Thursday, September 13, 2012

It helps when major powers stand together to denounce violence.

SOCHI, September 13 (RIA Novosti)
Russian President (click title to entry -thank you) Vladimir Putin condemned on Thursday a recent attack on U.S. diplomats in Libya, and urged governments to react toughly and timely to provocations against people's religious sentiments.
U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed on Tuesday in an attack on the U.S. consulate building in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi by an armed mob angry over a U.S.-produced film that is considered by Muslims to be insulting to Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
“We condemn this crime and offer our condolences to the victims' families,” Putin told reporters at his residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
“The safety of diplomats is protected by international conventions and if someone fails to recognize this, it means that they put themselves outside the framework of the law and outside the framework of modern civilization," Putin said.
At the same time, the Russian president said "religious feelings of people of all beliefs must be handled very carefully" and government reactions to religious provocation must be "tough and timely," otherwise the people who feel offended will take matters into their own hands to defend their interests and views....
It is so strange to have Russia speak out against religious bigotry. In their history religion was a not valuable to the Russian leadership. Today, we have come a long way in a global understanding of the importance of church leadership in a society. No longer are religious issues a matter ignored or set aside as trivial. Every leader around the globe now values what their people value. I appreciate President Putin standing up to the violence in the name of peace and understanding.

Russia’s Muslim Leaders Decry Libya Violence (click here)

MOSCOW, September 13 (Dan Peleschuk, RIA Novosti)
Muslim leaders in Russia have condemned the American anti-Islam video that sparked the Libya riots which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, as well as the riots themselves, calling for unity amid what appear to be religious provocations.
“People of faith shouldn’t give into these kinds of provocations,” said Albir Krganov, Mufti of Moscow and first deputy chairman of the Central Spiritual Board of Muslims in Russia....
So, the religious leaders are in cooperation with the USA in criticizing both the hate film and the violence. Both are ridiculed in a civilized society where many faiths live together within the borders of one country.

Egypt's demographics.

Median age: total: 24.3 years 
male: 24 years 
female: 24.6 years (2011 est.)

USA demographics.

Median age: total: 36.9 years 
male: 35.6 years 
female: 38.2 years (2011 est.)

Russian demographics.

Median age: total: 38.7 years 
male: 35.5 years 
female: 41.9 years (2011 est.)

Source: Index Mundi (click here)

Tolerance of diversity in a society can be reflected by the maturing of the its people. It is all too frequent a picture in my memory of young men from the Middle East running away from a camera and toward government vehicles with home made bombs and explosives; Molotov Cocktails. That isn't noted in larger countries with older populations. There is a degree of immaturity in what is transpiring in the Mid-east countries. 

It is possible for the USA to disdain a video that doesn't even come close to a documentary. It isn't even entertainment, it is a film designed to instill hate. Just that simple. It can be ridiculed without the escalation into violence. Offense against the conscience of the society of people in the USA does NOT mean there is violence that erupts. In Egypt, today, the President is sensitive to the people and have called for organized marches within the country to demonstrate to the world their displeasure with such an atrocity. Yes, a film can be an atrocity. A mob with intent to use missiles and guns designed to kill is more of an atrocity than the USA could imagine happening within its borders.

Whoever put together this video wanted to convey a message of hate. That message has been rejected by the people of the USA. The people within the USA are appalled at this atrocity against faith. We are non-violent in our abhorrence of this video and we seek to end it's painful victimization of the images and words so wrongly illustrated as truth. Governments can take action against hate. Populous can stand the tide of victimization. I wish the countries of the Mid-east could find that same degree of civilized conduct to prevent such damage to their cities as well as themselves. I understand there are reports of 200 Egyptians wounded during these violent protests.

I mourn a wonderful group of brave Americans who saw the potential for good in their work in Libya. They did not deserve to be killed by the violence against a USA embassy. They did not ask for such a horrible film to be produced and they certainly would never consent to its message of hate. These people did not hate. They were selfless citizens of the USA and they are dearly missed now.

In understanding how hate can be stopped without violence and how benevolent understandings grow when people are mutually offended there is a clear vision of God in that. Peaceful resolve to atrocity by someone ignorant to the beauty of faith is godly. It is a higher purpose. So, when the USA seeks non-violence within its society it is with the understanding life is important and mistakes made with that life need to find definition and resolve.

I apologize for the misunderstanding existing between Islamic nations in the Mid-east and the way the USA conducts its disdain of hate. It is a cultural difference and I wish everyone peace knowing this hate will not be tolerated.

It will not be tolerated because of the conscience of the USA people, not because of the violence outside of embassies.

Ah, the journalist conspiracy of Peer Review.

This is simply rehearsal by journalists to try to have Mr. Romney actually answer a pertinent question. A frequent strategy for avoidance of answering questions is to take only one question per journalist. It is not usual for peers to seek a strategy to receive the answers they seek. 

The review by the Right Wing Media makes it sound as though the journalists are actually crafting answers before the questions are asked. That is not what this is. There is no prescribed outcome to the questions. The problem is Romney. He won't answer a question straight up. He talks around it, blames others and seeks avoidance of every topic involved in this election. It he would answer questions instead of avoiding them it would be helpful. What would be more helpful is if he would answer them honestly. I suppose he is saving the good answers for the debates. 

But, this is simply journalists doing what they do to every candidate in a race no matter where the race is, they seek answers to difficult questions. I suppose if a journalist wants to ask Romney what he got for Christmas he could, but, that isn't really a campaign issue.

The journalists don't know if they will even get a chance to ask their questions. So, to agree on questions most important to the people of the country is not a bad thing.

The accusations by the Right Wing Media are baseless, contrived and lies in themselves. There is no conspiracy here, just professionals seeking some kind of power in the situation to achieve answers to specific questions. Someone is awfully desperate. 

So much for freedom of speech. 

NEW RULE: All press must enter any Romney Press Room with hands in lap, eyes forward and complete focus to the front of the room. No talking allowed. You may breath. You will only speak when spoken to. Only ankles crossed. No poking, no hair pulling and no gum chewing. That sounds like a gender issue, too.

I dearly hope this will return home and property values to the consumer.

I find myself wishing the Fed did this will QE1 and QE2. We might be out of the doldrums by now. I also hope there is somewhat no option for the banks egregiously taking consumers for a ride. In particular, Bank of America. They need to sell of their mortgage interests to the Fed. BOA is not a good lender, they have no desire to invest in their personnel's expertise to refinance struggling homeowners. I hope this works to the advantage of all those seeking relief from difficult financial circumstances and homes now currently devalued.

I previously have pointed to the lethargic nature of BOA in regard to consumers seeking refinancing under the government programs. BOA is not doing that at all or they are only on occasion choosing a home they know won't go into foreclosure if they refuse to refinance long enough. BOA is terrible and they hold a large number of struggling homeowners.

The refinancing is not that difficult either. I stated previously family is working within this banking practice and finds the steps in refinancing fairly straight forward. There are no secret doors or trap floors in this process. If there were I would be outraged by it.

When this all first occurred there was confusion and some malpractice in banks unwilling to invest in their staff, but, this process is self taught and all one has to do is go the the federal government and they direct people to 'web classrooms' where the process is explained and exampled. This is not difficult for people to learn, they simply have to be directed to the correct government site to learn the process and begin paperwork.

Unlike their peers, BOA just doesn't want to be bothered. I realize there is incentive to do this, or at least most reasonable people would expect the refinancing to be an incentive, but, this bank is horrible.

Wasn't Warren Buffet that stepped in with $5 billion to bailout BOA? I thought it was BOA. Mr. Buffet needs to protect his investment and seek fact finding within BOA to realize what the problem is exactly. There really should not be one.

The refinancing options open to homeowners would save their investment to date and provide more cash in hand to recover their personal circumstances. So, this is not a minor topic.

AP Economics Writer  / September 13, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve unleashed a series of bold and open-ended steps Thursday to stimulate the economy by making it cheaper for consumers and businesses to borrow and spend.
The Fed said it will spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage bonds for as long as it deems necessary to make home buying more affordable. It plans to keep short-term interest rates at record lows through mid-2015 — six months longer than previously planned. And it’s ready to take other unconventional steps if job growth doesn’t pick up.
A statement from the Fed’s policy committee said it thinks ‘‘a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens.’’...

There is no issue of inflation. The currency is not going to deflate and cause WW III. Promise. The inflation that exists now is from the petroleum industry. Across the consumer horizon there are impacts from the petroleum industry. Then there is the Climate Crisis. Crops did very poorly in the early half of the summer growing season. In Michigan, due to a heat bubble from Texas, the cherry growers experienced a lot of damage to their crops occurring in March. The subsequent return to freezing temperatures have reduced the cherry crop to about 10% of the usual yield. It was due to climate. Absolutely.

So, the idea the Fed is going to cause inflation is silly. There are bigger players to inflation than the Fed at this point. Dare I say Wall Street.

...The statement was approved on an 11-1 vote. The lone dissenter was Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, who worries about igniting inflation....

One of the worst problems in the USA when it comes to joblessness is the fact Congress refuses to act in a way that is meaningful. Voters tend to think why did we ever need The American Jobs Act because, like the Recovery Act, when the money runs dry we will be back where we began. That is false.

Investment into the American economy stimulates growth. Once growth occurs it takes on a life of its own. A prime example are the infrastructure projects and the changes in bonds and support for small contractors to move into venues of larger projects. That is a permanent change. It would have placed American contractors in a place where they could bid on larger projects into the future. It would have changed the venue for them and made them better competitors in the market place. The jobs that single legislation would have created would be permanent and it would have been in the construction business.

The refurbishment of older buildings, especially in areas of education, would have been permanent improvements to classroom size and would have employed more teachers in the long view. If a city has more viable buildings to include in their number of classrooms and assembly areas, it would have created short term construction jobs, but, long term teacher and administrative jobs. It would have reduced the size of classes and improved the success of the students.

That is another thing, those attacking teacher's unions and imposing some arbitrary test standard to leverage influence with teachers employed and not are grossly "W"rong in their approach. The simple FACT the class size effects student outcomes is one of the best reasons why a teacher cannot be held responsible for student outcomes. No matter how good a teacher is in the classroom, if it is difficult in teaching due to the number of students, then they all suffer and test scores will be eschewed. Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, such actions by legislative bodies assaults the bargaining process and places false values in the way of student's learning.

Demanding false focus for teacher evaluations could dismiss the better teachers while the poorer teachers simply teach to the test. 

One of the aspects of this voucher stuff that goes on is the willingness for charter schools or otherwise to tear down the public school system as broken, yet, most of the private / charter schools don't teach to a test. They don't evaluate their teacher's performance as to how tests are used or how successful students are in respect to tests. Most of the these schools have far smaller classroom size and the grades on the report card reflect very successful students.

It is wrong to abandon the public schools believing private or charter schools are the answer. That is not the case and it is a false measure of success. When a public school room reflects the same advantages of other schools and they are still failing, then decisions can be made about effective and ineffective teaching staff. But, until the public schools are refurbished of function there is no alternative for some parents but to seek alternatives.

One has to ask, are the Republicans so focused on failure of our public institutions that our children are actually pawns in this hideous game? I would not put that past any politician that operates on 'political juice' rather than facts and expertise.

Let's hope this 'edition' of the Fed money works to benefit the consumer and increases property values while relieving banks to LEND more to small businesses and consumers at reasonable rates in THE USA!

The false identity of the hate film regarding Islam is a sincere problem and could partly responsible for protests.

The filmmakers continues dogmatic hate speech of Islam.

9:54 AM Thursday Sep 13, 2012

...Speaking by phone from an undisclosed location, (click title to entry - thank you) writer and director Sam Bacile remained defiant, saying Islam is a cancer and that the 56-year-old intended his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion....

...But his background came under growing doubt today. A Christian activist who said he was a consultant on the film told The Atlantic that Bacile was a pseudonym and that the man was not Jewish or Israeli.

Israeli officials said there was no record of him being a citizen.
Bacile said he is a real estate developer and an Israeli Jew. But Israeli officials said they had not heard of him and there was no record of him being a citizen. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not permitted to share personal information with the media....
Whoever this is continues to promulgate hate even past the deaths of Americans in Libya. If the incidents are related, he needs to be held for the deaths of USA diplomats. 

The most unlikely ally to the youth of Russia and their global fans and supporters.

7:37 AM Thursday Sep 13, 2012

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called for three members of the punk band Pussy Riot to be freed, a sign that the women's release could be imminent since their case comes up for appeal on Oct. 1.
The band members were arrested for performing a raucous prayer inside Moscow's main cathedral asking Virgin Mary to save Russia from Vladimir Putin as he headed into the election that handed him a third term as president. They had already spent more than five months in jail when they were convicted in August of "hooliganism driven by religious hatred" and sentenced to two years in prison.
By being the one to call for the women's release, Medvedev, who has cultivated the image of a more liberal leader, could allow Putin to put the uncomfortable case behind him while not appearing weak....

A victim to the attack on the consulate in Libya, Sean Smith is mourned by his fellow gamers.

Remembered ... Sean Smith's computer-generated avatar as "Vile Rat" in "EVE Online"; inset, Sean Smith. Photo: AP/CCP Games/The Mittani

It would seem diplomacy takes place in the most unlikely places.

September 13, 2012 - 12:17PM

Sean Smith, a foreign service information management officer killed with three others in an attack on an American consulate in Libya, has been remembered not just as a husband, father and 10-year veteran of the US State Department, but also as an influential intergalactic diplomat in a sprawling virtual galaxy.
Known online as "Vile Rat", the 34-year-old State Department officer had a large profile in the multiplayer game EVE Online, which features more than 400,000 players captaining starships, buying and selling virtual goods, engaging in corporate espionage and electing a government composed of real-world players....

Back to school for Chicago. Nice extension of summer vacation for the kids.

I can see the first writing assignments of the school year now, "How did you spend the vacation extension?"

7:05 a.m. CDT, September 13, 2012

Negotiators (click title to entry - thank you) trying to settle the Chicago teachers strike say more than 350,000 students could be back in the classroom by Friday.

 “We feel like we’re in a pretty good place, we’ve made a lot of progress today,” Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said as she left contract talks shortly before midnight Wednesday. “We spent a lot of time on evaluation. We still have a lot of work to do but it seems like we’re definitely coming much closer together than we were certainly this morning.”

Lewis said parents should not bank on classes Thursday but said, “Let’s hope for Friday.”

Chicago school board president David Vitale agreed significant progress had been made during talks Wednesday....