Monday, November 30, 2009

Who you know, and wealth, pave the way to elitism in the USA

It’s time for a look at our red, white, and blue class caste system.

  Earlier this year a hoax was perpetrated on the media by a middle-class family. Richard and his wife Mayumi, Heene faked out the world for a day claiming their son flew a home-made flying saucer!
  When the “balloon boy” six-year-old Falcon slipped-up during a national TV interview, the Heene’s attempt to launch a reality show ended up in court where they both pleaded guilty to lying to the authorities.
   They’re getting two-years probation for part of their prank, but a hefty fine is hovering in the future after the FAA finish their report and turn the bean-counters loose after them.
    I think their also paying some other fines in relation to the search effort that was launched.
   Mr. Heene wanted to make a buck on the reality TV craze, but underestimated the consequences of his efforts. Someday the Heene’s may return with a TV show of their own investigating hoaxes or something, but they better get slicker in their efforts.
   Then we have the case of the “blue bloods” crashing the President’s party. Like the Heene’s, Michaele and Tareq Salahis, wanted to be in a reality show. In this case, “The Real Housewives of DC.” The wealthy socialite couple managed to get past secret service security and to shake hands with President Obama.
  Wow huh? Needless to say the Secret Service is not pleased that everyone is snickering at them. What a screw-up eh? Just think if the Salahis had been extremist Muslim moles? Serious stuff. Someone has to pay for this hoax.They were uninvited guests that just turned out to be a wealthy Washington socialite couple that liked to have attention focused on them. Kinda like the Heene’s.
    Do you think the justice department will go after them? I heard some vague muttering about getting them for lying about having an invitation. Actually they were more like grunts coming from embarrassed law enforcement officials.
    If you’re like me, you suspect the most the Salahis will ever have happen to them is they’ll get their own reality TV show. “Money makes money,” I heard someone once say. The Heene family could have used some more money to raise their kids. The Salahis (by all reports) see this kind of exposure as power. Their Face Book page is littered with gripe-and-grins with the nation’s power elite, and now they have the biggest coup of all...President Obama.
      Can you imagine if the Heene’s had tried a stunt like the Salahis’s pulled off? Richard Heene would still be in a dark cell being “water-boarded” until he confessed to being a Muslim terrorist. And just imagine if his name was Tareq Salahis! His muffled screams would ring throughout the holidays.
      CNN would be airing stories of terrorist suicide families that were willing to do anything to kill infidel Americans. Legislators would sacrifice little Falcon Heene on the White House steps during a solemn patriotic ceremony. His entrails would be scattered to the on-looking Senators who would take them back to their constituents.
     As It Stands, instead of dots on the forehead like India’s caste system, elite Americans have dollar signs tattooed over their hearts!  

America: an Empire at Risk

Is the sun setting upon the American Empire? We show a lot of the classic signs of a degenerating superpower, from crumbling infrastructure to our economic influence worldwide.

We won the cold war and weathered 9/11. But now economic weakness is endangering our global power.

“But if the United States succumbs to a fiscal crisis, as an increasing number of economic experts fear it may, then the entire balance of global economic power could shift. Military experts talk as if the president's decision about whether to send an additional 40,000 troops to Afghanistan is a make-or-break moment. In reality, his indecision about the deficit could matter much more for the country's long-term national security. Call the United States what you like—superpower, hegemon, or empire—but its ability to manage its finances is closely tied to its ability to remain the predominant global military power. Here's why:” Go to NewsWeek to read the rest.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

AOA study says Americans practice poor eye care

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 11/29/2009 01:27:19 AM PST

”The eye is the jewel

of the body.”

-- Henry David Thoreau

My first clue that my vision was going came when I bought a new television set in 1985 and couldn't get the picture to come in clearly. My wife and three children assured me there was nothing wrong with the set and I should see an optometrist.

Go to the Times-Standard to read the whole column.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Innocents Betrayed: A Times Investigation

 What compounds this sad story is that we’re only talking about one county in America.

The reality is it’s happening nationwide in countless counties.In my opinion, this is one of the most devastating societal problems we have.

These children are our future. But our current priorities don’t reflect that. This may seem like a gloomy thing to be talking about during the holiday season, but it’s reality. For them Christmas is secondary to surviving!

Flawed county system lets children die invisibly

Miguel Padilla, mistreated and abandoned, killed himself at 17

Lazhanae Harris, 13 and on the run, was stabbed to death in L.A.

She had bounced from one stop to another in the welfare system.

County dithered, children died

When agencies fail to share details of abuse cases in L.A. County, tragedy can result. A good database remains elusive.

Files detail deaths of 14 children

The abuse cases came from families that had been under scrutiny by L.A. County child welfare officials.

Go here to see a video and more photos.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Secret Service breakdown blamed for White House gate-crashing

 It’s a miracle that Obama hasn’t been assassinated yet. This breakdown in security is unbelievable. Two uninvited guests to a State dinner? Wow!

 I’ve got a hunch someone is going to lose their job, or worse, get reassigned to Bush’s security detail in Crawford, Texas!

'Our procedure wasn't followed' at one security checkpoint at the gala, an agency spokesman says. The couple who attended uninvited had been auditioning earlier for a reality TV show.

Go to The LA Times for the story.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Skip the plane, take the train? More Americans looking for cheaper Thanksgiving travel options

 I pity the millions of Americans who have to travel long distances in this economy (and deal with the stress it causes) to be with loved ones.

I won’t be posting anything tomorrow as I will be enjoying the day with my ever-growing family.

I wish you a peaceful and fruitful day with your love ones. Here’s what millions of travels are facing:

“Millions of Americans got an early jump on their Thanksgiving travel Wednesday, with many opting to drive or take trains and buses instead of shelling out more money for flights amid a sour economy still hitting household budgets hard.”

Go to the Chicago Tribune to read this story and see a video.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Why we swing our arms when we walk

Haven’t you laid awake nights wondering why your arms swing back and forth when you walk?

I’ve pondered many mysteries in my life – but this was NOT ONE.

So why post about this swigging scientific revelation? Why not?

Who knew? My wife says I have “monkey arms” because (in her estimation) they are longer than normal. There is a reason we do it however. Read On:

BOSTON: A new study explains why people swing their arms as they walk, a seemingly unnecessary movement for which researchers have tried to find an explanation.”

Go to Cosmos Magazine to read the whole story.

Photo via the University of Michigan

Obama promises to 'finish the job' in Afghanistan

My only comment is, the sooner the better!

Signaling he's decided on new troop levels for the Afghanistan war, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he intends to "finish the job" on his watch and destroy terrorist networks in the region.”

Go to this AP article to read the whole story.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Home sales rise to highest level in 2.5 years

Seems to me that this is a positive sign and things are getting a little better. However, before getting too excited it’s important to understand that these statistics are based upon an expiring tax credit.

Once the deadline passes we should get a better picture of what’s really going on in the real estate market. Check back in six months and survey the economy then.


Only a 7-month supply of homes on market; bidding wars are erupting

From the Associated Press about an hour ago…

“Home sales surged for the second month in a row in October, climbing to the highest level in 2 1/2 years as first-time buyers rushed to take advantage of an expiring tax credit.”

Read the whole story here.

Patrons toke medical marijuana in Oregon cafe

 I’m not surprised someone has taken advantage of the positive vibes that have been going out on legalizing medical marijuana.

I am surprised that it was Oregon, and not California that got the first smoking lounge. This is the first, but I’m sure not the last.

So when are we going to get one in Humboldt County?

 The Cannabis Cafe is the nation's first medical marijuana smoking lounge. It's all perfectly legal and, for cancer patient Albert Santistevan, it's about time.”

Go to USA Today to read the story and to see a video.

PHOTO: Madeline Martinez, executive director of the Oregon chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, uses a "vaporizer," a device with a plastic bag that captures the potent vapors of heated marijuana, at the Cannabis Cafe. By Rick Bowmer, AP


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Don't forget to toast the turkey this Thanksgiving

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 11/22/2009 01:27:20 AM PST

I think it's high time turkeys got more respect.

Most people don't think about this noble bird until Thanksgiving rolls around. Then, according to numerous surveys, 90 percent of American homes serve turkey as the main course in their holiday dinner.

Are turkeys stupid? This bad rap demonstrates the misinformation flying around about Meleagris Gallopavo (scientific genus and species). Just look at how turkeys got their name. I'll give you a hint; what does a country in the Middle East have in common with an American bird?

Go to The Times-Standard to read the rest of this column.

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Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...