Tuesday, May 22, 2012

RAW 250,000 Massive Montreal Rally marks 100 days of Student Protests

VANCOUVER -- A call for British Columbians to support Quebec students on the 100th day of their strike attracted only a small gathering in Vancouver Tuesday, while tens of thousands of people marched in downtown Montreal in defiance of a law declaring such protests illegal....

...B.C. students pay higher tuition than Quebecers attending post-secondary schools in their own province — a yearly average of $4,852 compared to $2,519. Quebec’s fees are the lowest in the country, where the national average for tuition at public post-secondary institutions is $5,366....

Tens of thousands (click here) of demonstrators have filled the streets of Montreal to mark 100 days since protests began against a planned rise in student tuition fees.

Jobs and Growth Bush Style. Just a reminder.

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 05/04/2012

The Bush 2003 “Jobs Tour”: the “real” story? (click here for video)

Uniquely American

People are saying Democrats only focus on the failures of Bain under Romney's leadership.

Fair enough. Let's look at one success story that Romney touts has his best success. It is the company he holds as example to the jobs he can create for Americans.

Staples Founder -- Romney will clean up Obama's economic mess (click here)
By Tom Stemberg, Published May 22, 2012

I first met Mitt Romney in the fall of 1985 when he took a chance on me and my idea to sell discount office supplies. Together we then worked to found Staples. 
From the very beginning, I saw that he was super-frugal. He didn’t want to pay more than he had to for things like paper clips. 
That was the idea behind Staples. 
And for Mitt, cutting costs and running things well has been a consistent animating idea, whether he’s been in business or government or running the Olympics. 
Now that he’s campaigning for president, Mitt’s brand of leadership could not come at a more critical time....

Now, those in the work force in the Middle Class and Lower Middle Class that are basically without a trade or education will recognize 'The Easy Button" of Staples. We have all seen the commercials and we ALL KNOW THE BUSINESS MODEL. Now, I suppose Mitt Romney is going to deny many of the products sold at Staples are NOT produced by his own STAPLES COMPANY, but, imported from China.

This is the exact methodology promoted by Bush's Commerce Secretary. SUPPLY SIDE economics that deprive the American worker of benefits and good pay. These are the companies whereby employees usually have two jobs in order to support the family. 

It is the "Uniquely American" job market that has put our Treasury at risk, our homes at risk, our ability to achieve at risk and our lives in shambles. The people of the USA 'Have been there and done that." We don't want it back. 

Companies, like Staples, cause hardship in local economies and they do not benefit them. They close down small businesses without adding quality of life to citizens. 

President Obama has worked long and hard with the Small Business Administration when the banks left the USA behind for monies to expand or renew them the global economic collapse/depression hit. We have been building our small businesses over the past four years. We don't want to be abandoned by banks that don't care about us or businesses that count profits before sexual harassment, good medical benefits or whether at the end of the week when the paycheck arrives they'll have to take Food Stamps anyway. We have all had enough of the "Romney ideology of job creation' and we don't want it back!!!!

Murdoch is selling this rowdy classrooom encounter as a national trend in oppression.

How does FOX get away with calling an incident that should have ended at the Principal's office a national trend in oppression? How do they manage to indulge a video by a teenager as a Gold Mine of how our students are treated across the country. That isn't at all the case.

This teacher needs some peer review of how to conduct Freedom of Speech in the classroom. This is the worst classroom behavior in the country; by teacher and student. There is no order in that classroom. She is treating students as friends rather than students. That is a mistake on her part, but, this is all person opinion by the students and the teacher. There is nothing prioritized nationally for any point of view.

This 'venue of fear' is a chronic focus with Murdoch's media. They hate it when there are songs sung about President Obama or school activities honoring him as the First Black President. They seek to create paranoia about mind control and this episode with Murdoch's propaganda is just another event.

To the right is Mr. Rogers, the teen with the video.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 12:00 AM

SPENCER — The Rowan-Salisbury School System (click here) was propelled into the national spotlight over the weekend after a video featuring a heated political exchange between a North Rowan High School teacher and student went viral.

The student, Hunter Rogers, said Monday that he was surprised by how much attention the video has received. And at their regularly scheduled meeting Monday night, school board members said the system is taking action.

Views of the nearly 10-minute video skyrocketed from about 1,000 Friday to more than 740,000 by this morning.

A number of conservative news outlets on TV and online have picked up the story, which originally appeared in the Post on Saturday…

It is a good idea for teens to have an interest in the way their country works, they will be voting at the age of 18. Mock elections can be run in schools if there is that intense interest, but, it has been my experience young teens often hold the opinions on politics of their parents. It is still good exercise if a grade level has the will to vote on Presidential elections. Nothing wrong with it.

The class was "The Debate Club." Perhaps the teacher would be better to contain her lessons to material necessary for good grades, good grammer and critical thinking while being one of the advisors for extracurricular debate. The debating sounds promising. 

There is a chance she believed she intervened in a racial problem in the classroom, but, it still is not the place to correct that. An unruly and disrespectful student should not be tolerated in a classroom where instruction is taking place. Mr. Rogers should have been dismissed to the principal's office rather than have it all escalate. THAT by the way should have been the discussion on Murdoch's media service. Not extrapolating, as they always do, how student minds are poisoned by this President and his administration.

When I looked at the weather report today, it has "L" all over it.

Weather Channel 
May 22, 2012
1910 GMT
Current Weather Map

Weather Channel 
May 22, 2012
1915 GMT
Current Temperature Map

The Weather Channel notes today:

The Heat is Centered over the Ohio Valley with temperatures 15 to 25 degrees above average affecting 40+ million people.

...As the headline suggests (click here), 90s will be a common reading on thermometers from Kansas and Texas to Ohio and Georgia by this weekend.  You can see this depicted on the forecast maps to the left below in the red and pink shadings....

Weather Channel Prediction Map of Sunday's Temperatures.

We are not far from triple digit heat and governments at all levels need to prepare for a very long and very hot summer. 

Last year with prolonged dry, hot air, Texas experienced infrastructure failure. Skyscrapers need to be safe from extreme cold air inside and ever increasing temperatures outside. Their 'plasticity' needs to be intact, including expansion plates. Texas saw railroad tracks with potential dangers for warping. The railroads are going to have to pay attention to their rails. I have notice in my travels as of late there are many inspection trucks on the tracks. Thank you. Also, Texas experienced exploding sidewalks. The expansion space between the concrete slabs wasn't wide enough and the pressure on the concrete caused rippling which results in cracking due to the pressure of the 'rock' called concrete.

There has been some snow melt to infuse water sources in the west although it has been a late arrival, at least it arrived. The late arrival was probably due to melt from a high altitude, but, scientists more familiar with these areas are probably more than sure what caused it. My best guess is the snow at lower altitudes sublimed from solid to gas, whereas, in higher altitudes the heat would NOT be as intense, but, arrived later due to increasing hot air masses at those altitudes. So, the cooler 'warm' air actually melted the snow. If inspected I am fairly confident the scientists will find snow melt at altitudes not normally effected.

The thing is this; If snow is melting at higher altitudes to actually run off to fill the reservoirs, what happens when that snow is gone? What happens when subliming of snow reaches higher and higher altitudes and LATITUDES? Kindly give it some thought. Thank you.

This was after the tornado. A year later, the high school was absent of some graduates.

By Richard Wolf, USA Today

After hosting (click title to entry - thank you) the world's major economic powers at his presidential retreat in Maryland and the world's pre-eminent military alliance in his hometown of Chicago over the weekend,President Obama came to Joplin, Mo., Monday night for some inspiration....
..."In only 32 minutes, it took thousands of homes, hundreds of businesses, and 161 of your neighbors, your friends and your family members," he said. "It took Will Norton, who had just left this auditorium with a diploma in his hand. It took Lantz Hare, who should've received his diploma next year."...

An expensive hobby farm is not a good political asset, evidently.

Ann Romney's "Acres."

I know something about the business. The land alone is so expensive that in NJ the State purchased it to build a horse park for the county.

In 1979, Janet Schaafsma (click here) built the main horse barn with the indoor arena and began operating a riding and boarding facility. 

It is a very expensive hobby. No one can dispute that. It has some therapeutic benefits when one rides as a casual pleasure horse, but, international competition at this level is very stressful.

The horses are expensive and if a veterinary certificate does not reveal any problems with its health, there are legal consequences, because, it is more than a matter of livestock, this is a quality of life issue, expectations of the future in a show ring that carries status. So, if she is dealing in these horses and there are problems then she hasn't been managing the barn well. 

A person has to be able to afford this life style. Horse-persons in this market are usually interested in the well being of their animal. The horse has a high priority in the quality of care it receives, including pasturing and otherwise. This is not a fools game and if there is a poor reputation of selling or breeding inferior horses the stable will not sustain the community's distain.

It has to be realized, much of the horse riding sport is comprised of young people. They are sportmen and women at a young age and their mounts have to be sound. They have to be well tempered and easy schooled for competition. It is a matter of achieve for these folks. They love the sport and every aspect of it, they love their horses, but, they love to win and show off their accomplished riding skills. So, this is different from the race track, there isn't big money in it except for breeding, training and teaching. Most are invested in the sport, not the profit.

This article by the LA Times surprised me. I didn't think Ann Romney was heavily into the business end of this. I thought she was interested in the breeds and promoting the sport. I didn't expect this. It even surprises me more to realize she has a connective tissue disease and is this involved in a stressful business. Horses take a lot of vigilance. She had a family. Wow. I really didn't expect this.

It was the end of a long day (click here)  in a stuffy Simi Valley office building. Ann Romney had been under oath for more than four hours, testifying in a sometimes contentious deposition about a pricey horse she sold that may or may not have been afflicted with a condition that made him unrideable.

In the airless room, Romney was getting annoyed.

"That really is — that really is irritating," she said when the opposing attorney implied she didn't know who looked after her horse in Moorpark when she was at her home in Boston. "Of course I know who was looking after my horse. You're just trying to irritate me."

It was a rare moment of pique for Ann Romney, not meant for public consumption, and one that opened a window onto the private world of the would-be first lady....

This is really different than what the Late First Lady Jacquelin Onassis Kennedy did in Bedminster, New Jersey, too. Those folks were sportsmen and women, they had their mounts for recreational purposes.

You know, I once heard Ann Romney state, about the GOP primary, "This is our time now."  Meaning her and Mitt. It was their time to have the spot light. It didn't ring right with me, because, democracy is inclusive and that sounded alienating. Not only that, but, it sounded very business like. Mitt was used to saying those things to the companies he took over. It was his time and the integrity of the company as it existed before was irrelevant and a matter of nostalgia. I find it abrasive. I don't how how else to describe it. When I listen with an open mind, both of them violate my sensibilities in ways I never would expect. Well. Whatever. I've already made up my mind and to me I don't know why others haven't as well.

The government has used private concerns in national security, this is just another time.

Access to space is power. I can only hope the companies allowed to have this access are highly respectful of the people of this nation. We don't need 'loose cannons,' if you will, deciding to expand their capacity to other venues of national priority. 

The first time is always the most difficult when security is an issue as well as accomplishment, but, this is a big one. This is more than Blackwater or whatever they call themselves these days. This is also a corporation and if it wants to sell and/or merge there needs to be some military regulations that mediate that process and monitor the activities of this industry. Power is a strange thing, it has its own life and can be dangerous as a instrument in the wrong hands. I hope our military is aware of the activities of these companies. I think it is important they do know what transpires with our national assets and space is one of them.

But, I congratulate these young engineers and their future ventures. It makes the nation proud of them.


Brian van der BrugLos Angeles TimesMay 14, 2012
SpaceX has a workforce of about 1,800, (click here) mostly in Hawthorne and Cape Canaveral. And much like the early days of NASA, the company has a cadre of young engineers -- the average age is in the early 30s -- who have turned down jobs at larger aerospace companies.

The Late President Reagan has surviving family and they should decide how best to handle this article.

It has remote historical significance. It was an attempted assassination, but, those closest to him should not have the nightmare of realizing their father's remains are in circulation as a collectors item. 

This is terrible. There is nothing dignified about this, primarily because of the exploitative nature of it all. It was stolen. I just don't believe that is appropriate. There should not be rewards for lack of respect for the family or theft. 

The only thing that remotely matches this is 'relicted' holy objects attached to rosary beads, but, this is beyond what should be acceptable. If this belonged to Lincoln or Kennedy, there is the idea of a genome being extracted for whatever reason that might exist. I sincerely this needs to be treated as human remains and given some respect.

My sympathies to the family. 

A British auction house claiming (click here) to have a vial containing President Ronald Reagan’s dried blood has angered the late Republican’s nonprofit foundation, which is threatening to block its sale.
“If indeed this story is true, it’s a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase,” John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library in Simi Valley, Calif., said in a statement, according to reports.
PFC Auctions listed a high bid of more than $9,900 late Monday, with final offers being accepted online through Thursday. The website says the “dried blood residue from President Reagan (1911-2004) can be seen clearly in the vial with a quarter-inch ring of blood residue at the end of the inserted rubber stopper.”
The president’s blood was supposedly gathered in 1981, following the assassination attempt on his life outside of a Washington, D.C., hotel. He was sent to George Washington University Hospital, where doctors tended to a gunshot wound and punctured lung.
The auction website notes that the paperwork included with the vial incorrectly states Reagan’s birthdate as “2/02/11,” when it was actually Feb. 6, 1911.
The vial is dated “3/30/81” — the day of the assassination attempt....

There is something wrong with military healthcare and the Justice Department needs to investigate.

TriWest has been the health care provider to the US military for awhile now and recently they lost their bid to United Healthcare even though the bid was less.

But, that isn't the entire problem.

There is a Class Action Lawsuit filed against United Health Care regarding the lack of mental health coverage.

We need more than adequate mental health coverage for our troops. We have witnessed the sad reality of PTSD for too long and the devastation of that on families and the soldiers themselves. 

Look, the troops and their families know what type of health care they are getting and it should be them that has input to this decision. I consider mental health care an important issue and if United Healthcare is unwilling to provide it when people are not in a war zone, what will they do with the people that defend our country?

Class Action: United Healthcare Denies Mental Health Coverage (click here)

Los Angeles, CA
Monday, May 21, 2012
A class-action lawsuit was filed against United Healthcare Insurance Company, US Behavioral Plan, and California United Behavioral Health, which contracts with employers such as the University of California to provide mental health services to policyholders. The class-action suit alleges that these companies, which are part of United Healthcare Insurance Company, have violated the California Mental Health Parity Act, which requires insurers to provide treatment for mental-health diagnoses according to "the same terms and conditions" applied to medical conditions.  Specifically, the defendants are accused of denying and improperly limiting coverage by conducting concurrent and prospective reviews of routine outpatient mental health treatments when no such reviews are conducted for routine outpatient treatments for other medical conditions.  Defendants are also accused of violating the Unruh Act, by discriminating against a class of persons with mental disabilities and psychiatric conditions; violating California's law prohibiting unfair competition, breaching the terms of its own insurance contract with policyholders, and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing....

TriWest Healthcare challenges loss of $20 billion Pentagon contract (click here)

05/12/2012 01:00:00 AM MDT
By Allison Sherry 
The Denver Post

WASHINGTON — TriWest Healthcare Alliance, the health insurer carrying more than 200,000 veterans and service members in Colorado, lost its contract with the Department of Defense for next year and is challenging the decision.
UnitedHealthcare recently beat out TriWest in a bid for another five-year, $20 billion contract to serve clients of Tricare, the U.S. military's health program, in 20 Western states. Phoenix-based TriWest has had the Tricare contract in the Western region, which has 2 million beneficiaries, for 16 years.
"No one has a right to this business, but when you hear you're lowest on price in the bid and yet you didn't win, you wonder what happened," said TriWest chief executive David McIntyre. "Frankly, I'm a bit disturbed. It doesn't make sense to us."
The contracts to serve veterans and active-duty service members are hotly contested because they are so lucrative....

So much for austerity.

Eurozone warned 'severe recession' looming (click here)

AP Business Writer
Published Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The 17-country eurozone risks falling into a "severe recession," the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned on Tuesday, as it called on governments and Europe's central bank to act quickly to keep the slowdown from dragging down the global economy.
OECD Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan warned the eurozone economy could contract by as much as 2 percent this year, a figure that the Paris-based think tank had laid out as its worst-case scenario in November.
In its twice-yearly global economic outlook, the OECD - which comprises the world's most developed economies - said its average forecast was for the eurozone economy to shrink 0.1 percent this year and grow a mere 0.9 percent in 2013....

The USA is doing well when compared to the global economy. The Pro-Growth policies work where austerity simply prolongs any recovery and places danger of a greater recession in the percentages of reality.

The OECD (click here) has been around for a long time, they don't make policy, they concentrate on economies and quality of life. It obviously makes recommendations, but, they are based in qualitative studies. They have studied the economics of the world since 1961, the time of President Kennedy and his Peace Corps.

There can't be dispute President Obama is doing better than holding his own when it comes to touting economic recovery under his first term in office. His policies have been very aggressive and work. He has not pandered to those that caused this global depression , but, have not been draconian in policy making that would destroy Wall Street. There has to be a balance and I sincerely believe President Obama has found that balance with ease. His influence with the G8 was more than impressive and we may see growth in the Eurozone in the not too distant future. I congratulate all the European leaders for bravely moving in the direction of growth even though it seems counter-intuitive.

The USA is better off without the routes through Pakistan for many reasons.

The primary reason the routes through Pakistan are disadvantageous are the Federally Protected Tribal Regions. It is where some of the world's most notorious criminals have come from and it is inherently insecure.

The red area of northern Pakistan are tribal regions and the route into Kabul passes along them and ultimately through them. There is no advantage to that.

I suppose President Obama had to try to make it work, but, to believe the warlord culture of Pakistan is ever going to change is decades in the offing. That area of Pakistan is like Somalia, there is little to no sovereign governance and whenever the Taliban or al Qaeda or 'militant of the day' decides they need supplies they attack convoys of trucks. I never though Bush/Rumsfeld's appeasement of Pakistan to provide air and land access to Afghanistan was a good idea. I always believed supply, then Musharraf, with huge amounts of money was ridiculous. Those monies indicated to me this wasn't about peace or alliances so much as money.

Pakistan has too many internal problems to ever sincerely care about what occurs in Afghanistan. Heck, it doesn't care about the USA either, except, for whatever monies come their way.

Zadari is the most decent President Pakistan has ever had, but, his ability to tame the country is limited. There are sincere problems that need solving, but, they have to be solved by the country itself. We are better off out of it. Karzai is not going to have it easy in that part of the world once NATO exits, but, I believe the Afghan people are more capable of self-governance as a sovereign country than Pakistan is or will be in the near future.

...As the US President (click here) said that "bad moments" were likely to come in the course of the alliance's withdrawal, an unnamed UK official was quoted as saying that it was "unrealistic to assume that Afghanistan is going to be completely secure and there is no possibility of a terrorist threat re-emerging".
The comments came as the Nato summit in Chicago veered off script yesterday, as attempts to resolve Pakistan's blockade of Afghan supply routes fell apart and Mr Obama warned the country's leaders: work with us or run the risk of being "consumed by the extremism" that is in its midst....

Northern Texas is having hail storms.

May 22, 2012
0430:00 z
UNISYS Water Vapor Satellite of USA

Nearly two inches of hail in some areas. There was a tornado in Kansas yesterday that damaged three homes.

0818 PM      HAIL             12 N ADRIAN             35.45N 102.66W
(click here) E1.00 INCH       OLDHAM             TX   PUBLIC


0837 PM     TORNADO          5 NW ADRIAN             35.33N 102.73W
05/21/2012                   OLDHAM             TX   STORM CHASER

0850 PM     HAIL             ADRIAN                  35.28N 102.66W
05/21/2012  E1.75 INCH       OLDHAM             TX   LAW ENFORCEMENT

0851 PM     HAIL             1 S ADRIAN              35.28N 102.66W
05/21/2012  E1.75 INCH       OLDHAM             TX   BROADCAST MEDIA

            ALONG I40

0906 PM     HAIL             ADRIAN                  35.28N 102.66W
05/21/2012  E1.75 INCH       OLDHAM             TX   TRAINED SPOTTER

0922 PM     HAIL             ADRIAN                  35.28N 102.66W
05/21/2012  E0.88 INCH       OLDHAM             TX   PUBLIC


1031 PM     TSTM WND GST     1 W AMARILLO            35.20N 101.83W
05/21/2012  M61 MPH          POTTER             TX   BROADCAST MEDIA

Nevada is experiencing high winds, dry air and wildfires. Not a good combination.

...gusty wind and low relative humidity levels (click here) elevated fire weather conditions across much of Nevada and Utah.

Thermal, California had a high of 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

On this date, May 21 in 1792, Gustave-Gaspard Coriolis, the first to describe the Coriolis force, was born.

My birthday is the same as Mr. Coriolis, May 21st. Nice. That's pretty cool.

Odd. "Effectiveness of US Government Leaders" made the top of the list of concerns in a BOA small business poll.

Why Small Companies Are Helping Our Economy Grow (click here)

January 25, 2012
...Small businesses contribute much more to the U.S. economy and society as a whole than can be calculated just from the spending and profit that they generate. These businesses tend to be more economically innovative than larger companies; more able to respond to changing consumer demand; and more receptive to creating opportunities for women and minorities; and activities in distressed areas....

Small Business are my heroes. I don't believe that will ever change.

The answers are on page 4 of the PDF. I don't find it odd small business owners are looking at the effectiveness of government leadership, but, to realize it out ranks even recover of consumer spending by a few points seems strange. These small business owners surveyed are not minor at all and below is the methodology of the polling.

Braun Research conducted the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report survey by
phone between March 17 and April 9, 2012 on behalf of Bank of America. Braun contacteda nationally representative sample of 1,000 small business owners in the United States withannual revenue between $100,000 and $4,999,999 and employing between 2 and 99 employees.
In addition, 300 small business owners were also surveyed in nine target markets

including Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco,Atlanta and Miami. The margin of error for the national sample is +/- 3.1 percent, and +/- 5.7percent for the oversampled markets, with both reported at a 95 percent confidence level.

But, considering these owners place their local economy in priority of their concerns when it comes to a stable market for their products; their preoccupation with government leadership links government to their success. According to Republicans, government is not necessary for small businesses to succeed. 

...Small business owners (click here) have more confidence in their local economy than the national economy. When asked about the next 12 months, 42 percent expect their own local economic conditions to improve compared to 35 percent who expect the national economy will improve. When asked what national issues concern them the most, the effectiveness of US government leaders topped the list, closely followed by commodities prices, the recovery of consumer spending and healthcare costs. Credit availability ranked at the bottom along with the trade deficit and the global stock market.
However, reservations about the state of the national economy did not dampen optimism among small business owners regarding their future business prospects. Nearly 7 of 10 (69%) small business owners view their local economy as critical to their business’s success.
Moreover, reflective of the independent character that typifies most small business owners, the majority of respondents (53%) stated that their own decisions, rather than the overall health of the economy, are more likely to influence business outcomes.
This sentiment was particularly strong among women as well as “Necessity” and “Serial” small business owners....

Local economies. I have said it and said it and said it and now there is proof. I didn't know BOA did these surveys on a regular basis. This is the first one I have read. Local economies don't require analysts to make decisions. Most local business owners understand their market on a personal level. I remember when the 2008 global economic collapse/depression hit, small owners gave up their recreational time and laid off employees to better handle their businesses in uncertain times. Sincere local economies are far less likely to have adverse trends while national and international companies don't have the luxury of the same safety margins.

Entitlements and Small Businesses are the baseline of the USA economy. The stronger and more stable they are the less chance the USA will ever face tragic outcomes. Noted in this report is the fact over a third of small business owners still work a part time or full time job, in addition to their management of their enterprise. That may be to receive benefits including pension over the long term. But, they are very ambitious. That is a good thing.