Saturday, May 31, 2008

Time running out for survivors of cyclone in Burma

If the carrot of U.N. free aid to those in Burma (Myanmar) who have suffered from the ravages from the recent Cyclone, doesn't work, then maybe the stick is in order. And what might that be? I suggest that the Military Junta be told, that they will be held responsible for any deaths due to disease from the second wave of hardship on its people and they will be subject to being tried for Crimes against Humanity in the World Court and that all their assets in Banks will be confiscated.

It is getting indeed very critical now there. The latest news report can be found by
clicking here.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What were Scott McClellan's choices as Press Secretary for President Bush

News out on Scott McClellan's new book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception." has him exposing another picture of the "goings on" in the White House leading up to the war in Iraq. It is not a pretty picture. Click here for the complete news story.

Scott decided now to do a "come clean" book on the President and his Administration. He had another choice as well, which, in my view, would have served him better: to resign from office as did Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. He chose to stay on and, in doing so, put his own feelings aside and chose to represent the President and the Administration's position, as accurately and professionally as he could. He certainly did that very well. However, when I look at the moral dilemma he faced, I come up with a line from the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that fits this situation perfectly: "He chose poorly!" You see Scott chose to be loyal to an individual, the President, instead of being loyal to the Country and the principles for which we stand, the truth and keeping his integrity. Paul O'Neill chose to take the high ground.

Now I am happy Scott had the courage now to spill all and I certainly will buy and read his book. But think of where we would be today if they all had the courage to listen and act on that internal compass we all have that says what's right and what's wrong. I do not judge Scott here but merely look to see the options he had before him. One never knows how one will respond in any given situation. But I would hope that I would have chosen to quit as well, and have when situations present themselves where one's integrity is certainly at stake. I hope you would too, as we all are tested from time to time.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Mars mission brings back memories of the greatness of America!

It was back in the 1960's when I was working on government contracts related to Mariner and Viking Mars missions. At that time I was a Chemical Technician analyzing the materials in the Heat Shield under a contract awarded to Avco Corp. Space and Missile Division in Lowell Mass. The idea of working on these programs as well as the Apollo program, gave much pride to all of us. Even today when we meet someone who also worked on these programs we greet them with admiration and a special connection. It was an inspirational time. One felt the country was doing something for mankind and there would be benefits for all, in years to come. The thing that I remembered most was the contrast of these activities and the positive feelings they produced versus those pursuits related by others to waging war. Today, it is the same contrast and awareness for me on this Memorial Day.

Congratulations to all who touched this successful Phoenix Mars program for your ingenuity, for advancing the knowledge of mankind, and to pursue creative science for peaceful purposes, other than war.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Hillary now waiting in case Barack gets assassinated. Shame, shame shame Hillary!

One can't imagine the extremes Hillary is willing to go to in order to stay in the campaign for the Democratic Nomination over Barack Obama. Today she says, and I quote, "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it," she said, dismissing the idea of dropping out.

If this isn't way over the top, then I don't know what is. To even suggest that, as a possibility, is incendiary and shows just what she is waiting for. Shame, shame, shame on you, Hillary. You wouldn't know how to be Classy if you tried. You have taken the low road with Bill for so long you must be used to it. Barack must eliminate you publicly now for consideration as a VP candidate after those comments and seal your political fate into obscurity.

To read the entire article click here.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hillary's up to no good!

Hillary said today that she might take the issue of seating the delegates from Florida and Michigan and was willing to have a floor fight at the Democratic Convention. Hillary wants a floor fight all right, but not to just seat thew delegates from Michigan and Florida., she wants to win the nomination and take it away from Barack Obama and will try to play Hardball at the Convention by getting Super Delegates to consider changing their minds and support her. This has the look and feel of a a food fight by Hillary and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore and other Super Delegates need to nip this in the bud before the Democrats lose the election in the Fall. That would be a real tragedy and I would not put it past Hillary and Bill Clinton. It's time for the Clinton dynasty to fold the tent gracefully. But we all know that won't happen, will it.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thanks so much

Over 27,000 visitors and over 45,000 pages read and over 700 posts.. All I can say is a humble thanks.

Headline reads: China must find shelter for 5 Million people

Think about this tragedy as compared to Hurricane Katrina and the lack of an effective response by the Bush Administration and the massive effort about to be undertaken in China. My hat is off to Chinese citizens who are tasked with planning and executing this effort, as this is of historic proportions. The world can learn much from their response, both from a good point of view and from the inevitable lessons they will learn from their mistakes. One can only pray for the suffering of the countless homeless, that help is on the way and that there suffering and burden is eased by many trying to offer assistance. As I have said here before, I have been very critical of the Chinese government in the recent past. But the time has come to praise the effort of the people of China and for them to know that the people of the World are saddened by their loss and we pray for your end of your suffering. Think about this one more time. 5 Million people are homeless! God help them all.

To read more click here.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Brown Accuses Myanmar of Being `Inhumane' to Cyclone Victims (reprint)

This story is so important I have copied and pasted it here from Bloomberg news, unedited.

Brown Accuses Myanmar of Being `Inhumane' to Cyclone Victims
By Demian McLean and Sarah Jones

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown accused Myanmar's military regime of ``negligence'' and being ``inhumane'' for its refusal to admit more relief workers and supplies to the cyclone-hit country.

Brown said Cyclone Nargis, which has left as many as 2.5 million victims at risk of disease and hunger, has created an ``intolerable situation'' in the country formerly known as Burma.

Since the storm struck on May 3, the government has barred most foreign relief workers, rejected offers of helicopters and boats and accepted only a trickle of the aid offered by the world. Brown is among the most vocal world leaders criticizing Myanmar's rulers, while France's envoy to the UN said yesterday that the Junta's resistance to delivery of aid was close to criminal negligence that would allow intervention by force.

``It is being made into a man-made catastrophe by the negligence, the neglect, the inhuman treatment of the Burmese people by a regime that is failing to act and to allow the international community to do what it wants to do,'' Brown said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp.'s World Service aired today.

China is backing Myanmar as it resists pressure from the U.S. and other nations to accept more international aid, saying other countries must show ``due respect.''

``We are shifting from a situation of non-assistance to people in need to a situation that could lead to a true crime against humanity if we go on like that,'' Ambassador Jean- Maurice Ripert told reporters after a meeting of the UN General Assembly. ``People are dying every day. We want action.''

Security Council

Ripert said France will press for Security Council action next week.

In a May 15 letter, 43 members of the U.S. House of Representatives asked President George W. Bush to support efforts by France and other nations to seek greater access to the disaster-hit area and to consider a humanitarian intervention, Agence France-Presse reported today.

The U.S. government, which today extended sanctions on Myanmar, isn't endorsing measures beyond diplomatic efforts at persuading the regime to accept more help.

``We're going to keep working the politics of this in the hopes that we can get more aid and, importantly, expertise down to those areas,'' State Department spokesman Sean McCormack in Washington said.

Opposition Calls

Brown has so far resisted calls from the opposition Conservatives to set a deadline for invoking the UN's ``responsibility to protect'' clause, citing private aid groups who said air-dropping relief would be ineffective and a ``distraction.''

``We will continue to use every international channel to pressure them to do what is the right thing by the people,'' Brown said today. ``The issue is not their survival as a regime, the issue is the survival of people who are desperately in need of help.''

United Nations emergency-relief coordinator John Holmes, who is due to arrive in Myanmar tomorrow to help expedite aid delivery, said this week that between 1.6 million and 2.5 million people have been ``severely affected'' by the cyclone and need help. The death toll from the storm has reached almost 78,000, the Associated Press cited state television as saying. An additional 56,000 people are missing.

Four more U.S. C-130 cargo planes landed in the Myanmar city of Yangon yesterday, and the contents of two of them were handed to charities instead of the regime, according to McCormack. He said it was the first time the U.S. has been able to ensure that aid has gone directly to international humanitarian groups in the country.

Relief Flights

At least four more U.S. relief flights are planned for today and tomorrow, McCormack said. About 10 Red Cross planes have arrived in the past week, with supplies distributed by locals.

The military regime today took a group of foreign diplomats on a tour of the cyclone-hit Irrawaddy River delta, AFP said, citing an unidentified diplomat. It's the first organized tour since the cyclone struck, the report said, without elaborating.

The cyclone is the worst natural disaster to hit Southeast Asia since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed more than 220,000 people.

Other countries must show ``due respect'' to Myanmar, said Wang Baodong, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, at a briefing yesterday. ``Myanmar is a sovereign country. In the end, rescue and relief work will have to rely on the Myanmar government and people.''

China's Role

China helped block French and U.S.-led efforts to discuss Myanmar's resistance to granting visas to aid workers last week in the UN Security Council. In 2006 and 2007, China opposed efforts to discuss the Myanmar crackdown on political opponents in the council.

In Myanmar, donated food, water and supplies have been accepted, with the provision that the military distributes them in almost all cases.

``International aid workers need unrestricted access to the disaster area and have to be able to work unhindered,'' German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said this week. The first German flight reached Yangon on May 15, carrying six water-purification systems that can supply 40,000 people daily.

About 30 medical workers from Thailand arrived in Myanmar today, along with $230,000 of supplies, AFP reported, citing Prat Boonyawongvirot, permanent secretary at the health ministry. They are part of a group of more than 100 medical staff from Asian nations that the junta has allowed in.

A French naval vessel loaded with 1,500 tons of food, shelter and medicine is set to arrive today off Myanmar's coast and would have small boats and helicopters deliver aid with or without the government's agreement, Ripert said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Demian McLean in Washington at dmclean8@bloomberg.netSarah Jones in London at

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Friday, May 16, 2008

China is doing its best to save lives after earthquake, unlike Myanmar

I have been first to criticize the Chinese government in the recent past. However, my heart goes out to them for there heroic effort to save lives in the aftermath of the 7.9 Earthquake. They have accepted help from Russia, Japan and other countries and have sent tens of thousands of troops on foot to help rescue survivors trapped under rubble and to clear roads and restore some services. There is limited things we can do to help them, but for one thing, we can pray for the families who are suffering.

Contrast this situation and the response by the Chinese government to that of Myanmar. Here we are a full 2 weeks after their disaster and aid still is only allowed to trickle into their country. This is not because the world has offered help. It is due to the paranoid leadership of the country. And while the world still watches, they continue to be resolute. I compare this to the atrocities of Nazi Germany when the rest of the world watched and stood by to see the Holocaust without doing a thing to stop it. The World must act through the UN to end this senseless and unnecessary catastrophe from occurring.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban

This is huge news in the San Francisco area, as the news is spreading quickly about this decision in a 3-2 vote, by the Court . This during an election year and at a time where Republicans opposed to Gay marriages will certainly be vocal in their disapproval. It may rally the base of the Right Wing of the Republican Party. But this news has been long overdue as seen by many and what has been seen as prevention of equal rights. Many who heard the news cried. It is a history making day for California.

To read the breaking news click here.

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Is John Edwards endorsement of Obama a "better late than never" situation?

Personally I don't think so. Edwards could have helped Obama a while ago when people were having some second thoughts of his electability in the General election over the Rev. Wright flap. Instead he waited until it was evident Hillary couldn't stop Obama by the numbers before he stepped up to the plate. I guess it's calculated politics on his part. What Bill Richardson did as did Ted Kennedy in their early endorsement of Barack Obama was principled and courageous. In my opinion to hold out this long was pure and simple positioning.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hillary's determination and what's scary about it

The media tonight speaks of Hillary's determination to continue the race in spite of the reality on the ground. A reporter stated tonight that Hillary and her campaign seem oblivious to the reality of the situation in delegate count and that reality is going to hit them in the face soon.

Is she acting Presidential? In one way, yes, if President Bush is the comparison. He too has repeatedly denied the facts on the ground, has shown his stubbornness and in the face of all the data, refused to pay attention to it. In that respect, Hillary is just like Bush. I don't want another Bush in the White House in the disguise of Hillary Clinton or John McCain. She seems fanatical at this point and someone is going to have the difficult task to tell her it's over and that won't be Bill either.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

At what point does the world hold China to account for Burma?

The tragedy in Burma (Myanmar) is getting the world community very mad at both the government of Burma and now of China, which borders the country. China is the only country with a good relationship with the Military Junta but with the problems of delivering aid to the innocent civilians in that country now more at peril it is about time the world speaks out not only about the Military leadership in Burma but now the role that China is playing here. Too many world problems are connected to China. There is North Korea, Somalia and the Darfur genocide, Tibet, Iran and now Burma. When is the world going to see that all roads lead to China. And with this latest appalling action of seizing the aid from the U.N. and hoarding it from their citizens, the world can not sit by. If China is not immediately helpful here, the Olympics should not be attended by anyone including athletes. China should not get a pass here. This is a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportion and if China wants to be a part of the civilized world then it needs to act more civilized and use its influence, pressure and threat of hostility if necessary to help the innocent people suffering in Burma.

Wake up!

UPDATE: May 10, 2008

Headlines tonight from Time reads as follows:

Is It Time to Invade Burma?

It looks like others are thinking the same thing as I am.

To read their entire article click here.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Military Junta in Burma makes a big gamble delaying aid.

Here's the gamble the leaders of the Military in Burma are making. As they control the average soldier and even non commissioned officers, many of the soldiers families are going to get really sick and die without assistance. Then ask yourself how loyal do you think the soldiers will be to their leaders. My guess, not very loyal. It's one way how a Coup d'etat gets its start. And add this to the current equation, the people are still in shock and have not yet gotten from shock to anger. That is coming too. The scariest thing the Military leaders fear is to allow foreigners into their country. The fact is, that is their only hope for survival.

UPDATE: May 9, 2008

News this morning that the Military Junta of Burma has seized all the food and aid. Here is a small quote from the story:

" Myanmar's junta seized U.N. aid shipments Friday meant for a multitude of hungry and homeless survivors of last week's devastating cyclone, forcing the world body to suspend further help.

The aid included 38 tons of high-energy biscuits and arrived in Myanmar on Friday on two flights from Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates.

"All of the food aid and equipment that we managed to get in has been confiscated," U.N. World Food Program spokesman Risley said.

"For the time being, we have no choice but to end further efforts to bring critical needed food aid into Myanmar at this time," he said."

It seems as though they may be trying to help themselves and the soldiers by seizing the aid. This action by the Military leaders will certainly deteriorate conditions in Burma, as air born disease spares no one including the Military leaders and their families. It is a sad day indeed when the world community must stop aiding innocent civilians because of the shortsightedness of a few. Surrounding countries will be affected by the disease that is spawned there and so will their more friendly allies like China.

To read the complete article click here.

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Top 10 reasons why Hillary can't stop running for President

10. She thinks she can still win.
9. She needs the money she hopes to still raise
8. She still wants all the votes counted and recounted
7. She's gotten use to campaigning
6. She hates being in the Senate
5. She needs the Frequent Flyer miles
4. She likes being talked about, even when it's bad.
3. She's still hoping to be a regular on Saturday Night Live
2. She's trying be a good role model for Chelsea so that at least one parent is

And the number 1 reason she can't stop running for President
1. Bill

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Thanks to North Carolina voters and Indiana voters. Barack stops Hillary

The voters of North Carolina didn't let me down and neither did the voters of Indiana because they did what we all had hoped they would do, they helped end the Hillary push and helped to close this long drawn out Primary process that was damaging to the Democratic Party and the Democratic candidate Barack Obama. This will allow the Democrats to start to focus on John McCain. Race was an issue and Rev. Wright was an issue that got Hillary some of the votes she got.

But the voters did restore my belief and help quell my skepticism. Thank you voters in North Carolina, where I have spent some quality time and met some great people in the Raleigh/Chapel Hill area. You have done your Country proud.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hillary's "Mission Accomplished" moment

When I listened to Hillary's victory speech tonight, it sounded like Bush's Mission Accomplished moment. Declaring victory in Indiana while the results were still "TOO CLOSE TO CALL" there and Barack winning North Carolina with a double digit resounding defeat of Hillary, it is so symbolic of Bush's denial of every fact during his presidency. Maybe Hillary is Presidential material?

And why is it that African-American districts in Indiana, which favor Barack, taking so long in reporting tonight?

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Are voters shallow thinkers?

Are voters shallow thinkers or are they just trying to make sense from all the spin out there? It seems to me that those that want to get above the fray can do so by taking the time it takes to learn about the issues independently from the spoon feeding we get from the media at large. The problem is that most are busy working trying to feed their families and take care of their needs and have little time left to do more than just survive.

What also contributes to this problem is that the greed in Corporate America is rampant. CEO's paychecks are way out of line to their contribution to the bottom line of their businesses. For example, Forbes has listed top CEO's and their Executive pay packages. I looked up one in particular and calculated what their hourly rate would be assuming they worked a 40 hour week. Now I know they work more hours but it still makes the point. Can you guess what their hourly rate might be assuming they work for all 52 weeks, where they really don't because of vacations they take? Well it will amaze you but the hourly rate for just one of the CEO's was $25,000 per hour. Now compare that to what an average worker makes and you get a sense at the outrage. As long as we keep the gap this large we are undercutting the middle class and the future tax base of this country.

Voters normally don't have the time to even think. Many eligible voters don't even vote as they don't believe their vote for any candidate will make any difference at all in their lives. One casual review that this is nonsense is to look at what happened over the past 7 plus years of President Bush. We need to choose our President more wisely or our fate, as well as our families and those generations to come, are doomed.

As a society, we think going up the corporate ladder is the way to be "successful". That is not true and is the source of a lot of our troubles. One answer is to work for yourself. That takes time too but at least you are in control of the outcome, not someone else. That is what's wrong with the Primary process. We don't control the outcome with our votes. It is decided by others who have self interests at stake and will not vote what we want but what's best for them individually. You see our Democracy has been bought and paid for by Corporate America as the ultimate bosses of most of the candidates. That is the one good reason to vote for Barack, as he is the least beholding to Corporate interests than either McCain or Hillary. Barack has the least combined income of the 3 candidates and is more like us than any candidate of my memory going back to Eisenhower.

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Open letter to Voters of Indiana and North Carolina

That's right. I have heard all the reasons why Hillary should be your choice in the Primary Tuesday in North Carolina and Indiana. The Rev. Wright issue has given voice and excuses to many not to vote for Obama this past few weeks. Many say Barack Obama isn't ready and others say Barack will create change. There has been a double standard here by Republicans, as McCain has cozied up to Pastors who have said some aweful things, don't believe in Evolution and blame New Orleans residents for the wrath of God which was manifested by Hurricane Katrina. Hillary has enjoined those voices and has been willing to do anything to win. Are these two candidates the people you want as President?

Well, Barack has changed this election in ways not imagined a year ago. He has attracted a new generation to get involved, register to vote and will vote tomorrow, many for the first time. If that isn't change, I don't know what is. He is singly responsible for the renewed interest of the youth of our country. If he can do this he can cross the aisle and get bipartisan support for the changes that need to be made in our government. Help us get rid of the politic of the past. Help us save our country Tuesday and vote for Barack Obama.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Will we make another mistake picking our next President?

With U.S. Fatalities at the highest level in about 6 months, we can expect the run up to our election this Fall to have increased violence. The question is this. If everyone in the World wants to have an effect on our election, should we be listening to them? What do you think?

For myself, if we want to have a more positive influence in the World and a better image than we have had these past 7 plus years now, then we should be listening and contemplating what they are saying to us. They still think we were crazy to elect President Bush, not the first time in 2000, but for the second term he has had. Anyone can make a mistake the first time but with the experience we had with him how could anyone have voted for him the second time. That indeed is a great question. We may repeat that error again in this upcoming election if we are still sleeping.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Prominent Republicans support and praise Hillary. Why?

The big question today: Who do the Republicans really want to run against, Barack or Hillary? It looks as though Chris Matthews, of CNBC's Hardball, has nailed it. He has noticed several prominent Republicans coming to the rescue of Hillary, namely Bill Kristol in his article this Monday in the Washington Post, also, Pat Buchanan and Rush Limbaugh, to name just a few. I think Chris is right on this one. They are all saying Hillary deserves more respect. They say she a candidate who is fighting to compete and deserves praise and credit for what she has done and would make a more formidable candidate, according to these Republicans. But why would they be raising her candidacy? What's their reason? What do they gain if she does better and becomes the nominee? Is Karl Rove nailing this one too and giving the playbook to Republicans in hopes of getting more Independents to vote for her in the remaining primaries? Do they just want to see this go on, as it is good for them?

I think they would love to run against Hillary because, as many have said, the war in Iraq is the issue in the background, but very much there, and Republicans know that if things get worse, they have a chance against Hillary, as she voted as McCain did to give the President authorization to go to war with Iraq. If the war is not a front issue, they know that McCain and Hillary are on the same page on so many issues like suspending the gas tax for the summer months to help consumers temporarily ( Barack is against it as it is a gimmick), and other issues like Energy policy, to name just two issue. They know that the electorate can be fooled, as they have been many times. They are counting on those that are listening to the news and still engaged to consider Hillary for their choice.

To me that is another good reason to vote for Barack Obama. What do you think about the Republicans speaking out in praise of Hillary? And don't just tell me, "Well she has done so well recently and deserves it." Tell me more about Republican motives here.

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