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Look for the Union Label
Author: BobR    Date: 12/03/2008 13:41:55

Once again, the Big 3 auto manufacturers are heading to DC with hat in hand, looking for a bailout. This is generating the usual questions: Should we help them?... How will the money be used to help them survive and thrive?... Who's fault is it that they're failing?....

That last question is important. Without fixing the problem, we're just throwing good money after bad. Naturally, opinions differ as to the cause of the problem. The most popular one is to blame the unions. There is a popular "statistic" floating around about union workers making $70/hr. Here is a refutation to that meme:
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93 comments (Latest Comment: 12/04/2008 07:20:33 by livingonli)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 12/02/2008 11:41:22

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,085th day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from the Warron Terra, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4207
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4068
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3747
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3348
Since Election (1/31/05): 2770

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 314
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 627
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 389
Contractor Deaths - Iraq: 445

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

$576, 093, 250, 000.00



Last week, we looked over some of the potential candidates for Secretary of Veteran Affairs in an Obama Cabinet. Whoever that may be, they're going to be facing enormous challenges in rebuilding a decimated agency and caring for the returning troops. IAVA posted an editorial at New York Newsday recently about the need for change at the VA.

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141 comments (Latest Comment: 12/03/2008 07:40:08 by livingonli)

U.S. Suffering 'Moral Meltdown' Despite Protests It Acts Justly
Author: BobR    Date: 12/01/2008 17:09:30

By Sherwood Ross

Despite false protestations that it goes to war only for a just cause, the United States has been acting immorally for some time and "is in the throes of a moral meltdown," a prominent legal authority wrote in a 2008 book of essays.
"What should one call it but immoral when a country tortures people; when it kidnaps them off the street…when it causes the deaths of tens of thousands of persons by artillery, bombings, (and) missiles…for a cause nearly all think a great mistake and one caused by lies…?" asked Lawrence Velvel, dean of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover.
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1 comments (Latest Comment: 12/01/2008 17:10:10 by BobR)

Blogger Joe 2008!
Author: wickedpam    Date: 12/01/2008 13:44:40

It’s that time of year again, the time when Blogger Joe travels over the internet to spread the joy and cheer of the holiday season.

If you would like to participate just...

1) Email me ([email protected]) by Friday, December 5th, with your Name and the Address were you would like to have something sent. Also include a list of items that you do not wish to receive for reasons of allergies or ethics (i.e. leather, alcohol, etc.).

2) On Monday, December 8th I will draw names and PM or email you back with the Name and Address of the Blogger Joe you are to gift.

3) Shop or create something for your Blogger Joe, but spend no more then $10 on that gift.

4) Send your gift to you Blogger Joe so that they will receive it during the week of December 19th, so we call open them together on either December 22nd.

5) Enjoy and have fun!

7 comments (Latest Comment: 12/05/2008 13:57:00 by Scoopster)

National Security Monday
Author: Raine    Date: 12/01/2008 13:32:58

Today President Elect Obama is set to announce his National Security team. Much has been speculated and pontificated about regarding the choice of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. At around 10:45 this morning he will be holding a press conference:
According to a Democrat familiar with the transition team's work, the former First Lady is part of a national security team that also includes: Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security; Eric Holder, for Attorney General; Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who will remain in his current position for at least one year; retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones, for National Security Adviser; retired Adm. Dennis Blair, for Director of National Intelligence; and Susan Rice, for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
The most interesting name on that list is not Hillary Clinton. It's Susan Rice.
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115 comments (Latest Comment: 12/02/2008 03:49:34 by Mondobubba)

Red Ribbon Day
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 11/30/2008 14:57:40

http://www.nida.nih.gov/consequences/hiv/images/ribbon.gif

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11 comments (Latest Comment: 12/01/2008 05:01:26 by livingonli)

In the dark of the night
Author: TriSec    Date: 11/29/2008 13:55:38

How many of us assembled here are happy city dwellers?

Night in the city is an interesting thing...music, dancing, drinking, movies, nightlife in general. Of course there is always a dark side, and the undercurrent of society does most of its work under the cover of darkness, too.

But when was the last time you looked up?

I'm an aviation geek; I always look up, even in the night, whenever I hear an aero engine passing by. (Except September 11...see other blogs about that.) But do you ever stop and look at those feeble little pricks of light in the sky that our ancestors used to call "stars"?

I posted a story on the message board the other day about Bar Harbor, Maine enacting an ordinance to protect the night sky. Mount Desert Island is far enough away from the major population centers of the East Coast that you can still see the stars from there.

Did you ever wonder why our galaxy is named the "Milky Way"? On a dark summer's night (from the Northern Hemisphere), you can see why....looking edge-on toward's the galaxy's center from the Orion Arm, the bulk of our galaxy makes an impenetrable glowing band slicing across the night sky. It's quite a sight to behold, if you can ever see it.

City dwellers have to deal with light pollution...huge amounts of light that could otherwise be aimed at the ground bleed off into space, and illuminate the atmosphere and wash out any hope of seeing any of nature's wonders from the ground. Take a look around you the next night you're out....any fixture that projects light up, or that you can see from the side, is wasting energy and polluting the night sky.

I suppose it's the price we pay for our modern society. You and I can look at street maps and highways and have a pretty good idea of where we are. Once on a day hike that's become part of my Cub Scout Pack's lore, one of our adults (who is an amateur Ornithologist) was picking birds out of nowhere, identifying them by a flick of wing or briefest of birdcall. That morning, planes departing from Logan Airport were flying over our birding site, and I was identifying the "aluminum birds" just as easilly as he was.

My point is...pull out an unmarked star chart and see how much you recognize. We've heard of them....The Big Dipper, Orion the Hunter, the constellations of the Zodiac....but do you even know what they look like anymore?

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40 comments (Latest Comment: 11/30/2008 07:17:01 by livingonli)

U.S. Breaks International Pledge Not To Recruit Children Under 17
Author: BobR    Date: 11/29/2008 03:58:48

By Sherwood Ross

In violation of its pledge to the United Nations not to recruit children into the military, the Pentagon “regularly target(s) children under 17,” the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) says.

The Pentagon “heavily recruits on high school campuses, targeting students for recruitment as early as possible and generally without limits on the age of students they contact,” the ACLU states in a 46-page report titled “Soldiers of Misfortune.”

This is in violation of the U.S. Senate's 2002 ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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3 comments (Latest Comment: 11/29/2008 12:39:37 by Scoopster)

Red Friday
Author: BobR    Date: 11/28/2008 13:04:45

Today (the day after Thanksgiving) is traditionally known as "Black Friday". That seems like such a bleak term, but it means it's the day that retailers' balance sheets finally move from the red into the the black. Most stores count on a good turnout today; to ensure that turnout, they have big one-day sales. Consumers comply, and jam stores and malls (and mall parking lots). Some people do all their Christmas shopping in one marathon day.

With all that spending going on, one has to wonder how many people are paying cash? How many people actually saved up money for this? If past experience is any indicator, a large part of the country that's out shopping today will end up charging most of their purchases on credit cards, and paying on them for months to come. For the retailers, it's Black Friday - for consumers it's Red Friday.
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57 comments (Latest Comment: 11/29/2008 04:08:55 by BobR)

Giving Thanks
Author: Raine    Date: 11/27/2008 14:15:11

Good Morning and Happy Thanksgiving! Today is one of my favorite Holidays.

I must say that this is the strangest Thanksgiving I have seen in a long time. It's a strange crossroad we find ourselves in this year. So many things that are scary and frightening and yet, so much to really be grateful for. I do not think that I am alone in feeling thankful that our nation has chosen a leader that will tackle the problems at hand with the rest of the country. We can be thankful that grownups are going to be in charge in just a few short weeks. The road ahead will long, and difficult, but at least we have leaders coming that recognize it and truly want to make things better.

I am grateful for family and friends. This year Bob and I were blessed with a new niece and nephew. A wonderful dog came into our life, Kizzy, and in the past few weeks Missy the cat showed up to, with the new kittens not far behind. It has been an amazing time.

Our Children, born to us, or in our families, will come to know a world that is not dominated by war and terror everyday. Many Children will come to know 9/11 as something in a history book instead of the beginning of every sentence from our leaders. These are wonderful things.

I am most thankful for you, my extended family. We have been thru a lot together. We have been lucky to have our F4 family grow together over the past year or so and I hope that we will have many more wonderful times together. It's a wonderful thing to have a place to come and not have to worry about well, things.

So today, I raise a glass to you, to America, to our troops, to the children, to all those that have gone before us and all that will come after and I say thank you for these blessings, and for the blessings that are already on the way.

Happy Thanksgiving.
:peace: and
Raine


43 comments (Latest Comment: 11/28/2008 07:21:48 by livingonli)

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