Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Check out the translator!!!

Through my travels of trying to get this blog system figured out, I discovered Google has a translator for your web pages.   It was pretty easy to install, and my posts are now available to all the major languages of the world.  I placed it in the top right hand corner of the blog right underneath the header.

If you are Chinese, you can read my blog in Mandarin.  If you are a fluent reader in Italian, then you can read it in the language you are most comfortable with.

Come check it out.  I want this blog to reach all people from every corner of the world.  I think communicating throughout the world is an important part in moving forward together and having a prosperous future.

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Get the Translator for yourself

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What If? Part 1

Being a history buff I always like to go back and think about what life would have been like if certain events didn't take place.  What if Christopher Columbus had not gotten funding to sail west, Hilter's father and brother not dying when He was young,  or if John F. Kennedy had not been assassinated.  What would our world be like if some of these key events never took place.

This post will be the first of many in a series looking back at key events in history that completely altered our lives.  Being able to trace back in history the very reasons why we do something or who we are is, in my opinion, extremely fascinating.   I have written a post, Does History Have To Be Boring, that linking historical events to present day would be the best way to teach history.  By linking past events people get a direct connection to those events, and in turn can relate to the people who were there at the time those events were occurring.

Today, even as I write this, the seeds of future events are being laid down to change our world forever.  The  best way for us to tell what might happen in the future is to look into the past, put ourselves in the place of people who lived through these events, and figure out why they responded the way they did.  By doing this we can figure out if they made the right choice or not, but also if they had chosen differently, would it in fact have made the course of history a better one.  That is at the heart of this and future posts, What If?

We can say it would have been better to get rid of Hitler before He came to power, but how do we know that by doing that, that there would not have been a far worse outcome than even the one that did actually occur.
I am going to take an event that occurred in History and look at what caused it, if anything different could have happened, and if changing it could have made this world a better place.

This post is just a teaser for what I hope will be an interesting and engaging set of topics.  The first one I plan to do is on an event that I believe changed the course of American politics more than any other event in our nations history.  The assassination of JFK was such a profound moment because it was at a crucial time in the Cold War and also was at the dawning of a new generation(the baby boomers).  This generation would learn about their government and realize that it was more corrupt than anyone could imagine.  The assassination started the avalanche of mistrust with our government that still exists today and may never go away.

I hope everyone who reads these will think about how different things could be in our world had events occurred differently.  Also, to make people realize that the smallest things can change the entire world.
I'll leave you with this.  Hitler, as a boy was a very happy outgoing child that was full of life.  When He was 11 his brother died of measles which changed him into a boy who was closed off and angry at the world.  When his father died 3 years later, Hitler blamed the Jews who his father owed money to, for forcing him to work as hard as he did.  These 2 events possibly changed the course of history for millions of people.  So, think about the next time a child has a tough up bringing what they might become, and the hatred that could be fueled inside.  What if Hitlers family had not died in the way they did and when they did, What if?

Related Articles
Check out the What If books by Robert Cowley
What if Hitler was never born?
What if America lost the revolution

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Politics Around The World

In today's edition of Around The World we will look at events that happened this week regarding the new mammogram ruling by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. They stated that women should no longer get the screening before 50 unless they are in a high risk group. If you are in a high risk group then women are advised to continue to get the screening after 40.

These new guidelines are very suspect and women should be very wary of following these. In fact, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came out Wednesday stating that she disagrees with the findings and that the Federal Government will not be advising women to follow these new guidelines.

Elsewhere in the world, Iran continues to be defiant with their nuclear program and the world is applying more pressure for them to cooperate. President Obama is meeting with leaders of other nations to discuss further sanctions. The problem with this is Iran will just pass on these sanctions to their people and not stop their activities of nuclear production. They have shown for years that they are willing to deny their country goods and continue to focus on building a nuclear program. This is without a doubt geared toward bomb production, not energy like they continue to claim.

Finally, the Senate released their version of the new health care bill.  Their plan is claimed to cost 848 billion dollars over the next 10 years and actually reduce the deficit during that time.  We all have to take this with a grain of salt, since when does government actually stay under budget and stay true to estimated costs.  Plus, knowing the basics of this plan I find it hard to believe that we will be better off the way it is currently constructed.   The system adds more people to cover without addressing the fact that the system can not support the amount of people it needs to care for already.  Stay tuned over the next couple of years.  I have learned that if something doesn't make sense it probably isn't, and this health care bill reeks of issues that will plague us for years. 

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Obama Visits China

This week President Obama made a trip to Asia and His most important stop was in China.  Considering China is a communist country, the relationship with the United States has never been warm and inviting.  The US knows that we need China for their work force and their ability to buy our debt, and they know that the US has the thirst for the products they produce.  It is a relationship of need rather then one of want or respect.

Obama  met with Chinese President Hu Jintao to discuss economic policy, climate change, and to establish joint cooperation in meeting these challenges.   Both men know that when one country is not fairing well the other is affected.  Working together is in the best interests of both countries and they are willing to do so to benefit each others interests.

Not much was actually agreed upon during the two day meeting other than they agreed to work together and be partners going forward regarding the major issues the world faces.  Some analysis' will say  that this was a failed trip because nothing was signed and there was no firm agreement on any of these major issues Obama came to discuss.  If you look at it from a historical perspective however, keeping close contact with our once and potentially future enemy is always a smart move.

Take a look at 1933 for example, Adolf Hitler was elected Head Chancellor of Germany.  This is a full 6 years before World War 2 started.  Did you know that Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and even Joseph Stalin never met Hitler in person?  3 of the most powerful heads of state in the world never actually sat down with Hitler to settle their differences.  Now Churchill was not Prime Minister of Great Britian until 1940, but his predecessor Neville Chamberlain met him twice, but only right before the war to prevent it from occurring.  Roosevelt and Stalin were in their position the entire time Hilter was in power.  

Part of the reason WW2 occurred was that the relations with Germany were non-existent.  Hitler was able to build up an army (which was forbidden by The Treaty of Versailles after World War 1) for 5 years and built an infrastructure that would surpass every other country in the world.  Along with doing this, Germany was allowed to spread the word of hate for years with very little international pressure.

The United States and China keeping close contact even if they don't accomplish anything is a good.  This allows the lines of communication to stay open for the times that our countries do disagree, there will be a dialogue first.  Unfortunately long term there is almost no getting around  the fact the the US and China will butt heads.  As China becomes more and more powerful economically and militarily, it may cause major problems down the road.  Keeping that open dialogue  may prevent future wars, something that obviously was not done in the 1930's.  Even when the Soviet Union was in power our leaders kept in contact because even though we were enemies, we did not want war.  

Obama is showing that we have learned from the mistakes that caused WW2.  Keeping our friends close and our enemies closer.  For as long as we are on this earth China will never be a friend, but at best an acquaintance.  Our two countries will lead this world for the next 100 years together, and the worlds ability to survive during that time and into the future may very well depend on how well we get along.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

World War 2 in HD

WWII in HD on HISTORY – Coming November 15th (promo) - The funniest movie is here. Find it

Last night the History Channel had on the first of their week long series WW 2 in HD. They have taken old footage shot during the war and colored the film and cleaned it up to create a detailed look at the war. For those who are not old enough to have experienced anything from WW2,(which is most of us at this point) this is the best documentary I have seen. It captures the feelings the soldiers and American citizens had during the war.

Up until now, films of the war were either in black and white or very poor film quality which did not capture the power and enormity of the situation. This new series changes all of that. Some of the old video is still not very good, but there are other clips that look as though they were filmed yesterday. The newly refurbished videos look so cleaned up that it puts you in the place of those soldiers the same way live CNN or Fox news does today.

Last nights episode started with video taken during the beginning of the war when Germany started to invade all of eastern Europe in 1939 and western Europe in 1940. The videos showed life in Germany with Nazi soldiers every where as well as talked about the laws that had been put into place against Jews. This WW2 story is one I have read about hundreds of times but the quality of the videos really helps to place you in that time period and get an understanding of what it must have been like.

From there the story follows an Austrian immigrant who escaped Nazi imprisonment and came to the United States. The show spends sometime following him in the US in 1940. They show how much the United States was disconnected to what was going on over in Europe, and showed many home videos of people just having great times while Germany was taking over the world. These videos were all given great color and really put a lot of personality on a time period that was mainly in black and white. Black and white video really does not capture the power of an event like color does.

As the show moves forward they show battle plans of the Germans and footage of Germany in Paris and many other places. Until December 1941 it seemed like Germany would take over the entire world. Plans for Germany to come to South America and conquer the continent and then invade North America are shown in great detail. Then Pearl Harbor happens and all of that starts to change.

What they show however is that for the first year after Pearl Harbor it was not a guarantee that The US would have any measurable effect on the war. They explain that at the time of Pearl Harbor the US Military was only the 17th largest in the world and was not considered to be very formidable at all. None of our men had any real training and our equipment was old and no where near as good as the Germans. There were videos of boot camp training that showed how ill prepared we were in the quality of men and supplies.

Again, the power of the show is not in the information but the quality of the film that was cleaned up. Hearing these stories of the war with great looking films really places you during that time period and just how desperate and scary of a time it must have been. Hitler running crazy taking over the world and seemingly to be unstoppable while not having the confidence in our Military that we have today.

I think people today forget how important having a good military is. Think about all the things we don't have to worry about because we no we are safe because of our great solders. That feeling of protection was not there once we were hit on December 7th. The American public knew we didn't have a strong military, and throughout 1942 there is video showing some of the unease and panic of this first year. Many people volunteered to join our military during that first year but the outcome was never guaranteed. With half our Navy destroyed at Pearl we were very limited in our response in 42'. The battles we did have against the Japanese were very one sided at first. Americans were ill prepared for the scale that this war would be.

The first night of this series was very powerful and I am eagerly awaiting the rest of the episodes. The first night also covered the battle at Guadalcanal and our pushing the Germans out of North Africa in 1943. These videos make all the difference in showing what it felt like during this time period. Some of the cleaned up shots make it seem like it was filmed in 2008 not 1942. This is a show every American should watch, so that they understand how lucky we are to still be Americans. In 1942, it was not a forgone conclusion that we were going to beat the Japanese and Germans. At that point we were young and untested while they were conquering the world. Some of these videos are very graphic but at the same time they are the most powerful videos I have seen of any war, including those taken during our current conflicts. Today's wars we know the United States is so powerful that it would have to be close to the end of the world for our country to fall, but during WW2 the United States could have collapsed if we lost.

Watch this series and thank a solder next time you see them, because they are the difference between feeling safe and being afraid and unsettled while you live your life.

History Channel website
History of World War 2
WW2 Timline

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Politicians and their quotes

I am back from my little hiatus and decided I would find some great quotes from those in the political world.  Some are funny, others are outrageous, and some have defined our society.  I could just make a post on every stupid quote Bush has made, but it would literally be 100 pages long.  How in the world did we ever elect that dippity-do.

  • "If I'm going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."- Ann Coulter 

  • "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity."- Ann Coulter  

  • "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should. I've got Greenspan's book." - John McCain

  • "The idea of cloning Joe Biden is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society"- Barack Obama

  • "Look, when I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was the point."-Barack Obama

  •  "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."- George W. Bush

  • "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."- George W. Bush

  • "I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace."- George W. Bush

  • "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."- George W. Bush 

  • "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test." - George W. Bush

  • "See, Barack's been talking down to black people on this faith-based...I want to cut his nuts off."- Jesse Jackson

    •  "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals, like in your country."- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

    • "I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix." - Dan Quayle

    • "Things are more like they are now than they have ever been" - Gerald Ford

    •  "If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure" - Dan Quayle

    • "According to this week's Time magazine, President George Bush is a serious fitness buff. He works out 60 to 90 minutes a day with weights. Apparently he likes working out because it 'clears his mind.' Sometimes it works a little too well." - Jay Leno
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    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    Taking a Day off

    Just wanted to say thank you to those who have check out my blog.  I am probably going to take a day or 2 off  from the blog.  On days that I am not posting I am learning how to get this blog out there, and just need a day or 2 to not worry about it.  I will be back soon with more topics and more information to read about.

    Thanks Again,

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    Monday, November 9, 2009

    Money Around The World

    Today's Around The World will center around the financial side of things. Everyone, at least in the stock market, seems to think things are going great and everything is starting to improve. Unfortunately, this is not the reality of what is actually going on. Unemployment is over 10%, foreclosures continue to go up, our national debt is over 12 trillion dollars, and the dollar is collapsing which will lead to inflation. The problem there is if the dollar continues to collapse then we could have inflation regardless of whether or not the economy continues to improve.

    Last quarter our economy grew by 3.5%, which is great under normal circumstances. The problem is, to get that growth the government spent or freed up 3 trillion dollars. This basically devalued the dollar, not expand our economy. For us to come out of this we are going to have to produce, manufacture, and invent new goods. Creating government funded wealth will only dig us further into a whole.

    I hope things will get better but everything in my mind looks like we are in for a very rough period still. America is relying on debt to get us out, and at this point we are starting to see the side effects of what our government has done. Yes, the economy is growing again, but because it is from government money the dollar is weakening and commodities are becoming more and more expensive. This will lead to inflation, which could collapse our economy again.

    So many companies and people are looking for a hand out from the government. The best anyone can do is say no to government help, because soon enough all that debt that our country has out there will come due. If we can't pay it then the interest rates of the 80's will look like a sale compared to where we will be headed. Contact your local congressman and demand that government balances its books before the rest of the world forces us to.

    Money News
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    Thursday, November 5, 2009

    Sports Around the World

    To commemorate the victory by the New York Yankees this week, I figured I would do an edition to sports.
    I am a huge sports fan along with my passion for politics and history. My favorite sport is baseball but don't follow one team.

    I believe I get a better sports experience by not following one team, but enjoying the sport for what it is. By doing that I can walk in to any game, no matter who is playing, and enjoy it all the way through. Then, regardless of who wins I can honestly say I enjoyed the game.

    Those who are die hard fans of a certain team are always spending the whole game stressing, and then are in a bad mood when their team doesn't win. Half the time they don't have a good time because their team lost and the rest of the time they were so stressed out until they did win.

    Sports is about enjoying the game and having a great time with family and friends. People say it is about the competition, but they are on the sidelines. Once you are done playing sports in your life, sit back and enjoy the games don't keep competing. If you want to compete go back out and play the sport.

    Sporting News 

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    Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    Gay Marriage Loses Again

    The election that was held on Tuesday, November 3rd in Maine was to decide on the issue of allowing same-sex marriage.  Just like 30 states before it the measure got voted down.

    The margin of it not passing however is very telling on how our societies views on the measure is changing.  In California, a similar vote was held in 2000 that would have forced the state to recognize same sex unions, that measure failed 61% to 39%.  In Maine the measure lost by a margin of 53% to 47%.  In California last year, Proposition 8 was a law to stop same-sex marriages from being recognized by the state.  That measure won but by a far less margin then just 8 years prior.   The result were 52% to 48%.  Also the exit polls were very telling on where the trends are headed.

    Of everyone who voted for Prop 8, 70% of them were 65 or older.  Those under 65 voted against the measure 2 to 1.  Given demographic shifts same sex marriage laws will change over the next 20 years whether people like it or not.

    You just need to take a look back at how are various generations see and accept people for who they are.  The greatest generation are a people who are very close minded and set in there ways.  They would never accept or allow anyone different to have the same rights as them.  Baby boomers are more accepting but don't understand why gays need to have the same rights.  Seeing as baby boomers are the main generation in power now, you are begining to see a shift in society regarding the laws of same-sex marriage acceptance. 

    15 years ago these same-sex marriage measures would have lost 75% to 25%, now however they are almost even.  Then you have Generation X, this is where you will see these measures start to pass and equal rights begin for gay couples.  Gen X( people aged 29-46) people are just starting to come into power in business and politics.  There acceptance and ideals are even more evolved than their parents.  Of course there are still many amongst the group that do not accept gays for who they are and will always reject them.

    The Generation that will rid the country of the discrimination of gays will be when the Generation Y and Generation_Z come into there own and become the power leaders of our country.  These generations are more accepting than anyone can even imagine.  Go to a local high school and you will find clubs and events held for gay students.  This is something that was not even accepted 10 years ago.  Talk to a high school student about a gay friend and they talk about them like they are just someone in the gang who likes the same-sex, whats the big deal?

    The point is that gays in society where considered a fuapau even just 10-15 years ago.  Today, amongst those who are less than 30 it is very accepted, and those still in there teens it is a way of life.  They don't even see it as being weird to have gay and straight friends who all hang out.  They are the ones who will put into place the laws necessary to give gays their needed rights.

    It is wrong to deny anyone equal rights because they are different.  They are asking for these rights not to be accepted by society or accepted by a religion.  They are asking for these rights so they can be at the bed side of a loved one if their dying or claim possessions of a loved one if they pass on.  There are many  basic human rights they don't get because their union is not recognized by the government.  The argument that it will deminish the value of your marriage is a terrible reason to not allow another American the same rights you have.  Their marriage has nothing to do with yours, just like yours has nothing to do with your neighbors.  By denying them these rights you are only strengthening their cause.

    Some day these laws will pass not because of will or hope or determination, but because as the generations go,  people become more and more tolerant to change as they begin to understand that it is wrong to deny those who just want to be included like everyone else.  The American way of life is not the perfect way of life, but it allows us to gradually see our faults and mistakes and gives us a chance to fix them.

    Related Articles
    Analysis of Proposition 8
    Arguments against gay marriage
    Arguments for gay marriage
     The Bill of Rights applies to gays as well
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    Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    Politics Around The World

    Politics will always be about who thinks they are right.  The truth is that we are all right and we are all wrong.  We are right because we want to make a difference to our country.  We are wrong because we don't want to listen to our countrymen.  The sign of a great leader is knowing that you don't know the answer and listening to those who do.  Saying their wrong because you don't understand it makes you wrong.

    Poltical News

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    Monday, November 2, 2009

    H1N1 Vaccine For Gitmo Inmates, Ridiculous

    Reports are coming out today that Guantanamo Bay terrorist inmates are getting H1N1 vaccines sent to them now, before many Americans who need and want it can not get it.  There have been major shortages all over the United States for the vaccine.

    My wife even tried calling to get the vaccine from our medical provider and they said that they received only 100 doses, and those are only being reserve for people in high risk categories.  They also said that an expected date was unknown as to when they would be receiving more.

    American citizens who have never done anything wrong are now getting 3rd world treatment over terrorists.  
    Army Maj. James Crabtree, a spokesman for the U.S. jail facility in southeast Cuba, said "The US is responsible for the health and care of the detainee population." That is fine but make sure law abiding American citizens are taken care of first. 

     I am not saying that we should give them treatment, just make sure the rest of us are vaccinated first and then worry about the scum of the earth.  Until there is enough for them, give them extra vitamin C to fight it off.  Terrorists made their bed long ago.  This is about life and death for many people and the thought that a terrorist gets treatment over a natural born citizen is disgusting and un-defendable.

    Does this mean that we can now sue the government if a loved one dies from swine flu?  By not giving the vaccine to citizens, because they want to protect the terrorists, this holds them liable for everyone who dies who is not able to get the vaccine.

    I love this country very much, but sometimes the people who run it make me sick to my stomach.  I am proud to be an American I am not proud of the Americans who are placing terrorists well being over that of other Americans.  DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Related Articles
    Fury over vaccines for inmates
    Government defend action of giving vaccine to inmates
     Fox News report on gitmo accinations

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