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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Morning News and Views

The Transit Of Venus: The planet Venus appears as a tiny black dot as it transits across the face of the sun on June 8, 2004. The rare astronomical event will take place again on June 5, 2012.
Ian Waldie/Getty Images
The Transit of Venus, one of the rarest astronomical events, which will take place this Wednesday June 6th.  It will not happen again for over a hundred years.

Forty years ago this week, AP photographer Nick Ut captured one of the most iconic images of the Vietnam War. Known as the "napalm girl" photo, the black-and-white picture showed a 9-year-old Kim Phuc with her clothes torn off, fleeing from an aerial napalm attack. She was badly burned over all of her body and would not have survived had it not been for the Photographer's strong will when he took her to the hospital. Eventually she was sent to UCLA Medical Center. She is alive today and living in America than is to the Canadian War Correspondent Photographer.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is on a week-long trip to Asia, with stops in Singapore, Vietnam, and India. Panetta's trip highlights the Pentagon's new strategic focus on China and the Pacific. He became the most senior US Official to visit the former major US Military base and resupply hub at Cameron Bay.

1,000 Boats are sailing down the river through central London, the largest such pageant on the river since the 17th century. It's part of the Queens Diamond Jubilee, four days of events taking England by storm. Coverage of events can be found on the Internet and on BBC America. The queen of England this year marks 60 years on the throne and Buckingham  Palace is coordinating a week of events, including a concert at the palace and today's flotilla along the River Thames.

Why are Democrats and Unions not drumming and stomping Wisconsin only days prior to a recall vote for the state's anti-union Republican governor. On Tuesday, Wisconsin voters will decide whether Republican Scott Walker becomes just the third governor recalled from office in US history. Ever since Walker took office in January 2011, and rolled back the collective-bargaining rights of public sector unions, passions have run high on both sides in Wisconsin. Some now wonder whether the intensity of the left has been eclipsed by the resolve of the Right. Spending by conservative PACS for Walker outnumbers recall and Democrat spending by more than five to one.

Home ownership has long been considered a key part of the American Dream. The dream has taken a beating in recent years, but polls show the desire to own remains extremely high. 

Friday's disappointing jobs report added to worries the recovery is in trouble.  Only 69,000 new jobs were added to payrolls...and the unemployment rate moved higher, to 8.2%. There is more talk about the Fed and what it might do to get the economy moving again. This comes as Europe is on the brink of a possible disaster that could drag the US Economy down even further in the undertow. Many are arguing that without unification into one nation, a common currency with the close dependence between nations it entails, could have been a disastrous mistake.

New York University law professor Jeremy Waldron's new book, "The Harm in Hate Speech" argues that the U.S. should regulate "hate speech," a notion that is accepted in every liberal democracy in the world, except the United States.  The BBC took a stab at the topic this morning when they looked at hate speech, sexism and racism in live on-line gaming platforms. The "N" word, words like "rape", "bitch", "c--t", "f--k", and every possible attack on ethnic and racial groups are commonly used by gamers for psychological advantage against opponents, or to build comradely with their own team. The key difference between meting with a group of people in your home or at a bar. Games use interstate communication lines, which fall under Federal jurisdiction, and are a public and potentially legal form of communication, not the private conversation where less restrictive rules apply to free speech.

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