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Showing posts from October, 2010

President Obama's Accomplishments, mid-term

I know the far right and Tea Party members in particular don't want to be abused by facts, so this won't make any difference to them as we near the mid-term elections, but I thought it interesting to note the accomplishments of our current President at the mid-term. Here's hoping he is this productive in the second two years of his presidency.

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Thanks to Robert P. Watson, PhD., Professor of American Studies, Lynn University, who compiled this list and writes “Like all presidents, Barack Obama has made mistakes. But, as a presidential historian, I have been struck by claims being put forward by Obama’s many critics and the news media that he has accomplished little when, in fact, his presidency is easily one of the most active in history.” ETHICSOrdered the White House and all federal agencies to respect the Freedom of Information Act and overturned Bush-era limits on accessibility of federal documents (2009) Instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and tran…

What the ???

The only way out of a recession or depression is to spend money. Recent articles concerning the housing market and cable companies show that some business areas or individual companies are choosing to ignore their customers, anger their client base, and/or make it as hard as possible for their clients to pay them money.

The housing article is particularly upsetting. The housing market drives much of the country's economy, so finding out first that the market is foreclosing on people who are paying their mortgages and are not in arrears is troubling enough (many articles, not citing a particular one here), but then to find that it is also not giving loans to those who are qualified and overqualified to get loans makes this insanely stupid. "We're in one of the most dire straights since the 30s and 40s. You're paying your mortgage, so we're kicking you out and trying to resell your home. And you want to buy that home we illegally repossessed, you can afford to pay t…

NBA Shoots Itself in the Foot Again

My wife primarily only watches the NFL. Which means that most of the year, she has little to no interest in most other sports and pines away for the return of football season each year. I enjoy both the NFL and the NBA, so can make it nearly year-round with watching sports I like. I have tried to entice my wife into watching and, hopefully, learning to enjoy the NBA but so far she hasn't been able to.

The NBA should be a fluid game filled with constant action and little contact. It should be fun to watch these superb athletes play this sport. It isn't. The NBA has gone rule crazy to a degree that has whistles blowing all the time, which stops play. They have a means by which players are kicked out of the game so fans can't watch their favorites play. They hire athletic thugs and allow them to absolutely beat up on one another in this low-contact sport. When they are simply playing and the whistles aren't sounding, my wife does get into it. But that doesn't happen e…

Mail Delivery

I am used to a certain level of service from my post office. The US Postal Service is the biggest single business entity in the world, delivers more mail more accurately than any other postal service, and it works more days per year than any other postal service. My wife and I frequently put letters in the mail in Calais, ME and they arrive in Southern California within, on average, three days.

Now I'm living in Canada. I have suspected that the Canadian postal service is not as great as America's before, but recent events have really brought it to focus. Twice in the last six weeks my pay check has been sent from a company in "uptown" ("downtown" to most Americans) and it has taken one letter nine business days (13 days total) before it arrived and another, the one I'm currently waiting on, is at 10 business days (15 days total) and I still haven't received it as of yesterday's mail delivery.

My wife and I have a Zip.ca subscription. The vast m…

Bullying

I'm torn by this recent increase in bullying and suicides by teens in America. I'm torn because I don't think it is actually an increase in the acts themselves, just higher profile acts that are making it to the national media. I'm also torn because I don't understand the thought processes that lead to the bullied committing suicide.

I was bullied throughout my formative years. In grade school and into junior high school, I was a small kid. I wore a lot of blue. I was teased and picked on and called a "Smurf", "Smurfette", and, as my peers and I were starting to discover curse words, worse names. I hated it, but it taught me to be quick witted with comebacks and quicker still with my feet -- I could outrun nearly everybody at that age.

In junior high the bullying got more physical at times. I had a few people who liked to physically push and shove and others who threatened me with harm. Hell, even after I had one summer where I grew a number of …