Tag Archives: America

Obama shatters barriers and makes presidential history


by Dan Nowicki – Nov. 5, 2008 01:34 AM
The Arizona Republic

Barack Obama, the cool and collected Hawaiian-born son of a man from Kenya and woman from Kansas, whose promise of “change” inspired a generation of young people, shattered the last racial ceiling in U.S. politics Tuesday to become the first African-American elected president.

Obama, a freshman Democratic senator from Illinois, crushed his Republican foe, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, to capture a White House controlled for the past eight years by GOP President George W. Bush. In a striking repudiation of the Bush era, Obama won in an Electoral College landslide.

Obama’s historic win comes 40 years after the assassination of civil-rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. and 45 years after King’s dramatic “I Have a Dream” speech. And it comes at a time when the United States is militarily engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan and reeling under economic pressures not felt in decades. OAS_AD(‘ArticleFlex_1’)

“It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America,” the triumphant Obama told more than 100,000 supporters at Grant Park in Chicago.

Obama’s breakthrough was symbolic and transitional. Obama, 47, becomes the fourth-youngest elected president and the first too young to have served in the Vietnam War. McCain, 72, a former Navy aviator who spent more than five years in Hanoi as a prisoner of war, would have been the oldest president to take office.

For McCain, the disappointment caps a 26-year career representing Arizona on Capitol Hill. He returns from the campaign trail with two years left on his Senate term. He joins his Senate predecessor, the late Barry Goldwater, in the history books as an unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate. Goldwater, the only other Arizonan to secure the nomination of a major political party, lost to Democrat Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

McCain, flanked by wife Cindy, running mate Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, saluted his opponent and acknowledged “the special significance” Obama’s win holds for African-Americans and “for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.”

“A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt’s invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time,” McCain told the upbeat crowd at the Arizona Biltmore in central Phoenix. “There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States. Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.”

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Vote for Hope – Obama 2008 Video


With the 2008 presidential election, Americans face a pivotal choice between not just two candidates, but two paradigms. We need someone who understands the complexity of our time. Someone who believes in investing in renewable energy, in education, in women’s rights, in civil rights, in healthcare for Americans. Someone who believes in dealing with global issues with diplomacy so we can restore our respect in the world. Barack Obama represents the change we need and can lead us into a brighter future.


“Vote For Hope” was written to encourage and inspire the hip hop generation—and everyone—to get involved, and contribute their time, energy, creativity, and other resources to be the change they want to see in the world. We have been inspired by the artistic and musical contributions that have been pouring out accross the nation in support of Barack Obama’s campaign. Vote for Hope is our offering to this creative movement. It is our way of adding our small voice to the collective voice of millions of Americans calling for a change.

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Hatred and Racism still alive and well in America


Canada will be in a recession – The fundementals are not sound?


Posted: October 06, 2008, 8:01 AM by Jonathan Ratner
Market Call

Declining GDP in the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2009 will bring the Canadian economy into an official recession, UBS predicted Monday.

“The Canadian economy, which has been only barely above water for nearly a year, does not escape the global undertow…” strategist George Vasic told clients.

He cited weakness in exports and sharp reductions in commodity prices as where the impact is being felt most. While domestic demand has held up, UBS expects weaker confidence will put activity on hold.

Scotia Capital is also forecasting Canadian and U.S. recessions, along with 100 basis point cuts from the Bank of Canada and U.S. Federal Reserve “that could come at any time.”

But for the first time in a long time, the underpinnings of the Canadian economy are sound going into the downturn, Mr. Vasic said, highlighting historically average consumer debt service ratios and a balanced budget.

“…it is not always the case that when the U.S. catches a cold, Canada gets pneumonia,” he added, predicting that consumer sentiment should hold up better.

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Geroge Bush blames the financial crisis substaintial foreign investment and a subsequent increase on bad consumer credit from greedy Wall Street bankers


 

 

President George Bush

President George Bush

A state of the afairs to squash fears amongst citizens in the United States of Amerca is sure to send ripple affects around the world; as we are all intertwined in this financial mess. President George Bush tonight spoke directly to U.S citizens, and candidly explained the situation in America. 

 

  • Housing prices that were valued more than they were actually worth
  • Banks that borrowed too much money
  • The decline in the housing market
  • Securities became unreliable leaving companies stuck with unsellable products
  • Banks began holding on to their money and dening credit to the everyday American citizen

President Bush said that the “irresponsible actions of some…bad decisions” is causing “the market is not functioning properly”. He warned that if action is held up by congress “the stock market could drop even more”. We could end up with “more expensive for credit, even with good credit history”. However he was optimistic and said that there is a spirit of cooperation betweens Democrates and Republicans. This bill will commit a large amount of tax payers money. But given the situtation, if the bill is not passed, it will cost more later for the American economy and the world. His key points to the ballout was to (1) remove risk possed by mortgage back securities, (2) protect tax payers and (3) ensure that there will be no winfall for “Wall Street” executives.

     

George Bush beleives that the plan will solve the financial problem and allow the “flow of credit” to Americans. He beleives that the vast majority of Americians will pay off their mortgages. But what does this mean for the future of America? The first part is to safeguard the financial system. He promised that every savings account will continue to be insured for up to $100, 000. In addition, he said that the laws governing the American financial system are outdated; needing change and modernization. The government should be able to observe, control and ensure that “Wall Street” will never put the system or the American people at risk again. He still beleives that the democratic financial system is the best system one available. His final quote stated that “together we will show the world what kind of country America is”. The world will definately wonder! The question you may ask, if it is the best system, than what makes the U.S different than any other socialist system now that they are essentially owning these companies? Is the problem with America greed? Did they simply learn from history and the depression and wanted to make sure to avoid a global depression?

 

American Wall Street Greed

American Wall Street Greed

One has to wonder, although America is only a portion of the worlds population, they consume the largest amount per-capita basis. Is America’s excess caused by world greed and foreign investment? Is it time for America to learn to live with less? Or is it time for America to embrace a more socialist style of financial system? Has republican or conservative styled economics failed? Or are Western societies just too credit happy, beleiving that they “deserve” to have all of the luxuries of life? Will we ever learn?

 

By Andy MJ
a.k.a. The G.T.A Patriot

Will Canada’s oil boom be an environmental bust? The new global wasteland?


Alberta the new oil wasteland

Alberta the new oil wasteland

FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta (AP) — The largest dump truck in the world is parked under a massive mechanical shovel waiting to transport 400 tons of oily sand at an open pit mine in the northern reaches of Alberta. Each Caterpillar 797B heavy hauler — three-stories high, with tires twice as tall as the average man — carries the equivalent of 200 barrels.

Shell, which has 35 of the massive loaders working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, has ordered 16 more — at $5 million each — as it expands its open pit mines. And it is not alone among major oil companies rushing to exploit Alberta’s oil sands, which make Canada one of the few countries that can significantly ramp up oil production amid the decline in conventional reserves.

Shell, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Canada’s Imperial and other companies plan to strip an area here the size of New York state that could yield as much as 175 billion barrels of oil. Daily production of 1.2 million barrels from the oil sands is expected to nearly triple to 3.5 million barrels in 2020. Overall, Alberta has more oil than Venezuela, Russia or Iran. Only Saudi Arabia has more.

High prices — a barrel reached almost $150 last month and is around $115 now — are fueling the province’s oil boom. Since it’s costly to extract oil from the sands, using the process on a widespread basis began to make sense only when crude prices started skyrocketing earlier this century.

But the enormous amount of energy and water needed in the extraction process has raised fears among scientists, environmentalists and officials in an aboriginal town 170 miles downstream from Fort McMurray. The critics say the growing operations by major oil companies will increase greenhouse gas emissions and threaten Alberta’s rivers and forests.

“Their projected rates of expansion are so fast that we don’t have a hope in hell of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dr. David Schindler, an environmental scientist at the University of Alberta.

Oil sands operations, including extraction and processing, are responsible for 4 percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, and that’s expected to triple to 12 percent by 2020. Oil sand mining is Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gases and is one reason it reneged on its Kyoto Protocol commitments. Experts say producing a barrel of oil from sands results in emissions three times greater than a conventional barrel of oil.

Worries about environmental damage have gotten enough attention that even the oil industry realizes it must tread softly on the issue. “Industry has to improve its environmental performance,” Brian Maynard, a vice president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said recently.

Questions about developing Alberta’s oil sands have seeped into the U.S. presidential campaign and the debate in Canada and the U.S. over keeping down the price of gasoline while still protecting the environment.

The Bush administration sees Alberta as a reliable source of energy that will help reduce reliance on Middle East oil. U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins said the oil sands will define the relationship between the two countries for the next 10 years.

“We are blessed by the fact that our friend and neighbor is also our number one supplier of foreign oil,” Wilkins told The Associated Press.

However, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s top energy adviser said oil sands emissions are “unacceptably high” and may run counter to Obama’s plan to shift the U.S. away from carbon-intensive fossil fuels.

“The amount of energy that you have to use to get that oil out of the ground is such that it actually creates a much greater impact on climate change, as well as using much more energy than even traditional petroleum,” Obama adviser Jason Grumet said.

Mining oil sands also was criticized by American mayors in a resolution adopted at their annual conference in June urging a ban on using oil sands-derived gasoline in municipal vehicles. They alleged the oil sands mines damage Canada’s boreal forest — boreal refers to the earth’s northern zone — and slows the transition to cleaner energy sources in the U.S.

John Baird, Canada’s environment minister, warned that Washington would lose energy security if it doesn’t take Alberta’s oil.

“If American mayors want to send their money to unstable, undemocratic countries in the Middle East instead of to Canada, that will be their call. If they want to pay a premium for Iranian, Saudi, Iraqi oil that will be their call,” Baird told the AP.

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LPGA and accusations of racism – what were they thinking? Just have the best players, play! Unless they want an English only club?


LPGA seems to have created public relations mess

Mark Herrmann
August 27, 2008

It is hard to say which ideal gets trampled more by the LPGA’s new speak-English-or-you’re-out policy, the spirit of golf or the spirit of America. Either way, the women’s professional golf tour has turned a no-win situation into a big loss.

A little hint that this was going to be trouble was the way it came out. The LPGA didn’t hold a news conference. Instead, it leaked in a hard-hitting story on Golfweek magazine’s Web site. The gist is this: The LPGA, worried about losing interest among fans and sponsors, said it will suspend players who can’t pass an English oral exam after two years on tour.

This appears aimed directly at South Koreans, who represent 45 of the 121 international players on the tour and who – British Women’s Open champion Ji-Yai Shin and U.S. Women’s Open champion Inbee Park, to name two – are dominating. The rule is not mean-spirited, but it sure does head the tour down an awfully icy slope without brakes.

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Xenophobic: Racism, prejudice and utter ignorance in Herouxville Quebec


Rascism, prejudice and ignorance in Herouville QuebecIs Herouville simply a town stuck in another time? People in Canada like to say that American is more racist, however I beg to differ. America has a checkered past, but they have at least tried to “deal” with the issues to racism and prejudice. America has a constitution that promotes Liberty and Freedom. Someone would say that only in America can someone named Obama run for President. In Canada like to pride ourselves in being better than everyone else, but are we really? In another instance of either sheer ignorance, total fear or stupidity; lets remind you about Herouxville Quebec, in Canada. With the minority report out in Quebec, nothing has really changed in the small town of Herouxville. The town’s people, still seem to be stuck in another world and want to stay this way. Although it is not reflective of the entire population, I would dare to say that this is not an uncommon attitude amongst individuals in Canada. People who do not take time to understand and simply keep a one track mind on what they think a minority group is like is simply ignorant. There is the slight possibility that the people of Herouxville do not have the needed intelligence to understand what they have done, however I would be making a “generalization”? Right? By: Andy MJ / a.k.a The GTA Patriot / Toronto, Ontario

Quebecers no more racist than others
Commission says Quebec must do more for immigrants
Quebec’s minority report released
Quebecers urged to be more open toward immigrants

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The town of Herouxville is white, French-speaking and Catholic. But that didn’t stop local officials from adopting a rule of conduct for immigrants. Included in the code: women should be able to show their faces in public (aside from costumes worn on Halloween), and they should also be permitted to drive and write cheques. Women should also not be killed in public beatings or burned alive.

Critics call the code ridiculous and xenophobic, but Town Councilor Andre Drouin says he has received about 2,000 e-mails of support — 700 more than Herouxville’s population.

“We have just published a small document saying who we are and what’s our standard,” he told CTV News.
But some Muslim leaders have called the code a thinly-veiled example of xenophobia. “Racism is coming out of the woodwork now, and it’s not being obscure or subtle,” said Salaam Elmenyawi of the Muslim Council of Montreal.

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Sen. Edward Kennedy has a brain tumor


BOSTON – Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor. Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat say tests conducted after Kennedy suffered a seizure this weekend show a tumor in his left parietal lobe. Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma, they said. Some experts gave the liberal lion less than a year to live.
Edward "Ted" Kennedy

Doctors discovered the tumor after the 76-year-old senator and sole surviving son of America’s most storied political family suffered a seizure over the weekend. The diagnosis cast a pall over Capitol Hill, where the Massachusetts Democrat has served since 1962, and came as a shock to a family all too accustomed to sudden, calamitous news.

“Ted Kennedy and the Kennedy family have faced adversity more times in more instances with more courage and more determination and more grace than most families have to,” said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. “Every one of us knows what a big heart this fellow has. He’s helped millions and millions of people — from the biggest of legislation on the floor to the most personal.”

Kerry added: “This guy is one unbelievable fighter.”

Kennedy’s doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital said he had a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe, a region of the brain that helps govern sensation, movement and language.

Seizures can be caused by a wide variety of things, some of them relatively minor. The finding of a brain tumor — and specifically a glioma, an especially lethal type — was about the worst possible news.

Kennedy’s doctors said he will remain in the hospital for the next couple of days as they consider chemotherapy and radiation. They did not mention surgery, a possible indication the tumor is inoperable.

Outside experts gave him no more than three years — and perhaps far less.

“As a general rule, at 76, without the ability to do a surgical resection, as kind of a ballpark figure you’re probably looking at a survival of less than a year,” said Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

In a statement, Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chairman of neurology at Massachusetts General, and Dr. Larry Ronan, Kennedy’s primary physician, said the senator “has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital.”

“He remains in good spirits and full of energy,” the physicians said.

An Associated Press photographer who was given access to the senator on Tuesday captured Kennedy, dressed in a gray sweater and dark slacks, joking and laughing with family members as he sat at a table in a family room at the hospital.

Kennedy’s wife since 1992, Vicki, and his five children and stepchildren have been at his bedside.

“Obviously it’s tough news for any son to hear,” said Robin Costello, a spokeswoman for one of Kennedy’s sons, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I. “He’s comforted by the fact that his dad is such a fighter, and if anyone can get through something as challenging as this, it would be his father.”

Kennedy, the Senate’s second-longest serving member, was re-elected in 2006 and is not up for election again until 2012. Were he to resign or die in office, state law requires a special election for the seat 145 to 160 days afterward.

Among the potential Democratic candidates: Martha Coakley, the state’s attorney general; Rep. Edward J. Markey; former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, Kennedy’s nephew; and Kennedy’s wife. The Republican contenders could include former Gov. Mitt Romney or former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey.

Kennedy has left his stamp on a raft of health care, pension and immigration legislation during four decades in the Senate.

Senators of both parties heard about Kennedy’s condition during their weekly, closed-door policy lunches, and some looked drawn or misty-eyed.

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Stupid to the last drop – Alberta oil thirst leading to disaster


The author of a new book on the future of Canada’s oil industry says Alberta is destroying itself in its rush to extract every drop of fossil fuel from the oilsands.William Marsden, a Montreal journalist and author of “Stupid to the Last Drop: How Alberta is Bringing Environmental Armageddon to Canada (And Doesn’t Seem to Care).

Read an excerpt from ‘Stupid to the Last Drop’

He says Alberta is giving up control of its oil assets to foreign investors and private business, with little effort to ensure its economic or environmental future is protected.

“This is really crazy what’s happening in Alberta today. We have a province that is actually destroying itself in the effort to get every last drop of oil and gas out,” Marsden says.

“We’re shipping it to the United States — 60 per cent of our production — at a time when Canada looks, and the whole world looks, like we’re beginning to run out of oil. And we will need these reserves in the long-term.”

He said experts estimate there are about one trillion barrels of oil in the world today. Those are being used up at a rate of about 30 or 31 billion per year, and rising. At that speed, the reserves will dry up in about 65 years unless additional reserves are discovered, Marsden says.

He predicts the approach of a transition period, where the world will shift towards using new types of fuel as global supplies begin to run out.

To prepare for that, Marsden suggests Canada needs to begin stockpiling fuel in order to guarantee a successful transition through that period. At the moment, however, that isn’t happening.

“We’ve basically given it over to private industry, most of which is foreign, so the vast majority of the profits are going to private industry,” Marsden said.

“So we won’t even have the kind of treasury that we will need as we enter into this new age to smooth over this transition.”

He said Canadians don’t seem to realize how dire the situation really is and many believe there is no reason to question the status quo.

“It’s almost sort of the politics of our age where we continue to think that it’s business as usual,” Marsden said.

“I mean, Canadians are looking at Alberta and thinking to themselves, we have vast reserves there, there’s no problem. In fact, we don’t have vast reserves. We’re running out of conventional oil and gas. Within 10 years Canadians could see a fairly serious deficit in gas which is going to affect millions of homes and industries.”

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