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Gender: Male
Current location: NC
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 40,207

Journal Archives

Romney’s Big Navy Guru Made Millions From Building Ships


Romney’s Big Navy Guru Made Millions From Building Ships

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has vowed to boost the size of the Navy by roughly 15 percent as part of a broader defense buildup. “Our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917,” he complained in Monday night’s debate. “That’s unacceptable to me.”

But for one of Romney’s most important advisers on Navy issues, a man who oversaw a massive naval expansion for Pres. Ronald Reagan, there’s more at stake than U.S. national security. John Lehman, an investment banker and former secretary of the Navy, has strong and complex personal financial ties to the naval shipbuilding industry. He has profited hugely from the Navy’s slow growth in recent years — raising the prospect that he could make even more if Romney takes his advice on expanding the fleet.

That doesn’t mean that a bigger or better Navy is necessarily a bad idea. But it does complicate Romney’s claim that a larger Navy would merely be “matched to the interests we need to protect.” A bigger maritime force has the possibility of personally enriching one of the candidate’s top advisers. In fact, it already has.

Lehman is the founder and chairman of J.F. Lehman & Company, a private equity firm. He also sits on several corporate boards.

Lehman invested in a government-backed “Superferry” in Hawaii — a business that ultimately failed, but not before boosting the standing of Austal USA, an Alabama shipbuilder that constructed the ferry service’s ships. Austal USA’s rising fortunes in turn benefited international defense giant BAE Systems, which then bought up shipyards owned by Lehman in order to work more closely with Austal USA.


RSVP: Honor Paul Wellstone. National memories call.


10 years after Paul Wellstone's tragic passing, join his son, his former staff, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee for a national call of memories.

RSVP on the right. We'll send you these details and a reminder email before the call.

When: Wednesday, October 24 at 9:30pm Eastern / 8:30pm Central

What: National call of memories, honoring Paul Wellstone

Who: Paul's son David Wellstone, Paul's chief of staff Kari Moe, Paul's state director Connie Lewis, and PCCC members

How: Listen and ask questions by phone or online.

Also, continue Paul's legacy by signing up to make calls this Thursday for Elizabeth Warren and Minnesota's Keith Ellison and Rick Nolan.

George McGovern: "When people tell me they don't like liberals..."

Australian ecologist reveals lifelong bullying nightmare


By Elizabeth Batt
Oct 19, 2012

Sydney- When Digital Journal hooked up with ecologist Elissa Sursara for an interview, we were supposed to discuss her upcoming conservation efforts and her forthcoming Antarctic campaign with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. It didn't work out that way.

On the surface Elissa's story is one of success. The 24-year-old ecologist has completed partial studies in biomedical engineering and studied environmental biology at the Australian National University. Besides this,
Sursara is a correspondent, a documentary filmmaker and even an occasional actress, having starred in shows and movies such as Touched by an Angel (1994), American Gothic (1996), Boston Public (2001), Marion Bridge (2002), Touch & Go (2003) and Going for Broke (2004).

Recognized for her global conservation efforts, particularly with regard to marine, wildlife and habitat conservation, Elissa is also an ambassador and crew member for Sea Shepherd, and is affiliated with the World
Wildlife Fund (WWF), Earth Hour, the Australia Zoo and Greenpeace Australia Pacific. In 2012, she was named as a nominee for PETA’s Sexiest Celebrity Vegetarian of 2012.

Now you could be forgiven then for thinking that this young female has so far led a charmed life, but in reality, Elissa Sursara has experienced more adversity than most people will ever experience in an entire lifetime.

Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/article/335134#ixzz29ssN2LkX

Amazing machines for the world's poorest farmers!


Our vision is to support the improvement of economic possibilities for people in global communities.

Full Belly is about as small as you can find: Two staff and a gaggle of determined volunteers.

Our BBC World Challenge recognition was like the week-end film makers getting the Oscar nomination. It was a global spotlight on the strange idea that factories can come in cartons and precision machine parts can be made in the backyard of any mud hut. For the world's poorest farmers, efficiency is the ladder to prosperity and we try to make our machines the first step on that ladder. For Full Belly, the nomination was the first step to the possibility of making this happen around the world. We were very honored.


Gravity Pump (see more projects at link)

Successful Surgery For Pakistani Girl Whose Shooting Has Caused Outrage

Source: NPR

After several hours of surgery, the girl whose shooting by the Taliban has caused deep anger in Pakistan and has exposed that nation's "deepest fault line," is said to be in stable condition.

Malala Yousufzai, our colleague Philip Reeves reports from Islamabad, is surrounded by her family. The BBC says doctors successfully removed a bullet from her head. Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper says doctors have decided she will not need to be sent abroad for more treatment.

As Phil said earlier on Morning Edition, what happened to Malala on Tuesday has led to "one of the most disturbing images to emerge from years of conflict in Pakistan: A 15-year-old girl lies on a hospital bed, with a bullet wound in her head.

"This is her punishment."

And why has this happened to her?

"Because," Phil said, "she had the courage to demand the right for girls like her to get an education. Because she criticized violent Islamist militants who want to make sure they can't."

Read more: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/10/10/162626193/successful-surgery-for-pakistani-girl-whose-shooting-has-caused-outrage?utm_source=NPR&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=20121010

"Bear hunting dreams come true for children with disabilities and illnesses"

(my input: there certainly are far healthier "dreams" than killing something)


Bear hunting dreams come true for children with disabilities and illnesses

The United Special Sportsman Alliance asked bear hunters in Wisconsin to donate their hunting permits to help children achieve their dreams.

By Michael Walsh / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, October 5, 2012, 6:09 PM

An 11-year-old girl, waiting for a heart and liver transplant, had her dream come true when she killed a 335 pound black bear with a single shot to the heart.

The United Special Sportsman Alliance (USSA) organized hunting trips in Junction City, Wis. for children with disabilities. The non-profit charity is dedicated to helping disabled and critically-ill children experience the "outdoor adventure of their dreams!" In this instance, the dream was bagging a black bear.

Kaitlynn, 11, from Stetsonville, Wisc., was born with tricuspid atresia, a type of heart disease. She expected to return from the hunt empty handed but managed to shoot the 335 pound black bear, which her family intends to mount on the wall.

"When I looked through that scope I didn't see it as a bear, I saw it as like a 300 pound lion that's about to like attack you, so I held the gun as steady as I could, I turned my head and then I shot," Kaitlynn told ABC News affiliate WAOW-TV.

Little Savannah, pictured above, has had trouble feeling “normal” because of her constant battle with illness, her mother explained. On the trip Savannah managed to capture a 121 pound bear.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/hunters-critically-ill-kids-chance-hunt-big-game-article-1.1176262#ixzz28oTKHcGr

Let's celebrate Columbus Day by

walking into someone's house and saying we live there now.

NC Tea Party PAC hosts ”Machine Gun Social” Saturday as a political fundraiser


The event attracted national attention, and received coverage from the Huffington Post and USA Today.

Organizers said the money raised will be used to pay for political advertising.

WLOS has video of the event, and interviews participants:


From an Asheville Tea Party blog post about the social:

Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”
George Washington – First President of the United States

“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
Richard Henry Lee – American Statesman, 1788
From the Huffington Post article in August about the event:

According to the event’s flyer, attendees can give $25 for a 30-round magazine on a 9mm submachine gun of their choice — an HK MP5, an Israeli UZI or a Swedish I. Guests can spend $35 for 30 rounds on an AK47, while the most ambitious of Tea Party patriots can drop $50 for 30 rounds on an M16.

Iraqi-American is imprisoned by US for saving his family from US sanctions


Iraqi-American is imprisoned by US for saving his family from US sanctions

A harrowing case of a Missouri engineer highlights the travesties routinely imposed on Muslim Americans

Glenn Greenwald

guardian.co.uk, Friday 28 September 2012 10.30 EDT

I'm currently traveling around the US on a speaking tour, and as I've written before, one of the prime benefits of doing that is being able to meet people and their families whose lives have been severely harmed by the post-9/11 assault on basic liberties. Doing that prevents one from regarding these injustices as abstractions, and ensures that the very real human costs from these government abuses remain vivid.

Such is the case with the treatment of Dr. Shakir Hamoodi, an Iraqi-American nuclear engineer who just began a three-year prison sentence at the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas penitentiary for the "crime" of sending sustenance money to his impoverished, sick, and suffering relatives in Iraq - including his blind mother - during the years when US sanctions (which is what caused his family's suffering) barred the sending of any money to Iraq.

Yesterday in Columbia, Missouri, I met with Hamoodi's son, Owais, a medical student at the University of Missouri (MU) School of Medicine, and Hamoodi's son-in-law, Amir Yehia, a Master's student in MU's School of Journalism. The travesty of this case - and the havoc it has wreaked on the entire family - is repellent and genuinely infuriating. But it is sadly common in post-9/11 America, especially for American Muslim communities.

Hamoodi came with his wife to the US in 1985 to work toward his PhD in nuclear engineering from MU and, not wanting to return to the oppression of Saddam's regime, stayed in the US. He was offered a research professor position at the university, proceeded to have five American-born children, all of whom he and his wife raised in the Columbia community, and then himself became a US citizen in 2002.
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