Archive for July, 2008

Daymon Heard Wanted For Murdering Convenience Store Clerks

If you are a convenience store clerk in Florida or Georgia, be aware that handing over the money and putting your hands up will not keep him from murdering you.  A Lake City grandmother and Lake Park husband and father of two are his (alleged) victims so far.

Detectives are on the look out for 20-year-old Daymon Heard.

He is a black male, about 5’11”.

Police believe he is the man who fired four shots at the clerk, took money from the register and left.

According to investigators, he came back a few seconds later, went around the counter and stepped over the clerk to take cigarettes.

A customer who walked in about 15 minutes later called 911. The clerk died at South Georgia Medical Center.

The clerk has now been identified as 48 year-old Jay Patel.

He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Investigators say the killing was captured on store surveillance cameras and the shooter wasn’t wearing a mask.

“He was very bold, very calm. Calm, cool and collected. He walked in, put a Pepsi on the counter, pulled a gun from his pants and shot the man. The clerk did absolutely nothing. He held his hands up and he was shot for no reason. This was senseless. It was absolutely senseless,” says Capt. JD Yeager of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.

Heard’s friends and family identified him to investigators late Wednesday night.

His last known address is in Valdosta.

Heard is also wanted in the robbery of another store in Lake Park. He is considered armed and dangerous.

The murder in Lake Park happened about fifty miles up the interstate from Lake City where 56-year-old Linda Raulerson was shot July 22nd.

Columbia County Sheriff Bill Gootee says the killer walked in the Joy America food store and shot Raulerson once.

She handed over the money from the cash register before the killer fatally shot her in the head.

“She did everything the robber demanded and he shot her in cold blood,” said Sheriff Gootee.  Source: FirstCoastNews.com

He’s not going to stop killing.

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If You Are Interested in What Congress Considers Important….

….then click here.  I trust that you, like me, will be absolutely dumbfounded about what our government officials consider important.

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Study: Trade Deficit With China Cost Florida 100,000 Jobs

The United States’ massive trade deficit with China cost Florida about 100,900 jobs between 2000 and 2007, with 17,000 lost last year, according to a new study.

The imbalance in trade between the two countries also suppressed workers’ wages by about $8,150 per worker, and $19.4 billion overall, according to the study by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank devoted to researching impacts of economic trends and policies.

“All manufacturing is facing a critical challenge, as we know, but what may surprise people is how hard workers in advanced technology are being affected,” said Scott Paul, Alliance for American Manufacturing executive director. “As China diversifies its export base — and it’s already expanding its electronic products, aircraft, auto parts and machinery — more American produces will be unfairly disadvantaged.”

Major findings of the study include:

  • Increased imports of computers and electronics account for nearly half of the $178 billion trade deficit between 2001 and 2007.
  • More than a quarter of last year’s $68 billion trade deficit came from advanced technology products. In comparison, the U.S. has a $15 billion trade surplus with the rest of the world in advanced technology products.
  • More than half of the jobs displaced by trade to China were in the top half of the country’s wage earners.

Paul said the skyrocketing trade deficit is caused by China’s manipulation of its currency and suppression of human rights to lower wages. The U.S. government should pressure China to honor its trade commitments, revalue its currency, eliminate questionable subsidies and enforce its labor and environmental laws, Paul said.

“We can strengthen jobs and manufacturing in America, but only if we take steps to stop China’s cheating,” he said. 

Source:  Jacksonville Business Journal

So, who is this “Economic Policy Institute”?  It’s a very leftist organization.  Twenty six percent of its financing comes from labor unions; 60% comes from unspecified “foundations”.  They are quite proud of having led the fight against privatizing social security (because the government can do a better job of spending the money supposedly being put aside for your retirement than you) and increasing minimum wage.

Where did they get these figures re job losses from?  Well, they compared employment in various sectors between 2001 and 2007.  They have this to say about the job losses:

The share of black workers displaced by China trade (10.0%, Table 8, column 3) was slightly less than their average share in the labor force (11.2%), and for Hispanic workers the share was only slightly more. At first glance, then, the racial impact may appear relatively benign, but this observation changes when one compares it to the lesser displacement among (non-Hispanic) whites. Moreover, the real losses for black workers and Hispanics can be assessed only through an examination of the absolute number of jobs lost and a closer look at what they mean for these workers.

Growing trade deficits displaced 230,065 black workers and 339,342 Hispanics. These jobs are even more important to African Americans and Hispanics than to other workers, for reasons illustrated in Table 9, which reports additional population statistics on education and wages by race for all workers. These data reflect the failure of the U.S. educational system to serve black and Hispanic minorities. Among black workers, 46.0% have a high school degree or less, 10 percentage points or 27.5% more than for white workers. For Hispanics, the situation is even worse, 65% having no more than a high school education, 29 percentage points or nearly double the rate of white workers.

The consequences of discrimination and lack of educational attainment for workers’ wages are illustrated in the bottom half of Table 9. Only 38.1% of black workers earn wages in the top 50%, as compared to 54.8% of white workers, and only 31.7% of Hispanics are in the top half of wage earners. The contrast is even starker in the top decile. Only 4.8% of all blacks earned more than $30.84 per hour in 2005-07, and only 3.9% of Hispanics. However, 11.5% of white workers were in this top-decile group, shares 140% larger than blacks and 192% larger than Hispanics.

The full implications of job losses for blacks and Hispanics can only be appreciated by comparing Tables 7 and 9. Table 7 showed that manufacturing (which absorbed more than two-thirds of job losses caused by growing trade deficits with China) provided nearly 25% more jobs for high-school-educated workers than did other sectors of the economy, and 13% more of those jobs were in the top half of the wage distribution. Thus, the manufacturing sector provides some of the best jobs available for black and Hispanic workers, who suffer from much lower levels of education and have much lower wages than white workers. Growing China trade deficits are a special tragedy for these workers, who lost more than half a million trade-related jobs between 2001 and 2007 alone.

What is not well understood is that even a job lost in apparel production can be a huge loss for a minority or immigrant worker. Such jobs are more likely to be unionized and to have benefits than alternative jobs outside of manufacturing. A job paying $9 or $10 per hour with benefits, and providing industrial experience, can be a lifeline and provide a ladder out of poverty for such workers. When this worker loses his or her job and the alternative is a near-minimum wage, non-union job, an important pathway out of poverty is washed away.18

The “other” workers shown in Tables 8 and 9 are largely Asians. They outperformed all other groups of workers in terms of education and wages, as shown in Table 9. However, they also lost a relatively large number of jobs (219,235 or 9.6% of all jobs lost), a share 53% greater than their share in the total labor force. These findings likely reflect the confluence of two factors: the very high share of Asian and other minorities with more than a college degree (42.1% of “other” workers, much higher than any other demographic group, as shown in Table 9) and the very large number of jobs lost in the high-tech computer and electronic products sector. Asian Americans and other minorities have been especially hard hit by growing China trade deficits.  (Read the entire study here.)

Oddly enough, in Florida the undereducated black and white workers have largely been displaced by illegal Hispanic workers.  I haven’t heard ANY complaints about that from this organization.

This organization likes to pretend that labor is the only or even the major factor in a company’s decision to locate overseas.  It isn’t.  The cost of manufacturing includes many things.  Cost of power to run the manufacturing business is a huge issue.  Getting a permit to build a new plant is another huge issue, particularly when expansion plans can be tied up in court for years because an environmentalist group decides that a butterfly species may be harmed by the construction process.  Meanwhile, politicians are busily and greedily deciding whether to implement a carbon tax or a carbon cap and trade system to “save the earth” (translation: Raise taxes). 

I suspect that when the carbon taxes/cap and trade systems become widespread, there won’t be any domestic industry left to tax.  Maybe we can all survive by doing each others’ nails at $25/hour. 

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National Agricultural Summary July 21 – 27, 2008

Corn: Acreage at or beyond silking reached 59 percent, 28 points behind last year and 22 points behind the 5-year average. One-fourth of the crop reached the silking stage during the week. Major development occurred in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio, where 30 percent or more of the crop began silking during the week. Minnesota’s corn acreage was well behind normal, with only 34 percent at or beyond silking (62 points behind last year and 51 points behind normal). All States were delayed in the Corn Belt, except Michigan. Delays also continued elsewhere, except in Colorado, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Silking was complete in North Carolina but was ongoing elsewhere. Corn acreage was 7 percent at or beyond the dough stage, 15 points behind last year and 12 points behind the normal pace. No corn acreage had reached the dough stage in Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Nationally, condition of the corn crop was 66 percent good to excellent, a 1-point increase from a week ago.

Soybeans: Sixty-two percent of the soybean acreage was at or beyond the blooming stage, 20 points behind last year and 17 points behind normal. Soybean-producing areas remained dry throughout the week, except in southern Iowa and northeastern Missouri, where an unwelcomed plethora of rain
(locally in excess of 10 inches) fell in isolated areas. Despite the heavy rains, 14 and 13 percent of the acreage bloomed in Iowa and Missouri, respectively, during the week. However, Missouri continued to lag the furthest behind with 28 percent blooming, compared with 63 percent for the 5-year average. All States lagged the normal pace except Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, and North Carolina. Pod-setting had occurred in 21 percent of the Nation’s soybean fields, 4 points behind last year and 17 points behind normal. Pod-setting was delayed across all States except Michigan and North Carolina. Nationally, the condition of the crop was rated 62 percent good to excellent, up 1 point from last week.

Winter Wheat: Seventy-nine percent of the winter wheat crop was harvested, 8 points behind last year and 7 points behind the 5-year average. The majority of the crop was harvested in all States, except Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington. In Montana and South Dakota, harvest progress was 35 and 61 points behind normal, respectively. Harvest was complete in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas, and neared completion in California, Indiana, and Missouri.

Cotton: Acreage at or beyond the squaring stage reached 89 percent, 1 point ahead of last year but 2 points behind the 5-year average. Squaring was complete in Arkansas, Kansas, and North Carolina, and was nearly complete in Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. The most rapid advancement occurred in Texas, where 16 percent of the plantings reached or exceeded squaring. While most acreage remained within 7 points of the normal squaring pace, cotton acreage in Kansas was 23 points ahead. In contrast, Oklahoma’s squaring was 17 points behind. Nationally, 58 percent of the cotton acreage was setting bolls, 6 points ahead of last year and the same as normal. In Arizona, Kansas, and Oklahoma, boll-setting was delayed by 15 points or more. Elsewhere, progress ranged from 7 points behind normal in Georgia and Louisiana to 13 points ahead of normal in California. Nationally, cotton condition increased 2 points during the week to 47 percent good and excellent.

Sorghum: Nationally, 42 percent of the sorghum crop had headed by week’s end, 11 points behind last year and 4 points behind the 5-year average. Delays were evident in all States when compared with normal, except in Colorado and Louisiana, where heading was ahead of the average by 17 and 3 points, respectively. Coloring, at 27 percent nationally, was 6 points behind last year but 1 point ahead of the 5-year average. Acreage in Arkansas significantly lagged the average, while Colorado’s acreage was 29 points ahead. In Louisiana, where development progressed 16 points during the week, acreage was developing 15 points ahead of the normal pace. Condition of the crop was 51 percent good to excellent nationally, the same as last week.

Rice: Rice acreage at or beyond the heading stage reached 27 percent, 16 points behind last year and 13 points behind the 5-year average. In Louisiana and Texas, more than three-fourths of the acreage was at or beyond heading. Development advanced 10 or more points during the week in all States, except Arkansas. In the Delta, heading in Arkansas and Mississippi lagged 22 and 23 points behind the respective 5-year average values. Nationally, rice condition was rated 70 percent good to excellent, up 3 points from the previous week.

Small Grains: Barley heading, at 96 percent, was nearly complete, lagging 3 points behind last year and 2 points behind the average. Heading was complete in North Dakota and Washington, while the remaining barley-producingStates’ acreage was up to 7 points behind the average. Barley condition declined 1 point from last week to 57 percent good to excellent. Producers had reaped 18 percent of the oat crop, 23 points behind last year and 16 points behind the 5-year average. Harvest was behind the average pace in all States, except in Pennsylvania (1 point ahead of the average) and Texas, where harvest was complete. Oat harvest was significantly delayed in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota, and Nebraska, where progress was lagging average by 33 or more points. Oat condition declined 5 points from the previous week to 57 percent good to excellent.

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President Bush says Combat Surge Troops Home, Will Reduce Iraq Tour to 12 Months

The reduction of the tour of duty will be good; however, son-in-law is going to be a little sad that he may not be deployed to the middle east again. Daughter will be happy that if he is deployed, it will only be for 12 months.

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Mystery Fatal Hemorrhagic Disease in Shandong Province, China

Mystery Fatal Hemorrhagic Disease in Shandong China
Recombinomics Commentary 03:05
July 28, 2008

“China reported that approximately 20 days ago, a man suddenly died from an unidentified disease in Wanjiakou Village, Xiaoguan Town, Wendeng City, Shandong Province. His entire body turned dark purple, and he bled from his mouth, nostrils, ears, and eyes just as he died.

Shortly after the man died, 2 other men who been in contact with him, died showing the same symptoms. Villagers who had left the village to work said “3 people died 10 days ago. 6 or 7 more are being treated in the Wendeng Central Hospital. People have been to the area to investigate, but they are unable to classify the disease.”

The above comments from ProMED describe a contagious hemorrhagic disease in China. There are some similarities with an outbreak that began in Sichuan province at this time in 2005. The symptoms were very similar and matched symptoms linked to the 1918 pandemic. The Sichuan outbreak had linkages to swine and was said to be linked to a common swine bacterium that had turned more virulent. However, the time and location of the earlier outbreak raised concerns of linkage to H5N1, which can cause the same symptoms.

Similarly, the current outbreak in Wendeng is on the west side of the Yellow Sea (see satellite map). North and South Korea are on the east side, where H5N1 has been suspected or confirmed.

More information on the current outbreak would be useful

Source:

Hat Tip: Gulf Coast Pundit

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Obama on How You Can Save Gasoline

Because we all drive around on flat tires, I suppose. Hey, Obama. We’re not all wussy city people. Some of us have air compressors and can inflate our own tires.

Gosh, I wish I could have gone to Harvard so I could think up cool ideas like this.

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