Author: cestmoi

Happy Independence Day [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2008-7-6 14:13:38 |Display all floors

Reply #21 cestmoi's post

'twas an excellent movie I thought, Sleepy Hollow.

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Post time 2008-7-6 15:48:44 |Display all floors
Americans' unhappy birthday: 'Too much wrong'

Even folks in the Optimist Club are having a tough time toeing an upbeat line these days. Eighteen members of the volunteer organization's Gilbert, Ariz., chapter have gathered, a few days before this nation's 232nd birthday, to focus on the positive: Their book drive for schoolchildren and an Independence Day project to place American flags along the streets of one neighborhood.

They beam through the Pledge of Allegiance, applaud each other's good news -- a house that recently sold despite Arizona's down market, and one member's valiant battle with cancer. "I didn't die," she says as the others cheer.

But then talk turns to the state of the Union, and the Optimists become decidedly bleak.

They use words such as "terrified," "disgusted" and "scary" to describe what one calls "this mess" we Americans find ourselves in. Then comes the list of problems constituting the mess: a protracted war, $4-a-gallon gas, soaring food prices, uncertainty about jobs, an erratic stock market, a tougher housing market, and so on and so forth.

One member's son is serving his second tour in Iraq. Another speaks of a daughter who's lost her job in the mortgage industry and a son in construction whose salary was slashed. Still another mentions a friend who can barely afford gas.

Joanne Kontak, 60, an elementary school lunch aide inducted just this day as an Optimist, sums things up like this: "There's just entirely too much wrong right now."

Happy birthday, America? This year, we're not so sure.

The nation's psyche is battered and bruised, the sense of pessimism palpable. Young or old, Republican or Democrat, economically stable or struggling, Americans are questioning where they are and where they are going. And they wonder who or what might ride to their rescue.

These are more than mere gripes, but rather an expression of fears -- concerns reflected not only in the many recent polls that show consumer confidence plummeting, personal happiness waning and more folks worrying that the country is headed in the wrong direction, but also in conversations happening all across the land.

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Post time 2008-7-6 15:50:50 |Display all floors
In this May 28, 2008 file photo, job seekers wait on line stretching around a block to attend the Monster.com and National Career Fairs job fair in New York, Wednesday May 28 , 2008. The nation's psyche is battered and bruised, the sense of pessimism palpable. The Independence Day holiday is typically a time to honor all that we are as a nation, but the feeling is there's less to celebrate on this our 232nd birthday. Happy? It would seem not. [Agencies]
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Post time 2008-7-6 15:56:33 |Display all floors
America has long forgotten the qualities of thrift, living within one's means and saving money.

As a nation they have borrowed and borrowed and as individuals they have done the same leading to a devaluation of the dollar.

It is time to "tighten up their belts" and live within their means of life!

But is that possible for a nation that has lived beyond its means for so long?

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Post time 2008-7-6 15:58:49 |Display all floors
US economy 'in worst shape since World War II'
(China Daily)
Updated: 2008-07-02

Billionaire investor Eli Broad said the US economy is in the "worst period" of his adult life as a housing market recovery remains "several years" away.

"This is worse than any recession we've had since World War II," Broad, 75, said in an interview. Broad, the founder of homebuilder KB Home, said the US should avoid a depression on the scale of the 1930s because the country now has sufficient "safety nets".

The economy expanded at an annual rate of 1 percent in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said last week. That caps the weakest six months of growth in five years. The US lost 49,000 jobs in May, when the unemployment rate rose to 5.5 percent, the fifth straight month with a drop in payrolls and the biggest jump in the jobless rate in more than two decades.

"This is the worst period of my adult lifetime," Broad said, speaking about the US economy. "I do not think things are going to get any better" before the next president takes office in January.

The banking industry may need additional capital to protect against bad loans, Broad said. US banks may have to raise $65 billion as losses and writedowns extend into the first quarter of 2009, Goldman Sachs Group Inc analysts said last month.

The world's biggest financial firms have posted about $400 billion in writedowns and credit losses tied to the US housing slump, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Broad, whose main focus is his $2.63 billion philanthropic organization, last month joined investors in pushing for the ouster of Martin Sullivan as chief executive officer of American International Group Inc, after the world's largest insurer posted record losses.

AIG, where Broad served as a director from 1999 until 2003, lost half its market value in the past year and has posted $13 billion in losses tied to the subprime mortgage market collapse over two quarters.

"It will turn around in due time," Broad said of New York-based AIG. "It's not going to be overnight."

US borrowers will continue to default on home, auto and credit-card loans, he said. More than 100 mortgage companies have suspended operations, closed or sold themselves since the start of 2007. American Express Co CEO Kenneth Chenault said last week that credit indicators including late payments have worsened beyond the company's expectations.

The US government stimulus checks helped support economic growth and more federal help is needed to fuel growth, he said.

Repairing the damage to the US economy will require political leadership on US energy, healthcare and education policies, Broad said. Those areas are the focus of his foundation.

"I worry about the future of America," said Broad. "It's time to regroup and redefine our place as a country and that's tough to do."

Agencies

(China Daily 07/02/2008 page16)

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Post time 2008-7-6 16:02:17 |Display all floors
Most Americans say Founding Fathers not pleased with state of the nation
(Xinhua)
Updated: 2008-07-05

As Americans celebrated their 232th Independence Day Friday, a new poll found most of them think that the country's Founding Fathers would not be happy with the current situation of the nation.

The June 26-29 survey conducted by CNN network and Opinion Research Corp shows 69 percent of adult Americans said the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be disappointed by the way the nation has turned out overall.

Americans didn't always feel that way, pollsters said.

In 2001, 54 percent of those responding to the same poll thought that the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be pleased with the state of the country today.

Still, most respondents of the new poll took great pride in their country.

Sixty-one percent said they were extremely proud to be Americans while another 28 percent said they were very proud.

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Post time 2008-7-6 16:42:28 |Display all floors

Reply #27 buddy35's post

Yep, I imagine the ole guys that wrote the declaration of Independance and the Constitution'd have more than just a few things to say about their great experiment. Still, it isn't all broken yet and there may be ways to pull the collective US chestnuts out of the fire....they're a resilient bunch those Yanks so never ever underestimate them and never think they're gonna stay down just because they've taken a strong hit!

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