Saturday, November 29, 2008

Family Business Owner Gives A Bonus To Employees Even When They Didn't Have To

Ill. family thanks employees with surprise bonuses

CHICAGO – Even though employees at the Peer Bearing Co. no longer work for the Spungen family that recently sold the Waukegan-based ball bearings maker, they still received a turkey each this Thanksgiving in keeping with tradition.

But even better was the gift that came in mid-September, when the Spungens threw a party to celebrate the company's acquisition by a Swedish company.

They gave away $6.6 million in year-end bonuses to Peer's 230 employees, decided by a formula based on each worker's years of service.

"My grandfather was always charitable," said Danny Spungen, grandson of Peer founder Nathan Spungen. He said Laurence and Florence Spungen and their four children decided on a bonus formula a year before the acquisition closed.

He said the decision was "a gamble that we would come out OK as well."

Family members signed two thank-you cards to each employee, one in Spanish and one in English, expressing gratitude for "the loyalty and hard work of our employees over the years."

"They treated us like extended family," said Maria Dima, who works at the company along with her husband, Valentin. "We won the lottery."

On the day the checks were distributed, Valentin Dima watched as co-workers broke down in tears over their bonus checks. He drove home first, then opened his envelope: $33,000. His wife received a check for a smaller amount, and the two Romanian immigrants have since taken a Caribbean cruise to celebrate.

"This company gave us stability, so we dare to spend some money on such a thing," Valentin Dima said.

While neighbors and friends faced new financial strains, the bonuses have helped Peer employees breathe easier.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Playing Sports With A Hard On" - Viagra Used As A Doping Agent

They may have to redesign the athletic supporter if this keeps up.
The cheerleaders had better watch themselves as well.

AJC: New suspect in sports doping is, no joke, Viagra

Except that the Marywood study does not involve the bedroom, but the playing field. It is being financed by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which is investigating whether the diamond-shaped blue pills create an unfair competitive advantage in dilating an athlete’s blood vessels and unduly increasing oxygen-carrying capacity. If so, the agency could ban the drug.

Viagra, or sildenafil citrate, was devised to treat pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in arteries of the lungs. The drug works by suppressing an enzyme that controls blood flow, allowing the vessels to relax and widen. The same mechanism facilitates blood flow into the penis of impotent men. In the case of athletes, increased cardiac output and more efficient transport of oxygenated fuel to the muscles can enhance endurance.

“Basically, it allows you to compete with a sea level, or near sea level, aerobic capacity at altitude,” Kenneth W. Rundell, the director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Marywood, said of Viagra.

Some experts are more skeptical. Anthony Butch, the director of the Olympic drug-testing lab at UCLA, said it would be “extremely difficult, if not impossible” to prove Viagra provides a competitive edge, given that the differences in performance would be slight and that athletes would probably take it in combination with other drugs. Scientists have the same uncertainty about the performance-enhancing effects of human growth hormone, though it is banned. But some athletes do not need proof — only a belief — that a drug works before using it, Butch said.

“I think it’s going to be a problem,” he said.

Through the decades, athletes have tried everything from strychnine to bulls’ testicles to veterinary steroids in a desperate, and frequently illicit, effort to gain an edge. Several years ago, word spread that Viagra was being given to dogs at racetracks, said Travis Tygart, the chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, based in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Interest in the drug among anti-doping experts was further piqued by a study conducted at Stanford University and published in 2006 in The Journal of Applied Physiology. The study indicated that some participants taking Viagra improved their performances by nearly 40 percent in 10-kilometer cycling time trials conducted at a simulated altitude of 12,700 feet — a height far above general elite athletic competition. Viagra did not significantly enhance performance at sea level, where blood vessels are fully dilated in healthy athletes.

A 2004 German study of climbers at 17,200 feet at a Mount Everest base camp, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, found that Viagra relieved constriction of blood vessels in the lungs and increased maximum exercise capacity.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mariah Carey's Two Best Songs

I could sit here all day long and play these two songs over and over again and WASTE my time doing nothing else.

(What the hey! No embedding allowed for this video)
Mariah Carey - Don't Forget About Us

We Belong Together

In truth I only made this post so that I can have easy access to these two links on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

As Oil Goes - So Goes Dubai?

Survey Signals Dubai Housing Boom Has Ended

DUBAI -- This city's six-year property boom appears finally to be over, with asking prices for some homes here falling as much as 19% in October from the previous month, according to a closely followed survey.

Home prices were climbing sharply as recently as the first half of this year. But over the summer and fall, tightened local lending collided with the global financial crisis to choke off easy credit. That scared away buyers, especially local and international property speculators who have helped fan years of price increases.

Other factors were at work. Dubai has been rocked by a series of arrests and probes at several big property developers and financial institutions. No charges have been filed, but the dragnet alarmed investors. Government officials themselves moved to tighten regulations in order to slow down run-away speculation and property flipping.

Analysts at HSBC Holdings PLC said Wednesday that average asking prices for homes in Dubai fell 4% in October from September. Advertised prices for upscale Dubai "villas"--typically stand-alone homes in a master development--fell by 19% month-on-month, the bank found. In next-door emirate Abu Dhabi, average home prices fell 5%.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bill Moyers Journal - "Afghanistan - The Good War"

I can see how the leftists in the media are going to play out this "Obama Administration" commentary. The "Bill Moyers Journal" on PBS prides a wealth of information and a telegraphed plan.

The guest host called Afghanistan "The Good War". Of course Iraq was the "Bad War" and was a diversion. As I listened in to the details about the challenges of Afghanistan I am beginning to see that the "Neglected War" as the guest host called it was really a strategy acknowledging the near insurmountable task that stabilizing Afghanistan represents. This near stone aged nation has few of the standard "military targets" which a modern military can focus upon.

My initial appraisal of the Obama Administration will be by its ability to distance itself from the "Left Wing" media and advocates who have thus far been using Afghanistan as a bludgeon for the Iraq War. In their message the real COST of the Iraq War was the fact that Afghanistan has fallen into chaos and drugs are now pouring out of this nation. It seems that they are about to get what they have asked for. As Iraq settles a bit that one battalion that Obama suggested be shifted into Afghanistan from Iraq just might be going after all.

It is also clear that America will one day come to a decision point -do we cut out of Afghanistan or do we escalate the fight? If you believe the new "Peace War Hawks" some might believe their smelling salt and drive for an escalation - the very thing that the Soviet Union failed at.

But oh the magic of the cheerleaders that come to sit with Bill Moyers. They seemed pacified by a "REGIONAL SOLUTION". President Obama - not having a meddling Vice President who sought to thwart the plans of others - a REGIONAL SOLUTION involving Pakistan and Iran might just be the cure for Afghanistan. The "Peace War Hawks" seem willing to accept a longer road to stability than that which war can bring forth.

For some strange reason - I believe that if the enemies don't buy into the peace THEY will be blamed for killing innocent civilians. Compare this to Iraq and the previously administered Afghan War where when civilians got killed it was the American military that FAILED TO PROTECT them.

Oh this will be an interesting 4 years - seeing the press spin like the Poltergeist.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Right Wing Terrorists" Send Powder To Mormons To Shift The Blame To The Left-Wing Gay Activists

Only joking for comic relief.

We all know that most terrorism is done by "the right" who is filled with hate in this country. The "left" is all about freedom and justice. They would not do such a thing.
No way.

Mormon church blames powder hoax on gays; Leaders say opponents of marriage ban are behind the mailings

I bet that the Mormon church did it themselves as a publicity stunt.

Right progressives?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

California Gay Rights Activists Upset Over Ban

Fox News: Gay Marriage Ban Protesters, Police Clash in California Streets

The irony of it all.
I watched former Star Trek crew member "George Takei" doing an interview telling the audience how disasterous the Bush Administration has been. I figured that he was looking forward to the return of "law, order and justice".

It appears that those who march have the very same plans.......AS LONG AS THEY GET THEIR WAY.

If the majority speaks and it is counter to what they believe then you should expect violence in the streets. (Oh wait - It was the police who started the riot in the 1968 Democratic Convention. I had better wait for the dust to settle on yesterday's events before I start blaming the gay activists. Sorry).

Mr. Takei has already hinted that regardless of the outcome of the people's voice - his faction will continue to fight against this will of the majority.

His has the trend on his side. The liberal judges have already overturned "the will of the people" in the previous law by saying that the other law was "unconstitutional". Then another judge refused to free gay marriage until the people have spoken. Compare this to the national freeze that was placed on lethal injection until the Supreme Court has spoken. (For some strange reason I figure someone will ask me how I can compare gay marriage to capital punishment. I DIDN'T! I compared the legal directives given in these two instances)

Mob Rule 101 - either give the people what they want or they will take to the streets and tear sh_t up.

Note - this was a small minority of the gay population who has acted out in such a way and is not representative of this diverse community who has a number of ways to accomplish their goal.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Afghanistan - The War That Obama Values

PBS Frontline: Taliban Rising

This was an excellent episode of Frontline.

Finally some news source told of the great difficulty that the terrain and the culture of Afghanistan pose to all who dare to enter.

If Barack Obama is elected president then so much of that which was thrown up as a straw man by him (and Michael Moore) will be put back into play. As the documentary indicated - catching Osama Bin Laden is not as easy as just throwing some troops on the ground (rather than having "outsourced them to the Pakistani Army) and going to root him out.

The Soviet Union experienced a massive and embarrassing military loss in this same nation a short time ago. I can only hope that a President Obama doesn't follow this same course of action. It is clear to most who are honest that the mere capture of Osama Bin Laden is not going to change much in this particular land nor can it be our primary goal. His capture will only be as symbolic as the claim of "hope and change" but won't mean much in the end. There will be many to take his place.

More than anything else - this documentary showed that the area of Afghanistan/Pakistan/Iraq/Iran is far more complex than what we are likely to hear on a campaign stump speech. The easy rhetoric of "make them like us again by building schools rather than bombing them" is not the answer.