current affairs

Published on May 3 2007

Setting the Stage: The Republicans First Debate - The Fix
Tommy Thompson: Like Huckabee, Thompson remains virtually unknown in national politics but has a compelling story to tell. During his time as governor of Wisconsin -- 1987 to 2001 -- Thompson was widely seen as one of the most innovative chief executives in the country. The question is whether he gets to tell that story tonight. Thompson remains an asterisk in most state and national polling and the bulk of the questions typically go to the frontrunning candidates. And, when Thompson does get his chances can he show some foreign policy chops despite focusing almost exclusively on domestic policy during his time in office?
Um.... personally, I was unimpressed with Thompson. Very unimpressed. McCain? Not much better. Giuliani did pretty well, imho. (Now if I could just learn to spell his name) I must have made a pit stop during a couple of the candidates' questions, because I'm not sure I even heard them speak. Hmmmmm..... Romney? maaaaaybe? Where's Newt when you need him??? Or the "other" Thompson; the one who hasn't even declared yet?

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Published on May 2 2007

I watched a spot on last night's news about the release of the Reagan diaries book, and this morning pre-ordered it. I'm looking forward to this one after reading so much the last few weeks about the end of the Cold War. Funny how much I disliked that man early in his term-- mostly due to the PATCO deal-- as a union member, I felt threatened. (And please don't start in on me about illegal strikes and the horrible unions, etc.- I've studied more on PATCO, understand the reasons for the breaking of the strike, and I know well that unions are far from perfect.) Anywho... after reading so much about Reagan and through simple aging and experience, I've found my respect for the man has grown immensely, so I'm looking forward to getting this book. Vanity Fair released short excerpts from the book on this page. I just love the entry for March 30, 1981, the day Reagan was shot after addressing the AFL-CIO building & trades conference in DC. The man was a MASTER!!!
"Getting shot hurts."

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Published on April 18 2007

Gunman in massacre contacted NBC News - Massacre at Virginia Tech - MSNBC.com Before going off to commit mass murder, killer Cho Seung-Hui took the time to mail a package of carefully prepared DVD's off to NBC news. Just in case some of us didn't get the point, didn't understand how somebody could commit a heinous act such as his, he was careful to explain for us.
The extensive material sent to NBC News this week by Cho Seung-Hui includes an angry diatribe against the rich and numerous unspecified enemies. Among the statements: • You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience. You thought it was one pathetic boy’s life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people.
Why is it that psycho freaks, mass murderers, and ^*&(%$'s like this guy all seem to think they are emulating Christ? Why is it that they all seem to believe that they are the "truth" , the rest of us poor schmucks are nothings who need the guidance of their superior intelligences? Do they believe somehow that they can become love through murder? What kind of synapse misfires deep in these people's brains; what kind of wiring connection is missing?
• Do you know what it feels to be spit on your face and to have trash shoved down your throat? Do you know what it feels like to dig your own grave? Do you know what it feels like to have throat slashed from ear to ear? Do you know what it feels like to be torched alive? Do you know what it feels like to be humiliated and be impaled upon on a cross? And left to bleed to death for your amusement? You have never felt a single ounce of pain your whole life. Did you want to inject as much misery in our lives as you can just because you can?
It all comes down to power in the end, doesn't it? It all comes down to hurting somebody else in some way to make one's self more powerful. By causing horrific pain, Hui felt he would be better, more powerful than those he despised. What a pathetic epitaph to write for himself.

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Published on April 17 2007

Republican presidential hopeful Thompson: Money-making part of Jewish tradition - - Israel News
Speaking to an audience at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington D.C., Thompson said that, "I'm in the private sector and for the first time in my life I'm earning money. You know that's sort of part of the Jewish tradition and I do not find anything wrong with that." Thompson later apologized for the comments that had caused a stir in the audience, saying that he had meant it as a compliment, and had only wanted to highlight the "accomplishments" of the Jewish religion. "I just want to clarify something because I didn't [by] any means want to infer or imply anything about Jews and finances and things," he said. "What I was referring to, ladies and gentlemen, is the accomplishments of the Jewish religion. You've been outstanding business people and I compliment you for that."

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Published on April 16 2007

American radio icon Don Imus disgraced, fired after threat to reveal 9/11 secrets - Pravda.Ru
In a clear sign of its intent to reign in dissident American media personalities, and their growing influence in American culture, US War Leaders this past week launched an unprecedented attack upon one of their most politically 'connected', and legendary, radio hosts named Don Imus after his threats to release information relating to the September 11, 2001 attacks upon that country.
"War Leaders?" Is Pravda referring to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson??
According to European reports of the events surrounding Don Imus that have gripped the United States this past week,
Yes, I know *I* have personally been gripped by the Imus saga lately. That, and the gripping NASCAR drama. And doing my gripping *^&%* taxes.
it was during an interview with another American media personality, Tim Russert, who is the host of a television programme frequently used by US War Leaders, wherein while decrying the state of care being given to American War wounded stated, "So those bastards want to keep these boys [in reference to US Soldiers] secret? Let's see how they like it if I start talking about their [in reference to US War Leaders] secrets, starting with 9/11." But, to the US War Leaders, Don Imus represented the most serious threat, to date, of the growing assault against them by America's media personalities threatening to expose the truths behind the events of September 11, 2001 and the Iraq/Afghanistan Wars; and to such an extent that another American media personality, Rosie O'Donnell, has expressed concern that US Military Leaders could actually imprison Mr. Imus.
So when Rosie finally gets herself fired, it'll be the US War Leaders (Sharpton and Jackson) who get the blame, right? I'm sure the War Leaders also consider Rosie a "serious threat". Sigh. But then again, Pravda is the same news site that also carries these gripping headlines: USA admits it interferes into Russia’s internal affairs Sex after childbirth: another tough job of motherhood and my personal favorite: USA spends over 100 million dollars on coups in former USSR, which features this little statement:
The USA has spent over 100 million dollars on so-called color revolutions in post-Soviet republics of Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. The figures were unveiled in a documentary by French film-makers titled “Revolution.com. The USA. The Conquest of the East.” According to French film-makers, the USA stands behind a whole series of color coups: the velvet revolution in Serbia, the revolution of roses in Georgia, the orange revolution in Ukraine and the tulip revolution in Kyrgyzstan. “Four violent revolutions, four totalitarian regimes and vestiges of the erstwhile Soviet power sank into oblivion within a couple of weeks. The events happened under one and the same scenario: falsified elections are held, authorities show desperate resistance and eventually give way to protesters,” the film-makers say.
Hmmmm.... I must have learned *something* last week, since the grade on the paper I wrote reflects the fact that the Velvet Revolution occurred in Czechoslovakia. Or was it orange velvet in Serbia? Whatever. It's good to know that the US is so all-powerful that a mere 100 million dollars is enough to bring democracy to nearly every country in the former Eastern bloc. Money well spent, and a definite bargain in my opinion. Probably couldn't falsify a vote here for the same amount!!

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Published on April 16 2007

At least 32 dead in Virginia shooting rampage - Yahoo! News What news to come home to....this is incredible. Just awful. Please say one for all these families. [Update] And of course, here we go.
The shooting was bound to revive debate in the United States about gun violence. "We live in a society where guns are pretty well accepted," said Jim Sollo, of Virginians Against Handgun Violence. "There are 200 million guns in this society and obviously some in the wrong hands."

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Published on April 12 2007

Influential author Vonnegut dies at 84 - Yahoo! News
"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."

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Published on April 5 2007

As an update to this post, one of my myriad readers sent me this little story:
Fifty Years of Math 1957 - 2007 Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The counter girl took my $2 and I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried. Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s: 1. Teaching Math In 1950s A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit? 2. Teaching Math In 1960s A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100 His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit? 3. Teaching Math In 1970s A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit? 4. Teaching Math In 1980s A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20. 5. Teaching Math In 1990s A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers. ) 6. Teaching Math In 2007 Un hachero vende una carretada de madera para $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?
I can 'fess up. I learned math in the 1960's and 1970's. And if you ever got a good look at my checkbook, you would be able to tell.

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Published on April 1 2007

Thompson Declares Candidacy, Joining G.O.P. Field - New York Times
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson on Sunday joined the crowded field of Republicans running for the White House in 2008 and proclaimed himself the ''reliable conservative'' in the race. ''Things are starting to coalesce and I feel very, very optimistic about my future,'' Thompson said Sunday, despite his single-digit polling.''I am the reliable conservative. My record shows that. All that people have to do is look at my record, and I am one individual that they can count on,'' Thompson said.

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Published on March 25 2007

DefenseLink News Article: Medal of Honor Heroes Set the Standard, England Says
WASHINGTON, March 22, 2007 – Medal of Honor recipients are heroes, despite their many humble objections to the label, and are important to the fabric of our society, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England told those gathered yesterday to celebrate the official naming of March 25 as National Medal of Honor Day. Congress this month designated March 25 each year as National Medal of Honor Day. The day is significant as the day the first Medal of Honor was presented in 1863. ......... Since 1863, 3,444 servicemembers have received the nation's highest military honor for courage under fire. There are 112 recipients living today.
It is more than past time that they had a Day of their own. I've been privileged enough to know a MOH recipient personally, growing up with his kids, once ferrying him down Main Street at the head of the Independence Day celebration here in town. Remember that, Shawny?

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