Sunday, May 25, 2014

Interesting the e-cigarette is occurring where the original cancer sticks were king.

Why is it Wall Street has no more of a conscience today than then?

May 23, 2014, 11:15am EDT 
Updated: May 23, 2014, 1:43pm EDT

Amy Dominello Braun and Katie Arcieri 
Triad Business Journal

Winston-Salem-based (click here) Reynolds American Inc. will add more than 200 jobs at its Tobaccoville Manufacturing Center in Forsyth County to expand production of its VUSE e-cigarette.

Reynolds American Inc. President and CEO Susan Cameron and Gov. Pat McCrory made the announcement Friday morning in Tobaccoville.

Winston-Salem-based Reynolds said it would be making a "multi-million dollar investment" in advanced manufacturing equipment at the 2 million square- foot Tobaccoville manufacturing complex situated on a 614-acre site. About 70,000 square feet within the 2 million-square-foot facility will be dedicated to VUSE production....

You would think the candy manufacturers would take some pride in their names and how it is used to market the Pre-K e-cigarette market.

Children's Brands In Fight To Keep Names Off E-Cigarettes (click here)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Owners of brands geared toward children of all ages are battling to keep notable names like Thin Mint, Tootsie Roll and Cinnamon Toast Crunch off the flavored nicotine used in electronic cigarettes.
Now the owners of those trademarks are fighting back to make sure their brands aren't being used to sell an addictive drug or make it appealing to to children.
General Mills Inc., the Girl Scouts of the USA and Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. are among several companies that have sent cease-and-desist letters to makers of the liquid nicotine demanding they stop using the brands and may take further legal action if necessary.
The actions highlight the debate about the array of flavors available for the battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale. The Food and Drug Administration last month proposed regulating electronic cigarettes but didn't immediately ban on fruit or candy flavors, which are barred for use in regular cigarettes because of the worry that the flavors are used to appeal to children....

E-Cigarettes: A $1.5 Billion Industry Braces for FDA Regulation (click here)

...The effects of inhaling nicotine vapor are not totally understood, but there is no evidence to date that it causes cancer. Experts and logic seem to agree that it’s a lot better than setting chopped-up tobacco leaves on fire and inhaling the nicotine along with thousands of combustion byproducts, some of which are definitely carcinogenic. Because cancer is the main drawback of smoking for a lot of people, the delivery of nicotine without lighting a cigarette is very attractive. And because it produces a wispy vapor instead of acrid smoke, an e-cigarette lets you bring your smoking back indoors, where lighting up in an enclosed space is no longer socially, or legally, acceptable....

"War is over if you want it."

The United States and it's allies are always longing for peace. That is not new. The USA and it's allies never stop seeking to protect precious freedom.

Will there ever be complete peace?

Yes, I believe there will be. It is important the USA engage in a conversation and social enthusiasm for peace and neutrality. There is nothing wrong with that. The world is far smaller than it was in 1935 or 1941.

Did we ever believe we would be seeing the positive investigation of the Higgs Boson? The beginnings of the universe is closer and closer to being understood.

The internet has closed misunderstandings between nations unlike my father or mother would ever believe possible. 

We are closer than we have ever been to actual peace, but, there are still speed bumps that can derail the entire hope for our children. I sincerely believe the world has the capacity to stop hostile ambitions and realize without a planet their ambitions are completely meaningless.

The preparedness for the USA and it's allies is important, but, it should never put peace aside as the most important reason for freedom. 

The USA and our allies have to realize the deep abiding respect needed for citizens that defend our country, however, to continue to treat our military as disposable toys whenever a President wants to run convenient wars for profit is extremely expensive to our soldiers, their families and ultimately our children who will be paying their disability insurances for generations to come.

War is expensive. Loss of life is only part of it. Halliburton and all the profiteers within the Bush Administration have long since past and gone on to greener pastures, but, the people of this country are still paying the war debt and the debt to the soldiers that fought in the war of profit. 

It is time to take neutrality seriously and reach for the golden ring no matter how much Putin hangs his hat on nationalism and China can't seem to get their border surveys correct.

We can actually do this. 
This is the 1934 Peace Dollar. It is a collector's item now valued at as litte as $15.00 up to $400 depending on condition.

5 Jan 1939 

Kiichiro Hiranuma became the 35th Prime Minister of Japan. [CPC]

Adolf Hitler met Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck at Berchtesgaden in southern Germany and, in a friendly manner, mentioned that Danzig was German, and it was in his interest to one day see it return within German borders.

 16 Jan 1939
Austrian physicists Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch successfully achieved nuclear fission in an experiment in Sweden.

 24 Jan 1939

Germany established the National Central Office for Jewish Emigration with branch offices in Vienna and Prague.

 25 Jan 1939

Uranium atom was split for the first time at Columbia University in the United States. 

The US Army Air Corps announced a new competition for a new fighter design. The requirements were 310-370 miles per hour top speed, 15,000 feet ceiling, and 2 hours endurance at cruise speed. The firm Curtiss-Wright would ultimate win the competition with the P-40 design.

"Neutrality" is not a bad word.

Maintaining a neutral military posture is not alien to the USA. The second world war actually started in August of 1934 with the assassination of German's President Paul von Hindenburg. Adolf Hitler would himself Führer of Germany, becoming Head of State as well as Chancellor. Hitler's power was incredible and even turned German loyalists away from their constitution to pledging their services to him.

The first world war ended in 1918. The USA had no interest in joining a war anywhere, yet alone within Europe against Germany.

This article appeared in an academic journal as there were those that opposed neutrality of the USA. This article can be requested from any local library through their interlibrary loan request department. The main circulation desk can answer questions about obtaining any article. They are normally free of charge within cooperating libraries.

"Troubles of a Neutral" (click here)

By Charles Warren
April 1934
Foreign Affairs; Apr34, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p377
 The article presents a discussion related to the U.S. acting as a neutral country. Americans at the present time seem determined to refrain from joining with other countries in attempts to avert war, and equally determined to remain neutral and to keep out of any war that may occur between other countries. Personally, the author believes that the U.S. should not so refrain. Moreover, it will be impossible to remain neutral in any war between great powers resulting from a violation of the League Covenant or of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. But so long as this country holds to the opposite view, it is of immense importance that Americans who hope to keep out of war should be made to realize the burdens, which they must probably assume, and the rights which they must probably yield, in any attempt to fulfill their hope. For, in order to keep out of any future war between great powers, the U.S. must do far more than to remain technically neutral. In fact, the very condition of neutrality engenders frictions, which nowadays are likely eventually to implicate a powerful neutral in any war in which the great powers may be engaged.

History tells us the USA held off for a long time before entering WWII and then only when directly attacked. Europe, even today, would bemoan that reality. I think the period from 1934 to 1941 was a critical time of growth and competency for the USA. I think if it entered the war any earlier it would have been disastrous to the Allied war effort.
The co$t of peace.


The co$t of war.

In this Nov. 8, 2007 file photo, wounded soldiers involved in physical therapy wait for President Bush to visit a physical therapy lab for wounded soldiers at the Center For The Intrepid at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Lines of U.S. troops are limping away from the military with damaged bodies and minds, a surging increase in disabled veterans that will cost the nation billions for decades to come _ even as the total of America's vets from all wars has begun to shrink. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File) AP Photo/Gerald 

May 11, 2008
By CBS News

Increasing numbers of U.S. troops (click here) have left the military with damaged bodies and minds, an ever-larger pool of disabled veterans that will cost the country billions of dollars for decades to come - even as the total population of America's veterans shrinks.

Despite the decline in the total number of veterans - as soldiers from World War II and Korea die - the government expects to be spending $59 billion a year to compensate injured warriors in 25 years, up from today's $29 billion, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press. And the Veterans Affairs Department concedes the bill could be much higher.


Worse wounds. More disabilities. More vets aware of the benefits and quicker to file for them.

Also, ironically, advanced medical care. Troops come home with devastating injuries that might well have killed them in earlier wars....
Veterans have to qualify for their benefits. Depending on the 'percent' disability they can demonstrate related to military service they receive benefits. There is no partial benefits for civilians when they receive disability benefits, but, our veterans are given every consideration to any portion of their lives disturbed while defending their country.

The benefits can be very generous in many ways. Veterans are even reimbursed for travel to and from appointments with the Veteran's Administration.

Disabled veterans are not necessarily poor folks. The country owes them a debt and we gladly provide as much comfort to them as possible. 

Disabled veterans are even provided with dependent benefits.

I apologize to families that have lost their veterans to neglect in recent months. The country never once wanted it to happen. I would think based in the understanding our veterans are given many considerations to bring comfort to their lives it would be obvious we care a great deal about them.

It was never suppose to happen and I think that is evident.

Not all US veterans make use of the priviledges to the Veteran Administration's medical services. There are veterans with benefits from private employers and self-employment. Every veteran has the right to seek medical attention from the VA, but, until this recent generation the demands have not exactly been overwhelming.

The country still takes excellent care of our disabled veterans.

The obligation of the country from General George Washington forward never abandoned our disabled due to military service.

If you are military veteran (click here) with a service-related disability you may qualify for over $3,100 in monthly benefits. These benefits are paid to veterans who have injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, or were made worse by active military service. It is also paid to certain veterans disabled from VA health care. These benefits are tax-free. The following is a summary of VA Disability Compensation:
  • VA Disability Compensation Eligibility
  • VA Disability Compensation Pays
  • VA Disability Compensation Application Process
  • VA Travel Reimbursement
  • Disability Compensation Tables
  • Special Monthly Compensation for Severe Disabilities

Women were always involved with the success of the USA military. Even with the Continental Army.

...Women who offered their services (click here) to the army made a difficult decision. They chose to give up the security of home and embark on a journey that offered discomfort, hardship, and danger. They worked hard to make a living for themselves and their families, in addition to supporting the army and its cause. Some even broke traditional gender roles in order to serve their country. They worked just as hard and suffered just as much as the men they worked beside. Despite Abigail Adams’s famous plea to "remember the ladies," many of the contributions of Revolutionary War era women have been forgotten. It is only appropriate now to remember their courage and sacrifice, honoring them as well as the fighting men they supported.

Interestingly, when men were disabled during the Revolutionary War, the country paid them a pension after the war. It was a forgone conclusion they would never be able to work again.

It is estimated there are 555 WWII veterans passing every day.

California has the highest number of WWII veterans in the country at over 93 thousand. (click here)

20.2 million US veterans of which 1.6 are women.

July 27, 2012
By Theresa Riley

Ever wondered (click here) how many veterans there are in the United States? Or maybe which cities have the most veterans living in them? Well, we’re glad you asked because the U.S. Census infographics department has been hard at work making the data they collect more digestible to the general public. And as TIME’s Battlefield blogger Mark Thompson notes — you’ve already paid for the information — so why not learn something from it?

Only 26% have completed a college degree. 

Some career military have served in two wars. In past generations about 200,000 soldiers. Gulf I and Gulf II saw a jump in the number of soldiers that have fought in two wars to 837,000.

Regardless of generation the number of soldiers that have served in three wars is about 50,000.

Only 9% of all US businesses are owned by veterans. 

So, 26 percent went on to college and 9 percent are business owners, where is everyone else? 

The income of most veterans is about $10,000 than the average American. 

First, congratulations to the newly elected government throughout Ukraine.

I am very happy for the new leaders within Ukraine. They are young, successful with hopes of building the country they have longed for. Very exciting.

The President-Elect Petro Poroshenko has avoided a run off election by every estimation. He'll be a great president for Ukraine. I sincerely believe he will move the country forward. He has a focus on this Russian based chocolate empire while anticipating great opportunity in the European market. 

President-Elect Poroshenko has the potential to bridge the gap between Ukrainians deepest wishes to have markets with neighbors on all their borders. They have high hopes for European marketing and bringing a new day to Ukraine. There is no reason to believe it won't occur.

Russia has far less to worry about than it wants to admit. I wish all parties well. It is time to move forward and bring peace to the children of Ukraine.

Leader of UDAR party and former heavyweight boxer Vitali Klitschko speaks during his press conference at Poroshenko's election headquarters in Kiev, Ukraine on 25 May 2014

KIEV (AFP) (click here) - Ukraine’s burly boxing hero and strident protest leader Vitali Klitschko claimed victory on Sunday in Kiev mayoral vote that cements his role as a statesman for the country’s post-Soviet generation.
“All change will begin in Kiev,” the former heavyweight champion declared after exit polls gave him 57 per cent of the capital city’s vote.
The two-metre-tall titan who never suffered a knockdown in his stellar heavyweight career was Ukraine’s most popular figure at the height of the protests that toppled a Russian-backed regime in February.
But the 42-year-old’s star faded once the old president fled to Russia and voters began searching for others with similar pro-Western leanings but a bit more experience in dealing with delicate diplomatic and economic affairs.
KIEV (AFP) - Ukraine’s burly boxing hero and strident protest leader Vitali Klitschko claimed victory on Sunday in Kiev mayoral vote that cements his role as a statesman for the country’s post-Soviet generation.
“All change will begin in Kiev,” the former heavyweight champion declared after exit polls gave him 57 per cent of the capital city’s vote.
The two-metre-tall titan who never suffered a knockdown in his stellar heavyweight career was Ukraine’s most popular figure at the height of the protests that toppled a Russian-backed regime in February.
But the 42-year-old’s star faded once the old president fled to Russia and voters began searching for others with similar pro-Western leanings but a bit more experience in dealing with delicate diplomatic and economic affairs.
- See more at:
Leader of UDAR party and former heavyweight boxer Vitali Klitschko speaks during his press conference at Poroshenko's election headquarters in Kiev, Ukraine on 25 May 2014. -- PHOTO: EPA - See more at:
It's Sunday Night

"Cheney's Toy" from the album "Just Us Kids" by James McMurtry (click here)

Another unknown soldier
Another lesson learned
Kick the gas can over
Strike a match get back and watch that sucker burn

Keep smiling for the camera
Keep waving to the crowd
Don't let up for an instant
Stay the course and make your mama proud

             You're the man
             Show'em what you're made of
             You're no longer daddy's boy
             You're the man
             That they're all afraid of
             But you're only Cheney's toy

Another unknown soldier
Who's seen it all before
All in the name of Jesus
Behind the razor wire and shackled to the floor

Just keep smiling at the cameras
And keep that twinkle in your eye
We don't need to know the answers
Long as we're safe, just hit your marks and say your lines

             You're the man
             Show 'em what you're made of
             You're no longer daddy's boy
             Take a stand
             Give 'em what they paid for
             'Cause you're only Cheney's toy

They'll take a fork and turn you over
While the fat lady sings
One more pin on one more shoulder
Is all the future brings
For another unknown soldier
Who don't know his own name
And he won't get any older
And he can't see for the shrapnel in his brain

" recent weeks we have seen again how much more our nation has to do to make sure all our veterans get the care they deserve..."

That pretty much says it all. The nation has a far greater responsibility to our veterans and we need to take it seriously. The current crisis is not the failure of the current administration. The current administration has acted to increase services, sought support and employment for the soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and now the backlog of medical cases are finding new solutions.

Associated Press in Washington

The Obama administration's decision (click here) to allow more veterans to get care at private hospitals, announced on Saturday, could take some pressure off backlogged Veterans Affairs facilities struggling to cope with new patients as well as old soldiers.
Agreeing to recommendations from lawmakers, the White House said it will allow more veterans to obtain treatment at private hospitals and clinics, in an effort to improve care.
On Sunday Representative Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican and chairman of the House veterans affairs committee, welcomed the announcement by the VA secretary, Eric Shinseki, but questioned why it took so long. Reports about the deaths of veterans awaiting treatment at a Phoenix VA hospital surfaced more than a month ago....

When is enough never enough? When the President taking better care to Veterans is President Obama.

This is going to sound heartless, but, the attention to 'micromanaging' doesn't start with the White House. Initially, there were forty deaths reported. While that is at the very least alarming, it is not the place of the White House or the Secretary of the VA to look for these problems within this scale. Never once did the Secretary state, "Hey guys, if you can't follow the new directive create dual waiting lists."

Should there be more 'Quality Control?" Yes and no. Yes in that it is appropriate to add a layer of accountability. No, in that where is the funding coming from to staff a quality control department.

The veterans administration has had huge problems for a long time. Whenever the veterans are ready they can thank Secretary Shinseki and President Obama for being willing to act on problems as they have manifested. They are not empty suits who simply put political talking points 'out there' to deflect controversy. These men pride themselves on transparency and to that end we are seeing more and more citizen involvement to move 'change' forward. That type of reaction to news about our veterans being neglected has been a driving force and it should be.

The families need to remain engaged in the care of their veterans and continue to bring any hurdle to treatment to the forefront to insure success. But, the continued political mayhem is uncalled for and can only turn other citizens off when there are solutions by the country that appear to be unappreciated and unwelcome. 

I am pleased on this Memorial Day Weekend the plight of our veterans is being taken seriously. I am pleased as a country we can afford to improve their care. I am happy there will be more and more veterans seeing better outcomes and longevity. 

I am also pleased to see more and more VA hospital administrators coming forward with problems they have experienced in trying to initiate faster responses. The transparency has worked. The transparency has brought the brevity home to all those responsible for enacting the changes this administration has called for. Everyone did a great job of exposing a largely lethargic system unwilling to invoke changes that matter to save lives. That is different today and to that end we all have a victory. 

I might add, I want to know what obstructions Republican members of Congress may have sought to institute within the VA system to inhibit the change Secretary Shinseki demanded. I hope none, but, that has not been the track record of the Republicans in this Congress. I hope the subsequent investigation leaves no stones unturned including any obstruction and/or interference from Congress. Lives are not toys to political ambitions. At least they aren't suppose to be and when they are it is more than human rights violations within the borders of the USA; it is a crime.

Mubarak returns.

May 24, 2014
By Rami G. Khouri
The Daily Star

The millions of Egyptians (click here) who supported General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi when he removed from office President Mohammad Morsi eleven months ago gave the impression that Sisi had overwhelming popular support for his actions and his candidacy.
It remains unclear whether these sentiments among Egyptians were a genuine and lasting political statement or merely a short-lived form of mass hysteria that understandably sought the comforts of a secure and orderly life under a strongman.
The presidential election in a few days probably will not clarify this issue, because of the boycott by the Muslim Brotherhood and the authorities’ continued suppression measures against leftist, independent and progressive activists in Egypt....

Sisi is the return of Mubarak, if not in the flesh, then in the authority and in reflection of 'what is best.' Populism still lives in Egypt, only this time it is accompanied by power rather than a mobile phone.

First there were Sisi t-shirts,(click here) then Sisi underwear... now Egypt's newest Field Marshal even has his own music video. A group of Sisi supporters have produced an MTV-style music video entitled One Dream in an effort to appeal to his moshir-ship's love for pop culture...probably.
The cringe-inducing singers crow:

We've been dreaming for a long time to be united by safety and security, 
One front, one dream, One path, one hand. We'll finally be united, Egyptians, 
Let's hold hands and make our dream of a lifetime come true!...

Sisi is promising to roll back all the change that occurred following the demonstrations in Tahrir Square. I am surprised Sisi hasn't asked for Anderson Cooper's head on a platter. 

Sisi likes to call it "The Revolution to Disillusion." It justifies the actions of still yet another oppressive regime. 

Ahram Online
Thursday 22 May 2014
Egyptian police arrested (click here) a number of lawyers and activists in Alexandria on Thursday following a demonstration in solidarity with activist Mahienour El-Masry and eight others who were jailed this week on charges of holding an illegal protest.  
At least five persons – including Alexandria Doctors Syndicate board member Taher Mukhtar – were arrested during Thursday's protest, according to Freedom for the Brave, a grassroots campaign formed in January of this year to call for the release of political detainees in Egypt.

On Tuesday, an Alexandria court upheld an earlier verdict sentencing El-Masry and eight other activists to two years in jail and fines of LE50,000 each for organising an unauthorised demonstration in December of last year.

The protest was held to mark the retrial of police officers charged with the death of Khaled Said, 28, who was beaten to death in Alexandria in 2010. His death was a major catalyst of the 2011 uprising, with police brutality a key focus of protesters anger....

Lord only knows we all need permits to be angry. Mayhem is the enemy. So, tell me how does a military coupe puts that in a can for the elections?

Those pesky Brotherhood people; "They just don't get it."

It will be interesting to see how long the Egyptian prisons will over flow before Sisi finds himself with burning tanks, IEDs and RPGs. It isn't as though it hasn't happened before.

Has he walked on water yet?

Pope Francis prays at Israel's separation wall on his way to a mass in Manger Square in the West Bank city of Bethlehem Photo: AP Photo/Ariel Schalit
By Nick Squires, Bethlehem
6:00AM BST 25 May 2014

Bethlehem,(click here) the hilltop town where Christ was born, was preparing to welcome Pope Francis on Sunday, amid fervent hopes that he would speak out about the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the suffering of Palestinians.
The Pope will say Mass and deliver a homily from a stage covered in red carpet in Manger Square, the focus of the town, and flanked on one side by the Church of the Nativity, which marks the place where Mary is thought to have given birth to Jesus.
The Jesuit Pope will encounter a charged political atmosphere in the West Bank town, with large posters draped on buildings around Manger Square juxtaposing Biblical scenes of suffering with contemporary photographs of Palestinian men at Israeli checkpoints and women amid the rubble of their homes.... 

Why does this make more sense than any government mediation could achieve? I think he should exclusively carry out the peace process between Israel and Palestine. Seriously. No bribing with money or war machines or unrealistic images of saintly Israel and demonic Palestine. He is a completely removed third party. The man is a genius. There can be only one other entity of which he speaks to on a regular basis and it doesn't have a species designation.

See, I don't think the second coming of Jesus Christ will be with Armageddon. It isn't his style. I sincerely think he or she will give us a good talking to before the final sentence is passed.  

Secretary Kerry should not hesitate to endorse the efforts of Pope Francis. Hey, the two have Roman Catholic understanding of life in common. I can't think of a better peace partner.