Archive for October 17, 2009

10-Year-Old Georgia Girl Dies From Swine Flu

No underlying conditions.

ATLANTA — A 10-year-old girl in the Augusta area has died of swine flu.

State health officials say that Summer Rockefeller of Harlem, Ga. died Saturday of the virus. Officials say she is the second child in the state who died of the illness without having an underlying health condition.

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It’s a Matter of Trust

For me, it boils down to this: Do I want to entrust the decisions for my health care to some nameless bureaucrat that will get incentives for saving money, or to me? Who do I think will make better decisions regarding my life, me or a government employee who cannot be sued if he/she makes a decision that will end my life?

If the government wants to “save money” on my retirement and health care, they can just send me all the money they’ve forcibly deducted from my paychecks thus far (for my future well-being, of course), and I’ll invest those funds for myself and get a helluva insurance policy from a private company. Oh, wait, I already have one because I’m working in a job I’m not particularly fond of because of the insurance benefits. If I blow my retirement funds by investing in Vegas, well, I’ll be a Walmart greeter. My decision, my money, my consequences.

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Are We Moving Inexorably Toward Dissolution?

From American Thinker:

The liberal/progressive movement has convinced modern man that to satisfy his material needs it is not necessary to labor exhaustingly in pursuit of said needs; but much more beneficial to modern man to simply reallocate resources from those who can afford to do so. The foundations of the welfare state having been laid, the free market struggles to provide for its legitimate members as well as those of a lesser inclination. The mixed economy may go on for years before the weight of redistributive legislation finally brings the golden goose to a prone position.

The tipping point, however, has finally been reached. Better than 50% of the class of lesser inclination now feed at the trough of Federal largesse. They are satiated and satisfied by the exuberance of the power elite. They are now but tools to that elite; to be fashioned as the ruling class desires. They can no more disenfranchise themselves from their largesse than those who desire freedom could but snap their fingers and be loosed from their chains. Those who advocate the redistribution of wealth have succeeded; democracy has trumped the Republic and the tyranny of the majority has taken shape.

There will continue to be elections and small changes in the makeup of the Legislative and Executive, but it will be mere window dressing to the failed experiment; that being the existence of a viable Republic. The United States will become the ‘Dis-United States’. Those states that can extricate themselves from the failed experiment will do so. Those that have believed a Constitution is unchanged for the ages will depart Democratic entanglement and form their own new, more perfect union. The new union may be small and certainly less powerful than its Federal predecessor, but it will have as its motto the belief that men are free to decide their own future, not subject to the tyranny of a majority. That its currency will not be debased; that limited government lives up to its charter and that citizens be the rulers instead of sheep to be fleeced.

In her great novel, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand saw such a future for those concerned with the dignity and freedom of mankind. When it was written it was just a novel, hardly a vision for what a country could become. That vision, that future may now be here. We need only be brave enough to face the present which was the future and determine who will be our John Galt.

Then it starts anew…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal….

The people that are not upset about the direction in which the country is going, the increasing debt burden, the goverment abrogation of what should be private individual and business decisions, and (criminal) interference in private markets hasn’t been paying attention or is a beneficiary of these moves.

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Putting the Wolf in Charge of Protecting the Sheep….Always a GREAT Idea, Right?

WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission tapped Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive Adam Storch on Friday to serve as the agency’s first-ever chief operating officer of the enforcement division.

The new hire represents the latest personnel change at the SEC in its effort to improve its operations following its failure to detect Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme.

Enforcement Division Director Robert Khuzami created Mr. Storch’s position of managing executive as part of the major re-structuring effort he announced earlier this year. Mr. Storch will oversee division operations that include budget, information technology and administrative services. He will also supervise the workflow associated with the collection and distribution of fair funds to harmed investors.

“Adam’s skill in technology systems, workflow process, and project management will greatly benefit the division, including in the critical areas of the distribution of Fair Funds to harmed investors and the processing and analysis of complaints, tips, and referrals,” said Mr. Khuzami. “He will help to make us more efficient and nimble and permit us to put more of our investigators on the front lines to detect and stop fraud.”

Mr. Khuzami, a former federal prosecutor, was hired to help invigorate the enforcement division after the Madoff scandal.

Since then, he has worked toward implementing major changes such as creating a new office of market intelligence to monitor tips, dividing the division into specialized units and expediting the process that staff must follow to obtain subpoenas.

He also has reduced management within the division by 40% so more people could be deployed to help conduct front-line investigations.

M.r Storch most recently served as the vice president in Goldman’s Business Intelligence Group. Prior to that, he worked as a senior consultant at Deloitte & Touche.

He has an MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and his B.S. in Business Administration summa cum laude from the SUNY Buffalo School of Management. “I am honored to join the SEC at this crucial time,” Storch said. “I look forward to working with the talented and dedicated staff of the SEC.”

And I look forward to putting somebody in charge that will actually enforce the laws of the country, but that isn’t going to happen, is it?

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Cool Weather!

I awoke groggily this morning a bit later than usual then dashed outside to feed in the daylight. I pulled on a pair of shorts and T-shirt, my usual feeding attire in the summer, before dashing out the door, hoping that puppy hadn’t gotten impatient about the lack of food in his bowl and decided to slake his appetite with a couple roosters. I got about ten steps outside the door before I woke up enough to realize I was COLD! Damn! Puppy was making ecstatic leaps through the air, Breeze the horse was galloping around playing like a foal, and even old Odie was jumping about and playing, tail wagging madly.

High temperatures will be in the 60s for the next couple of days, and my maple and pecan trees will probably decide to dump the leaves simultaneously, leaving a big old mess to be cleaned up.

Luckily, I believe in building the soil with leaves. I believe I’ll let those leaves lie around and build the soil but I suppose I’ll first need to get them off the patio and sidewalks.

The 2-year-old grandson got on the phone to show us his new kitty. He held it up to the phone so that Papa and I could admire it. They (grandsons) will be over today so that we can go to Connor’s Amaizing Acres, and I’m sure they’ll have a great time. I started a new fitness program after a long layoff, and my legs, back, arms….well, my entire body….has decided to send in massive pain signals in protest. The legs are talking about walking out on walking entirely. Lazy bastards. Climbing in and out of tractor wagons, walking (and running) around a corn maize, and chasing excited little boys is probably going to be really, really painful for me. Exercise is overrated!

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Three American Soldiers Killed by IED in Afghanistan

KABUL — Bomb attacks have killed three more US troops in Afghanistan, the NATO-run International Security Assistance Force said Saturday.

“Two US service members were killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in eastern Afghanistan October 16, and one US service member was killed in an IED attack in southern Afghanistan on the same day,” it said.

It gave no further details.

Homemade IEDs, often buried on roadsides, have become the scourge of the eight-year war against Taliban-led insurgents in Afghanistan, where 100,000 foreign troops are under US and NATO command.

Western leaders have said IEDs account for a growing proportion of foreign soldiers’ deaths, already above 400 so far this year, with more than half of them Americans.

During the Bush administration, this news would have been promulgated by headline news stories screeching about “grim milestones” and national news coverage. Now, the Nobel-Peace-Prize-Winner-in-Chief dithers and makes empty speeches, and the news anchors ignore the deaths instead of getting all teary eyed over their noble sacrifice.

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