Friday, February 29, 2008

In the News: Who is watching the Iraq Police?

came across this gem while browsing through USA TODAY site:

'Phantom' police on payrolls in Iraq

BAGHDAD — Iraq's government has spent millions of dollars on "phantom" police officers who left the force or died, but whose names remained on department payrolls while others illegally pocketed their salaries.

An investigation by the Iraqi Interior Ministry in six provinces found that 15-20% of the names on police payrolls there no longer corresponded to active-duty officers. More than 11,000 names have since been purged nationwide as part of a broad effort to cut graft.

The excess money for salaries sent by the federal government in Baghdad often ended up in the hands of other police officers, said Army Brig. Gen. David Phillips, the top U.S. adviser for police training.

"A lot of those police officers disappeared — either ran away, didn't come to work, killed, any number of things," Phillips said. "There was still pay going out there … unless someone stopped it."

In recent months, the Interior Ministry has sent officials to provincial police stations, where they refused to pay anyone who couldn't walk in to collect their salary in cash.

In the News: Homeowners in despair

Sad news but the reality for so many in the New York Times today:

Facing Default, Some Walk Out on New Homes

Published: February 29, 2008

When Raymond Zulueta went into default on his mortgage last year, he did what a lot of people do. He worried.

In a declining housing market, he owed more than the house was worth, and his mortgage payments, even on an interest-only loan, had shot up to $2,600, more than he could afford. “I was terrified,” said Mr. Zulueta, who services automated teller machines for an armored car company in the San Francisco area.

Then in January he learned about a new company in San Diego called You Walk Away that does just what its name says. For $995, it helps people walk away from their homes, ceding them to the banks in foreclosure.

Last week he moved into a three-bedroom rental home for $1,200 a month, less than half the cost of his mortgage. The old house is now the lender’s problem. “They took the negativity out of my life,” Mr. Zulueta said of You Walk Away. “I was stressing over nothing.”

You Walk Away is a small sign of broad changes in the way many Americans look at housing. In an era in which new types of loans allowed many home buyers to move in with little or no down payment, and to cash out any equity by refinancing, the meaning of homeownership and foreclosure have changed, economists and housing experts say

Quote for the Day

When truth is divided, errors multiply. - Eli Siegel, Damned Welcome

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

In the News: Microsoft gets Fined

Europe Fines Microsoft $1.3 Billion

Published: February 28, 2008
BRUSSELS —European antitrust regulators on Wednesday fined Microsoft $1.3 billion for failing to comply with a 2004 judgment that the company had abused its market dominance. The new fine by the European Commission was the largest it has ever imposed on an individual company, and brings the total in fines imposed on Microsoft to about $2.5 billion, in current exchange rates.

Microsoft had earlier been fined after the commission determined in 2004 that the company had abused the dominance of its Windows operating system to gain unfair market advantage. The commission imposed the new fine Wednesday, it said, because the company had not met the prescribed remedies after the earlier judgment.

“Microsoft was the first company in 50 years of E.U. competition policy that the commission has had to fine for failure to comply with an antitrust decision,” the European competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, said in a statement.

“I hope that today’s decision closes a dark chapter in Microsoft’s record of noncompliance with the commission’s March 2004 decision,” Ms. Kroes said. The commission is the executive arm of the European Union.

the complete article can be found at The New York Times site

Quote for the Day

To be always thinking about your manners is not the way to make them good; the very perfection of manners is not to think about yourself

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Quote for the day

Pretty much all the honest truth telling in the world is done by children - Oliver Wendell

Friday, February 22, 2008

In the News: Clinton Campaign Spending

I have no idea what the funds usually go for. I've always wondered how many national projects could be completed to benefit EVERYONE if all of the candidates donated the huge amounts of contributions they get. - AThinker

anyway, found this article in The New York Times:

Donors Worried by Clinton Campaign Spending

Published: February 22, 2008

This article was reported by Michael Luo, Jo Becker and Patrick Healy and was written by Mr. Healy

Nearly $100,000 went for party platters and groceries before the Iowa caucuses, even though the partying mood evaporated quickly. Rooms at the Bellagio luxury hotel in Las Vegas consumed more than $25,000; the Four Seasons, another $5,000. And top consultants collected about $5 million in January, a month of crucial expenses and tough fund-raising.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s latest campaign finance report, published Wednesday night, appeared even to her most stalwart supporters and donors to be a road map of her political and management failings. Several of them, echoing political analysts, expressed concerns that Mrs. Clinton’s spending priorities amounted to costly errors in judgment that have hamstrung her competitiveness against Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.

“We didn’t raise all of this money to keep paying consultants who have pursued basically the wrong strategy for a year now,” said a prominent New York donor. “So much about her campaign needs to change — but it may be too late.”

The high-priced senior consultants to Mrs. Clinton, of New York, have emerged as particular targets of complaints, given that they conceived and executed a political strategy that has thus far proved unsuccessful.

Quote for the day

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quote for the Day

How many cares one loses when one decides not to be SOMETHING but to be SOMEONE - Coco Chanel

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


February 20, 2008, 6:51 PM


Why does negativity seem to come so easy?
I believe that it comes
from a place of dissatisfaction with one’s own life.
Instead of taking the energy to work on what we don’t like about ourselves
We spend that time
That precious, precious time
Worrying about and picking apart others
Others who we have no control over.
No power at all to change any one else.
Yet we are so powerful when it comes to ourselves
Are we afraid of that power?
Is that why we don’t just do what we need to do to make our lives that which we want it to be?
Because if we did, we would not have any time
To be negative.
To hate
We would be all about making positive changes in ourselves and in the world

6:54 PM

I thought this was nice

Add Snippets to your site

Quote for the Day

The best things in life are never rationed. Friendship, loyalty, love do not require coupons

Monday, February 18, 2008

Kosovo Recognized by the United States

Found this on CNN at this link

(CNN) -- The United States officially recognized Kosovo -- the Balkan province which split from Serbia on Sunday -- as an independent nation on Monday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in a written statement.

In response, Serbia ordered its ambassador to the United States to return home, the Serbian Embassy said. Serbian President Boris Tadic said Kosovo's move sets a dangerous precedent for other nations with separatist provinces.

Tadic asked the U.N. Security Council to annul the declaration of independence.

"Imagine you were in my place -- the president of a country, which has been deprived of a territory against its will. How would you feel and how would you respond?" he said.

"I'm asking this question of you because if you cast a blind eye to this illegal act, who guarantees to you that parts of your countries will not declare independence in the same way?"

European Union nations Monday were also starting to individually recognize Kosovo as the world's newest nation -- but had not agreed collectively on the way forward.

Something that crossed my mind today

With every passing day I am becoming more and more turned off by Hilary Clinton and her husband. I can't speak for any other blog contributor but she is truly turning me off where I doubt I could ever vote for her no matter who she ran against.


Another Quote for the Day

If you mess up, 'fess up - Author Unknown

You live, learn and can look back with laughter

Going through papers and clearing out stuff you often find forgotten mementos of life. Hopefully, with time you learned and even the lessons that seemed painful you can still reflect with a smile or even laughter. I found a paper in a notebook from over 20 years ago (it seems). At that time I just knew I was in love. I was engaged and had written out the names of our future children. Since he was a lacking father to the child he already had, I am glad that time and circumstances made that not come to pass.

Here are some of the names that I had written:

Sierra Monique
Seandra Monet
Amber Bridgette
Sean (with an accent over the a)

One thing that I would pass to any female or male who is dating someone with a child. If that person can not understand or respect the fact that they are a parent. If they are not doing what they should as a parent. Let them go. For yourself. For the child that they already have. Let them go. You may love them and be in love with them and I will still tell you - LET THEM GO.



February 18, 2008, 10:17 AM


At first it use to be online people presented their best self. Pictures that showed them the way they look on their best day. But more and more people are online hiding - showing only their worst self. Hiding behind anonymity to lie, cheat, steal. Find a person - pick them apart. Pick them apart and break them down. Tear them apart in a way that you yourself could not and would not stand for.

More and more we are becoming cowards. Trying to be funny - not with wit but nastiness. Pretending that our lives are so okay that we can call others - ugly, fat, tranny, whore. But if truly our lives were so satisfying we would not have the time nor the mentality to spend our energy and time on the destruction of others.

- mymindspeaks

10:20 AM

Quote for the Day

Don't live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable - W. Wasserstein

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Quote for the Day

The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs. - Joan Didion

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Quote for the Day

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. - J.C. Coolidge

Friday, February 15, 2008

Quote for the Day

A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer with all the tools in a machine shop.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

In the News: About that Broken Satellitel

U.S. Officials Say Broken Satellite Will Be Shot Down

Published: February 14, 2008

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to shoot down a disabled 5,000-pound spy satellite within the next two weeks, before it tumbles from orbit, because the rocket fuel it carries could be a danger to people, Pentagon officials said Thursday.

The operation will be carried out from a Navy ship that will fire a missile modified for the task, which resembles shooting down a ballistic missile warhead as it begins to re-enter the atmosphere.

President Bush ordered the military to try to pick off the satellite because “there was a possibility of death or injury to human beings beyond that associated with the fall of satellites and other space object normally, if we can use that word,” a deputy national security adviser, James Jeffrey, said.

This has been a story that has interested me for a bit. I am glad to see some follow up in the news. The article was found on the New York Times at this link

Quote for the Day

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you ~ Ralph Waldo

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

News Widget - Stay Informed

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

About Time!

I was glad to read this when looking at CNN online. Acknowledgement is important. You can read the entire report at CNN at this link

Australia to apologize for Aborigines' pain

SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- The Australian government said Tuesday that it will apologize for years of "mistreatment" that have inflicted "profound grief, suffering and loss" on the country's Aboriginal people.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd introduced a motion in parliament on Tuesday that contains the apology. Lawmakers plan to vote on it Wednesday, and it's expected to pass unanimously, said a spokeswoman for Jenny Macklin, the minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

"We apologize for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians," the proposed apology reads.

The apology deals in particular with generations of indigenous children who were taken from their families by the government. Those children became known as the "Stolen Generations."

"For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for the families left behind, we say sorry," the text reads.

Celebrating Love - Happy Valentine's Day

Friday, February 8, 2008


for the 500 Visitors who took time out to look at our page. Whether you agree with us or not, you took time and it is appreciated

Quote for the Day

Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else. ~ Ivern Ball

Thursday, February 7, 2008

To Remind us there is Hope

Baby Found Amid Tornado Devastation

Posted: 2008-02-07 19:23:06
Filed Under: Nation News
CASTALIAN SPRINGS, Tenn. (Feb. 7) - At first, rescuers thought it was a doll. Then it moved. In a grassy pasture strewn with toys, splintered lumber and bricks tossed by the tornado's widespread wrath, 11-month old Kyson Stowell was lying face down in the mud, 150 yards from where his home once stood.

some of the best news I've read in a while. Complete story found at this link.


Quote of the Day

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal - A. Pike

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Picture of the Day

Quote For the Day

"I MUST DO SOMETHING" always solves more problems than "SOMETHING MUST BE DONE"

Monday, February 4, 2008

In the News: New Mormon President Chosen


Monson named new Mormon leader

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Thomas S. Monson, a leader who became known for his folksy storytelling as he ascended through church ranks, was introduced Monday as the 16th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Monson, 80, succeeds Gordon B. Hinckley, who died last month at age 97. Out of respect for the deceased president, the Mormon church never names a successor until after funeral services. Hinckley was buried Saturday.

The church relies on a pattern of apostolic succession in selecting a new president. Since the early part of the 20th century, the position has always passed to the most-senior member of its Council of Twelve Apostles, the second-tier of church leadership. Monson was formally chosen Sunday.

for complete article click here.

Music + Politics = YES WE CAN

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Under-Reported: Suicides in the Military

This remains a disturbing statistic for me. But it goes beyond the mere numbers and names of statistics - these are lives. When will we pay attention? I was glad to see a recent reporting online at please click the link and read the entire story. As always, I am including a bit in hopes you will make time to read the entire article. - AnIntelligentMind

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Every day, five U.S. soldiers try to kill themselves. Before the Iraq war began, that figure was less than one suicide attempt a day.

The dramatic increase is revealed in new U.S. Army figures, which show 2,100 soldiers tried to commit suicide in 2007.

"Suicide attempts are rising and have risen over the last five years," said Col. Elspeth Cameron-Ritchie, an Army psychiatrist.

Concern over the rate of suicide attempts prompted Sen. Jim Webb, D-Virginia, to introduce legislation Thursday to improve the military's suicide-prevention programs.

"Our troops and their families are under unprecedented levels of stress due to the pace and frequency of more than five years of deployments," Webb said in a written statement.

Quote for the day

If all my friends where to jump off a bridge, I wouldn't follow. I'd be at the bottom to catch them when they fall.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


This has not been the first time and will not be the last time that I post about this. I understand Driving is a right one earns. But how come too few focus on the responsibility. Each time you get behind the wheel you should consider that you have a responsibility to make wise choices because your actions could affect someone else's life or your own.

My personal thoughts - you are (or should I say may be) an idiot if
1) You drink or drive
2) You drive with a pet on your lap - what the heck????
3) You drive while carrying on a conversation with your cell phone
4) You street race

If you do one of these things and cause an accident or a death at least be responsible and mature enough to except responsibility for your selfish actions

February is the month of Love

and we LOVE our playlists!


In the News: Georgia Cops have a shootout

I read this and I just had to shake my head. People are just acting out and deciding to think later. Anyway, the complete item can be found here.

To give you a feel for the story:

BUFORD, Ga. (AP) — Two off-duty officers from different police departments wounded each other in a gun fight in the middle of a road in an Atlanta suburb, authorities said.

Both officers suffered non-life-threatening wounds, police said. Their conditions were not immediately known on Saturday.

Officer Jay Daily, a five-year veteran of the Duluth Police Department, exchanged multiple gunshots with Fulton County officer Paul Phillips on Friday afternoon, police said.

Daily was in custody Saturday, charged with aggravated assault, Cpl. Illana Spellman of the Gwinnett County police said.

"It's been confirmed that the Duluth police officer was the aggressor in this case," Spellman said.

Really, what were they thinking? I am so glad that they are both alive to think

Friday, February 1, 2008

Should We Start Paying Attention Now? New York Times: U.S. Economy Unexpectedly Sheds 17,000 Jobs

For complete article please click link

Published: February 1, 2008

The economy lost 17,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department reported on Friday, the first monthly decline in four years and the most striking evidence yet that the United States may be slipping into a recession.

Until now, the labor market had been growing at a steady if softening pace. Many economists pointed to expanding payrolls as the final holdout in a sluggish economy weighed down by trouble on Wall Street, the collapse of the housing bubble, and a cascade of credit problems linked to soured subprime mortgages

What always amazes me is that people forget about those who are holding a job (or two) but are underemployed - not enough income, no health benefits, etc. And these are not people spending frivously.


In the News - No Funding for Berkely because they said No the Marines?

Courtesy of FoxNews

U.S. Senator Wants to Revoke Funding From City of Berkeley, Calif., for Vote to Boot Marines

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., says the City of Berkeley, Calif., no longer deserves federal money.

DeMint was angered after learning that the Berkeley City Council voted this week to tell the U.S. Marine Corps to remove its recruiting station from the city's downtown.

"This is a slap in the face to all brave service men and women and their families," DeMint said in a prepared statement. "The First Amendment gives the City of Berkeley the right to be idiotic, but from now on they should do it with their own money."

"If the city can’t show respect for the Marines that have fought, bled and died for their freedom, Berkeley should not be receiving special taxpayer-funded handouts," he added.

In the meantime, a senior Marine official tells FOX News that the Marine office in Berkeley isn't going anywhere.

I guess time will tell how it all ends up. I think it is probably just a symbolic move anyway. Please check out the link and read the entire story.

-A Thinker

Quote of the Day

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness - Seneca