News, Some New, Some Old:
Why Obama Won’t Speed U.S. Troop Withdrawal in Afghanistan.
"Nothing will speed U.S. troop withdrawals in an election year: not Karzai’s rants, Quran burnings, or even Sgt. Bales’s rampage. By Leslie H. Gelb. Mar 19, 2012.
Forget about President Obama expediting U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan this year. It matters not that some American soldiers are coming apart at the seams, killing innocent Afghans, and burning Qurans, or that President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan screams to restrict U.S. operations. Nor will polls showing increasing numbers of Americans fed up with the war induce Obama to press the pullout button. Mr. Obama is not going to take the slightest risk that a faster exit might trigger a collapse of the Kabul government and a Taliban takeover after 10 years of sacrificing American blood and treasure. He’s not going to give warhawk Republicans a campaign issue. Besides, Obama’s aides keep insisting that he still believes in his Afghan goals and strategy. From the day he took office three years ago, Afghanistan became Obama’s war. While this reality may not have dawned on most Americans, the president himself knows it all too well.
When Barack Obama stepped into the White House, only some 34,000 U.S. troops patrolled that historic graveyard for foreign invaders and would-be saviors. He upped that number to about 100,000, in addition to more than 40,000 allied troops. Casualties and costs skyrocketed. It was Obama who trumpeted the unachievable goals of defeating the Taliban and ensuring that al Qaeda never returned to Afghan soil to plot another attack on America soil. With this track record and all the sacrifices, he’s not going to take big chances. So, he’s stuck, and so is the United States.
Obama’s plan has been to reduce the risks of failure by a slow and steady withdrawal process: scaling back the allied combat role, speeding up the training of Afghan forces, and turning over all combat to the Kabul government by the end of 2014. Accordingly, he’s reduced the 100,000 high point by 10,000 already and expects to take out an additional 22,000 by this September. That will leave some 68,000 U.S. troops in country until after the November elections, and there things will stand through November." More at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/18/why-obama-won-t-speed-u-s-troop-withdrawal-in-afghanistan.html
Debt deal aids RV museum
March 16, 2012, ELKHART (AP) -- "A northern Indiana museum that charts the changing styles and innovations of the recreational vehicle and manufactured home industries has reached a debt-restructuring agreement giving its operators more time to pay off millions of dollars in loans.
The RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum's restructuring plan was announced Wednesday, nearly a year after officials warned the site was at risk of closing within weeks.
The Elkhart Truth reported Thursday that the hall of fame and museum owes $4 million to 1st Source Bank and the family of the late Robert "Boots" Ingram. That money was borrowed to build a new wing onto the main structure and to purchase a collection of pre-World War II recreational vehicles.
Darryl Searer, the group's newly appointed president and chief operating officer, said in a statement that the restructuring plan is only the first step to putting the RV showplace on firmer financial ground.
He said the next step is seeking donations from the industry to improve the museum's financial footing." More at: http://www.southbendtribune.com/business/sbt-debt-deal-aids-rv-museum-20120316,0,6038519.story
How our Corrupt Monetary System Works (Part 1 of 2)
"How to make money out of thin air. A look into how our corrupt monetary system works and how our society runs off of it."
Part 2: http://youtu.be/eggJwj52j0Q
Dear Friends, March 20, 2012
Last summer, you and thousands of fellow advocates contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in support of protections for manatees at Kings Bay in Crystal River, Florida.
Now, we celebrate a victory. The proposal for improved protections has been finalized and, among other things, establishes a year-round manatee refuge in Kings Bay -- proving that it's entirely possible to address human concerns while also taking into consideration the well-being of animals.
Even as opponents tried to defeat these protections, you played a significant role in keeping pressure on the FWS to do the right thing. Congratulations -- we can all smile at this good news for the gentle and endangered manatee." Sincerely, Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO of humanesociety.org
This video is dated 23rd. March, 2012, yesterday:
Uploaded by HSI on Mar 23, 2012
"This year, climate change caused virtually all the sea ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to melt--long before it should have. So many of the baby seals have died already, forced into the water before they were strong enough to survive there. Unbelievably, sealers came here anyway to slaughter the remaining defenseless pups.
In a couple of weeks, the commercial seal slaughter will begin in earnest off the coast of Newfoundland and the Canadian government just authorized a record high quota of 400,000 harp seals. If we don't stop it, so many baby seals could be killed." Please help us end this slaughter of the survivors, donate today: https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Donation2?9020.donation=form1&df_id...
"HSI Canada commends the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Belarus for prohibiting further import and export of fur from harp seals, and calls on Canada to buy out the sealing industry." Read full story
Please Boycott Canadian Seafood to Save Seals:
Who Are the Real Animals?
"Is it man's destiny to ride roughshod over animals? In today's world, greed and superstition are two powerful forces more important than the welfare of animals..."
"God is a compassionate God. His nature is one of mercy and kindness. We are to become like Him in our attitude and character. His conversation with Jonah showed He cared for animals, too, when debating the destruction Nineveh , which had many thousands of people "and much livestock" (Jonah 4:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? See All... ).
Scripture tells us that God cares for the birds and plants of the field (Matthew 6:25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? See All... -30).
This, then, is a great God who cares for the entire physical environment-chief of which are human beings made in His image. When He created the first man, He gave human beings responsibility over His creation, placing Adam in Eden "to tend and keep it" (Genesis 2:15And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. See All... ).
Man was given a responsibility to rule over the creation, but that ruler ship must be in wisdom, love, justice and mercy, reflecting the mind and attitude of God Himself.
After all, this life is a training ground for our ultimate destiny. Read our booklet What Is Your Destiny - it's one greater than that of animals. And it's one that requires humans to exercise love and compassion to all living things." More at: http://www.ucg.org/commentary/who-are-real-animals/
E N G L I S H !
After reading Dizzy-Dick's post about Vocabulary, http://dizzydick.blogspot.com/2011/05/wondering-about-couple-of-words.html I remembered that I had this:
"This could get complicated!!
It’s no wonder my kids don’t want to learn to speak English! This was given to me by one of the bilingual teachers at Pease. Thought this was interesting…
If you’ve learned to speak fluent English, you must be a genius! This little treatise on the lovely language we share is only for the brave. Pursue at your leisure, English lovers.
Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn:
1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
2. The farm was used to produce produce.
3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4. We must polish the Polish furniture.
5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10. I did not object to the object.
11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13. They were too close to the door to close it.
14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18. After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
20. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger, neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. Quicksand works slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?
If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? Is it an odd, or an end?
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can it be a slim chance and a fat chance at the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
PS. Why doesn’t “Buick” rhyme with “quick”?"
On This Day:
Queen Elizabeth I dies, Mar 24, 1603:
"After 44 years of rule, Queen Elizabeth I of England dies, and King James VI of Scotland ascends to the throne, uniting England and Scotland under a single British monarch.
The daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth succeeded to the throne in 1559 upon the death of her half-sister Queen Mary: http://www.tudorsandstuarts.com/monarchs/maryi.html The two half-sisters, both daughters of Henry VIII, had a stormy relationship during Mary's five-year reign. Mary, who was brought up as a Catholic, enacted pro-Catholic legislation and made efforts to restore the pope to supremacy in England. A Protestant rebellion ensued, and Queen Mary imprisoned Elizabeth, a Protestant, in the Tower of London on suspicion of complicity. After Mary's death, Elizabeth survived several Catholic plots against her; although her ascension was greeted with approval by most of England's lords, who were largely Protestant and hoped for greater religious tolerance under a Protestant queen. Under the early guidance of Secretary of State Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth repealed Mary's pro-Catholic legislation, established a permanent Protestant Church of England, and encouraged the Calvinist reformers in Scotland.
In foreign affairs, Elizabeth practiced a policy of strengthening England's Protestant allies and dividing her foes. Elizabeth was opposed by the pope, who refused to recognize her legitimacy, and by Spain, a Catholic nation that was at the height of its power. In 1588, English-Spanish rivalry led to an abortive Spanish invasion of England in which the Spanish Armada, the greatest naval force in the world at the time, was destroyed by storms and a determined English navy.
With increasing English domination at sea, Elizabeth encouraged voyages of discovery, such as Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the world and Sir Walter Raleigh's expeditions to the North American coast.
The long reign of Elizabeth, who became known as the "Virgin Queen" for her reluctance to endanger her authority through marriage, coincided with the flowering of the English Renaissance, associated with such renowned authors as William Shakespeare. By her death in 1603, England had become a major world power in every respect, and Queen Elizabeth I passed into history as one of England's greatest monarchs."
PS. It was Queen Elizabeth I who had her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots executed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary,_Queen_of_Scots
Exxon Valdez runs aground in Alaska, Mar 24, 1989:
"On this day in 1989, the worst oil spill in U.S. territory begins when the supertanker Exxon Valdez oil tanker hits a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound, resulting in an enormous oil spill. Though there were no human victims of the crash, hundreds of miles of pristine coastline became coated with oil and thousands of sea birds, mammals and fish perished in the disaster.
An estimated 11 million gallons of oil eventually spilled into the water. Attempts to contain the massive spill were unsuccessful, and wind and currents spread the oil more than 100 miles from its source, eventually polluting more than 700 miles of coastline. Hundreds of thousands of birds and animals were adversely affected by the environmental disaster.
It was later revealed that Joseph Hazelwood, the captain of the Valdez, was drinking at the time of the accident and allowed an uncertified officer to steer the massive vessel. In March 1990, Hazelwood was convicted of misdemeanor negligence, fined $50,000, and ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service. In July 1992, an Alaska court overturned Hazelwood's conviction, citing a federal statute that grants freedom from prosecution to those who report an oil spill.
Exxon itself was condemned by the National Transportation Safety Board and in early 1991 agreed under pressure from environmental groups to pay a penalty of $100 million and provide $1 billion over a 10-year period for the cost of the cleanup. However, later in the year, both Alaska and Exxon rejected the agreement, and in October 1991 the oil giant settled the matter by paying $25 million, less than 4 percent of the cleanup aid promised by Exxon earlier that year."
Ray and I finally worked on the plumbing for the toyhauler-cargo-trailer. We took off the water tank filler and replaced it with the new one which is compatible with the size of the water inlet on the water tank. Now the water fill hose will fit. But I have to get a different size clear hose for the vent. Another great day to be outside, and have the doors and windows open in the house.
While we were out there, and as there was no wind, it was a good time to start the fire to burn the branches from the fallen oak tree, and the pine branches which Jay had brought down from the roof the other day.