message

rshowalt - 01:05pm May 30, 2001 EST (#4347 of 4466)

When words like this are factually and justly used, the United States, and the world that has trusted the United States, is in new territory.

  • ***********

    And the motivation of parts of society that support the Bush administration is ugly -- the following ARTS piece bears reading.

    Concerts Rock the Tiny Kingdom of Skullbonia by NEIL STRAUSS http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/30/arts/30SKUL.html?pagewanted=all

  • **********

    Let me repeat my opinion. We are dealing, now, with concerns about a presidential administration more serious than any before in history. Americans, honorable republicans most of all, and everyone else in the world who values decency and safety should carefully consider what the administration is doing.

    We have good reason to be concerned about matters of military balance, and the whole world has good reason to check what the United States says, and not simply to defer to its "good faith and good judgement."

    rshowalt - 01:08pm May 30, 2001 EST (#4348 of 4466)

    With internet usages now in place, the "culture of lying" that so much of Cold War history was built around is much more vulnerable than before, and chances of real peace are much greater than they have been.

    And some things are coming into the open.

    But at some essential levels, for reasons almarst emphasizes, some journalistic usages need to change. And, slowly, it is happening.

    rshowalt - 01:11pm May 30, 2001 EST (#4349 of 4466)

    There are plenty of people of ability and good will who have supported the present administration, many of them in the administration. They should, if they value their honor and their party, want to fix things.

    The world is starting to pay attention to tactics used by the Bush administration that cannot stand the light of day.

    I hope good things and good policies can be salvaged -- from what is essentially an act of corruption and subversion.

    lchic - 12:21pm Apr 5, 2002 EST (#1104 of 1115)

    Bush outfoxed http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/2001/02/15/csmimg/0215p1b.jpg http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/2001/02/15/csmimg/0215p1a.jpg

    lchic - 12:21pm Apr 5, 2002 EST (#1105 of 1115)

    Bush CowboyCookie

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