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Muir Woods

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We have heard the Buddhist monks in Tibet protesting against Chinese occupation. The world is too busy with other things. When their protests fall on deaf ears it may trigger self-immolation as we read of cases recently. Their acts were ultimate protest. They could not do anything more.
Self-immolation has an euphonious sound but the effect of it is terrible. Similarly life has a pretty ring but when it becomes intolerable a suicide may be the answer to some. We cannot judge them since we have not been tried to our utmost and left hanging without a way forward.
What shall a woman in desperation do? A mother who cannot for the life of her, feed her family?
Here is something that can go under the title Grimmer Tales from Never-never Land.
A nearly seven-hour hostage ordeal at the Texas Department of Health and Human Services office in Laredo proved fatal for a mother and her two children.

Rachelle Grimmer, 38, pulled a gun on the welfare office supervisor, Roberto Reyes, and her two children out of her frustration at being denied food stamps. The office’s other employees were able to safely evacuate the building, according to the San Antonio Express.
A SWAT team surrounded the building, and officers communicated with Grimmer throughout the ordeal.
But at midnight — shortly after Grimmer hung up on police — three shots were fired, causing the police to storm the building.
(abc Good Morning America-7 Dec.2011)
American Dream sounds more like Never-never land where illusions never change while the crooks who created 2008 Global Meltdown are touted as success stories.
benny

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Syyed Qutb (1906- 1966)
He is regarded as the father of modern fundamentalism and described by his (Arab) biographer as “the most famous personality of the Muslim world in the second half of the 20th century”. Born in Egypt and his stay in the USA clarified his Islam roots,- and for all his anarcho-Islamic position, he dared to think his own thoughts and died in prison for his unflinching stance and he died by hanging for plotting to overthrow the government.
Qutb, is being increasingly cited as the figure who has most influenced late bin-Laden, the al-Qaida leader. Yet outside the Muslim world, he remains virtually unknown. Associate professor of history at Creighton University, John Calvert, states that “the Al Qaeda threat” has “monopolized and distorted our understanding” of Qutb’s “real contribution to contemporary Islamism.” Every prophet might as well place a rider about his life and works with this caveat,’ save me from my disciples!’ Likewise man whose only credentials is his thoughts may put them in words lest he should be misinterpreted. Even so he requires such a caveat. Qutb in his work Fi Zalal al-Koran (In the Shadow of the Koran), a commentary on the Koran in 30 volumes which began to appear in 1952 has been vilified for espousing a pernicious doctrine for which the blame lies elsewhere. What is his work? In writing already certain paraphrasing has undergone from what he had in mind, but for which think how clear the Quran would be to render any commentary as superfluous? Syyed Qutb suffers for this reason and his doctrinal position is an exposition of the explanation of Islam scholars who have already claimed their position as uncontestable. Is this what the blessed prophet had in mind? Your guess is as good as mine.
benny

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The statutory U.S. corporate income tax rate is 35 percent, one of the highest in the world, but over the 2008-2010 period thirty large companies while their profits were good avoided to pay their dues.
The average effective tax rate for the companies over the period was 18.5 percent, said Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, both think tanks.
Their report also listed General Electric Co, Paccar Inc, PG&E Corp, Computer Sciences Corp and NiSource Inc as among the 30 that paid no taxes. All 280 corporations examined were profitable over the period. Pepco Holdings, a Washington, D.C.-area power company, had the lowest effective tax rate, at negative 57.6 percent, among the 280 Fortune 500 companies studied. Corporations will say rightly that the loopholes that let them slash their taxes were perfectly legal, the report said.
“But that does not mean that low-tax corporations bear no responsibility … The laws were not enacted in a vacuum; they were adopted in response to relentless corporate lobbying, threats and campaign support,” the report said.
As Congress and the Obama administration struggle with a sluggish economy and high deficits, corporations are pressing Capitol Hill for more tax breaks, including one that would let them bring home overseas profits at a reduced tax rate.
The congressional “super committee” tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in additional budget savings by November 23 is so far deadlocked across a familiar divide — Republicans refusing any tax hikes, Democrats defending social programs.
On Tuesday, a panel of budget experts warned super committee members that they would fail the country if they do not meet their goal. Financial markets have been waiting for many months for signs that Washington can get its financial house in order, but few have been forthcoming.
Patriots all of them, but talk of paying their tax see how they behave? These are the very epitome of American Capitalism while the old, young and the veterans are thrown to the gutter to fend for themselves. Bill of Rights was penned by an archangel but tax loopholes are the work of Mammon. The same horned Beast also keeps 1% of the nation to enjoy the best fruits of other’s labor and luxuries they don’t really need but money can buy. Did I hear at some quarters the following cry, ‘Occupy the Wall Street is Un-American?’
I am afraid this life in the bubble of corporate greed is a phenomenon, which shall soon be a thing of the past. How long can man’s indifference to fellow man endure?
benny

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JOHN ADAMS Sr. (1735-1826) American
2nd US President

Son of a farmer and a deacon he was born to a modest family. His father expected him to become a minister, but Adams had doubts. After graduating in 1755, he decided to become a lawyer and studied law in the office of James Putnam, a prominent lawyer in Worcester. He was on the rise in his practice when Revolution intervened. He was 39 when he took his seat n the first Continental Congress (1774)and 66 when he finally returned to private life. One of his important contribution to the nation was to steer the Declaration of Independence* through congress. He served as Vice President under George Washington and later as the Second President of the new Nation, more or less continued Washington’s policy. He made the presidency the example of republican values and stressing civic virtue he followed his lead in staying out of the French and British war. Some historians consider his worst mistake was in keeping the old cabinet, which was controlled by Hamilton, instead of installing his own people, confirming Adams’ own admission he was a poor politician because he “was unpractised in intrigues for power.”
Elected by the Federalist he was more in tune with Thomas Jefferson (who was his vice President) than with Hamilton. His refusal to be drawn into a war with France while the Federalists were anti-French, cost him a second term as the president.
Trivia: He was the first President to occupy the White House.
2.
Following his 1800 defeat, Adams did not attend Jefferson’s Inauguration. In 1812, Adams however reconciled with Jefferson.
3.
The Adams family is one of only four families to have produced two Presidents of the United States, the others being the Bush family, the Roosevelt family, and the Harrison family.
benny

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