HERMANN MISSOURI OKTOBERFEST 2010

HERMANN MISSOURI OKTOBERFEST 2010
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Deal Struck on Tax Package: Surprise Republicans and Democrats CAN Work Together


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Grand Bargain Includes One-Year Drop in Wage Levy, Estate Tax of 35%

President Barack Obama reached agreement Monday with Republican leaders in Congress on a broad tax package that would extend the Bush-era income tax cuts for two years, reduce worker payroll taxes for one year and give more favorable treatment to business investments.


Other elements of the deal include a temporary reinstatement of the estate tax at 35%—the level favored by most Republican lawmakers—as well as an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. 

The outcome of the negotiations is vital, because the current tax levels signed into law by President George W. Bush expire on Dec. 31. Unless Congress acts, tax rates on virtually all Americans who pay income taxes will rise on Jan. 1. That could affect economic growth and even holiday sales.
. Click Here for more info.
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TCU Stadium Implosion Video - Texas Christian University football stadium in Forth Worth


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It sounded like the Fourth of July -- or a war zone -- in Forth Worth, Texas Sunday.

The sounds were generated by the implosion of part of Texas Christian University's football stadium.


As you can see, it didn't take long to take down the west grandstand of Amon Carter Stadium, which was built in 1930.


The implosion is part of a 105-million dollar renovation that includes three-tiered seating, a 20-thousand-foot club level, two-dozen suites and a new press box.


The stadium's exterior and the north end zone will also get makeovers.

Most of the renovations are expected to be finished by the start of next year's football season.

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Lewis & Clark Christmas Parade in Hermann Missouri


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The St. Charles Corps of Discovery held its annual Christmas Party in Hermann December 3-4 and one of the highlights was a Lantern Parade through Downtown Saturday evening.


Hermann Tourism This is the Lantern Parade held Saturday evening as part of the annual Christmas Party held by the St. Charles Corps of Discovery group.. Click Here for more info.
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WEB VIDEO: Gator Found in SUV During Traffic Stop - Kansas City Missouri

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A bizarre discovery for police officers in Kansas City.

During a traffic stop this weekend, the cops came across -- an alligator.


Police pulled over the driver in a parking lot and saw this alligator in the back of the vehicle.


Animal control officers were called to the scene, and they took the alligator away.


Police are questioning the driver.


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Is College Debt the Next Bubble Ready to Explode?



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Is the College Debt Bubble Ready to Explode?

by Laura Rowley
Friday, December 3, 2010


Kelli Space, 23, graduated from Northeastern University in 2009 with a bachelor's in sociology — and a whopping $200,000 in student loan debt. Space, who lives with her parents and works full-time, put up a Web site called TwoHundredThou.com soliciting donations to help meet her debt obligation, which is $891 a month. That number jumps to $1,600 next November.

In creating the site, Space, of course is hoping to ease her financial burden, but it's "mainly to inform others on the dangers of how quickly student loans add up," she said. So far she's raised $6,671.56, according to her site.

Space is just one example — albeit an extreme one — of a student loan bubble that may be about to burst. Over the last decade, private lenders, abetted by college financial aid offices, eagerly handed young people hundreds of thousands of dollars to earn bachelor's degrees. 

As a result of easy credit, declining grants and soaring tuitions, more than two-thirds of students graduated with debt in 2008 — up from 45 percent in 1993. The average debt load is $24,000, according to the Project on Student Debt.

In some respects, the student loan crisis looks remarkably like the subprime mortgage crisis. First, outstanding student loan debt has ballooned: It grew roughly four-fold in the last decade to $833 billion as of June — surpassing outstanding credit-card debt for the first time.

Secondly, defaults have soared amid a difficult job market. In 2008, the most recent year for which data are available, nearly 3.4 million borrowers began repayment, and more than 238,000 defaulted on their loans. The number of loans that went into forbearance or deferment (when borrowers receive temporary relief from payments) rose to 22 percent in 2007, from 10 percent a decade earlier, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. Over a 15-year period, default rates range from 20 percent for federal loans to 40 percent on loans to students who attend for-profit schools, The Chronicle found.

Just as lenders offered easy no-money-down mortgages to unqualified borrowers during the housing boom, private student loan firms offered instant online approval for up to 100 percent of college costs to students, in some cases for four consecutive years. In early 2007, half of loans made by Sallie Mae, one of the industry's biggest players, were to students with no co-signers, according to Mark Kantrowitz, founder of informational Web site finaid.org.
. Click Here for more info.
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Glenn Reynolds - The Higher Education Bubble and What Comes Next from Clemson Institute on Vimeo.

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New Facebook Profile Pages Revealed


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UPDATE: Facebook just announced on its blog that the new Profile Pages are available starting now. It’s a major update to the existing profile, photo and friend pages. The company says it will gradually update everyone’s profile by early next year, but if you want it now, you can go to this link.

Facebook is set to unveil a new look to users’ Profile Pages, according to a preview for 60 Minutes’ upcoming TV interview with founder Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday evening. The updated profiles, which went live today, look to put your life’s story front and center, in words and images.
 . Click Here for more info.

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The United States of America was Founded by Traitors We Now Call Patriots


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The Difference Between The Pentagon Papers & WikiLeaks...
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The United States of America was Founded by Traitors We Now Call Patriots!
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Don't shoot the messenger, award him the Nobel Peace Prize


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WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange are being demonised by what appears to be a slanderous propaganda campaign being waged at the highest levels of governments around the world. 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has branded the release of secret information as 'an attack on the international community', and Assange is wanted by Interpol on account of dubious sex crimes.

Assange's character flaws are being exaggerated in order to shift the burden of shame from governments on to Assange himself. There is a possibility that the messenger will be shot, literally.

Yet this year WikiLeaks has taught us valuable lessons about the suppression and manipulation of information, and how such activities pose a threat to the common good.

This is how it goes. We accept a particular version of events because it is presented to us by a public figure or organisation we trust. That is how it should be. But public officials need scrutiny to ensure they are acting in the public interest, and not their own or that of a third party.

It's our right to query the benefit in being kept in the dark, for example, on the secret moves of US and UK officials to undermine the ban on cluster bombs. One of the cables released by WikiLeaks shows that the British Foreign Office suggested a loophole to allow the US to keep cluster bombs on British soil should be kept from Parliament.

It's likely that the geopolitical interests of the US and the UK were being put ahead of the lives of innocent civilians in war zones.
Such activities fly in the face of our humanitarian obligations. Yet the suppression of information about them is presented as being 'in the public interest'.

In Australia, there is an implication that our national interest is being served by Australian Attorney-General Robert McClelland's vigorous investigation into whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has broken any laws. Arguably Assange deserves a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for upholding the value of transparency and the internationally protected human right to freedom of information.

In its inaugural session in 1946, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution — 59(I) — which stated:
Freedom of information is a fundamental human right and and is the touchstone of all the freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated. [It] implies the right to gather, transmit and publish news anywhere. It is an essential factor in any serious effort to promote the peace and progress of the world.
. Click Here for more info.
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Don't shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths

WIKILEAKS deserves protection, not threats and attacks.
IN 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide's The News, wrote: "In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win."

His observation perhaps reflected his father Keith Murdoch's expose that Australian troops were being needlessly sacrificed by incompetent British commanders on the shores of Gallipoli. The British tried to shut him up but Keith Murdoch would not be silenced and his efforts led to the termination of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.

Nearly a century later, WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.
.CLICK HERE to Read Full Article.


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No end in sight to U.S. economic crisis as 'scariest jobs chart ever' shows post-recession unemployment is at its worst since World War Two

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Number of months after peak employment
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As US unemployment jumped to 9.8 per cent, it is a chart to chill the bones of any job hunter.

Comparing previous recoveries from all 10 American recessions since 1948 to the current financial crisis, the figures show almost no improvement in employment figures in the past year.


Some commentators have described the comparison as 'the scariest jobs chart ever', pointing to the fact that only the 2001 recession took longer to bring employment back to pre-crisis levels.

Even then, the total percentage of jobs lost bottomed out at two per cent, compared with six per cent this time round.


The job chart will heap further pressure on Barack Obama's attempt to stimulate the economy as plans were drawn for a temporary extension of the Bush-era tax rates for all taxpayers.


The bipartisan economic package would also extend jobless benefits for millions of Americans.

Differences remained over details, including White House demands for middle and low-income tax credits.


But Republicans and Democrats appeared to come together yesterday, raising the possibility of a deal in Congress by the end of the week.


Some Democrats continued to object to extending current reduced tax rates for high earners.

The action is needed to prevent the delivery of a tax hike to all taxpayers at the end of the year when the current rates expire and revert to higher pre-2001 and 2003 levels.
. Click Here for more info.
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EAST CENTRAL COLLEGE's KASEY KIRCHHOFER NAMED NJCAA 1ST TEAM ALL-AMERICAN - Missouri Sports



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Kasey Kirchhofer is only the second athlete in East Central College history to be named a 1st Team All-American selection and only the second to be a two-time All-American.

After a record breaking season, the East Central College Falcons end the season collecting more honors. Kasey Kirchhofer was named 1st Team All-American for the 2010 season. It was a banner year for the team and Kasey was the architect who helped orchestrate the offense from the setter position. Finishing the season, she was ranked NJCAA DII #3 in sets per match with 10.11. She shattered the school record with assists per season at 1506 and is now the all time career leader for assists in East Central College volleyball history with 2784.

The Sophomore Setter  Kirchhofer led the Lady Falcons to an 11th place finish in the NJCAA Division II Tournament last month. She broke the single season record for assists with 1,642 and set a new East Central record with more than 2,900 career assists. In two seasons with the Lady Falcons, Kirchhofer had 834-digs, putting her third all-time in school history.. Click Here for more info.

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Good while it lasted - Washington Missouri Looks to the Future after Harman Becker Automotive Systems Announces it is Leaving Town



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http://hermannmonews.blogspot.com/2010/12/harman-becker-automotive-to-shut-down.html
Until last week, when Harman-Becker Automotive Systems unexpectedly announced it was leaving town after just five years and taking 300 jobs with it, the company's plant had stood as a model of small-town economic development.

Now that it's all falling apart, you might expect bitterness, or at least doubt about the wisdom of doling out taxpayer money to court businesses, like a spouse in a divorce wondering if the marriage had ever been a good idea. But no.


To lure the company, reportedly in competition with 35 other cities, the city and state gave Harman a package worth nearly $3 million during its abbreviated stint here. But now - even as officials comb the deal's documents to determine whether Harman should return any of that largesse - there seems to be few hard feelings over the company's early exit.

Economic development has always been a delicate dance. And that tension has only increased as job creation becomes even more urgent as the nation's sour economy staggers on. At the same time, politicians grappling with ever-tighter budgets have focused new attention on the incentives thrown at businesses to capture their affections. A commission appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon just completed a skeptical review of all state tax incentives, recommending killing nearly half of the state's tax credits and slashing many others, a move projected to save $220 million annually.


‘Long-term relationship'

No one doubts the Harman jobs are good ones, worth saving. These are manufacturing jobs, fairly high-tech ones - exactly the kind of jobs economists and politicians say the country needs. Most workers earn $40,000 to $60,000 a year. They assemble auto accessories such as factory car radios and in-dash navigation systems. They work in a sleek brick building that resembles the manicured outpost of a community college campus, with a basketball hoop outdoors and a well-stocked employee workout room.

Harman is not a local company, but it wormed its way into the heart of this rural town of 14,000 in Franklin County. It gave $25,000 toward a new downtown farmers market. It donated a new sound system for the high school theater. It chipped in for a scoreboard at an area ball field.

Landing an employer such as Harman was widely seen as Washington's good fortune. Harman grew to become the city's eighth-largest private employer. And local officials had worked hard to lure the company, a subsidiary of Stamford, Conn.-based Harman International Industries.
To accomplish that, Harman received a package of state and local financial incentives, including the city's first-ever offer of a property tax abatement. In exchange, Washington got a $26 million investment, the largest industrial development project in its history at the time.
 . Click Here for more info.

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Seize the Outlaw Federal Reserve: 5 Point Program To add 30 MILLION PRODUCTIVE JOBS TO REBUILD U.S. INFRASTRUCTURE


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The number of institutions officially in trouble keeps growing:
Source:  FDIC

You have to wonder what people are looking at when they think we are in a recovery.  Is it the 40 million Americans now receiving food stamps?  Is it the nearly 15 million Americans with no work?  The only group that seems to be recovering is the banking sector but that isn’t news.  Welcome to the un-recovery.
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30 MILLION PRODUCTIVE JOBS TO REBUILD US INFRASTRUCTURE, INDUSTRY AND AGRICULTURE: THE PROGRAM TO END THE ECONOMIC DEPRESSION

by Webster G. Tarpley, www.tarpley.net
November 14, 2009

The US and the world are gripped by a deepening economic depression. There is no recovery and no automatic business cycle which will revive the economy. This bottomless depression will worsen until policies are reformed. The depression results from deregulated and globalized financial speculation, especially the $1.5 quadrillion world derivatives bubble. The US industrial base has been gutted, and the US standard of living has fallen by almost two thirds over the last four decades. We must reverse this trend of speculation, de-industrialization, and immiseration. Current policy bails out bankers, but harms working people, industrial producers, farmers, and small business. We must defend civil society and democratic institutions from the effects of high unemployment and economic breakdown. We therefore demand:
 

1. Measures to reduce speculation and minimize the burden of fictitious capital: End all bailouts of banks and financial institutions. Claw back the TARP and other public money given or lent to financiers. Abolish the notion of too big to fail; JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Wells Fargo and other Wall Street zombie banks are insolvent and must be seized by the FDIC for chapter 7 liquidation, with derivatives eliminated by triage.
 . Click Here for more info.pdf. file
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Kit Bond Bridge II in Kansas City Missouri: A Letter to the editor from The Kansas City Star

 

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December 03, 2010

Kit Bond Bridge II

Kansas City area landmarks are rapidly disappearing. The Grandview Triangle is now rebuilt and renamed Three Trails Crossing. It should have been the Hickman Triangle anyway. It was never in Grandview.

And now the Paseo Bridge has been replaced by the Christopher S. Bond Bridge (II). Yes 2 or II. There already is a Christopher S. Bond Bridge over the Missouri River at Hermann, Mo. It was dedicated just a few years ago.

I guess being second to Hermann isn’t all bad. That area does have great wine.
 . Click Here for more info.
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And a Time lapes video of construction of the Sentor Christopher S. Bond Bridge, located in Hermann, MO

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