So far, the United States has poured more than $104 billion into Afghanistan reconstruction efforts - that’s more than all the money spent on reconstructing Europe after World War II. Much of that money, as auditors have noted, has been lost to waste, fraud and abuse. In 2010, SIGAR accountants told The Fiscal Times they could only account for less than 10 percent of that moneyComment: More. These articles disabuse the often stated view that the US has not done enough for Afghanistan. We've given our blood ... we've given our $$ .. time for the Afghans to own up for their own future
The supercluster of galaxies that includes the Milky Way is 100 times bigger in volume and mass than previously thought, a team of astronomers says. They have mapped the enormous region and given it the name Laniakea — Hawaiian for 'immeasurable heaven'.Comment: So my updated address is:
Cottonwood LN N
Plymouth, MN, USA, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Laniakea
Employers who look beyond disabilities find dedicated, loyal workers.
Jim Peet, 65, a senior IT business consultant at Wells Fargo, injured himself in a trampoline accident in 1987 and needs crutches to walk.
“I walk like Frankenstein,” Peet quipped.
He can’t imagine not working and plans to volunteer to stay active after retirement. “Work is affirming because you’ve got to get dressed, you work with your work colleagues, some of whom become friends, and you get paid,” Peet said. “You don’t go stale.”
Pete also says he is lucky because he was hired by a supervisor who overlooked his limited IT background “and took a chance on me.”Comments:
- The Frankenstein quip was not planned. The interviewer asked me in the phone interview if I used a wheelchair. I said something like I'm an incomplete quad and my legs are very weak so I walk like Frankenstein
- The first to use the Frankenstein allusion was a young female aid at Craig Hospital. My paralysis was fading away and I had that day (at Craig Hospital) had a consultation with my neurologist. He said that my prognosis is that I would ambulate. I didn't know what ambulate meant and he said I would walk with assistance. The ambulate prognosis was in my chart and my evening aid (who would prepare me for bed and other care details) picked up on this. That evening or shortly afterwards as I was all tucked in and ready for sleep she said: "you're going to walk like Frankenstein". She had such a great sense of humor and as she said this she held her hands out in front and walked in a stilted Frankenstein-like way. It brings a smile to my heart whenever I think of her
- How the interview came about. It's somewhat convoluted and I almost have forgotten the details. Back in the Spring I was asked to speak at an event. I actually forgot the event name. But in the audience were representatives of major Twin-Cities' companies: General Mills, 3M, Cargill, et cetera. I gave a 15 minute speech on being handicapped in the workforce
- Much later someone who had been in the audience contacted Wells Fargo and asked if I would be available for a Star Tribune article. Corporate communication contacted me.
- I completed a written biography and then for months nothing happened until last week
- The author of the article contacted me last Tuesday to ask when I could be phone interviewed. I said the next day. That interview was about half an hour. He asked if the Star Tribune photographer could come by and take some photos. I agreed
- As it turns out having one's photo taken at Wells Fargo is no simple thing. I am in a highly secure building. My manager and my manager's manager had to be contacted. Local HR was involved. And Corporate Communications had to be involved.
- The photo shoot was arranged for Thursday morning. I cleaned up my desk. I got my 20 year award out of the box and displayed it prominently on my desk. (It did not make the photos!). Corporate Communications had to accompany the photographer. My screen could not be photographed. Also my desk was completely clear of everything except my 20 year award.
- I estimate that 100 photos were taken. The photographer asked to take my picture walking. I walked over to the photocopier and he followed me. I said "don't take a picture of my butt". He moved to the front. At the copier I absentmindedly punched in a number and the photocopier spit out dozens of blank pages.
- There was much that I had in the biography and the interview that did not make the article:
- Being a protestant minister for 16 years
- Going back to college to get a BS in computer science
- The name of the hiring manager - Jeff Williams
- Being in Toastmasters
- Wanting to volunteer at my church after retirement
- An anecdote about the elevator buttons being changed from concave to convex to help a handicapped friend be able to push the elevator buttons
- But the unplanned Frankenstein quote made it
- Actually Frankenstein (the Boris Karloff character) walked better than I do. But I walk and I am OK with that
Minneapolis condo king embraces downtown's east side
Jim Stanton, one of the most profilic housing developers in the city, says he’s ready to build his second postrecession condominium project -- and he’s heading to the east side of downtown again. Stanton recently bought a quarter of a city block in the Elliot Park neighborhood, near the Downtown East development and new Vikings stadium that are both under construction. Those projects weren’t the only catalysts for his, Stanton said. “It didn’t play into my decision, but it won’t hurt,” he said Thursday. “Downtown East has finally come alive.” His preliminary plans call for a tower of approximately 15 floors and up to 110 units. The site, at the corner of 8th Street and Portland Avenue S., is a weed-strewn lot adjacent to the Sexton Lofts, a warehouse building that was converted to living spaces during the worst of the housing crash. Stanton hopes to start construction this fall but has yet to submit plans to city and neighborhood groups.Comment: Location
Minnesota high school grad and terror supporter killed in Syria
A Twin Cities high school graduate who later moved to San Diego was killed in Syria in recent days, according to family members who had been concerned about his expressions of support of the Islamic State terror organization. Kenyata McCain and another first cousin said Tuesday that Douglas McArthur McCain’s mother received a call Monday from the State Department reporting that her son was killed over the weekend in Syria. Douglas McCain, 33, had lived in San Diego in recent years and was a 1999 graduate of Robbinsdale Cooper High School, said the cousins, who both live in the Twin Cities and are roughly his age. NBC News first reported Douglas McCain’s death and said he was fighting on behalf of the Islamic State. The network attributed its information to the Free Syrian Army. Kenyata McCain said she was in touch with Douglas McCain as recently as Friday, and “he was telling all of us he was in Turkey.” She noted that his Facebook page had a posting that “said ISIS and he was in support of it.” “I know that he had strong Muslim beliefs,” she added, “but I didn’t know that he was in support of ISIS. I didn’t think he would be.”Douglas McAuthur McCain Wasn't Alone, More Americans Fighting With Extremists: Officials
Douglas McAuthur McCain, of San Diego, California, was killed over the weekend fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), according to the Free Syrian Army. Photos of McCain's passport and of his body -- which feature a distinctive neck tattoo -- have been seen by NBC News. According to an activist linked to the Free Syrian Army who also saw the body and travel document, McCain was among three foreign jihadis fighting with ISIS who died during the battle. Senior administration officials told NBC News they were aware that McCain was killed in Syria, adding that they believe dozens of Americans have gone there to fight with extremist groups - including, but not limited to, ISIS. "The threat we are most concerned about to the homeland is that of fighters like this returning to the U.S. and committing acts of terrorism," a senior administration official told NBC News. NBC News has contacted several members of McCain’s family and dozens of friends – including his mother, sister, aunts and cousins. A woman who said she was McCain's aunt confirmed that he had "passed" and referred calls to McCain’s mother.
Comment: A peer of my two sons'