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Pass on what you have learned
Author: TriSec    Date: 05/21/2011 13:30:13

Good Morning!

It's been a whirlwind week...after all of my training, the hard work now begins.

But I'll take a step back first and try to explain what has just happened to a group of volunteers. (Remember that - the 'volunteer' part is important.)

Back in April, 45 candidates and a staff of 16 trooped out to a place called Camp Norse in Kingston, MA. Even though we were all adult leaders of various experience, we started at the beginning. Each of us was assigned to a Cub Scout Den, and with our Den Chiefs, we spent the morning in various instruction and activity.

At lunch, we had our "Blue & Gold Banquet" and were graduated to Gilwell Troop 1, and I became a member of the Bear Patrol. Somehow, I managed to get myself elected first day Patrol Leader.
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5 comments (Latest Comment: 05/22/2011 14:22:08 by BobR)

Behaving Badly
Author: Raine    Date: 05/20/2011 13:05:47

Why do people support such bad behavior? I'm not talking about sexual infidelity from politicians, I am talking about politicians that block government from creating programs that genuinely help people. Addicting Info.org has a partial (from January) listing bills the GOP have blocked or attempted to :

Tax on Companies that ship jobs overseas
Political Ad disclosure bill
Subpoena Power for the Committee investigating the BP Oil Spill
The Small Business Jobs Act
Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

If you go over to the link, you will see how partial a list this really is. Yesterday I mentioned how Eric Cantor promised Oil companies that the GOP would block the Federal Financial Regulations set forth in the Dodd - Frank act, an act that has not even begun to take place yet. They are trying to dismantle Medicare, increase tax breaks for Corporations, bust labor... They rarely mention our troops and what they want to do to help them and our veterans.
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55 comments (Latest Comment: 05/20/2011 20:15:15 by Raine)

Author: BobR    Date: 05/19/2011 12:55:13

As our economy continues to languish, limping slowly towards recovery, federal tax revenue has lagged. That - plus the wars in the Middle East - have helped rachet up the budget deficits and national debt. Republicans call for cuts to "entitlements" (Medicare and Social Security) while Democrats have advocated for raising taxes on those who have reaped huge benefits from the tax policies of the previous decade.

That would include industries that make record profits and pay little in taxes. In particular, that would include the oil companies. The average profit (that's profit after expenses, not gross) for the top 5 oil companies is over $3000/sec. That means that in the 2 minutes it takes you to read this blog, the average oil company will collect over $360,000 in profit. Does this sound like a company that needs a tax break? No? Well Republicans in Congress seem to think so.
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50 comments (Latest Comment: 05/19/2011 20:49:38 by Raine)

Feel the Rainbow, Newt!
Author: Raine    Date: 05/18/2011 12:39:47

Good Morning. By now you have heard of Newt Gingrich's very very bad day. You know it's a bad day when as a GOP'r, Rush Limbaugh, Charles Krauthammer , the Wall Street Journal Editorial page and even Allen West have serious problems with you. Then things got weird for Mr Gingrich in Take a look:
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39 comments (Latest Comment: 05/19/2011 01:31:02 by clintster)

Ask A Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 05/17/2011 10:26:28

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,981st day in Iraq and our 3,509th day in Afghanistan.

We'll start this morning as we always do; with the latest casualties from on ongoing wars, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

Since war began (3/19/03): 4452
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4311
Since Handover (6/29/04): 363
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 224
Since Operation New Dawn: 34

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,566
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 875
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,487
Journalists - Iraq: 348
Academics Killed - Iraq: 448

We find this morning's Cost of War passing through:

$ 1, 195, 514, 750, 000 .00

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43 comments (Latest Comment: 05/18/2011 01:22:44 by Raine)

Big Errand to run this morning,
Author: Raine    Date: 05/16/2011 11:57:32

Until my return, please take a perusal at some of the more fun entries from this weekend. Or you can watch the Shuttle launch at 8:56 AM EST.

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57 comments (Latest Comment: 05/17/2011 01:05:39 by TriSec)

The Candidates, pt 4
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 05/15/2011 14:58:29

Continuing our look at the candidates for the End of the World presidential election we'll focus today on Ron Paul who recently threw his hat into the ring this past Friday the 13th.

Ron Paul is a Doctor (Ob-Gyn) and father of 5, including one son - Rand Paul (R-KY) - that serves in the House alongside his father. His other children are Ronald Paul, Rufus "Ru" Paul, Richard Paul, and daughter Ronald-Ayn Paul-Johnson-Smyth
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8 comments (Latest Comment: 05/16/2011 03:14:40 by Raine)

Saturday Open Thread.
Author: Raine    Date: 05/14/2011 12:50:14

Say what?

Move over headless body -- you are now the SECOND most famous headline ever...

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8 comments (Latest Comment: 05/15/2011 00:14:31 by Raine)

White Like Me
Author: BobR    Date: 2011-05-13 10:32:36

As we humans find our way through our individual lives, we all develop our own distinct interpretation of the world around us. We are the product of our genetics and our environment; both shape us into the individuals we are. There are so many things we have in common: the desire to enjoy our lives, to love, to be loved, to succeed at the things we enjoy doing... Yet we often focus on our differences, whether they be religion, class, or - most often - race. We developed from tribes, and it is an ingrained reaction that is hard to shake.

Through the centuries, the tribes at the top have ebbed and flowed. From the Sumerians to the Egyptions to the Romans to the British, there have been the conquerors and the conquered, and the conquered often end up subservient, generally against their will. As mankind has become more enlightened (in general, not always specifically), the idea of slavery and the lessor worth of some humans - based on tribe - has become anachronistic.

Slavery was abolished in the United States about 150 years ago, and - despite the change in law - the changes in the hearts and minds of my fellow citizens have been slow to catch up. In other people, the racism is easy to spot. In ourselves, it is rarely recognized. Some of it is severe to annoying (such as referring to people as "the Blacks"), and in other cases it is as simple as not realizing that there continues to be a dichotomy between large segments of Americans, based on race. Let's see if we can open a few eyes and shine some light on why my fellow "whites" don't always realize that not all is equal. Here are a few things to ponder:
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69 comments (Latest Comment: 05/14/2011 02:04:08 by TriSec)

Redux: The Last Gun Clinic
Author: Raine    Date: 05/12/2011 21:42:08

( Being that Tri is out in the woods today, I thought it might be fun to bump this bonus blog from Thursday.)

For those of you who have been following this blog, you know that I live "Inside the Beltway" -- Come visit me and you will see that I can see the Washington Monument from my house. Really we are a stone's throw away from DC proper. That said, I want to share a local story. Back at the end of April, WTOP reported the following:
Nearly three years after the United States Supreme Court overturned the D.C.
ban on handguns, residents of the District can no longer register guns in the city.

A temporary, de facto ban is in place because the one man who could facilitate handgun ownership in the nation's capital has stopped taking registration orders.

Since the lifting of the handgun ban in June 2008, Charles Sykes has processed more than 1,000 handguns for District residents. Sykes tells WTOP he's stopped taking orders for now.

"I've lost my lease," Sykes said in a phone interview. "I'll take care of the customers who already placed orders, but I don't want to take any more until I know where I will reopen."

Sykes is the sole proprietor of C S Exchange, the only licensed firearm dealer in the city that will transfer guns for individuals. Sykes doesn't sell the guns -- there are no gun stores in D.C. His company facilitates the transfer of guns from out of state stores into the District for a fee of $125 per gun.
As a result of this, A District resident has decided to sue the federal government over the Gun Transfer law.
Federal law prohibits individuals from buying handguns in one state and transferring them to another state. That can only be facilitated by a licensed firearm dealer. Since the District has no gun stores, transfers are the only means for residents to buy and register their handguns. Rifles and shotguns are exempt from this law.

Lane is now suing the federal government and the state of Virginia, which is where she bought her handguns and where they remain.

In a complaint filed this week in federal court, Lane and a gun rights advocacy group, the Second Amendment Foundation, claim their constitutional rights have been violated.

"These provisions not only have the effect of barring District of Columbia residents from acquiring handguns, but also, generally, unjustifiably frustrate and make more expensive all Americans' attempts to obtain the handguns of their choice," the complaint says.
I suppose at this point you are wondering why I bring this up. I will tell you, but first let me ask you a question... Do you believe in a woman's' right to choose? If yes, good. If no, please keep reading, you might be surprised at what I am going to say.
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5 comments (Latest Comment: 05/14/2011 11:23:12 by Raine)

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