Monday, 13 August 2012

Bayern defeats Dortmund 2-1 in DFB Supercup

FC Bayern Muenchen finally got over the jinx with BVB Borussia Dortmund breaking a five game losing streak against the Bundesliga and German Federation Cup Champion. In front of 69,000 spectators, in a fast paced game, Germany's record champion defeated Dortmund 2-1.
Last season was one of those season one would like to forget, Bayern ended up second in the Bundesliga, second in the DFB Cup and lost the Champions League to FC Chelsea. Full Story at Allvoices

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Christine Sinclair to Be Canadian Flag Bearer for Closing Ceremonies

Inspire Generations

Christine Sinclair, leader of the Canadian Women's Soccer Team has been selected by the Canadian Olympic Committee to be the flag bearer for the Canadian contingent during the closing ceremonies tonight.  During the announcement, Christine said that she was proud of Canada and that she hoped that the Canadian Olympic team was able to inspire young Canadian and especially young female athletes.

“This is a huge honour and I wish I could have my teammates right here with me,” she said. “We want the next generation of young girls to dream of being in the Olympics and getting a medal around their necks. If we can instil in them just the belief that this can happen, then we have done our jobs.”  Full Story Allvoices.com

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Mexico wins Soccer Gold - Defeating Soccer Powerhouse Brazil 2-1

One of the biggest upsets in olympic soccer history, saw Mexico defeat soccer powerhouse Brazil with two goals by Paralta. The Mexicans were the clear underdog prior to the match.
Mexico started the match with a bang. Less than one minute into the game, Parelto received the ball just outside the 16 meter box and his shot buried it in the lower left corner. No chance for a save for Brazilan keeper Gabriel.

As the half went along Brazil had undoubtedly the majority of chances, with over 60 % possession. With 7-4 shots on goal, Mexico remained calm in an attempt to control the midfield. Their efforts paid off. Despite the numerous chances by Brazil, Mexico took the 1-0 lead into half time.  Full Story
http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=5255071107854928718#editor/target=post;postID=8682479058642669617

South Korea Edges out Japan 2-0 to take Bronze Medal in Olympic Soccer

South Korea scored a goal in each half to take the Bronze Medal in the Men's Olympic Soccer Tournament. In a fierce contested match at Cardiff, the Asian contest left Japan empty handed.
With goals by Park Chuyong (Arsenal) in the 38th minute of the first half and one by Koo Jacheol (FC Augsburg) in the 57th minute, the South Korean ensured themselves with a place on the podium.
The win, claims the first Asian medal in the tournament since 1948, when Japan won bronze.
While the first half could have gone either way, the Koreans rescued their one goal lead, after Japan had at least two chances to equalize. South Korean keeper Jung Sungryong managed to deflect an attempt by Keigo Higashi by punching his header over the crossbar.  Full story @Allvoices.com

DOD: US military casualties in Afghanistan as of Aug. 10th, 2012

While the world is enjoying the Olympics in London and the media is filled with news of all kinds of accomplishments during the London games, it has hardly been noticed that another 8 American service man have been killed and another 74 have been wounded.

Whle iCasualties.org shows that actually 12 NATO soldiers have been killed, these are not yet accounted for in the DoD figures.  Three of those are NATO troops, two from the UK. 

Civilian Casualties.  The UN said on Wednesday that civilian casualties had fallen by 15% between January and June, compared to the same period last years.  In numbers this translates to 882 this year compared to 1167 last year.  The figure of injured persons is also mind boggling.  1593 were injured in the first six months this year compared to 1760 last year.   Full Story @Allvoices.com

Friday, 10 August 2012

Romney to Pick Running Mate in Norfolk Virginia at 9am tomorrow

The Romney campaign announced tonight in a press release that the Republican presidential will announce his Vice Presidential pick tomorrow morning in Norfolk, VA. Romney is expected to make the announcemnt at 9am ET while touring the USS Wisconsin.

There are many names being tossed around, including Marc Rubio and Paul Ryan.

Mitt Romney has previously endorsed the Ryan budget, which would be demonized by Democrats. So there is an inherent risk with chosing Ryan. On the other hand a Ryan pick could mobilize the base. Another plus is that there is good chemistry between the two men. Full Story @Allvoices.com

Election 2012: Are Polls of any Value?

When you look at polls  that seem to be making pollsters rich, one has to question if there is any significance to them. Polls, of course are a snapshot of the particular people polled at the time and rely heavily on people actually revealing their true feelings. The results boil down to a particular question being asked.
How polls can be deceiving is demonstrated by polls taken during a recent Alberta Provincial election, held on April 23rd.  On Sunday, an up to date national poll was released that saw the governing party losing by a large margin.  Progressive Conservatives had been in power in Alberta for 41years.  The party was challenged by the new Wildrose Party, which had one seat in the legislature prior to the election.
The Sunday poll suggest that the Wildrose Party with 41%  over Alison Redford's Progressive Conservatives with 32%, while the NDP has 13% and the Liberals at 10%.  The NDP and Liberals are strongest in Edmonton, where they are at 23% and 14% respectively.

The Forum Project Inc poll was conducted with a total of 2010 responses gathered Saturday evening by automated phone response.  Full Story @allvoices.com

US Retailers Invade Canada: Why?

Big budget U.S. retail chains have big designs on Canada, causing some concern among traditional Canadian retailers.  With slow economic growth south of the border, Canada is an attractive place to set up shop.  With fewer retail outlets to shop and the traditional retailers making money, it makes sense to set up shop in Canada.  Parity with the U.S. dollar provides U.S. retailers a chance to be competitive.

For Canadian consumers this is a win-win situation, but not so much for the manufacturing industry.  Although the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is often shunned by US politicians, there remains very little doubt that it has opened up markets north of the border for US companies.  When the original free trade agreement between Canada and the U.S. was negotiated and eventually ratified by both countries, it became part of an emotional debate in Canada.  Opponents to free trade were fearful that Canada was giving up its sovereign status.  Those in favour of free trade rejected the fears, arguing that it was the only way to move to a healthy market economy.  Full Story @allvoices.com

Thursday, 9 August 2012

America's Women win Third Gold Medal in Olympic Soccer

 Carli Lloyd's two goals assure a gold medal for Team USA in Women's Olympic Soccer Tournament

The first half started off with clear chances on both sides, where Morgan lambasted the Japanese goal and forced Fukumoto to pull off a safe.  Kawasumi had an equal opportunity at Solo's goal.  Carli Lloyd opened the scoring for the US side when she put the ball in the net for a 1-0 lead.  Although the US dominated in the early phase of the first half,  the Japanese had more of the possession as the half went along.

The Japanese, a technically strong team, kept pace with the US side, despite the early lead.  In the 17th minute Solo was forced to save a ball, which then hit the crossbar.  A physically fit and strong team, the US exchanged chances with the Japanese side.  Despite strong efforts on both sides, with the US having a slight shots on goal advantage (7-6), the half ended in a 1-0 lead for Team USA.  Full story @allvoices.com


Canadian Soccer Women win historic Bronze Medal with Matheson Goal

Canadian Soccer women made history today, when they won a bronze medal by defeating France with a last minute goal.

After an emotional semi-final match agains the US on Monday, there were some questions if the Canadian team would be able to move beyond that game and be a challenger to France. During last year's Worl Cup the French side send Canada packing during the group stage by handing them a 4-0 defeat.

A relatively eventless first half, saw many failed passes and a cautious approach by both teams. The game certainly did not have the atmosphere of the semi-final match against the American neighbour. Neither team had many moves toward the goal and the half ended scoreless. Canada had an excellent chance in the 15th minute on a pass from Rhian Wilkinson to Christine Sinclair, which went over the net.  Full story @allvoices

ObamaCare: An American Nightmare?

 Obama Care, touted by the Administration to provide affordable private health insurance to most Americans, is starting to become a major American nightmare.  A Congressional Budget Office(CBO) report concludes that 30 million non-elderly Americans will remain without health insurance in 2022.

The Affordable Health Act (AHA), also known as Obama Care, was to solve the problem of the uninsured in America.  Despite 1200 pages of the legislation, which most legislators admit they never read, it is riddled with problems and loopholes.  The mandate portion of the act was challenged by 26 states under the commerce clause.  The United States Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, ruled that the mandate didn't pass the muster under the commerce clause.  Chief Justice John Roberts declared that the fine amounted to a tax that the government had the power to impose, and that the mandate could survive on that basis.  The decision, however, placed a big restriction on a major portion of the law, which gives states flexibility not to expand their Medicaid programs, without paying the financial penalties the law calls for. Full Story @allvoices.com

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Epic battle between neighbors after Canada/US Women's soccer semifinals

Many soccer fans saw one of the hardest and best fought battles in women's soccer on Monday. The game, for fans, was full of emotions. Christien Sinclair put Canada in the lead three times, with Rapinoe answering twice and Wambach equalizign the score with a controversial penalty kick ten minutes before the end of the game. The boiling point came when Morgan put the ball into the next in extra time, ensuring a US berth in the final against Japan.

Emotions ran high after the game and the Canadian women told the Norwegian referree, Christiana Pedersen, that she must be wearing a USA uniform, when considering made some of the calls made during the game.

One of the most controversial calls was a time delay call against Canada's keeper, which resulted in a free kick just outside the box. The subsequent Rapinoe free kick resulted in a handball and a penalty kick, which Abby Wambach easily sank in the net. One of the allegations was that one of the US players had counted the seconds out loud, influencing the referee.  Full story @allvoices.com

PM Harper: Science, not politics will decide the fate of Northern Gateway Pipeline

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that the Northern Gateway pipeline project will be approved on the basis of science, not politics. The Prime Minister has been under pressure by the opposition parties and has been demonized for including changes of environmental laws in his omnibus budget bill. Despite fillibusting the bill was passed by the majority conservative government and the conservative dominated Senate.

One of the keynote changes in the bill is the approval process for environmental assessments. The bill imposes a two year limit on the National Energy Board Review.

The Alberta oil sands are the favourite whipping child of environmentalists. Using outdated data they have demonized Alberta's bituman crude oil and of course aerial photographs taken from carbon spewing helicopters have been used to make their point. This totally disregards the land reclaiming process in place.  Full story@allvoices.com

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Elizabeth May's National Energy Strategy: Does it Mirror Trudeau's National Energy Program?

While Alberta's Premier is interested in leading a discussion on a National Energy Strategy, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has come forward with her own proposal.  In her essay "National Energy Strategy Possible, Federal Leadership Missing" May advocates energy souvereignity and the scrupulous vetting of state-owned energy corporations (namely China).  Obviously foreign companies originating in the U.S. should also be vetted and their subsidies reduced. 

National Energy Strategy equals National Energy Program (If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and smells like a duck, it's probably a duck).

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau introduced he National Energy Program (NEP) after a deadlock in negotiations with Alberta Premier Lougheed in 1980.  The program was introduced without consulting with the oil industry.  Along with the NEP Trudeau introduced a tax that funded the national petroleum company, Petro Canada, and gave grants to Canadian owned companies to encourage exploration.  Full Story @allvoices.com

Peralta, Cortez Secure Olympic Soccer Final Berth for Mexico

Mexico made soccer history at Wembley today.  In a close match, second half goals by Oribe Peralta and Javier Cortez secured a 3-1 win over Japan.

In a fairly evenly balanced first half Otsu put got the go ahead goal for Japan in the 12th minute. Mexico's Fabian got the equalizer in the 31st minute.  The sides went into the dressing room with a 1-1 tie, setting up a nailbiter for the second half. 

After stealing the ball off a Japanese defender, in the 65th minute, Peralta fired the subsequent shot into the  left corner, giving Mexico a 2-1 advantage.  Full Story @allvoices.com

Obama Campaign: A Bottomless pit of Morals

Nothing seems to be too low when it comes to discrediting presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.  Over the past few months we have seen reiterations of Romney's time at Bain Capital and the claim that he hasn't paid taxes for ten years.  To add insult to injury, Obama's Super Pac, Priorites USA is now claiming that Mitt Romney is responsible for the death of a woman after Bain Capital closed a factory. 

The Obama campaign seems confident that Florida Senator Marc Rubio will be Romney's choice as Vice President.   The director of Obama for America in Florida, Ashley Walker,  send out an e-mail soliciting dirt on the Senator.

“Share what you think the rest of the country should know about what Rubio’s really done in Florida, the good, bad and ugly.  And why he’d be a disaster as our next vice president,” the e-mail said. Full Story @allvoices.com

Monday, 6 August 2012

Olympics: Team USA defeats Canada in a hard fought match in Women Soccer

The first twenty minutes of the match saw the U.S. dominate, although there were very few chances on either side.  The Canadian women didn't do a lot of short passing in the midfield and gave up possession to the U.S. way too often.  A long pass into the box by Tancredi found Christine Sinclair, who made no mistake and sank the ball in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Canada's game plan changed significantly after Sinclair's goal, by controlling the play in the midfield and maintaining possession.  The US women tried their luck with long passes trying to find Morgan, who had a couple of close calls, which were either stopped by Canada's keeper, McLeod or went just wide of the net.  Cheney and Wambach also had several attempts of goal go off target. Canada's efforts paid off and assured that the 1-0 lead was taken into halftime. Full Report at Allvoices.com

Friday, 3 August 2012

Alberta's Crony Capitalism on Display

While there are reports of inadequate care for our seniors, the Alberta Health Services (AHS) had to reach an agreement with its CFO to cancel his contact.  Apparently a Freedom of Information query revealed that , Allaudin Merali, who was looking after AHS' finances had some very expensive habits.

Elaborate dinners, wine selection, repairs to his personal vehicle all were authorized expenses to the tune of $350,000 over a three and a half year period.  He was also cited for overspending while working as a consultant for the Ontario government.

All that didn't deter Alberta's Progressive Government to hire him as CFO for the AHS Superboard.  To add insult to injury, the person that approved all these expenses, Sheila Weatherill, former Capital Health head honcho,  also sat on the AHS Superboard until her resignation yesterday.

Weatherhill apparently received $1.5 Million in severance when the Alberta Health Services Superboard was created.  Go figure and then she was rehired to sit on that board.  Does it smell of crony capitalism?  You bet.

The budget passed by the PCs in April is proving to be and "Alice in Wonderland" budget.  It was to generate Billions in surplus in a couple of years, based on bogus projected oil prices at $100 a barrel.  Needless to say the market is not even remotely close to that.  Working with an $800 million deficit, based on those estimates, you can rest assured that it will be much higher and will need revision during the next legislative session.

With both the XL Keystone and Northern Gateway pipelines being questioned, Alberta may end up having to put the breaks on oilsands development.  That in itself will impact on royalties.  So far Alison Redford refuses to discuss the issue with Christie Clark and native groups are bound and determined to stop it.   At some point someone needs to talk.

With the recent spill of an Enbridge pipeline in Wisconsin, the XL Keystone project could be delayed for another year.  Meanwhile the Premier has traveled to London to sell Alberta at a cost of $84,000.  Message to the Premier:  "Brits hate the sealhunt and the oilsands, a few days visit will not change that."  Money well spent?  Not likely.

The question is will the PCs raise taxes or make cuts to current programs?  It will probably be a mixture of the two.  Isn't it strange how the Wildrose Party was demonized during the last days of the election campaign?  Yet much of what was predicted is starting to ring true.

While the scandal of overspending is presently raging in the Alberta Health Services, it calls into question in what other department the PCs have lost control?

While bureaucrats are taking the hit for the out of control spending for expense claims in the AHS, the buck should really stop with the Minister, if not the Premier.   After all, isn't the government accountable to the public?  Let's see how this plays out.  The next legislative session won't be pretty.  For the Tories is is business as usual.  After 41 years in power, there appears to be a culture of entitlement. 


Syria: The Battle for Damascus and Aleppo

The battle in Syria has boiled down to a test of strenght in both Damascus and Aleppo. Aleppo is of strategical importance for the Syrian Free Army (SFA). Control of that city of 3 Million, would give the SFA a foothold, not unlike Benghazi during the Libyan conflict.
The Syrian conflict could be a lengthy affair, which weakens the whole region. Koffi Annan resigned his position yesterday as the Syrian peace envoy.
"It is impossible for me or anyone to compel the Syrian government and also the opposition to take the steps to bring about the political process," said Annan, former UN secretary general.
"You have to understand: As an envoy, I can't want peace more than the protagonists, more than the Security Council or the international community for that matter."  Full Story @allvoices.com

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

FC Bayern: Test Game in Kaiserslautern

With just 11 days prior to the biggest pre-Bundesliga tests of all, the DFB Super Cup, Bayern Muenchen had another successful game against relegated club 1.FC Kaiserslautern.
25,000 spectators watched the game in the Betzenberg's "Fritz Walter Stadium". Schweinsteiger, Alaba, Pizarro, Contendo, Rafinha and Ribery were not in the line-up.
Bayern dominated the game, which wasn't much of a surprise. In the 23rd minute Bayern scored the opening goal, when Gomez missed a pass from Robben inside the 16 meter area, Mueller rushed in and put the ball into the net 1-0 Bayern.Full Story @allvoices.com

Integrity of Elections in Canada and the United States

The Canadian Situation on Voter Fraud
Election fraud has become a major issue in Canada. There have been allegations of the Conservative government affecting vote results by using robocalls (automated calls) to send voters to a different polling station. The issue is presently under investigation by Elections Canada.
"OTTAWA — The IP address used to send misleading robocalls to Guelph voters on election day was the same address used by a worker from the campaign office of local Conservative candidate Marty Burke, Elections Canada investigators believe.
The Internet Protocol address — like an Internet phone number — was used by campaign worker Andrew Prescott to arrange legitimate calls through RackNine, the Edmonton voice broadcasting firm.  Full Story@allvoices.com

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Tancredi's Goals shoot Canada into Women's Soccer Quarterfinal

After trailing Sweden 2-0 after 15 minutes, Melissa Tancredo handed team Canada a lifeline at the end of the first half and a berth in the knockout phase in the 84th minute.
Although Team Canada dominated the game in the early stages, it was goals by Sweden's Marie Hammarstrom (13th minute) and Sofia Jakobsson (16th minute) that set the pace for the game.
Nilsson provided an excellent pass from the right flank to Maria Hammarstrom, who send the ball into the net from seven meters for 1-0 for the Swedes in the 13th minutes. Just a few minute later, in the 16th minute, Hammerstrom made a superb pass into the box. St. Albert's own Erin McLeod moved out of her net and missed the ball, which ricoched off Jakobsson's shins, landing in the net.  Full Story @allvoices.comhttp:

Northern Gateway Pipeline: B.C. Coast and Communities not for Sale

Native groups, environmentalists and a number of local politicians have combined to say that the British Columbia (B.C.) coast and communities are not for sale.
The announcement came shortly after B.C.s premier Christie Clark announced five condidtions that have to be met should B.C. consider approval of the Northern Gateway project. The pipeline would transport Alberta crude from Hardesty, Alberta to Kitimat, B.C.
Clark's demands are an attempt to put a value on the inherent risks undertaken by B.C., which would have the pipeline cross the province up to the west coast and then the inherent risk of tanker traffic on the environmentally sensitive west coast. Clark has not indicated what that fair share would be. Full Story allvoices.com

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Mitt Romney's Address in Jerusalem Full Text

The Republican candidate Mitt Romney gave an address in Jerusalem, which vowed that America would respect any decsision made by Israel, should talks with Teheran fail. He emphasized that Israel has the right to defend itself against an Iran that possesses nuclear weapons and that it is right for the United States to stand at Israel's side. Israels' right to a pre-emptive strike would be respected, he underlined.
"When Iran’s leaders deny the Holocaust or speak of wiping this nation off the map, only the na├»ve – or worse – will dismiss it as an excess of rhetoric. Make no mistake: the ayatollahs in Tehran are testing our moral defenses. They want to know who will object, and who will look the other way.
My message to the people of Israel and the leaders of Iran is one and the same: I will not look away; and neither will my country. As Prime Minister Begin put it, in vivid and haunting words, “if an enemy of [the Jewish] people says he seeks to destroy us, believe him.”  Full story @allvoices.com

German Champion Borussia Dortmund defeat Legia Warsaw 1-0

Borussia Dortmund has completed another test in its preparation phase for the 2011/12 Bundesliga season. In a Sunday game at the Pepsi Arena in Warsaw, the champions defeated Legia Warsaw with a fourth minute goal by Lukas Lewandowski (a Polish national).
Although Matt Hummels was once again available, Mario Goetze missed the match due to an eye infection. The newly acquired Reus played the central control in midfield in the first half surrounded by Grosskreutz, Grundogan Kuba and Kehl. Lewandowski was the only striker. Full story @allvoices.com

Michelle Obama Feels Your Pain

While the Liberal main stream media makes a big deal about Mitt Romney's wealth and elitism, it was ecstatic about Michelle Obama's silver laced $6,800 jacket. Michelle Obama wore the jacket to a Buckingham Palace reception.
"Michelle Obama remained true to her patriotic fashion theme today in a dazzling white top and skirt for this evening's events in London   Full story @allvoices.com

Canadian Provincial Leaders United on Health Care Costs

While a National Energy Strategy showed strong division between the Premiers of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada's provincial leaders are united in their opposition to the federal governments new funding scheme. The Premiers say that the formula would cost them $36 Billion in transfer payments over ten years.
Under the Canada Health Act, the federal government mandates minimum services that must be provided, while the provinces execute the delivery of health care.
The federal government recently announced a new funding formula, which would increase federal funding by 6% through to 2017 and then the increase would be tied to economic growth plus 1%, but never less than 3%. The new funding scheme was introduced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty without prior consultation with the provinces.  Full Story @allvoices.com

Saturday, 28 July 2012

DOD: US military casualties in Afghanistan as of July 27, 2012

With Syria in turmoil, the election campaign in full swing and the Olympics underway, twelve more US soldiers died in Afghanistan this week. Two more soldier were killed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. 86 US soldiers joined the list of wounded warriors.
News on the US economy continued to be disappointing with the Commerce Department reporting that the economy had slowed to a growth of 1.5%, while consumer confidence dropped to its lowest level in 2012. Consumer spending accounts for 70% of economic activity. Full Story @allvoices.com

Pipeline politics in Canada: national energy strategy

There has been a heated spat between British Columbia Premier Christie Clark and Alberta's Premier Alison Redford. The dispute started when Christie Clark paid a call on Redford to outline her conditions for the Northern Gateway pipeline, before going public.
Christie went public this week, prior to the Premier's Summit in Lunenburg, NS with her conditions:
1. Completing the environmental review process with a recommendation by the National Energy Board that the project proceed.
2. Deploying world leading marine oil spill response for the delicate BC coast line
3. Using world leading land spill response and prevention.
4. Addressing legal requirements of Aboriginal and treaty rights.
5. Ensuring that BC receives a fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits. At present B.C. only gets eight percent of the pipeline revenue.  Full Story @allovoices 

Sinclair's Double Keeps Team Canada's Hopes Alive

Canada defeats South Africa 3-0
After suffering a defeat in their Olympic opener against Japan, Canada's Tancredi and Sinclair revived the team's hopes for qualification beyond the group stage.
The win gives the Canadians three points one point below the group leaders Japan and second place Sweden. Canada is scheduled to meet Sweden next Tuesday.
Tancredi opened the scoring for Canada in the 7th minute when she converted a low centre pass from Diana Matheson for a 1-0 lead. It was Tancredi's second goal in the tournament. Tancredi was a constant threat during the game.  Full Story@allvoices.com

Saturday, 30 June 2012

DOD US Military Casualties in Afghanistan as of 29 June 2012

 With the crisis in Syria, the uncertainty in Egypt and the Middle East overall, Afghanistan has once again been placed on the back burner of the national media.  Add to that the Affordable Health Care Act decision, the decision on the Arizona law and the 2012 election in  general it is easy to put Afghanistan out of mind. Nonetheless, 125 US soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan this year, 37 this month alone. 

Despite the crisis in the Eurozone, European countries have focused on the beautiful game, which has now progressed to a competition between two nations, Spain and Italy, to be decided in Kiev, Ukraine on Sunday.  Sports is s great diversion from the troubles of every day life, but it doesn't change the reality.  While European leaders may have bought themselves a little more time, the Eurozone troubles are far from being solved. 

In the U.S. no major decisions can be expected for the next six months, as both President Obama and Mitt Romney are in full election mode.  With insane amounts being spend on re-election, which should give pause to voters alone, no one is prepared to make the hard decisions that might put the economy on the right track.  A divided country deals with talking points on both sides, which do not reflect reality. 

While it's easy to forget our men and women in Afghanistan, with wildfires in Colorado and every day challenges of a heat wave all along the east coast, take a moment and remember the men and women in Afghanistan, Lest We Forget.


Roll of Casualties

Below are this week’s updated DoD casualty figures:

Op Enduring Freedom                  Total Deaths       KIA   Non Hostile              WIA

Afghanistan Only                                   1900               1577        323                     16584
Other Locations                                        114                   12        102
 DoD Civ Casualties                                     3                     1            2
Worldwide Total                                     2017               1590         427                    16584

Accumulated 2012 Casualties:

KIA            Non Combat Deaths             WIA

  125                            55                              956

Monday, 11 June 2012

Requests for Black Soldiers Arlington Burial Go Unanswered

This story is an updated account of a soldier that was part of Patton's Army.  Theodore Lovejoy passed away in 1993, having suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alzheimer's Disease.   His daughter Joan Flowers, an actress in the Chicago area, was promised a funeral for her father at Arlington National Cemetery, however the promise was never fulfilled.   Today Theodore Lovejoy rests at Mount Glenwood Cemetery in an unmarked grave.

After 19 years of begging and pleading with politicians to fulfill the original promise made by the Clinton Administration, unfortunately, Joan Flower is still waiting to get a simple request granted to have her father, Theodore Lovejoy, buried at Arlington cemetery.  To add insult to injury, Joan Flowers, has asked her representatives and Senators from Chicago to approach President Obama, but it hasn't happened.  She has been getting the run around, while others had their request approved by pleading to Speaker John Boehner, who took the request to President Obama and were buried at Arlington within three weeks.

For the past three years Joan Flowers has taken to twitter pleading basically with the world to have her soldier dad buried.  All of it without result to this point.

Joan's e-mail account to me on her discussions with Senator DickDurban's office (Please note that Joan is visually impaired, thus the account in capital letters):

OH YES I DID GET SOMETHING FROM MY SENATOR DICK DURBIN!!!!
APRIL 27TH HIS OFFICE ASSIT "JAKE" HUNG UP PHONE & NEVER CALLED BACK!!!
I CALLED BACK & "CHRISTOPHER" NEVER APOLOGIZED FOR "JAKE"
& HAD ME TELL STORY ALL OVER AGIAN AFTER 1 YEAR & 3 MOS
OF ASKING WHY SEN DICK DURBIN DID NOT GO TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
FOR MY SOLIDER DAD AS SEN JOHN BOEHNER & SEN JAY ROCKERFELLER
DID IN 2011 FOR SOLIDR "COLONEL FRANK BUCKLES" OF WW 1
WHOSE DAUGHTER SAID 'SHE WANTED THE HIGHEST HONOR" FOR HER
SOLDIER DAD & HE WAS BURIED IN 3 WEEKS TIE & OBAMA SPOKE AT HIS
FUNERAL!!!! HE COULD DO THE SAME & I KEEP ASKING HIS TEENAGE
WORKERS & NEVER GOT SEN DURBIN HIMSELF!!! I DID NOT CALL HIS
WASHINGTON OFFICE BACK TO TELL THEM OF BAD TREATMENT ONCE AGAIN
I JUST DID NOT FEEL LIKE IT AGAIN!!!
Joan also found it offensive that she received a request to donate to the Obama for America campaign in an e-mail by Sarah Jessica Parker.  

I WAS ASKED FOR A DONATION SO I COULD WIN A SPOT
AT HER DINNER PARTY!!!! READ AGAIN!!!!
SARA JESSICA PARKER & PRESIDENT OBAMA IS "RESPONSIBLE"
FOR ANYONE "WHO USE THEIR LIKENESS-PERIOD"
The request for donation to the Obama for America campaign was initially published as a blog.  Initially the author believed that the donation was in response to Joan's request, however the timeline was apart by a few minutes and the request for donation was unrelated to the request for a burial.  
The e-mails were 17 minutes apart and it's not difficult to see how this could be misconstrued as being a response to a request, based on e-mail delivery times.  
 Sent: Sunday, June 3, 2012 3:39 PM
Subject: Re: I'm hosting

Hi Sara Jessica Parker
I Am Asking President Obama To Carry Out Arlington Ground Burial
For My Soldier Dad-I Too Need All The Help I Can Get For A Black WWll
Soldier Who Fought For His Country But Lies In Unmarked Grave With No name Or Rank!
Matthew Broderick Understand What My Soldier Dad Went Through In His
Beautiful Portrayal In "Glory" If You Can Get To President Obama & Let Him Know
If Soldiers & Others Around The World See President Obama Fighting For My Soldier
Dad's Arlington Ground Burial Offered By White House June 30,1993 But Never Carried Out
Being Done By The First Black President For A Black Soldier Whose History Was less
Than "Kind" To "Ammunition Handler" With General George S Patton On "D-Day"+
"Battle Of The Bulge" & 3 Mor Wars Never Given Army Upgrade Rank Or A Grave With His Name
& Rank! THE WORLD WILL LOVE & CARE & VOTE FOR HIM BECAUSE HE TOOK THE TIME
TO RESPECT A SOLDIER  OF "THE GREATEST GENERATION" HISTORY FORGOT!
JOAN FLOWERS


From: Sarah Jessica Parker <info@barackobama.com>
To: flowersjoan@yahoo.com
Sent: Sunday, June 3, 2012 3:22 PM
Subject: I'm hosting
Friend --

It's my honor to invite you to take part in an event I'm hosting at my home with the President and First Lady on June 14th.

If you can make a donation of any amount today, you'll be automatically entered to win two tickets to New York to join us.

Just before Election Day in 2008, I went to an Obama campaign office in New York and called some undecided voters.

I believed then, as I do now, that if we all chipped in and did our part, we would not only make history, but create meaningful change that so many Americans needed.

For me, this election is even more important than 2008.

As a woman, a mother, and an entrepreneur, I need to believe our country can be a place where everyone has a fair shot at success.

This November's election will determine whether we get to keep moving forward, or if we're forced to go back to policies that ask people like my middle-class family in Ohio to carry the burden -- while people like me, who don't need tax breaks, get extra help.

I'm hosting this event on June 14th because there is so much at stake this year, and I want to keep doing what I can.

I hope you'll help me welcome President Obama and the First Lady to New York.

It should be fabulous.

Donate $3 or whatever you can to be automatically entered to win:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Night-in-New-York

Hope to see you there,

Sarah Jessica

Joan's relentless pursuit to get her father buried and this blog then came under attack:

a. in a comment on the blog itself; and 

b. personal attacks on Joan on her facebook page.  

First check the time stamps on the email thread. Joan first got an automated solicitation from Sarah Jessica Parker then Joan replied back to an automated server informing her on her father's plight. I know this because I personally corresponded with Joan and told her that her pleas are likely not going anywhere because it's a dummy email address. Democrat and GOP politicians use these all the time. Joan then told me that she didn't care and hand nothing to lose. OK, fine. Talk to a server. Whatever makes you happy. But let's not disgrace her father's memory for partisan politics.

The comment was signed by Ricardo. 

Instead of attacking Joan perhaps it would have been prudent to show some sympathy for Joan's plight.  The attack was definitely misdirected.  Ricardo Lori professes to expose the truth.  Perhaps the truth to be exposed should be this:

The truth he needs to expose is that Theodor Lovejoy never received a proper burial, while others did.  He also needs to expose the truth that Joan Flowers pleaded with two Administration to get her dad buried and all she got was Nothing.  Period.  He also needs to expose that she went straight to her Senator for assistance and again nothing.  That is the real truth.  There is a whole bunch of rhetoric coming out of Washington, but very little action. 
Anyone with two eyes can see that Joan Flowers is in pain.  Her plea to have her father buried at Arlington National Cemetery seems like a simple request.  It shouldn't take 19 years to get this resolved.  
This is not about partisan politics, but common decency.  In 2011 this should no longer be an issue of race, even if only perceived on Joan's part.  Perception is reality.

In the big scheme of things, this is a minor request that can be settled by a single signature by President Obama.  Theodore Lovejoy deserves to be honoured. 

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Soldier of Patton's Army in Unmarked Grave in Illiniois

 Where is Theodore Lovejoy's Arlington Burial
Black soldiers played a big part in the liberation of Europe.  Much of their history has gone unnoticed.  France, which had many colonies in Africa had lost 17,000 black soldiers when Paris fell to Adolf Hitler in 1940. 

During the invasion of Normandy many of the black soldiers were left behind in Britain by both American and British Forces, but they joined the fight later, sweeping across Europe with General Patton's Army. 

"Paris was freed from Nazi rule on August 25th 1944 by the 2nd Armoured Division of the Free French army, a few months after D-Day. The strange thing is that all the soldiers seemed to be white – even though the French army at the time was two-thirds black. As it turns out the British and Americans who ran D-Day would only let an all-white division across the Channel. Even the black American soldiers were left behind in Britain and joined the fighting only later. France in those days ruled much of Africa and had black soldiers in its army. In 1940 when Paris fell to Hitler 17,000 black soldiers had lost their lives defending France. In spite of that no black soldiers were allowed to take part in the liberation of Paris four years later. And to this day there is no monument in Paris to honour them."  Read More "Yes there were Black Soldiers

This story is an account of a soldier that was part of Patton's Army.  Theodore Lovejoy passed away in 1993, having suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alzheimer's Disease.   His daughter Joan Flowers, an actress in the Chicago area, was promised a funeral for her father at Arlington National Cemetery, however the promise was never fulfilled.   Today Theodore Lovejoy rests at Mount Glenwood Cemetery in an unmarked grave. 

Joan has made pleas to Senator Durbin and Colin Powell to ask President Obama to make the burial happen at Arlington.  Her story, which follows below,  shows an injustice that needs to be corrected.  In 2012 this should no longer be a question that requires much of a decision.  According to Joan, her father never even knew that he had received medals for the campaign, which weren't issued to black soldiers until 1947.  

Three males,  including her uncle and father suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a disease never recognized. The family dealt with those mental scars the best they could.   Her account of her uncle's death when she was just a child is chilling and demonstrates how devastating PTSD can be.   Many of our warriors from the Vietnam and Afghan/Iraq error silently suffer, albeit the situation on treatment has somewhat improved.

What happened to Theodore Lovejoy and the request,  followed by a promise, for his Arlington funeral is an injustice that must be rectified.  Read Joan's account and listen to her interview with Tom Garcia here. 

Also Read General Patton's Forgottten Troops

After reading Joan's account,  please contact your Congressman, the Obama White House and your State Senators to put pressure on them to rectify this injustice. 
I DID NOT KNOW UNTIL DEC 11, 2011 WHEN I OPENED UP DAD'S VETERAN AFFAIRS HOSPITAL PAPERS THAT "HE TRIED TO KILL HIMSELF" IN 1950!!! 5 YEARS AFTER WAR!!!! LIKE MY UNCLE "WHO DID" INFO BELOW!!!! NO ONE KNEW THESE SOLDIERS HAD 'PTSD"  THE DOCTORS ASKED MY DAD TO "PROMISE" HE WOULD NOT TRY TO "KILL HIMSELF AGAIN" HE "PROMISED" & NEVER TRIED AGAIN!!!!! HE HAD "MALARIA" EACH YEAR FROM WAR WITH "FEVER,CHILLS & SWEATS FROM WAR & "MEGA MIGRAINE HEADACHES AS "AMMUNITION HANDLER"& "WARRANT OFFICER" TOPS IN HIS DAY AS A BLACK "WW ll" SOLDIER  HE DIED OF "ALZHEIMERS" JUNE 30, 1993 & WAS OFFERED"ARLINGTON WHITE HOUSE EXCEPTION BURIAL" BY "LIAISON DEPT""SUSAN" WHO SAID: "JOAN THIS IS THE LEAST WE CAN DO FOR A YOUR SOLDIER DAD & A SOLDIER OF "GENERAL GEORGE S PATTON" & HISTORY THAT WAS "LESS THAN KIND TO A SOLDIER WHO FOUGHTFOR HIS COUNTRY" MY DAD LIES IN "UNMARKED GRAVE TODAY PEOPLEWALK ON!! ASKING PRESIDENT CLINTON ON TWITTER @ CLINTON TWEETS & CLINTON GLOBAL TO "STEP IN" & GO TO PRESIDENT OBAMA & ASK HIM TO"CARRY OUT" "PREVIOUS EXECUTIVE OFFER" CLINTON'S ADMIN OFFERED A SOLDIERTHAT "COULD NOT BUY A HOME" "OR "VOTE" IN 1945 BUT FOUGHT FOR THE WORLD!!  PLEADED WITH SENATOR DICK DURBIN TO ASK PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR DAD'SBURIAL & HE HAS NOT GONE AS REUESTED BY DAUGHTER OF W"FRANK BUCKLES"   I AM A SOLDIERS DAUGHTER! If My "Father & Uncle Were "ARMY SOLDIERS  Of "WW ll" & My Brother A "Marine" Marksman In "Vietnam" Had Counseling After Returning From WAR- "Maybe My Uncle's Suicide Might Have Been Prevented"   My dad is awaiting ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY BURIAL "OFFERED/PROMISED" to him during the CLINTON ADMINISTRATION LIAISON DEPT When "I BECAME PRESIDENT CLINTON'S FIRST WHITE HOUSE HUMAN RIGHTS CASE"   I am Asking SENATOR DICK DURBIN & GENERAL COLIN POWELL to ASK PRESIDENT OBAMA TO "CARRY OUT" OFFER to dad as "SUSAN'' OF LIAISON DEPT PROMISED-   My Uncle "JOSEPH "JR came home from war a handsome yet damaged man- we were told he had CANCER but we never knew for sure-Black Soldiers did not get the care needed & were often used as EXPERIMENTS OR CONSIDERED LESS THAN ACCEPTABLE to fight during the war.   My father "THEODORE LOVEJOY" LOVED GENERAL GEORGE PATTON! & Told how he would give MORAL SUPPORT & PEP TALKS & if he caught those he put in charge of Black Soldiers Disrespecting them- THEY WOULD HAVE GENERAL GEORGE PATTON TO ANSWER TO!   The War left MY DAD + UNCLE+ BROTHER "DAMAGED" not only with Visible War Wounds For Life Physically-But Also Psychological- They Were MOODY,SHORT TEMPERED,CONSTANT NIGHTMARES- AND HAD ANGER ISSUES BEYOND THEIR CONTROL- WE AS A FAMILY could not understand how come our loved one was NOT THE SAME person that left for War- THEY WERE NOT THE SAME! War makes them OLDER and WISER beyond their years-   WE AS A FAMILY could only watch & give our love & try to understand the DEMONS THESE SOLDIERS HAD TO DEAL WITH WHEN THEY CAME HOME! THEY HAD NO SUPPORT OR COUNSELING TO DEAL WITH THE "HORRORS OF WAR"   Our lives were one of not knowing which MOOD our loved one would exhibit or how to deal with it! WHEN THEY COME HOME-WE EXPECT THEM TO "GET ON WITH LIVING" BUT THEIR WORLD HAS STOPPED "ON ALL LEVELS" & CAN LEAD TO "SHATTERED FAMILIES" If not dealt with in COUNSELING.   THESE SOLDIERS "MUST HAVE COUNSELING" & IT MUST BE "MANDATORY" before they leave the bases that have become "THEIR HOME AWAY FROM HOME" COUNSELING TO GET THEM BACK ON THEIR FEET IN ORDER TO "DEAL WITH SOCIETY" If NOT Just as my dad was A KIND & HARDWORKING MAN-HE WAS ALSO "VOLATILE" AT TIMES IN A "QUIET WAY"   My UNCLE JOSEPH "COULD NO LONGER STAND HIS DEMONS" "UNCONFIRMED CANCER" & "LOVE NOT GIVEN TO HIM IN RETURN" "HE PUT A BULLET TO HIS HEAD & DIED "INSTANTLY" IN OUR HALLWAY!   SEPT 27,1957- I WAS "3 YEARS OLD" & SAW MY UNCLE ON FLOOR & "PULLED HIS CLOTHES" ASKING HIM "UNCLE JR" GET UP!" But IT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE! We Children were sent to the back porch while my Mother & Great Grandparents cleaned up his blood!


PRESIDENT CLINTON'S ADMIN OFFERED THE BURIAL & I  AM ASKING HIM ON "TWITTER"@ CLINTON TWEETS & CLINTON GLOBAL TO "ASK PRESIDENT OBAMA " TO CARRY OUTEXECUTIVE OFFER FROM CLINTON ADMIN "LIAISON DEPT" "SUSAN" ALONG WITH SENATOR DICK DURBIN & COLIN POWELL & ALL OF "TWIITER FAMILY" WHO ENJOY THE "FRUITS OF WHAT SOLDIERS"FOUGHT FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH=HUMAN RIGHTS=JUSTICE FOR ALL!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

UEFA EURO 2012 - Let the Games Begin




Group A

Friday June 8th

Game 1 Poland vs Greece        18:00   Warsaw        1-1
Game 2 Russia vs Czech Rep  20:45    Wroclaw      4-1


Tuesday June 12th

Game 9 - Greece vs  Czech Rep  18:00 Wroclaw    1-2
Game 10 - Poland vs Russia        20:45 Warsaw      1-1
  

Saturday June 16th

Game 17 - Czech Rep vs Poland        20:45 Wroclaw 1-0
Game 18 - Greece vs Russia              20:45 Warsaw   1-0




Group A

TeamsPWDLFA+/-Pts
Czech Republic Czech Republic320145-16
Greece Greece31113304
Russia Russia31115324
Poland Poland302123-12








































































Group B
















Saturday June 9th

Game 3 - Netherlands vs Denmark 18:00 Kharkiv     0-1
Game 4 - Germany vs Portugal       20:45 Lviv          1-0


Wednesday June 13th

Game 11 - Denmark vs Portugal        18:00 Lviv       2-3
Game 12 - Netherlands vs Germany  20:45 Kharkiv  1-2


Sunday June 17th

Game 19 - Portugal vs Netherlands   20:45 Kharkiv  2-1
Game 20 - Denmark vs Germany      20:45 Lviv       1-2



Group B

TeamsPWDLFA+/-Pts
Germany Germany33005239
Portugal Portugal32015416
Denmark Denmark310245-13
Netherlands Netherlands300325-30














































































































































































Group C





Sunday June 10th

Game 5 - Spain vs Italy           18:00 Gdansk           1-1
Game 6 - Ireland vs Croatia    20:45 Poznan            1-3

 Thursday June 14th

Game 13 - Italy vs Croatia                 18:00 Poznan  1-1
Game 14 - Spain vs Ireland                20:45 Gdansk 4-0


Monday June 18th

Game 21 - Croatia vs Spain               20:45 Gdansk  0-1
Game 22 - Italy vs Rep Ireland          20:45 Poznan  2-0



Group C

TeamsPWDLFA+/-Pts
Spain Spain32106157
Italy Italy31204225
Croatia Croatia31114314
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland300319-80


































































































































































Group D
















Monday June 11th

Game 7 - France vs England    18:00  Donetsk      1-1
Game 8 - Ukraine vs Sweden   20:45  Kiev           2-1


Friday June 15th

Game 15 - Sweden vs England            20:45 Kiev        2-3
Game 16 - Ukraine vs France             18:00 Donetsk    0-2


Tuesday June 19th

Game 23 - England vs Ukraine          20:45 Donetsk  0-1
Game 24 - Sweden vs France             20:45 Kiev       2-0


Group D

TeamsPWDLFA+/-Pts
England England32105327
France France31113304
Ukraine Ukraine310224-23
Sweden Sweden31025503


























































































 Quarter Final:

Thursday June 21st

Game 25 -Czech Republic vs Portugal     20:45  Warsaw         1-0

Friday June 22nd

Game 26 - Germany vs Greece    20:45  Gdansk                       4-2


Saturday June 23rd

Game 27 -Spain vs France     20:45 Donetsk                              2-0

Sunday June 24th

Game 28 - England vs Italy      20:45 Kiev                                2-4 (Penalty Kicks)


Semi- Finals:

Wednesday June 27th

Game 29 -Portugal vs Spain  20:45 Donetsk                            3-4 (Penalty Kicks)

Thursday June 28th

Game 30 - Germany vs Italy  - 20:45 Warsaw                         1-2

 Final

Sunday July 1st

Game 31 - Spain vs Italy  20:45 Kiev                                      4-0

U.S. - Macedonia Relations - US State Department

U.S.-MACEDONIA RELATIONS
Macedonia and the United States enjoy a cooperative relationship across a broad range of political, economic, cultural, military, and social issues. The two have had good bilateral relations since Macedonia gained its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. The United States formally recognized Macedonia in 1994, and the countries established full diplomatic relations in 1995. The United States strongly supports Macedonia's aspirations for full integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions and is committed to helping Macedonia strengthen rule of law; improve education; promote media freedom; and build greater democratic foundations in a full, inclusive multi-ethnic society.
The United States and its European allies strongly condemned the initiators of the 2001 insurgency in Macedonia, which grew from ethnic tensions, and closely supported the government and major parties' successful efforts to forge a peaceful, political solution to the crisis through the Ohrid Framework Agreement. In partnership with the European Union and other international organizations active in Macedonia, the United States continues to facilitate the Macedonian Government's implementation of the Framework Agreement and fostering long-term peace and stability in the country.
For the text of the 2008 bilateral Declaration of Strategic Partnership and Cooperation, please see http://2001-2009.state.gov/p/eur/rls/or/104441.htm.
U.S. Assistance to Macedonia
U.S. Government assistance to Macedonia focuses on facilitating Macedonia’s continued development on the path toward full integration into the Euro-Atlantic community and assisting the Macedonian Government’s efforts to sustain economic and democratic reforms to build stability and prosperity. A fact sheet on U.S. assistance to Macedonia can be found here.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States supports Macedonia's transition to a market-oriented economy. Macedonia is a member of the World Trade Organization seeks to join the European Union (EU); a starting date for accession negotiations has been deferred by the EU.
In 2010, total trade between Macedonia and the United States was $116.6 million, and in the first 8 months of 2011 it was $65 million. U.S. electrical machinery and equipment have been particularly attractive to Macedonian importers. Principal Macedonian exports to the United States are tobacco, apparel, iron, and steel.
Macedonia's Membership in International Organizations
Macedonia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Adriatic Charter, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
Macedonia seeks to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).In 2008, NATO Allies noted that Macedonia met NATO membership criteria and in2012 reconfirmed the commitment to invite Macedonia to join NATO as soon as a solution is reached in Macedonia's dispute with NATO member Greece over Macedonia's name. Macedonia continues to make an important contribution to regional stability by supporting the logistical supply of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (including U.S.) peacekeepers in Kosovo. Macedonia participated in OIF and currently participates in ISAF, the EU Althea Mission in Bosnia and Herzgovina, and the UN’s observer mission in Lebanon.
Bilateral Representation
The U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia is Paul Wohlers; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.
Macedonia maintains an embassy in the United States at 2129 Wyoming Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: (202) 667-0501).
More information about Macedonia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Macedonia Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Macedonia Page
U.S. Embassy Macedonia
USAID Macedonia Mission Page
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies (see Yugoslavia (Former))
Travel and Business Information