A couple of rants for today...
1.No increase in minimum wage but the number of "mega yachts" — ships at least 75-feet long — has nearly doubled globally in 10 years.
2. Because of number 1, I predict there will be no immigration reform for quite some time. They do not want to change illegals' status to allow them to be protected under federal minimum wage laws, etc., as they'll then have to pony up to pay minimum wage (such as it is) and bennies. Too many republicans (individual as well as small and large business employers) get their slave labor from this population of alien workers. If we did bring on immigration reform anytime soon, that would kill minimum wage adjustment upward for A LONG TIME TO COME.
3."Today, President Bush held a press conference in Vienna, Austria as part of a diplomatic visit to Europe. He was asked by a member of the press why approval for his policies, particularly on national security issues, was so low in Europe. Bush explained that Europeans didn’t take the 9/11 attacks seriously. 'For Europe, September 11th was a moment. For us, it was a change of thinking.' "
We were in Europe, actually the UK, on September 11th, and for a few days after. Everywhere we turned we were offered support and condolences by citizens of the EU. In spite of the fact that they have known such violence in their own homelands many times since WWII (especially the Brits who have lived with the constant threat of terrorism by the IRA) the people that we spoke with in those days were very concerned and genuinely affected by the incident. To them, it was very disturbing to think that someone actually had the chutzpa to strike at the US in that way. I think they felt as vulnerable themselves, because of the act against the US. I, personally, do not think that 9/11 had any less impact on the citizens of Europe, than it did on us. Slightly different, perhaps, but no less significant.
When we returned in 2002, the path to Iraq was already being laid and the sentiment toward the US government had shifted dramatically. Frankly, we had squandered the support and the goodwill we had been graced with after 9/11. I think for Bush 9/11 was a moment when he saw the excuse he needed to go on a global rampage. I guess that is a change of thinking.