Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Shell Oil also stated record profits today.
We already know about Exxon Mobil.
I don't know how those greedy corporate oil executives can look in their mirrors or get a good night sleep at night.
If only one oil company would reduce the price per gallon by $1.00. They would look good to the public and we'd flock to their stations, which would force others to lower there prices also.
How hard would this be to do? Doesn't seem too hard to me!
Monday, April 28, 2008
Here's the link to snopes.com which has the facts and the sources.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Here are some burglary facts from the FBI which I found online today.
Burglary is the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. A person can be convicted of burglary even if nothing was actually stolen.
A burglary occurs approximately every 15 seconds in the United States.
On average, a burglary results in a dollar loss of about $1,600.
About 30 percent of all burglaries are classified as "unlawful entry," meaning the burglar was able to gain entry without using force — often through an unlocked door or window.
Nearly 66 percent of all burglaries are residential, and of those, 62 percent occur during the daytime. Most burglaries occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., when no one is likely to be at home.
Renters are more likely to be the victims of property crime than homeowners.
Only 13 percent of reported burglaries are solved, or "cleared," by the police.
Only about 15 percent of property stolen in burglaries is recovered by the police.
Nearly 85 percent of all burglaries occur in large metropolitan areas.
Almost half of the nation's reported burglaries occur in the South: 45 percent, as opposed to the Northeast's 11, the Midwest's 20 and the West's 24.
The highest percentage of burglaries occur during the summer months of July and August, when many people are away from their homes on vacation, or have left windows open for ventilation.
Arrest records reported to the FBI indicate that approximately 70 percent of all burglary arrestees are white and 86 percent are male.
About 30 percent of private homes have security systems. Homes without security systems are two to three times more likely to be broken into.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Some questions and answers about the transition:
Why is this happening?
Stopping the analog broadcasts will free up a huge amount of airwaves. The government has auctioned off some of them for use by wireless broadband and cell-phone TV. There's also a drive to use some of the spectrum for a network that can be used in emergency situations by public safety officials.
Do I need a digital converter box?
If you have cable or satellite TV, only extra sets that are not hooked up will be affected. If you get TV over the air — which more than 19 million U.S. households do, according a survey by Nielsen Co. — your TV might not work come Feb. 18. Most new TVs sold today, including flat-panel sets, have digital tuners, sometimes called "ATSC" tuners after the technical standard they use, and won't need a converter box.
"NTSC" is the old, analog tuner standard. Retailers can still sell older TVs if they are labeled as being analog-only.
How much do the converters cost?
Go to http://www.dtv2009.gov or call 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009) to get up to two $40 coupons per household. The converter boxes generally cost $50-$60, so the final cost is between $10 and $20 per box.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
They had commissioned a poll that shows that voters in all 50 states see a link between the war and our sinking economy. That folks across the country think getting out of Iraq is one of the best ways to help fix our deepening economic crisis. Well, DUH, no kidding!
The other email I received had a better message (at least for me, not for GOPee'rs) It was titled 10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don't). I, for one, think that he is as much danger to the USA as Bush has been, can't even imagine if he get's elected:
1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has "evolved," yet he's continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1
2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi."2
3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3
4. McCain opposes a woman's right to choose. He said, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned."4
5. The Children's Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill.5
6. He's one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a "second job" and skip their vacations.6
7. Many of McCain's fellow Republican senators say he's too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He's erratic. He's hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."7
8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8
9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a "false religion." McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church "the Antichrist" and a "false cult."9
10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10
1. "The Complicated History of John McCain and MLK Day," ABC News, April 3, 2008 http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/04/the-complicated.html
"McCain Facts," ColorOfChange.org, April 4, 2008 http://colorofchange.org/mccain_facts/
2. "McCain More Hawkish Than Bush on Russia, China, Iraq," Bloomberg News, March 12, 2008 http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aF28rSCtk0ZM&refer=us
"Buchanan: John McCain 'Will Make Cheney Look Like Gandhi,'" ThinkProgress, February 6, 2008 http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/06/buchanan-gandhi-mccain/
3. "McCain Sides With Bush On Torture Again, Supports Veto Of Anti-Waterboarding Bill," ThinkProgress, February 20, 2008 http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/20/mccain-torture-veto/
4. "McCain says Roe v. Wade should be overturned," MSNBC, February 18, 2007 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17222147/
5. "2007 Children's Defense Fund Action Council® Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard," February 2008 http://www.childrensdefense.org/site/PageServer?pagename=act_learn_scorecard2007
"McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion," CNN, October 3, 2007 http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/mccain.interview/
6. "Beer Executive Could Be Next First Lady," Associated Press, April 3, 2008 http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h-S1sWHm0tchtdMP5LcLywg5ZtMgD8VQ86M80
"McCain Says Bank Bailout Should End `Systemic Risk,'" Bloomberg News, March 25, 2008 http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aHMiDVYaXZFM&refer=home
7. "Will McCain's Temper Be a Liability?," Associated Press, February 16, 2008 http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=4301022
"Famed McCain temper is tamed," Boston Globe, January 27, 2008 http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/01/27/famed_mccain_temper_is_tamed/
8. "Black Claims McCain's Campaign Is Above Lobbyist Influence: 'I Don't Know What The Criticism Is,'" ThinkProgress, April 2, 2008 http://thinkprogress.org/2008/04/02/mccain-black-lobbyist/
"McCain's Lobbyist Friends Rally 'Round Their Man," ABC News, January 29, 2008 http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4210251
9. "McCain's Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam," Mother Jones Magazine, March 12, 2008 http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2008/03/john-mccain-rod-parsley-spiritual-guide.html
"Will McCain Specifically 'Repudiate' Hagee's Anti-Gay Comments?," ThinkProgress, March 12, 2008 http://thinkprogress.org/2008/03/12/mccain-hagee-anti-gay/
"McCain 'Very Honored' By Support Of Pastor Preaching 'End-Time Confrontation With Iran,'" ThinkProgress, February 28, 2008 http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/28/hagee-mccain-endorsement/
10. "John McCain Gets a Zero Rating for His Environmental Record," Sierra Club, February 28, 2008 http://www.alternet.org/blogs/environment/77913/
Friday, April 18, 2008
I drove by the store at the top of my street and they have gas for $3.47 a gallon!! Other places as I drove around were $3.39 or $3.41. I even went by the gas station in Providence that I always went to because of their lower prices and they were $3.39. It's a crime, and I mean that literally. There is NO real reason for the price of gas to be so high other than the greedy oil companies.
I filled up the gas tank in my car a few weeks ago when the price was $3.01 and I thought that was a rip-off. I'm pretty grateful that I don't drive like I used to when I was working. I used to fill up a couple of times a week and don't think I could afford that even if I was still employed.
On a positive note, I have been almost pain free for 6 days now. I don't exactly know why or what changed, but I haven't hurt nearly at all!! I waited for today - day 6 - to go out and do things because I figured the pain would be back by now, but so far, knock on wood, I've been able to have a good, productive day without collapsing. I'm gonna keep my fingers crossed that the pain stays away.
Never in a million years would I have ever thought anyone high up in the church would openly say anything. And to have the Pope himself address it, is really something else. To have him meet with some of the survivors is another surprise.
But he did speak about it and apologized, saying it was a cause of "deep shame" which was an extraordinary thing for him to do. He also pledged to keep pedophiles out of the priesthood. I truly hope this helps the healing of the survivors, many of whom have been dealing with the abuse for decades.
I also thought it was fitting that the survivors who met with the Pope were from the Boston diocese, one of the worst for the abuse, mostly due to the former cardinal who oversaw a cover-up that only made the abuse problems even worse.
Let's hope that the next step the church takes is to punish the priests who weren't punished by the law.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
"Drilling in Bristol Bay would be drilling through the heart of the most important habitat of the most endangered whale on the planet," said Brendan Cummings of the Center for Biological Diversity. “If the North Pacific right whale is to have any chance of survival, we must protect its critical habitat, not auction it off to oil companies." The CBD reports the leasing proposal was made the same day the National Marine Fisheries Service, another federal agency, published a final rule in the Federal Register naming portions of the lease area as critical habitat for the North Pacific right whale. Ooops.
"Unfortunately, for the right whale it’s one step forward, two steps back," said Cummings. "One branch of the federal government is acting to protect the critical habitat of the North Pacific right whale, while another branch is simultaneously proposing to destroy it." It's also reminiscent of the recent MMS decision to lease important polar bear habitat in the Chukchi Sea at the same time the US Fish and Wildlife Service was considering offering the bears protection under the Endangered Species Act. Both agencies are part of Dirk Kempthorne's Department of the Oilterior, uhm, Interior.
The latest leasing proposal would sell the North Aleutian Basin lease in 2011… One more reason we need the Right President to protect the Right Whales. Not to mention the right one to wean us off the oil economy rather than enable it.
Julia Whitty is Mother Jones' environmental correspondent, lecturer, and 2008 winner of the Kiriyama Prize and the John Burroughs Medal Award. You can read from her new book, The Fragile Edge, and other writings, here.
Monday, April 14, 2008
5 key issues
HUMAN RIGHTS: sweatshops, 3rd world community exploitation, international health issues, divestment, child labor, code of conduct.
THE ENVIRONMENT: global warming, rainforest destruction, pollution, recycling, renewable energy, greenwashing, toxic waste, eco-innovations, illegal dumping, sustainable farming.
ANIMAL PROTECTION: factory farming, animal testing, humane treatment, wild animal habitat.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: family farms, local business support, volunteer efforts,
sustainable growth, philanthropic donations, nonprofit alliances, establishing foundations.
SOCIAL JUSTICE : fair wages, fatalities, union busting efforts, health & safety records, discrimination based on: race, gender, age, ability, religion, sexuality, ethnicity.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
This is a wonderful piece of writing and thinking. I wonder who he is going to vote for? I don't see any of the current candidates who would fit into this profile of a leader.
Excerpts from Lee Iacocca's new book "Where Have All The Leaders Gone?"
"Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course.'
Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: 'Throw all the bums out!'
You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs.
While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving 'pompoms' instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of the America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?
I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have. The Biggest C is Crisis!
Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.
On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes.
We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country.
We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs.
Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy.
Our schools are in trouble.
Our borders are like sieves.
The middle class is being squeezed every which way.
These are times that cry out for leadership. But when you look around, you've got to ask: Where have all the leaders gone? Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.
Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.
Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm.
Every one's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.
Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when The Big Three referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it?
Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debit, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem.The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.
I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity.
What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show so me spine for a change? Had Enough?
Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America. In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises: the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Kennedy Assassination, the Vietnam War, the 1970's oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11.
If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to action for people who, like me, believe in America . It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the crap and go to work.
Let's tell 'em all we've had enough."
You might want to check this out, http://www.mrschneidergoestowashington.com/
endorsed by Lee Iacocca, on his website http://www.leeiacocca.net/
Friday, April 11, 2008
A. His lips are moving.
liar [ˈlaiə] noun
a person who tells lies, especially as a habit
Example: You can't trust what he says — he's such a liar.
cheat, con artist, con man, deceiver, deluder, dissumulator, equivocator, fabler, fabricator, fabulist, false witness, falsifier, fibber, jive turkey, maligner, misleader, perjurer, phony, prevaricator, promoter, storyteller, trickster
His latest lie is that we need to stay in Iraq so that Al Queda doesn't take control of the Iraqi oil wells and cause the price of gasoline in the USA to rise. Huh??
And what's that reflection in his sunglasses? And for a man who seldom smiles, his leering smile might tell you.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Usually I cut his fur, but he dislikes it so and it causes quite a bit of frustration for me, so I decided to have him groomed professionally. The thought of leaving him at a grooming salon makes me much too anxious, so I decided to have the groomer come to us.
I've gone out to her truck twice to see him, the first time with treats that he wouldn't eat. He shook so badly I decided to go back in the house and wait before I returned with some water for him. I brought him some cold water and he wouldn't drink it. He whined and wanted me to take him out, so I left again figuring that I'll see him when he's done. I certainly don't want to make it any more difficult for him or the groomer.
It's now 1:15 and about 30 minutes ago, the motor for the grooming van suddenly sputtered, popped and all this blue smoke comes pouring out of one of the side compartments! I went out to be sure Hannibal was safe while Carol the groomer figured out what was going on. It seems that she just had her generator fixed and now it was broken again (though with all the blue smoke, I think she blew the engine) and she didn't know what to do about finishing Hannibal's haircut. I got an extension cord for her and she moved the truck (after many, many attempts) closer to the house so that she could plug in the trimmer and finish the haircut. She won't be able to give Hannibal a bath, but with all the trauma he's had today, it's okay. The bath can wait.
Now it's 2:00 and he's done! I have to admit it looks like I gave him the haircut. Not a great job, but I am glad I didn't have to do it.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Michelle dropped her off a little after 11:30 and Vanessa came about 4:00 to pick her up.
In the meantime, we had a lot of fun together though it didn't start off that way. She did poopies in her diaper just before Michelle left. When I told JaeMae that I was going to change her, she was not a happy kid. She went into the corner and started to cry as if I was getting ready to torture her!
Once I calmed her down, I laid her on the couch and began the process of taking all those layers off. First her shoes, because her pants need to come completely off as I am not the neatest of diaper changers. Then unsnap the onesy (is that how you spell it??) and finally get to the diaper.
As I un-velcroed the diaper I peeked in and she had a diaper full of turds!! As I was moving the diaper a couple of the turds fell onto the floor (aaarrgghh) and I figured I'd pick them up after I put the new, clean diaper on.
One of the turds, a marble sized one, had rolled over the floor to the corner of the coffee table. As I was leaning down to pick them up, Hannibal came over and schllluppp, it was gone!!! He didn't even chew, just swallowed it!!!!
I started laughing so hard that JaeMae joined in, even though I don't think she had a clue as to what had just happened.
After that, we had lunch, took a nap and had just put Hannibal outside when Vanessa showed up. I told her what had happened and she got a good laugh out of it as well.
Needless to say, neither JaeMae or I got any doggie kisses from Hannibal for the rest of the day, as much as he tried!
Friday, April 4, 2008
"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."
"The time is always right to do what is right."
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Okay, so I am finally feeling better so I can now talk about the surprise 50th birthday party we had for my sister, Michelle, on Sunday.
My niece Vanessa did a great job organizing everything and picked a real swanky restaurant to have the party at. Her friend is the chef there so she worked on the food part, I did the invitations and Veronica picked up some of the decorations, along with Vanessa.
Patrick and I headed to BJ's to pick up the cake and we all met at the restaurant about an hour before the guests were to arrive.
Decorations were put up and pictures of Michelle's life were put onto a poster board. Guests started arriving and the place filled up quickly. Some of our relatives were unable to come as one of my mother's sisters had been rushed to the hospital the day before. Friends of Michelle and Mike's came from all over and were all anxious for her arrival. After a few false alarms, Michelle and her husband Michael arrived and the party then went into full force.
One of the things that none of us really thought about prior to the food coming out was the quantity of food you get at these swanky type restaurants. If you have ever been to one of those fancy places you know that quantity is just not there. You get a salad that is pretty much unidentifiable with leaves instead of lettuce. The entree is always quite pretty, but doesn't take up much of the plate.
The appetizers disappeared in moments and if I hadn't been sitting right by one of the tables, I wouldn't have had an opportunity to get anything. The buffet was a salad of questionable greens, pasta and chicken and rolls. In a matter of just a few minutes the food was gone. Gone. Some people were still in line, others, like me, hadn't even gotten up to get anything. After quite awhile another couple of batches of pasta and chicken were put out and, poof, like a magician was there, it disappeared. I think people thought, since it was a buffet, that piling food up on their plate was an okay thing to do.
Unknown to us there was panic in the kitchen because that was all the food they had designated for the party. They scrambled and eventually more chicken and pasta (completely different from the previous) was put out and I finally got to eat. By this time some people had left so we got the cake out and we all sang, which seemed to be something that was very important to Michelle!
As the party wound down, the plan was that Michelle was going to take JaeMae home since Vanessa would have dropped her off 12 hours later. Veronica left with her friend as other people were getting ready to leave. Patrick and I were planning our escape when Vanessa got a call from Veronica that she had gotten into a car accident and she wanted Michelle to go to her.
So Michelle and Mike left, we decided that I would take the baby, presents and balloons to my house until Vanessa finished up at the restaurant. Patrick was nice enough to get the car seat into my car along with JaeMae's 2 bags of toys, diapers, etc.. While I was gathering the gifts, Patrick took the baby to my car and Vanessa got the party bill and I almost had a coronary. It was much higher than it should have been given the food problems so I asked Vanessa if she wanted me to speak with someone about it. She did, so I spent a couple of minutes talking with her friend the chef with my arms full of balloons and presents. I left them to figure it all out and headed to my car.
Patrick had buckled the baby in and covered her with a blanket, so he and I thought we'd go find Veronica at the accident site. We didn't, so we headed to my house. As we were turning onto my road, Michelle called and asked when I was coming to pick up Veronica. HUH? So we headed back, and there was Veronica's cute little car all crunched in the hood on the back of a tow truck! We swapped the baby, presents and balloons for the girls and off we went following the tow truck to the body shop. Veronica was pretty upset with herself for crashing into a pick up truck and was really upset about her car being crunched.
I dropped her and her friend Gina at Gina's car, dropped off Patrick and I went home to my Hannibal, who missed me as much as I missed him.
Within hours, as I had expected, a sore throat and cold had settled in and wiped me out for a few days.
Vanessa got $200 off the bill and Veronica's car will be fixed in a couple of weeks, so all's well that ends well.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Top executives of the country's five biggest oil companies said Tuesday they know record fuel prices are hurting people, but they argued it's not their fault and their huge profits are in line with other industries.
Our earnings, although high in absolute terms, need to be viewed in the context of the scale and cyclical, long-term nature of our industry as well as the huge investment requirements," said J.S. Simon, senior vice president of Exxon Mobil Corp., which made a record $40 billion last year.
As I said before, these folks at the big oil companies should be ashamed of themselves. People are truly suffering, unable to afford gas in their cars, oil to heat their homes and the cost of everything else is going up because the truckers are being gouged by the cost of diesel fuel.
It's April Fool on us!