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Archive for the ‘National’ Category

The world has eyes on Japan for past few days. An undersea quake of 8.9 magnitude and the subsequent tsunami have put Japan in the “worst crisis since WWII”. Mother Nature monsterously wiped away (part of) a Japanese town. I am eyeing on how Japanese leaders are managing their own country’s crisis and how panic the world is. CNN (continuous negative news) kept repeating their reels. Fox
is not too far from its root.
What disturbs me is, these media companies’ having brought one geologist/meterologist to another onto the tube to explain “what caused the tsunami”, and also the “scientists” out of nowhere to talk about the possibility of nuclear meltdown if the reactors are not in control… It’s all hypotheses. Yes, everybody knows Japan is prone to quakes/tsunami, then I am confident Japan must be prepared for it to certain extent, if not the worst. While people in Europe are protesting the nuclear power plants, why can’t they protest against North Korea for it secret nuclear weapons. Let’s not forget dealing with North Korea. Nuclear energy has served Japan’s economy well but costs highly when Mother Nature still rules the world. Nuclear weapons cost even worse.
While some media news reported “explosion”, others referred to them as “blast”. There is quite a difference between the two. And there are “nitrogen blast”, “hydrogen blast”,… I got tired from the repetitions of the same news from one channel to another. So I resorted to online news at the House of the state. It was a relief to see Japan got all the expert help with the “cooling issues” from GE, US as reported by Reuters in reference to Hillary Clinton’s saying “We just had our Air Force assets in Japan transport some really important coolant to one of the nuclear plants. You know Japan is very reliant on nuclear power and they have very high engineering standards but one of their plants came under a lot of stress with the earthquake and didn’t have enough coolant.”
While Japanese leaders show their calmess and confidence, their people are so postive as in the videos and their saying “what will be will be” on WSJ news.

My Japanese coworker ‘s brother sent her a picture of 2 porcelain/clay cats (he bought them from his trip to Vietnam) with broken legs and said “that’s all the damage he had”. That’s such a “humor in the middle of crisis”.
I admire them for their resilience during the time of crisis. That is outstanding.
Let’s hope the people in charge will get their work done with the best of their efforts. I am in peace of mind thanks to the insights and reasonings at Dr. Josef Oehmen’s blog , (now moved to MIT Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering) – it is a good resource to follow, but a bit worried more for their people’s current living and health conditions.
I am sure Japan will overcome as they did after WWII, knowing the road to recovery is always a challenge.

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Federal Projects

ARRA includes provisions for funding federal projects as well as federal agencies. These projects encompass infrastructure upgrades, energy initiatives and healthcare data management improvements. Many of the projects include IT components, such as physical security/video surveillance, broadband, energy-efficient products, virtualization and electronic medical records (EMR).
Some funding highlights include:
$4.5 billion in efficiency upgrades for federal buildings
$20 billion in tax incentives directed towards energy-efficiency projects
$11 billion in funding for the “Smart Grid” focusing on renewable energy and increased efficiency in our existing energy supplies and generation
$10 billion to the National Institutes of Health
$40 million for the Social Security Administration to adopt EMR
$100 million for border security

State and Local Government

State and local governments will be receiving more than $144 billion in fiscal stabilization funds to re-start shelved projects and cover budget shortfalls. They’ll also receive grants and funds earmarked for specific projects. These include infrastructure upgrades, healthcare initiatives and energy-efficiency projects. Solutions that will be required include: physical security/video surveillance, broadband access, energy-efficient products, virtualization and electronic medical records (EMR).
Below are a few of the programs that are likely to generate technology projects under ARRA at the state and local level:
$27.5 billion in highway infrastructure investment
$4.7 billion for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program
$3.4 billion for job training for displaced workers and youths
$6.3 billion for state and local clean-energy programs

Education Highlights

$100 billion dollars in funding has been identified in ARRA to bring the education system into the 21st century. These funds are targeted at both lower and higher education and include stabilization funds for local school districts, special education funding for disabled children and a new tax credit for students pursuing higher education. Solutions required for these projects include video surveillance, broadband, digital signage, mobile computing/wireless, virtualization, and document imaging and management.
Some funding highlights include:
$44 billion in a state fiscal stabilization fund to assist school districts and state-owned colleges and universities
$12.4 billion for educating disadvantaged children
$1 billion in funding for Head Start and Early Head Start programs
$2,500 in tax credits per higher education student provided by The American Opportunity Tax Credit

Healthcare Highlihgts

The U.S. public healthcare system will receive close to $60 billion in funding under ARRA. These funds will be used to improve and modernize the delivery of healthcare across the nation with projects such as electronic medical records (EMR), upgrading community health centers, increasing information security and developing telehealth systems (delivering health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies.) These will require solutions, such as mobile computing/wireless, energy-efficient products, virtualization, and document imaging and management.
Some funding highlights include:
$50 million for information security
$44,000 tax incentive per individual medical practitioner to upgrade to EMR
$85 million for the development of telehealth systems
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Related Links
Congressional Budget Office
Economica Outlook for 2009-later

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