In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Return of the Reader Blogs

Thanks to someone who has agreed to step up and help moderate, the Reader Blogs return today.

My primary reason for taking them down was the incredible amount of time it took to moderate them and weed out the spam and self-serving “hey, come visit my web site” postings.

I was tired and I moved too quickly in making the decision. My apologies.

Reader Blogs are back and will stay unless they become too much of a headache for me and the hard-working volunteers who keep this site running.

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Gitmo detainees finally get their day in court

In courtrooms barred to the public, dozens of terror suspects are pleading for their freedom from the Guantanamo Bay prison, sometimes even testifying on their own behalf by video from the U.S. naval base in Cuba.

Complying with a Supreme Court ruling last year, 15 federal judges in the U.S. courthouse here are giving detainees their day in court after years behind bars half a world away from their homelands.

The judges have found the government’s evidence against 30 detainees wanting and ordered their release. That number could rise significantly because the judges are on track to hear challenges from dozens more prisoners.

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Fine print on health care worries many Americans

What’s it going to cost me?

Americans are worried about the fine print in the health care overhaul, an Associated Press poll says, and those concerns are creating new challenges for President Barack Obama as he tries to overcome doubts in Congress.

Despite a widely shared conviction that major health care changes are needed, Democratic bills that aim to extend coverage to the uninsured and hold down medical costs get no better than a lukewarm reception in the latest results.

The poll found that 43 percent of Americans oppose the health care plans being discussed in Congress, while 41 percent are in support. An additional 15 percent remain neutral or undecided.

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In bad economy, small cities lose their appeal

America’s small cities are losing some of their traditional appeal to upwardly mobile families seeking wholesome neighborhoods, a stable economy and affordable living.

A review of newly released census data shows, for example, that cities of between 20,000 and 50,000 residents have lagged behind their larger counterparts in attracting higher-educated residents in this decade.

In 2000, small cities, which include remote towns and the distant suburbs known as “exurbs,” ranked at the top in the share of people with college diplomas. They slipped to No. 2 last year with 30 percent holding degrees — in between medium-sized cities, which had 31 percent, and big cities, at 29.8 percent.

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Is GM ready to start repaying its debt?

General Motors Co. will begin paying back $6.7 billion in U.S. government loans by the end of 2009 and could pay off that full amount by 2011, four years ahead of schedule, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The government debt represents about 13 percent of the $52 billion that U.S. taxpayers have invested in General Motors, the majority of which was exchanged for a 61 percent ownership stake in the company.

GM will announce the repayment plan Monday when it releases its preliminary third-quarter earnings results, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The person was not authorized to speak publicly about the plan ahead of the announcement.

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Where America reunited? Not really

The sign on Virginia Route 24 heading into Appomattox County proclaims “where a nation reunited.”

Even for a nation founded on dreams, that claim seems a bit far fetched.

I wheeled my Harley-Davidson into the lot of the Appomattox County Courthouse National Park — one of two places in Virginia where wars fought over freedom ended. The Revolutionary War ended in Yorktown, further to the East.

As happens often on my motorcycle rides, I ended up in Appomattox by accident. After breakfast with biker friends in Roanoke, I headed East on Route 24 with no particular destination in mind. Sunday dawned gorgeous and I wasn’t about to let a rare, warm November day pass without getting in some seat time.

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