Friday, July 31, 2009

"Cash for Clunkers" Out of Cash?

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The government's amazing "Cash for Clunkers" program is a steal for both the auto industry and consumers alike but is now under review in Washington. The program promises vehicle owners up to $45oo to trade in less fuel efficient automobiles for a new and more fuel efficient ride. The original budget for the program was $1 billion dollars and that money may have dried up much quicker than expected. "Cash for Clunkers" may be suspended as of Friday while government officials decide on our options.

As crazy as it sounds I think we need more funding for the program ASAP!! The reason for this is that the original $1 billion dollars was set aside to promote the sale of 250,000 new vehicles. If we have already blown through that many auto sales in the past week or so, this may be exactly what we need to really "stimulate" the economy. It's basically a stimulus package with direction. For once I think the government should spend more money!!!! Keep the cars moving people. Oh, and of course this reduces our carbon footprints!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Older Men and Women See Highest Jobless Rate Since Great Depression

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The new faces of the unemployed seem more and more to be middle aged men and women. According to USA Today, "Jobless rates for men and women older than 55 are at their highest level since the Great Depression, government data show. White men over 55 had a record 6.5% unemployment rate in the second quarter, far above the previous post-Depression high of 5.4% in 1983. The jobless rate for older black men was higher — 10.5% — but more than a percentage point below its 1983 peak. The most remarkable change is in the unemployment rate for black women: 12.2%, far below the historic peak of 20% in 1983. Hispanic unemployment is about 6 percentage points below historic highs, too."

In a society where we are raised to believe that hard work and sacrifice will lead to rewards, we are forced to rethink and reprogram ourselves. Older white men especially have been known to lead the workforce and are showing their highest jobless rates in decades. This has led the racial divide in unemployment to shrink drastically.

The question remains where will we go from here. We can only hope the answer is "up".

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Car bomb Explodes Outside Police Station in Madrid

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At 5am this morning the plague that is world terror strikes yet again, this time in Madrid, Spain outside of a Civil Guard Police barracks. Basque separatist group ETA is at this time held accountable for the attack that has injured over 46 people including 38 children. According to Spanish authorities ETA has killed over 800 people in Spain and France over the past 40 years. This is their most significant attack since a major decrease in the group due to imprisonment of several high profile members.

ETA surfaced in 1968 and has since been fighting an urban battle against local governments for an independent state in Southern France and Northern Spain. The decimation they leave behind is their sick idea of a normal politician's campaign trail.

Spanish officials noted the blast leaving a crater in the ground over 20 feet deep and blowing the entire side off of the 14 story police barracks. The explosives were so powerful that the car harboring the weapon stock was found approximately 230 feet away. It's a miracle that nobody was killed by the flying automobile!

Even more miraculous is that there were no casualties in the blast and Spanish authorities will no doubt be imprisoning more members of ETA for the attack. To me it appears that ETA has dealt itself the worst blow of all. What's your take?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Taliban Hits Nigeria and Gets Hit Back!!!

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The Taliban is known for savage attacks across the globe and continues to solidify its presence in Northern Nigeria by killing hundreds of civilians. Running under the alias of Boko Haram which literally translates to "Western Education is a Sin", the Taliban arm in Nigeria threatens to overthrow the local government and public security forces with aims at instilling strict and unforgiving Islamic law in an already unstable country.

It seems the Taliban is attempting its own version of the crusades trying to convert people to its faith rapidly and relentlessly. But just like any conquest they have been met with strong opposition.

In recent days in the city of Maiduguri, Nigeria Islamic extremists have killed over 140 people. Now its their turn to take a beating. With the city in shambles, Nigerian troops finally stormed a major Boko Haram headquarters and opened fire with hopes to sever the Taliban arm at the source. Confirmation of the dead still awaits.

The Nigerian Taliban, although showing no definite connection to the Afghan Taliban, holds the same twisted Anti-Western values and is waging war against the Nigerian government with claims that they have been corrupted by "Western" ways.

The war on Terror is no longer just a term created by the Bush Administration. It is a reality around the world from Madrid to New York City to Maiduguri, Nigeria. These people are predators. The real leaders of the world need to come together again and squash them once and for all. Until then we are at the mercy of random acts of violence.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Boxing Champ Vernon Forrest Gunned Down in Atlanta

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Vernon Forrest, known for being the first boxer to ever defeat Shane Mosley was gunned down late Saturday night in Atlanta after pursuing a man who apparently attempted to steal his wallet. According to police and eye-witnesses Forrest pulled into a gas station just to put some air in his tires when he was approached by a man asking for money. Before he knew it the man snatched his walled from Forrest's hands and took off running with Vernon Forrest in hot pursuit.

Forrest's boxing manager Charles Watson tells the story, ""Somehow, Vernon had his wallet out and the guy snatched his wallet and started running," Watson said. "Vernon pursued after him. The guy turned the corner and Vernon didn't see him. He turned around to go back to the car. That's when he started firing." That being said the coward appears to have opened fire on Vernon Forrest while his back was turned.

This is an absolute tragedy. Not only did Forrest hold both Welterweight and Junior Middleweight titles with an overall record of 41 wins and only three losses, he was an avid humanitarian and philanthropist donating money to various charities and funding an organization that provides housing for the mentally disabled in Atlanta called Destiny's Child. He also boxed alongside Oscar De La Hoya in the 1992 Olympic games.

What's worse is that Vernon Forrest was riding Saturday night with his grandson who is just 11 years old. Thankfully he had ventured into the gas station convenient store and was inside when this horrible incident occurred.

Vernon Forrest will be missed by millions. Hopefully the gunman gets what coming to him.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Twitter connects people to God now???

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For centuries the Western Wall or "Wailing" Wall in Jerusalem has been a place where Jewish people from around the globe come to pray. Written messages directly to the All Mighty are written and then placed in the cracks of the wall and all who have visited this sacred place can feel the energy it resonates. But with the coming times and technology, social networking's reigning champ "Twitter" has not only found a way to connect people around the world, but also now it is connecting people's deepest prayers and wishes to one of the holiest places on earth, the Wailing Wall.

In the Old City section of Jerusalem a man by the name of Alon Nil has taken it upon himself to print out peoples prayers from Twitter in the form of "Tweets" and place them in the cracks of the wall by his own hands therefor connecting Jewish people around the world and other believers as well to the Lord.

So is this sacrilegious? I'm sure many conservatives would argue so. But this is indeed the 21st century and dubbed the age of the internet. After all, aren't all creations God's creations and therefore part of the "Grand Design? I see this being quite the controversial topic between religious conservatives and technology advocates. But hey, who doesn't love controversy???

Friday, July 24, 2009

U.S. Border Patrol Agent Murdered on Duty

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Today in California's San Diego County an on duty Border Patrol Agent was murdered in cold blood. After correctly identifying a group of drug smugglers or illegal border crossers, Agent Robert Rosas routinely called for backup and proceeded with his job of rounding up as many international law breakers as possible. This time however, after pursuing one of the many thugs scattering in all directions, the Border Patrol Agent was shot in the head just doing his job!! This is an outrage for not only Americans but also for the good Mexican people who make up some of our hardest working law abiding citizens here in the states.

Did this group consist of members of one of the infamous Mexican drug cartels or independent drug traffickers? That would be my first guess due to the violent nature of the incident. Or maybe it was a human trafficking ring. We may unfortunately never find out as there were no suspects apprehended in the crime. Being shot to death on the Mexican border to me is a horrible place to say goodbye to it all.

Personally I only see bad things coming of this. Border Patrol agents will definitely be ready to shoot and kill anyone that even appears to pose a threat and the slightest miscommunication in the coming months may cause the lives of innocent people crossing the border in search of a better life away from the corruption and violence that has spread across Mexico.

Illegal border crossing, however, is a crime nonetheless. I agree that if people are caught and do not surrender and especially if they put themselves in a violent altercation with armed law enforcement than they are getting exactly what they asked for.

So when it comes to the Mexican cartels smuggling in Kilos of Methamphetamine and Cocaine into our neighborhoods here at home, we need to be ready to open fire. These people are killers at best and don't hesitate to kill their own neighbors at home let alone a U.S. civilian or Border Patrol Agent. And lets not forget the thousands of lives lost and damaged by the drugs and drug addicts right here on our soil. Somebody has to put out the fire.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stem Cells and the Holy Land

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Now leading the world in the advancement of Human Stem Cell Research is Israel!!! What's even better is that they are receiving most of their financial backing from religious institutions across the nation. Once a major controversial topic among religious groups and science advocates, it seems as if Stem Cell Research is finally gaining the attention and backing it deserves. It also goes shows that this really is the wave of the future and those who refuse to jump on board will be left behind.

Israel has made enormous leaps in the study of Pluripotent Stem Cells which have the potential to literally be changed into any other cell in the human body. That means if you have a failing heart, in the future you will be able to have a new heart grown for you in a jar created out of real human heart tissue!!! Better yet, it could be grown from your own healthy heat tissue that still remains. Now that's awesome!!!

Israeli scientist are conducting their experiments with real human tissue rather than the usual test runs on animals such as small rodents. And no, they are not strapping people down to chairs and stealing their bodily tissues. What this does mean though is that medicines and treatments may now be available for human use withing a small three year window of time.

Problems still continue to exist as the Stem Cells can spiral out of control, over produce, or be flat our rejected from the body just like a normal organ transplant can be. Either way I see this being what saves our loved ones from painful cancer related deaths, mental deterioration, lost limbs, and early aging to say the least. I'm all for this one! Are You?

New Jersey Crime Ring includes Rabbis and Mayors

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It's no secret that New Jersey has always been famous for crime and corruption. Today Federal Agents arrested a diverse group of individuals in Newark, N.J. involved in political corruption, bribery, trafficking of human organs, counterfeiting consumer goods, and international money laundering. High ranking government officials were found to be accepting bribes from criminals for extra funding of their campaign ventures and Assemblymen accepted bribes to forward their building ventures but not before being caught on a grand scale.

A few big names arrested on political corruption charges include Assemblymen Daniel Van Pelt and L. Harvey Smith, newly appointed Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey Pete Cammarano, Mayors Anthony Suarez and Dennis Elwell of Ridgefield and Secaucus, N.J., and Leona Beldini, Deputy Mayor of Jersey City, NJ. Can we say "Dirty Jersey"? Their charges range from taking bribes and accepting dirty money for campaign trails among others.

But lets not forget that there were 44 arrested! What about the Rabbis like Saul Kassin of the Syrian Sephardic Jewish Community!!!!! Oy Vey! One confidential informant claimed to have laundered over $3 million U.S. dollars through one of the New Jersey Rabbis in the past two years alone!

To me the wildest arrest so far goes to Levy Izhak Rosenbaum charged with Trafficking of Human Organs to Israel. You take the cake man!!!!!

The federal corruption ring was infiltrated by a pack of confidential informants caught in the mix of the scandals who were in hopes of "ratting" their way out the mess they put themselves in.

I can't wait to see how many more people are arrested in the coming months. I would go ahead and guess that there will be some customs agents involved in the mess and a slew of accountants to say the least. There are bound to be dozens more caught in this tangled web!

A Dead Bin Laden

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In Afghanistan today officials reported that the son of Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks was pronounced dead. He was "collateral damage" of a hellfire missile attack from a from a U.S. Predator Drone. Apparently, regardless of his last name, Saad Bin Laden was not a key player in Al-Qaeda. He was however is the family business of international terrorism and possibly set to one day take over the family business. This is definitely a massive blow to the confidence of Al Qaeda and their ability to hide from facing their crimes. The U.S. Predator Drone is just one of the deadly accurate pieces of military technology that we posess in our pursuit of terrorists that has the capability to isolate the enemies and leave innocent civilians safe from the war looming around them.

So will this bring Osama Bin Laden out of hiding? Will he plot revenge for his son, or is he still such a coward that he will continue living in caves until he's captured?

Maybe this will give him a taste of what the American people went through on September 11th when we lost thousands of husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, children, ants, uncles, and grandparents. Sooner or later Karma comes back to bite you ten fold Osama!!! Eat it!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Money More Bloodshed

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With the continuing war in Iraq and present motions to station thousands of troops in Afghanistan, its no secret that the United States Armed Forces will lose not only thousands more lives but also billions and billions of dollars. Today in Washington the Senate decided to allocate another 128 billion dollars to fund wartime ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course in my opinion I believe this money would be better spent here at home improving our public education system and fixing the housing mess, but hey, who am I?

What I do agree with is the pay increase for U.S. soldiers included in the spending at the tune of a 3.4% jump in salary. Their service and dedication is priceless. President Barack Obama is also planning to eliminate certain military programs that have basically rendered themselves obsolete over the recent decades, such as funding for mid-air combat. We are fighting more and more for the most recent military technology as much as anything else. Whoever has the most sophisticated weapons gets to kill the most enemies and save the most "friendlies". The formula is really that simple.

Taco Bell Chihuahua Dead???

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Wasn't it enought that Michael Jackson, the King of Pop just passed away from a drug related tragedy? Or what about Farrah Fawcett's losing battle with Cancer? It's as if the stars of today's generations are dropping like flies.....But not the beloved Taco Bell Dog!!!!!! No more crazy Chihuahua with a Mexican accent saying "Quiero Taco Bell"?! And to add to that, I never knew that the dog was a female! In fact, even though the human voice that she projected was masculine, the dog was a girl named Gidget. I will say this though. She achieved more success in her 15 years than most humans will in their coveted 100. Gidget died from a stroke. Hopefully Taco Bell's profits won't fall with her loss. She will be missed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bill Gates on Public Education

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Billionaire Bill Gates once again is bashing the U.S. public education system explaining that the system is failing to measure its successes and failures accurately and thus lacking the insight to make the improvements necessary to educate the American people. He states that we need to push forward by implementing the proper technologies into the classroom to carry on web based lectures and bring our future generations up to speed with the hyper competitive global economy that now exists after school's out. It's no secret that our public education institutions are seriously lagging behind countries such as Germany and Japan. We not only lack the discipline instilled in their institutions but are so busy trying to "leave no children behind" that we just push each generation through the grades and hope that the rebellious ones drop out. Well it's come back to bite us people!!!!

In a time like today there is nothing more important than educating the masses efficiently and effectively. Our nation as a whole suffers for the ignorance of its citizens both socially and economically. Maybe that's why we are where we are today. Our most qualified executives can't do their jobs and that to me says enough. Then we as a people are forced to sit back while they receive million dollar bonuses that were supposed to be used as bailout money to fix our broken economy. Can we say AIG!!!! Some people need to be slapped!!! Maybe that would teach them something.

And The Ants Go Marching

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The United States Military is upsizing yet again by adding an additional 22,000 Army soldiers to the armed forces. With our troops slowly executing the exit strategy from Iraq it's no surprise that we are preparing for another battle away from home once again in Afghanistan. What's mind blowing to me is the fact that this is where we should have been all along! Now after bloody years in Iraq its as if we are finally going after our September 11, 2001 attackers. The U.S. Army is now approximately 547,000 soldiers strong and ready. Defense Secretary Robert Gates expects 68,000 U.S. Soldiers to be stationed in Afghanistan by the end of this year alone

As for the Iraqi brigades trained to secure the country's streets after our departure, we can only hope that their training has been sufficient to control the historical bloodshed. We've been in the middle of a holy war that has raged for centuries. Can it really be stopped or will we soon be back yet again for another round in this region of the Middle East and others?

Personally I think we are once again at the mercy of the man in the Oval Office. George W. Bush and his father had their agendas of the Iron Fist, pride and glory. As excellent a diplomat as our new Commander in Chief may be, he is about to launch his wartime legacy anew in Afghanistan. The outcome is yet to unravel. It's only a matter of time before the the body counts come home and Mr. Obama is forced to show his bravado. I see the hourglass running out of sand. What do you see?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Finally a bailout on a bailout!

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Major news today surrounds New York based CIT group, a major lender in the retail, garment, and fashion sector, and the federal governments refusal to give them yet another billion dollar rescue package. The federal government has drawn the line concluding that another bailout would be too risky. Last year CIT group received over 2 billion dollars from the Troubled Asset Relief Program aka TARP Funds and is now begging for more and getting the cold shoulder. Private lenders are coming to the rescue with plans to buy up CIT's roughly projected 7.5 billion dollar debt for the coming year. Lenders are planning to buy the debt for a share of the company as a whole and for now CIT's major bondholders are lending it enough money to stabilize the company while it gets its act together but not without a double digit interest rate.

So what does this mean for the people? It means another crap shoot. Finally the government is refusing to bail someone out for billions of dollars and forcing them to take responsibility and find a solution to the hole they've dug themselves. However, the unemployment rate in 15 states here in the U.S. is officially over 10% and climbing!! If CIT goes under, major retailers and fashion companies will be unable to handle paying their employees and will be forced yet again to slash thousands of jobs. We already have enough college graduates and qualified trained Americans flooding the labor pool and unemployment lines. Unfortunately yet again someone has to bail out Wall Street to save Main Street.