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Archive for January, 2004

There are many reasons why the Israeli – Palestinian Road Map to Peace in reality is nothing more than a roundabout to peace. All parties careening in circles at ever increasing speeds. Recently I noted a story of Palestinian children who make a game of trading cards, much like many kids who trade their baseball cards, or cards depicting superheros of favored comics. But this is the Middle East and the cards traded here had likenesses of Palestinian suicide bombers.

So its not surpriseing that the same attitudes are displayed at higher levels of society. At Bir Zeit University student politicians no longer stump on simply better library services and cheaper lunches. They also campaign on which party claims to have killed more Israelis.

Somebody, somewhere has to stop this madness.

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You to Can Earn $12 an Hour… in China

I’ve had enough of writting about politics, its time for something a little different.

Twelve dollars an hour is a decent wage for most places in Southeast Asia. And competition is light, you will be competeing against a small field of about 20. What would you do for $12 an hour?

As a member of this elite group you will be decended from a group of 22 dating to 1936 that caused a social “earthquake” at the time.

A word of warning, you may become part of a legal case as one girl did in 1986.
The “modern China” isn’t all that modern.

Any guesses before you peek below?
(more…)

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Its starting to smell even worse near the dead carcass that is Howard Dean’s Presidential campaign. By now most have heard of the shake-up that led to Joe Trippi’s departure. And its common knowledge the Deaniacs are broke after shooting their wad in Iowa and New Hampshire. The media blitz has left the staffers without pay for two weeks and all TV/Radio ads being pulled in seven states that will be contested next Tuesday. A curious situation given the desperate need for a Dean win.

Maybe not so curious, after closer inspection. Trippi had an unusual salary arrangement as Deans campaign manager, and internet/weblog wonderkind. He worked without salary, his renumeration came in the form of commissions, said to be as high as 15 percent in some cases, based on advertising buys.

Well now, is that why the cupboard is bare? Burn up that 40 Mil in the coffer as fast as possible, grab the percentage and flee the scene. Maybe. Maybe not, but it would nice to get a look at the books.

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The Misawa Japan Air Base was my last duty station before retiring from the Navy. Its mostly populated by US Air Force personnel but has a reletively small Navy command that does surveilence flights. Except for the large amount of snow in the winter it is an ideal location, beautiful scenery, friendly people, and many local festivals for entertainment.

Misawa has its problems, like all US Military installations, but its not related to location. The best trained, best equipped, best educated military in the world refuses to pay its mid level personnel a living wage. And that has led to this blight on the Misawa (and other locations) landscape. One would think with the amount of money poured into the US Defense budget enough would be left over so military families would not need to visit a food bank for free food to make ends meet. Sadly thats not the case, in fact some personnel at mid level paygrades with 2 kids qualify for the food stamp program. A system designed to assist the underprivliged, and those unable to work for various reasons was expanded to military members in the greatest military in the world.

Sad, true, and disgusting !

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With the Phillippine Presidential Campaign about to swing into full combat mode on Feb. 10th the odds of this story getting any media play is next to non-exsistant. The Philippine Nationalists would make all kinds of poliical hay with it. Damm those evil “Kanos.”

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A Sucker Born Every Minute

The audacity of these idiots is only matched by the stupidity of the several hundred, if not thousands that fall for this CRAP!

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The Dean Synopsis

Prolog

Dean with campaign adviser Joe Trippi construct the first internet, weblog, cellphone, Ipod, digital march to the White House. Money flows into the campaign like water over Niagra Falls. Trippi is hailed as a genius for planting more grassroots than those contained in Cheech and Chongs garden. Pollsters point to a Iowa landslide for the Deaniacs, who have been drawn by the thousands heeding the call for raising taxes, enviromental activism, sending Bush back to Crawford, showing the door to special interests and Washington elites. Iowa turnout is predicted at 40.000.

Edging to the Precipice:

An elderly Mr. Unger is told to “shut up, you had your say, now its my turn,” in response to Ungers plea for more civility, and less rhetoric during a campaign rally. The Deaniacs fail to show on a cold primary night, apparently more concerned with “Texting” friends, posting to their weblogs, and downloading MP3’S for their Ipod’s. Dean finishes a dismal third behind “out of nowhere” Sen. Edwards and the consummate Washington elite, multi-millionaire Sen. John Kerry.

Over the Precipice:

The catastrophic Iowa loss prompts Dean to let loose with the now infamous scream. Quickly followed by an urgent website request for one million in donations within the week. The image makeover begins as the previously unseen Mrs. Dean appears at the Doctors side at a rally and a televised interview on ABC’S Primetime. The polls show a rebound but some have called it “a dead cat bounce.” The campaign, in an effort to pull out its first win pours all its money and resources into New Hampshire’s “first in the nation” primary. A 13 point loss to Sen. Kerry elicits an impassioned, even critics call it near presidential, post election speech. The speech is highlighted by each goal of the Deaniacs emphasized by the ending tagline, “and we will” The loss sends the Deaniacs into panic mode and assemble at base camp to plot the next move.

The Death Rattle

Trippi is asked to slide down the organizational ladder. The new head is Al Gore’s former adviser Roy Neel and Trippi resigns over the choice. Paid staffers are asked to forego paychecks for two weeks. The next seven states to be contested all show the Deaniacs poll numbers in the low teens or single digits. All Dean TV advertising is pulled from the airwaves. One TV talking head has described Dean being like Bruce Willis in Sixth Sense, he’s dead and doesn’t know it. A belief is surfacing that the good Doctor has sold out the digital march. Roy Neel, D.C. insider and lobbyist represented Bellsouth and Verizon among others that made him the highest paid lobbyist during the nineties. Dean has become a clone of the rest.

The Epilogue

The Deaniacs campaign has successfully made TOAST, “and we will.”

Postscript

Has Dean been done in by a few verbal gaffs, or from the lack of money to continue? No I think Americans have awoken to the fact he really isn’t any different than the other fat cats in Washington. The Dean attempt to slither his way into D.C. was just by a previously under utilized digital method that failed him. He once said, as Governor, that he wished the rest of “the country were more like Vermont.” The problem is, as Governor he destroyed the Agency of Natural Resources, and ushered in the era of mega-farms that saw a decline of 36% in small farmers. The big business influence he has demonized on the campaign trail, he played “cozy” with in Vermont that has cost residents millions as they are saddled with the sixth highest utility rates in the country.

The bottom line is his campaign has become the inverse of Pinks’s “Lets get the party started.”

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