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Friday Afternoon News Roundup

Friday Afternoon News Roundup

supreme CourtI’ve been ridiculously busy lately. I hope this News Roundup finds all of my readers in good health.

I’m still a little confused why a Democrat would not support comprehensive background checks on all gun sales. It makes no sense. As a matter fact, it’s unclear to me why every American would not support this simple act.

I know there’s been lots of discussion over the Supreme Court this week. They’ve heard two big cases regarding gay marriage. You can read a comprehensive discussion of California’s proposition 8 here.  The Supreme Court also heard arguments for and against the Defense of Marriage Act. Personally, I have a problem when the United States government decides to discriminate against any group of people.

Sexual assault should not be tolerated in the military. This is a no-brainer.

It is kind of funny how our whole system is now in jeopardy because bees cannot find their ways back home. All of our agriculture really depends on bees being able to pollinate flowers. There’s a whole industry that has developed to move bees from one place to another in order to improve pollination rates. Now, unfortunately, these bees seem to have a problem with orientation. This could be extremely problematic. (Then again, it seems to be the job of the media to make us uneasy or frightened about something. There’s always something. See the next paragraph!)

We all know that the United States and other countries have increased sanctions against North Korea. Well, we’ve upped the ante by flying to B-2 stealth bombers near North Korea and dropping test charges on a South Korean test range. North Korea is a particularly sticky wicket. Its proximity to South Korea makes any significant intervention really problematic, yet it is clear that we cannot sit back and do nothing. North Korea is on the path to holding the world hostage as it sits on some sort of nuclear weapon.

A pair of studies suggest that hospital resident work hours may lead to more errors (here and here or here and here). Although this study got a lot of play in the media, there was no significant, in-depth discussion. Somewhere around 10 or 15 years ago New York lawmakers decided that medical house staff were making errors because of their unreasonable work hours. Following this, work hours were cut further still in order to protect patients. According to a new study, error rates may be increasing. Everybody wants to decrease preventable errors. The big question is how do you do this without harming medical education. A young physician does not have his experience to fall back on and therefore must be exposed to a wide variety of scenarios in order to be confident upon graduation. How do you do this? Currently, nobody has a good answer.

North Carolina is looking to limit early voting because… it has been bad for democracy?

Finally, scientists are closing in on Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.


State of the Union Address – My Hope

State of the Union Address – My Hope

I know that there are many people who hope that Barack Obama will say X, Y or Z. I hope that Barack Obama continues what he stated in his inauguration address. These are the priorities that I hope he stays near in the State of the Union address.

Education – If we are truly going to compete against South Korea, Singapore, China and Europe, we’re going to have to do a better job of educating not just some of our kids, but all of our kids. Training some of our youngsters to be auto mechanics and plumbers, that’s fine. But we also have to train a new generation of computer scientists, nuclear engineers, astronomers and the like. We simply have to do better. In my opinion we simply need to put more resources into schools. Every child has to be able to work a computer by the time he/she graduates fourth grade. We simply can’t wait. Bill Gates started Microsoft when he was 19 or 20. He didn’t start using computers when he was in college. By the time he was in college, he was already miles ahead of his college professors. In order to get the next generation of Bill Gateses, we need to liberate our teachers from a lot of the standardized tests.

Strengthen the Economy – Four years ago, we were facing the worst recession that America has gone through since the Great Depression. The economy has added approximately 150,000 jobs per month for more than a year, but we need more. We still have a jobs deficit of over five million. We need to put America back to work. We cannot wait for big business. Big business is sitting on trillions of dollars. The only entity big enough to make the difference we need, if big business is going to twiddle their thumbs, is the US government. We need to invest heavily in infrastructure. We need to rebuild our roads, our schools and our bridges. Plus, we really need to infuse green industry. I propose a $100 billion investment in green energy this year, and in every year of the Obama presidency. That will put us in the driver seat with green energy. That will put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work. I like the idea of high-speed rail. I don’t like this particular map where it crisscrosses the whole country. Instead, I think it would be most effective along our most congested corridors – Boston to Washington DC, Dallas to Houston (including Austin and San Antonio), Tallahassee to Miami and possibly Chicago to St. Louis and Kansas City.

Immigration – It is time for us to get serious about immigration. So far, we’ve been listening to a lot of people who aren’t serious. The idea of “self deportation” is laughable. We need a serious path to citizenship. We also need serious penalties for employers who knowingly hire economic refugees (illegal aliens).

We need to reauthorize The Violence against Women Act.

We need to work towards Medicare for all.

By |2013-02-12T22:23:14-04:00February 12th, 2013|Domestic Issues, Economy, Energy, Obama administration|Comments Off on State of the Union Address – My Hope

Friday Afternoon News Roundup

Friday Afternoon News Roundup

You remember how the gun industry whipped up fears that the Obama administration was going to steal everybody’s guns? That translated into a huge windfall for them.

path of tropical storm Isaac

Projected path of hurricane (tropical storm) Isaac seems to be taking a more westerly direction away from central Florida.

Take your time and sit down and enjoy this great article in the Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Shooting outside of the Empire State building has left at least two dead.

Lance Armstrong has thrown in the towel and will not fight doping charges any longer. I believe that Lance Armstrong is a competitor. I believe that he worked very hard to be the best. I believe that he did everything in his power to win. Everything.

Hospitals struggle with super infections.

West Nile infections continue to be a problem.

Household income has decreased during the recession.

Mike Huckabee has raced to the defense of Missouri Representative Todd Akin. I wonder if this will jeopardize his appearance at the GOP convention?

A Republican candidate for sheriff in New Hampshire has retracted his statement about using deadly force to prevent abortions. He has now promised not to murder any doctors if he is elected Sheriff. Well, that’s a comfort.

Norway shooter gets the maximum of 21 years. I suspect that he will never see the light of day.

In the culmination of a huge case, a court in South Korea rules that Samsung did not violate Apple’s iPhone design. Well, that case wasn’t the huge one. It was the small one. In California, today, a jury decided that Samsung was a bad company and violated several of Apple’s patents. The jury awarded Apple a cool $1 billion.

By |2013-11-03T18:13:06-04:00August 24th, 2012|Economy, Environment, Foreign Affairs|Comments Off on Friday Afternoon News Roundup
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