Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sometimes I wonder what goes through people's heads.

I watch Suze Orman every Saturday Night at 9:00pm on MSNBC.  About a couple of months ago, during her segment Can I Afford It?, I just howled. Some woman wanted to buy a "pet calf."

I just about split my side laughing. Just found the segment on YouTube to share it with you.

Suzy called her back about 2 weeks ago to see if she had purchased the calf anyway. I am happy to report that the woman came to her senses and did not. The woman says that when she starts thinking about having a pet calf, she goes to a local petting zoo.

I'm still chuckling about it.

More on Honey Bees

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Will the bailout work?

With Congress set to adjourn next week for the election season, time is short to work out the details of the plan and get it passed.

Congressional leaders, including many key Democrats, had already been considering such a rescue plan, and they indicated quick acceptance of the proposals.

On the sidelines, however, there is deep scepticism on both left and right - with conservative Republicans objecting to any more bail-outs, and many Democrats asking why we should help Wall Street rather than the four million people whose homes are being foreclosed, or repocessed.

And the presidential candidates, who are being left on the sidelines in the negotiations, are also reluctant participants in the process.

Both realise that a sizeable bail-out that commits the Federal government to significant new spending will severely limit their plans - either to cut taxes or to introduce a new health care plan - in the year after the election.

One model being talked about is the Reconstruction Finance Corporation introduced in the 1930s during the Depression. But it should be remembered that in 1933, President-elect Franklin Roosevelt refused to agree a bi-partisan deal with President Hoover to stave off the collapse of the entire US banking system, which shut down completely on the eve of his inauguration.

Full BBC Story

Independent Political Groups Return With 527 Ads

In between all of the TV ads from the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain, you may have noticed some new political ads cropping up by groups with funny-sounding names.

Full NPR Text and Radio Report

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Obama Campaign Holds Policy Briefing on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Surrogates for Sen. Barack Obama briefed reporters Tuesday on the senator's support for repealing the military's discriminatory policy, saying it is outmoded and serves as a hindrance to recruiting the best and brightest for the nation's Armed Services.

Full Story from The Advocate

Troubles in Hershey, PA

On the Campaign Trail

Can Obama keep Hershey sweet?

Free trade - and the job losses that the unions say come with free trade pacts - are big news in Hershey.

The Hershey company - the town's biggest employer and America's biggest confectionery manufacturer - last year announced plans to shed 1500 jobs in the US, 900 of them in Hershey itself.

The firm also announced its intention to move some of its operations to Mexico, where labour is cheaper.

The unions say that the job losses are a direct result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) between the US, Mexico and Canada, and that more deals - like the proposed free trade agreement with Colombia - will mean more job losses.

Mr Obama has pledged to renegotiate America's trade deals to include greater protection for workers and the environment, partly in order to level the playing field and reduce the flow of American jobs abroad.

Full BBC Story

Clean Power

New Ad from Al Gore:

When Bees Attack

Bee problem in Miami; Bee shortage in Italy. Is there a connection? See earlier post.

The Two-Minute Ad

Notice to McCain: It's the economy, Stupid!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008



A tractor-trailer carrying $182,000 in nickels was involved in a fatal crash with a second tractor-trailer in Mims, FL around 5:22 a.m. The money was being transported from Philadelphia to Miami.

Full Story

This Day in History

Ike Aftermath Video

FEMA Watch: Operation Ike

From the Dallas Morning News

Hurricane Ike evacuees began applying for assistance Tuesday to move to hotels and motels after the Federal Emergency Management Agency opened a transitional sheltering program.

The FEMA program will pay for eligible evacuees' lodging through Oct. 14.

More than 180,000 had registered by 11 a.m. A more recent figure was not available.

Officials urged evacuees to register online if possible because of long waits on the 24-hour hotline.

Register online??? These people have no electricity. I'm sure their computers were washed out to sea!

Good Gravy!

The temporary housing program is available to evacuees whose home is in a county that has been designated as a disaster area and whose home is inaccessible or uninhabitable because of damage or lack of power.

FEMA also must be able to verify the evacuee's identity.

Kenny Shaw, director of Dallas' Office of Emergency Management, said he had heard reports of people showing up at hotels without authorization.

He expressed concerns that the FEMA program will not pay for evacuees' food, transportation or incidental expenses.

"If they don't have money for food or anything else, that leaves them out," he said.

This story is not being followed in the media like Katrina was, due to the upcoming presidential election. What a shame. These people deserve better.

Full Story

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Health Officials: HIV epidemic a crisis in U.S.

The HIV epidemic in the United States is a crisis, federal health officials told a House panel Tuesday, urging additional programs to specifically protect and educate African Americans, Latinos and gay and bisexual men -- the groups hardest hit by the virus that causes AIDS.

Their testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform came a little more than a month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study indicating that new HIV infections in the United States had been underestimated by 40% every year for more than a decade. The study concluded that there are about 56,300 new infections each year, not the 40,000 usually cited.

"We need to do so much more than we're doing right now," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC. "And we need to get AIDS back on the radar screen. We need to highlight the fact that this isn't just something that happens underground. This is something that is still posing a threat to college students and to young men and women across our nation's fabric."

The new numbers, published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., were found through improved testing and were not an actual increase in new infections, which have remained relatively constant since the late 1990s.

The higher estimates, however, served as a reminder that preventing transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus is still an issue in the United States, where the prevalence of HIV is greater than in Canada, Australia, Japan or any Western European country except Switzerland.

Full LA Times Story

Politics, Politics everywhere, but don't forget the aftermath of Hurricane Ike!

From NPR:
Hunt Is On For Generators, Gasoline In Houston

Basic necessities are still out of reach for many people in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Ike. Few stores are open, and those that are have long lines of customers. One Home Depot that was open had people swarming for generators and other supplies.

Listen to full story.

Great Response

Yesterday's Response:

Today's ad:

McCain: Out of touch; Out of sync

From my New Oxford American Dictionary:
fundamentals |ˌfəndəˈmentl|
Forming a necessary base or core; of central importance : the protection of fundamental human rights | interpretation of evidence is fundamental to the historian's craft.
   • affecting or relating to the essential nature of something or the crucial point about an issue : the fundamental problem remains that of the housing shortage.
   • so basic as to be hard to alter, resolve, or overcome : the theories are based on a fundamental error.

noun (usu. fundamentals)
a central or primary rule or principle on which something is based : two courses cover the fundamentals of microbiology.
   • a fundamental note, tone, or frequency..

In a day of buyouts and bankruptcy on Wall Street, McCain again says the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

Monday, September 15, 2008

You Tube and Black Monday

I haven't heard anyone call it "Black Monday" ... YET, however, I checked my stock portfolio and see sound investments slowly sinking, but nothing has gone down the drain. Texas is still looking for FEMA who keeps saying that it is only a couple of hours away and news this morning of school systems paying parents to come to the school to talk about their children's education while paying the students to do well on their tests have me VERY concerned. All this and more bombarding the air waves creates a very sad day here in the Good old U S of A.

So, I'm taking a YouTube break while all this bad news sinks in and letting you in on the ride.

Next of this rollercoaster ride: One of my favorite segments of that political comedy show on HBO, Real Time with Bill Maher. The New Rules segment at the end of every show not only makes me laugh, but makes me think. This YouTube video is no exception. It may be from last season, but it still rings true today, so I'm putting it here.

So, until later today, or more than likely early tomorrow, when I post again ... remember to just keep smiling; people will wonder what you are up to.

New Rules: THE MOVIE Part I

New Rules

Dr. Jill

Dr. Jill Biden addressed a warm and packed crowd in Dubuque, Iowa, September 13, 2008:

Blooms of Plunkett

Blooms of Plunkett
A Banana tree in the backyard in full bloom