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Army Family Action Plan delegates tackle 88 issues during Super Bowl Week 110202
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PHOTO CAPTION: Installation Management Command’s Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch signals thumbs up to delegates during opening remarks of the 2011 Army Family Action Plan Conference on Jan. 31 at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Va. (Photo by Sarah Samoraj, IMCOM Public Affairs)

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Army Family Action Plan delegates tackle 88 issues during Super Bowl Week 110202

By Tim Hipps
FMWRC Public Affairs

ARLINGTON, Va. – The perception of a weeklong meeting of Army wives is one of the greatest misnomers about the annual Army Family Action Plan Conference, which opened its 2011 rendition Monday at the Sheraton National Hotel.

The AFAP delegates actually consist of active duty Soldiers, National Guard, Reserve – including officers, enlisted, junior and senior non-commissioned officers – Family members of said personnel, civilian employees and their Family members, as well as retirees – both military and civilian.

“That’s the misnomer with AFAP – people think it’s only a bunch of spouses,” explained Christina Vine, the ACSIM program analyst who manages the Army Family Action Plan Conference issues for Headquarters, Department of the Army. “We have full-bird colonels, we have Pfcs., we have BOSS Soldiers, dual military Family members, we have survivors – both spouses and parents of the fallen.

“Technically, you could be a delegate if you’re a GS civilian.”

Vine then rattled off a roll call of issues that easily could affect folks however loosely they are connected to the military. She wishes more people understood the mission of the Army Family Action Plan and all the good derived from the year-round process that culminates annually in Northern Virginia.

“I have an entire slide that says AFAP affects everybody,” Vine said. “People ask me all the time why I do this job, and I tell them I’m passionate about this job for many reasons – because in this book, every single one of these issues affects me.

“If I look in employment, I’m a DA civilian,” she said while thumping her thumb on the AFAP Conference Workbook, dubbed the voice of the Army Family. “When I look in Family support, I’m an active-duty Soldier’s wife, so the issues about Family Readiness Groups, they affect me. The issues about Child and Youth Services, I have two small children that use the CDC, those issues affect me. When I look in medical, I use Tricare, it affects me. When I look at Soldier support, my husband is an active duty Soldier.”

Vine and her 5-year-old twin boys also dealt with Dad’s deployment last year.

“When you talk about the Soldier issues, they all affect my husband,” she added. “Maybe by the grace of God, tomorrow he could be a wounded warrior. I never know. People don’t realize that the majority of our issues are issues that are Soldier specific.”

Yet, they touch nearly everyone affiliated with the military – one way or another. Although the Army is the only branch that has such a program, more than 60 percent of all active AFAP issues impact all services.

“This is Super Bowl Week because these are going to become reality,” Vine said. “These are the issues that need Department of the Army resolution. Can you tell that I’m passionate about the program?”

The conferences consists of 95 delegates from around the world, 51 subject-matter experts from the Army staff, 32 workgroup team members and at least 15 conference staffers. Another dozen members of the Army Teen Panel are here to mirror AFAP by dealing with issues of 14 to 19-year-olds from six Army regions, including Reserve, Guard and Accessions Command representatives.

“What I always like to say about AFAP is it’s the most democratic process in the Army because you can have a Pfc.’s spouse submit an issue that ends up having to be worked by a three-star general,” Vine said with a smile.

Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding general of Installation Management Command and Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, helped launch the weeklong conference.

“The Army leadership is committed to fulfilling the Army Family Covenant,” Lynch said during opening remarks. “Both the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army have routinely said we’re not going to fail to fulfill the Army Family Covenant, so I don’t want you to think reduced resources is going to affect Families because it’s not.”

AFAP begins at the installation and local level, where almost 90 percent of AFAP issues are resolved, according to Maj. Gen. Reuben Jones, commander of the Army’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command. Handling issues at the local level results in ongoing community improvements. Issues beyond the local level are raised to command-level conferences and then to Army headquarters, where delegates from across the Army determine which will be selected for resolution by Army staff and Department of Defense agencies.

“The issues that make their way to Department of the Army Headquarters all begin at a garrison or tenant unit, such as 5th Group or an MI brigade that belongs to Intelligence and Security Command, or maybe an engineering company that belongs to the Corps of Engineers,” Vine explained. “They all create these issues.”

The issues are vetted at the local level and those issues that can not be resolved at that garrison are forwarded to their mid-level commands – such as FORSCOM, TRADOC, Corps of Engineers, USAEUR and Eighth Army, to name a few.

Those 17 entities have their own conferences, where the issues are prioritized again. In addition to the mid-level commands, two special-interest groups have their own symposiums: the Army Wounded Warrior Program and the Survivor Outreach Services.

“At those conferences, their issues all deal with things affecting them,” Vine said. “All 17 send their issues that cannot be resolved at their level up to Headquarters DA and they come to me. We had 103 issues submitted. We tasked them out to the Army staff – such as Army G1, Army Civilian Personnel and the Surgeon General’s Office – and they tell me which issues they are a proponent for.”

According to Jones, AFAP alerts local Army leaders to areas of concern so they can resolve issues at home.

“In some cases we had great news stories, and it turned out there already was a fix in place that the commands just weren’t aware of – so that’s how we went down from 103 to 88,” Vine said. “We didn’t even need AFAB because there was a resolution. That’s great because some people had a fix in place already.”

The remaining 88 issues will be considered this week by eight work groups, which are divided into subject areas: Education & Awareness, Employment, Family Support I & II, Medical Issues I & II, and Soldier Support I & II.

“It’s one week here at Headquarters DA, but it’s always going on,” Vine added. “It’s a year-round process. If you go right now to www.armyonesource.com, you can submit an issue that can go to that garrison 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Vine has been working the AFAP Conference for seven years but says she never really knows which issues will make the final cut. She does, however, have a couple of favorites this year.

One will be handled by the Soldier Support II work group: tax-free active duty Soldier retention bonuses.

“Right now, if you re-enlist in the Army and you are not deployed, you have to pay taxes on those, and some of those re-enlistment bonuses are like 10 grand,” Vine explained. “If you are deployed, then that’s all tax-free, so think about the tax savings that you’re getting on that. So there are some Soldiers who know that they’re due to re-enlist who are happy to deploy because that means they are going to get that chunk of change. So that’s one that I think will be an interesting conversation.”

Another issue is social security numbers usage as the only way to identify troops – to help Soldiers battle identity theft. Single parent accession deals with the fact that single mothers are allowed to enlist in the Army only if they give away parental rights to their children.

“Most people, when I bring that up, say: ‘What?’” Vine said. “The Army will only enlist you if you have no dependents or if you’re married or married with dependents. They won’t allow you as a single parent to enlist. And the reason why is readiness: What are you going to do with your kid? It makes sense from their standpoint, but a lot of people are then making, in this economy, choices that are irrevocable.”

And the list goes on and on and on – 88 issues that will be reduced to 16 that will be submitted for resolution on Feb. 4.

“The mission for this week is to elevate for senior leader consideration 16 issues that will radically improve the quality of life of the Army Family, whether it’s a civilian, a Soldier, a retiree or a Family member,” Vine said. “It’s all about improving quality of life.”

Recent AFAP successes include legislation authorizing surviving children to remain in the TRICARE Dental Plan until age 21 (or 23 if enrolled fulltime as a student); online tutoring for military connected students; subsidized off-post child care for geographically dispersed active component and deployed Reserve component Soldiers; and more than 400 new Unit Ministry Team positions (chaplain and chaplain assistant) in the Active, Guard and Army Reserve.

More than 660 issues have been identified during the past 27 years, leading to 133 legislative changes, 172 Army or Department of Defense policy changes, and 192 improved programs and services, according to Jones.

Lynch also shared statistics gathered from a 2010 survey of Army Families that revealed 67 percent of spouses would be satisfied if their Soldier made the Army a career – up from 62.8 percent in 2004-05. More than half of the spouses (59 percent) are satisfied with the kind of life they can have in the Army – up from 54 percent. More than half (58.8 percent) said they coped well during their Soldier’s absence – up from 52 percent in the prior survey.

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KS 110202

U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Sports Program – Team Roping – 10 May 2008 – Las Cruces – New Mexico – FMWRC
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Cowboy-Soldier Launches Army’s Wounded Warrior Sports Program

Photos and story by Tim Hipps, FMWRC Public Affairs (cleared for public release)

LAS CRUCES, N.M.—Purple Heart recipient Spc. Jake Lowery officially launched the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Sports Program with an inspirational team-roping performance at Denny Calhoun Arena on May 10–11.

Lowery, 26, of Fort Richardson, Alaska, lost his right eye and sustained massive head injuries when he was hit by an improvised explosive device that killed a fellow Soldier in Fallujah, Iraq, on Feb. 11, 2007.

Less than a year later, Lowery, a lifelong cowboy, was back aboard a horse and roping steers despite suffering from a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"This pretty much keeps me going—it’s the only thing that does," he said. "Without it, I’d just be hanging out in my room somewhere."

The Wounded Warrior Sports Program was designed to give active-duty Soldiers with life-altering injuries an opportunity to compete in sporting events by paying for their athletic attire, registration fees, transportation, lodging and per diem.

Lowery travelled from Alaska to El Paso, Texas, and connected with family for a ride home to Silver City, N.M., where he, stepfather John Escobedo and grandfather Pete Escobedo loaded a trailer with horses and drove to Las Cruces for a weekend of roping.

All three competed in the Troy Shelley Affiliate event.

"This is one of the best things the Armed Forces could have done because it’s just therapy for these guys who feel like ‘I lost this. I lost that,’" said Sgt. 1st Class (ret.) Pete Escobedo, 83, who served 27 years in the Army. "If you really want to do something with yourself…Jacob is a prime example. He’s really trying.

"We’re thankful for the Army for doing everything it can for him."

Lowery teamed with different partners to successfully rope two of six steers in the first round of competition on Saturday. After roping two more in the second round and another in the third, he was sitting in third place entering the final short round. But when prize money came into play, his steer got away.

"It looked good to me," Lowery said of his final toss. "I’m not sure how he got out of it. I guess it happens that way sometimes, especially in this sport. Maybe I roped him a little too low. If not, I don’t know."

Despite struggling with limited depth perception, Lowery is encouraged that his roping skills will continue to improve. He already bounced back to win an all-around crown in Alaska and teamed with his stepfather to capture the team-roping title at the Professional Armed Forces Rodeo Association’s 2007 World Finals in Fort Worth, Texas.

"I’m not back to where I was, by any means," Lowery said. "I just keep practicing and hope it eventually comes back."
Lowery’s first run of 8.43 seconds was one of the fastest of the morning among 450 cowboys in Las Cruces. He posted another quality time of 8.69.

"Yeah, it was good, but it could have been better," he said of the full day of roping. "It was awesome just to come down and get out of the cold weather for awhile. I really enjoyed it."

Pete has faith that Jake eventually will overcome TBI and PTSD. Putting him on a horse is the best therapy he knows.

"I have been roping with Jacob since he was knee high to a grasshopper," granddad said. "I just don’t have words to explain the love that we have for Jacob and how much we enjoy ourselves doing what we do. He’s worked very hard. I’m sorry that he had to be injured the way that he was, but we’re doing the best that we can.

"He has taken his injury and forgotten it, to a degree, while he is doing what he loves the most. If you go to our house, this is all you’ll find: horses and cattle. If we’re not roping today, we’re roping tomorrow."

On this weekend, they were roping both days—three generations of cowboys taking turns roping steers in 100-degree desert heat.

"Jake has done remarkably well in coping with his injury," Pete said. "Instead of saying: ‘Well, I’m injured,’ he says: ‘I’m going to do what I can. The Good Lord handed me this hand, so I’m going to do with what he dealt me the best that I can.’"

John, too, is proud of how Jake has dealt with adversity, but he’s also experienced the aftereffects firsthand.

"Sometimes he gets those debilitating headaches and they just knock him smooth out," John said. "And then he just doesn’t feel like doing anything. And if he does feel like it, his head is hurting so bad that he’s not able to.

"There’s a lot of stuff in your head after you go to war and get blown up that you just can’t throw away. Me, I don’t have a clue because I’ve never been, but I can just imagine. A good friend of mine was a Navy SEAL in Vietnam and he got blown up big-time, and the guy’s got the best attitude of anybody I ever met.

"Jake wasn’t hit for ten minutes and he was on the phone asking: ‘What can I do?’" John said. "We got him cycled through (the recovery process) and once he started getting right, he called me up and said: ‘It’s not the events in your life that matter; it’s what you do with those events. If you want to lie around and be a crybaby, be a crybaby. If you want to jump up and do something…’"
That call made John proud.

"I told him before he left: ‘When you sign (enlistment papers with the Army), I can’t come and get you.’ And he said: ‘I ain’t worried.’ He’s never regretted his decision to go, not at all. He’s never got on the ‘Poor me, I wish I hadn’t’ and stuff like that. We hand him a lot and don’t give him the opportunity to lie around and have his own personal pity party. It’s like: ‘Hey, get up, let’s go do something.’"
Then another curious moment comes along.

"At to the world finals last year, he was sitting up at the top of the coliseum by himself," John recalled. "He just couldn’t stand the confinement of having people all around him. It’s just the little things, like he’ll forget to shut the gate (after riding the horse through)."

The affects also can be seen in Jake’s prolonged moments of silence.

"If we can ever get him to where he’ll just start talking again and intermingling with people and not being paranoid, I think life will be good," John said. "When he’s on horseback or working out, he’s a normal guy. But we’ll be sitting at the house watching TV or something and it ain’t the same guy. We drove six- or seven-hundred miles to the world finals—14 hours of drive time—and he probably said three words.

"But you stick him on a horse or in the gym, where his comfort zone is, and he’s fine."

At age 83, Pete derives inspiration from his injured grandson.
"His motivation is the love for this sport, and that keeps him wanting to get better instead of finding excuses as to why he can’t do something," he said. "He’s finding ways and reasons to do whatever he can. We really don’t worry too much about him, especially when we see how he’s progressing and conducting himself with his injury. He’s just not letting it get him down."

Jake believes that sets him apart from some of his fellow injured troops, whom he says "don’t seem to want to do anything." He couldn’t wait to get active again.

"Some of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation people told me about it when I was at the Warrior Transition Unit," Lowery said of the Wounded Warrior Sports Program. "About two days later, I sent in the paperwork. I sent them about four or five events they could pick from."

"This was the perfect venue for this particular guy," said Army sports specialist Mark Dunivan, who expects more applicants to follow. "I have been contacted by an amputee who wants to run in the USA Triathlon Physically Challenged National Championships in New York in July. I think it’s just a matter of getting the word out a little bit more."

Instructions for the application process to participate in the Wounded Warrior Sports Program are available at www.ArmyMWR.com. For more details, contact Dunivan at mark.dunivan@us.army.mil or 719-526-3908 or Peggy Hutchinson at peggy.hutchinson@us.army.mil or 703-681-7211.

To learn more about the Wounded Warrior Program, visit the U.S. Army online at: www.armymwr.com

John Galen Howard, Architect
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Image by Melinda Stuart
EXPLORED!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Galen_Howard

"After practicing in New York, Howard moved to California in 1901 to execute the Hearst Plan as the supervising architect of the Master Plan for the University of California, Berkeley campus, and for founding the University of California’s architecture program."

This memorial bas relief is located in the Faculty Club, campus of the University of California at Berkeley.

Other buildings on the UCB campus designed by Howard:
California Hall, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
California Memorial Stadium, Bet. Piedmont Ave., Stadium Rim Way, Cannyon Rd., Bancroft Way and Prospect St., Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Cloyne Court Hotel, 2600 Ridge Rd., Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Doe Memorial Library, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Drawing Building, Hearst Ave., University of California campus, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Durant Hall, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Electric Tower, Buffalo, NY, Destroyed shortly after the Pan-American Exposition.
First Congregational Church, Oakland, CA
Haviland Hall, University of California Campus, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Hearst Greek Theatre, Gayley Road., Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Hearst Memorial Mining Building, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Hilgard Hall, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
LeConte Hall, Hearst and Gayley, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Majestic Theatre, Boston
North Gate Hall, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Sather Gate and Bridge, U.C.Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Sather Tower, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Senior Hall, University of California, Berkeley campus, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Ridge House, (affiliate of the Berkeley Student Cooperative), 2420 Ridge Road, Berkeley CA, NRHP-listed
Wellman Hall, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed
Wheeler Hall, Berkeley, CA, NRHP-listed

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STS-130 – Shuttle Endeavour – Brevard County – Melbourne, FL
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Image by kuyabic
STS-130 is the "final" * scheduled night launch to the International Space Station and took flight (after being scrubbed the morning before as a result of a low cloud ceiling) at 4:14 am, February 8, 2010. The cargo being taken to the ISS are the Tranquility module and the attached Cupola. There is one more flight for Endeavour and it will be the second to last of five missions to the ISS before the shuttle fleet is retired this year.

Side note: The Constellation program has been canceled by the current administration. However, NASA will receive funding the next fiscal year which, I understand, is this October.

Florida Today: If the Constellation Program ends then the number of jobs we expected to remain due to Constellation, affiliated projects and resulting new business would also be lost.

I’ve heard, regarding the shuttle and Constellation programs, job loss numbers from 7,000 – 20,000.

Other launches:
STS-119 Shuttle Discovery’s "dusk launch"

Nikon D40 | 111s | 32mm @ ƒ/22 | ISO 200

* I say "final" because you never know when it comes to launching a space shuttle. Would you believe it? It just so happened that STS-131 launched April 5, 2010 at 6:21 a.m. Another night launch after being delayed! If I knew it was going up at that time, I would’ve taken a picture of it. That’s my fault for not keeping up with launch schedules. Boo.

“Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.” ` Thomas Jefferson.
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Image by eyewashdesign: A. Golden
New Yorkers Protest the US0 BILLION (US TRILLION) Wall Street BAILOUT: Wall Street, NYC – September 25, 2008

Phototgrapher: a. golden, eyewash design – c. 2008.

Upon talking about attending this BAILOUT protest, a Native American associate of mine mentioned that somewhere near the location of the NY Stock Exchange – on Wall Street – was the site for a bloody battle between Native tribes and American invaders. I thought this to be rather profound and rather apropos, considering, well, everything!

After some research, I could not find that this exact location was THE LOCATION, but discovered the following information from the www.hmbd.org website:

"Sankofa" —> African Burial Ground National Monument
Inscription. [On the marker is the Adinkra symbol "Sankofa," a symbol for the importance of learning from the past]

"For all those who were lost,
For all those who were stolen,
For all those who were left behind,
For all those who were not forgotten."

*Erected 2007 by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.*

Location. 40° 42.864? N, 74° 0.267? W. Marker is in New York City, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Federal Plaza/Duane Street 0.04 miles west of African Burial Ground Way/Elk Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker inscriptions are part of the African Burial Ground Memorial designed by Rodney Leon and are accessible to pedestrians on the eastern grounds of the Ted Weiss Federal Building (290 Broadway) off Federal Plaza/Duane Street. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10007, United States of America.

Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Richard Montgomery (approx. 0.3 miles away); Remains of Maj. Gen. Richard Montgomery (approx. 0.3 miles away); St. Paul’s Chapel (approx. 0.3 miles away); 100 Year-Old Sycamore (approx. 0.3 miles away); Americans of Chinese Ancestry (approx. 0.3 miles away); Lin Ze Xu (approx. 0.3 miles away); Men who died whilst imprisoned in this City (approx. 0.6 miles away); Ohio Company of Associates (approx. 0.6 miles away).

If anyone has any information regarding the battle to which my friend spoke, I’d love to hear about it. In the meantime, I might just have to ask again!

—————————————————————————————————————————-

Friends,

The richest 400 Americans — that’s right, just four-hundred people — own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans COMBINED! 400 of the wealthiest Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is .6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly 0 billion — the same amount that they were demanding We give to them for the "bailout." Why don’t they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They’d still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves!

Of course, they are not going to do that — at least not voluntarily. George W. Bush was handed a 7 billion surplus when Bill Clinton left office. Because that money was OUR money and not HIS, he did what the rich prefer to do — spend it and never look back. Now we have a .5 trillion debt that will take seven generations from which to recover. Why — on –earth – did — our — "representatives" — give — these — robber — barons — $ US850 BILLION — of – OUR — money?

Last week, proposed my own bailout plan. My suggestions, listed below, were predicated on the singular and simple belief that the rich must pull themselves up by their own platinum bootstraps. Sorry, fellows, but you drilled it into our heads one too many times: THERE…IS…NO…FREE… LUNCH ~ PERIOD! And thank you for encouraging us to hate people on welfare! So, there should have been NO HANDOUTS FROM US TO YOU! Last Friday, after voting AGAINST this BAILOUT, in an unprecedented turn of events, the House FLIP-FLOPPED their "No" Vote & said "Yes", in a rush version of a "bailout" bill vote. IN SPITE OF THE PEOPLE’S OVERWHELMING DISAPPROVAL OF THIS BAILOUT BILL… IN SPITE OF MILLIONS OF CALLS FROM THE PEOPLE CRASHING WASHINGTON "representatives’" PHONE LINES…IN SPITE OF CRASHING OUR POLITICIAN’S WEBSITES…IN SPITE OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE PROTESTING AROUND THE COUNTRY… THEY VOTED FOR THIS BAILOUT! The People first succeeded on Monday with the House, but failed do it with the Senate and then THE HOUSE TURNED ON US TOO!

It is clear, though, we cannot simply continue protesting without proposing exactly what it is we think THESE IDIOTS should/’ve do/one. So, after consulting with a number of people smarter than Phil Gramm, here’s the proposal, now known as "Mike’s Rescue Plan." (From Michael Moore’s Bailout Plan) It has 10 simple, straightforward points. They are that you DIDN’T, BUT SHOULD’VE:

1. APPOINTED A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE. Before any new money was expended, Congress should have committed, by resolution, to CRIMINALLY PROSECUTE ANYONE who had ANYTHING to do with the attempted SACKING OF OUR ECONOMY. This means that anyone who committed insider trading, securities fraud or any action that helped bring about this collapse should have and MUST GO TO JAIL! This Congress SHOULD HAVE called for a Special Prosecutor who would vigorously go after everyone who created the mess, and anyone else who attempts to scam the public in future. (I like Elliot Spitzer ~ so, he played a little hanky-panky…Wall Street hates him & this is a GOOD thing.)

2. THE RICH SHOULD HAVE PAID FOR THEIR OWN BAILOUT! They may have to live in 5 houses instead of 7. They may have to drive 9 cars instead of 13. The chef for their mini-terriers may have to be reassigned. But there is no way in hell, after forcing family incomes to go down more than ,000 dollars during the Bush years, that working people and the middle class should have to fork over one dime to underwrite the next yacht purchase.

If they truly needed the 0 billion they say they needed, well, here is an easy way they could have raised it:

a) Every couple makeing over a million dollars a year and every single taxpayer who makes over 0,000 a year should pay a 10% surcharge tax for five years. (It’s the Senator Sanders plan. He’s like Colonel Sanders, only he’s out to fry the right chickens.) That means the rich would have still been paying less income tax than when Carter was president. That would have raise a total of 0 billion.

b) Like nearly every other democracy, they should have charged a 0.25% tax on every stock transaction. This would have raised more than 0 billion in a year.

c) Because every stockholder is a patriotic American, stockholders should have forgone receiving a dividend check for ONE quarter and instead this money would have gone the treasury to help pay for the bullsh*t bailout.

d) 25% of major U.S. corporations currently pay NO federal income tax. Federal corporate tax revenues currently amount to 1.7% of the GDP compared to 5% in the 1950s. If we raised the corporate income tax BACK to the levels of the 1950s, this would give us an extra 0 billion.

All of this combined should have been enough to end the calamity. The rich would have gotten to keep their mansions and their servants and our United States government ("COUNTRY FIRST!") would’ve have a little leftover to repair some roads, bridges and schools…

3. YOU SHOULD HAVE BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BUILD AN EIGHTH HOME! There are 1.3 million homes in foreclosure right now. That is what is at the heart of this problem. So, instead of giving the money to the banks as a gift, they should have paid down each of these mortgages by 0,000. They should have forced the banks to renegotiate the mortgage so the homeowner could pay on its current value. To insure that this help wouldn’t go to speculators and those who tried to making money by flipping houses, the bailout should have only been for people’s primary residences. And, in return for the 0K pay-down on the existing mortgage, the government would have gotten to share in the holding of the mortgage so it could get some of its money back. Thus, the total initial cost of fixing the mortgage crisis at its roots (instead of with the greedy lenders) is 0 billion, not 0 BILLION.

And let’s set the record straight. People who have defaulted on their mortgages are not "bad risks." They are our fellow Americans, and all they wanted was what we all want: a home to call their own. But, during the Bush years, millions of the People lost the decent paying jobs they had. SIX MILLION fell into poverty! SEVEN MILLION lost their health insurance! And, every one of them saw their real wages go DOWN by ,000! Those who DARE look down on these Americans who got hit with one bad break after another should be ASHAMED.! We are a better, stronger, safer and happier society when all of our citizens can afford to live in a home they own.

4. THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A STIPULATION THAT IF YOUR BANK OR COMPANY GOT ANY OF OUR MONEY IN A "BAILOUT," THEN WE OWN YOU. Sorry, that’s how it’s done. If the bank gives me money so I can buy a house, the bank "owns" that house until I pay it all back — with interest. Same deal for Wall Street. Whatever money you need to stay afloat, if our government considers you a safe risk — and necessary for the good of the country — then you can get a loan, but WE SHOULD OWN YOU. If you default, we will sell you. This is how the Swedish government did it and it worked.

5. ALL REGULATIONS SHOULD HAVE BEEN BE RESTORED. THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IS DEAD! This catastrophe happened because we let the fox have the keys to the hen-house. In 1999, Phil Gramm authored a bill to remove all the regulations that governed Wall Street and our banking system. The bill passed and Clinton signed it. Here’s what Sen.Phil Gramm, McCain’s chief economic advisor, said at the bill signing:

"In the 1930s … it was believed that government was the answer. It was believed that stability and growth came from government overriding the functioning of free markets.

"We are here today to repeal [that] because we have learned that government is not the answer. We have learned that freedom and competition are the answers. We have learned that we promote economic growth and we promote stability by having competition and freedom.

"I am proud to be here because this is an important bill; it is a deregulatory bill. I believe that that is the wave of the future, and I am awfully proud to have been a part of making it a reality."

FOR THIS NOT TO REOCCUR, This BILL SHOULD HAVE BEEN REPEALED! Bill Clinton could have helped by leading the effort for the repeal of the Gramm bill and the reinstating of even tougher regulations regarding our financial institutions. And when they were done with that, they should have restored the regulations for the airlines, the inspection of our food, the oil industry, OSHA, and every other entity that affects our daily lives. All oversight provisions for any "bailout" should have had enforcement monies attached to them and criminal penalties for all offenders.

6. IF IT’S TOO BIG TO FAIL, THEN THAT MEANS IT’S TOO BIG TO EXIST! Allowing the creation of these mega-mergers and not enforcing the monopoly and anti-trust laws has allowed a number of financial institutions and corporations to become so large, the very thought of their collapse means an even bigger collapse across the entire economy. No ONE or TWO companies should EVER have this kind of power! The so-called "economic Pearl Harbor" can’t happen when you have hundreds — thousands — of institutions where people have their money. When we have a dozen auto companies, if one goes belly-up, we DON’T FACE A NATIONAL DISASTER! If we have three separately-owned daily newspapers in your town, then one media company can’t call all the shots (I know… What am I thinking?! Who reads a paper anymore? Sure glad all those mergers and buyouts left us with a STRONG and "FREE" press!). Laws Should have been enacted to prevent companies from being so large and dominant that with one slingshot to the eye, the GIANT FALLS and DIES. And no institution should be allowed to set up money schemes that NO ONE understands. If you can’t explain it in two sentences, you shouldn’t be taking anyone’s money!

7. NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD EVER BE PAID MORE THAN 40 TIMES THEIR AVERAGE EMPLOYEE, AND NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD RECEIVE ANY KIND OF "PARACHUTE" OTHER THAN THE VERY GENEROUS SALARY HE OR SHE MADE WHILE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY. In 1980, the average American CEO made 45 times what their employees made. By 2003, they were making 254 times what their workers made. After 8 years of Bush, they now make over 400 times what their average employee makes. How We have allowed this to happen at publicly held companies is beyond reason. In Britain, the average CEO makes 28 times what their average employee makes. In Japan, it’s only 17 times! The last I heard, the CEO of Toyota was living the high life in Tokyo. How does he do it on so little money? Seriously, this is an OUTRAGE! We have created the mess we’re in by letting the people at the top become bloated beyond belief with millions of dollars. THIS HAS TO STOP! Not only should no executive who receives help out of this mess profit from it, but any executive who was in charge of running his company into the ground should be FIRED before the company receives ANY help.

8. CONGRESS SHOULD HAVE STRENGTHENED THE FDIC AND MADE IT A MODEL FOR PROTECTING NOT ONLY PEOPLE’S SAVINGS, BUT ALSO THEIR PENSIONS AND THEIR HOMES. Obama was correct to propose expanding FDIC protection of people’s savings in their banks to 0,000. But, this same sort of government insurance must be given to our NEVER have to worry about whether or not the money they’ve put away for their old age will be there. This should have meant strict government oversight of companies who manage their employees’ funds — or perhaps it means the companies should have been forced to turn over those funds and their management to the government? People’s private retirement funds must also be protected, but perhaps it’s time to consider not having one’s retirement invested in the casino known as the stock market??? Our government should have a solemn duty to guarantee that no one who grows old in this country has to worry about becoming destitute.

9. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY. Turn off your TVs! We are NOT in the Second Great Depression. The sky is NOT falling, Chicken Little! Pundits and politicians have lied to us so FAST and FURIOUS it’s hard not to be affected by all the fear mongering. Even I wrote to and repeated what I heard on the news last week, that the Dow had the biggest one day drop in its history. Well, that was true in terms of points, but its 7% drop came nowhere close to Black Monday in 1987 when the stock market in one day lost 23% of its value. In the ’80s, 3,000 banks closed, but America didn’t go out of business. These institutions have always had their ups and downs and eventually it works out. It has to, because the rich do not like their wealth being disrupted! They have a vested interest in calming things down and getting back into their Jacuzzis before they slip into their million thread-count sheets to drift off to a peaceful, Vodka tonic and Ambien-induced slumber.

As crazy as things are right now, tens of thousands of people got a car loan last week. Thousands went to the bank and got a mortgage to buy a home. Students just back to college found banks more than happy to put them into hock for the next 15 years with a student loan. I was even pre-approved for a USK personal loan. Yes, life has gone on with little-or-no-change (other than the whopping 6.1% unemployment rate, but that happened last month). Not a single person lost any of his/her monies in bank, or a treasury note, or in a CD. And, the perhaps the most amazing thing is that the American public FINALLY didn’t buy the scare campaign. The citizens didn’t blink, instead telling Congress to take that bailout and shove it. THAT was impressive. Why didn’t the population succumb to the fright-filled warnings from their president and his cronies? Well, you can only say ‘Saddam has the bomb’ so many times before the people realize you’re a lying sack of shit. After eight long years, the nation is worn out and simply can’t take it any longer. The WORLD is fed up & I don’t blame them.

10. THEY SHOULD HAVE CREATED A NATIONAL BANK, A "PEOPLE’S BANK." Since they’re really itching to print up a trillion dollars, instead of giving it to a few rich people, why don’t We give it to ourselves? Now that We own Freddie and Fannie, why not set up a People’s bank? One that can provide low-interest loans for all sorts of people who want to own a home, start a small business, go to school, come up with the cure for cancer or create the next great invention. And, now that we own AIG – the country’s largest insurance company – let’s take the next step and PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE FOR EVERYONE. MEDICARE FOR ALL! It will SAVE us SO MUCH MONEY in the LONG RUN (not to mention bring peace of mind to all). And, America won’t be 12th on the life expectancy list! We’ll be able to have a longer lifespan, enjoying our government-protected pension and will live to see the day when the corporate criminals who caused this much misery are let out of prison so that We can help re-acclimate them to plain old ordinary, civilian life — a life with ONE nice home and ONE gas-free car invented with help from the People’s Bank.

P.S. Call your Senators NOW !!! —> www.visi.com/juan/congress/

Since they voted against passing the extension of unemployment benefits and skipped out to "campaign" to us to be re-elected…call them and tell them you will vote for the other "guy" if they don’t get their act together!

—————————————————–

UPDATE: THE PEOPLE HAVE VOTED! A HISTORIC MOMENT: NOVEMBER 4th 2008!

——> THE Historic ELECTION <——

"A work in PROGRESS."

Nov. 4th, 2008.

A great American leader once said, "As individual fingers We can be easily broken. But TOGETHER We make a mighty fist." These words too were spoken by a minority leader. He was the venerable Chief Sitting Bull. No, Barack Obama’s not the first American minority to speak eloquently and he most certainly won’t be the last. Though, in the end, this election wasn’t even close !!! The world watched as, "YES WE CAN!" turned into, "YES WE DID!" as it now ushers in, "YES WE MUST!" time is NOW!

What WE do with this moment shall define US, forthright. America has now elected a man with a background of partial African – American descent as President elect. A new leader with roots from Kenya to Kansas (with a step-father from Indonesia), will be working in conjunction with a vice-Presidential of Anglo-European roots. This is something in which citizens of ALL races – both here and the world ’round – have loudly REJOICED. Why talk about race? Is race important? You bet! Because – like it or not – race has dominated and governed Our daily lives for thousands of years. After all: "To know where We’re going, We must first know where We’ve been".

We’ve come a LONG Way baby! What was once "acceptable" in 1965 is no longer in 2008 and THANKFULLY.

This is a changing of the guard. Especially since forty-percent of America’s population is considered to be a "minority". Only four generations removed, the repression of African slaves by Anglo Saxons caused hundreds of thousands of brothers to kill brothers in a viscous and bloody battle that changed the fundamental principals of this Constitutional Republic from rhetoric to reality. This too was a significant changing of the guard.

For the first time in the history of the country, the ancestors of these very same people who so passionately fought for slavery have now OVERWHELMINGLY voted for a minority leader. This too ushers in a new chapter in the history of America. This is a tremendous nod to those great American leaders before Us who risked everything so that We find ourselves at this precise moment in time. We must give thanks to these men and women who both tirelessly and unselfishly gave their lives to cross and to help shatter the racial, sexual and social boundaries imbued in the history of the United States of America.

It has now taken place. There’s a palpable renewed sense of HOPE for a better tomorrow – a HOPE that these same crippling boundaries shall finally once and for all be erased. Yet it is wise to also remember the adage, "Actions speak louder than words" and Our rhetoric must now be turned into action. The ability to truly rise above differences and to not just speak of doing so, tells much of Our long and continuous journey. If We remember the old North American Indian saying, "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." We might just have a fighting chance.

The People have spoken! A record-setting 130 million Americans’ turned out to vote in Tuesday’s election, in which Barack Obama made history on a Democratic tidal wave of victory. Polling suggests voters came out in record numbers because of growing concerns over the economy, jobs, health care, energy, and the war in Iraq.

Clearly, the Obama administration and the new Democratic majority in Washington have a chance to make profound changes in Our lives – stretching ­from Wall Street to Main Street. Yes, this moment shows decency about human possibility and let’s face it, We could use just a little decency RIGHT NOW.

Perhaps more importantly, this moment speaks volumes as it’s an utter rejection of the right’s politics of fear and greed? It will now be decades before there’s another Republican majority in Congress. Never have the words, "Ask not what Your country can do for You, but what You can do for Your country," seemed more true for SO MANY. For, We-Are-Our-country. And We’re at a MAJOR crossroads. Where, oh where to begin?

OBAMA / BIDEN Campaign.

Here in New York, Working Families voters, members, affiliates, supporters and chapter leaders poured everything they had into critical campaigns that proved successful. Many are now understandably exhausted – though more than a little proud of what was accomplished. And, the results were terrific ~ if not downright Historic. For the first time since the mid-1930, the State Senate will NO LONGER be controlled by Republicans. It’s now in the hands of a Democratic Working Families majority! Just-take-one-moment-and-soak-this-in. MASSIVE Democratic majorities in BOTH the HOUSE and the SENATE!

Together, the W.F.P built a solid partnership with Senate Democrats, knocking on more than half a million doors for progressive CHANGE. And, in the end, "We the People" overwhelmingly responded. This is a MILESTONE. There’s now a renewed sense of real HOPE resonating from Washington, indeed, around the world. This is powerful. Because, without HOPE, there’s simply nothing to gain.

However, We must be careful not to fall prey to disillusionment. If illusions tear People asunder, then disillusion outright kills the human spirit. In other words, divided THEY conquer, united, WE stand. That this historic moment was ushered in during Native American Indian month is apropos. Because, We must not forget the very real foundations of this idealistic country and pay homage to the 500 plus year struggle of Our First Peoples’ for the basic rights afforded them in Our own Constitution. Obama’s victory is indeed a victory representing the multitudes. It is precisely because his success mirrors the masses, rather than a few wealthy, power-elite that this is so electrifying. A VERY palpable, "Finally!" was the expression heard ’round the world.

The world woke up WEDNESDAY with the real possibility of a very RARE OPPORTUNITY – the best in most Our lifetimes. This is a chance to truly transform America.

But, We mustn’t forget the VERY hard realities existing in this country. Just ask any woman…any "person of color"…or, any First Peoples living in this "great" land. For, as long as Native American Indians in Our country still live in policies of containment on reservations without the very basics, such as running water, electricity, or heat… as long as more than 75% of the prison population includes African-Americans, First and Taino Peoples …as long as We continue to allow Our tax dollars spent to be three times more for each of these prisoners per head than on Our own school childrens’ education…as long as American women continue to earn less than men for the SAME work…as long as We allow privately held corporations to exist without extreme MAJOR reform…as long as We continue to allow Our children to trample on foreign soil to kill and to be killed in "Our" names…as long as We sit idly by expecting or content to let others to "Do the right thing," for us… as long as We DON’T ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE TOGETHER in challenging and fighting for OUR OWN WELL-BEING for the betterment of future generations… as long as We choose to remain ignorant and in denial to Our faults…TRUE CHANGE can, and will NEVER HAPPEN.

Though, like anything rare and unique, We must first take proper time to Honor…to give thanks to those before us who, without their dedication and sacrifice, made this moment possible. We must come together. Immediate formulation and a real plan to guard and to protect this moment with fierce determination is required. New leaders are needed and will emerge so We ensure moments like this become the norm, rather than a mere token fluke. If We HOPE to transform Tuesday’s results into a real break from the shipwreck of the most immediate last thirty years – We MUST start by realizing this election represents just that – a START. It’s Round One of Our LONG and CONTINUOUS struggle.

And, Round Two will be just as tough, if not more so. Staying the course can easily be forgotten when People are dying from inadequate health care; when they’ve found themselves on the streets for lack of shelter and as they grow ever more desperate due to lack of job opportunities. Just ask people of Native or African American descent. Or, one of Our homeless veterans living on America’s streets of plenty.

Yes, the house of cards has fallen HARD and FAST. And, President / V.P. elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden have inherited many seemingly insurmountable challenges. REAL CHANGE – not rhetoric – is what’s needed. And to get it, We MUST demand it. We MUST march and be watchdogs for the sake of the coming generations. Communication with Our politicians is a MUST. MOST importantly, We MUST stand TOGETHER and be willing to fight to protect what is right and what is good for the MANY, NOT the FEW.

UNITED We STAND, DIVIDED, We FALL.

A President Obama will need to be simultaneously supported AND pushed. His training as a community organizer gives one confidence that he’ll not only understand, but should also expect this dynamic. It’s imperative for us to mind the trusty, "Follow the money" strategy. Don’t forget, President elect Obama dually made history by raising the most unprecedented amount of campaign dollars in the HISTORY of U.S. Presidential elections. According to CNN, if annualized, the Obama campaign’s ad spending on the post-primary Presidential campaign would come to US0 million. This amount is only exceeded amongst large corporations such as Verizon and AT&T – both heavy sponsors of the Republican AND the Democratic national party conventions.

At the start of October, the Democratic National Committee announced it raised US.9 million with US.5 million sitting in the bank. The party raised money through joint fund-raising events with Obama and was able to use that money to assist his candidacy. These numbers were only possible because he opted out of the public financing system for the fall campaign. John McCain chose to participate in the system, which limited him to US million for the September / October stretch prior to the election. After initially promising to accept public financing if McCain did, Obama changed his mind after setting primary fund-raising records. In fact, by the time the primaries hit, Obama was raising as much as US million each and every day. The Obama / Biden campaign raised more than US0 million in September alone – a stunning and unprecedented eruption of political giving. This extraordinary fund-raising is bound to set a new standard in politics that could doom the current taxpayer-paid system set up in the 1970’s.

HOPEfully NOT.

The party presidential nominees – Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain – together spent more than US BILLION, also an unprecedented figure. According to White House for Sale, a nonpartisan group that tracks political giving, Obama had 605 bundlers, or donors who collect money from friends and associates and bundle them together. Four years ago, Democrat John F. Kerry had 588 bundlers and, in 2000, Al Gore had none. McCain had 851 bundlers working for his campaign, compared to 557 who raised money for the Bush-Cheney re-election committee in 2004. George W. Bush is largely credited with institutionalizing the role of bundlers in 2000, when he recruited a then unprecedented 555 surrogate fundraisers.

Ask Yourselves: Who really benefits most from having donated to the Obama / Biden campaign?

President – elect Barack Obama & John McCain’s U.S. Presidential campaign funds details:

OBAMA:
Total:US0,767,963
Bundlers:605
LobbyistBundlers:17

MCCAIN:
Total: US2,525,058
Bundlers: 851
Lobbyist Bundlers: 77

See the Center for Responsive Politics Presidential campaign monies for a better perspective:

2008: Obama AND McCain – US.3 BILLION

(Obama: US0,767,963 million / McCain: US2,525,058 million)

2004: Bush AND Kerry – US.2 BILLION

2000: Gore AND Bush – US.56 MILLION

1996: Dole AND Clinton – US.82 MILLION

1992: Clinton AND Bush – US.24 MILLION

* TO SEARCH FOR MEGA-DONERS, CLICK here: www.whitehouseforsale.org/searchDonor.cfm?CandidateSelect… McCain&StateSelect=&SortOrder=Last_Name, First_Name, Middle_Name, Suffix.*

Democrats in Washington and will be under enormous pressure to "play it safe", even as everyone knows We need bold action and some kind of new, New Deal. And, if We allow the "play-it-safe" crowd to dominate, then Obama (and We) will not succeed. Make NO mistake: the corporate big-wigs and free-market fundamentalists see this for exactly what it is: THE FIGHT OF A LIFETIME. They want nothing more than for the Democrats to disappoint, because then the HOPEfulness that Obama represents can be stuffed back in the bottle and cynicism can once again regain its place in Our national political culture.

WE Can’t Let This Happen!

Whether it’s revamping our health care system…implementing a new fair-based trade policy…creating a sound, realistic and well thought-out immigration plan…jobs programs…organizing rights in Washington, or campaign election reform, family leave or fair taxes, this election has set the stage for an ENTIRELY NEW social contract between the government and the People. This election opens up a real possibility – small, but real – that We could make genuine progress as a society, in terms of equality and freedom and true sustainability. In other words, the democracy We preach, but don’t teach. What comes next is up to US. And, We need to seriously ready OURSELVES.

In short, the real meaning of this election hasn’t yet been decided.

Overall, there’s a lot of work to do. It’s imperative that EVERYONE do his share – whether this means attending a neighborhood or union meeting, signing a petition, organizing or riding a bus to a demonstration, going on a lobby visit, making a financial contribution, or just talking to a stranger about the need and desirability of the common good.

Thanks for all you do!
Live your values. Love your country.
And, remember: TOGETHER, We can make a D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-C-E !

University Memorial Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
affiliate programs
Image by Ken Lund
The University of Colorado Boulder (UCB, also commonly referred to as CU-Boulder, CU, Boulder, or Colorado) is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado, United States. It is the flagship university of the University of Colorado system and was founded five months before Colorado was admitted to the union in 1876. According to The Public Ivies: America’s Flagship Public Universities (2001), it is considered one of the thirty "Public Ivy League" schools.

In 2010, the university consisted of nine colleges and schools and offered over 150 academic programs and enrolled 29,952 students. Eleven Nobel Laureates, nine MacArthur Fellows, and 18 astronauts have been affiliated with CU-Boulder as students, researchers, or faculty members in its history. The university received nearly US4 million in sponsored research in 2010 to fund programs like the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, and JILA.

Colorado Buffaloes competes in nine intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division I Pacific-12 Conference. The Buffaloes have won 26 NCAA championships: 19 in skiing, six total in men’s and women’s cross country, and one in football. Approximately 1,500 students participate in 34 intercollegiate club sports annually as well.

CU-Boulder’s distinctive architecture style, known as Tuscan Vernacular Revival, was designed by architect Charles Klauder. The oldest buildings, such as Old Main (1876) and Macky Auditorium (1923), were in the Collegiate Gothic style of many East Coast schools, and Klauder’s initial plans for the university’s new buildings (approved in 1919) were in the same style. A month or so after approval, however, Klauder updated his design by sketching in a new wrap of rough, textured sandstone walls with sloping, multi-leveled red-tiled roofs and Indiana limestone trim. This formed the basis of a unified style which was used in the design of fifteen other buildings between 1921 and 1939.

The sandstone used in the construction of nearly all the buildings on campus was selected from a quarry in Lyons, Colorado. In 2011, Travel+Leisure named the Boulder campus as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Colorado_Boulder

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_Creative_Commons_…

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