...in my opinion, the decline in contributing members is mainly because of today's "gimme-gimme-gimme and I won't give anything back in return" mentality of the young generation of internet users.
So in other-words, everything started going down hill September 1993?
Which thoroughly pisses me off, considering that wikipedia is the biggest free and easily accessible repository of human knowledge (outside of the NSA).
I'm not sure you could call the NSA a repository of human knowledge though. While they might have a lot of human data, the curation (such as it is) at Wikipedia is what actually makes things useful. Just having a bunch of data in and of itself doesn't mean it's actually useful.
Nothing has been fixed, US still has a spending problem.
I'd argue that we have a spending problem and a revenue problem. Think of it this way, if you were trying to pay all of you debts off, would you quit your job and find a lower paying one or would you get a second job to until things are paid off?
I agree with you on all points but one -- this wasn't really a chance to stop the crazy. The budget is too out of control to come up with a fix in a few days. It is going to take a very difficult debate among the entire electorate to decide which sacred cows are going to be slaughtered. It has gotten to the point where no politician is willing to bring the subject up because everyone is going to feel some very real pain in order to solve all of this.
The biggest sacred cow to fix the federal deficits would be to just reform the tax code and actually have more revenue coming in than is being spent. Discretionary spending is only 30% of the budget with 6%, 64% is mandatory spending and the interest on the debt is only 6%. Even if you cut the discretionary spending completely (ignoring the revenue issues due to that workforce being laid off) you still aren't going to close the gap completely. Tax breaks, on the other hand, are currently $1.18 trillion dollars which is more than the discretionary budget.
Once you have the federal deficits taken care of you can just pretty much let the budget cost on cruise control since your principle shouldn't be getting any bigger at that point. Granted between months in the year you might see some nominal increases in the debt due to short term bonds being sold to smooth out the bumps in the revenue caused by how taxes are filed, in the long run even that would go away if a nice âoerainy day fundâ and âoebufferâ account was established.
Frankly, the only sure-fire way to pay off this debt is via massive spending cuts.
Massive spending cuts are completely useless if you are still running a deficit. If you have a balanced budget then you will eventually payoff all of your debts in full and considering the time frames that governments have to work with, who really cares how long it takes as long as the principle is not increasing and the payments are being made on time?
There are some issues with actually getting a balanced federal budget though due to the inconstant way the money comes in and the unpredictability at times as well. It's not like a household budget where barring job loss you pretty much know exactly how much each paycheck is going to be. The federal budget really does need to be running a slight surplus so that a âoerainy day fundâ can be established but usually as soon as a surplus appears politicians want to use that money to gain political capital as opposed to saving it for later on down the road.
I'm willing to bet your physics, maths and engineering professors don't dick around like that.
Nope, the physics professor I had spent the first day talking Sikhism and the Harmandir Sahib (the Golden Temple) and it would come up from time to time after that, although he did some more time actually talking about physics. Sadly, he had a very thick accent so you really had to pay attention to figure out what he was saying to determine if it was even relevant.
You are speculating incorrectly. I held a special clearance and they went back and talked to elementary school teachers, old friends, etc... If they come up with concerns, they dig further than they did with me.
What do you mean by "special clearance" though? For an SSBI they aren't going to go back and talk to elementary school teachers because there would be no point in doing that unless you knew those same teachers when you were older. When they do an SSBI for military personnel that are fresh out of high school they don't go back and talk to elementary school teachers unless they knew the subject in the recent past since someones opinion of a child is unlikely to give any indication as to their trustworthiness as an adult.
They always accuse you of using drugs. Always. They also try to beat you into a confession. Always.
Generally speaking the odds of a random American having tried drugs was about 42% back in 2008 and I'm sure that on a generational basis that number is likely higher or lower. Plus if you know where someone grew up or is currently living that affects the odds as well. So from that perspective it kind of makes sense to push someone on the issue - if they will not admit to doing something once or twice (that they really don't care about) then what else are they likely to keep close lipped that can actually be used against them?
Tell me again why we should care about the use of chemical weapons in Syria? I don't see a reason to intervene.
Realistically the reason that the US cares about the use of chemical weapons in Syria is because there is fear that AQ or one of the other radical groups operating in Syria could get their hands on them for use outside of Syria. If Syria is resorting to the use of chemical weapons then they are becoming more liberal with their transport and they can fall out of their control. If this was a false flag operation of some sort then Syria has already lost control of chemical weapons in which case someone needs to go in their to re-establish control of them. Beyond that the US doesn't want to get involved unless one of their allies in the region pulls them into the quagmire which hasn't been happening. As someone already pointed out, the missiles that hit Turkey gave the US casus belli to attack Syria and even with the war hawks in Congress and the Senate beating the war drums they've avoided doing anything overt thus far.
If it's worth hacking on well, it's worth hacking on for money.