Wednesday, February 29, 2012

10. Rottweiler
9. Dachshund
8. Poodle
7. Boxer
6. English Bulldog
5. Yorkshire Terrier
4. Golden Retriever
3. Beagle
2. German Shepherd
1. Labrador Retriever

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Search Begins for America's Outstanding Oldest Worker

The annual recognition, now in its 14th year, is part of a national effort to raise awareness of the contributions older individuals make in today's workplace and provide inspiration to older workers seeking employment. 

Last year's honorees were 102-year-old Dr. Hedda Bolgar, a practicing psychoanalyst from Los Angeles, California, and 101-year-old Mazerine Wingate, a postal worker from Lexington Park, Maryland.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Many people in Washington are worried that America’s strength in developing new technology is waning, harming our future competitiveness. While disaster is far from imminent, there is cause for concern.

The United States is far less productive at inventing than Japan, China or Korea. For every dollar spent on R&D, Japan produces more than twice as many technological inventions as we do, China produces nearly three times as many, and Korea produces more than four times our number.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Did 'Great Society' Ruin American Society?

First, who are the poor?

To qualify, a family of four in 2010 needed to earn less than $22,314. Some 46 million Americans, 15 percent of the population, qualified.

And in what squalor were America’s poor forced to live?
Well, 99 percent had a refrigerator and stove, two-thirds had a plasma TV, a DVD player and access to cable or satellite, 43 percent were on the Internet, half had a video game system like PlayStation or Xbox.

Three-fourths of the poor had a car or truck, nine in 10 a microwave, 80 percent had air conditioning. In 1970, only 36 percent of the U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning. America’s poor enjoy amenities almost no one had in the 1950s...

Lyndon Johnson told us this was the way to build a Great Society. Did we? Federal and state spending on social welfare is approaching $1 trillion a year, $17 trillion since the Great Society was launched, not to mention private charity. But we have witnessed a headlong descent into social decomposition.

Half of all children born to women under 30 now are illegitimate. Three in 10 white children are born out of wedlock, as are 53 percent of Hispanic babies and 73 percent of black babies.

 Rising right along with the illegitimacy rate is the drug-use rate, the dropout rate, the crime rate and the incarceration rate.

 The family, cinder block of society, is disintegrating, with society itself. “The welfare system is more like a ‘safety bog’ than a safety net.”

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fill up early in the morning when the air is cool, and the gas is dense. You'll get more gas and less air.

Only wash shirts, jeans and pants when necessary: unless there is a massive spill on your clothes, these items don't need to be washed often. This does not apply to underwear.

Don't pay babysitters: get young couples who are thinking about having kids to "rent" yours for the evening.

Keep a distance from lavish, high-roller friends: hanging out with such people often can lead to a lot of unnecessary desires and discontent.

Clean your teeth with baking soda. Toothpaste is a luxury, it's the brushing that does almost all of the work.

Eat breakfast for dinner, substituting eggs and beans for meat.

If your kids complain about generic cereal, put it in a name-brand box. They'll never know the difference.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dealing with Alcoholism in America

People often turn towards alcohol to escape personal turmoil, despite chronic problems it introduces into their lives. By numbing one's senses, it provides a short-term fix to emotional traumas, broken families or insecurities of childhood deprivation.

While everyone discusses improving the economic health of our country during this election year, seemingly nobody is focusing on this problem where a significant portion of the American population is in an absent-minded drunken state every single week. What good is the creation of more jobs if people continue down this destructive path? No longer can our society afford to hide behind hopeless claims that alcohol can be "harmless" as long as it is consumed responsibly.

Let's not wait for another celebrity to become a victim of this disease. Let's deal with it now and solve this problem. It is the plague of our society -- ruining lives, futures and families.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Not that long ago, states would have fought furiously for federal funding to help provide faster trains connecting their main cities.  Last year governors in Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida turned it down.

But in China it’s a very different story. The country already has the world’s fastest rail line–the train running from Wuhan, in the heart of central China, to Guangzhou, on the southeastern coast, hit a top speed of 245 miles per hour in trials and averages 194 miles per hour on its trips. By 2020, bullet trains will connect all of China’s major cities and within the next five years, more high-speed rail likely will be added in China than the rest of the world combined.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hobo Kenneth Burr, thirty-five years old, was murdered on December 5, 1984, in Santa Barbara, California. Shortly after, a flier was tacked to trees and telephone poles.
“This is a warning to all tree people,” it read. “You are not welcome here in Santa Barbara. I will make life difficult for you. I have a faithful and respected group of citizens behind me. You bastards are low life scum and will not endure. I promise you.”
The flier was signed “B. Ware.” The phrase “tree people” referred to the homeless men and women who slept in a park under or near a Moreton Bay fig tree, a member of the ficus family with a trunk 40 feet in diameter. This stunning specimen could shade ten thousand people on a sunny day, by one estimate.
A resident unconnected to Burr's slaying had posted the flier, wishing to capitalize on the murder to scare away the tree people. At the same time, cops were “sweeping” the homeless at night to make their lives uncomfortable.
At midnight, commotion: blazing lights, shouts, police moving in fast. Dozens of tree people, clutching blankets and sleeping bags, fled. We ran with them. I looked back at the encroaching phalanx of cops and sputtered, indignant, “How can they do this!? This isn't right!”
“Where do you think you are?” he asked. “Someplace like America?”

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wrecking Ball

Bruce Springsteen is furious at Wall Street, and he funneled that anger into his newest album, "Wrecking Ball." The result is a collection of songs about the destruction of the American dream. You don't get too deep into that subject before you hit the financial crisis -- and Wall Street's role in it. "An enormous fault line cracked the American system wide open, and its repercussions are just beginning to be felt," Springsteen said in interviews promoting the album, which comes out next month.

It's a dark album, layered with themes of the common man versus the bankers and fat cats. Rolling Stone was streaming one song, "Shackled and Drawn," on its website Tuesday. The song describes how life is fat and easy on "banker's hill," while the working man is shackled and drawn. Here's the video for the first song from the album, "We Take Care of Our Own." Here's a performance of another, called "Wrecking Ball."

Springsteen's work echoes some of the themes of Occupy Wall Street, and he credits that movement with changing the national conversation. "Previous to Occupy Wall Street, there was no push-back at all saying this was outrageous -- a basic theft that struck at the heart of what America was about, a complete disregard for the American sense of history and community."

Monday, February 20, 2012

U.S. Manufacturing Sees Shortage of Skilled Factory Workers

This stretch of the Rust Belt might seem like an easy place to find factory workers. Unemployment hovers above 9 percent. Foreign competition has thrown many out of work. It is a platitude that this industrial hub, like the country itself, needs more manufacturing work. But as the 2012 presidential candidates roam the state offering ways to “bring the jobs back,” many manufacturers say that, in fact, the jobs are already here. What’s missing are the skilled workers needed to fill them.

Driving this shortage is the way that automation is transforming U.S. manufacturing. Much of the demand for skilled workers arises because the automated factories demand workers who can operate, program and maintain the new computerized equipment. Many of those who have been laid off can operate only the old-fashioned manual machines.The leap in technology means that many of the workers who once toiled on the old machines, and had become proficient on them, can no longer find jobs. To fill slots, a few manufacturers have turned to hiring candidates who are untrained but have the inclination to work with their hands. Then they train the candidates. Many companies have apprenticeship programs. Hundreds are taking job-specific training.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Grow with Your Neighbors

Community gardens are managed, maintained and owned by neighborhood residents and organizations. Community gardeners cultivate vegetable gardens, care for community-managed parks and beautify their neighborhoods with flowers and trees. The gardens provide many benefits: reduced crime rates, improved mental and physical health,
and a greater sense of community!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

“Lange, in 1939, recorded a great American exodus from farm to city. Not long after that, the cities too were hemorrhaging population, and American society now is feeling the effects that are far-reaching, equally dramatic, and just as damaging to society and individuals: the white flight from the city, the post-World War II planting of suburbia on former farmlands. Today there are fewer farms and farmers. As farmers retire, often they are not succeeded by the younger generation. Subdivisions are cropping up way out in the countryside, one or two hours’ commute from new residents’ jobs. Many small towns are now in trouble; main street businesses are losing ground to chain stores outside downtown, like Walmart, Kmart, and Home Depot. In the arid West, such national trends are complicated by conflicts over water rights and use, between farmers and nonfarmers, farm and city, city and city. These are familiar stories, but it is one thing to know about them, another to visit hundreds of places, one after another, to experience the consequences firsthand, and to appreciate the scope of change. The nation is being remade on a vast scale.”

Friday, February 17, 2012

Here are the first two, of three, initiatives that must be in place to turn Dayton around – not save it but turn it around.

The Leader

Elected officials, think tank consultants, economic development groups, and concerned citizen groups cannot save cities – they are not trained to do it, and in fact none of these groups are credited with globally or significantly saving a stagnant or decaying city in five decades. We need a leader, and we are way past the time in history where that leader can be a lone individual – it must be a group. The leadership group cannot come from the ranks of elected officials. To save decaying cities, you must do big things. Elected officials rarely do big things. The world is complicated and split. If elected officials do big things they could lose elections, so they rarely do big things. Therefore leadership must come from the private sector.