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  1. #1
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    And Now For Some Good News

    And Now For Some Good News
    By Peter Wehner
    Monday, June 5, 2006; Page A15

    By now Americans know the litany: The nation is engaged in a difficult and costly war in Iraq; Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon; gas prices are high; the costs of reconstructing the Gulf Coast region are huge; illegal immigration is a major problem -- and more.

    These issues are real and pressing. But they aren't the whole story -- and they ought not color the lens through which we see all other events. We hear a great deal about the problems we face. We hear hardly anything about the encouraging developments. Off-key as it may sound in the current environment, a strong case can be made that in a number of areas there are positive trends and considerable progress. Perhaps the place to begin is with an empirical assessment of where we are.

    Social Indicators: We are witnessing a remarkable cultural renewal in America. Violent crime rates remain at the lowest levels in the history of the Bureau of Justice Statistics' survey (which started in 1973). We are experiencing the sharpest decline in teen crime in modern history. Property crimes are near the lowest levels in the history of the federal survey. Welfare caseloads have declined almost 60 percent since 1996. Both the abortion rate and ratio are at the lowest levels we have seen in the 30-year period these data have been tracked. African American and Hispanic fourth-graders posted the highest reading and math scores in the history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test. The use of illegal drugs by teens has dropped 19 percent since 2001, while the use of hallucinogens such as LSD and ecstasy has declined by more than half.

    The teen birth rate has fallen for a dozen consecutive years. The percentage of high school students who reported having had sex is significantly lower than in the early 1990s. The divorce rate has fallen steadily for over a decade. And teen smoking has dropped by almost 50 percent since the late '90s.

    There are areas of concern, to be sure. Births to unmarried women are at an all-time high, and in many respects our popular culture remains a cesspool. But context is important. Between 1960 and the mid-'90s virtually every social indicator got worse -- and in many cases staggeringly worse. Then things began to turn around, almost as if a cultural virus created its own antibodies.

    The Economy : The American economy is the strongest in the world and growing faster than that of any other major industrialized country. It grew at an annual rate of 5.3 percent in the first quarter -- the fastest growth in 2 1/2 years. It has added more than 5.3 million jobs since the summer of 2003, and employment is near an all-time high. The unemployment rate (4.6 percent) is well below the average for each of the past four decades. Mortgage rates remain near historical lows, homeownership remains near a record high, and sales of new and existing homes reached record levels in 2005. Real disposable personal income has risen almost 13 percent since President Bush took office; and core inflation rose just 2.3 percent over the past 12 months. The Dow Jones industrial average has risen from under 7300 in 2002 to above 11,000 for most of this year. Tax revenues are at an all-time high -- and so is total household net worth.

    National Security : Perhaps no nation has ever been as dominant as the United States is today -- and we are using our military power to promote great purposes. As a reference point, it's worth recalling that the 1930s and early-'40s were regarded by many as the twilight of freedom. Democratic societies were threatened both internally (by a depression) and externally (by Nazism and fascism). There were only a dozen or so democracies on the planet.

    Today we are witnessing one of the swiftest advances of freedom in history. In the past four years more than 110 million people have joined the ranks of the free -- and for the first time freedom is taking root in the Middle East. Once ruled by cruel dictatorships, the people of Afghanistan and Iraq are now governed by constitutions and are participating in national elections. The governments of the two countries once provided safe haven to terrorists; now they are engaged in a mortal struggle against them. This struggle is longer and harder than any of us would wish, but by any standard or precedent of history, Afghanistan and Iraq have made remarkable political progress.

    Kuwait's parliament has granted full political rights to women. Arab intellectuals are pushing for a rapid acceleration of democratic reform. After almost 30 years, Syrian troops left Lebanon in response to the Cedar Revolution. And Libya has abandoned its program of weapons of mass destruction. The biggest nuclear-smuggling ring in history, run by Pakistan's A.Q. Khan, is being rolled up. The government of Pakistan has cast its lot with us against al-Qaeda.

    Islamic terrorists have been denied sanctuaries, their networks are being broken up, their leaders are being incapacitated and they are on the run. Our homeland has not been attacked since Sept. 11, 2001. And we have set aside decades of mistrust to put relations with India, the world's most populous democracy, on a new and fruitful path.

    This account does not mean that everything is going smoothly. Every day we are reminded that hardships are real. Grave threats persist. Missteps have been made along the way. And more can always be done. But we are witnessing significant progress on many different fronts, and there are authentic grounds for optimism.

    The Sept. 11 attacks, two wars, a recession and the worst natural disaster in our history have been turbulent and draining events. History-shaping periods often are -- and so, not surprisingly, the nation is unsettled. Yet the United States is a deeply resilient and hopeful country. The trajectory of events is in our favor -- and with the passage of time, all this will become clear enough.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...060400781.html
    .

  2. #2
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    Re: And Now For Some Good News

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim17

    Yet the United States is a deeply resilient and hopeful country. The trajectory of events is in our favor -- and with the passage of time, all this will become clear enough.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...060400781.html
    .

    This is true, the American people are deeply resilient and hopeful and in just two short years will be rid of the major problem in the nation. In just a few short months they will begin the process of cleaning house.

    OH HAPPY DAY!

    Lady Mod

  3. #3
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    Re: And Now For Some Good News

    Thanks Grim...

    The article does paint an optimistic picture and takes into account that life and domestic issues & international relations is a process... always changing... always in need of 'tuning'. The article can even accommodate SJA's comment. Change... is always inevitable.

    Good article.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Re: And Now For Some Good News

    Pajama Boy,
    This op-ed should prefaced by a simple disclaimer.
    First
    It is an opinion piece, Peter Wehner does seem to have the simple common decency or academic integrity to quote sources for the many statistics noted here. Keep in mind that raw data often allows for varying interpretations. Alternative points of view are always acknowledged in a fair and balanced presentation.
    Second
    Peter Wehner is Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Strategic Initiatives for President and occasionally a speech writer. Together with Karl Rove and others in the Administration he has been busy trying to spin dog turds into gold thread. He has been just a small part of a huge lie factory that has been scamming the American Public with BS for years.
    Third
    Congratulations! You have finally found someone as psychotic and delusional as yourself. Next time Peter Wehner has something to say you can share it with all the rest of your imaginary play friends.

    PSB
    Last edited by Phinnly Slash Buster; 06-06-2006 at 07:20 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: And Now For Some Good News

    Not trying to pick a fight, but where did he get this info. This is pretty different than what I hear on the news and what I see with my eyes.

    Teen sex rate...I'm still young, 24, but almost all of the teenage girls I have met recently are not only having sex, but orgies and sex with each other. When I was in high school, I new a few gay girls and a some bi-sexual girls, but most were straight. Some of our slightly younger friends date younger girls and out of the six I've met, they're all bi-sexual. I'm not trashing someone who is, but when did it become cool? I just hate to see 14, 15, 16 and 17 year old girls doing it because everyone else is. It really bother's me because my friend's girlfriends hit on me, like I'm the wierd one for being straight. I guess the media has helped. There are lots of rap songs about threesomes, music videos, television shows. Girls walk around with their ass hanging out, guys are wearing pink...I'm mean what's going on here?

    The economy...I guess it's all in where you live. The economy in NC is falling apart. Every time you turn around another factory is closing. America is outsourcing everything it can and the goverment keeps giving the big companies new means to do it by (CAFTA). So who is the economy getting better for, big businesses. For the jobs that aren't being outsourced, Americans are losing them to illegals but our great goverment is gonna give them a prize for it and make them legal.

    Mortgage rates are still pretty low, that's good.

    Morality...now that's something this country is losing. Look at movies, television, music...that's bad. It didn't bother me so bad when I was a teenager but it's getting a whole lot raunchier. How am i supposed to raise my son with good morals when the media seems persistent on doing otherwise? What scares me the most is how is it gonna be a decade from now when he's a teenager. I look at how bad it's gotten just since I was a teenager and if really makes me fear for our future.

    I agree that America is not in complete turmoil but this article isn't touting the truth. There are lot's of things that are going downhill quick and we should really take notice and not be fulled by B.S. like this article.

  6. #6
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    Re: And Now For Some Good News

    Quote Originally Posted by Button
    Not trying to pick a fight, but where did he get this info. This is pretty different than what I hear on the news and what I see with my eyes.
    I agree. Peter Wehner and his ilk are presenting a manufactured and sanctified “official’ Republican version of reality. This is what their supporters want to hear.
    Just one example not even touched on in Peter Wehner's delusional rant:
    I can see with my own eyes the destructive force that the deluge of undocumented illegals has on my neighborhood. One of my friends had to take her little girl out of a pre-school offered by the school district because they would not teach the kids in English. Since the majority of those enrolled were Spanish they chose to teach in Spanish because they could not afford to offer the pre-school as both English and Spanish.
    Last edited by Phinnly Slash Buster; 06-09-2006 at 12:08 AM.

  7. #7

    Re: And Now For Some Good News

    Not trying to pick a fight, but where did he get this info. This is pretty different than what I hear on the news and what I see with my eyes.
    Crime
    http://www.fedstats.gov/key_stats/BJSkey.html

    Wealfare
    http://www.acf.hhs.gov/news/stats/newstat2.shtml

    Abortion
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5212a1.htm

    Education
    http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/

    Drug use
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus05.pdf#066

    Teen smoking
    http://www.gdcada.org/statistics/tobacco.htm

    Teen birth rate
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/03facts/teenbirth.htm

    Teen sex rate
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/97news/nsfgteen.htm

    Divorce rate
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/divorce.htm

    The Economy
    http://www.bls.gov/

    National Security
    No web site nessisary, just answer this question:

    How many terrorist attacks have taken place in the U.S. since 9/11?

    Answer: 0

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,088

    Re: And Now For Some Good News

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim17
    And Now For Some Good News
    By Peter Wehner
    Monday, June 5, 2006; Page A15

    By now Americans know the litany: The nation is engaged in a difficult and costly war in Iraq; Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon; gas prices are high; the costs of reconstructing the Gulf Coast region are huge; illegal immigration is a major problem -- and more.

    These issues are real and pressing. But they aren't the whole story -- and they ought not color the lens through which we see all other events. We hear a great deal about the problems we face. We hear hardly anything about the encouraging developments. Off-key as it may sound in the current environment, a strong case can be made that in a number of areas there are positive trends and considerable progress. Perhaps the place to begin is with an empirical assessment of where we are.

    Social Indicators: We are witnessing a remarkable cultural renewal in America. Violent crime rates remain at the lowest levels in the history of the Bureau of Justice Statistics' survey (which started in 1973). We are experiencing the sharpest decline in teen crime in modern history. Property crimes are near the lowest levels in the history of the federal survey. Welfare caseloads have declined almost 60 percent since 1996. Both the abortion rate and ratio are at the lowest levels we have seen in the 30-year period these data have been tracked. African American and Hispanic fourth-graders posted the highest reading and math scores in the history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test. The use of illegal drugs by teens has dropped 19 percent since 2001, while the use of hallucinogens such as LSD and ecstasy has declined by more than half.

    The teen birth rate has fallen for a dozen consecutive years. The percentage of high school students who reported having had sex is significantly lower than in the early 1990s. The divorce rate has fallen steadily for over a decade. And teen smoking has dropped by almost 50 percent since the late '90s.

    There are areas of concern, to be sure. Births to unmarried women are at an all-time high, and in many respects our popular culture remains a cesspool. But context is important. Between 1960 and the mid-'90s virtually every social indicator got worse -- and in many cases staggeringly worse. Then things began to turn around, almost as if a cultural virus created its own antibodies.

    The Economy : The American economy is the strongest in the world and growing faster than that of any other major industrialized country. It grew at an annual rate of 5.3 percent in the first quarter -- the fastest growth in 2 1/2 years. It has added more than 5.3 million jobs since the summer of 2003, and employment is near an all-time high. The unemployment rate (4.6 percent) is well below the average for each of the past four decades. Mortgage rates remain near historical lows, homeownership remains near a record high, and sales of new and existing homes reached record levels in 2005. Real disposable personal income has risen almost 13 percent since President Bush took office; and core inflation rose just 2.3 percent over the past 12 months. The Dow Jones industrial average has risen from under 7300 in 2002 to above 11,000 for most of this year. Tax revenues are at an all-time high -- and so is total household net worth.

    National Security : Perhaps no nation has ever been as dominant as the United States is today -- and we are using our military power to promote great purposes. As a reference point, it's worth recalling that the 1930s and early-'40s were regarded by many as the twilight of freedom. Democratic societies were threatened both internally (by a depression) and externally (by Nazism and fascism). There were only a dozen or so democracies on the planet.

    Today we are witnessing one of the swiftest advances of freedom in history. In the past four years more than 110 million people have joined the ranks of the free -- and for the first time freedom is taking root in the Middle East. Once ruled by cruel dictatorships, the people of Afghanistan and Iraq are now governed by constitutions and are participating in national elections. The governments of the two countries once provided safe haven to terrorists; now they are engaged in a mortal struggle against them. This struggle is longer and harder than any of us would wish, but by any standard or precedent of history, Afghanistan and Iraq have made remarkable political progress.

    Kuwait's parliament has granted full political rights to women. Arab intellectuals are pushing for a rapid acceleration of democratic reform. After almost 30 years, Syrian troops left Lebanon in response to the Cedar Revolution. And Libya has abandoned its program of weapons of mass destruction. The biggest nuclear-smuggling ring in history, run by Pakistan's A.Q. Khan, is being rolled up. The government of Pakistan has cast its lot with us against al-Qaeda.

    Islamic terrorists have been denied sanctuaries, their networks are being broken up, their leaders are being incapacitated and they are on the run. Our homeland has not been attacked since Sept. 11, 2001. And we have set aside decades of mistrust to put relations with India, the world's most populous democracy, on a new and fruitful path.

    This account does not mean that everything is going smoothly. Every day we are reminded that hardships are real. Grave threats persist. Missteps have been made along the way. And more can always be done. But we are witnessing significant progress on many different fronts, and there are authentic grounds for optimism.

    The Sept. 11 attacks, two wars, a recession and the worst natural disaster in our history have been turbulent and draining events. History-shaping periods often are -- and so, not surprisingly, the nation is unsettled. Yet the United States is a deeply resilient and hopeful country. The trajectory of events is in our favor -- and with the passage of time, all this will become clear enough.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...060400781.html
    .
    This is the biggest lot of bullsh!t I've read on one page in a long time.... :rolleyes:

  9. #9
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    Jun 2005
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    3,088

    Re: And Now For Some Good News

    Quote Originally Posted by facts4theblind
    No web site nessisary, just answer this question:

    How many terrorist attacks have taken place in the U.S. since 9/11?

    Answer: 0
    WHY??

    Because Bush hasn't PLANNED another one..........

  10. #10
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    May 2006
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    Re: And Now For Some Good News

    Posted by facts4theblind



    Grim, (I know that's who facts4theblind is) did you notice that the teen sex statistics were from 1997? Hell, that's when I was in high school. I could not find the data you are referring to for 2005 or 2006. Also they didn't state where the survey was done, in school, at the doctors office, etc. Thats makes a big difference. Do you really think that people tell the truth about all of their activies in these surveys?

    Let me pose this question, with all the talk about easdropping, wire tapping and basically losing your privacy, do you think it would be fair to say that these teens were worried that their confidences would be betrayed and that they were worried that these results would be revealed to their parents. Of course this is if the data was recent and it isn't

    I took a similar survey and lied about it when I was younger. Although they said the survey was anymounus (sp) they made you put your name and SS# on it.

  11. #11
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    Feb 2005
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    Re: And Now For Some Good News

    Quote Originally Posted by Button
    Grim, (I know that's who facts4theblind is) did you notice that the teen sex statistics were from 1997? Hell, that's when I was in high school. I could not find the data you are referring to for 2005 or 2006. Also they didn't state where the survey was done, in school, at the doctors office, etc. Thats makes a big difference. Do you really think that people tell the truth about all of their activies in these surveys?

    I took a similar survey and lied about it when I was younger. Although they said the survey was anymounus (sp) they made you put your name and SS# on it.

    LOL, Grim doesn't concern himself with recent statistics. Any statistic that supports what he is saying works for him. It's that way with all the neocons.

    Lady Mod

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