Thursday, November 29, 2007

Carson Daly's Planned Return To TV Airing Could Inspire Union Busting

Carson Daly is planning to return to taping shows next week despite the writers strike. While his show uses mostly nonunion staff such as writers, it could still inspire other programs to soon return to the air with fresh taping with nonunion strikebreaker replacement writers, and result in a wave of union busting. All of this should be a huge concern to the writers. With some networks such as NBC heavily involved in a cost-cutting campaign this year anyway, the lure to use cheaper, lower cost, nonunion writers could become strong for some networks.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Don't Expect Big Breakthrough In MidEast Summit

While it would certainly be a wonderful legacy to to suddenly leave a peaceful MidEast, there is little reason to expect that will really happen. Things move painfully slow in the MidEast. And little Israel is greatly outnimbered by hostile MidEast states in the 43 nation Annapolis Conference which opens today.

Fatah only represents the smaller political portion of the Palestinians, and is in little political position to be making any peace deals for the entire Palestinian people as a whole, especially since most probably support the more radical Hamas element. The Prime Minister of Israel is very weak political position as well, perhaps the most unpopular political leader in the democratic world right now. Even President Bush is a unpopular lame duck, who would love to rush through some quick agreement to complex and vexing MidEast issues.

This is not to say that some minor window dressing document could not emerge. But at the same time it is highly unlikely to expect very much when none of the elements exist for the political clout by any of the major players to sign on to something worthwhile with some political authority to carry with it the power to actually see the document change events in the MidEast. Problems in the MidEast will likely go on to the next president, and the next president, and next MidEast leaders, and the next MidEast leaders.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ethanol Production And Low Dollar Rob The Nation's Food Banks

Food banks that help to feed the poor, not only around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but in emergency need year-round, are suffering from record low inventory problems. With increased ethanol production, diverting an increasing amount of corn from food production, less farmers and food producers are donating food to food banks. And with the dollar also hitting record lows compared to other world currency, more food products are being exported from the U.S. also hurting donations to food banks. In addition, as more Americans are hard pressed with high gas or heating oil costs, many simply cut back on donations.

The hungry of the U.S. are facing some of the worst of times this Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Future Veterans Of Future Wars

One might think that all the bad publicity of young American soldiers torn apart by car bombs or other outrageous violence in Iraq would be just about enough to make any young person have second thoughts about a military career, but no. In a Portland, Oregon area Elks Lodge, an organization of young Marines meets involves children as young as eight years old wearing Marine uniforms and being recruited into the military lifestyle by retired members of the Marine Corps.

Certainly the military is necessary for the protection of this country from real threats to the security of the nation. However are children as young as eight years old really about to make mature decisions about the real dangers of involvement in a military career? And does an organization such as the young Marines glorify a dangerous occupation and lighten the real risks involved in such a career?

Another danger is the political use of the military for wars for oil or other abuses of the role of the military as for the real defense of the nation. Does an organization like the young Marines skirt all of these issues as well?

While the young Marines organization is hardly much different than a Boy Scouts group, mainly involved in service activity, still it may present a skewed view of the risks of a military career when political abuse of these defense forces in oil wars like Iraq is a hot issue.

Write a comment and tell us what you think about this issue.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Conservatives Create New Frustrations For The Average Motorist At Their Local Vehicle Registration Department

Conservatives seemed completely obsessed with the illegal immigration issue, seeing illegal aliens everywhere, and probably imagining them under their beds when they sleep at night as well. This obsession has created some negative results for the average citizen. Recently conservatives made a major issue out of states like New York that would issue driver's licenses to all citizens to help improve traffic safety, forcing the Democratic Governor, Elliot Spitzer to back down. According to AAA, New York state has the worst problems with unlicensed and poor drivers. And at least one study finds that 1/3 or more of the drivers currently on the road would fail a drivers test if given today. New York only hoped to improve traffic safety, but conservatives made a major illegal immigration issue out of the effort to license all drivers on the road, so the plan was dropped. Now many unlicensed drivers will continue to use the roads and are disportionately the cause of many accidents as well.

In Oregon, concerns about illegal immigration are forcing the average citizen to provide a valid social security number that can be verified or they will be turned over to immigration authorities, which will no doubt create more unlicensed drivers on the road as any alien without proper credentials to stay in the U.S. will now avoid getting a license in the first place. Who can't see more automobile accidents resulting from more unlicensed drivers on the road?

But a new hassle for the average citizen will also force them to provide a birth certificate, creating a new hassle and more costs to stand in line at their local vital statistics center and pay fees just for a copy of this document just in order to stand in line at their DMV renew their drivers license. For conservatives no standing in lines seems like enough to satisfy them.

Thanks loads, conservative anti-immigrant foes, this is just what the average citizens needed, more hassles at the DMV because a few immigrants who have not finalized their immigration papers should impact the average citizen who merely wants to renew their driver's license. And who doesn't just love more frustration at their DMV?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Presidency:Who Wants It More?

If anything, Hillary Clinton certainly proved that she wants the presidency more than any of the other Democrats running during this past week's Democratic debate. That might just be enough to win both the Democratic nomination and the November 2008 main election as well. Other than Mitt Romney, so far none of the Republicans has really displayed a real passion to do all it takes to win. Fred Thompson is probably the least passionate of the Republican lot. But so also is Rudolph Giuliani. You simply don't see the passion there to work hard enough to win the presidency that you see in Clinton.

Clinton also seems completely able to come back from a bad week and completely readjust her campaign, and to be stronger than ever. Compared to John Kerry's wilting efforts after the Swift Boats attacks, of which he just now claims that he's going to defend himself against, Clinton is right there with her finger on the button to do whatever it takes to adjust to any attacks or setbacks.

Rev. Robert Schuller, who writes many inspirational books, has long said that "Passion trumps talent everytime". For Hillary Clinton this sure sounds right. The passion is certainly there. And although Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and Gov. Richardson all have more experience than her, none match her passion. Clinton probably has what it takes to win it all.

Friday, November 16, 2007

U.S. Role In Afghanistan Has Done Little To Benefit Women

The U.S. role in Afghanistan continues to do very little to raise the station of women in this nation. Few schools exist that provide female school aged persons an education in Afghanistan, with little U.S. aid devoted to this cause. And many young girls, aged as young as 11 years old, continue to set themselves on fire to protest arranged marriages that exist under the form of Islam practiced by many in Afghanistan. Many poorly stocked hospital burn wards exist of young girls and women who barely survived their suicide attempts to protest their low station in Afghan society.

In reality, the U.S. has done far less for the people of Afghanistan than the Communist Soviet invaders once offered for the nation. The Soviets at least promised a secular, but godless society, in which females and males would be equal in all areas and both entitled to an education and hospital care. And the Soviets would have modernized the culture of Afghanistan up to at least 1980's Communist standards, which at least would be an improvement for this near prehistoric culture nation. And under the Soviets, both the Taliban and Al Qaeda elements would have been crushed and 9/11 would bot have happened. And with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, Afghanistan would likely have disolved a Communist government as well, and probably would have headed towards an independent democratic path.

Afghanistan still remains a hotbed for drugs, Taliban and Al Qaeda problems. And the U.S. has done little to control any of these issues. Women will continue to suffer under this repressive social order for some time to come as long as the U.S. fails to lead the way to a better society there. Other than the U.S. hoping to achieve a few self-interest policies to control Afghanistan based terrorism, little good has been achieved in Afghanistan.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Forget Tupperware, Women's Taser Parties Are The New Craze

At one time women held home Tupperware parties, then in more modern times home sex toy parties hosted by sellers associated with Pure Romance. Now the new craze is taser parties, organized by a new company, and President Dana Shafman. For a mere $389.29 including tax, Shieldher can supply any women a lovely pink taser, guaranteed to drop any meth crazed wierdo robber to the ground from any range up to 15 feet away.

And if pink isn't your favorite color. Then you can go with three more colors, although all are less ladylike than the pink model.

With so much crime and drugs that fuel this problem, it's a sad sort of commentary that many women feel the need to carry their little pink taser in their purse along with their lipstick and other items. Maybe the catch phrase, "don't tase' me, Bro", needs to be changed to," Don't tase me, Sis".

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Your Basic $4995 60mpg Automobile/Motorcycle Hybrid

USA Wholesale Scooters is advertising this interesting and fun looking 60mpg $4995 automobile/motorcycle hybrid. Interestingly Detroit never seems to offer any 60mpg enties, but small manufacturers seem to be able to.

The vehicle is likely to be considered a motorcycle under existing licensing laws, which allows for lighter body materials and less safety equipment to be used. The vehicle also likely complies with any EPA motorcycle pollution level laws, but probably lacks the same standards as an automobile. The front is like a sports car, and the rear essentially a motorcycle. An interesting 3 wheel design that proves that high mileage vehicles that are fun are possible to manufacture.

Opposition Parties Likely To Sit Out Pakistan Elections

It is becoming more clear that the opposition parties in Pakistan may sit out the upcoming elections as the martial law decree by General Pervez Musharraf only makes truly democratic and open electioneering very difficult. All of this only means that the upcoming January elections will be a progovernment farce, and only create the climate for a popular uprising and possible overthrow of the government more likely. If such a revolt comes, it will likely be with strong middle class support, and lead to a moderate revolution rather than put radicals into power. However the climate of instability created in this nation after the decree of martial law is a serious backtrack of what should have a peaceful run-up to somewhat open elections.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Flag Of My Father

I wanted to offer my gratefulness to my father on Veteran's Day for his service to this nation in Korea in 1950. My father was lucky enough to survive this war in which many other young soldiers were killed on places such as Pork Chop Hill and did not come back home alive. The families were given a folded flag on behalf of the military as a tribute to their service. But when a solier eventually dies, then the family receives the sad tribute of the folded flag. My ailing mother was given this folded flag in late July when my father died of a sudden stroke. But three months later, with her lungs so weakened by the ravages of COPD from secondhand smoking at her workplace and society in general, she followed him in death as well. My mother never smoked a day of her life. But suffered with all the lung problems that smokers bring on themselves with COPD and required $800 a month in medicine to be able to breathe the last few years. My mother was murdered by the tobacco companies and smokers who could not control their drug addiction, by smoking in public places.

It was indeed a controversial decision for me to publish the funeral photos of my parents, and I hope my brother and sister will accept my decision for this important reason: I feel that many friends and relatives of both of my parents either missed the opportunity to view them at the Mt. Scott Funeral Home or at graveside services for each of them. Death is deeply sad, and I'd like any of their friends to have this last opportunity to view my parents, they they knew for many years.

Losing both parents and also the family dog in just three short months is grief beyond words for me. All I can do is to cope with this huge loss and soldier on. My father was a good soldier and role model for what is expected of me, who always behaved with great honor while in Korea, and very disappointed when some other soldiers failed to always act honorably and as a good representative of America. My father resented those young soldiers in Korea who failed to treat the Korean people with all the full respect they were due. And in Korea when my father was asked if a Black soldier could work along with him back in the days of great racial discrimination, my father welcomed this Black soldier as a full equal to him, when few Whites accepted Blacks as a full equal in those days. My father always represented great fairness and honor. My father made up a Santa suit by dying some working "whites" and gave small gifts to both the Americans and Koreans alike, making many very happy in the midst of this cold and brutal war. And my mother was equally a great person and the loyal companion my dad for just under 58 years.

God bless my father for his constant honorable service to this nation. His role model of honorable service stands as a sharp contrast to some of the actions of some U.S. soldiers in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq that have disgraced their uniform and nation by abusing prisoners or other awful unAmerican conduct. God bless you good soldier. A job well done in defense of this country and the right of the people of South Korea to determine their own destiny and build their own successful economy that stands in sharp contrast to the poverty and cruelty of North Korea. And God bless you too mother. I miss both of you terriby.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hillary Clinton Gaining Back Lost Ground

Some fresh new polls from the respected Rasmussen organization and fresh scandals related to Rudolph Giuliani's former police commissioner friend have hurt Giuliani, and Clinton now leads by a 48-42% margin over both Giuliani or Fred Thompson. After a stumble in the Democratic debate in Nevada recently, Clinton's nuumbers suffered a slight tumble. But now any damage seems to have slowed as the news related to Giuliani has clearly hurt his reputation among voters and he is now losing some ground with voters.

Every week between now and the election is likely to result in ups and downs among the candidates. Clinton still appears to be the likely Democratic nominee. However, the Republican race still looks very fluid, with Giuliani holding a narrow, but nervous lead over Thompson and other contenders. A small recent surge for Mike Huckabee has also seemed to roll back as well, and he is now back behind both McCain and Romney in new polls. Why he even recently surged is not clearly understood.

High MPG Automobile/Motorcycle Hybrids Emerging

Recently some motorcycle manufacturers started to build some interesting new automobile/motorcycle hybrids that could become a new thing on your city streets. Many of these vehicles offer as high as 70mpg, and some feature motorcyclelike controls for the driver. The interesting new model appeared on the USA Wholesale Scooters website and is priced under $7,000. Other models including one with a removable canvas top are priced under $5,000, and even have a motorcyclelike look from the rear and are three wheeled designs.

With engines ranging from 50cc-200cc, these automobile/motorcycle hybrids not only offer new solutions to the energy crisis, but face some interesting licensing difficulties as they are likely to be considered a motorcycle under the law, and therefore to vehicle licensing along those lines. Government at both the federal and state level needs to respond to this new technology and allow for easy licensing of these new high mileage vehicles to help ease the energy crisis.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Writers Strike Over 4cents In Royalty Payments

Few Americans realize that that Writers Guild strike is taking place over just 4cents in royalty payments on a $20 DVD. The current royalty is just 4cents, and the Writers Guild hoped to increase this to just 8cents on a DVD, but the major producers flat out rejected this.

With the growing popularity of the DVD or even newer technology such as BluRay or HD DVD, the desire of writers to seek better royalty payments seems entirely inline with the increase of popularity of this medium. This increased royalty demand seems to an entirely reasonable union demand.

Bush Claims To Cut American Fuel Use Never Happened

As a candidate in the year 2000, candidate George Bush made strong attacks against the Clinton energy policy, critical that 56% of all oil was imported in those days. And despite some public claims by Bush of support for alternatve energy programs and programs to cut American consumption, the demand for oil has only grown and now 2/3 of all oil used in the U.S. is imported.

Like so many politicians who make a lot of noise just to get elected, there never was any serious White House efforts in the Bush years to cut American oil demand and to keep prices lower by lowering this demand.

And Americans only continue to buy large SUVs and trucks, even as gas prices again soar over $3 a gallon and oil flirts with the $100 a barrel price level. Oil was just $2 a barrel back in 1973 by comparison.

Empires such as the Soviet Union have collapsed from economic problems. The U.S. is also setting itself up for a huge new economic mess by a faling dollar, huge energy price inflation, a big trade deficit, foreign banks that finance a huge federal government budget deficit and other serious economic problems. Food prices are proving steady inflation due to both changes in the climate as well as sky high energy prices. It is not uncommon for many food items to have sudden 19-39cent price increases on the shelves of stores. All of this only adds up and means a big danger to the American economy and consumer.

Recession or other serious economic problems often follow huge energy price increases like clockwork. Unless oil prices start to roll back very soon, then the wheeels are in motion for serious problems for the American economy in the coming months.

Minuteman Organization Raises Hundreds Of Thousands For A Border Fence That's Difficult To Find

The Minuteman organization, the self proclaimed American protection organization against illegal border immigration has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for a border fence that's very difficult to find. On one farmer's land a few metal posts and some barb wire hold in a few cattle, and a few wood posts exist on another tract of land, but nothing remotely looks like a few hundred thousand in materials or labor.

The Minuteman organization was appealing from the American public for $55 million in donations for their border fence project. And the claim was that this would run all along the Southern border of the U.S. in the West. Yet with a wide mix of public and private land, the Minuteman organization would never had the legal right to build a privately funded border fence all along the border.

Originally a fence that would be similiar to the border security fence in Israel that is 14 feet high and with cameras and other security measures was claimed to be the goal of the Minuteman organization. On man gave $100,000 towards the project allby himself for example. Yet nothing even remotely resembles the Israeli security fence.

Like some many political cults, leadership of organizations make broad claims to their members to suck them dry for cash. Yet often there is little more to show than a few upper leadership members who profit from the organization. The Minuteman organization may have claimed to be a post nongovernment 9/11 American security organization. But for all the claims made and all the cash donations, little has really been achieved than some lighter wallets on the part of some gullible donors.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Mike Huckabee Quietly Slips Into Third Place Among GOP Hopefuls

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has virtually slipped under most political radar, however according to the latest polling by the very reputable Rasmussen organization, has now become the third place candidate among GOP hopefuls at 13% support, more than John McCain or Mitt Romney at 12% each. Rudolph Giuliani continues to lead the pack with 24% support and Fred Thompson lags behind at 17%.

Giuliani garnered the endorsement of Rev. Pat Robinson today. However the Christian Right and social conservatives continue to split amomg mainly Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee. The task for Huckabee is now to become the conservative alternative to Thompson and shore up that strength. Numerically social conservatives in the GOP are probably strong enough to defeat Rudolh Giuliani is they could just settle around a single candidate and not split their votes between Thompson and Huckabee, and some minor candidates.

Meanwhile maverick Congressman Ron Paul surprised everyone by raising around $4 million in a concentrated internet appeal, although he is an extreme longshot in the GOP race and highly unlikely to wrest the nomination for himself.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Musharraf Uses Overblown "Terrorism" Concerns To Hang On To Power

In Pakistan, strong George Bush ally, and dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf is overblowing concerns about "terrorism" in a desperation attempt to hang onto power. Like Bush who faced election concerns in 2004, Musharraf has found the terrorism issue a good one to overblow to curtail civil liberties and to avoid giving up power. Musharraf's arrest of opposition leaders or the replacement of the head of the Supreme Court ahead of an important election ruling really have nothing to do with any real terrorism concerns, but simply grabbing onto more power and becoming a worst dictator.

But with the state of emergency in Pakistan, world community fears are that opposition my build to Musharraf and increase the real presense of the Taliban or real terrorist agents. And with a growing fleet of nuclear weapons and missiles, there are further world comunity reasons to be concerned.

As a proliferation of nuclear weapons expands to worst and worst nations such as Pakistan, North Korea or even Iran, the world community has good reason to be concerned with the reasoning and wisdom of any of these states to be in control of such arms and has good reason to favor curbs on new nuclear states by peaceful and diplomatic means through international bodies and organizations.

Friday, November 02, 2007

St. George Bush: Patron Saint Of Philip Morris & The Big Tobacco Lobby

George Bush made his true feelings on SCHIP children's health care controversy when announced that he'll veto any plan from Congress that involves taxing the murderous tobacco industry. For all intents and purposes, St. George is the patron saint and protector of this industry that has both contributed to his campaigns for president as well as helped to pay for his inauguration costs. Bush is a mere puppet to his big tobacco puppeteers.

After my mother's death mainly as a result of secondhand smoke related illness from her former workplace, I wrote to Philip Morris about their continued failure to protect nonsmokers from their toxic products and secondhand smoke. So far the cowards at Philip Morris aren't even men enough to even write me back and offer me an apology for their role in murdering my mother. While not officially accepting any guilt, AFNI Collections at least sent me a memo indicating that they wish to drop any demand for $1,800 for a Verizon Wireless bill that my father never owed. That's better than Philip Morris. And Philip Morris helped to murder my mother so that they could profit and live in big homes or drive big cars!

Philip Morris may not have the time to offer apologies to the families of nonsmokers that they murder in their drive for tobacco profits, but they continue to have the time and money to spend most of $24 million to defeat children's health care in an Oregon special election and also continue to influence the Bush White House to oppose any children's health care that involves a tax on tobacco that would hurt sales and influence more smokers to get the message and to stop smoking, or at least smoking in very public places such as grocery store parking lots or business entrances.

George Bush always told us how religious he was. He's the patron saint of the tobacco industry as far as I'm concerned.

....And Your Little Dog Too! - Samuel Fudge 1994-2007

As if my emotional pain hasn't been near bad enough this week, following the death of my mother on Monday from respiratory damage done primarily from secondhand smoke at her former workplace, my little miniature wirehair dachshund who was the loyal partner of my parents and used to sleep with them every single night, died of an apparent broken heart suddenly Thurdsday evening.

Little Samuel Fudge was around 13 years old, and a very cute and intelligent little guy despite his tiny stature. He had a soldier-like loyality to my parents, always standing guard for them in their bedroom and always their loyal companion. The psychology of this little dog was somewhere between being the "baby" of my parents and being their tiny fearless protector.

A few years ago, Fudge had to have all his teeth extracted due to some some of gum disease. From that point on, his tongue would hang outside his mouth on one side, which was both unfortunate and distinctive. My father used to lovingly break his chicken up into very small pieces for him to eat.

Even though Fudge was orginally intended as a replacement for my nearly 20 year dachshund loyal companion, Tiger, who was also my TV shop companion, he never really like me as much my parents. He had a close as glue bond to them. When my mother passed away this last Monday, he must have assumed that his guard duties were over, and he could could sleep forever.

Good bye little Fudge. I'll deeply miss you.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ladies And Gentlemen We Have A Winner!

Last night the number of Halloween "trick or treat" kids seemed to decline in my neighborhood again for some reason, despite abnormally warm weather. Our stairs are high, so I usually stand near the bottom of the steps and give out both candy and a toy to the kids. I've always loved toys myself, and giving kids a toy is an important thing for me.

But every year you see some adult who has no business being involved in the joyful, goofy and fun Halloween holiday spirit, meant mainly for the benefit of children. Last night's Halloween "grinch" was an especially trashy looking man who just had to smoke in presense of small children and in front of his wife dressed like an old time prisoner and his young daughter. Here you hve a guy who's such a pathetic nicotine drug addict that he absolutely cannot curb his serious drug addiction for an hour or two while his little girl collects a little candy from the kindness of neighbors.

In the grand scheme of things, anyone who smokes in the presense of small children is a major heal in my book. Instead of his wife wearing a prisoner uniform, maybe this guy deserved this shame as an incentive to show more respect for small children. The only thing worse I've seen recntly are those pushing a baby stroller and smoking which should deserve the concern's of a social worker in my view.

Many smokers are such a pathetic drug addict that they don't display very good sense about subjecting other unwilling persons to their secondhand smoke in very public places. It is little wonder that the Surgeon General finds the growth of childhood asthma a real epidemic in America. My own mother, who never smoked, was killed by the ravages of secondhand smoke from her former workplace this past week. So far, both Philip Morris and Reynolds American have spent over $10 million dollars to defeat a proposal to tax cigarettes in Oregon to help pay for children's health care and fund smoking prevention. Neither Philip Morris or Reynolds have sent me any sympathy card for killing my mother so far. And neither Philips Morris or Reynolds American have done anything to curb the injury and death caused to nonsmokers either.