Tuesday, February 26, 2008

U.S. missile defense system hits dying satellite.

A Navy missile soaring 130 miles above the Pacific smashed a dying and potentially deadly U.S. spy satellite Wednesday and destroyed a tank carrying 1,000 pounds of toxic fuel, officials said. Officials had expressed cautious optimism that the missile would hit the satellite, which was the size of a school bus. But they were less certain of hitting the smaller, more problematic fuel tank, whose contents posed what Bush administration officials deemed a potential health hazard to humans if it landed intact. The USS Lake Erie, armed with an SM-3 missile designed to knock down incoming missiles - not orbiting satellites - launched the attack a 9:26 p.m. CST, according to the Pentagon. It hit the satellite about three minutes later as the spacecraft traveled in polar orbit at more than 17,000 mph. By Robert Burns, AP military writer.

It's the SDI which detractors nicknamed "Star Wars". President Reagan announced on March 23, 1983 a new national missile defense program formally called the Strategic Defense Initiative. The goal was not just to protect the U.S. and its allies, but to also provide the completed system to the USSR, thus ending the threat of nuclear war. A partisan debate ensued in Congress, with Democrats questioning the feasibility and strategic wisdom of such a program. They opposed missile defense because it could mean junking the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty. The Republicans talked about its strategic necessity, promising to protect America. The national missile defense program largely collapsed with the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

Well what happened to the program? Under the first President Bush Congress didn't allocate funding for the program. Under President Clinton some testing continued but the project was not given much funding. Than on December 16, 2002 President George W Bush signed the National Security Presidential Directive 23 which outlined a plan to begin deployment of operational ballistic missile defense systems by 2004.

Now the world knows our defense system works and that Americans should feel safer knowing that we can stop an incoming nuclear missile. Not only did that SM-3 missile hit the satellite, which was traveling at 17,000 mph, it was 130 miles above the earth in outer space. That's Star Wars baby.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Chocolate firms raided, accused of price fixing.

If you feel your Valentine's Day chocolates are not such a sweet deal this year, you're not alone. Regulators are investigating alleged price fixing among candy makers in at least (2) different countries. In the last week, the German Federal Cartel Office raided the offices of seven of the leading chocolate companies including Mars Inc., Kraft Foods Inc. and Nestle searching for documents. Three months ago, Canada's Competition Bureau searched (raided) the offices of several companies, many of the same ones as in Germany. The Canadian investigation sparked several American lawsuits accusing the world's biggest chocolate companies of violating antitrust laws. The U.S. Department of Justice declined to confirm it is investigating, yet several companies confirmed receiving inquiries. By Janet Frankston Lorin, Associated Press.

Can you believe this? It all started in Canada when a Ontario court granted search warrants based on the evidence that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a number of suppliers in the chocolate industry have engaged in price fixing. Then Germany raids seven companies searching for documents looking for criminal acts. These are not people who sell drugs but chocolate. German officials said the companies raided this week had agreed, among themselves, at the beginning of the year to raise prices. This is not price fixing food that we need to live but chocolate which we can do without. It's a pleasure of life to enjoy.

But there is price fixing going on in the chocolate industry. First the union workers negotiate a contract that sets out the terms, fixed price, and conditions of employment. Second the government set a fixed price on licenses', permits and taxes. Third, the power companies price fix the cost of electricity. And last, the shippers have a fixed price to ship the chocolate.

Why are the Canadian and German governments doing this? The same reason that there are now several American lawsuits, for the money. The companies in Canada could face up to $10 million in Canadian dollars, seven companies could be $70 million dollars. In Germany the companies face possible fines of up to 10 percent of their annual income, which could be close to a billion dollars. Even if they have done nothing wrong, it costs these companies thousands of dollars to defend themselves and could last 5 to 10 years. This is the reason most companies settle out of court and the consumer ends up paying the bill in higher insurance prices and employee lay offs.

This is one of the main reasons companies are pulling their factories out of these countries and setting up shop in Mexico, China and India. This is also the same reason companies are not building new factories in these countries. South America, where the cocoa bean is harvested, would be more than happy for those companies to move there. I don't think they will try to take their money with fines. I think these countries should look into the gum industry. It seems like all the packs of gum are the same price.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Night light causes breast cancer in women.

Women who live in neighborhoods with large amounts of nighttime illumination are more likely to get breast cancer than those who live in areas where nocturnal darkness prevails, according to an unusual study that overlaid satellite images of Earth onto cancer registries. The finding adds credence to the hypothesis that exposure to too much light at night can raise the risk of breast cancer by interfering with the brain's production of a tumor-suppressing hormone. "By no means are we saying that light at night is the only or the major risk factor for breast cancer," Said Itai Kloog, of the University of Haifa in Isreal, who led the new work. "But we found a clear and strong correlation that should be taken into consideration." By Rick Weiss, The Washington Post.

Now lets see. If you smoke, the smoke enters into your lungs and you get lung cancer. If you lay on the beach or if you work in the sun, the sun touches your skin and you get skin cancer from too much sun. Now ladies if you live in the a neighborhood where there is too much light, like the big cities, you have a 60 percent above normal chance of getting breast cancer, even if your breast is not exposed to the light. Now the University of Haifa has given us this information but have not given us any idea what a woman should do.

Let's see if I can help. If you don't smoke, you will reduce the chance of lung cancer. If you don't go out into the sun much, you will reduce the chance of skin cancer. So ladies if you don't go out at night and stay out of the big city lights you will reduce your risk of breast cancer. Now the government is spending way too much money on cancer health care, just ask the tobacco industry. Maybe the government should pass a law that women can't work outside of the house at night. How about a woman can't go outside of her home after 9pm unless it's an emergency. And if she gets stop by the police she must have a written permission by her husband or boyfriend.

This sounds stupid doesn't it?
But if we allow the government to get too much control of our lives they will take advantage of it. This is one of the main reasons we rebelled against England and demanded our freedom. Maybe this generation will go with the flow but their will be a generation in the future that will rebel.


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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Smoking is now illegal in France's cafes.

Many thought it would never happen. But France, a country that has had a long, loving relationship with the cigarette, banned smoking in all bars, cafe and restaurants effective Jan. 1. " It's crazy," said Pierce Siebers, 20, a Michigan native who was visiting Paris with his family. "Everyone smokes here. It seems like part of the culture, even the dining culture." Money will likely do the talking, though. A smoker caught in the act will be fined 68 euros (almost $100.) and if a proprietor leaves an ashtray out or is found with a smoker in his establishment, the cafe could pay a fine of 750 euros ($1,077). Buying a pack of Lucky's in the City of Lights will now set you back an impressive $8, and 68 percent of which the government pockets in taxes. By Joe Ray, Newhouse News Service.

Now first of all I know smoking is not good for a person and causes health problems. I have never smoked a day in my life but I believe a persons should be told the truth and not lied to. In December of 2003 the French health ministry said in a statement that 66,000 each year die in France as a result of smoking (avoidable deaths). "on average, one regular smoker in every two dies prematurely from his or her smoking habits. Now the Health Ministry's anti-smoking division Released on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2003, page 7. Lung cancer was the leading cause of death in people under 65 last year, and smoking related illness claimed 66,000 lives. It did not say that smoking caused these deaths but related illness which is lung cancer and heart attacks. So how many of the 66,000 who died form lung cancer or heart attacks smoked? Also how many were men and how many were women.

Now you would think the number would be about the same but according to Yahoo News 10/22/03 men still account for the vast majority of deaths from lung cancer in France -- 22,600 men died from it in 2000 compared to 4,500 women, with 80 percent of cases seen smoking-related. Provided by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). In the KBP-2000-CPHG study of the French College of General Hospital conducted an exhaustive epidemiological study in 137 hospitals in 2000. We identified 904 women with proven primary lung cancer (mean age 63.9 years), Many of whom have never smoked (32.3%) In conclusion, many women affected by lung cancer have never smoked.

What about men? According to the American Journal of Epidemiology tobacco use is the main nonoccupational risk factor while many occupational procedures or agents are recognized to cause or suspected of causing lung cancer. 15 percent of male lung cancer cases that occur in industrialized countries are linked to occupational cancer. Second, according to the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety, Vol.114. No. 9 Sept.2006, lung cancer attributable to indoor radon exposure in France. The calculation suggest that from 2.2% to 12.4% of these deaths in France may be attributable to indoor radon.

Last, if smoking is so bad why not just ban cigarettes in France? Because the French government owns the nation's cigarette-manufacturing monopoly. It reaps substantial tax revenues from cigarettes, and clings to its role as tobacco merchant. Just tell the people the truth. Show us fact and figures so we can make up our own mine. Right now all you want to do is tell us how to live our lives. Like I said earlier, I don't and never have smoked, but I know the government will not stop there. Your food is next.Telling you what you can and can't eat and how many miles you will have to walk a week. How many miles do you walk a week?

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

U.S. stock market, good time for bargains

For the average investor, the U.S. stock market is looking downright scary. One day it's plummeting. The next day it's soaring. But for an aggressive investor such as Josh Wilburn of Odenton, Md., there is nothing to fear. "I like it," Wilburn said. " you get some very rare opportunities when this happens. I don't know how low things will go, but there will be bargains." When it comes to investing, what one person might consider a lost, another might consider a potential gain. As the renowned investor and philanthropist Shelby Davis once said: "You make most of your money in a bear market. You just don't realize it at the time. And though it might seem counterintuitive, said Robert Moon, a senior adviser in the Smith Barney Citigroup Family Office, buy the clunkers. "Time and again, it has been proven that the way to accumulate wealth in the market is to buy assets when they are in distress." By Nancy Trajos, The Washington Post.

Many times the news media quotes the falling of the stock market as evidence that the economy is heading toward a recession. But according to Shelby Davis this is the time where you find bargains and make money. This is called a bear market and last an average of 14 months. If you bought stock at the market peak, and then it falls in a bear market, it would have taken you an average of 3.6 years to recover your money. Don"t let the market scare you. When it goes down, look for bargains. This is where you will make most of your money. If you bought at the peak and you see your investment going down. become a cowboy and hold on for the ride looking for bargains. And most of all, don't let any politician scare you that the economy is heading to a recession by looking at the stock market. All he or she wants is for you to put them in office promising that they can make the market go up. Why can't they make the market or economy go up now? Why can't they share what they know now? Why do we have to make a person President before they can solve a problem?

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Global Economic Slowdown Predicted by G7 Countries.

Finance leaders from the world's wealthiest nations warned Saturday that global economic woes could get worse from the slump in the U.S. housing market, but offered few specific remedies. In a statement issued after meeting in Tokyo, the finance ministers and central bank chiefs of the Group of 7 industrialized nations offered a more pessimistic view of the global economy than they did four months ago, after their last meeting. But they also said the fundamental elements of the global economy remained strong and the United States would probably avoid recession. Members urged China to absorb more imports by raising the value of its currency, which would make foreign goods cheaper for Chinese consumers. They also called on oil producing nations to help cut energy prices by raising output. Some warned that higher fuel and food costs could cause global inflation. By Martin Fackler, 2008, The New York Times.

Now when President Bush, on January 16th of this year, asked OPEC to increase oil production in order to help our economy, Hillary Clinton called Bush's efforts "pathetic". Now I wonder if Hillary is going to call the leaders of Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada "pathetic" since they asked the oil producing nations, OPEC, to raise output. Now the finance ministers and central bank chiefs of the Group of 7 said that the United States will probably avoid a recession. But we have many economists suggesting it might be too late that we are in a recession and it is too late to turn it around. In fact many economists said the economy almost came to a halt in the last three months. President Bush said this is just a little slow down, who do we believe? I don't think I'm going to believe the media. The G7 also said that if we don't increase the production of oil and lower the cost of food that this could cause global inflation. Global recession or inflation which will it be? Lets just drill for more oil and use corn for food not to run our cars.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

U.S. House's carbon offsets waste of tax payers money

The House of Representatives has presumably learned that money cannot buy love or happiness. Now, it turns out it's not a sure solution to climate guilt, either. In November, the Democratic-led House spent about $89,000 on so called carbon offsets. This purchase was supposed to cancel out greenhouse gas emissions from House buildings, including half of the U.S. Capitol, by triggering an equal reduction in emissions elsewhere. Some of the money went to farmers in North Dakota, for tilling practices that keep carbon buried in the soil. But some farmers were already doing this, for other reasons, before the House paid a cent. Other funds went to Iowa, where a power plant had been temporarily readjusted to burn more cleanly. But that test project had ended more than a year before the money arrived. " It didn't change much behavior that wasn't going to happen anyway," said Joseph Romn, "It just, I think, demonstrated why offsets are controversial and possibly pointless.... This is a waste of taxpayer money." By David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post staff writer.

I think carbon offsets is just feel good hype. If you think I'm wrong than let's see the best way to reduce carbon offsets. First, tree planting is a mainstay of carbons offsetting. So we should give money to tree planters, right! Then let's give the timber industry the money. They plant more trees than anyone else, in fact if you drive I-10 from Louisiana to Florida's east coast you will pass through many tree farms. They plant a tree about every three feet and have more trees per acre than the forest. So should we let them, the timber industry, cut down all the forest so we can plant more trees per acre. In a way that is what you are suggesting, more trees. Wait that is a problem, we need to cut down more trees so we can plant more corn for ethanol to reduce our oil consumption. In order to plant more corn we need more farm land. How can we do this? I know people are the problem. Thinking they can play God and solve earth's problems. Trying to solve the climate temperature is like all of us taking a bucket and try to empty the Gulf of Mexico.

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Iran launches rocket, unveils its developing missiles

Iran launched a research rocket and unveiled its first major space center, state television reported Monday, the latest steps in a program many fear may be cover for further development of its military ballistic missiles. State television showed live images of the event, with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issuing the launch order. Iran has long declared a goal of developing a space program, but the same technology used to put satellites in space can also be used to deliver warheads. The country's space program, like its nuclear power program. has provoked unease abroad. "It's is just another troubling development," State Department spokesman Sean Mcormack said. "And, of course, the U.N. Security Council and other members of the international system have expressed their deep concern about Iran's continuing development of medium and long-range ballistic missiles." By Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press writer.

First of all the U.N. Security Council is a joke. They are like big dogs with no teeth, all bark and no bite. The world knows this and that is the U.N. is just a big bag of wind and will not do any thing to stop anyone. Just ask the victims in Africa. Do you really believe Iran has a space program and are using these test to put a satellite in space? If you do, why don't you believe them when Ahmadinejad said he wants to eliminate Israel? If the U.N. does not stop them, and they can't, and the U.S. doesn't stop them, and the new president won't, then Israel will. When Israel does this the Arab nations will be in an uproar and might attack Israel and then the United States will get involved. Even if the Arab nations don't attack Israel they have all the cards, the oil cards. And they will play them against the U.S. to punish Israel. The U.S. uses 20 million barrels of oil a day. That is 7 billion, 300 million barrels a year. We can't grow enough corn to take the place of oil. Oil is our economy life blood, remove the oil our economy dies. We have two choices and I think we should do them both. 1. Drill for more oil in our country, this will also help bring down our national debt buy bring more money into our treasury. 2. Flex our muscle toward Iran, demanding we want to see your space program, your missiles and your nuclear power plant. If they don't want to show us then we don't believe them and we must take some sort of action. Truly the world is becoming a small place. What happens on the other side of the world effect our lives. Let's get our heads out of the sand.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

France's president Nicolas Sarkozy weds supermodel Carla Bruni.

They had a glitzy, jet setting courtship, but when it came time for the wedding, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and former supermodel Carla Bruni opted for a simple, classic ceremony. Sarkozy, 53 and Bruni, 40, were married Saturday in a small private ceremony at the presidential Elysee Palace, less than three months after they reportedly first met, and less than four months after his divorce. The newlyweds said in a statement that they tied the knot "in the presence of their families in the strictest privacy." The mayor who performed the ceremony filled in the details. Under French law, couples must marry before a mayor to make their union official. Usually weddings take place at a city hall, with an official wedding announcement published before hand, but Sarkozy and Bruni apparently were given a dispensation, to maintain their privacy. Compiled from wire reports.

Under French law you must be married by a mayor? What happened to be married by a priest, minister or rabbi? What happen to being married in a church in the eyes of God? Now their getting married, in France, in the eyes of Government? The wedding must take place in a city hall by the mayor of that city. I just wonder how much the city is making off of the weddings? Is there a wedding tax in France or is it free to use city hall? Do you stand just with your bride or is this a mass wedding with everyone raising their right hand saying "I do." And under law it must be published in the newspaper beforehand. The President of the country had to obtain a dispensation to maintain their privacy. I will say, when the government becomes God, the government is too big. I guess in France they don't put their trust in the people or God , they put their trust in government. I pray and hope we never see this in the United States.

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Job Lost for First Time Since 2003

A crucial pillar of the country's economic well being has cracked. U.S. employment cut jobs last month for the first time in more than four years, a shower of pink slips that was the starkest signal yet the economy is grinding to a halt if it hasn't already toppled into recession. Conditions are deteriorating, according to the latest employment snapshot by the Labor Department, which showed nervous employers slicing payrolls by 17,000. The country hadn't seen such a nationwide job loss since 2003, when employers were still struggling to recover from the last recession. the 17,000 drop was in total payrolls, both government and private employers, in January, the first monthly decline since August 2003. The government sliced 18,000 positions, while private employers added just 1,000, the fewest in nearly a year. By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer.

Loosing 17,000 jobs in one month and the economy is coming to a halt? This is the first decline in 52 months and it's only 17,000, when we have a working population of multiple millions. When you read this article you get the idea that private employers are cutting jobs when it was the government that cut 18,000 jobs. Private employers added just 1,000 jobs in January, the fewest in nearly a year, so this has happen before. Some say the economy nearly stalled in the final three months of last year, stall means stop. And some economists believe it may actually be shrinking now. Some people love negative news and want to see the worst behind everything especially when they have agenda. The last words of the article, Bush said, "We're just in a rough patch, and I'm confident we can get through this rough patch." I believe this is the truth and we will get through this slow down and we don't need a Democrat, like Jimmy Carter, to make it worst.

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