Response to Janett

Interesting response. I didn’t know about the GOP’s plan for the Violence Against Women Act denying protect. I will definitely have to do my homework on this subject. Thanks for sharing.

janetw525

In response to my classmates blog entitled: Light in the darkness, I agree with your analysis at the seriousness of domestic violence. Given that violence against women is common in South Africa with 25% of men from all social strata admitting to having raped a woman, I think it is very unlikely justice of any sort will be found for this victim.  Women in South Africa are not protected, valued or given justice.  It is a tragic state of affairs, but not unique in the world.  Native American women in the US are about to be refused equal protection of their rights and freedoms by the GOP in their legislative proposals for the Violence Against Women Act….

I also agree that this was indeed murder, and not an accident as Pistorius alleges. I understand South Africa has a legal system different from our own, and the need to be careful…

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Response to Stacy

Yes, a new Pope is upon us. From the history his biography, a humble man who especially believes in helping the poor. The Catholic church has been on some interesting scrutiny. And rightfully so. I can’t say that society wants the church to give up their principle; however, acts against children are very devestating to say the least. Hopefully the new Pope will guide the Catholic masses, to include members of the clergy, to a reformed state to better assist them in their paths.

stacygooden

prayer-of-st-francis-of-assisi-bonnie-barry

Today the Catholic world has a new leader. I applaud the swift and sure way the cardinals came to this decision. Too bad the media has no story about a modern pope that is going to change the face of Catholicism into something more accepting of social norms. Did anybody really expect a pope that would be a champion of gay marriage, abortion and women in the priesthood? That church already exists. It’s called the Episcopal church. I understand that some people are heredity Catholics and want to carry on that family tradition. But religion is suppose to be an instrument of principle and personal faith. If that religion doesn’t subscribe to your principles and faith, then find one that does. The Catholic church has not left society, society has left the Catholic church. The church has always been the same. Why should they sacrifice their principles when so many other…

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Response to Cedrick

In a statement from Karzai’s National Security Council, the government said that, “It became clear that armed individuals named as U.S. special force stationed in Wardak province engage in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people. A recent example in the province is an incident in which nine people were disappeared in an operation by this suspicious force and in a separate incident a student was taken away at night from his home, whose tortured body with throat cut was found two days later under a bridge. However, Americans reject having conducted any such operation and any involvement of their special force.”

The council stated that the Ministry of Defense would be responsible for ensuring that U.S. Special Forces are “out of the province within two weeks,” that Afghan forces would be responsible for “effectively stopping and bringing to justice any groups that enter peoples’ homes in the name of Special Forces” and that NATO would have to stop all its Special Forces operations in Wardak immediately.
In a hurriedly convened press conference after the meeting, government spokesman Aimal Faizi clarified that it was not specifically US Special Forces, saying that, “There are some individuals, some Afghans, who are working within these cells, within these [U.S.] Special Forces groups” in Wardak province. “But they are part of U.S. special forces according to our sources and according to our local officials working in the province,” he said.
The U.S. and NATO have denied any wrongdoing. NATO officials on Monday said they had found “no evidence connecting U.S. troops to allegations of abuse, torture, harassment and murder of innocent Afghans in the region,” while on Tuesday Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said that a joint commission made up of Afghan and NATO officials would be formed to review Kabul’s accusations.
The decree may shed light on the government’s stance toward future counterterrorism operations on its territory after 2014, but with so many uncertainties remaining, the order may prove to be an instance of Karzai forcing General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the new commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, into a weaker role, rather than any indication of a future path. “The style in which Karzai has decided to deal with the issue, which has taken the form of a public shaming of NATO, fits in with the way that that relationship has been going in the last year or two. But I don’t think that that is necessarily a reason to discount the possibility that this violence really has happened,” says Barr.
Afghans, too, are worried about the situation – though for different reasons, reasons that could have an impact on security in Kabul, come the summer fighting season. In an upstairs room of the provincial governor’s offices, elders had gathered from Chak, one of the embattled districts who had mobilized to support Karzai’s decree. Holding forth over the rest of the elders, Senator Samir Shirzada, had a warning for NATO. “The Special Forces in Chak district are causing a lot of insecurity. They are causing problems for the people. In the winter there is no insurgency in our area. The insurgents go back to Pakistan or Iran or wherever they come from. But the Special Forces in the winter still arrest people,” says Shirzada. “They cause problems for the families and so the young men go and join the insurgency. Because the Special Forces disturb the people, this causes the people to join the insurgency. They are killing people, they are arresting people, and so the family members get angry and they go and join the insurgents.”
More to follow in this tale of atrocities.

slimgoodyc's Blog

Afghanistan’s president ordered all U.S. special forces to leave a strategically important eastern province within two weeks because of allegations that Afghans working with them are torturing and abusing other Afghans.

The decision Sunday seems to have surprised the coalition and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, a separate command. Americans have frequently angered the Afghan public over issues ranging from Qurans burned at a U.S. base to allegations of civilian killings.

“We take all allegations of misconduct seriously and go to great lengths to determine the facts surrounding them,” the U.S. forces said in a statement.

Also Sunday, a series of attacks in eastern Afghanistan showed insurgents remain on the offensive even as U.S. and other international forces prepare to end their combat mission by the end of 2014.

Suicide bombers targeted Afghanistan’s intelligence agency and other security forces in four coordinated attacks in the heart of Kabul and outlying areas in…

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Response to Janett:

The ongoing national debate about the employment practices of U.S. companies and private equity firms abroad features two phrases that confuse rather than clarify the issues: offshoring and outsourcing. For most Americans, the phrases are interchangeable, referring to the agonizing loss of jobs here in the United States, many in manufacturing, to workers abroad—aided and abetted by U.S. businesses and investors.
Indeed, a large percentage of Americans are concerned about jobs shifting from the United States to other countries. And they don’t put much stock into whether those jobs stay within a particular company or are contracted to a third party when the ultimate outcome is jobs lost at home. This is why most Americans find debates about outsourcing versus offshoring to be meaningless. To them it is all about the overseas outsourcing of jobs.
Still, before we present the five most important facts about overseas outsourcing, let’s first get the definitions right. According to Plunkett Research, a leading research group on outsourcing and offshoring practices, offshoring refers to:
The tendency among many U.S., Japanese and Western European firms to send both knowledge-based and manufacturing work to third-party firms in other nations. Often, the intent is to take advantage of lower wages and operating costs.
This differs from outsourcing, which Plunkett Research defines as “as the hiring of an outside company to perform a task that would otherwise be performed internally by a company.” The difference lies in the fact that outsourcing can take place within our domestic borders or abroad. But for the purposes of this column we will examine the combination of outsourcing to other countries and offshoring, and refer to the combination of these practices as “overseas outsourcing.”
So how pervasive is overseas outsourcing in our economy? Comprehensive data on overseas outsourcing practices are hard to establish, due in large part to limited government information which, according to the Congressional Research Service, were “not designed to link employment gains or losses in the United States, either for individual jobs, individual companies or in the aggregate, with the gains and losses of jobs abroad.”
Furthermore, companies attempt to limit exposure of their overseas outsourcing practices, leading researchers to believe that even the most extensive methodologies only capture one-third of all production shifts. Still, there are important factors to understand about outsourcing as the debate makes its way back onto the national stage.

janetw525

According to the Washington Post, across-the-board federal spending cuts set to take effect on March , 2013 are likely to have a negative impact on the states, Democratic Governors Association chairman Peter Shumlin said Friday. Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy said, “This is another kick in the teeth by Republicans to the middle class of America. That’s who’s going to pay the price because they don’t want to meet the president in the middle, they don’t want to negotiate”.

The problem is America off-sourcing our jobs to China and other foreign nations. And yes, it still continues today and it will until we pass effective legislation that makes it unprofitable for U.S. Corporations to send our high paying manufacturing and high-tech  jobs overseas. We have eviscerated our own tax base these past 30 years by our-sourcing over 30 MILLION JOBS to foreign nations through so-called “Fair-Trade Agreements” that have effectively destroyed our own…

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Response to Stacey

Yes, Buffett is dipping into the ketchup business as part of $23.3 billion deal to buy the Heinz ketchup company, uniting a legend of American investing with a mainstay of grocery store shelves. It’s also reported that this is the largest deal ever in the food industry and will help Heinz continue its transformation into a global business. The Heinz Company also makes Classico pasta sauces, Ore-Ida potatoes and Smart Ones frozen meals. Additionally, 3G Capital is the investment firm that bought Burger King in 2010. Furthermore, Heinz CEO William Johnson said at a news conference that taking the company private would give Heinz the flexibility to make decisions more quickly, without the burden of having to report quarterly earnings. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. We’ll have to sit and watch if Heinz find new home.

stacygooden

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/02/14/berkshire-and-3g-capital-to-buy-heinz-for-23-billion/

This recent NY Times article reported that secret negotitations have resulted in the sale of long time Pittsburgh company Heinz Corporation to Warren Buffet’s company and some rich guy in Brazil who owns 3G. As a native of western Pennsylvania, I take a special interest in this. Pittsburgh has been known for three things in my life time–the best NFL football team, the Steelers; the worst pollution due to the steel industry and the best ketchup, Heinz. Heinz has been based in Pittsburgh since the mid-1800’s. I am proud of that. Although it’s been a publicly traded company for quite some time, it’s always been known as a family company in the hearts of Pittsburghers. Warren Buffet insists that he and his partner insist on keeping the company headquarters in the Steel/Ketchup city but who really knows? He’d better because, to Pittsburgers, Heinz is a name ingrained in their…

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Response to Janett

In never cease to amaze me how peace talks with two opposing countries are at a stalemate due to another country’s interest in assisting them. Our country has been riddled with major issues such as market failure, natural disasters, and attacks from unknown enemies in our blind spots. I will add that these two opposing factions have been fighting almost a century. Wow! Here’s little history:
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict has its origins in the confrontation between immigrant Zionist Jews in the Mandate of Palestine and their interaction with the indigenous Palestinian Arabs in the 1920s and 1930s. Before that point, the immigration into the land had been a small trickle and Arabs were not terribly concerned. However, the Jewish immigration in the 1920s was quite large and disruptive. By the mid-1930s, both sides had developed militias which they used both to attack British colonial institutions and each other. In 1947, as UN Resolution 181 was being debated, a full-scale war erupted between the Jewish militias and the Arab militias. When Israel declared its independence in 1948, the neighboring Arab States joined in the War, which caused it to be internationally recognized and called the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-9.
The U.S. is a super power and we’ve helped so many. However, we still have to take care of home in order to help others.

janetw525

According to an article in the New York Times  President Barack Obama plans to visit Israel, the West Bank and Jordan this spring, the White House said on Tuesday, raising the prospects of a new U.S. push to restart long-stalled Israel-Palestinian peace efforts. For more than two years, many Israeli and Palestinian leaders have placed blame for their stalemated peace process not only on one another but on a lack of engagement by the Obama administration. This is clearly a complex situation that has many complex solutions, that I do not for one second propose to have the solution to, but IF the United States policy was concerned with peace we would withhold all aid to Israel. Why, You may ask?… well in my opinion, 400,000 Israelis will NOT be moving out of Gaza, and they will not stop settlement building, No territory is going to be turned over, and Israel…

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Both forms of the IRA are great ways to save for retirement, although each offers different advantages. The biggest issues that tax payers need to keep in mind is how the U.S. Government treats the taxes. If you earn $50,000 a year and put $2,000 in a traditional IRA, you will be able to deduct the contribution from your income taxes (meaning you will only have to pay tax on $48,000 in income to the IRS). At 59 1/2, you may begin withdrawing funds but will be forced to pay taxes on all of the capital gains, interest, dividends, etc., that were earned over the past years.
On the other hand, if you put the same $2,000 in a Roth IRA, you would not receive the income tax deduction. If you needed the money in the account, you could withdraw the principal at any time (although you will pay penalties if you withdraw any of the earnings your money has made). When you reached retirement age, you would be able to withdraw all of the money 100% tax free. The Roth IRA appears to make more sense in most situations. Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for a Roth. A person filing their taxes as single cannot make over $95,000. Married couples are better off, with a maximum income of $150,000 yearly.

slimgoodyc's Blog

As you tackle your 2012 tax return, make sure you haven’t overlooked one of the best ways to cut your tax bill and secure your future — funding a traditional IRA. (There is no upfront tax break for funding a Roth IRA.)

You can make a 2012 IRA contribution up until the time you file your tax return, due April 15, 2013. Depending on your income, you may be able to deduct your IRA contribution even if you or your spouse are covered by another retirement plan at work. To contribute to a traditional IRA, you or your spouse must have earned income from a job and be younger than 70½.

If you are single and don’t participate in a retirement plan at work, you can make a tax-deductible IRA contribution of up to $5,000 ($6,000 if you are 50 or older) regardless of your income. If you are married…

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