LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:25 am

ExPatriatePen wrote:
npv708 wrote:Are you trying to tell me there weren't security concerns in Beirut in 1983 that weren't fully addressed? Really? Beirut 1983 is far more dangerous than Libya in September 2012.


Bengahzi didn't even have the security that the Beruit barracks had. Almost 20 years later. And no, Beruit didn't ask for additional security and yes, they at lest had US marines guarding the barracks, not local militia forces.

My father-in-law was deployed to Beirut in '58, and my uncle helped clean up the mess there in '82.

You are both quite right..... what happened in Benghazi this past year bears no resemblance whatsoever to Beirut. And I invite you both to stop making comparisons between the two.

DelPen wrote:For every $1 raised in taxes they need to cut $2 in spending at minimum.

And yet, at one of the debates during the GOP primary this past year when a field of 8 or 9 presidential contenders were given the following scenario: "Raise your hands if you would accept a deal that included $10 in revenue cuts for every $1 in increased tax revenue," not a single one of them raised there hands. All hail, his highness Sir Grover. Or something.

The country is at an impasse in terms of the type of government people want, versus the amount of money they are willing to pay (via taxes) to fund it. Income taxation is at a level that's lower than nearly all of us on this board have known in our lifetimes. Shoot, Mitt Romney took a punch on the nose for saying something that's essentially true: nearly half of this country pays no income tax whatsoever. (Okay, he phrased in a way that was entirely unpalatable, but that's a side issue.) Yet we still manage to spend 40% more than we collect in tax revenue. That's a bit of a wonky construct.

Where to cut? Reps refuse to even countenance cuts in defense spending, and Dems clam up and shut down if you suggest entitlement reform. Guess what? Excluding Defense and entitlements means you are left addressing about 12% of the non-discretionary budget. All the cuts are going to come from there? Really?!?

ExPatriatePen wrote:It's completely dysfunctional right now. Hell, I was able to 'retire' for nearly two years and collect unemployment benefits. (thanks uncle Sam). Not one time did anyone check my situation. They just sent me two years of unemployment checks. That's two years of me collecting and them not getting taxes.

Then you no longer get to complain about the situation.

If you are so happy to sit back and claim your benefit and then get all huffy about the government actually paying you (without even checking!) then you, sir, are part of the problem.

I come here and post that I am willing to pay more taxes (temporarily) to help dig out from the deficit and debt albatross around this country's neck. You come here and boast that you've quite happily mooched government benefits that you didn't really deserve for two years. And yet I'm the one that gets chastised.

I no longer want my tax dollars subsidizing ExPat's faux 'retirement'. Is there a form I can check on my return to prevent that happening?
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:26 am

MRandall25 wrote:http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/7e31857c29204f38933d3a174bcc3fc3/US--Obit-Schwarzkopf

Stormin' Norman just passed away.

This makes me very sad, Stormin' Norman was one of my heros as a young man. :(
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:16 am

tifosi77 wrote:
ExPatriatePen wrote:It's completely dysfunctional right now. Hell, I was able to 'retire' for nearly two years and collect unemployment benefits. (thanks uncle Sam). Not one time did anyone check my situation. They just sent me two years of unemployment checks. That's two years of me collecting and them not getting taxes.

Then you no longer get to complain about the situation.

If you are so happy to sit back and claim your benefit and then get all huffy about the government actually paying you (without even checking!) then you, sir, are part of the problem.

I come here and post that I am willing to pay more taxes (temporarily) to help dig out from the deficit and debt albatross around this country's neck. You come here and boast that you've quite happily mooched government benefits that you didn't really deserve for two years. And yet I'm the one that gets chastised.


You have every right to be upset that I mooched off of the government. But I broke no rules.
After all, I passed every qualification for those 'benefits'. I also paid into the UEI system for the prior 33 years before I collected.

The people you should be upset at are the politicians and beaurocrats that set these broken systems up in the first place. Them and the voters that elected them (many of which are Romneys 47%).

It's one thing to set up a 'safety net', and completely another to create a system like the one that's currently in place. (benefits for 24 months with no requirement to attend employment services or perform community service)

I guarantee you that I've paid more federal taxes in my life than 99% of the people on this board (four major reason for that - 1) only had a mortgage for 7 years 2) only was able to claim a dependent for three years 3) have worked in a very well paying field in high income cities for the majority of my career 4) left the military at 21 and was fortunate enough to immediately enter the workforce in a high paying job and career skyrocketed in my late twenties.) and all but five years of that have been as a single filer. There's also the fact that I held two jobs (two 'white collar' jobs) for a total of about 15 years simply because I enjoyed the work.

If you've noticed, I haven't weighed in on what my additional tax burden will be next year. Lets just say that In 2013 I'll pay twice as much, just in federal taxes, as I made in gross salary as a 26 year old computer programmer / systms analyst / contract consultant in 1984.

I have every right to complain, as I know this system from both sides of the table.

tifosi77 wrote:I no longer want my tax dollars subsidizing ExPat's faux 'retirement'. Is there a form I can check on my return to prevent that happening?


You can stop it, (and i wish everyone on this board would take steps to do so) but you're looking in the wrong place. It's not on the 1040, it's in the voting booth. Quit voting for these politicians that perpetuate the system. It's really pretty simple.

tifosi77 wrote:
ExPatriatePen wrote:
npv708 wrote:Are you trying to tell me there weren't security concerns in Beirut in 1983 that weren't fully addressed? Really? Beirut 1983 is far more dangerous than Libya in September 2012.


Bengahzi didn't even have the security that the Beruit barracks had. Almost 20 years later. And no, Beruit didn't ask for additional security and yes, they at lest had US marines guarding the barracks, not local militia forces.

My father-in-law was deployed to Beirut in '58, and my uncle helped clean up the mess there in '82.

You are both quite right..... what happened in Benghazi this past year bears no resemblance whatsoever to Beirut. And I invite you both to stop making comparisons between the two.



I wasn't making comparisons, my point is that the two situations are entirely different,myou must have missed that. Also, I find it interesting that that your uncle "helped clean up the mess there in '82". The bombing of the Barracks didn't happen until October 1983. (although I just noticed I said "20 years later" in my OP when it was 30 years :) )

Tif, these discussions (at least the parts between you and I) , I've noticed they've gone from friendly disagreements about politics and policy to getting very close to crossing the line... If I said something that offended you personally, let me apologize now. I try and pride myself on keeping my political views separate from my personal relationships.

I won't 'out them' here on the board, but you'd probably be surprised to know that the only posters in the PDT that have my personal cell phone number are also some of the biggest liberals on the board.

I'm close to booking some work out in Santa Barbara (I hope), if it happens I plan on coming down to "the valley". I hope I'll get the chance to buy you a beer.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:59 pm

ExPatriatePen wrote:
npv708 wrote:Are you trying to tell me there weren't security concerns in Beirut in 1983 that weren't fully addressed? Really? Beirut 1983 is far more dangerous than Libya in September 2012.


Bengahzi didn't even have the security that the Beruit barracks had. Almost 20 years later. And no, Beruit didn't ask for additional security and yes, they at lest had US marines guarding the barracks, not local militia forces.

I'm asserting that a terrorist attack that killed 240 Marines, sailors and other servicemen using what amounted to a truck-borne version of a fuel-air explosive is on a massively different scale of calamity.... not merely because of the loss of life, but because of the lack of facility displayed by the civilian decision makers of the day (with the exception of Caspar Weinberger, who alone seemed to understand the potential mess of the thing), the lasting effects of lessons not learned, and the foundations for subsequent atrocities that stubbornness laid.

Spoiler:
The bomb was so powerful the FBI report said the truck only needed to get within a couple hundred yards of the barracks to accomplish similar results, something that wouldn't have even required the truck to leave airport access roads, never mind detonating practically inside the lobby of barracks building. I think it carried something like 15,000 pounds of high explosive (PETN) and propane. And let's also not forget the near-as-simultaneous (read: coordinated) attack on the French military outpost that took another 50-60 lives. More on these points in a minute.

This attack was the biggest single-day loss of life for the U.S. military since D-Day on Iwo Jima in February 1945, and gave cache to an upstart group that would eventually be called Hezbollah that carries through to this day. Reagan deployed the Marines over the objections of many in his cabinet and in the Congress with no clear military mission or objective.... they were just 'there', as impartial peacekeepers; I think their official mission was 'presence'.

However, despite this ostensible neutrality the Reagan administration authorized a naval bombardment of a Lebanese army outpost in a mountain village (and the French authorized an air strike in Bekaa). At the time, the Marine commander in Beirut vociferously opposed the bombardment for several days, and said this was a blatantly provocative act of non-neutrality that would surely invite retaliation. Despite this assessment from the commander on the ground, administration officials still insisted upon *** rules of engagement that didn't even permit the Marines posted at guard shacks to have magazines inserted into their rifles while standing watch. What good is it having Marines guard your outpost if they aren't even allowed to load their weapons? (It should be noted that Israeli HQ in Lebanon suffered a similar attack just over a week later, despite their forces not being encumbered with the same ROE restrictions.) This is over an above the on-going skirmishes that Marines had been experiencing in the southern part of Beirut for months, which themselves were already looked at harshly by locals.

So no, in point of fact the Marines did not ask for more security..... but they quite clearly did ask that they not be put in any greater danger without the ability to properly defend themselves, a call which was ignored. Making things worse, the likelihood of an attack on the airport barracks was known for nearly a month but was never passed on to the on-site commanders; an Iranian 'diplomatic' communique had been intercepted, and it contained express instructions to attack the Marine barracks, an attack which was planned and executed before word of the intercept ever made it out of the morass of the bureaucratic U.S. intelligence apparatus.

Regardless, I've read some reports - written years after the fact and with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight - that the total and complete lack of a real response to the attacks (coupled with the general aimlessness of the mission in the first place) emboldened a new generation of fanatical Islamic terrorists to strike directly at America. Yet when all was said and done, blame was placed not on the civilian decision makers but on the military chain of command. Apparently, the Marines didn't carry out stupid orders well enough. Anyway, just a couple days after the attack, we embarked upon Operation Urgent Fury and liberated the island of Grenada (pop: 91,000) and took our collective mind off the bummer of Beirut. (Factoid: the land operations during the invasion of Grenada were overseen by then Maj Gen H. Norman Schwarzkopf)


Two of the best short-read summaries of the Marines in Beirut 1982-83 can be found here:
From the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, 25 Years Later: We Came In Peace, Col. Timothy J. Geraghty USMC (ret), commander of the 24 Marine Amphibious Unit and the HMIC in Beirut that day. For a more in-depth read, Col Geraghty wrote a book called "Peacekeepers At War" that I'd recommend as well.

From Foreign Policy magazine, Lesson Unlearned, by Nir Rosen

ExPatriatePen wrote:Also, I find it interesting that that your uncle "helped clean up the mess there in '82". The bombing of the Barracks didn't happen until October 1983. (although I just noticed I said "20 years later" in my OP when it was 30 years :) )

I simple typo on my part. He was deployed (aboard an amphib assault ship) on what they call 'Bagel Station' in the eastern Med when the attack happened. He was part of a shore det that was sent to dig casualties out of the rubble. Talking about that morning was the only time I ever saw my uncle cry. And he was married three times. :wink:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:01 pm

ExPatriatePen wrote:You have every right to be upset that I mooched off of the government. But I broke no rules.
After all, I passed every qualification for those 'benefits'. I also paid into the UEI system for the prior 33 years before I collected.

-----

You can stop it, (and i wish everyone on this board would take steps to do so) but you're looking in the wrong place. It's not on the 1040, it's in the voting booth. Quit voting for these politicians that perpetuate the system. It's really pretty simple.

Don't hate the player, hate the game. Convictions are only as deep as one's options...... so long as no rules are fractured, of course.

And I did my part this year by not voting for any of the clowns in the circus. So there. :P

ExPatriatePen wrote:If you've noticed, I haven't weighed in on what my additional tax burden will be next year. Lets just say that In 2013 I'll pay twice as much, just in federal taxes, as I made in gross salary as a 26 year old computer programmer / systms analyst / contract consultant in 1984.

Well, if we're comparing scars (a la Quint and Hooper in "Jaws"), our federal tax bill is more than I made licensing music just twelve years ago. I forget where you stand on the matter of income taxation; do you favor an alternative means of funding the government? I'm a big advocate of a consumption tax (like the Fair Tax), provided it can be implemented in a way that exempts certain classes of goods and services (food, housing, school tuition, etc) to avoid regression.

ExPatriatePen wrote:Tif, these discussions (at least the parts between you and I) , I've noticed they've gone from friendly disagreements about politics and policy to getting very close to crossing the line... If I said something that offended you personally, let me apologize now. I try and pride myself on keeping my political views separate from my personal relationships.

I won't 'out them' here on the board, but you'd probably be surprised to know that the only posters in the PDT that have my personal cell phone number are also some of the biggest liberals on the board.

I'm close to booking some work out in Santa Barbara (I hope), if it happens I plan on coming down to "the valley". I hope I'll get the chance to buy you a beer.

The apology is mine to offer, I certainly don't want to cross any lines (least of all with you). But I admit to being disappointed to read about your comfort level with gaming the system. To me it's no different than the people who live in the same public housing complex as my mom, yet somehow manage to equip themselves with a 50" LCD, all three next-gen gaming systems, and new cars every two years. It's a sore subject with me, and I confess to discussing such actions in less-than-charitable terms.

Frankly, I'd rather come up to SB -- better seafood. :fist:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Gaucho on Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:28 pm

So if anyone need EPPs cell phone number, just pm me, guys.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:30 pm

1-800-WVU-4LIFE
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Gaucho on Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:37 pm

There go my casual earnings...
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Sarcastic on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:06 pm

Senate renews warrantless surveillance act
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/senate-renews-warrantless-surveillance-act-030124818.html

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/12/netflix-video-privacy-facebook-sharing
Tuesday, the Senate quietly altered a key privacy law, making it much easier for video streaming services like Netflix to share your viewing habits. How quietly? The Senate didn't even hold a recorded vote: The bill was approved by unanimous consent. (Joe Mullin of Ars Technica was among the first to note the vote.)
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:23 pm

Just popped in here to post that, Sarcastic.

I found out recently that electronic communications are not considered on the same level as paper correspondence. And that if you use a third party service (like Gmail and Hotmail, instead of your ISP-provided email) police don't need a warrant to look at your messages. (I think the messages have to be over 30 days old or something)

I'm paraphrasing an NPR story badly, but the general gist of it is for some reason U.S. law simply doesn't recognize electronic correspondence as having the same search and seizure protections.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:35 pm

tifosi77 wrote:Well, if we're comparing scars (a la Quint and Hooper in "Jaws"), our federal tax bill is more than I made licensing music just twelve years ago. I forget where you stand on the matter of income taxation; do you favor an alternative means of funding the government? I'm a big advocate of a consumption tax (like the Fair Tax), provided it can be implemented in a way that exempts certain classes of goods and services (food, housing, school tuition, etc) to avoid regression.


I really don't care how I pay those taxes. I would like it if they taxed things they want to discourage (like alcohol consumption, tobbacco, gambling, fast food, etc... ) and not things like income and production that should be encouraged.

My real concern is that should quit giving incentive for people (like myself) to leave the workforce and join the ranks of the takers.

Your examples of the folks growing up in your neighborhood aren't exceptions, they're the rule. We have to STOP that.

Here I am, a man who has founded companies and created jobs, and I found it easier to lay back, goof on the beach and collect UEI benefits than to be a taxpaying productive member of socitey.

My collecting benefits didn't take any money from anyone elses table. It wasn't like I took the last Christmas Turkey at soup kitchen and left some family to go hungry. I paid into that program for 33 years. I couldn't find a job comensurate with the one I'd left. Totally acceptable from the systems standpoint, but ridiculous from a societial perspective.

After 9/11 the company I worked for at the time was sold. The acquiring company bought us and I was forced out of my 150K management job. I qualified for UEI then as well. But I took a 40K year (in NY) job as a Starbucks manager. I held that job for 13 months rather than collect UEI. That's how it should work. But there's no longer any incentive to get back into the system. Our government has created a system where it makes sense to mooch. (I was actually advised by the UEI office here *not* to take a lesser positon.) Ridiculous.


tifosi77 wrote:
ExPatriatePen wrote:
Frankly, I'd rather come up to SB -- better seafood. :fist:


My treat if you do. Bring the wife. I gotta meet the saint that puts up with you. :) :) ;)
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:39 pm

tifosi77 wrote:Just popped in here to post that, Sarcastic.

I found out recently that electronic communications are not considered on the same level as paper correspondence. And that if you use a third party service (like Gmail and Hotmail, instead of your ISP-provided email) police don't need a warrant to look at your messages. (I think the messages have to be over 30 days old or something)

I'm paraphrasing an NPR story badly, but the general gist of it is for some reason U.S. law simply doesn't recognize electronic correspondence as having the same search and seizure protections.


As I recall, the reasoning was that no one would be leaving their networked communications on a server for very long.
(Network drive space was expensive at the time and providers wouldn't want to be your data warehouse.)

That obviously needs to be updated....
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:42 pm

columbia wrote:
tifosi77 wrote:Just popped in here to post that, Sarcastic.

I found out recently that electronic communications are not considered on the same level as paper correspondence. And that if you use a third party service (like Gmail and Hotmail, instead of your ISP-provided email) police don't need a warrant to look at your messages. (I think the messages have to be over 30 days old or something)

I'm paraphrasing an NPR story badly, but the general gist of it is for some reason U.S. law simply doesn't recognize electronic correspondence as having the same search and seizure protections.


As I recall, the reasoning was that no one would be leaving their networked communications on a server for very long.
(Network drive space was expensive at the time and providers wouldn't want to be your data warehouse.)

That obviously needs to be updated....

You all have no idea... just pulling the messages from backup often resets the clock.

There is virtually no expectation of privacy from a digital perspective... and organiztions know it.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:46 pm

I'm under no allusion of privacy; I was just referring the specifics of the law.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:47 pm

columbia wrote:I'm under no allusion of privacy; I was just referring the specifics of the law.

That wasn't directed at you.. just a general statement about common perception.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby doublem on Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:35 am

EPP was on unemployment?
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby shafnutz05 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:54 am

When did Gerard Depardieu become the tax hero of the French Republic?
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Gaucho on Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:36 am

I could've sworn...
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:44 am

Gaucho wrote:I could've sworn...

It was redundant {shrugs}
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Gaucho on Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:52 am

Even so, I had no idea you used to be a male stripper. Cool stuff.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:13 pm

Gaucho wrote:Even so, I had no idea you used to be a male stripper. Cool stuff.


Who said "male"?
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Gaucho on Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:21 pm

:shock:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:33 pm

:pop:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby King Sid the Great 87 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:24 pm

Classic Obama on Meet the Press this morning. Republicans this. Congress that. Dysfunction in Washington. All stated as if he isn't the one presiding over it.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:04 pm

ExPatriatePen wrote:After 9/11 the company I worked for at the time was sold. The acquiring company bought us and I was forced out of my 150K management job. I qualified for UEI then as well. But I took a 40K year (in NY) job as a Starbucks manager. I held that job for 13 months rather than collect UEI. That's how it should work.

I agree that's how it should work. However, that is tempered by the memory of the 13 months I spent without a full-time job (again, after 9/11, altho I doubt it was causal) when I could not get interviews at grocery stores or fast food places. I remember one time showing up for an interview at In-and-Out with a friend and the manager interviewing me was seven or eight years younger. Yeah, I didn't get a callback for that one.
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