Monday, December 28, 2009

US intelligence failed us...

In a recent post, "Flying with Fish" brings up some interesting points in regards to Janet Napolitano's claim that "the system worked" in regards the attempted terrorist attack on a Northwest Airline jet by a radical Nigerian Muslim.

At the same time she claimed the system worked, her boss, the Commander-In-Chief talked of a "systemic failure of the system"

Hmm...time for a change?

With all the implemented rules and regulations involving no pillows or blankets on the lap, termination of wi-fi and use of electronic devices, no access to overhead baggage, and remaining in one's seat, all during the one hour prior to landing, the only thing NOT listed, is the ONE thing that would have prevented the terrorist from even being on the flight would have been if someone in the US intelligence would have done his/her job.

When the terrorist's father entered the US Embassy in Nigeria and warned officials his son was planning an attack, they shrugged it off claiming it was NOT a credible threat.

Not a credible threat??

The father of a terrorist takes the time to walk into an American embassy and tell officials that his son is preparing to murder Americans and the threat is not credible? Who is running the show people?

In this case it wasn't TSA's fault this guy was on the plane, all his paperwork and credentials were in order. This one is the fault of the intelligence officials within the US government, whose primary responsibility according to the Constitution is for the security of this nation.

Yeah I'm feeling safer today....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I don't know what made me think of this but the other day I was watching Fox News and caught a clip of something that happened on the Hill. I don't know why, it bugged me, maybe because it seems they're so caught up in their partisan crap they've just forgotten how to be gentlemen.

Joe Lieberman was speaking for ten minutes and had only a sentence or two left to wrap up when time ran out. He politely asked for just another minute to finish his thought. It's quite common for Senators to request this, I mean what's the harm right?

That's when Junior Senator Al Franken (sitting in as presiding member of the Senate) protested and said,

"In my capacity as senator from Minnesota, I object."

I mean was it REALLY a big deal Al? Come on you ass, let the man finish his thought.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The fall semester is over here and I can't say I'll miss it.

It was a semester full of ups and downs in all areas of my life. It began with registration for two courses, AMH 4319 Crime & Punishment in American History and EUH 3206 20th Century Europe. Both were excellent courses, the instructors very knowledgeable in their fields.

In the 4319 I learned a great deal about the history of the criminal justice system in our country and the history of the many forms of rehabilitation and punishment. The biggest impact the course had on me was that it made me re-evaluate my stance on the death penalty and it made me put more thought into rehabilitation vs. imprisonment for certain non-violent crimes.

The 3206 course was also very fascinating because our professor gave a lot of detailed information in lectures, but not just that, he gave us the "backstory" on many events and people, things we wouldn't normally read in a textbook. He told us the kind of things that make you shake your head and say "no kidding?". He was a great professor, he lectured a little bit slow but it's his style, he really knows European history. The research paper was very flexible indeed, any topic in 20th century European History. After some thought and discussion with him, I decided to focus on Gorbachev's direct influence on the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the end, my paper was titled, "Perestroika, Glasnost, and Demokratizatsiya: Three reforms that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union" and I think it was a very well-written paper, I hope he thinks so too. When I handed him the paper last week, he really was impressed with the title. I'll know my grades Monday. I should pull an "A" in 3206 but probably not in 4319, that may be a B- at least I hope it isn't any worse than that. I've never earned anything less than a B in my college courses, don't want to start now!

The biggest crisis this ter mwas mom's surgery at the Mayo Clinic to remove that nasty spindle cell tumor in her maxillary sinus cavity. The tumor was large and determined to be borderline benign/malignant but her surgeon's consultation with an oncologist determined that they had removed it all and no radiation was necessary. Once we knew mom was ok, things returned to normal.

Sis lost her job due to downsizing but I have faith in her that she will find another great job. Right now she's working a job on commission and doing really well. My sister is a survivor, she's been through a lot of shit and still she keeps coming out of it clean! She's a lot like dad, she's very determined, resilient and a fighter. Sometimes I wish I could be as tough as her! I really hope she gets that job she applied for that she wants. They didn't call her back and she figured she didn't get it but weeks later now she got a phone call for another interview. Oh please let her get it, it's perfect for her!

At work it's the same old stuff. Each semester it's the same for me, bring 'em in, get 'em out. Every year I miss them when they leave because each one is special. Each one of our grad students has a special personality, a special something about them that makes you miss them. This semester is no different. It was a good group of students, I'll miss them and all I want for them is happiness and a GREAT career. I know jobs are hard to find right now but this is a cycle, things will change, they always do.

My job is pretty much routine anymore. I like it, no wait, I LOVE it. I work with the greatest faculty, staff and students. I love the independence to do my job (because I do it well!), I love the guys I work with, they are not just friends, they are family. Without them, my job wouldn't be the same. I really love helping the students, even when they come to me asking me the same questions over and over. I figure, it's my job, they're giving me job security :) The truth is I've learned just about all I can learn of that job, but I'm comfortable in it, I know my stuff, and except for an occasional error which can be corrected pretty easily, I do it extremely well. I'm blessed to have a great job like this and blessed to work with such a great crew.

I'm registered for two courses in spring...an Economics course and another History course. I'm on the fence between two history courses, both of them with the same professors I had this term. I'll have to make a choice, because I can take only one--I won't do more than two courses per term. I don't know how I do it now, but any more than that would kill me.

And so that's it for now, more soon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The problem with healthcare...

"$59,000 and all I got was some morphine and this lousy tumor."

That's the t-shirt slogan of the day.

Mom got her insurance statement which shows that her first stay in the hospital from November 6-9 was a whopping $59,000. She went into the ER for a nosebleed that wouldn't quit and came out with a sinus tumor, a whopping headache, and a multitude of drugs in her system that had her so screwed up for days she didn't even know where she was.

$15,000 of that bill was for the operating room.

Are you kidding me?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I was just reading an old friend's blog, actually she and her husband both have one. I met them back in 1994, Val and I used to work together, became fast friends. We were a lot alike, energetic, bubbly, friendly and a passion for writing. Eric & Val are a longtime military family and for now are stationed in Germany. Eric is deployed right now over in Afghanistan. They have two great kids too.

Val and Eric have this chemistry, they get along so well, much in love after 20 years of marriage and I always knew they would be great parents. The way they talk about their family, their kids, you just know they have a happy life. It's not often you see two people that have so much fun together, enjoy each other's company and really enjoying life. In pictures their faces are just so lit up, you can actually feel the happiness and warmth. Not many people have the chance to experience that. When you do, you just have to hold on for the ride.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Taxpayers holding the bag again

It's already bad enough that the state of Florida would pay CSX $10 million for every mile of track (and CSX will still be sharing the track!). Right now the cost just for the SunRail in Orlando is $432 million for just 61.5 miles of track for SunRail in Orlando, and CSX will continue to share the track!

The plan is to eventually have a several lines throughout the state. The cost? Hundreds of millions more.

In addition,
our Senators also supported a no-fault policy for CSX meaning that the state will accept responsibility for and cover accidents with a $200 million insurance policy, $10 million of which would be covered by CSX in "the most negligible accidents". That leaves the other $190 million to be paid by you and me.

Not happy about this at all. Not at all. Who has ever heard of such a thing? The taxpayers footing the bill for the liability insurance of a private company? Are you friggin kidding me? What the hell are these people thinking?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

More nonsense...

Are you f*cking kidding me?

Gas Station’s Dog Must Go, Health Dept. Says

Friday, December 04, 2009 7:33:07 AM
Cody, a 5-year-old Labrador, is not on the payroll but does have his own work shirt and name tag.

CLEARWATER -- A 5-year-old Labrador who has been working at a Pinellas County gas station is about to lose his job.

Cody may not be on the payroll at the BP station on U.S. Highway 19 and Nursery Road, but he has his own work shirt and name tag.

Inspectors with the State Department of Agriculture cited the owner, Karim Mansour, telling him Cody has to go. They say animals aren't allowed in places that sell food.

"I understand the state has a job to do which is to keep people safe," Mansour said. "But at the same time I don't prepare food here. Everything comes from the factory, pre-packaged. I don't see how a dog hair is going to get in a bag of chips or a Snickers bar."

Mansour says he started bringing Cody to work for companionship and protection.

He says no customers have ever complained to him about the dog being there. He says he is looking into his options, but for the time being, he plans to heed the warning and leave Cody home.

According to the FDA, dogs can be allowed in stores under certain circumstances as long as no food contamination can result.

Information from News 13’s Bright House Networks affiliate, Bay News 9, was used in this report.