“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Friday, November 03, 2006

Valour-IT Update...And Evening News

OK…once again, it’s time for the nightly recap for the Valour-IT contest (...see my original post for more info...or visit the Valour-IT homepage...)

Wow, things slowed WAY down today. Remember, the goal is for each team to raise $45,000. So, let’s keep spreading the word!

And, here are the close of day numbers for 11/02 11:59 Central (Day Four):

Team Air Force: $13,829.00
Team Army: $15,680.00
Team Marines: $14,357.60
Team Navy: $13,311.00
TOTAL: $57,177.60 (out of $180,000)
Check the Valour-IT links in the sidebar for the sites of the Team Chiefs.

And, remember:
It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see: http://soldiersangels.org/valour/irsinfo.html for proof for the cautious). Just click the donation link at the top of the page to do the electronic thing. The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (be sure to put AIR FORCE in big letters on the check):
Soldiers' Angels
1150 N Loop 1604 W, Suite 108-493
San Antonio, TX 78248

We are almost a third of the way there! Let's complete the mission.

(…Now, for a look at the news…)

Voting For Dollars? That’s what they are going to decide in Arizona. A chance to win one million dollars just for voting. Of course, the initiative is sponsored by a Democrat—Mark Osterloh. Of course, it’s all in the name of “getting out the vote.” Right? Has our greed and selfishness become so bad we have to be bribed in order to get involved in government? Meanwhile, the courts have upheld voter ID requirements in Arizona, overturning (at least partially) a 9th Circuit ruling on the matter.
(…I tried to get the CNN video link for the lottery thing...I just couldn’t get it to work…sorry…can anybody shoot me the links/codes/tips/instructions to be able to make it work?...)

And, Democrats are actively courting religious voters
"What we're doing is paying real dividends in the faith community," said Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, who heads the House of Representatives Democratic Faith Working Group…"We're framing issues in religious terms and getting our members to be comfortable with it,"
Until recently, Democrats have been reluctant to mention religion, but that has begun to change with some now even quoting scripture.
John Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, said: "Many Democrats have concluded that they can compete for the Christian vote. Perhaps not for hard-line votes but for moderate evangelicals, Catholics and mainline Protestants."
In a June speech, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois said fellow Democrats must end their reluctance to talk about their faith. "If we don't reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons will continue to hold sway," Obama said, naming two outspoken conservative Christian figures.
The fact that Obama is actively (…aggressively???...) pushing this is problematic. Even more problematic is that Liberals are learning how to approach, and draw in, the normally Republican base.

An example of that is in this report from CNS. It’s a bout a new film on global warming, called “The Great Warming.” What the liberal left does is frame the issue in moral terms, concealing from conservatives and Christians what is really going on.
Karen Coshof, producer of the film put out by Canada's Stonehaven Productions, said in an interview with Cybercast News Service that when it comes to climate change, the problem is there are too many people on the planet. "Population is the underlying problem -- the catalyst for the whole thing, but we didn't get into that in the film," Coshof said. "That is the underlying problem -- too many people -- all in competition for the same resource."
Kindly note the belief they are not expressing is the need for population control—forced abortions and so forth. But, framed in the moral, Christian argument of being tasked by God to care for/maintain the earth (…go read the book of Genesis in the Bible if you need to…), many conservatives are being drawn to them and end up supporting things they wouldn’t otherwise.
Cassandra Carmichael, the Eco-Justice Program director for the National Council of Churches, said the environmental issue was the crucial issue in this case. We are bringing our moral voice to the cause. In our work, when we're signing on with other groups, we're looking at what we have in common," said Carmichael. "We're able to agree as a community that addressing global warming is important -- we are focusing on the issue.
Ms Carmichael needs to understand there is no such thing as a single, isolated issue. If we focus on just one thing, to the exclusion of other related issues, then we are on a dark road for sure.
(…say…isn’t that what the liberals are blaming Bush for?...)

Moderate Republicans suffering most in this election. Speaking of Rhode Island’s Chafee:
A Chafee loss could sound the death knell for an increasingly rare creature: the moderate Republican.
It's not just Chafee. Moderate Republicans are struggling across the country, especially in the Northeast:… says Democratic pollster Mark Mellman. "There was a time when you could look all up and down the East Coast — Jacob Javits in New York, Mack Mathias in Maryland — and see a variety of moderate and even liberal Republicans. That is a disappearing breed."

In another election hot-potato, immigration, there was this announcement: Medicaid proof required of illegal immigrant babies. Of course, the rules went into effect a few months ago. States have just been slow in the implementation. But, typical of the NY Times, why say anything until election time?

And…what was I saying about Google and Microsoft yesterday? Well, Microsoft and Novell’s Linux are joining up.

Productivity down, labor costs up. After announcing increased wages and benefits on October 31, the business world reveals it has productivity issues. This is not surprising. Given the sharp focus on the bottom line for shareholders sake, and the next quarter’s earnings, companies have been shaving their employment rolls. Add to that how automation has greatly reduced the manpower requirements of most companies. So those left at companies are doing more and more work. This is called increased productivity. But, as any good operations manager knows, there is a point of diminishing returns. It sounds like we may have finally exceeded it.