October 30th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

How would your life be different without the Internet?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Happy Birthday to the Internet.

The system that has revolutionized almost every part of our lives turned 40 years old this week. October 29, 1969 was the first time people sent a computer-to-computer message. It was in California that UCLA Professor Leonard Kleinrock successfully connected the school's host computer to one at Stanford University.

The project had started a few years earlier: After Russia successfully launched Sputnik in the late 1950s, U.S. leaders stepped up funding to enter a technology race with their Cold War rival.

Fast forward 40 years - and It's pretty hard to imagine society without everything we're used to about the Internet:

E-mail, online shopping, video games, Google, bloggers, YouTube, and more recently social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The list goes on and on...

Of course there's also a dark side to the Internet - computer worms, viruses, the annoying e-mail spam, identity theft, online scams and fraud, child predators and pornography - not to mention the fact that the word privacy may never have the same meaning again.

At a 40th birthday party for the Internet, Kleinrock - who sent that first message - talked how it's a "democratizing element" and that everyone can have an equal voice. But he also says there's no way back at this point, and that "we can't turn it off."

Kleinrock says in the future, the Internet will be "present everywhere."

Kinda feels like it already is.

Here’s my question to you: How would your life be different without the Internet?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Internet
October 30th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Why hasn't Obama had a greater impact on race relations?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Race relations have not improved as much in the U.S. as many hoped they would with the election of our first African-American president. When Barack Obama was elected, we heard a lot of talk about all the good it might do for racial tensions.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/30/art.obamas.jpg caption="Barack Obama and his family arrive on stage for his election night victory rally at Grant Park in Chicago on November 4, 2008."]
Well, maybe not... Consider this: 56 percent of Americans think a solution to this country's race relations problem will eventually be worked out. But that's exactly the same percentage of people who felt this way when Gallup first asked this question 46 years ago in December of 1963. So despite all the progress we've presumably made in the last half century - much has not changed.

Gallup conducted a one-night poll on November 5 of last year - right after President Obama won. At that point, 67 percent of those surveyed thought race relations would get better. They haven't.

Not surprisingly, blacks are much more pessimistic about this question than whites. Among blacks, optimism has decreased since last summer from 50 percent to 42 percent.

Gallup also found that 79 percent of Americans say blacks have equal employment opportunities to whites. That number is up since last summer. But - here again - blacks are overwhelmingly more pessimistic about equal job chances.

Lastly, the poll shows 51 percent of those surveyed agree that there's widespread racism against blacks in the U.S.

Here’s my question to you: Why hasn't the nation's first African-American president had a greater impact on race relations?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


October 30th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

64 pages to create Social Security, why 2,000 to reform health care?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats unveiling their 1,990 page health care reform bill - it made us wonder about other landmark pieces of legislation in U.S. history and how long they were.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/30/art.boehner.bill.jpg caption=" House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) is pictured behind a printout of the 2,000 page health care reform bill during a news conference on Capitol Hill yesterday."]

  • The original draft of the 1935 Economic Security Act, which established the Social Security Administration was 64 pages
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 - forbidding discrimination based on race and sex: 8 pages
  • The 19th amendment to the Constitution, giving Women the right to vote in 1920: 1 page
  • The Emancipation Proclamation, with which Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in 1863: 5 pages
  • Or, if you really want to get back to basics: The Declaration of independence came in at 1 page in 1776
  • And the Constitution: 4 pages long in 1787
  • Health care reform, Pelosi version - almost 2,000 pages.

The Democrats say they'll post the final version online for lawmakers and the public to read 72 hours before a vote. Good luck reading 2,000 pages in 72 hours.

Meanwhile although the Democrats keep talking about openness and transparency in this process, there are reports that they blocked the public from attending the unveiling ceremony for their health care bill outside of the Capitol yesterday. Videos online show people - not on a pre-approved guest list - being turned away.

Note to Nancy Pelosi: You people don't own the Capitol - we do.

Here’s my question to you: If it took 64 pages to create Social Security, why does it take 2,000 pages to reform health care?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Health care • Social Security