Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sexual Violence in War

Guinean woman are being raped and beaten in public by troops. They are trying to turn the community in on its self by forcing husbands, partners, and families to turn on these woman.

Despite the emotionally and physical toll of the rape and abuse, the women remain determined to improve the state of there country, and punish the ones who have abused them.

First Lady Promotes Health of Children

Many past first ladies have had special causes; Laura Bush had reading, Nancy Reagan had "just say no to drugs". Michelle Obama is promoting good health and nutrition, especially for young people.

Michelle Obama says health experts believe we are on track, for the first time, to see the younger generations with a shorter average lifespan.

The article questions whether promoting healthy eating would cause the companies producing unhealthy foods to lose profits. Companies would likely respond to the demand for healthier food by producing healthier food. What's more important anyway; profits or the health of children?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Airlines Sending Repairs Overseas

Industry is sending 1 out of every 5 planes overseas.

FAA requires overhaul of planes every two years. Until just a few years ago, unionized American employees of each airline did the work.

Since 2002 airlines have been doing anything to cut costs. Maintenance has been one of the biggest areas.

Using a non-union shop in American, they cut their costs in half, and using another shop outside of America, it can be as little as 1/3 the original cost.

All of the shops have to be approved by the FAA. The last time a plane crashed because of maintenance error was in 2003 - and that was serviced in the US.

But, the inspector general of the Department of Transportation says that FAA and industry inspectors are not monitoring work the way they should.

The FAA does not require airlines to report where their air crafts are being serviced, so they don't even know where to check.


I'll admit that I am totally and completely biased on the issue of outsourcing air craft maintenance, but it seems like a risky thing to be doing.

When you hire well paid unionized employees, they are more likely to care about there jobs, and therefore do the best they can at making sure the air crafts are properly maintained.

Also, it used to be easy to find the root of the problem. US Airways air craft was obviously serviced by US Airways employees. Now it could be serviced anywhere in the world, by anyone.

If airlines kept employees in the U.S. it would provide many well paying jobs to Americans, and that would help stimulate a hurting economy. People would be able to afford to travel more. Outsourcing is a short term solutions to a bigger problem.

In the airline industry, maintenance seems like the last place you would want to be cutting costs. Especially with people already more nervous about air travel after 9/11.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Office Manager Suicide

On September 29th, Mike Kovac had lunch with a friend, and then disappeared from his office, leaving his belongings behind. When he didn't return home, is wife called him in missing. His wife said he had been showing her how to pay bills, something that he usually did.

Kovac was found in a storage closet behind boxes 9 days after he killed himself with a knife.

Monday, October 12, 2009

6-yr-old suspended

A 6-year-old first grader from Delaware was suspended and ordered to go to reform school for 45-days after bringing a camping utensil - fork, spoon, and knife combination - to school to eat his lunch with.

Because of the districts zero tolerance policy, they do not make exceptions to there suspensions based on intent.

The boy is being home-schooled while his parents try to overturn his punishment.

I understand being cautious, but I think this is completely ridiculous. If a child is bring weapons to school with the intent of injuring another child, I don't think possession rules are going to be that effective in deterring them. After all, their intention is worse than just carrying around a weapon.

I certainly don't think weapons should be allowed in school. Possession of them should be addressed, but I don't think punishment is always the right option, especially when it is clear that their intention was not to harm anyone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Obama Pledges Again to End "Don't Ask Don't Tell"

On Saturday at a fund raising dinner for human right Obama plegded to end "don't ask, don't tell".

Some are upset because he hasn't given a timeline, and that he has made the same promise in the past.

Obama supports same-sex relationships, but not same sex marriages because of religious reasons. He has put forth a package for domestic partnership benefits for federal workers (though they did not include health benefits) and has pushed for hate crime legislation.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Obama said he was surprised by the Nobel Peace Prize win.

He won it for "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples".

He is going to donate the 1.4 million dollars in prize money to charity.