• Politics

    Murder Without a Clue

    When 94 year old Ottilie Lundgren of rural Oxford, Connecticut, died on November 21st, the mystery of how she contracted inhalation anthrax became even more of a matter of public health concern than it already was. Now there was a victim, one with no obvious contact with the federal government or others who had been targeted by terrorists, who was dead. A murder victim, as sure as she had been shot through the head, with no motive, no apparent contact with her killer, and no trace of the murder weapon.

     

    When I used to read mystery stories, those were the three things needed to prove that a murder had actually taken place: motive, opportunity and weapon. Without these, the police could never hope for a solution to the crime. Now in a real life setting, we have an absence of all three of these, yet we have a murder victim. The answer to how this could happen is prompting one of the most significant crime scene searches in history.

    An extensive search of the victim’s home has turned up absolutely no evidence of how she became exposed to anthrax… let alone inhalation anthrax. To catch this disease, you have …

  • Politics

    William Dietrich and the Adventure-Filled Blood of the Reich

    Using Tibet as a Pawn

    Led by a ruthless adventurer named Kurt Raeder, the Nazis incur the wrath of the British early on as they brazenly traipse through British-held territory in vividly imagined passages highlighting the juxtaposition of the native cultures against the harsh efficiency of the German National Socialists on a mission.

    The taunting goes well beyond general distrust between pre-World War II nations as Raeder’s history with American millionaire Benjamin Hood forces a high stakes game of one-upmanship between the two.

     

    Hood and Raeder have a personal and professional history, leaving each eager to settle the score left from their joint academic expedition to Asia four years earlier. The previously sociable Hoods eventual disappearance from public view, made known to the reader early in the story, increases the feeling of heightened tension as the two competitive rivals get closer to their mutual destination.

    Contemporary Chase Around the World

    In the present day, Rominy Pickett’s big dreams consist of buying a bungalow, traveling overseas and meeting a nice single man in the wine or spice section at the local Safeway. Her improbably introduction to reporter Jake Barrow changes everything when he reveals her long-hidden identity after a harrowing …

  • Politics

    How Budget Deficit Relates to Structural Deficit: Automatic Stabiliser Effects on UK Government Economic Policy

    Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative Party Conferences (Sept-Oct 2009) have been dominated by how the next UK government (elections probably May, latest June 2010)) would deal with the budget deficit, and how much pain would be involved for the average voter. Ensuring voter confidence on this issue is crucial, not just for the political party that gets into power, but for the economic future of the country and the global financial system.

    The key to ensuring voters’ confidence is educating the public about the budget deficit and its relationship to the automatic stabiliser effect and the structural deficit. Any budget deficit is the excess of government spending over tax revenue, and therefore how much the government needs to borrow. According to The Economist (Oct 10th 2009), Britain’s budget deficit is projected to be at least £175 billion in this financial year (to April 2010) – easily its largest ever in peace time.

    The government borrows all the money it needs by selling Government Bonds (almost entirely in the form of Gilt-Edged Stock aka Gilts), mainly to financial institutions in the City of London (pension funds, insurance companies etc.) but also to overseas buyers, especially China and Japan. However, with an …

  • Politics

    Abortion, Politics and the Christian Faith

    Abortion was a hot issue in the recent Presidential election. But it was not the only issue. My wife recently filled out a form sent to her from the organization “Priests for Life.” The form contained two questions that caught my attention. The first question was if she believed in abortion. That was an easy question to answer because both my wife and I are pro-life. The second question concerned who we voted for the the Presidential election.

    I heard that many religious organizations including the Catholic church were encouraging people to vote for the Republican candidate because he was pro-life. First, I don’t think John McCain is truly pro-life. His votes against federal funding to help troubled young pregnant woman certainly don’t reflect a pro-life stance. Also, for years our Congress was controlled by Republicans and Roe vs Wade was not challenged.

    Second pro-life should not only include unborn babies. We can’t kill them before they are born, but we can sentence them to a life of war against terrorism after they become 18 and join the Military Reserves? We allow them to serve repeatedly (sometimes resulting in health problems) because we don’t want conscription? And we …

  • Politics

    A New Day Dawns in Texas Politics

    Texas Governor Rick Perry (after 14 years on the job) announced that he will not seek reelection in 2014. But, in typical Perry form, whether he plans to ride off into the sunset or run for President again was left unanswered. 

    Perry’s last presidential campaign was a comedic fiasco after his infamous “oops” debate when he couldn’t recall the three government agencies he intended to abolish. Perry then became a presidential punch line for late-night TV – withdrawing from the campaign soon after.

    If Perry does run for president again, he has little to lose. His last stab at the White House was such a catastrophe that he could easily fulfill the extremely low voter expectations – especially if he manages to remember three things at once.

    Of course, Perry still maintains hefty ambitions and has many fans on the conservative GOP base. But first, he’ll need to overcome the reality of being the sixth choice for GOP presidential candidate in a recent Texas poll.

    He’ll also need to do major damage control with women voters on the battle over abortion, including his criticism of Texas Senator Wendy Davis for her successful filibuster.…

  • Politics

    Politics and the Younger Generation

    With all the talk of politics these days I think it is only fair to include a perspective from the 20-30 year olds in America. Those of us who think we do not have a voice, are not informed or educated enough to participate in politics, and those of us who quite frankly are confused by the media and their opinions. (Because we all know very well that true journalism – reporting the news – is all but dead. We now see editorializing becoming the prevalent form of “journalism”.) In order to make any real changes, and to silence the corruption, we need to educate younger generations and make them feel welcomed into the world of government. It doesn’t have to be so confusing when really what it all comes down to is this: who we elect into office, and for HOW LONG.

    I have never been involved in politics, will never claim myself to be a source of information for government affairs and absolutely have never thought about joining a political movement. Even though I grew up in Houston Texas ‘” the 4th largest city in the country – surrounded by educated and knowledgeable citizens, government and economics just …

  • Politics

    Looking for a Job in Democratic Politics

    Looking for a Job in Democratic Politics

    Job Search and Resume Tips for Democrats

    With the inauguration of a Democratic president and such huge wins for Democrats in the last election, it would seem that there should be an over-abundance of jobs for Democrats. However, that is not necessarily the case. For both Democrats coming off the campaign trail and newbies looking to break into Democratic politics, it can be a tough job market.

    It is important to understand which job searcher category you fall into and to design a resume fitting of that category. There are, primarily, three types of Democratic politics job searchers right now: Seasoned Democratic Campaign Veterans, Entry-Level Democratic Campaign Staffers, and Democratic Politics Newbies.

    The Seasoned Democratic Campaign Veteran is the job-seeker most familiar with dealing with the pitfalls of odd years – a.k.a. the years with few campaigns. This job-seeker has two or more election cycles under their belt and has just finished working in a senior staff role on one of the many 2008 or later campaigns.

    For this job-seeker, the trick is to reformat that campaign resume and make it more friendly for legislative, advocacy, and nonprofit employers. The skills are similar, …

  • Politics

    The Intersection of Politics and Project Management

    My definition of politics encompasses the following: activities aimed at influencing the opinions and behaviors of individuals, groups, and organizations that have the power to make decisions that impact the allocation of resources. This reality extends throughout the private and public sectors, with stakeholders being interconnected and interdependent on one another for mutual gains and losses. Since all resources are inherently limited, then the ends to which they are distributed is of great importance to managers who work within organizations and vie for capital in order to initiate and fund projects. Three points of continuous contention and jockeying among various interests are money, information, votes and/or authority. Politics is a reality of day-to-day life that extends beyond the workplace and into family and civic life as well.

    Decisions made by top management regarding human, financial, intellectual, and material assets are not always necessarily rational by the numbers calculations aimed at maximizing the bottom line through sophisticated mathematical projections. Societal values, cultural context, competitive forces, and macro economic trends can impact decision makers and strategic directions of firms. These factors weigh heavily on decisions regarding choosing between potential activities pursued and those that are put on hold or discarded. It may …