Thursday, October 21, 2010

"I have zero desire to be on You Tube"

He also states his memoir is "untraditional."  How can a memoir be anything but a recollection of the past?  Oh, maybe if one spins it and lies.  

"Untraditional."  Does he speak like that deliberately?  The word is non-traditional.  I don't even know if there is a word 'untraditional.'in the dictionary.

In Merrium-Webster the word untraditional means to do the opposite of (reverse).  Nontraditional means lacking the usual especially positive characteristics of the thing specified.

That's George.  Amazing. 

...In the video, (click title to entry - thank you) Bush calls the book an "untraditional" memoir that does not simply provide an exhaustive chronological account of his life and years in office....

MASS DECEPTION  (click here) declares G.W. Bush administration used carefully crafted  propaganda to demonize Arabs/Muslims after 9/11 and to create a moral panic.  The author investigates whether that was worth the overall financial and human costs of the war in Iraq.

Dr. Bonn says Bushwas aided by the media in presenting a case that caused a public panic that led to war.  The book, Mass Deception, introduces the notion called "critical communication" to explain how and why the top political leaders and the news media collaborate to create "public panics that benefit both parties."

Dr. Bonn examines the run-up to war, (click here) the war itself, and the occupation of Iraq as done in a manner that violates domestic and international law.  He also observes that Bush's reasons for invading Iraq had nothing to do with national security.

As fellow Republicans decry the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) (click here) bailouts just weeks before the midterm elections, which is expected to cost taxpayers about $51 billion, former President Georgia W. Bush said, "It wasn't that hard for me, just so you know," of the decision to go through with the 2008 bailout. "I made the decision to use your money to prevent the collapse from happening." He must be a socialist! And he probably isn't even an American citizen! (the Hill)

The US Department of Labor also restructured the definition under ERISA of what can be considered an 'Investment Councilor.'

 The Proposed New Ruling

A person who renders (click here) “investment advice” under the regulation, and receives a fee or other compensation,
direct or indirect, for doing so, is a fiduciary under section 3(21)(A)(ii). The current regulation provides in relevant part as follows:

(c) Investment advice. (1) A person shall be deemed to be rendering “investment advice” to an employee benefit plan, within the meaning of section
3(21)(A)(ii) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (the Act) and this paragraph, only if:

(i) Such person renders advice to the plan as to the value of securities or other property, or makes recommendation as to the advisability of investing in,purchasing, or selling securities or other property; and

(ii) Such person either directly or indirectly (e.g., through or together with
any affiliate)--

(A) Has discretionary authority or control, whether or not pursuant to agreement, arrangement or understanding, with respect to purchasing or selling securities or other property for the plan; or

(B) Renders any advice described in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section on a regular basis to the plan pursuant to a mutual agreement, arrangement or understanding, written or otherwise, between such person and the plan or a fiduciary with respect to the plan, that such services will serve as a primary basis for investment decisions with respect to plan assets, and that such person will render individualized investment advice to the plan based on the particular needs of the plan regarding such matters as, among other things, investment policies or
strategy, overall portfolio composition, or diversification of plan investments....

U.S. Labor Department Sues Four Firms for Entrusting Investments to Madoff (click title to entry - thank you)

Ivy Asset Management LLC, Beacon Associates Management Corp., J.P. Jeanneret Associates Inc., Andover Associates Management Corp. and their principals were named as defendants in a complaint filed today in federal court in Manhattan.
The suit was brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act on behalf of union-sponsored and single-employer benefit plans, according to the complaint. The Labor Department asked the court to order the defendants to “restore to the plans all losses suffered” as a result of fiduciary breaches by the defendants related to Madoff investments.... 

U.S. Department of Labor sues Syracuse firm to recover union pensions that went to Madoff (click here)

Published: Thursday, October 21, 2010, 4:50 PM     Updated: Thursday, October 21, 2010, 5:53 PM
Syracuse, NY -- The U.S. Department of Labor today accused J.P. Jeanneret Associates Inc., of Syracuse, its executives, and three other investment companies and executives, of causing pension, health and benefit plans to lose hundreds of millions of dollars through investments with Bernard L. Madoff.
The lawsuit was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. If successful, it would return money to thousands of workers in Central New York workers who had money in union pension plans that invested with Jeanneret, a Syracuse investment firm....

Falls from ladders and roofs are sincerely some of the most devastating injuries and occur regularly.

Falls from height (click title to entry - thank you) remain the most common cause of workplace fatality. In 2008/09 there were 35 fatalities, 4654 major injuries and a further 7065 injuries that caused the injured person to be off work for over 3 days or more, due to a fall from height.

OSHA News Release: [10/21/2010]
Contact Name: Jason Surbey
Phone Number: (202) 693-4668
Release Number: 10-1481-NAT

Statement of Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis on reported decline in workplace injuries and illnesses
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics today announced that nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers declined in 2009 to a rate of 3.6 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers, down from a total case rate of 3.9 in 2008. BLS also reported a decline in the total number of cases from 3.7 million in 2008 to 3.3 million in 2009. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement:
"While the reported decline in workplace injuries and illnesses is encouraging, 3.3 million workplace injuries and illnesses are 3.3 million too many. No worker should fear being injured or made sick for a paycheck.
"Complete and accurate workplace injury records can serve as the basis for employer programs to investigate injuries and prevent future occurrences. Most employers understand this and do their best to prevent worker injuries, but some do not. That is why my department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is aggressively working to ensure the completeness and accuracy of injury data compiled by the nation's employers. We are concerned about the widespread existence of programs that discourage workers from reporting injuries, and we will continue to issue citations and penalties to employers that intentionally under-report workplace injuries.
"Too many Americans suffer each year from preventable injuries or illnesses they received while on the job. Even in these difficult economic times, we must keep in mind that no job is a good job unless it's a safe job."

GM estalishes trust fund for cleaning up old sites that will ultimately restore land use to the people of 14 States and a tribal government.

A closed G.M. factory in Flint, Mich., attracted copper thieves.  (click here for New York Times article.)

From the USA Labor Department yesterday:

Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Environmental Liability Settlement with Old GM (click title to entry - thank you)

Dear Friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to notify you of some exciting news for many communities affected by the GM Bankruptcy.
After months of negotiation, the United States, along with 14 states and a tribal government, have reached an agreement with Old General Motors (now known as Motors Liquidation Company or MLC) to establish a trust to cleanup and repurpose 89 properties left behind in the GM bankruptcy.  Under this agreement, Old GM will commit $773 million to cleaning up property sites – two thirds of which are known to be contaminated with hazardous waste – in fourteen states.
This kind of environmental trust is unprecedented in size, speed of settlement, and level of local involvement.  It will give local communities the opportunity to participate in designing the strategy for repurposing these properties in accordance with their specific development objectives, using these funds to both properly clean them up and quickly return them to productive use creating jobs and restoring communities.  The Agreement was filed with the bankruptcy court that is overseeing the final dissolution of Old GM.  It is expected that final approval will take place early next year. 
·        The $773 million trust will be divided as follows:
  • o       $431 million will be used directly in the states for cleaning up the Old GM properties.
  • o       $68 million will be placed in a pooled account for environmental cleanup that may arise at any of the 89 properties, transferred to the trust on account of unforeseen conditions.
  • o       Approximately $12 million will be credited to Old GM for approved cleanup activities.
  • o       $262 million in cash and other assets will be used to cover various administrative activities and activities that help return these properties to beneficial use such as demolition.
The Trustee will work closely with the local communities when selling or repurposing the properties.  In addition to generating sale proceeds, the Trustee will consider both the potential for the reuse to create jobs in the applicable state and the views of the applicable state and affected communities.
As this process moves forward, the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers and its member agencies will continue to work diligently with affected automotive communities, the states, and the Trustee in recovery efforts. The agreement announced today will play a key role in moving these efforts forward.
For additional information, see the attached White House Fact Sheet and United States Attorney’s Office press release.
Jim McMullen, Deputy Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers

Breakdown of the $773 Million Announced Support
Cleanup Funding for Sites in each of the State

    New Jersey 
    New York 
Total Site-Specific Payments

Cushion Fund
Cleanup Costs Paid by Old GM
Administrative Costs

Jeb Bush seeks to control the outcome of SEVEN Floridian amendments to the State Constitution.

Amendment 4 requires voter approval of every change (click title to entry - thank you) to a city or county's comprehensive land use plan. It has the potential to completely stall our economy, making it harder to create and grow jobs and to responsibly manage growth in our beautiful state. One city in Florida that tried a similar local law has found that the idea – which initially sounded good to local voters – has caused years of costly litigation that burdens taxpayers and drives jobs and business elsewhere. If Amendment 4 does not work in a city of 10,000 people, it is hard to imagine that it will work in a state of 18 million. I'll vote no.

I believe people should control their land use and the reason Bush doesn't want this amendment passed is because it limits the ability to corrupt and destroy the landscape.

Amendments 5 and 6 change the way Florida draws legislative and congressional district boundaries. While not perfect, Florida's system of representative democracy has resulted in one of the most diverse groups of elected officials in the nation and increased minority participation in government. Amendments 5 and 6 could potentially jeopardize the progress Florida has made in creating opportunities for all individuals to serve in their government. The non-partisan James Madison Institute says that enactment of these proposed amendments would likely result in protracted litigation and districts that are ultimately devised by judges rather than elected representatives.

Florida has learned there is nothing more important than clear, workable elections laws. Amendments 5 and 6 would create murky standards that would become almost impossible to change. I am voting no.

The 'real peach' is the one below.  Jeb Bush abhors the idea of TAX PAYER FUNDED ELECTIONS.  In other words the only candidates that should be running for office are the ones with large bank accounts or corporations that back them.  The idea that public monies are not available to political candidates advocates corruption and cronyism.

I am voting yes on Amendment 1, which repeals public campaign financing for statewide candidates who agree to spending limits. I've long been an opponent of using our tax dollars to finance political campaigns. Tax dollars should be spent in the classroom, on protecting public safety and providing a safety net for our most vulnerable citizens, not on welfare for politicians.

If arguments of sovereign rights at the Arctic Ocean isn't enough to stress any State Deparment, the question still remains, "Who owns the Moon?"

That is no minor question when one realizes the USA is the only country that has invested both human capital and fiscal capital in Moon flights. 

Moon's surface may hold enough water for a manned base  (click here)
Analysis of debris thrown up when a rocket was crashed into a crater on the moon suggests about 5.6% of the material there was frozen water 

Ian Sample, science correspondent,

...In a series of papers published in the journal Science, Nasa researchers describe how the crash punched a crater in the moon between 25m and 30m wide and created a plume of debris more than half a mile high. Sensors aboard LCROSS detected about 155kg of ice in a single "snapshot" following the impact. In one of the papers, a team led by Anthony Colaprete at Nasa's Ames Research Centre in California estimated that frozen water accounted for about 5.6% of the material in the crater....

A brief reminder about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

We have been here before and don't blame President Obama for any of the court proceedings currently facing the removal of DADT.

Patience is a virtue.

Gays serving openly in the military has always been a reason for discharge.  Sodomy was the issue.  Any reason to believe a service member was committing an act of sodomy was reason for discharge.  That changed under President Clinton's administration.

Previous to DADT, there was a coveted concept called "The Warrior Culture."  It was the idea that a nation had to have definition of masculinity that would promote a 'psychologically strong' military.  That culture was in place even during President Kennedy's era.  The history of the military when it comes to defining its culture is somewhat interesting, but, mostly silly.

DADT was actually an improvement to the military culture, so no one has lost anything yet.  DADT is actually a very progressive measure for the military and there is every indication the progression to removing any stigma will become a part of the culture as well.

...You’ve heard the threats -- (click here) about how gay men in the shower might bring down the U.S. military with a wink, a pinch, or a flick of a wet towel. But where’s the truth in that? What’s it really like to serve alongside gay and lesbian service members?
I don’t have permission to be on base, and I’m nervous, because when I told veterans what I planned to do, they all gave me pretty much the same warning: Any soldier I approach could call the Military Police, who would escort me to the gates and kick me out -- unless they detained me for questioning.... 

 ...Yet some gay and lesbian soldiers are already serving openly in the U.S. armed forces. Although last year 619 soldiers were thrown out of the military for being gay, the policy is selectively enforced. According to a 2006 poll by Zogby International, 45% of service members suspect that at least one person in their unit is gay or lesbian, and 23% are sure of it. In Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans in battalions of combined international forces have fought under command of openly gay officers from Canada or the United Kingdom or alongside gay soldiers from 11 other countries (among the 25 worldwide) that allow known gays to serve: Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. Openly gay, armed military contractors serve alongside U.S. soldiers in combat theaters as well....

There is already legislation at work to remove the precepts of DADT.  There is no reason to increase the volume on the issue.  It isn't as though this is not a current directive.  I understand how the Gay Community wants to hasten its death because valuable members of the military are being dismissed from serving and that is simply "W"rong.

The Murphy Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2011 requires the military to conduct a study of the what ill effects, if any, the removal of DADT would have on military effectiveness.  The amendment than instructs the military to end DADT 60 days after the completion of the study.

The legal battle in the courts is necessary and I don't want to diminish it, because, there is no ABSOLUTE repeal of DADT and the action by the amendment is based on military discretion discovered within the study which the military is already conducting.  So, to close the potential gap in ending DADT and allowing Openly Gay members to enlist and serve the courts are being accessed to prove its constitutionality.  It all makes sense and the GLBT community is correct, there is no reason to leave a stone unturned.

Patrick Murphy's Amendment to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Passes House (click here)

Thursday, 27 May 2010
Bipartisan Vote is Major Step Forward in Fight to Repeal Outdated, Discriminatory Policy
(Washington, DC) – Tonight, Co
Publish Post
ngressman Murphy’s amendment to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 234-194. The amendment dismantles the policy only after the Pentagon completes its review process and after military leaders certify that repeal would not harm national security or military readiness.
“Tonight, Congress took a historic step toward repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and toward ensuring that every American has the same opportunity I did to defend our nation,” said Rep. Murphy. “Patriotic Americans willing to take a bullet for their country should never be forced to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love. I will not rest until the repeal of this discriminatory policy that hurts national security is signed into law.”
In his remarks on the floor, Rep. Murphy spoke of Former Air Force Sgt. David Hall, a young man he met who served in the Middle East and dreamed of becoming a pilot. Sgt. Hall didn’t ask, and he didn’t tell. But someone told his commander they thought Sgt. Hall was gay and after an investigation, he was kicked out of the Air Force. “I assure you I am fit for military duty,” Hall told Congressman Murphy. “Please stop discharging patriotic Americans who just want to serve the country they love.”
The amendment was included in the FY 2011 National Defense Authorization Act.

The GOP has made a 'wedge issue' out of the Murphy Amendment after it received BiPartisan Support and they are attempting to cover their tracks while seeking the support of Tea Republicans, their most extremist wing, thus far.

The total number of discharges based on DADT from 1994 through 2009 is 13,389.

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