- Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 September 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 08 September 2010 05:00
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In the 1980’s I worked for the Corps of Engineers at the Pentagon. It was a demanding job and I was going to school at night getting an MBA. Not having a full night’s sleep just became a matter of course. However, this was nothing to complain about. The Army was picking up the tab. But this was the Army, and each course I took involved a complex set of forms and approvals. There was a lot of bureaucracy involved in sending me to school.
That’s where Jenny (for purposes of the privacy of her family, this wasn’t her real name) comes in. Back in those days she was our administrative officer. She was young, my age, and I might add, rather nice to look at. Next to the General she was the most important person in the office. If you wanted to travel, buy new equipment, upgrade a position, or, in my case, do a degree program, she made it happen.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 September 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 01 September 2010 05:00
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The Gulf oil spill released as much as 38 million gallons into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil well gushed oil for 87 days. The well, at long last, has been sealed and that was no small feat. But the real question was what to do with the oil.
How could any ecosystem, no matter how large, possibly absorb that much oil?
There was even speculation that after it had wreaked havoc on the Gulf that this massive plume would then make its way up the Atlantic Coast. What can I say? All the scenarios were bad. There was no way the cleanup technologies we have at the moment, which for the most part amount to booms and souped up Shopvacs could possibly handle it. But then, along came a microbe. It is a bit of bacteria, just a few microns wide, that likes to eat oil.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 05:00
- Hits: 990
When the Congress and the president began discussing immigration reform several years ago it started as a surprisingly deliberate and thoughtful discussion. But, sadly, this high-minded exchange didn’t last very long. Now, instead of debate, there is a back and forth of hateful rhetoric and some ideas, that, if not irrational, are at least ill considered. Of course, as I said, that wasn’t always the case. And interestingly enough, while generally supported by Democrats, true immigration reform, at one time, had some impressive Republican supporters. President George W. Bush counted himself as an immigration reform advocate and so did John McCain.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 05:00
- Hits: 906
Over the years, in high school, and later in College, I tried to learn another language. My teachers did their best, but the outcome was always the same. And so was their conclusion. I had no aptitude for languages. The best advice was to stick with the language I had, and that was English. However, while most of us are used to English, it’s not as easy as all that, and when I think of all the new immigrants in our area having to master our native tongue, my heart goes out to them.
Just consider the number of words. Many argue that English has more words than any other language in the world. The Oxford Dictionary puts the count at 500,000, but others say it’s more like 1 million. Also, according to one source, and this includes words that probably aren’t going to last long, such as “humongous,” and “ginormous” the English language adds a word every 98 minutes. I guess I will have to “google” that (and yes, “google” is one of those new words too), to see if it’s true.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 August 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 04 August 2010 05:00
- Hits: 1078
The United States for all of its size is a place where given the right circumstances a person can go from being an unknown to becoming a national name in minutes. There are very few places where that can happen, but as they say, “only in America.” That was certainly the case with the former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin. She was even, long before the rest of the nation ever heard of her, something of political phenomena in her own state. She went from being mayor of the small town of Wasilla to governor in just two years. But as we know now, that was nothing compared to what happened after that. She so impressed candidate John McCain that she become his running mate in the 2008 Presidential election.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 July 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 28 July 2010 05:00
- Hits: 971
When Governor Bob McDonnell was elected he faced two challenges. First, he had to live up to his promise not to raise taxes and second he had to find more money for roads. Given the state of the economy, this is a tough challenge. One of his ideas was to privatize the state liquor stores. This would bring an instant infusion of cash into the state coffers. The approach that’s gaining steam is to have the state close its Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) stores, and instead, sell licenses to private vendors.