June 28, 2007

The new Hong Kong

On 1 July, Hong Kong marks the 10th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule after 156 years of British administration.

I must say the Chinese have handled their takeover very well. "The river erodes the mountain" as they say. They are gradually moving their cadres into positions of power and adopting a softly-softly approach in reducing human rights there. This contrasts with their heavy-handedness in Tibet and the blood-letting that accompanied Tiananmen Square.

In the recent 2-3 years, the biggest changed I found is the press. I have the feeling that 90% of the press is going through a self-scrutiny process as to avoid publishing anything that may anger Beijing. Many news that make China look bad such as mining accidents, official corruption, and the recent slavery issue I found in AP, CNN or Reuters were not even mentioned in many Chinese language news publications in Hong Kong. I think 'freedom of the press' is slowly eroding in Hong Kong.

Democrat’s third primary debate

The struggles of the nation's blacks (a loyal Democratic voting bloc) topped the agenda as the party's eight presidential candidates gathered for their third primary debate. The debate at Howard University was set to begin just hours after the Supreme Court ruled against public school programs aimed at achieving racial diversity, a certain topic for the event. The Democrats decried the ruling, saying it turned back the promise of integrated schools that the court laid out 53 years ago in its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said as president, she would "fight to restore Brown's promise." Illinois Sen. Barack Obama said it was "wrong-headed." Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd said the decision "will add to the resegregation that is already occurring in our nation's schools." John Edwards said the decision showed what is at stake in the presidential race.


Dating tends to be stressful for just about everyone. Often the hardest part is just meeting someone who piques your interest. Fortunately, with the Internet, a whole new world of dating is available to singles.

Online dating with FriendFinder can be fun, safe, and easy. The selection, of course, can’t be beaten by any other dating venue, the world is literally at your fingertips. With online dating you can search databases of thousands of eligible singles, narrowing the field by specifying detailed criteria, choose the ones who appeal to you, and chat or correspond via Email.

For those who dislike the club scene, online dating can have a lot of appeal. No loud music, no embarrassing dancing, no drunken fools slobbering as they tell you how beautiful/handsome you are. Just search the database, choose the people you would like to meet, and make contact.

And speaking of making contact, who really wants to deal with the traditional rejection cycle? Normally, when you see someone out there who interests you, you have to approach them. While you still have to approach someone who you’re interested in with online dating, it is a lot less risky than having to walk up to someone in a bar and introduce yourself.

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Poor, credit, saving and inequality.

The poor are finding it too easy to get hold of credit, racking up huge debts and are either forced into IVAs or bankruptcy. It used to be the case that savings products such as with profit life policies were sold, door to door, to the poor now its debt. There are many more adverts showing people how their lives could be made better by getting themselves more in to debt on the TV than for savings. All targeted at those on poor or modest incomes. Credit has to be paid back.

Inequality is a nasty thing if some are denied access to healthcare, education or a vote. But for many people, inequality often comes down to your car, handbag or the size of your house and I'd argue that this doesn't matter, unless you're the jealous type who feels embittered when they see a Ferrari or designer handbag.

Charities, foundations, and private individuals have promised at least $50 million to New Orleans

Billions of federal dollars have been allotted or spent in New Orleans since hurricane Katrina, so it may come as a surprise that the first public works project in the city's long-term recovery (the Rosa Keller Library) was not paid for by American taxpayers but by the Carnegie Foundation in New York. Government money is still trickling through the pipeline: Louisiana recovery officials approved $117 million for the first post-Katrina community development grants. But with the long wait for cash, private foundations, wealthy individuals, and philanthropies have stepped in, playing a bigger role in the city's rebuilding than ever expected.

For many New Orleanians, wooing and leveraging private investments into cornerstone public works is empowering and an example of how nearly 50 other struggling city neighborhoods can revitalize themselves. But concerns are emerging that the new model may leave behind unorganized poor neighborhoods, where 30 percent of the city's residents now live. Charities, foundations, and private individuals have promised at least $50 million toward renovating and building schools, libraries, and senior centers in New Orleans since the hurricane, much of it in middle-class communities. In contrast, the US has spent or allotted some $4.6 billion on activities ranging from helicopter rescues, levee repairs, housing assistance, and Superdome restoration.

Online credit card comparison

CreditCardSearchEngine.com is a credit card search engine with hundreds of credit card offers. This search engine provides visitors a means to compare credit cards in order to get the best deal.

CreditCardSearchEngine.com has a rate table with the average rates for popular card categories, such as low interest, rewards and airline credit cards, Credit Cards For People With Bad Credit, annual fees and more. Site visitors gain access to the card search engine, which is updated daily, by clicking on the categories table.

And the best is that CreditCardSearchEngine.com is a free website where consumers can compare hundreds of credit card offers from the nation's leading issuers and banks, and apply securely online.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

The UNESCO committee aims to identify and protect the world's most valuable cultural and natural sites

The UNESCO committee aims to identify and protect the world's most valuable cultural and natural sites. It considers if they are at risk from war, tourism, overdevelopment or neglect.

The Amazon rain forest should be high on their agenda but, on top of all items should be over population in a world with dwindling resources. Overpopulation, ignorance, and greed are the main reasons for the destruction of ancient treasures and the habitat we live in.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites are overwhelmingly concentrated in Europe - it has almost half the 830 sites but only about 10% of the world's population. Asia is grossly under-represented but has some spectacular locations that aren't on the list - the Grand Place in Thailand for one. And surely Began in Burma should be on the list - it rivals Angkor Wat - and due to the political situation it probably warrants even more protection just as sites in Iraq do.

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr vowed to go to a devastated shrine in central Iraq

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr vowed to go ahead with a planned march to a devastated shrine in central Iraq but insisted the goal was not to confront Sunnis who live along the way. Instead, al-Sadr said the march was aimed at bringing Shiites and Sunnis closer together and breaking down the barriers imposed by the Americans and Sunni religious extremists. The march is set for July 5 to the Askariya shrine in Samarra, which was bombed for a second time June 13. Sunni organizations and government officials have urged al-Sadr to cancel the march, fearing it will escalate sectarian violence that already has claimed thousands of lives. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office issued a statement calling on people not to go to the central city because securing the road between Baghdad and Samarra will take some time.

The magnetic diet

Choosing a good diet can be very confusing. Much too often we encounter this person promoting one type of diet, another person another diet; this magazine heralding this weight loss diet plan, that researcher proclaiming his diet is the best; one diet plan calling for only protein and fat, another telling you to only drink shakes. What is really the best diet? There is a new theory to Lose weight with food magnetism that can be a good choice. The Magnetic Diet is a book available online completely free of charge.

Disclousure: This blog receives compensation from PayPerPost advertisers.

June 27, 2007

Tony Blair is to become Middle East envoy

Tony Blair is to become Middle East envoy. The outgoing UK prime minister will work on behalf of the US, Russia, the UN and the EU.

For me he is the wrong man for that region, reasons:

1 The Iraq war demonstrates that he does not understand Arab politics and it has made him deeply unpopular in the region.

2 On the Arab-side he is regarded as pro-Israeli.

3 On the Israeli side he is regarded as having a confused position.

4 Next year Bush and the Neo-Conservatives will be out of the Whitehouse and the new administration will regard Blair as tainted and will want an entirely fresh approach.

5 Many others are more qualified.

Critical test Thursday

The Senate's revived legislation to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants faces a critical test Thursday after surviving potentially fatal challenges. Attempts from the right and left to alter key elements of the delicate bipartisan compromise failed Wednesday, including a Republican proposal to deny illegal immigrants a path to citizenship and Democratic bids to reunite legal immigrants with family members. The Senate killed, by a 56-41 vote, an amendment by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., to provide more green cards for parents of U.S. citizens. By a 55-40 margin, it tabled a proposal by Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., to give family members of citizens and legal permanent residents more credit toward green cards in a new merit-based points system. A make-or-break procedural vote was set for Thursday.

Facing determined opposition from conservatives who call the bill amnesty, leaders need 60 votes to keep the measure alive and complete it as early as Friday. The Senate on Wednesday killed several proposals designed to answer conservatives' concerns that the bill, championed by President Bush, is overly lenient toward illegal immigrants. Among the amendments was one by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, to require all adult illegal immigrants to return home temporarily to qualify for permanent lawful status. The current bill requires only heads of household seeking permanent legal residency to return home to apply for green cards.

Sexual counseling

If the thrill has completely deserted your sex life, your performance flags repeatedly or your appreciation for sports exceeds your interest in being intimate with your partner, it might be time to consider some sessions with San Diego sex therapist.

While lack of desire, which can take many forms, is one of the most common reasons to seek sexual counseling, it is far from the only one. If you think you have a sexual problem or are seriously dissatisfied with your intimate experiences, a therapist who specializes in sexuality can serve as a shortcut to the heart of the matter. Internet is the best way to find a good sex therapist with confidentiality.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

Blair's final decision

The harping on the referenda in France and The Netherlands, which returned a loud no to the proposed EU constitution, should end. With all said and done, the no was more a poke in the eye of their unpopular governments at the time than a sound weighing of the pro's and con's of the proposed constitution. In parliamentary democracy representatives are elected to represent the voters and are expected to weigh the facts carefully on the benefits to the country as a whole. Parliaments take decisions on a daily basis that are not always popular. It is the way things are. Britain should accept that parliament has the right to decide. If the electorate really objects because they feel so strongly about this issue they should elect a government that takes them out of the EU. Accepting the benefits of membership whilst complaining loudly of how they are cheated of their sovereignty is disingenuous to say he least.

Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House

The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office for documents relating to President Bush's controversial eavesdropping program that operated warrant-free for five years. Also named in subpoenas signed by committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., were the Justice Department and the National Security Council. The four parties have until July 18 to comply, according to a statement by Leahy's office. The committee wants documents that might shed light on internal disputes within the administration over the legality of the program, which Bush put under court review earlier this year. In fact, the Judiciary Committee's three most senior Republicans — Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, former chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah and Chuck Grassley of Iowa — sided with Democrats on the 13-3 vote last week to give Leahy the power to issue the subpoenas.

Krillion Localization Engine

Product research online often starts with the search engines, but search engines typically are unable to find and deliver results pinpointing specific local stores with specific products consumers are looking for.

However, there is a company called Krillion which own a search engine that scours the Web to find, integrate and present actionable local search results for the ready-to-buy consumer. So, if you are looking for LG Washing Machines to compare prices within 10 miles of your town, the query returns a landing page for each query result dynamically generated, optimized for SEO, and placed into the indexes of the major search engines. By product, by location landing pages provide consumers with actionable information regarding where to buy the product in question and the price ranges across various retailers.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

June 25, 2007

Sudan refuses to cooperate with efforts to end the conflict in Darfur

I think the international community has tried very hard to address the issue of Darfur but I am ashamed by the total indifference of the Islamic world to the continuing genocide. It is hypocritical on the part of Muslims to take to the streets against the so-called "West" at the slightest excuse but when it comes to atrocities committed by our own brethren, nothing happens. It is time we started living up to our responsibilities also instead of always talking about our rights.

It's about time that the African nations started taking a little responsibility for affairs on their own continent. They should take the lead in Sudan and Zimbabwe and show the world that they have some political maturity, instead of just waiting for handouts and for the rest of the world to bail them out. The leaders of the African nations are the most corrupt in the world and most of the aid money disappears into their private bank

San Francisco city workers will no longer have bottled water

Thirsty San Francisco city workers will no longer have bottled water to drink under an order by Mayor Gavin Newsom, who says it costs too much, worsens pollution and is no better than tap water. Newsom's executive order bars city departments, agencies and contractors from using city funds to serve water in plastic bottles and in larger dispensers when tap water is available. Newsom estimates San Francisco could save $500,000 a year under his directive, which also addresses environmental concerns over the amount of oil used to make and transport plastic water bottles. The ban on the ubiquitous plastic bottles follows a prohibition in March by city officials on plastic shopping bags in large supermarkets because recycling efforts had largely failed.

Moving Relocation Services

Just as every family is different, every person’s moving needs and approach to a move will likely be different. Therefore, it is important to have a good Moving Relocation Services available in order to develop a customized moving plan.

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This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

'Chemical Ali' death

'Chemical Ali', a cousin of the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, has been sentenced to death by an Iraqi court for the mass murder of Kurds in 1988. Ali Hassan al-Majid was convicted of genocide for using poison gas in the Anfal campaign in 1988. About 180,000 Kurd civilians died in this campaign, according to prosecutors.

This guy is guilty. The trial was a formality. Having said that, what should the punishment be? Generally, I am against the death penalty but this guy would be the exception. The best solution would have been a trial at The Hague but Iraqis needed to deal with these themselves. So, Yes, I do agree that the death penalty is right for this man and yes justice has been served.

Muslims remain Britain's most deprived minority

Under the shadow of a towering minaret in a Muslim enclave, veiled women stroll, shiny new cars line the streets and houses are being expanded. It's an image of prosperity among British Muslims that didn't exist here before Prime Minister Tony Blair, who inspired hope of a better life among the religious minority when he came to power in 1997 (and kept many of his promises).

Blair's Labour Party successor, Gordon Brown, will face tougher challenges with the Muslim community when he takes over Wednesday as Britain's new prime minister. Amid deep discontent over the Iraq war and a security crackdown, many Muslims say they've become Britain's new outcasts. They feel betrayed by Blair, and are wary of a future under Brown. Materially, Muslims remain Britain's most deprived minority, but official figures provide compelling evidence that Blair's tenure helped their situation, though the economy showed signs of improving before he took office. Unemployment among Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, almost all of whom are Muslim, fell 4 to 6 percent from 1991 to 2001, census figures show, although Muslims in general still have the highest unemployment rate in Britain at 12 percent. In Kirklees, the district in which Dewsbury is set, unemployment among the 30,000 strong Pakistani population was cut in half during the same period.

The perfect bridesmaids' gift

Bridesmaids' gifts are given by the bride to her bridesmaids and maid of honor as a permanent keepsake of the wedding. The best gifts are those that can be used both during and after the wedding, such as jewelry.

For bridesmaid gifts, consider items of jewelry that can be worn during the wedding to give your wedding party a coordinated and elegant look. Choose the collection that most fits your style, then select the type and color of stone to match the color of your flowers and/or bridesmaids dresses. I believe this is the perfect bridesmaids' gift.

Bridesmaids' gifts are usually presented at the bridesmaids' luncheon, if there is one, or at the rehearsal dinner. The gift to the maid of honor may be similar to the bridesmaids' gifts but should be a bit more expensive.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

June 24, 2007

No one should lose out economically or socially because of their sexuality

No one should lose out economically or socially because of their sexuality, but I think the homosexual lobby has gone way over the top in asserting "their rights". To have undermined the family in the way they have and possibly put perfectly heterosexual kids on the road to homosexuality is something that this lobby will have to take responsibility for. To suggest that this is normal behavior and advocate it on a par with heterosexuality is I'm afraid a distortion of the facts, both evolutionary and physically.

There are a lot of people who find homosexuality offensive to their religious beliefs, in the same way homosexuals consider objections to homosexuality offensive to them - whose rights are more valid and should be recognized more fully and on what basis? I believe like religion sexuality should be and remain a private matter, I do not wish to know what consenting adults get up to behind closed doors, equally I do not wish to have homosexuality churned out in the media as something that is on a par with having a drink in the pub or that is perfectly normal and acceptable in public life - as a heterosexual myself I have no need to keep telling people about that fact or over emphasizing my sexuality, and I have never understood why homosexuals feel the need to constantly labor that point.

Israel support Abbas

Israel is reluctant to remove roadblocks and other West Bank restrictions to boost Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's new government until he does more to curb militants. The summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Abbas in Egypt follows an Israeli decision on Sunday to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars to Abbas's government, formed after a violent takeover of the Gaza Strip by Islamist Hamas. After its accord on the funds, Israel is resisting U.S. pressure for it to uproot major roadblocks, checkpoints and outposts in the Israeli-occupied West Bank until Abbas reins in militants more effectively. Olmert was expected at the summit in the Red Sea Resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to outline at least some of the measures he would be prepared to take to bolster Abbas's emergency government in the West Bank.

Monday's talks, which will include Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah, will be the first since Hamas routed Abbas's Fatah forces and seized control of the Gaza Strip more than a week ago. Abbas responded to Gaza's takeover by sacking the unity government led by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas and by quickly forming an emergency government in the West Bank backed by the United States, the European Union and key Arab allies. Olmert said on Sunday he would present security demands to Abbas. Israel's goal is to isolate Hamas economically, diplomatically and militarily in the Gaza Strip, while allowing funds to flow to Abbas's new administration in the West Bank. Olmert's cabinet on Sunday agreed to start unfreezing hundreds of millions of dollars in Palestinian tax revenues to help finance the emergency government. Olmert aides said he would be prepared to take additional steps but offered few details.

Directory of Schools

Find the most popular online schools offering courses in either education or teaching fields. DirectoryofSchools.com has put together a great list of many of the top online schools on the Web that offer full degree programs, classes or coursework. If some of these schools appear to offer what you are looking for, just click on the program you are interested to find a description and know more about it.

DirectoryofSchools.com has helped thousands of students achieve the higher education they need to achieve higher success. They can help you too. Whether you're seeking an associate's, bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree, you can find the place of your convenience there.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

The burning of effigies in Asia is common

The burning of effigies in Asia is common and more people have burnt effigies of loosing cricket captains. It does not make to the front pages because it would not sell papers.
There were about 20 people from Al Muhajoroun demonstrating outside a mosque and the papers claim that lot of Muslims are demonstrating. Khomenei is a Shia and his fatwa does not hold any credibility with Sunnis.
I agree that there are Muslim lunatics just as there are non Muslim lunatics but is ridiculous to claim that the Muslim World is in uproar over the knighthood just because the Iranians and the Pakistanis are getting excited about this.

More on immigration bill

Senators pushing a new immigration policy appealed Sunday to wavering supporters ahead of renewed debate on securing the borders and dealing with 12 million undocumented immigrants. A fragile compromise was pulled from the Senate in early June, and then resurrected after bipartisan negotiations with the White House. The bill awaits a crucial test vote this week. With several senators distancing themselves from the proposal, the outcome was too close to call.

The measure would tighten borders, require workplace verification and create a guest worker program. It also would lay out a way by which the estimated 12 million people illegally in the U.S. could gain legal status and work toward citizenship. President Bush long has advocated an immigration overhaul. On Saturday, he urged lawmakers to "summon the courage" to support what could be the last major legislative achievement of his presidency. "The status quo is unacceptable," he said in his weekly radio address. But he faces dissension from fellow Republicans who demand better border security and oppose any policy that suggests amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

Travel Insurance

For a small percent of the cost of your trip, you can buy trip-cancellation insurance that will refund tickets and reservations if your vacation is canceled, delayed or interrupted because of severe weather or other reasons. You'll also be covered for rebooking flights, extra days in a hotel and other expenses, loss of belongings or damage to rental cars, and certain medical expenses.

You can buy Travel Insurance through travel agents, tour operators, cruise lines, airlines and even travel-booking Web sites. Or visit TravelSafe Insurance web site to find a comprehensive policy that includes 24-hour hot-line assistance. Remember that unforeseen expenses can hurt your vacation budget.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

June 21, 2007

China is working on the assumption that power is good

By giving china the means of production for our products we have opened Pandora’s Box. We have taught them the technology, but not the morality. This applies across a spectrum of violations from some of the highest pollution rates on the planet, to major incursions into neighboring countries such as Tibet, to some of the worst cruelty to humans and animals on the planet. Their moral development has not kept pace with their economic growth.

China is working on the assumption that power is good. What they don't understand is that they're crippling themselves. Their development isn't sustainable. Oil is going to peak, or has, or will sometime in the near future. But China is trying too make the most of it now, before it runs out. If the industrialized countries hope to contend with China then we're going too have to use renewable energy resources so that when China realizes that there is no more oil we can still function.

Russia ridiculed U.S. plans to deploy a missile shield in Europe

Russia's top general ridiculed U.S. plans to deploy a missile shield in Europe as unworkable and warned Washington that Moscow could react with military force if it felt threatened. Moscow has reacted angrily to the proposed U.S. missile defense system, parts of which would be located in Poland and the Czech Republic. Despite U.S. assurances, Moscow has said it sees the missile system as a threat. The chief of Russia's general staff, General Yuri Baluyevsky said that since 1945 the U.S. had made little progress on anti-ballistic missile defense and some of its much-touted anti-missile systems were "raw or even untested." Washington says the shield is designed to intercept missiles from rogue states such as Iran, not to counter any Russian military threat.

Online registration forms

Web-based forms from RegOnline have advantages to both administrators and respondents. I can mention the followings: the data is immediately available, and results can be monitored when you want. Analysis and reports are available now with a new timeliness using the Reg-analytics Report.

Web forms from RegOnline are seen also as modern and efficient. It is simple to make a visually pleasing layout. Quickly build attractive, online forms that are inviting to participants.

Distribution via web access and email is easy, event registration system from RegOnline can be accessed from any computer with web access.

Since all data is already in a database, there is no costly re-typing to be done. Analysis can begin immediately.

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A unity government in UK?

Gordon Brown offered former Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown the Cabinet post of Northern Ireland secretary.

Much criticism has been aimed at New Labour for undermining basic civil liberties and for not taking into account valid concerns of people from across the political spectrum. Allowing perhaps a couple of Lib Dems to fill key ministerial positions is surely an important step in enabling the government properly to address some of these concerns. As long as this is not merely political posturing, we should surely be cautiously optimistic about Mr Brown's willingness to open up government.

U.S. nuclear envoy made a trip to North Korea

The chief U.S. nuclear envoy made a rare trip to North Korea in a surprise bid to accelerate international efforts to press the communist government to abandon its nuclear weapons program. Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Christopher Hill's trip came ahead of the expected resumption of six-nation talks next month following the resolution of a key financial dispute that had blocked progress.

The trip is Hill's first to North Korea, as well as the first by a U.S. nuclear envoy since the latest crisis with the North over its nuclear development began in late 2002. APTN footage showed Hill arriving at Pyongyang's airport in a small jet in a steady downpour. His five-member delegation was met by Ri Gun, the North's deputy nuclear negotiator.

June 20, 2007

Online ducation

“Appreciative Coaching: A Positive Process for Change” is the ideal book for MBA students and professionals; it shows a psychological approach for management and how emotions can influence the people’s work. Sometimes managers forget humans’ realities and concentrate their work in accountability achievements only. Avoid this mistake with this book if you can be a better leader.

If you are considering a Masters of Business Administration with professors like Sara Orem, rest assured that Capella University gives students the knowledge, skills and experience-based online education necessary to help accelerate their career opportunities. Capella’s degree programs provide a unique, market-relevant combination of a comprehensive business education with real-world applications.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

Nigerian strike

It is surprising that oil prices are going up even though they are a major producer. The question you have to ask is why the local, national and international oil producers in the area are not trying to appease the situation by providing cheap fuel for the locals?

Hopefully this strike will send the right message to the government and force them to negotiate tougher contracts with the producers to ensure good prices for the fuel increased revenue and a happier public.

Strike is the only language that African leaders can understand. In Guinea, strike led to Lansana Kouyateh coming in as Prime minister and other positive changes for the poor and in Liberia, the 1979 rice riot brought about reduction in the price of rice.

Vietnamese and Americans will work together to support humanitarian efforts in cleaning up "agent orange" in Vietnam

Seven prominent Vietnamese and Americans will work together to support humanitarian efforts in cleaning up wartime dioxin, or "agent orange" in Vietnam, the U.S.-based Ford Foundation said. The Foundation said the policy makers, scientists and business figures "aim to build a collective, bipartisan humanitarian response where diplomatic discussion alone has proved difficult" in resolving a bitter war legacy.

The announcement, the latest by Americans and Vietnamese on the sensitive issue, was made during the visit to the United States by President Nguyen Minh Triet. He is the first head of state of communist-ruled Vietnam to be welcomed by Washington since the war ended in 1975. Toxins that Vietnam says affected millions of people over three generations are a thorn in otherwise friendly ties built up over 12 years since Washington and Hanoi established diplomatic relations. The U.S. government maintains there is no scientific link between the toxins and the disabled.

US gold coins

You must know the important fact that the largest mining companies in the world like BHP are not investing in finding more mines when the demand has already outnumber the supply. Instead they are putting more funds in M&A activity. So, gold and silver are good investments in the long run. You can invest in these minerals through well famous and regulated companies like Monex Deposit Company (MDC). They can offer good advice for novice and professionals, and you can buy US gold coins or ingots for your convenience.
Gold is definitely a good option to diversify your investments. Remember, real estate and stocks have bad times frequently.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

It was people like Bloomberg who built this country

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has left the Republican Party, fuelling speculation that he may run as an independent candidate for the US presidency.

Mr Bloomberg previously switched allegiances from the Democrats to Republicans when he ran for mayor in 2001. In recent speeches he has criticized partisan politics in the US.

Mayor Bloomberg is a business man of great success and, most important, he has proven to be a straight shooter, clear talking, effective and an successful mayor of one of the most complex, largest city of the world. We need more men/women like him. It was people like him who built this country.

President Bush to use his veto

President Bush has chosen to use his veto pen three times, twice on the stem cell issue where politics, ethics and science collide. Pushing back against the Democratic-led Congress, Bush plans to veto a bill Wednesday that would have eased restraints on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. At the same time, Bush will issue an executive order directing the Health and Human Services Department to promote research into cells that, like human embryonic stem cells, also hold the potential of regenerating into different types of cells that might be used to battle disease. Democrats made the stem cell legislation Bush promised to veto a top priority when they took control of the House and Senate in January. They do not, however, have enough votes to override a veto.

Don’t forget curtains for a themed room

When you try to do a themed room, don’t forget about the accessories that are so popular. Find the right curtain poles and your room will change dramatically. The most difficult part of your decision may be deciding on color. Curtains come in every color imaginable; can be bright or pastel, depending on the look you want to achieve for the bedroom decoration.

Disclousure: This blog receives compensation from PayPerPost advertisers.

The ability not to take the environment into account is one of China's major competitive advantages

I suppose we will just have to wait until the cost of dealing with their local ecological damage outweighs the Chinese interest in not addressing the problem. I can't see how we could force or convince them to take action earlier, though we could make it a little bit less economically attractive for them to develop industry dirtily. At present, the ability not to take the environment into account is one of China's major competitive advantages over the West. Tariffs compensating for this sort of advantage have been used against smaller countries in the past (e.g. Vietnamese shrimp), but there's no actual environmental benef if the country choses to keep on polluting, pay the tariff and compete regardless. As is likely in the Chinese case.
None of this absolves the rest of us from doing something about global warming, though barring prohibitive regulation, we in the West will have to face the fact that if we force our industires to use cleaner, more expensive technology, they will move to China. Which brings me back to the start. We will have to wait until the Chinese also hate pollution.

Israel attack Gaza

Israel fired missiles and sent tanks on a foray into Gaza on Wednesday, killing four Palestinians in the first military action since Hamas militants took control. At the same time, Israel eased restrictions on travel in and out of Gaza, letting in a few seriously ill Palestinians who had been holed up for days at a fetid border crossing. A teenager with leukemia and two other chronically ill Palestinians were on their way through the tunnel at the Erez crossing in Israel. Israeli officials also authorized entry of all foreign nationals living in Gaza. Israel's Supreme Court was hearing a petition by a human rights group demanding that Israeli authorities also offer immediate medical treatment to 26 critically ill Palestinians hospitalized in Gaza.

Israeli aircraft, meanwhile, fired missiles at two rocket launchers in northern Gaza, in the first aerial attack since the Islamic militants of Hamas took over the coastal strip last week. No injuries were reported in the strike, which came in retaliation for militant rocket fire on Israel. Earlier in the day, Israeli tanks entered southern Gaza, and four people, including at least two militants, were killed in an exchange of fire, Palestinian hospital officials said. In the West Bank, two Palestinian militants were killed in a shootout with Israeli troops during an arrest raid near Jenin.

A different room everyday

If your bedding is starting to get a little tired or it’s time for a bedroom makeover, why not bring in some color and think a little fun at the same time? Do you want to feel like you are on a different room everyday? If you check out the beautiful duvet covers and sheet sets that are on Terry's Fabrics you can come closer to that feeling.

Disclousure: This blog receives compensation from PayPerPost advertisers.

June 19, 2007

Electronic police state

Say goodbye to high speed broadband when everything goes through a government censor

We need to reinvigorate our personal networks.

I hope net censorship never happens, but if it does, as the elite threaten it will, we will need strong social networks. Person to person like extended families or clans or neighborhoods. Where information can pass freely, independent of hijacked technology.

This is no simple task. It will take work. We should work toward this now rather than be forced to when the plug gets pulled. The goal should be info sharing as fast as by computer but without computers, by just getting together and communicating.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg switched from Republican to unaffiliated

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg switched his party status from Republican to unaffiliated, a stunning move certain to be seen as a prelude to an independent presidential bid that would upend the 2008 race. The billionaire former CEO, who was a lifelong Democrat before he switched to the GOP for his first mayoral run, said the change in voter registration does not mean he is running for president. Despite his coyness about his aspirations, the mayor's decision to switch stokes speculation that he will pursue the White House, challenging the Democratic and Republican nominees with a legitimate and well-financed third-party bid.

Bloomberg has an estimated worth of more than $5 billion and easily could underwrite a White House run, much like Texas businessman Ross Perot in 1992. Bloomberg spent more than $155 million for his two mayoral campaigns, including $85 million when he won his second term in 2005. The 65-year-old mayor has fueled the presidential buzz with increasing out-of-state travel, including New Hampshire last weekend; a greater focus on national issues and repeated criticism of the partisan politics that dominate Washington.

Do you know how to be a spy?

Supposing that I were a spy, I would do the following techniques to successfully accomplish my secret missions:

1) Consciously communicate patently false information on matters of interest to intelligence, passing it off as genuine.

2) Asses suspicious individuals, observes their behavior at home and at work, identifies contacts and the nature of their mutual relations, and carries out other intelligence tasks.

3) Use signals in some forms of impersonal contact and intended for a particular contact without attracting attention, namely a used or throw-away object of no value, or a part of it (such as a lump of stone, glass, an empty cigarette packet, orange peel, the cork from a bottle and so forth).

4) Induce a specially selected and studied individual to cooperate secretly as an agent by exploiting his political views, his national liberation aspirations, his nationalist inclinations, his patriotic feelings, his anti-war and anti- imperialist convictions and other political factors.

5) Use a special secret places while conducting my activities in order to camouflage my clandestine work as long as necessary. Depending on circumstances, such posts may be selected in doorways, shops, coffee houses, tram, trolley-bus or bus stops.

The new TV series USA Network's Burn Notice will show how a CIA agent will accomplish his secret tasks. We can learn from him if you love this matter like me. (Starting June 28th)

Disclousure: This blog receives compensation from PayPerPost advertisers.

Interests behind the NO to the Immigration bill

If the bill does not pass, then the status quo prevails and nothing changes. This means that illegal labor will remain cheap and exploitable, which means that costs will not go up. If the bill were to pass, however, then costs would go up a bit as anyone wanting to hire legal "guest" workers would be required to pay them at least minimum wage, but most large employers won't want to pay that and so will continue to hire illegal labor, for which there is no end of supply. And since the bill has no real enforcement provisions with any teeth, then nothing will change. But the large employers don't want any bill to pass lest it lead to greater - and more expensive - reforms later on.

Democratic presidential contenders squabbled over Iraq

The Democratic presidential contenders squabbled over Iraq, with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton a target of criticism for her 2002 vote to authorize the war and her suggestion some U.S. troops may be there for years. The leading Democrats in the 2008 race touted their judgment and their plans to bring home the troops during separate appearances before two of the party's biggest voting blocs: union members and liberal activists. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said his "fundamental difference" with leading rivals like Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and former vice presidential nominee John Edwards was his commitment to not leaving any troops behind in Iraq once combat forces are withdrawn.

Clinton, a New York senator who leads Democrats in national polls ahead of the November 2008 election, has refused to apologize for voting to authorize the war. Dodd, Biden and Edwards, who was a senator at the time, apologized and said the vote was a mistake. Clinton has become a strong critic of the increasingly unpopular war and promises to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq if she wins the White House. But she said there are security interests in the region that could require a long-term troop presence.

Summer Camps

I think our kids can take advantage of their summer's free time enrolling in educational summer camps like Score. That’s better than having them all time in the home playing video games filing their minds with nothing.

Being parents is very difficult, especially in education matters. Score Summer Camps have professional people to help us. If our kids receive a good education since early ages they will achieve more success in their future.

Disclousure: This blog receives compensation from PayPerPost advertisers.

Protect the animal life

Endangered species, global warming, conflicts, famine - the list goes on and in the 21st Century the cause of all of this is one and the same. Too many people chasing too few resources. Unless this planet can bring its total population down to around the 3Bn mark and maintain the population at this level, the some of the early symptoms of overpopulation that we are now seeing could mean that Homo Sapien is added to the 'endangered species' list.

Ban on sale of all Endangered animals and plant species must be extended. People must cooperate and stop using these species and force their governments to ban these items. With the threat of climate change looming over the head these animals have little change of survival. Elephant, tigers and lions have little space to live now as a result of human developments. They must be moved to better places and their habitat ensured. CITES must be given more teeth to fight this international problem.

Moscow is the world's most expensive city

Moscow is the world's most expensive city for the second year in a row, thanks to an appreciating ruble and rising housing costs, according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting. The cost of living for expatriates in the Russian capital is nearly 35 percent higher than in New York, which served as the base city for the study. London, estimated at 26 percent more expensive than New York, climbed three spots to second place on a strengthening British pound and steep rental prices. South Korea's Seoul ranked third, followed closely by Tokyo at No. 4. In Moscow, a luxury two-bedroom apartment will cost an expat $4,000 a month; a CD rings up at $24.83; one copy of an international daily newspaper is $6.30; and a fast-food hamburger meal totals $4.80.

A strengthening euro boosted 30 European cities to top spots on the 2007 list (Copenhagen, Geneva, Zurich and Oslo, respectively, placed among the top 10). Eight Asian cities made the top 50, though Taipei, Taiwan, plunged 20 places to No. 48. New York and Los Angeles were the only two North American cities to rank among the highest 50, though both fell in the rankings due to a depreciating U.S. dollar. The Big Apple dropped five places to No. 15, while Los Angeles fell to No. 42 from No. 29 in 2006. Ranking as the least expensive city for the fifth year in a row was Paraguay's capital of Asuncion, where the cost of living is half that of New York.

Celebrity Gossip

Paris in prison. Out of prison. Now back! Is Nicole next? Who's the father of Anna Nicole's baby? Are Tom and Katie divorcing? Can't get enough? Well, you may be addicted to celebrity gossip like everyone in the world.

I know people who are checking celebritygossip.com compulsively all day to see if there's any new news. Gossip gives you a kind of high. It feels like something exciting happened to someone you know. You feel like I'm in the know, I'm cool too because I'm keeping up with it.

Forget the old movie star fan clubs, weekly celebrity magazines and daily TV shows. celebritygossip.com is internet based with updates on the doings of famous people when you want.

Disclousure: This blog receives compensation from PayPerPost advertisers.

June 18, 2007

Gore has blown opportunities to advance a green agenda

Gore claims to have been "Serious" about the environment since the 1970s. And yet, despite decades in the senate and a full 8 years as VP, he's done precisely dick to advance his so-called "core" beliefs. At every opportunity he has let them slide for political gain. It's awfully easy to write "compelling" books and "important" movies when you're not actually running for anything any more. At every opportunity when he was in a position of influence, Gore tucked tail and ran.

Add to that the fact that one of the reasons we've been stuck with Bush his Gore's shocking inability to take 8 years of peace and prosperity and translate it into an electoral victory. Gore blew the 2000 election, and has repeatedly blown opportunities to seriously advance a green agenda. I'm amazed that people now are hailing him as the savior of the green movement and/or left in general in the US. How ignorant of history do you have to be??

Opium industry is funding the Taliban

Politicians have long suspected that the centuries-old opium industry is funding the Taliban and other insurgents in Afghanistan. But direct intervention is tricky for US troops. If a key part of their counterinsurgency campaign is to win the hearts and minds of Afghans, the thinking goes, Americans can't be seen as the face of an effort to burn fields and eradicate a livelihood that is illegal but central to the country's fragile financial system.

Currently, the US provides only indirect support. Its policy leaves it to the Afghan government to contain the opium trade. By international agreement, British military forces are designated to support the Afghan effort, but they generally do not take an active role against the trade. With opium production there skyrocketing, the US House of Representatives last week passed a $6.4 billion aid and reconstruction package for Afghanistan that contains a major counternarcotics component. The legislation would create a new position in government that would develop and coordinate a "coherent counternarcotics strategy" for all US government entities working in Afghanistan. The measure includes an anticorruption initiative that would cut funding to Afghan local and provincial governments found to be connected to Islamic terror organizations or narcotics traffickers. The bill, passed by the full House but not yet the Senate, would also require the US military to provide logistical support to as many as 150 US Drug Enforcement Agency personnel, such as flying them in and out of the field to conduct operations.

You can begin saving money with your car loan

Auto refinance is still a good choice, provided that the situation is right. The only way for auto refinance to work is if you get it when the interest rates are low. Low rates typically mean low monthly repayments and this is the situation you should aim for. There are sites in the net like RateGenius where you can find more information.

Disclousure: This blog receives compensation from PayPerPost advertisers.

EU as international organization

If you see the EU as international organization and see national sovereignty as primacy, then dissent must be respected. Majority rule is a concept that applies to states - if you strongly believe that the majority should have its way in the EU, then such a philosophy suggests creating a genuine European state.

International law is founded on the principles of "consent" (including ongoing consent) and "the sovereign equality of states". With its weighted voting and qualified majorities, the EU already looks quite unlike an international organization and more like a state. The revised constitution will take it further down that line. Pro-integrationalists say they are strongly opposed to creating a European state. But such protestations sit ill with their attitude to dissenting minorities. Indeed, this whole revised constitution is designed to make the EU more efficient at ignoring dissenting minorities.

Women's rights in Africa

There are hundreds of groups in Africa advocating women's rights. But few, if any, have been as effective in alleviating the injustices suffered by women as this small group of lawyers in Uganda. In April, the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA-U) achieved its most significant legal success to date when the nation's Constitutional Court overturned key parts of the adultery law – which allowed married men, but not women, to have an affair. It also scrapped parts of the Succession Act, which gave more rights to husbands than wives when a spouse dies. But more important for many of the lawyers here is the ability to improve the individual lives of the women they advise.

Though Uganda's 1995 constitution has a clause that upholds legal equality for both sexes, previous efforts to amend archaic marriage, divorce, and property laws by the ministry for gender were lackluster and failed. The overturning of the adultery law caused a public uproar over concerns that it would lead to increased promiscuity, and the female genital mutilation campaign has already stirred worries about cultural encroachment.

Are You A Survivor?

Can somebody survive without money, food and shelter in a big city? I don’t know. But I think I would try if some day I found myself in an unknown city with no resources. The new TV series USA Network's Burn Notice shows this kind of survival (starting on June 28th). I don't know what things Michael Weston will do in that situation but I have the following ideas:

1) Sleeping in hallways and walking the streets all night. That'd be the first thing I would do, try to get some place to stay.

Talk to a lot of people to get advice. You can be around people and you can listen and pick up a lot of advice. Be there. Just be there, but don't be there, just be around, just hanging, mingling around and you can learn a whole lot of things. Self survival, you can learn how to survive from a lot people just talking.

You just hang with those people. It's hard to survive, but you have to learn to survive. But after you be out there a while, you learn to survive on your own, it might not be the greatest thing you want to be, but you will survive, if you are a survivor.

Disclousure: This blog receives compensation from PayPerPost advertisers.

344 seats for Sarkozy

The parliament comprises 577 seats and therefore the absolute majority needed is 289 seats. The right wing has some 344 seats which are largely in excess of this figure and more than enough for Sarkozy/Fillon to push through their reforms. The fact that some media and opinion polls forecast an ever greater right-wing victory (400+) seats which failed to materialize is neither here nor there and is certainly not the fault of the politicians. The right has won and won well.

The majority has spoken and it would seem the majority in France leans conservatively. It's difficult for liberals and socialists to accept this and they continue to stir the pot. Regardless, Sarkozy is in power and enough of his party was elected to allow him to accomplish his goals.

Ecuador to protect Galapagos

Ecuador, which owns the archipelago, may soon have to take action against menacing outsiders, realizing foreigners with cameras are every bit as dangerous as those with cutlasses. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, a leftist who prides himself on putting principle before profit, is mulling whether to restrict tourist licenses to the volcanic outcrops, home to tiny penguins, marine iguanas and venerable giant tortoises. Victor Carrion, deputy director of the Galapagos National Park, went one step further, saying Ecuador should rethink its strategy for the islands whose finches inspired British naturalist Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

Internet cafes, trendy hotels and restaurants litter the main port, Puerto Ayora, where scores of tourists in beachwear mingle with blue-footed boobies and gray iguanas, perched on jagged rocks jutting out into the turquoise waters. Pick-up trucks loaded with tourists roar down highways, while bright red crabs cower at the roadside. The Galapagos, 625 miles off Ecuador's coast, are the country's No. 1 visitor attraction. Tourism earned $486 million last year and is the fourth largest source of income after oil, bananas and fishing. The need for cheap labor to build hotels and restaurants and work as cleaners on cruise ships has attracted thousands of migrants from the poor mainland, causing grave environmental problems with animals they import from the Andean highlands. Galapagos park rangers have launched a cull of goats, shooting them down from helicopters, backed up by imported hunting dogs on the ground, after migrants' goats were found to be competing for food with the archipelago's giant tortoises. Rats brought in by ship and pigs brought in by workers from the mainland have also upset the island's delicate balance.

Pet Insurance

I read today that you can insurance your pet now, lol. Yes, you can buy a pet insurance at PetCare Pet Insurance and forget expensive health worries if your pet has an incident. Maybe you think a pet insurance is an eccentricity just for celebrities, but remember that the same was said when insurance companies for humans appeared.

Disclousure: This blog receives compensation from PayPerPost advertisers.

June 15, 2007

Bush's approval rating has dropped to 29 per cent

US PRESIDENT George W. Bush's approval rating has dropped to 29 per cent in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released today. It is his lowest mark ever in that survey, which also found only 23 per cent approved of the job the US Congress is doing.

It is interesting that ALL poll numbers are low.
You would think that after a recent election Congress would have higher poll numbers than the administration they were (supposedly) elected to oppose.
It took the Republican controlled Congress 12 years to get 30% approval, it took the Democrat controlled congress less than 6 months to get below 30%.

This poll number show that it is not about the Democrats vs Republicans that the politicians and pundits want. It is about overall disapproval with all the politicians, not just ones from a specific team. People are fed up with politically motived leadership simply for the sake of retaining power.
The people didn't reelect Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to engage in politics, yet that is all they have done, all the while engaging in the activities that they condemned the Republicans for doing.

A second chance for the immigration

Senate leaders' announcement that they would allow the bill a second chance came after getting assurances from key negotiators that they could produce enough support to steer the measure through a procedural minefield, including attempts by conservatives to block it. The fragile compromise would grant millions of illegal immigrants lawful status while tightening border security and creating new measures for weeding out illegal workers at job sites. Championed by President Bush, it has sparked an outcry among conservatives who regard it as amnesty for lawbreakers.

An appearance by Bush on Capitol Hill this week to prod action on the measure — and his subsequent OK to immediately pumping a new $4.4 billion into border security — helped set the stage for its resurrection. But it was raw trolling for votes by key Republicans and Democrats that made the difference, said lawmakers and senior officials involved in the talks. The coalition drew up a tentative list of 22 amendments (divided equally between the two parties) whose consideration would give a handful of Republicans the comfort they needed to allow the bill to go forward. That would take 60 votes — a threshold the bill missed by 15 last week, when just seven Republicans backed ending debate and moving to complete the bill.

Math Tutors

The cornerstone for all of Score’s tutoring programs is teaching for meaning, not just requiring children to memorize facts. And Score can instruct children in specific areas like math. So, if your children have problems with their math lessons, help them with Math Tutors from Score. They foster greater understanding and retention of math concepts and ensure children will be able to apply this knowledge in and outside of class.

Disclousure: This blog receives compensation from PayPerPost advertisers.

Democratic culture and Hamas

So many people refer to the Hamas government as "democratically elected". Well, the situation in Gaza and the West Bank just goes to show that it's not enough to have elections in order to have democracy - you need a democratic culture - a culture that uses words to settle differences in society, not bullets and mortars. And if you blame Israel, or the West, for this situation – then it means you treat the Palestinians as nothing more than naughty children with no responsibility whatsoever!

Hamas said they don't want any multinational force. It seems they're winning this bloodbath. Fatah people dragged on the street and executed.
It's the triumph of fundamentalism, the triumph of Iran and Syria, who back and finance them. And not a single word against them from the UN and the EU.

Hamas fighters cemented their bloody capture of the Gaza Strip

Hamas fighters cemented their bloody capture of the Gaza Strip on Friday, creating an Islamic enclave on Israel's doorstep and further dashing prospects for peace and Palestinian statehood. Western-backed president Mahmud Abbas named a new prime minister for his emergency cabinet after his secular Fatah forces were routed by the Islamists in the impoverished territory in the culmination of days of deadly gunbattles. The dramatic developments have effectively split the Palestinians into two geographically divided and separately ruled entities in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

Hamas, an Islamist group branded a terror outfit by Israel and the West, overran Gaza hours after Abbas sacked the Hamas-led unity government and declared a state of emergency in a bid to avert all-out civil war. Sporadic gunfire rattled across the impoverished strip, sealed off from the outside world by Israel, as looters took to the streets, masked Hamas gunmen grabbed the spoils of war from fallen Fatah bastions and scores of Abbas loyalists fled to Egypt. Hamas's action, which has made Palestinian aspirations of an independent state an ever more distant dream, was branded a "military coup" by Abbas and triggered alarm in Israel and among world leaders.

Used cars

Do you think buying a new car is better? Think on this: Two years after your purchase, long after the scents of newness have faded, your new car will have lost a ton of value, 30% or more, on average. Combine that with the additional hit you'll take if you trade it in rather than sell it yourself, and you could be losing almost half of what you paid for that beast just two years ago.

So, before you start calling dealers looking for a new car, check out the used listings on sites like BuyYourCar. You may be able to find the car of your dreams: lightly used, close to home, and at a substantial discount from new. The Internet helps you find what you want, don’t spend time looking for Used Cars visiting several showrooms if you can find them in the net.

A well-chosen used car can be a reliable, fun, and Foolish purchase that can give you years of, relatively, low-cost service.

BuyYourCar is one of the best online automotive marketplaces, empowering consumers to make smart vehicle choices using objective automotive data and insightful interactive editorial content. The result is a convenient car-buying process backed by a nationwide network of dealers who are committed to providing a positive consumer experience.

Disclousure: This blog receives compensation from PayPerPost advertisers.

June 12, 2007

Afghanistan and terrorist

There are thousands of international troops in Afghanistan, and millions of dollars in aid has been spent there. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, life for ordinary people is getting worse.

For me, the situation is "worsening" because a group of Islamofascist terrorists continue to attack & terrorize Afghanistan in order to regain power. Let's not forget that the only reason the US & other forces are in Afghanistan is that the Taliban gave aid & sanctuary to Al Qaeda in it's planning & training for it's terrorist attack on the US in 2001. The Taliban were complicit in this overt act of war against the US & were rightfully attacked & forced from power. No Taliban & Al Qaeda means no war.

Barak again

A former prime minister won the Labor Party primary over a relative political newcomer, in a race between two ex-military officers who both called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to step down. Although the votes were still being counted, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak would have a final margin of victory of 6 to 7 percent over Ami Ayalon, a former navy commander. Exit polls by three Israeli TV channels also showed Barak with a slight lead, ranging from 1 to 4 percentage points. Barak is expected to replace deposed party leader Amir Peretz as defense minister in Olmert's Cabinet. Despite his call for Olmert to resign over last summer's inconclusive war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Barak was not expected to pull his party out of the coalition right away. Peretz, too, was widely criticized for mishandling last summer's war, and leaves the job highly unpopular among Israeli voters. He was eliminated in a first round of voting two weeks ago. In the run-up to the vote, Barak said he had the experience to save the flagging fortunes of the dovish Labor, the junior partner in Israel's ruling coalition, while Ayalon countered that the party needed to start over. Labor has only 19 seats in Israel's 120-seat legislature. The party led Israeli governments for the first three decades of its existence, from 1948-1977. Barak, a former army chief, served as prime minister from 1999 until he was crushed by hard-liner Ariel Sharon in a 2001 election. Barak, 65, disappeared from politics after his political drubbing, amid a new violence with the Palestinians and his failure to secure a final peace deal.

As defense minister, Barak could take advantage of the national stage to try to show that he is a better leader than Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Benjamin Netanyahu of the hard-line Likud party, three possible competitors for the nation's top job. In the first round of Labor Party primaries two weeks ago, Barak finished first with 36 percent to Ayalon's 31 percent. Neither received the requisite 40 percent need to avoid a runoff.

The Revolution Accelerates: PayPerPost Gets $7Million in Funding

The PayPerPost Revolution Accelerates, Sponsored
Blogging Marketplace Secures $7 Million Series B

Draper Fisher Jurvetson leads round and joins Board of Directors

ORLANDO, FL – (June 12, 2007) – PayPerPost, the leading marketplace for advertisers to reach bloggers and other consumer content creators, today announced it has completed a $7 million second round investment led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, an investor in the company's Series A and one of the world’s leading high-technology venture capital firms. The financing brings the total amount of capital raised by PayPerPost to over $10 million, giving the company considerable resources for further development as the industry’s leading Consumer Generated Advertising marketplace. Additional participants in the round include existing investors Inflexion Partners and Village Ventures as well as new investor DFJ Gotham. With this investment, DFJ Managing Director Josh Stein also joins PayPerPost’s Board of Directors.

“PayPerPost created this exciting new advertising space and has established itself as the industry leader,” said ted murphy, chief executive officer of PayPerPost. “Although we’ve only used a portion of our first round capital, this added support from investors unlocks significant growth potential. Our content creator and advertiser ROI metrics clearly demonstrate the upside for PayPerPost’s model. We intend to use this capital to build the infrastructure, visibility and professional expertise necessary to reach and retain a greater network of advertisers and content creators than ever before.”

Since its founding in June of 2006, PayPerPost has signed more than 6,500 advertisers to its groundbreaking service, which has enabled Consumer Content Creators to be compensated for their efforts discussing specific companies, products or services via blogs, videos or other media. The content creators are required to disclose relationships with advertisers on their blog, providing transparency for the end reader. Over 125,000 Internet postings, most in the form of blogs, have already earned money for their creators through PayPerPost’s innovative marketplace. PayPerPost recently released PayPerPost Direct, a disruptive new service that allows advertisers to contract and negotiate directly with individual bloggers they identify through a safe, managed system.

“PayPerPost has laid a strong foundation for the future,” noted Tim Draper, founder and managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. “It continues to attract a critical mass of participants from both the advertising and blogging communities. Analogous to Overture’s sponsored search model, we believe PayPerPost’s business model holds disruptive potential and will enable the company to thrive in the evolving paid-content arena.”

To mark the $7 million dollar funding, PayPerPost has launched a new website detailing the company’s service offering at http://www.payperpost.com. Bloggers and advertisers can easily sign up at the site and begin leveraging the self service marketplace.

Disclousure: This blog receives compensation from PayPerPost advertisers.

June 11, 2007

Language and identity

The amount of time people have to invest in learning another language is phenomenal. Not only that, they have to sacrifice family life and other commitments to learn it. Then there is the fact that people do not learn language in a vacume. They learn it with strings attached. What are those strings? Those strings are cultural, they are attached to values and class and region and belonging.

The truth is, to learn a new language properly, you have to let go of some of your original identity, you have to form a new identity. This new identity is often in conflict with your old identity. There is nothing sadder than watching a first generation immigrant massively out of sync with her chidrens' lives. To conserve the value of what you already have and the culture that you already have gives immigrants an additional skill and ability and resource that they should treasure in this knowledge based economy.

Home care workers are not entitled to overtime pay under federal law

Home care workers are not entitled to overtime pay under federal law, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, a setback for a growing labor force of more than 1 million people. The Clinton administration had drafted a regulation to cover the workers, but the rule was shelved after President Bush took office in 2001. Home care aides are the key to the independent life senior citizens want, but lack of adequate pay is fueling turnover rates of 40 to 60 percent annually.

Two weeks ago, the court limited workers' ability to sue for pay discrimination, ruling against a Goodyear employee who earned thousands of dollars less than her male counterparts but waited too long to complain. Half of home care workers are minorities, and 90 percent are women, according to 2000 census data. Their wages remain among the lowest in the service industry. Many home care workers were brought under the law's protection starting with Democratic administrations in the 1960s. In 1974, Congress broadened the law to cover workers in a variety of fields. The subsequent Labor Department rule reversed Fair Labor Standards Act coverage for home care workers who previously had the protection.

Lovers Planet

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