Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cold, Heartless Wal-Mart

No matter how low their prices go or how much they claim to help people, stories like this make me cringe.
Debbie Shank breaks down in tears every time she's told that her 18-year-old son, Jeremy, was killed in Iraq....
Shank suffered severe brain damage after a traffic accident nearly eight years ago that robbed her of much of her short-term memory and left her in a wheelchair and living in a nursing home.
...Two years after the accident, Shank and her husband, Jim, were awarded about $1 million in a lawsuit against the trucking company involved in the crash. After legal fees were paid, $417,000 was placed in a trust to pay for Debbie Shank's long-term care.

Wal-Mart had paid out about $470,000 for Shank's medical expenses and later sued for the same amount. However, the court ruled it can only recoup what is left in the family's trust....

How difficult would it be for Wal-Mart to just let the remaining money pay for Mrs. Shank's care? Didn't Wal-Mart make billions last year? Is this how Wal-Mart treats employees/former employees?

This kind of behavior on the part of Wal-Mart will keep me out of their stores.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Having My Say

* I've come to the conclusion that it is time for Sen. Hillary Clinton to withdraw from the presidential race. I have admired her work, but she has just become too divisive. If the Democratic Party wants to win the White House in November, we must get things settled now. Senator Barack Obama deserves our party's nomination. Please contact Hillary Clinton's campaign and tell her it is time to close her campaign.

* Republicans are digging up everything that Rev. Wright has said or written. Soon they'll be looking at his compositions from high school. Rev. Wright is not the person running for President. I may not agree with the content of his speeches or articles, but he is an American entitled to free speech.

* John McCain doesn't care that you are losing your house. McCain is not going to do anything about it but hopes you have a great life living in a box on the street with your family.

* A woman was forced to remove her nipple ring with pliers to satisfy the TSA at an airport in Texas. Why do some people within the TSA lack common sense???

* Remember a few months ago when the U.S. State Dept. said that diplomats would have to rotate through Iraq?? I'm sure some of those diplomats who made it to Iraq are sorry they didn't take early retirement.
The State Department on Thursday told U.S. diplomats in Baghdad to take shelter in reinforced structures amid continuing incoming insurgent rocket fire that has killed two American government workers this week.....

....Due to the continuing threat of indirect fire in the International Zone, all personnel are advised to remain under hard cover at all times. Personnel should only move outside of hard cover for essential reasons. Essential outdoor movements should be sharply limited in duration. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is mandatory for all outside movements.

We strongly recommend personnel do not sleep in their trailers. Night workers should rest inside hardened structures during daylight hours. All personnel are welcome to sleep inside the Palace and at the New Embassy Compound. Limited supplies of cots continue to be available.....

This must be more evidence of Bush's success in Iraq.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Is Bush Listening?

Breitbart on AP:
Behind the Pentagon's closed doors, U.S. military leaders told President Bush Wednesday they are worried about the Iraq war's mounting strain on troops and their families. But they indicated they'd go along with a brief halt in pulling out troops this summer....
.... The Joint Chiefs, who do not command troops but are legally responsible for ensuring the fitness of the forces they provide to commanders, have grown increasingly concerned that the weight of five- plus years of war in Iraq could create severe, long-term problems, particularly for the Army and Marine Corps....
Mullen and Gates have said repeatedly that in addition to reducing troop levels in Iraq, they want to shorten tour lengths for soldiers from 15 months to 12 months as soon as possible. A decision to do that is expected, perhaps shortly after Bush reaffirms that the number brigades in Iraq will be cut to 15 by July. The Army calculates that at that point it could drop tours to 12 months and still give units at least 12 months at home to recover, retrain and rearm before deploying again...

Looks like the Bush administration would be happy to keep this war going for many years and John McCain supports doing that. Is this what we want for our country? Do we want our young men and women in uniform to continue to sacrifice their lives and their mental well-being for Bush's war?

I think it is time to tell the Iraqi government that they are on their own.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Another Fine Mess

Just when you thought you'd heard all there is to hear about Ohio Republican scandals, another one hits the fan. Forbes:
Seventeen employees of Ohio's former elections chief must return $80,534 in bonuses and severance payments approved by their former boss as a result of a state audit released Tuesday.

State Auditor Mary Taylor said the payments authorized by former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a fellow Republican, were illegal because he did not have the authority to award the additional payments. The individual employees are liable for dollar amounts ranging from $949.68 to $9,704.

Blackwell said Tuesday he would be willing to go to court to challenge the findings...

Not only did Blackwell mess up Ohio voting, he gave away Ohioans tax money to reward his cronies. Ohio Republicans just don't get it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

McCain Wants More War

Bush's War has given us 4,000 American deaths in Iraq. McCain wants more of the same. As we've reached this sad death toll, let us reflect on how we can change our course in this country and Iraq.


U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 3992
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 8
Total 4000

U.S. Deaths: Self-Inflicted
As reported by the DoD as of 3/1/2008
Self InflictedArmyNavyMarinesAir ForceTotal
Died of Self-Inflicted wounds1184230145

Do we really want 4 more years of this under a McCain administration?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Update on DJY Final Episodes

I did receive a response from the Mid-Ohio Time Warner Cable customer service office. Apparently, many people contacted their offices to complain about missing the last episodes of Dae Jo Young. Time Warner will broadcast the last 4 episodes of DJY on channel 24 on March 24th, 25th, 31st, and April 1st starting at 9pm on each of those nights.

At this time, Time Warner Cable has no plans to add any new Asian TV channels (with English subtitles). However, since they seemed to hear viewers about DJY, I'd suggest contacting Time Warner ( or call (614) 481-5050) and let them know you'd like KBS America (w/Eng. subs) or some other similar channels.

I'll Be Unable to Attend That Fundraiser

With Ohio's foreclosure mess hitting many families, it is incredible to see the audacity of the Republican Party.

Dayton Daily News:

President Bush has scheduled a swing through the Miami Valley on Thursday, March 27, including a stop at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.....
......The fundraiser is for Victory 2008, the Ohio GOP's segregated federal account for supporting Republican candidates in 2008 through voter registration, volunteer phone banks, mailings and other grassroots activities.

The invitation says that for $10,000 you can go to a private reception with a photo opportunity. The luncheon reception is $1,000. Those who can't attend but would like to contribute are asked to give $5,000, $2,500, $1,000, $500, $250 or "other."

I won't be attending that function. If I had an extra $5000, I'd give it to a charity that helps families and children. I certainly would not give one penny to have a photo opportunity with Bush or any member of the Republican Party. This type of fundraiser shows how out of touch the Ohio GOP and the National Republican Party has become. I think it is just plain obscene.

While the Republicans are drinking fine wine and chit chatting with President Bush, families in the Miami Valley and throughout the state are trying to figure out how to feed their families, save their home
from foreclosure, and put gas in the car. Once again the GOP and their backers demonstrate their inability to hear, see, or understand the plight of the regular American family.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Breaking News: State Dept. Breached Security of Obama's Passport

Breaking News from Keith Olbermann's Countdown on MSNBC News:
State Dept. employees had breached security information on Sen. Barack Obama's passport file. (Note: Howard Fineman reminded viewers that the administration of former President George H.W. Bush did the same thing to then presidential candidate, Bill Clinton.) Two contract employees were fired, another was disciplined. The security breach happened in January 2008 but Obama's office in Chicago was just notified.

There are lots of questions:
Who told them to do this?
What did they do with the information? Did they give it to someone?
What did Sec. of State Rice know and when did she know it?
When was the White House informed?
Was this done to be used as a dirty trick by the Republicans against Barack Obama?
Why wasn't Sen. Obama notified until now?

I'm sure that they'll be more news on this later.


Here in central Ohio, Korean drama fans lost their main source of Korean and Asian entertainment when Time Warner pulled the plug early on AZN. (This might not make sense to you if you aren't a fan of Asian TV.) Those of us who had watched 132 episodes of the Korean historical drama, Dae Jo Young, found out that Time Warner would not allow us to watch the last two episodes of DJY.

If you had been a regular viewer of AZN, contact Time Warner Mid-Ohio ( or call (614) 481-5050) and tell them that you want a similar network that has English subtitles (KBS America is now available to other Time Warner subscribers).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bush's Approval Rating Tanks

According to a report on CNN, President Bush's approval rating is at a stunning 31%. Seriously, who are those people who still approve of his job? Do they live in a cave? Do they watch only Fox News? Are they complete idiots?

It appears that Vice President Cheney is still trying to start a war with Iran. MSNBC has this:
Retaining his tough stance against Iran, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said Wednesday that Tehran may have restarted the nuclear weaponization program that a U.S. intelligence report said was halted in 2003.......

Did you notice he said "may have"?

How can we believe anything that comes out of this administration? They lied us into war, about the human and financial costs, and even how long military tours of duty would last. American men and women in uniform have had to deal with improperly protected Humvees, inadequate body armor, poisoned water provided by military contractors, long waits for VA medical care, a lack of awareness for PTSD, etc., etc. Yet they want us believe that John McCain (who doesn't know the difference between the Sunni and Shiite) should keep us in a constant state of war in Iraq.

Isn't it time to change the course of history and vote for someone younger, brighter, with new ideas and plans? Haven't we had enough of this Republican war mantra?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's Speech

If you missed the speech by Sen. Barack Obama, make sure that you check it out. In my humble opinion, it was a great speech that provides us clues about what an Obama presidency would be like. The speech is available on You Tube:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday's News Roundup

-- Former U.S. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum's funeral was held yesterday in Cleveland, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. An advocate for civil rights and consumers, hundreds of dignitaries and former constituents attended.

-- Looks like Republicans are creating their lists of possible vice presidential candidates for old John McCain. Some names mentioned are Charlie Crist, Tim Pawlenty, Jim Demint, Mitt Romney, Marsha Blackburn, Joe Lieberman, or Kay Bailey Hutchison.

-- Vice President Cheney and Sen. John McCain visited Iraq to try to bolster the troops. McCain probably had a hard time gaining a kind ear from troops because of his desire to keep troops in Iraq for another one hundred years.

-- The Bush economy is not winning any friends here in Ohio. The high gas prices are making a trip to the grocery store seem like you're in the Twilight Zone. With the prices of milk, eggs, and cereal reaching higher prices everyday, an American family must make a choice on whether to heat the house or eat. We can thank Bush, Cheney, the Republicans, and their big oil friends for these high prices.

-- All eyes are on the stock market today as worldwide markets fall at a rapid pace. Could this be another sign of the genius of George W. Bush----- total economic collapse????? According to, ..Wall Street is posed to tumble at open.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The End is Near for the Independent Record Store

A small independent record store in Westerville, Ohio, will be closing soon. Sour Records, a staple on State Street for many years, will be closing soon. It seems that people today just don't want to buy old vinyls and new/used CDs. If you have a chance to visit the store in person, you'd see a great collection of rare and hard to find items. You can also visit the Sour Records Online Store. Show your support and buy something.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

What if nations refused to attend the Olympics in China?

With China's latest attacks on the citizens in Tibet have been horrific. Although China has tried to say that the Dalai Lama started the protests in Tibet, no one outside of China really believes that propaganda. It is the people of Tibet lifting their voices to protest the crushing rule of the Chinese.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is reporting the following:

The Australia Tibet Council says the International Olympic Committee must make China accountable for what it describes as grave violations of human rights in Tibet....

...The council's executive officer Paul Bourke says China has not honoured the human rights commitments that it made in its bid for this year's Beijing Olympics.

"When the Olympics were awarded to China, they gave certain guarantees about improvements in human rights and media freedom," he said....

The Independent has this-----

.....Chinese authorities in Tibet said 10 people have been killed in riots in the capital, Lhasa, although Tibetan exile groups say that the figure is nearer 25. Security forces in Tibet had locked down the city after days of fires and rock-throwing, but reports from Lhasa yesterday suggested there had been more violence, and that police on the streets were shooting on sight. Eyewitnesses quoted by the Free Tibet Campaign and ITN said that 80 had died.

The Tibetan protests are taking place just five months before the Olympic Games in Beijing, and the whole world is watching to see how China reacts. Tibetan independence activists have made no secret of their intentions to use the games as a platform for their cause, but Beijing is determined not to let unrest in Tibet affect the games. "Anyone who wants to sabotage the games will get nowhere," Beijing's top official in Tibet, Qiangba Puncog, said......

....As governments around the world call for a restrained response, China is taking a tough stance. The regional government offered leniency to rioters if they gave themselves up by midnight on Monday and provided information on lawbreakers. "Those who cover up or shelter the lawbreakers will be punished in accordance with the law," the Xinhua news agency said.....

It is very sad that such a beautiful country is experiencing such tragedy. All that the U.S. can do is ask for "restraint" by the Chinese. It might be that the present administration is afraid to speak a little louder since the Chinese own so much of this country's debt.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

So Much For the Surge.....

>There is another article about Anita Miller's painting of Lima Company in the Suburban News.

> While the U.S. spends $12 BILLION/month, generals and commanders resign because they disagree with the President, our American military personnel continue to die in Iraq.

U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 3974
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 13
Total 3987

>Additional information is coming out about the recent top brass military resignation. Globe and Mail:

The top U.S. military commander running the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq quit abruptly yesterday after a published report claimed he was fighting off a push by the White House to launch a third war against Iran.

Admiral William Fallon, who headed Central Command, which stretches from the restive Middle East across Iraq and Iran to Afghanistan and Central Asia and is the focus of U.S. President George W. Bush's multifronted war on Islamic extremism, ended a glittering military career in what seemed to be a rift with the President...

But by yesterday, with the cumulative effect of increasingly being seen at odds with the Bush administration, a breaking point was reached. The admiral wanted to quit and neither the White House nor Defence Secretary Robert Gates sought to dissuade him.....

Is this what Bush, McCain, and the rest of Republicans mean when they say to support the troops.....just keep getting our people killed, destroy the inner workings of our military, and bankrupt the country?????

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Special Tribute to Lima Company

If you remember deaths of the 14 Marines in August 2005, you'll certainly want to check out a special tribute for Lima Company.

Here is the part of the original article published in the Washington Post, August 4, 2005:

A Marine Reserve company that was known as "Lucky Lima" before suffering heavy casualties in May was hit Wednesday by the deadliest roadside bombing of the Iraq war, a massive explosion that killed 14 Marines and the unit's Iraqi interpreter, according to witnesses and military spokesmen....

...Nine of the dead Marines were members of Lima Company -- part of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, a reserve unit from Ohio that had been sent to the Syrian border to play a lead role in shutting off the main route for foreign gunmen and suicide bombers entering Iraq....

...As it turned out, Lima Company and the rest of the 25th Regiment were beginning four months in which they would be bombed and ambushed in the grimy Euphrates River towns where U.S. commanders say foreign insurgents had moved freely. During the tour, 16 members of Lima Company have been killed, according to a military spokesman in Columbus, Ohio, 1st Sgt. James Halbig.....

Today's Columbus Dispatch:

Miller's vision will become reality on Memorial Day, when eight life-size canvases depicting 22 Marines and a Navy corpsman go on display. The exhibit will run through Veterans Day in the Statehouse rotunda.

The Lima Company Memorial: A Remembrance of Spirit & Choice has become more than paint on canvas. Family members are contributing pictures and stories about their husbands, sons and brothers. Some visit Miller's studio in Westerville just to hang out as the paintings progress...

...More information about the memorial can be found at Details about Anita Miller and her work are at

According to the Dispatch, the portraits will be displayed at the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus beginning Memorial Day.

Health Issues Haunt McCain

The Republican presumed presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, suffered from bouts of cancer. Voters are wondering what his health status would do to his possible presidency. USAToday has a story about McCain's health problems on the Opinion page:

....If he wins in November, McCain, 71, will be the oldest person elected to a first presidential term. That makes his health a reasonable concern of voters.

In 1999, well before the Republican primaries of 2000, McCain released 1,500 pages of health records, dating to his days in the Navy. Since then, however, he has gotten almost a decade older and, in August 2000, he underwent melanoma surgery. His refusal to release records covering that surgery and subsequent developments is troubling.

From his health history alone, it is clear that McCain is at a heightened risk of a recurrence of melanoma or other types of skin cancer. The New York Times, in a story published Sunday, cited a medical study of his particular category of melanoma that put his 10-year survival odds at about 65% at the time of his surgery. (Having survived at least five years with no known recurrence, his odds have risen substantially.).....

McCain should let the public know exactly what health problems he has faced. As a man over 70, there are many health problems that could arise if he were elected President. With his past history, age, and the pressures of the office, could he handle the day to day challenges of the White House.

Monday, March 10, 2008

They've Got Big Problems

The special election in Illinois might be an example of the problems that the Republican Party will face this year.

1. A Democrat won the special election to fill the empty seat of former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. The victor, Democrat Bill Foster, did what many thought impossible just a few months ago-----took the district to the Democratic side.

2. With problems fundraising, the NRCC has experienced major disagreements in their ranks. The campaign money that Republicans have gotten in the past, just has been more difficult to acquire this year. Also, the large number of GOP retirements indicates a lack of interest in their own political party.

3. The presumed Republican nominee for president, John McCain, is a hot-tempered old guy who has endured several bouts of cancer. The religious right wing of the GOP has not totally embraced McCain.

4. The American people might not be interested in voting for a candidate who claims that our military could remain in Iraq for one hundred years.

5. The current recession may create additional problems because McCain claims to know little about the economy. Obviously, he has no plan or expertise on how to get the country out of this downward slide.

6. McCain appears ready to continue the failed policies of the Bush administration.

It is no surprise that the American voters have turned to embrace Barack Obama and the Democrats.

Friday, March 07, 2008


* You must check out the video/political cartoon by the Washington Post's Ann Telnaes. Using Amy Winehouse's recent song, Cheney and his friend have something to sing. LINK

* Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) is working hard to increase her percentage of missed votes. According to the Washington Post, Pryce has missed 174 votes (13.8%) since January 2007. Since she is not running for re-election, she'd just rather stay in Ohio rather than work for her constituents. Do you think she should return 13.8% of her salary?

* Do you wonder how John McCain's skin cancer and malignant melanoma has been doing since 2001? Riskworld has some info in a link to a Newsweek story:
Arizona Sen. John McCain tells Newsweek that last summer, even though he was a bit scared after he learned that his skin cancer had spread and was malignant melanoma, "I really spent my time trying to keep Cindy [his wife] and the kids calm about it. I'm a little bit of a fatalist, given that my life has been full of narrow escapes. But I didn't want to let it show. My doctors told me we had to act as soon as possible. I was all for that."
It was also in the middle of the presidential campaign. "That was a really hard, frightening time," says Cindy McCain in a joint Newsweek interview, the first time they've spoken about his battle against cancer and how it affected his life and family......

Is he at high risk of having it again?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

4 More Years of Bush Policies????

I'm not sure that the American people really want a continuation of the policies, philosophy, the war, and poor economic development that we've had with George W. Bush. In essence, that is exactly what we'd get with John McCain in the White House.

The Chief Source website helped remind me of how John McCain voted on some important issues:

....McCain voted against $100 million to help prevent unintended and teen pregnancies in 2005; the funds would have paid for family planning services and teenage pregnancy prevention programs.....

....John McCain has agreed with and reinforced President Bush's failed abstinence-only sex education programs by opposing legislation that would require lessons to be medically accurate and scientifically-based. Over a billion dollars has been spent on abstinence-only programs under Bush's watch....

  • Q: "What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush's policy, which is just abstinence?
  • Senator McCain: (Long pause) "Ahhh. I think I support the president's policy."
  • Q: "So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?"
  • Senator McCain: (Long pause) "You've stumped me."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Republicans in Ohio Should Be Afraid, Very Afraid

If you are a Republican running for office in Ohio, you probably have an upset stomach this morning. Ohio is heading to the Democratic column. In yesterday's primary election, Democratic presidential candidates received a total of over 2,213,000 votes. However, the presidential candidates from the Republican side (AKA Grumpy Old Party) only got slightly over 1,053,000 votes. What does this mean? The people of Ohio are ready for change. Change doesn't mean that Ohioans will vote for a pro-war, Bush-friendly candidate like McCain. It indicates that Ohio is ready to vote for a Democratic president. We've lost too much in the previous Republican Taft administration and the George W. Bush years.

My mother and mother-in-law are both strong Hillary Clinton supporters. I think that their experiences in life, having lived through the Great Depression and World War II, make them cheer for the possibility of a woman in the White House.

My brother enthusiastically voted Democratic in the primary. You may not think that is a big deal, but he previously voted for the "dark side" (Republican) in the last presidential election. He is convinced that we need a Democratic president.

As you look at photos and news reports, count the minorities in the audience at McCain's rallies. There are usually less than 3. By the way, the commentators and reporters need to ask McCain if he has had any additional cancer lesions, since he was diagnosed with it twice previously.

I'd love to see either a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton Democratic ticket. It would truly be historic!

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Republicans Have Nothing to Offer

The Republican Party and their likely presidential candidate have nothing new to offer the American people. As a result, they are busy hanging out with Karl Rove and his robots trying to make up lies about the Democrats.

The Republican smear machine said that it was unpatriotic that Sen. Obama did not have his hand over his heart during the national anthem. I've been to hundreds of public events in my over 50 years, and a majority of people do not put their hands on their hearts during the national anthem. However, 99.9% of Americans put their hands on their hearts to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. As a teacher who spent many years in the classroom, my students and the students of the public schools where I taught did not place their hands on their hearts for the national anthem.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Americans Don't Care If We're in Iraq for 100, 1,000, or 10,000 Years?

Do you ever wonder which Americans Republican John McCain is talking about in the video clip below?
I know I don't want to see our men and women in Iraq for another second.

You Tube McCain:

What would happen if we remain in Iraq with McCain as president? Here is a clue from an editorial in the NY Times:
....Although initially promoted by the Bush administration as a war that could be waged at little expense, Iraq has so far cost America $600 billion, 4,000 dead, and more than more than 29,000 wounded. Thousands of Iraqis have also been killed and injured.

Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel-Prize-winning Columbia University economics professor, and Linda Blimes of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, authors of a new book, “The Three Trillion Dollar War,” estimate America’s real price tag will be $3 trillion when all costs — including compensation, pensions and disability benefits for wounded veterans, and rising oil prices — are factored in.

These staggering outlays are preventing the country from undertaking efforts that would make the United States safer, like going after al Qaeda in Pakistan. It is also sapping the resources needed for critical priorities at home, like improving the quality and availability of health care.....

How can someone claim that they are for fiscal responsibility yet support throwing money into Iraq? I heard in a report on the radio that the Iraq war has already cost us 8 times the cost of World War II. It appears that the only people gaining anything from Iraq are the stockholders of Halliburton.