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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Jamie Olive is my hero.  Last year, when he came to the United States and make a debut in the small, sleepy town in West Virginia, he clearly made an impact and difference in their lives.

This year, he might have taken on more than he could chew by tackling the enormous Los Angeles Community.  By the end of the last show, though, he gained the support of the new supertindent of the LA School system.

He’s got the right ideas though.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and is aiming to put things into good perspective with good eats, starting in the schools.

I thank him for his perseverance in keeping on the school systems.  I look forward to see the long range effects of his efforts.

What’s next for this hero?  Can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve for the next leg of his crusade!

News | Jamie Oliver (US).

 

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$31,244 is the average income of 90% of the income earners, which has only seen a change of 1% during 1970-2008.  As you climb the chart to see other ranges of earnings, the population gets smaller and smaller, but the change of income earned during this same time frame is increasing higher and higher.  Something is very wrong with this picture.

How are folks supposed to hold on to hope for economic change in the future, if 90% of the population is seeing the littlest of changes?

via (Not) spreading the wealth – The Washington Post.

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Oh, my! I just can’t believe that it has come down to discussing politician’s many love lives and infidelities, and let that drama get in way of what is truly underlying on the the important aspects of getting us out of this economic “bliss” and recession. Don’t get me wrong — when we vote a politician into office, we do hope and pray that they enstill the same morals and beliefs that are representative of our society as a whole, but let us not forget where our priorities should be.

Below is the humor made by a political cartoon today:

Can we please get down to the real business essential to our lives.

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I, honestly, cannot remember if this was also circulated around last year or not in our emails as well; whatever the case though, it certainly would bear repeating….enjoy!!

A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.


Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.


My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.


The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,

then thesure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.


My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.


A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.


‘What are you doing?’ I asked without fear,
‘Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!’


For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light,
Then he sighed and he said ‘Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.’


‘It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.


My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,’
He sighed, ‘That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.’

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
< /S PAN>


I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.


Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.


I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..


Who sta! nd at th e front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.’
‘So go back inside,’ he said, ‘harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.’


‘But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
‘Give you money,’ I asked, ‘or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.’


In his eyes welled a tear that held no regret,
‘Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.


For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.’

——————————————————————-


PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.  Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30t h Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum , Iraq

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especially in the world of the media and politics which can often grey out some black and white viewpoints, leaving folks not knowing whether they stand for what they believe in or believe in what they stand for, an author comes forward and writes a book entitled, God’s Politics:  Why the Right gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It (by Jim Wallis, also a speaker on the Minnesota Public Radio) from which he states in part:

“… Of course, nobody can steal your personal faith; that’s between you and God.   The problem is in the political arena, where strident voices claim to represent Christians when they clearly don’t speak for most of us. It’s time to take back our faith in the public square, especially in a time when a more authentic social witness is desperately needed.

The religious and political Right gets the public meaning of religion mostly wrong –preferring to focus only on sexual and cultural issues while ignoring the weightier matters of justice. And the secular Left doesn’t seem to get the meaning and promise of faith for politics at all-mistakenly dismissing spirituality as irrelevant to social change. I actually happen to be conservative on issues of personal responsibility, the sacredness of human life, the reality of evil in our world, and the critical importance of individual character, parenting, and strong “family values.” But the popular presentations of religion in our time (especially in the media) almost completely ignore the biblical vision of social justice and, even worse, dismiss such concerns as merely “left wing.”

It is indeed time to take back our faith.

Take back our faith from whom? To be honest, the confusion comes from many sources. From religious right-wingers who claim to know God’s political views on every issue, then ignore the subjects that God seems to care the most about. From pedophile priests and cover-up bishops who destroy lives and shame the church. From television preachers whose extravagant lifestyles and crass fund-raising tactics embarrass more Christians than they know. From liberal secularists who want to banish faith from public life and deny spiritual values to the soul of politics. And even from liberal theologians whose cultural conformity and creedal modernity serve to erode the foundations of historic biblical faith. From New Age philosophers who want to make Jesus into a nonthreatening spiritual guru. And from politicians who love to say how religious they are but utterly fail to apply the values of faith to their public leadership and political policies. …”

The whole sordid controversy shouldn’t even be there.   True.  Americans pride themselves on the premise of the separation of the State and Church, but just because a politician expresses themselves based on their religious beliefs as a human being and an American themselves, doesn’t mean that they are trying to mix the politics with religion.  That would be taking the context of the separation of Church and State out of context and twisting it into an issue that shouldn’t exist.  What they are referring to with the mix of Church and State is, for example, while the Catholic Church may take a stance of being against abortions, it doesn’t mean that the Government of the United States must also take a stance of being against abortions just because the Catholic Church may say so.

There isn’t anything meant further by wishing one a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Chanukah” to someone, even if they are in politics, other than expressing the greetings which have become a part of the celebration of the holidays representated by the beliefs in the culture of their religions. 

Okay, so I have digressed a bit.

At any rate, from the excerpt above from Jim Wallis’ book on God Politics, it seems that there is a movement to understand the religious perspectives on social changes or social justices in the world and the mingling of a coming to a better understanding what the beliefs are through a “taking back our faith” process.  It would be interesting to read the book in full and see Jim Wallis’ viewpoint on this issue.

Have you read this book yet????  What do you think????

godspolitics_large.jpg

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and the overreaction of the criticism of his message to wish everyone a Merry Christmas in one of his recent messages on tv.  This video is from the Today Show appearance…

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKMDJ46G4M4]

It is such a shame that folks have to be intimidated by expressing a simple greeting based on their religious belief.  Gone are the days in many countries that many have to hide the Bibles as a symbol of their quest for knowledge based in the Christian beliefs; why should the United States be so much in a uproar over a simple greeting — especially when the vast majority of the citizens of the United States have a founding belief based in some form of Christianity belief system.

A saying by Mahatma Ghandi:

bullet “The need of the moment is not one religion, but mutual respect and tolerance of the devotees of the different religions.

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In an article in the Austin American Statesman on Tuesday, December 18th, the author of the article, Charles Taylor, starts off saying in his analysis of the book by Elizabeth Bumiller on Condoleeza Rice: An American Life:

“The subtitle of Elizabeth Bumiller’s biography “Condoleezza Rice: An American Life” tells you everything you need to know. The book is serious, sober and deeply unimaginative.

Neither an attack nor a valentine, it would be far more interesting if it were either — if the writer ventured an actual stand. Instead it shows how the entire notion of “balance” has sucked the vitality out of mainstream journalism, both stylistically and intellectually.”

OMG!  Do you think Mr. Taylor had an opinion on this, or what?  While I have not had the opportunity to read the book on Condoleeza Rice, I would love to see what it might have to say about this very stately woman that seems to have a good head on her shoulders with the utmost diplomacy.  I am not sure that a book on this woman could have been with a steaming richness like a torid romance novel or suspence/mystery book since this woman has seemingly staved away from huge controversial areas, other than working with President George W. Bush’s presidental era.

Although I have no idea about this author and her methodology of her writing skills, I feel that certainly Mr. Taylor may have been a little too harsh – especially in observing the diplomatic nature of Ms. Condoleeza Rice in her own right.  However, perhaps, I should get the book and see whether or not I can concur with Mr. Taylor.

Have you read this book yet?   Do you have an opinion???

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Steven’s TV Video video talks about how the world is changing to utilize free technology to put forth their campaigns…not just for amateurs anymore.  See Oprah, politians, comedians, etc. take advantage of the video tubes to tell you story….

What do you think?

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It’s about time…

bring back the jingle and the jangle back into Christmas!!

Make us proud of our beliefs…not having to hide them like many countries have to do in their countries.  After all, being proud of our beliefs and not having to hide our thoughts, dreams, and ambitions is part of what make Americans proud of their heritage as well as a number of other things (which are not directly related to the issuance of this song);  it is just about being able to be able to wish some one “Merry Christmas!” with no worries of being offensive to anyone.  After all, when someone wishes “Happy Chanukah!” to a Christian with Christian beliefs, they aren’t stammering and say “I am offended by what you said.”  Instead, Christians just generally nod and say to their Jewish friends, “and, may you have a Happy Chanukah!”

Bah humbug to the politically correct censorship and the victimization of the Christians to succumb to the numbness of the non-emotional impact of their beliefs, and let all the Christians sing along with Go Fish:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAckfn8yiAQ]

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those at the Justice for Children program. 

“It is the position of Justice for Children that PAS is junk science.

“P.A.S. per se (not “parents lying about abuse allegations”) is not a syndrome.   People lie on the witness stand every day but that does not make it a syndrome.   Various credible studies have documented that the incidence of false allegations of abuse in custody proceedings make up significantly less than 5% of all abuse allegations  in custody proceedings.  When mental health experts or attorneys claim that P.A.S. is a “syndrome”  — knowing full well that it lacks scientific validity, is the concoction of a disgraced psychologist, and has been soundly rejected by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges — that is disingenuous at best and unethical at worst.  Moreover, when it is used as a vehicle to keep children in the custody of men who abuse them, it is also immoral. ” – Randy Burton, Founder, Chairman and President – Justice for Children

PAS is touted to be an accepted psychological “syndrome” when, in fact, it has no scientific foundation and has been routinely rejected by courts and mental health professionals as admissible in the courtroom.  Nonetheless, PAS is still being used by unscrupulous attorneys and hired gun “experts” to attack the credibility of, parents, usually mothers, and undermine the testimony of little children who have accused their fathers of unspeakable acts of abuse. “

For more information see their posting on Justice for Children

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See the inspiring speaker, Barack Obama, as he spoke in Austin on February 23, 2007:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45jM2DKwCKI]

What could be better than watching the next President of the United States at a classic Texas hillside ampitheater?

It’s going to be beautiful weather, and we look forward to seeing you this Saturday afternoon at The Backyard.

Who:
Sen. Barack Obama

When:
Doors open at 3:00pm
Saturday, November 17

What:
Live music from Fastball
Guest: $25
Student: $15
After-party at Victory Grill

Where:
The Backyard
13101 Highway 71 West
Austin, TX 78738

click here: Reserve your ticket

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While I am presently at work this morning, I was up in the wee hours of the morning (besides increasing my inventories on eBay and Half) watching the news blurps about the Memorial Wall of the Vietnam soldiers who didn’t make it back to the States.  It made me teary eyed to think that so many had died in service and how fortunate that I was to have my Dad return to our family when I was in second grade from Vietnam as a Captain in a MASH unit.

In my email this morning, I also received a wonderfully thoughtful message from the US Senator John Cornyn (from Texas):

Dear Fellow Texan:
 
Join me today in honoring and remembering the brave men and women who have answered the call to protect our freedom, defeat tyranny and advance democracy.

This year we honor an increasing number of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the greater Global War on Terror.  They join the proud and honorable tradition of American Veterans in whose name we pay tribute.
 
From World War I to the current Global War on Terror, today America stands in collective awe of the heroism of American servicemen throughout our history. It is important that future generations know these stories of American courage, character and selfless sacrifice.
 
While Texans have many thoughts on the War, there is one thing we must agree on, supporting and thanking all those who fight, and have fought, for this great Nation. 
 
Today is a day for us to honor the service and sacrifice of all of these great patriots.

Senator John Cornyn

I certainly do share Senator Cornyn’s sentiments for all of those who have and continue to serve our Country.

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“Grace will lead me home” – the title of the book she is promoting and speaking out about domestic violence, bringing home to a lot of victims of domestic exactly the fears, trials and tribulations that they have faced and feared.  Check out her story in these YouTube videos:

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcZg2_BDZKo]

– Robin Givins Story, Pt 1

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SkgsHX2g0w]

– Robin Givins Story, Pt 2

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVFaEJDO_zs%5D

– Robin Givins on ABC  (NOTE: sad to see the hate comments left on this video)

  

“You have to talk about it to conquer it!” – Robin Givins

(what a great quote!!)

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“Asabe Ladagu, a Christian widow in this capital city of Borno state in northern Nigeria, has survived without income the past 16 months. It was that long ago, the former librarian told Compass, that Muslim administrators at Ramat Polytechnic forced her into early retirement – without pay – after she and others requested land to build a chapel.

The Christians viewed the denial as deliberate discrimination against Christians by Muslim administrators at a time when there were seven mosques on campus.”

 ~~Nigeria: Ramat Polytechnic Discriminates Against Christians

Can you believe that this is about a current day issue and not something that just happened during Biblical times?   With all the advancement of technology and forward thinking, you would have thought that we would be much more above and beyond this — no matter what part of the world we all live in!

 

 

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Received this in my email today.  It is comforting that some businesses can and do actually go beyond their call of duty these days; so many don’t.  It is indeed a rare find and we should support those who do.

See below for full story:

Sears Walks the Walk…
 
Could we each buy at least one thing at Sears this year?

How does Sears treat its employees who are called up for military duty? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up…

Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years.

I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution.

Suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves.

Pass it on.

Decided to check this before I sent it forward. So I sent the following e-mail to the Sears Customer Service Department:

Received this e-mail and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your company. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item, even if it’s cheaper at that store.

This is their answer to my e-mail:

Dear Customer:

Thank you for contacting Sears. The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback.

Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.

Bill Thorn
Sears Customer Care
< A title=mailto:webcenter@sears.Com href=”mailto:webcenter@sears.Com“> webcenter@sears.Com
1-800-349-4358

Please pass this on to all your friends. Sears needs to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and we need to show them as Americans, we do appreciate what they are doing for our military!!!

It’s Verified By Snopes.Com at: http://WWW.snopes.Com/politics/military/sears.asp (shows the entire article).

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So many folks feel that, if they get too far into debt, they’ll just file bankruptcy. Discovered this cartoon on Slate.com today, and it couldn’t have been depicted any better….

071017_ed.gif

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Quite possibly! In response to another blogger’s blog posting, I responded:

“It is indeed something to think about… China, Mexico, and many other countries are mass producing things for us….

but, flags have to rise when are products are being imported tainted with things that could kill each and every one of us and the environment we know it to be.

As ecological conscience we Americans are purported to be, you would think that the ecological organizations would also rise to the occasion to speak out and alert American Businesses to quickly begin to rethink our mass productions to be done here in the States for the safety consideration of one and all here.

Can you tell? It most certainly has been on my mind lately……”

What was his blog posting…. See below:

“With a lot of manufacturing jobs moving over to China, are we setting ourselves up for failure???? Hmmmmmmm…….

Let’s look at the facts that have been uncovered in recent months. I’ll start with the mass pet food recall that killed several pets. The cause of the recall was because of contaminated ingredient glutin, which was imported from China.

It gets worse. The U.S. is importing seafood from China. Some of it is farm raised in ponds that the EPA would condem. This food is not being properly inspected and tested by the FDA. Yet, we Americans keep buying it.

And for the latest, Matel is recalling millions of toys because the paint used on them contains excessive amounts of lead. And these toys are made guess where… That’s right! China.

Are we really better off getting our food and goods from China? They could be taking us down without us even knowing it. What would happen if the U.S. got involved in a major war similar to WWII? We would not have the manufacturing capabilities to produce the goods necessary to defend ourselves like we did during WWII. We will not have the experienced workers necessay to man the factories, let alone the factories to make the goods.

Think about it………”

What do you think? Have you been trying to sort out the madness lately in the news????

 

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In regards to the blog posting entitled, It has been a long night, I submitted the following response:

“I certainly do understand all that. The spoken words of “Make Love, Not War” is certainly oblivious to the fact that there are people in other countries ready, willing and able to shake up our lives. 911 is only one instance, which shook up many lives to the fact that the bombing and fighting elsewhere has finally hit our lands. One of the reasons we don’t have 911’s every day, or an everyday occurrence of fighting and bombing in our streets, is largely due to the security that we do have in this country, albeit not perfect by any means.

Kudos for everything that you are doing in your role of security, although it is a lot of sleepless nights lurking in the sites while keeping an eye out for intruders who may upset the very way of life we are used to having….”

Honestly, the thought of pulling some of our troops out from strategic places in the world (even Iraq) has me wondering what the shift will do to the protection of our civilians out in the countries, working for such American companies such as Halliburton and others to help build up other countries. There are too many ifs, ands, and buts left to the unknowns that no one can truly predict.

One of my exes’ favorite rebuttals in life’s disdains was, “If “ifs”, “ands”, and “buts” were but chocolate, candy and nuts, we would all have a very Merry Christmas.” How do you ever resolve all the unknowns? No telling! However, if we certainly could, we would certainly be able to have peace in the world by also being able to resolve all the problems of the world. 😀

Just a bit of food for thought…

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I wanted to change the world.

But I have found that

the only thing one can be sure of changing

is oneself.

 

– Aldous Huxley

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It certainly has its point driven home. What ARE the carmakers going to do to eliminate the gas guzzler’s on the road? True. There are the hybrids that are saving many consumers hundreds, if not thousands of gas expenses, each year; but, the prices of most of the hybrid vehicles are still seemingly out of reach for the average car buyer these days.

What do you think???

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Thank you for signing the petition to Stop the Dead End Shelter!

Can you help us spread the word? Just forward this email to your friends around Austin who may be interested.

Thanks for helping to protect Austin’s community values.

STOP THE DEAD-END SHELTER:

http://www.austinaction.org/petition/Stop+the+Dead+End+Shelter

Help Stop the Dead End Shelter

The City of Austin plans to move the Town Lake Animal Shelter from its current location on Caesar Chavez to a remote industrial location on the outskirts of the City’s eastern edge – out of sight and out of mind.

According to a national shelter expert, locating a shelter in a highly visible location rather than at a remote location or on a dead-end street can literally double shelter adoptions. The proposed new site is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind location, far and away from the City’s main adopters, which is certain to lead to fewer visitors, fewer volunteers, fewer adoptions, and even more killing. We already have a great location and there is no reason to relocate it to the outskirts of town.

With little-to-no public input or discussion, with no public vote by the Austin City Council, and with no analyses of the move’s impact on adoptions, volunteers and return to owners, Shelter management has railroaded the relocation to East 7th and Airport. This is the same Shelter management that has been unable to reduce the kill and intake rates (despite doubling the budget) over the last seven years. Last year over, 12,000 homeless animals were killed and since 2000 under the current shelter management more than 70,000 animals have been killed.

A grass-roots effort has formed urging the City Council to use the voter-approved bond money to rebuild the Shelter where it is-Town Lake.

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO SIGN OUR ONLINE PETITION TO

STOP THE DEAD-END SHELTER:

http://www.austinaction.org/petition/Stop+the+Dead+End+Shelter

SEND AN EMAIL TO AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL:

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/council/groupemail.htm

VISIT FIXAUSTIN.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.fixaustin.org/

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If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.

 

– John F. Kennedy

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Received this email from a friend of mine this morning….

Hi,

Can you face another summer where a day trip to the lake or the beach costs you an arm and a leg? It’s shaping up to be just that if we don’t ask Congress to stand up to Big Oil now.

The House passed a bill last week that could make gas price gouging a federal crime, but the oil companies succeeded in weakening it at the last minute, so it’s hard to enforce.

In a couple weeks, the Senate will vote on the same bill, and we need them to make it stronger. I signed a petition to urge my representatives to pass a strong gas price gouging bill. We have over 500,000 names already, but we want to get to 750,000 — can you join me at the link below?

 

http://pol.moveon.org/stoppricegouging/?r_by=-8354252-5dnlA7&rc=mailto

 

Thanks!”Do you think that you can help encourage the passing of the bill by contacting your representatives today???

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If you go back into my public reader blogs on the Austin American-Statesman (either the “Inquiring Minds” as txbluebonnet2006 or “Inquiring Minds” as txbluebonnet), you will see that I have written extensively about this subject matter.  They were shouting back then that it was all an “amnesty” ploy that the government was coming up with; and, things haven’t changed one iota since then.

Some folks feel, like in a recent public blog on the Austin American Statesman, called, “I am curious”, wherein the author seems to make the whole issue is about where you come from.  It isn’t at all. 

What I care about is the safety of you and me, the neighbors down the street, the communities in my State and across this great nation.  What I want to see is that, no matter where they are from, our government isn’t letting in folks that are pedafiles, murderers, terrorists, drug cartel, etc. that jeopardize the safety of where we live and exist, as well as our futures as we might know it to be.

The reform is all about figuring out the guidelines, and redefining them, to expedite some of the processes of the immigration department to not take 10 years to process applications for citizenship here in the United States due to the backlog of applications.  Some processes may take only 5 years because they don’t have as many people applying from that country as they do from a different country that might have 1,000 times more applicants.

The system is failing because, in the meantime, while they are waiting for their applications to process many of them have come on over to live here illegally; some of which are unsavory criminalistic backgrounds and thereby putting our country at risk.

In the meantime, more and more folks cross over our borders illegally – seeking freedoms and that famed “Horatio Alger’s American Dream” that doesn’t even really exist for many of the American Citizens.  Something needs to be done to curtail the illegal arrivals while we get a fix on the process procedures of the applications.

The drug cartels fighting their wars on the borders of Texas sends up a flag for many Texas Citizens.  Perhaps, those in Washington DC aren’t caring too much because the war isn’t in their backyard yet, but Texans are getting a first hand look at it — especially those in South Texas.

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 In following up on my Bits and Pieces posting, I had mentioned that Baby Emilio Gonzales’ Mother was fighting hard to keep Baby Emilio, at 17mos old, sustained on resuscitation equipment for just a little bit longer. On April 17th, the Court heard the matter and extended the hearing awaiting on other findings. On May 8th, the Guardian ad Litem for Baby Emilio agreed with the doctors that the baby should no longer remain on resuscitation equipment and filed a legal brief so stating the decision. While the legal brief had been filed in agreement with the doctors, it is unclear to the reported articles on MyFoxAustin whether or not the baby, at the time being 18mos, was actually taken off the resuscitation equipment or Baby Emilio Gonzales has actually died yesterday on his own as a direct result of the Leigh’s Disease, a disease that attacks the central nervous system, last night, May 19, 2007.

In an Austin American-Statesman blurb, “Emilio Gonzales loses battle with illness”, it is stated simply, “Mother who fought to continue son’s treatment cradles 19-month-old at end.”

In accordance with the Austin American-Statesman article, “Baby on life support dies of natural causes: Mother who fought to continue son’s treatment cradles 19-month-old at end”, serves to confirm that, in the end, Baby Emilio dies of natural causes and, as his attorney (JerriLynn Ward) puts it when interviewed, “God chose to take Emilio at this time”.

It is disheartening to every Mom when their own child dies, much more so when your only child (and possibly your only child ever), Emilio Gonzales, dies in his Mom, Catarina Gonzales’, own arms. Much heartfelt sympathy will certainly be felt by the Lockhart community she and the baby are from, the Austin community where she and the baby stayed for the majority of his life, and communities around the world who have heard of the plight and fight for sustaining his life in the hospital.

As per the Austin American-Stateman’s article, it goes on to say:

“According to Texas law, once doctors give notice that they want to stop treating a patient against the family’s wishes, they can start a process in which the family has 10 days to transfer the loved one to another facility.

 

The hospital and the court had given Gonzales and her supporters more time to find another facility, but months of searching had failed.

 

In recent weeks, a court-appointed guardian for Emilio had filed legal briefs backing the doctors’ and hospital’s intentions to stop treatment. The next court hearing had been scheduled for May 30.

 

[JerriLynn] Ward [Baby Emilio’s attorney] said that Emilio’s mother’s fight was against the law permitting doctors to decide when to end treatment and that she didn’t know if Catarina Gonzales would press the fight.”

Whether or not Catarina Gonzales has the strength now to fight the fight to change the law should be a moot point, the legislation in the Texas’ chambers should be continued to be fought for some degree of change because it is likely right around the corner there is another mother having to make that frightening decision of whether or not to continue resuscitation of her own child. The laws need to be made clearer.

In the meantime, whether or not you agree with Catarina Gonzales’, the mother of Emilio Gonzales, decision, she should be put down in history as one of the strongest mothers in the world to have to fight for the right to her son’s life in spite of the dismal prognosis of the son’s fight with the illness of Leigh’s Disease. Hopefully, her fight will not be a futile one and laws can be changed to be clearer, as well as giving the loved ones more of a chance and voice to make such grueling decisions, as well as more of an awareness of the disease and more research can be given to a possible cure for this gripping and fatal disease in the future.

May peace be with Emilio Gonzales as he no longer suffers now.

May peace be with Catarina Gonzales and the families of them as they properly grieve their child missing from their arms. May Catarina Gonzales, also, find peace and strength in the future, no matter which path she chooses (continuing to fight the legislation battles, making an awareness known more about the Leigh’s Disease and a movement for a cure, or any other number of proactive measures in the memory of her son).

Additional Information about Leigh’s Disease:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders

Madison’s Foundation – Moms & Dads in Search of Needed Support

Wikipedia: Leigh’s Disease

Addtional Information about Futile Care Legislation:

Futile Care Debate: Prolonging Life or Suffering? (May 6, 2007)

Highlights from Texas Legislature (May 14, 2007)

Also posted in:

“Inquiring Minds” — my Statesman.com Reader Blog

“Inquiring Minds” — my MyFoxAustin.com Watcher Blog

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“You can’t escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

– Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President

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In the past month or so there has been some emails circulating fast and furiously wanting people to not pump gas on May 15, 2007, but as pointed out in my posting entitled, “May 15, 2007, Gas Out Misgivings”,  Snopes argues that it isn’t an effective approach to take because it merely shifts the day that the consumer purchases gas rather than having any real effect affecting the gas and oil  conglomerates.    I made a suggestion of giving up traveling for our summer vacations this summer and just rely on our own hometown offerings for our summer vacation.  No feedback has been given on this though.

At any rate, various resources announced yesterday that the Texas Leglistators are considering passing a temporary three-month fix for the soaring gas prices by taking off the gas tax for three months.  The problem is that the gas/oil companies won’t necessarily suffer from the long-term consequences of the “feel good” measure, it will be more than likely things like fundings for a variety of education, road repair, and other much needed programs.

Not sure what the answer should be, but there should be a good resolve out there if we look hard enough and, perhaps, keep knocking on the doors of the oil/gas industry to let them know that we cannot afford the soaring prices within the boundaries of our incomes to afford ourselves, and our families, to thrive for existance in today’s economy.

Some of the resources reporting the Texas Legislator’s Proposal to date:

Gas Tax Vacation Eyed

House Votes for Gas Tax Break

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One of my many fond memories of my childhood is being very little (maybe 4 or 5 – the age that many older adults still enjoy picking you up and letting you sit on their knees). We were sitting outside in the “courtyard” of sorts between my Grandparent’s home and the guest house that was attached to a detached garage (detached from the main home, that is). The yard had a huge pine tree that overpowered the levels of the roofs of the structures and hid the water well from view. Along the sidewalks and the outer outlining areas, separating it from the rest of the ranchland were many flowerbeds that had roses and daisies planted in them. They were all a-bloom.

One of the visitors that my Grandma had over was an older man and a friend to my Grandma and Grandma. I always loved it when he would come over because he would bring us the largest jar of honey that you would have ever seen in your life with the largest honeycomb right smack in the middle of it. I loved picking up the honeycomb and allowing the fresh honey to be dribbled all into my mouth. It was almost tradition that my Grandma would let me have the first taste of the fresh honey brought to us.

My Grandma would have made fresh bread for this occasion and we would spoon heaping spoonfuls of honey all upon the hot bread and savored each and every bite as my sister and I would play outdoors and the adults would continue talking beyond when the sun went down.

Before the sun went down though, I sat on this man’s knees for a bit. A bee landed upon my knee and I quickly got the attention of everyone by saying, “Grandma!” without even a flinch. This man quickly patted me on the back and assured me that, if we just watch the bee, he will fly away soon and look for something else to light upon. The bee did fly away while the beekeeper continued to tell us a story about how he collects the honey from the bees and how the bees were our friends.

Apparently, this story wasn’t heard near and far though!!

Katie Couric, from the CBS News, aired a story entitled, “FYI: What’s happening to the bees? Lots of theories but little proof as scientists scramble to solve what could be an agriculture crisis!” She started out with the story about a Pennsylvania farmer:

“As if by one sudden swoop, thousands of bees disappeared from the Pennsylvania farm of Dave Hackenberg. But he was just the first of hundreds of bee farmers — also known as apiarists — to report a sudden die-off or depopulation of their hives to researchers.

He told National Geographic: ‘In almost 50 years as a beekeeper, I’ve never seen anything like it.'”

and then continued by explaining:

“In short, a quarter of the country’s 2.4 million bee colonies have been decimated or lost. There are many theories about what’s caused the loss, but there is no definitive answer.

One thing has almost been agreed upon: Scientists are calling this Colony Collapse Disorder. Well, except for those who call it Fall Dwindle Disease (the phenomenon’s former name).

A Congressional Research Service report for members of Congress listed the following possible causes of CCD, as reported by scientists.

 

  • Parasites, mites, and disease loads in the bees and brood
  • Known/unknown pathogens
  • Poor nutrition among adult bees
  • Level of stress in adult bees (e.g., transportation and confinement of
    bees, or other environmental or biological stressors)
  • Chemical residue/contamination in the wax, food stores and/or bees
  • Lack of genetic diversity and lineage of bees
  • A combination of several factors”
  • and concluded with some resources that will be posted at this end of this blog posting.

    In the meantime, I am remembering another story where a virus has been developed to destroy the pesty and annoying fire ants, such as in the May 7, 2007, CNN story entitled, “Fire Ants May Have Met Their Match”. They said:

    “Researchers have pinpointed a naturally occurring virus that kills the ants, which arrived in the U.S. in the 1930s and now cause $6 billion in damage annually nationwide, including about $1.2 billion in Texas.

    The virus caught the attention of U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers in Florida in 2002. The agency is now seeking commercial partners to develop the virus into a pesticide to control fire ants.

    The virus was found in about 20 percent of fire ant fields, where it appears to cause the slow death of infected colonies.”

    They are now looking for a partner to introduce this virus into pesticides. But one has to wonder if by gambling with the development of this virus that, supposedly just affects the ants, isn’t potentially affecting our bee supply too????

    With so much biotechnology being developed, one has to wonder if, perhaps, development of some viruses could also be an upset to our balance of nature. What do you think?????

    *******************************************************************

    As promised, some of the additional resources for more information about bees that was given in the CBS News article are (for quick access):

    USDA’s “National Honey Report”

    The National Honey Board – This month’s top topic is the “Colony Collapse Disorder”

    Prepared Testimony of Diana Cox-Foster, Professor Department of Entomology at the Pennsylvania State University before the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture on Colony Collapse Disorder in Honey Bee Colonies in the United States, March 29, 2007

    Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines, March 26, 2007, by Renee Johnson, Analyst in Agricultural Economics (Resources, Science, and Industry Division) for the members and committees of Congress

    Honey Locator

    Additional Resources:

    National Human Genome Research Institute

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    When does a Protective Order become more than “Just a piece of paper”? When you advocate for programs like this come into place in your state!! See the following article

    Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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    Last night I was attacked by Snopes via email stating that I had infringed on their copyright by quoting them, even with crediting them through a link for my readers. I immediately complied and removed it, but not without putting in a statement of the removal because it directly affected the climate and argument support of dispelling the myth (that was being circulated around and received as an email) argued in my blog posting.

    As a researcher for many, many years (been doing research papers since I was in 2nd grade) and a blogger for the past 4-5 years, I have utilized quotes and provided direct links to those quotes wherever possible, especially if the information was found on the internet, as any responsible writer/blogger would. Some quote that Benjamin Franklin said, for instance, wasn’t necessarily linked only because that information could be available on so many resources that would be too numerous to list and would seem to be falling in some sort of public domain pool by now of great quotes, so long as we make sure that we credit Ben Franklin with having said that quote.

    I can see if I quoted someone and claimed it as my own work as being copyright infringement indeed; however, when you quote someone AND provide the link to where you can see the original work, should be only the ethical thing to do. In fact, claiming that the quoted material lifted as one’s own would actually fall under plagiarism, which is why every student is told throughout time, make sure that you not only indicate that you are quoting someone, but you are giving them credit for what they have said.

    It would seem, then, that the original composer of the original written article would proved that you had quoted them without the intent of providing support to their written material and/or that the person who had lifted a quote from them had the intent of claiming the material as their own. The world wide web is a very fast structure that is filled with people interlocking their stories with others. To say that one has to get permission to quote someone else when it is out there for the world wide world to see every time that they would wish to link up a quote seems borderline of insanity because (1) some sites aren’t well maintained, (2) some sites don’t provide a contact, (3) even if there is a contact on the site, I have had many, many times that I still haven’t heard from them even months later. By that time, the story/article/posting being written has long turned cold and is yesterday’s news.

    It has been accepted practice to, at the very least, provide a direct link to the resource being quoted so that the reader can judge and follow up on additional information about the subject matter if the reader would so like to do so and/or validate where the writer/blogger is coming from in his/her theory or opinion that is formulated in what the writer/blogger is writing or blogging about in their article/posting.

    In the YouTube world, they are also being attacked about copyright infringement and requests for removal. While I can understand the arguments there a little bit more as someone isn’t putting up “quote signs” while they quote anyone or providing videos and, grant it, some I have wondered where they have appeared to captured a video directly by filming what they are viewing on television, why someone hasn’t booted them off before. In fact, one goes through an accreditation process when you post a video on YouTube. One would think, if YouTube thought it was a copyright infringement, they wouldn’t have allowed it on their site to begin with. YouTube has just gone through a cleansing of sorts and deleted over 30,000 videos that border on copyright infringements. This video seems to explain the YouTube copyright infringements readily:

    [YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI4wyWLjiSc]

    I feel that Snopes has taken it a bit too far when insisted that I remove what I quoted from them in my blog posting, especially, when I had provided a direct link to the full article on Snopes supporting what I was conveying to the readers.

    I know that the laws of internet usage need to be better defined, especially, in the world of utilizing quotes for support in other articles being posted on the internet. Hopefully, they will be doing so in the near future so that other writers and bloggers won’t be attacked as I was last night.

    PS. Until today, I hadn’t really investigated this issue in depth since I felt that, if I did quote and credit them with the quoted material, I was well within my bounds and duty. I will periodically update this posting with additional information that I find on the subject matter….

    Wikipedia: Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (1998)

    Please feel free to share any other resources to help us, as writers and bloggers, to be better informed and know how to react when we are attacked by emails alleging that we have violated some form of copyright infringement.

     

     

     

     

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    having the oil/gas companies fund our health care programs, from the obvious profits that they are squirreling away, so that everyone can have access to health care equally???

    Either the oil/gas companies will tire of having to foot the health care access bills or they will drop the oil/gas prices in effort to get out of paying for the health care access for all.

    LOL…

    Sad, but it could happen — couldn’t it???       😉

    Just a thought!

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    A friend of mine from Canada sent this to me…

    Imagine the effect (if it would really work):

    “Our gas went up this week to about $5.00 gallon for regular. So I won’t pump gas on the 15th NO GAS…On May 15th 2007

    Don’t pump gas on MAY 15th

    In April 1997, there was a “gas out” conducted nationwide in protest of gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight.

    On May 15th 2007, all internet users are to not go to a gas station in protest of high gas prices. Gas is now over $3.00 a gallon in most places.

    There are 73,000,000+ American members currently on the internet network, and the average car takes about 30 to 50 dollars to fill up. If all users did not go to the pump on the 15th, it would take $2,292,000,000.00 (that’s almost 3 BILLION) out of the oil companies pockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on May 15th and lets try to put a dent in the Middle Eastern oil industry for at least one day.

    If you agree (which I cant see why you wouldn’t) resend this to all your contact list. With it saying, ‘Don’t pump gas on May 15th!'”

    I checked with Snopes and this is what they said:

    [well, unfortunately, I cannot provide you this information because Snopes emailed me and stated that:

    “It is a violation of copyright law to reproduce copyright-protected material without the permission of the rightsholder. Whether or not you credit the source is irrelevant.

     

    You did not ask for, and did not receive, our permission to reproduce our material. Please remove it from your blog immediately.”

     

    According to them, it didn’t matter that I gave them credit of the quoted material for the context of supporting why I the “Gas Out” email is false in accordance to their research. I tried to get clarification on it and, even after several emails back and forth, they wouldn’t budge in insisting that I remove everything that I had quoted them saying. It would seem that, when their contribution to the world is dispelling myths and urban legends, they would appreciate being quoted and credited with the URL to their site.]

     

    At any rate, I truly wish that we wouldn’t be a “Who” in “Whoville” waiting for “Horton” to hear our complaints about the gas prices. There has to be a viable alternative that we can do to make the “Who” in “Whoville’s” voice heard about the stammering increases of oil prices.

    I know that the high prices have changed what I do during the week. On the days that I am off from work, I tend to just stay home, albeit who gets punished really? Me (and others out there like me), because it can be depressing to just stay home and not use up more gas that absolutely necessary to get one to and from work.

    In Austin, I have seen many bicyclists travel on Loop 360. They have made an impact on not using any gas when they ride their bikes to and from work. Of course, we can have a bike or walk day; but, that is only effective for those who are lucky to live near where they work.

    Something that might be interesting to try is to curtail vacations from being far away to those vacations that are in our neighborhoods. That wouldn’t be just shifting the date of purchase of the gas; it would actually have an effect by affecting the gas companies from less gas being purchased from June through August for the purpose to traveling to far away destinations for mere pleasure. So, perhaps, instead of a Gas Out per se by not pumping on a certain day, perhaps the campaign that should be floating around is a campaign to “Vacation at Home in Summer 2007!”

    Do you have any ideas or suggestions that would be equally or more effective????

    UPDATE: Texas Legislation Proposed Action – Gas Tax Out Vacation Option

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    Lol….Wasn’t I just saying yesterday in my post entitled “Do you think that GW might have some Missouri roots?” about the catching the bad guys???  Apparently, now, the latest in the news is that one of the leaders of the Al-Qaeda linked movement is now dead as a result of a military roundup:

    “The head of al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, was killed in a military operation in western Baghdad, the al-Iraqiya news channel reported Thursday.

     

    Al-Iraqiya quoted Abdul-Karim Khalaf, head of the operations’ centre of the Iraqi Interior Ministry, as saying ‘Abu Omar al- Baghdadi, leader of what is called the Islamic State in Iraq, was killed today in the Ghazalya district of western Baghdad.’

     

    He was also reported as saying that the Interior Ministry had the body of the dead militant.

     

    Al-Baghdadi is reportedly known on the internet as ‘the prince of the Islamic State of Iraq,’ an al-Qaeda-led militant group formed in October which comprises Sunni insurgent groups.

    The reports also said al-Baghdadi was the leader of ‘Majlis Shora al-Mujahideen,’ which is comprised of several Iraqi militant groups connected to the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

    Hopefully, this isn’t just timely propaganda and is in fact very true.  *Sigh!* Hopefully, too, this will be one of many captured as we well know that, similar to a bloom springing forward for every bloom that dies on a growing flowering plant, there can always be more leaders coming into force.  All we can do is to continue to hope and pray that the bad guys who are like monsters in our dreams are removed from being able to continue their ill-ways towards any progress to peace being had in this world.

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    A great article posted here about the perils of the working uninsured is found here.  Be sure to check them out and see various options pitted here.  Maybe you can come up with another resolve??

    “The Working Uninsured” by John Rossheim « Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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    Just kidding a bit; however, everyone knows that the attitude that many Missourians have is “Show Me”, which has been the motto of their state as well.

    News has flied all over that President George Bush has vetoed a bill — the second only during his terms of offices — yesterday that involved in funding of the armed forces; but, also included a drawback of the forces beginning in October. It really should be no real surprise; after all, President Bush has made no bones about what his stance has been about any stance — especially, this one!

    I am certainly not for any war; however, on the other hand, I am torn and certainly for getting the bad guys that are a threat to our very existence. If we are not achieving that, then we certainly need our generals to go back to the drawing board and revise their strategies; after all, that is there job — right???

    After 911, we haven’t had any terroristic threats on our lands; this may be largely due to our presence in Iraq, as well as some other middle eastern countries. If we withdraw our troops in total, I wonder if we also loose some ground on having presence strategically placed.

    Some of the complaints that I have seen from families of the armed forces is that they have been extending their tour of duties rather than bringing in the freshness and energies of new troops. I remember when my father was in Viet Nam when I was little. If the news kept coming back that my father’s tour of duty had been extended, I am sure that I would have been exasperated as well. Although just in the second grade at that time and not understanding the whole concept of the necessity of the war, I would be staying up each night and watching the news with my Mom — hoping and praying for his safe return to our family.

    That being said though, I am certain that President Bush has his reasons to continue his stance of maintaining the troops presence in Iraq and in other countries. The funding does need to go through to support our troops; and, hopefully, for a refreshment of troops so that our troops are not continually having their tours extended.

    I do know too that there are many civilians over in the war zones attempting to rebuild what has been torn down and helping them to build up a government that is more resembling a democracy form of government. Without the presence of the troops, are we not also putting our civilians there in danger?

    I don’t have all the answers and do not profess to know all the ins and outs of the wars at hand. I do want the bad guys to be dealt with so that our threat to our very existence, which is often the basis of the wars, is diminished. One thing with certainty is that President Bush seems to be stating clearly, “Show Me!” that the necessity of pulling the troops will be in the best interest and safety of all. It will be interesting to see what the US Legislators come up with to resolve things in the best interest and safety for all!

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    Cartoon by Tom Toles.

    Couldn’t help but be humored by this cartoon today because it does pose the question whether or not we would eat food produced elsewhere like we do for our pets.  The issue of the pet food problems containing an (albeit illegal in the US) ingredient called melamine, which is actually very toxic, but allowed in countries, such as China.

    Maybe organic foods that we produce in our own gardens may be the better answer; but, then we need to take a look at the fertilizers that we use to raise our own food.  I know.  Organic is supposed to be foods that we produce without the need of any fertilizers, but even the Mom on King of the Hill cartoon show demonstrated in the school’s organic garden needs a little of influence to help keep the bugs away.  The trick is finding the fertilizers, at times, that produce the less risk to ourselves and our families and friends.

    What is the answer for the dilemma?

    Shouldn’t we be able to enforce our own FDA standards on those exports coming in?  If so, is it FDA that let us down by allowing the products to come through with the toxic melamine in our pet foods?

    Who is responsible and accountable for all the deaths of pets fed with the tainted pet food???

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    “Weakness and divisions at home,

    would invite dangers from abroad.”

    — John Jay, 1787

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    Just like in the previous posting about UT’s unethical woes of being wooed by lenders who offer special treats and favors to have a strong presence in their offices. It was rumored that the reason that Governor Perry, of Texas, was also wooed by Merck about the ovarian cancer drug that he was trying to make law that young, middle-school aged girls would have to take to help prevent the onset of the ovarian cancer. What might have actually been a good idea, the general public didn’t like the role that Merck might have had to persuade Governor Perry in the viability of the drug, which just so happened to be their own drug and they stood to profit emensly from the requirement being stated in law. The houses of the Texas legislation have voted it down, I believe, but Governor Perry is still convinced that it should be a law and continues to advocate for it.

     

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    As much as I like the University of Texas as they are my parent’s alma mater and I live in the same city as the great university, I can’t stand the invalidation of a sense of ethical behavior.  UT’s Student Financial Services’ Office, as reported in today’s The Daily Texan Online seems to be under just that level of scrutiny right now as they have seemingly given preferrential treatment to those lenders who show “strong presence” in their office, especial through gifts and “treats”.

    Everyone tends to give gifts to companies that they do business with to develop a relationship with the company.  The thing is, though, while it is a great marketing tool, it can be viewed with improprieties or being unethical if it is much more than taking cookies to all the employees occasionally to build awareness of their own services that they offer.  It is a marketing tactic that companies often use to set themselves apart from the other companies that might be vying for presence and usuability of their own services.  Just a part of doing business.

    However, when things are gone overboard – trips, gifts, happy hours, and such are given – and the influence of these gifts influences the companies to give special treatment or ranking of a vendor based on those “treats” then it becomes a bit unethical.

    Do what??? lol….

    It is often the topic of much heated debates in business, law, and ethic classes all over the world.  Consumables are almost accepted (cookies, donuts, tacos, etc.) practice while others are not.  The difference is often in the value of the gift and not singled out to any one person who has the power and influence to make decisions on vendor usuage or a ranking thereof.

    To illustrate this, in the CRS Report for Congress:  Lobbying Congress:  An Overview of Legal Provisions and Congressional Ethics Rules  of December 27, 2006, it states:

    In attempts to limit what has been perceived to be potential undue or improper influence in governmental processes, restrictions have been adopted to limit the postemployment lobbying of certain high ranking officials of the federal government for a period of time after those officials leave government service (so-called “revolving door” laws). Similarly, to deal with the potential for, or perceptions of, undue or improper influences, both Houses of Congress have adopted internal rules regarding the acceptance of gifts and favors by Members, officers or employees of the House or Senate from private sources, particularly from registered lobbyists or agents of foreign principals. No gifts may be accepted by Members, officers or employees,except as permitted in the Rules of the respective chamber.”

    Now.  Just how confusing does that sound???  Doesn’t it sound like they allowed themselves a little bit of breathing room for allowing exceptions in accordance with those “permitted in the Rules of the respective chamber”?

    While I have seen an absolute definition that can be applied to all, I have yet to see companies try to lobby for a spot in other business to do business with them without providing some sort of gimick to draw brand name identity and recognition for their goods or services.  If they are not able to provide certain gifts, I am sure that there will always be that weasel who figures out a loop hole of some sort that makes their gift perfectly acceptable, even if it is just in the best interest of the company to be able to market themselves.  After all, free commerce is based on the appeals of being able to market freely their goods or services — right???

    Where should the line be drawn?  Any ideas????

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    better than Dr. Maya Angelou herself???  See the below YouTube where CBS interviews Dr. Maya Angelou on the subject of the power of words soon after the Imus blunder.  Perhaps, others should watch this as well to learn a little bit more about the Power of their Words and take their actions to heart to improve their lashing of words.

     [YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n9Pq1LNLwM]

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    Can I imagine? Yes!!!!!

    It is what I have been complaining about all along. People say that, if you don’t have insurance, just apply for Medicaid. It isn’t all that simple and this article, “Public Citizen: Texas Medicaid Program One of the Country’s Worst”, on the American-Statesman reiterates my point exactly.

    In fact, the article states:

    A new report from Public Citizen, a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization, ranks the Texas Medicaid program 48 out of the programs in the 50 states.

     

    Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program that covers around 55 million Americans, varies widely from state to state, said the report, which ranked states on eligibility requirements, benefits and quality of care.

     

    “Where you happen to live can make all the difference,” said report co-author Annette Ramirez de Arellano, a public health expert at Public Citizen.

     

    The report said that even the highest-ranking states had serious weaknesses but that Texas was one of the worst, scoring higher than only Idaho and Mississippi.

     

    Texas “is the only state that places consistently at the bottom,” the report said. “Unlike other states that have made a policy decision to cover more persons for fewer services, or vice-versa, Texas ranks extremely low in both eligibility and scope of services.”

    See Public Citizen for more details.

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    who would you vote for? Would you vote Republican or Democrat? Do you have a favorite so far???

    VOTE HERE

    and cast who you would vote for today. The results may surprise you. Currently one leads the pack, but not enough have voted yet, I don’t think, to give a good idea of who the true competitors are.

    Will it be someone that has a certain perspective on the war or on the homelands? Will it be a hero? Is it someone that is spiritual?

    Does any really know what their platforms are?

    Who will you be voting for, given the knowledge that you have today??

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