How much is 3.27 Trillion Dollars anyway?

How much debt is the CBO projecting for the US to incur as a result of the stimulus plan?

Yep that’s right 3.27 trillion dollars. . . .

Debt incurred as result of Stimulus

Debt incurred as result of Stimulus

Did you know you can stack a column of pennies 720,750 Kilometers with that many pennies.

You could also travel to the moon and back if you could walk on a penny road there. :)

And you could traverse the Earth 18 times on that same penny road it goes so far. . .

Gutenberg Project

Okay don’t miss these sites for great online books:

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://manybooks.net/

I know they are old but that is the wonder of it these are out of copyright and so are distributable free for any reason in the United States!

There are some great things available including

The Time Machine by HG Wells

Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography

Aristotle’s Complete Works

and more!

Check it out

Kill Comment Spam Dead Use Akismet and WP-Hashcash

Do you use WordPress? If you do I find the best Comment spam defense is a good offense. Combine Akismet with a few other good Spam defenders and you could be free from that detestable comment spam!

I use WP-Hashcash

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-hashcash/

Try it! Best thing about it is it doesn’t bother real users and kills bots dead.

After all Akismet is good but some of those spammers just get by Akismet since it is still based on user feedback.

Of course that doesn’t last long usually.

Like I said best defense is a one two punch offense. . . .

Akismet + WP-Hash Cash = Dead Comment Spam

Voting for an African American

This election was the first that I remember voting for an African American. I have to admit I didn’t feel anything outside my normal even keel upon voting for him. It was a historic moment for our nation, state and county. I guess the way I’ve always viewed someone’s race is that it is a part of who someone is, it is an ingredient in their makeup and identity, but it doesn’t necessarily define them unless they want it too. That’s what I love about America. . . race isn’t defining unless that person defines themselves by it, unless others allow humiliation and racial prejudices to affect how we treat our fellow human beings on this planet.

So when I chose this man I looked at his character, background and most importantly his stand on the issues that were important to me. I was very happy to vote for him and mark his name on my ballot.

Congratulations William Todd Hughey the next 71st District Judge from Harrison County!

The Elect 71st District Judge from Harrison County

The Elect 71st District Judge from Harrison County

Who Called for GSE Reform? Senator John McCain

Alan Greenspan: May 19th, 2005 http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/speeches/2005/20050519/default.htm

” As I testified before the Congress both this year and in 2004, the GSEs need a regulator with authority on par with that of banking regulators, with a free hand to set appropriate capital standards, and with a clear and credible process sanctioned by the Congress for placing a GSE in receivership, where the conditions under which debt holders take losses are made clear. However, if legislation takes only these actions and does not limit GSE portfolios, we run the risk of solidifying investors’ perceptions that the GSEs are instruments of the government and that their debt is equivalent to government debt. ”

Alan Greenspan Again Warns: Sept 2nd 2005: http://prudentinvestor.blogspot.com/2005/09/wsj-greenspan-sternly-warns-of-gse.html

” Today, the US financial system is highly dependent on the risk-managers at Fannie and Freddie to do everything right, rather than depending on a market-based system supported by the risk assessments and management capabilities of many market participants who have different views and different strategies for hedging risk. The concentration of mortgage-backed securities at Fannie and Freddie are well beyond what market forces would normally allow because there are no meaningful limits to the expansions of the GSE’s portfolios, . . . ”

George W. Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury Paul Snow: January 2, 2005 http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid={852359E2-8F4A-4C69-8F2F-7DE699044B08}&print=1&siteid=mktw

“. . .and government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae must come under a tougher regulator.”

Fannie’s own CEO should have known according to a July 2003 Audit:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/12/AR2006031200799.htm

“On July 9, 2003, another warning came in a report by Fannie Mae’s internal audit unit, the distribution list for which included Raines, Mudd and other managers.

The document said inconsistencies among various accounting systems at the company required that they be periodically “realigned,” resulting in “adjustments” of as much as $45 million, and that certain assets were being misclassified, leading to a $155 million mistake.

“Controls need strengthening,” the document said. It concluded that management “demonstrated a good level of awareness about control issues and has initiated timely actions to resolve these issues.”

Three weeks after the internal report, Raines held a news conference to address fallout from Freddie Mac’s accounting scandal and gave assurances that Fannie Mae had invested in its systems. “We have centralized our accounting, so we don’t have to go all over the company to find out what the facts are,” Raines said, according to a transcript.”

Senator Obama’s campaign had some conversations via the telephone according to the Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/15/AR2008071502827.html

“In the four years since he stepped down as Fannie Mae’s chief executive under the shadow of a $6.3 billion accounting scandal, Franklin D. Raines has been quietly constructing a new life for himself. He has shaved eight points off his golf handicap, taken a corner office in Steve Case’s D.C. conglomeration of finance, entertainment and health-care companies and more recently, taken calls from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters. ”

Who called for Reform of GSE’s Fannie and Freddie?

Senator John McCain:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-190

“Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae’s regulator reported that the company’s quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were “illusions deliberately and systematically created” by the company’s senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae’s former chief executive officer, OFHEO’s report shows that over half of Mr. Raines’ compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.”

Of Hurricanes and Heroes

It’s been a little over 3 days since the rain began here in Marshall from Gustav and even though we and the Gulf Coast didn’t see near what could of happened, it was still quite a storm. From what I saw here, the evacuations and preparations were 100% better on the Louisiana side of the fence, as opposed to 3 years ago when Texas had a somewhat orderly and steady and relatively uneventful evacuation (*although the traffic jams and heat were awful and horrible bus fire that claimed more than 2 dozen people)* of 2 + million people from the Houston Metro area for Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Katrina ripped into the poorest sections of New Orleans where little state preparation and an overwhelmed Federal Emergency Management crew were unable to move people out ahead of time. I still see that as a stark contrast in Leadership on the Texas side, Gov Perry rallied state, county and city agencies to urge voluntary and mandated certain areas evacuations, buses were chartered, the news media went on fever pitch in the Houston metro area, we even made plans to receive family in Austin, if they needed it, but they didn’t, as they choose to weather the Storm. Now it wasn’t a perfect response, but the stark contrast with New Orleans and Southern Louisiana’s evacuation 3 years ago spoke volumes of the leaders on the ground at the time.
How times have changed, gratefully Gustav never made Cat 5 but wow what an evacuation. We are reported to have had nearly 1000 people housed in Marshall’s convention center, our own gymnasium here on campus is housing 50 or so patients through an operation run through FEMA. And while it is a little odd for Camo and fatigues to be on campus, I can say I’m grateful they came, I’m grateful to the leadership of the City and my University for allowing and supporting these people needing a short term roof over their heads away from the storm. But it’s still odd to have a Hospital in a gymnasium. . .
All in all a great big Kudo’s to Gov Jindal, the local officials along the Gulf Coast, the people of Louisiana and the Federal Emergency Management and the National Guard who are all doing a superb job from what I can see. . . .
A little wet but un-phased by the Hurricane but grateful for the scores of unsung heroes who are making a difference on the ground.
C
(BTW) The photo is of the overall building where the Hospital was setup, although it was set in the older gymnasium (Keys Gym) to the left but connected to this newer section which houses the renovated and new gymnasium (Ornelas Gymnasium) which is to the right side of the buidling pictured.

Article on FEMA Hospital from ETBU’s Site: FEMA Hospital in Keys Gym

deanhealthplex.jpg

Religion Headlines Skew 70% believe there are other ways to get to Heaven

Well, I had only read the headlines of those articles but just now saw a thoughtful well documented article that actually listed the question asked.
Of the following two statements which one better fits your beliefs?
A “My religion is the one, true faith leading to eternal life” or B “many religions can lead to eternal life.”
The article at Scripps News gives a pretty good summary of why this question cannot be used to judge whether Evangelical or other Christian, Muslim and Jewish believers have abandoned basic principles of their faith. Basically the summary comes down to the definition of “Religion”.
If you define Religion as “a set of beliefs a person practices in line with sacred texts and tradition” or if you define Religions as referring to the overall largest Religions including “Christianity, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Taoist, Wiccan, Morman and Atheist” or if you defined the work Religion in the context of the question as only referring to your Religions denominations or sects so “Baptist, Catholic, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Prebysterian, United Methodist, Non Denominational Christian, Episcopal and such”
The definition of Religion therefore interprets the question and colors the responses both the person who believes there are many ways to heave such as Taoist, and Buddhist and the Christian who believes that there are multiple Denominations that also hold true to the core of Christianity would say B especially if they didn’t consider Muslim, Jewish Wiccan and Taoist as inside their realm of knowledge or experience.
So bottom line is the survey skews the responses by asking an inprecise question and formulating a broad corrleation of Evangelicals abandoning the truths of John 14:5-7
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we >> know the way?” 6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. >> No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you >> would know[a >> ] >> > my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” >
So now you know. . .