Archives for the Month of April 2007 on Through the Magnifying Glass

China's success a mirage

City Journal points out the facts that China desires to be suppressed and hopes that its economic prowess would negate any of its past failings and events that deserve publicity such as the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989.

Speaking of China-Taiwan, during yesterday's Yankees-Red Sox game, they did the Talkin Baseball segment between innings in which some of the players would pronunciate their country's version of baseball words such as "strikeout" or "home run."

It was interesting that one of the players was Chinese, and he was definitely from Taiwan when they showed the Taiwanese flag in the upper left corner of the large-screen display. I didn't hear much of a protest or anything about it.

Jon Stewart knows it

Too bad we do not have more Jon Stewart's in this country

First Imus, then Howie Mandel?

howie_mandel.jpgIt would seem the politically correct activists are trying to use their newfound prowess to find new blood. Apparently, Z100 radio station has noted that some viewers are complaining about Howie Mandel, the host of the NBC show Deal or No Deal was being racist towards a female Greek-American contestant. He was saying she was a Greek princess and that the banker was "Zeus."

Pretty stupid. From what I hear on the radio, it was not obtusely offensive.

Also, it would seem one blogger thinks the twenty-six girls' skin color plays a part on whether or not the dollar amount in their suitcase would be low or high. It would seem according to his research, the dark-skinned girls held the high-dollar amounts, and the lighter-skinned girls held the lower dollar amounts.

Come to think of it, where are all the women activists? They should be protesting the suitcase-carrying women component of the show.

It's a bit different in the UK. The original version and still running have 26 friends and relatives of the contestant holding the money boxes. A bit more family-oriented.

Avoid these things when submitting a resume

From, they asked 2,627 hiring managers about their most wackiest resume items.

1. ... attached a letter from her mother.

2. ... used pale blue paper with teddy bears printed around the border.

3. ... explained a three-month gap in employment by saying that he was getting over the death of his cat.

4. ... specified that his availability to work Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays is limited because the weekends are "drinking time."

5. ... included a picture of herself in a cheerleading uniform.

6. ... drew a picture of a car on the outside of the envelope and said the car would be a gift to the hiring manager.

7. ... listed hobbies that included sitting on a levee at night watching alligators.

8. ... mentioned the fact that her sister had once won a strawberry-eating contest.

9. ... stated that he works well in the nude.

10. ... explained an arrest record by stating, "We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig."

Using Impeachment to force compromise

Congressman John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania "suggested" that impeachment should be used to "influence" the President or should I say force the President to compromise on the Iraq & Afghanistan war funding bill.

A President vetoing a bill does not merit impeachment. In fact, Congress can override the veto with a two-thirds majority, but ALAS, the Democrats do not have the votes to sustain that.

Excerpted Transcript of Murtha with Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation:

BOB SCHIEFFER: Are you seriously talking about contemplating an impeachment of this President?

MURTHA: What I’m saying is there are four ways to influence a President.

SCHIEFFER: — and that’s one of them?

MURTHA: [unintelligible] and the fourth one is –

SCHIEFFER: — that’s an option that’s on the table?

MURTHA: I’m just saying that’s one way to influence the President

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

First, impeachment over a veto bill is groundless and would not even survive in the Senate.

Second, the American people are not in the mood to watch an impeachment proceeding.

Third, there is a lot of other pressing legislation that needs to be passed. If the Democrats continue to clash with Bush on the war funding bill for months, they will lose support.

URI Student Senate Rejects Punishment for College Republicans

Follow-up to my previous post

Last night, the Student Senate of the University of Rhode Island (URI) rejected the Student Organisations Advisory and Review Committee (SOARC)'s recommendation to derecognise the College Republicans. It concluded that the group did not need to apologise for advertising a satirical white, heterosexual, American male "scholarship."

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) President Greg Lukianoff:

“Preserving the College Republicans’ recognition and revoking the demand for an apology is the only acceptable decision that the Student Senate could have made. Everyone following this case seemed to understand that no public governing body may lawfully compel speech. We are relieved that the Student Senate finally came to that same realization.”

Basically, the Executive Committee voted 6-5 against the bill before it reached the Senate floor. Instead of an apology, the College Republicans would need to give explanations for their intentions to the approximately 40 students who applied for the "scholarship."

FIRE Press Release

NYU College Republicans try again....more protests

After the Minutemen debacle protest last year, the College Republicans try again by inviting Chris Simcox of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps.

The protest this time was slightly more "polite." The black protestor which was swearing quite a lot is Chester Asher, a NYU graduate student. He was escorted out by NYU security.

The Villager - Students shout, but don't cross line vs. Minutemen

It's always amusing to find the leftist and pro-immigrant protest a panel discussion that features both sides of the issue.

No more 'Assassin'

A popular game on campuses nationwide called "Assassin" may no longer be suitable. After the massacre at Virginia Tech, campus police at various schools are raising concerns and warnings about the game.

Already, police in Illinois and Pennslyvania have urged students to halt the games, which involve ambushing other players with sometimes realistic-looking toy guns or other objects.

Assassin, according to police and players interviewed this week, is a game in which players have the goal of "killing" or eliminating other players while avoiding similar attacks on themselves. Typically each player is assigned a target, who can be attacked with a designated "weapon" during certain times of day or night, usually outside of classrooms or after school. When successful, the player receives a new target; the eliminated player is out of the game.

No kissing

gere_shetty.jpgIn most other countries, this would be considered a waste of time and money. An Indian court has ordered the arrest of Hollywood star Richard Gere for kissing Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty at an AIDS campaign event this month saying it was an obscene act committed in public.

Gere's kisses has sparked protests by Hindu vigilante groups, who saw it as an outrage against her modesty and an affront to Indian culture.

Penalty can be jail time for up to three months or fined or both for the crime if he is arrested.

Come on, it was a harmless peck on the cheek. An affront to Indian culture? What an idiotic attempt.

The Defeatocrats by MM

Lou Dobbs says it right

"Each year, we accept 2 million immigrants legally. We give a million legal immigrants permanent residency every year. We bestow citizenship on 700,000 people a year and provide almost half a million work-related visas a year."

Interesting that the mainstream media fails to mention this.

Read Dobbs' latest editorial on immigration

Was Cornell President playing politics with VT?

I think this story is a bit "delicate" to remembering the Virginia Tech victims.

VTSkorton.jpgCornell President David Skorton:

"We are one," said Cornell President David Skorton. "We are one community, one people, one planet. We are here today to affirm that oneness ... We are here to bear witness to the passing of the 33 members of our family at Virginia Tech University who have met an untimely and terrible fate."

And, he said, "We are here for all of those who are gone, for all 33. We are here for the 32 who have passed from the immediate to another place, not by their own choice. We are also here for the one who has also passed."

He added that those present were there to "join with our friends in the Korean and Korean-American communities for we are all one family, most especially today we share the same sorrow and the same need for comfort and reassurance."

Before the service, the bells of McGraw tower rang 33 times, once for each of the victims.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Was President Skorton afraid of some backlash against Korean-Americans? Cornell is way up in NY! Some sort of racial guilt? How can one person be considered a representative of an entire ethnic/racial group? Was his shout-out just to make the Korean students feel more safe? Don't worry my friends, Skorton has absolved you from the naughty actions of Cho.

Come on here, the students of Cornell are much more smarter than that. Or perhaps they are all brainwashed and think if some white or minority person is shooting up a public place, everyone of that race or grouping is more likely to commit the same thing. Ridiculous!

Cho is not part of "the family." He killed 32 people in cold blood, we cannot forget that fact. I am sure we are sympathetic to his situation, but we cannot place Cho on equal footing with his victims.

Shooting creates mis-directed anger and denial

The Plain Dealer reports on the killing of a teen during an attempted robbery.

Supposedly, resident Damon Wells shot and killed a 15-year-old kid named Arthur "Ace Boogie" Buford. Obviously, neither person knew each other, but it would seem Buford attempted to rob the house, and Wells shot him in self-defense.

So far, the story has not placated other residents in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Somehow, they do not feel that it was done in self-defense.

Let's see. Buford was carrying a gun, and he threatened Damon Wells. Of course, unknown to Buford, Wells also had a gun. Fearing for his life, he had to take the only action possible at that time. Who knows if Wells was unarmed, would Buford kill him?

Teenagers who are friends of Buford are in denial. "[He] never did anything wrong," they say. Unfortunately, the kid was on probation for a robbery committed last August. It seems he wanted to revive his extracurricular hobby.

I won't be surprised if the wanna-be rapper's family files a wrongful death lawsuit.

Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds at Radio City


Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds performing at NYC's Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, April 22, 2007

Awesome time! This was a three-show tour for the two musicians before the band summer tour.

Do we need guards for performance reviews?

The NASA shooting could have been a result of an employee getting a bad performance review. It led to a supervisor being shot dead plus the employee comitting suicide. A female hostage that was taken suffered minor injuries.

So in the case of a reactionary measure, will guards or armed officers be patrolling an agency building during performance reviews? How can we be sure if a fellow employee won't behave rationally if he or she receives a negative review? Really, if you are doing bad, then you should try to fix your mistakes. If you think your review was unjust, go up the chain and voice your feelings.

It sounds like violence is the only thing to get your words across. But in the end, how can you get a positive review if you kill your boss?

SF Mayor Newsom pledges sanctuary for illegals

After presiding over a debacle with the Yale singers being beaten by grads from a prep school, he is now trying to score political points by promising to make San Francisco a sanctuary for illegal immigrants and will take steps to discourage federal authorities from conducting immigration checks.

Obviously, the city cannot stop the feds from doing so, but he can tell the city employees not to cooperate in any immigration enforcement.

If Newsom wants to give illegals safe harbor, then I think the city should be held responsible if any one of them is found responsible for killing a person in a hit & run, robbery, assault, and other crimes. It's a fair exchange.

Monserrate - Scientology's new cheerleader

New York City Councilman Hiram Monserrate of Queens has drafted an official proclamation to have yesterday (April 19) as L. Ron Hubbard Day in honor of the late science-fiction writer who invented Scientology.

Article Link

This was done ahead of a fundraiser for a controversial 9/11 detox program.

Monserrate lauded the supposedly program "that can safely and effectively resolve the symptoms of toxic exposure." He also said the program worked for him.

I guess that means he has been brainwashed by the Xenu aliens.

Councilman Peter Vallone agrees: "Even though this program may help responders, it's really just a PR stunt meant to legitimize their cult in society's eyes."

L. Ron Hubbard Day...what a waste.

Rapper would let people die just to maintain his reputation

Rapper Cam'ron tells 60 Minutes that he would not help police catch a criminal, even a serial killer, because it would hurt his business and his "street credibility."

When interviewed by Anderson Cooper about a scenario where he's living next to a serial killer, Cam'ron would just move away, without calling in the police.

Crimes committed against him would also fall in his "code of ethics." Even after being shot and wounded by gunman, he would still refuse to cooperate with police. Why? " would definitely hurt my business, and the way I was raised, I just don't do that."

Excerpt of the Interview

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

So a person willing to let other innocent people die and refusing to offer assistance just makes him a less than deserving human being.

What a set of wonderful values he's preaching to today's hip-hop culture.

Getting Al Sharpton's blessing

edwards_sharpton.jpgThe Sharpton primary has become a must-see stop for most, if not all Democratic presidential contenders.

So far this week, John Edwards, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, and Chairman Howard Dean will be attending.

As far as we can tell, Sharpton is well known for glorifying racial tensions. While in some cases, he may have been helpful, but three events showed that he may have done too much.

1) 1988 Tawana Brawley - Sharpton was a spokesman for Brawley, a black teenager whose claim of kidnapping and rape at the hands of six white police officers was dismissed after a grand jury determined their was no evidence to support it. No apology from Sharpton.

2) 2006 Duke Lacrosse case - Turns out the three Duke players were innocent after all. No apology from Sharpton.

3) Imus - A lynching attack by Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and other groups for something that hip-hop and rap artists love to say everyday.

And guess what... to avoid being labelled a hypocrite, Al Sharpton has "suspended" plans to honor the head of Island Def Jam Music Group.

A lot of great and controversial things we are going to get from this person.

University of Rhode Island Student Senate Defies First Amendment

FIRE is reporting that a committee of the University of Rhode Island (URI) Student Senate voted on Monday to derecognise the College Republicans student group.

It would seem that the College Republicans hosted a $100 "white, heterosexual American males scholarship" to protest against race-based scholarships back in November 2006. In a meeting on February 19, the Student Senate's Student Organisations Advisory and Review Committee (SOARC) prohibited the group from disbursing the money. It also demanded a public apology because the "satirical" scholarship violated URI's anti-discrimination bylaws.

The College Republicans appealed the decision, but the full Senate denied that appeal.

On March 27, the Student Senate, in a memo to the group, ruled again that they must publish an apology and stated that they authority to force them to do so. That sanction was later reduced to an “explanation” to be published in the campus newspaper and a mandatory apology to be sent to all of the students who applied for the scholarship.

College Republicans agreed to publish an explanation of its intentions but refused to publicly apologise. FIRE asked URI President Robert Carothers to intervene.

In a letter dated April 6, President Carothers instructed the Student Senate to drop its unconstitutional demand for an apology because of the First Amendment.

The SOARC committee ignored him and voted on April 16 to derecognise the College Republicans. The decision by the committee must be confirmed by the whole Student Senate on Wednesday, April 25.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FIRE quotes:

To URI President Robert Carothers
“URI administrators have a legal duty to step in where the Student Senate has failed and to check its attempt to trample upon students’ most basic freedom of conscience.”

“[b]y fulfilling this responsibility as a public official, you can teach the Senate leadership that they must respect the rights of URI students and help to instill in them an understanding of the full repercussions for repeatedly and recklessly defying the Constitution.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It would seem that University President Carothers agrees with FIRE's argument. He told the Student Senate that its demand for an apology "does not meet consitutional standards as laid forth in the First Amendment," and directed that "you may not impose any sanctions on the College Republicans, or any other student group, that requires them to make public statements which are not their own."

Will the URI Student Senate subvert free speech?

Update 4/24/07

Rhode Island ACLU defends College Republicans in a letter to the URI Student Senate

URI Student Senate responds back to FIRE

Rhode Island ACLU cites previous examples of other groups staging "discriminatory" events without consequence. Wisconisn chapter of NOW held a "Pay Equity Bake Sale." The Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance at SFSU also held a similar bake sale. Neither suffered any retailiation. The College Republicans at Roger Williams University at Roger Williams University held an affirmative action bake sale and protests occurred, and the student senate there was being asked to curtail their activities.

Somehow I think the punishment does not fit the crime. I would believe that there are certain individuals in the URI Student Senate bent on political correctness and are loving it. I think they would not mind kicking the College Republicans out, not b/c of the whites-only scholarship, they just want to get rid of any "conservative" groups invading their liberal minds.

April 19, 1995 - Remember Oklahoma

murrah_building.jpgOn April 19, 1995, a terrorist attack was conducted by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, a U.S. government complex in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The attack claimed 168 lives and left over 800 injured.

The effects of the blast were equivalent to 4,000 pounds of TNT and could be heard and felt up to fifty-five miles away.

Timothy McVeign was executed via lethal injection on June 11, 2001.

Terry Nichols is serving 161 consecutive life terms at the ADX Florence Federal Prison.

Michael Fortier was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $200,000. He was released for good behaviour in 2006 and is in the Witness Protection Program.

Cho was declared mentally ill, but the state let him go!

This gets better and better.

A Virginia court found that Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho was "mentally ill" and dangerous. Then, the state let him go.

In 2005, after a district court in Montgomery County ruled that Cho was either a danger to himself or to others -- the legal criteria to obtain a detention order -- he was evaluated by a state doctor and ordered to undergo outpatient care.

The doctor found that Cho's "insight and judgment are normal" and that he was not taking any medications, according to documents obtained by ABC News.

Did the University know about this?

Simon Cowell Allegedly Rolls Eyes on Virginia Tech

There is a sort of media frenzy involving Simon Cowell on American Idol last night. Apparently, Cowell was caught on camera rolling his eyes at comments made by contestant Chris Richardson about the Virginia Tech massacre.

"My heart and prayers go out to Virginia Tech. I have a lot of friends over there. Be strong," Richardson, a Chesapeake, Virginia native, told the audience of the nation's top-rated TV show.

A quick camera shot showed Cowell rolling his eyes and impatiently tapping his hand on the table.

Video Link

* * * * * * * * * * *

Now according to the video, Simon was criticising Richardson's performance on his Rascal Flatts song "Mayburry." As they were exchanging comments, Richardson then went immediately into giving tribute to the Virginia Tech students. I suppose Simon felt he was trying to get out of the negative criticism.

Was it just bad timing since Simon was not accepting Richardson's reasons for his performance? Why did Richardson decide to give his tribute? It looks like he wanted to do that just to deflect his bad performance.

It would have been better if the whole cast and judges of the show got together and paid tribute and rememberance to the Virginia Tech victims.

Or the contestant could have said "Since I am from Virginia, I would like to pay tribute..."

Virginia Tech Thoughts

1) The "ISMAIL AX" tattoo

Virginia Tech police discovered Cho Seung-Hui's body in one of the classrooms, and found that he scrawled the words "ISMAIL AX" on the inside of one arm. According to the Chicago Tribune, it may be a reference to the Islamic account of the Biblical sacrifice of Abraham.

However, it looks to come from the James Fennimore Cooper's story "The Prairie." Settler Ishmael Bush had a gun and an axe. The axe - which can either kill or provide shelter - stands for both creation and destruction. Obviously, given his major in English.

2) Exactly what medication was Cho using?

Investigators believe Cho had been taking medication for depression. Was it Prozac? Could the medication have lead to his violent, aberrant behaviour? During his time at Virginia Tech, he set a fire in a dorm room and was allegedly stalking female students.

If it was Prozac, such a side effect means that this drug is actually dangerous and must be taken out of circulation.

3) Asian American Journalists Association starts the political correctness bullsh*t

The AAJA is urging all media to avoid using "racial identifers" unless there is a compelling or germane reason. They ask that the standards of news reporting should be universal and applied equally no matter the platform or medium, including blogs.

The shooter definitely looked asian. If I see a black person shooting the place up, I would say it was a black person. Maybe the correct wording is "dark-skinned." So instead of asian, should I say "yellow-skinned" with "slanty eyes." Or maybe we can just say "I think it was a male." Oh wait, that would insult the females.

The notion that saying Asian would unfairly portray an entire race of people is narrow-minded and ridiculous. I rather believe that we are all educated and smart to know that if any person trying to murder someone does not mean that his race, religion, or the color of his/her skin contributes a major factor to it.

I would even bet that some asian journalists were noting the ethnicity of black or white criminals. So hypocritical of them.

4) Latest victim list

5) Do we really need to care about what the lawyers say during a crisis?

6) Unarmed and vulnerable - Bradford Wiles, a graduate student and licensed to carry a concealed weapon laments on the campus handgun ban

Interesting, what can we do if we know that the campus police cannot protect us?

7) Alex Leo of the Huffington Post tries to do the 9/11 comparison

"September 11 will forever live in our consciousness, but let us not forget those that perished at the hands of Americans."


8) Remembering a true hero: Professor Liviu Librescu

St. Edwards University Evacuated; More

Reported by KLBJ 590AM news station

Officials at St. Edwards University evacute their campus today after finding a threatening note in a bathroom on campus. The University's Michelle Amador says classes are canceled all day and students will be allowed back on campus at 5 this afternoon. Amador says the University police are canvasing the campus to make sure it is safe.

The University is located in south Austin, Texas.

St. Edwards students hold vigil for shooting victims

Also reported: The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga ordered three campus administration buildings to be evacuated in response to a telephone bomb threat. Nothing was found.

At the University of Oklahoma, there was a report of a man carrying a suspicious object, but was later found to be a yoga mat.

Virginia Tech campus shooting

vt_memorial.jpgStudent Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year old South Korean national and permanent U.S. resident was responsible for killing 33 students and faculty (including himself) on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. He was a senior majoring in English literature.

The shooting began about 7:15 in the morning when Cho entered the fourth floor of West Ambler Johnston, a high-rise coed dormitory and killed two people. Reports suggest that he was quarrelling with his girlfriend, whom he believed had been seeing another man. (Correction: reports show that he did not have a girlfriend.) A resident assistant, Ryan Clark, was called to sort out the argument. Cho then produced a gun and shot them dead.

The shooting event was not known by the rest of the campus until a mass e-mail was sent out at 9:26. The e-mail reads:

"A shooting incident occurred at West Amber Johnston earlier this morning. Police are on the scene and are investigating. The university community is urged to be cautious and are asked to contact Virginia Tech police if you observe anything suspicious or with information on the case."

Approximately 19 minutes later, Cho entered Norris Hall, the university's engineering building and began firing indiscriminately into the classrooms. A further e-mail was sent out warning students that a gunman was on the loose. It read:

"A gunman is loose on campus. Stay in buildings until further notice. Stay away from all windows."

After entering Norris Hall, Cho proceeded to chain the doors to prevent entry and escape. Then he went from classroom to classroom injuring and killing students and faculty. Another 30 people were killed and dozens injured from gunshot wounds or broken bones. The dead were found in at least four classrooms as well as a stairwell.


Cho took his own life by shooting himself in the head before police confronted him.

He was carrying two handguns (Glock 9mm and .22 caliber) and several clips of ammo. Ballistics showed that one of the guns was used at both buildings.

Twelve students remain hospitalised in stable condition on Tuesday, officials said.

Photo of Cho Seung-Hui, the gunman


How did he buy the guns?

According to law enforcement officials, Cho bought his first gun, a Glock 9mm on March 13, and his second weapon, a .22 caliber handgun within the last week. Both guns were purchased in Virginia.

Under Virginia law, state residents can only buy one handgun in any 30 day period, suggesting Cho bought his second weapon after April 13, or sometime over the weekend.


Names of the victims (released by as of today)

Maxine Turner, Chemical Engineering student

Henry Lee, Computer Engineering student

Matt La Porte, University Studies student

Jamie Bishop, Foreign Language lecturer

G.V. Loganathan, Civil and Environmental Engineering professor

Juan Ortiz, Civil Engineering student

Jarrett Lane, Civil Engineering student

Ryan Clark, Biology, English & Psychology student

Leslie Sherman, History and International Studies

Caitlin Hammaren, International Studies and French

Liviu Librescu, Engineering Science & Mechanics professor

Kevin Granata, Professor, Engineering Science & Mechanics

Reema Samaha, student

Emily Hilscher, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Equine Science (picture below)


Photos of the victims are available on The Sun Online web site.

Another detailed listing - BBC News

CNN has a video that was shot by a student with a cellphone. He does not specifically have pictures of the shooter but you can hear the shots and chaos.

Reuters - List of major shootings inside schools or universities

Google News Wire

Phishing Alert: Paypal - Dumb Attempt

Fake Paypal Web Site - Beware


If you click on, you would get a logon page to Paypal. At first glance, it looks pretty identical to the actual Paypal web site. Most of the links do point to the real paypal web site. The logon form covering the fields, "Email Address" and "Password" are bogus.

If you put in a wacky address and password, you do not get an incorrect login or password message, it just takes you to the "Update your Paypal Account." So regardless of whatever login or password, it will always go this page. Then it asks to update your address and credit card information.


Of course, it's all bogus.

The interesting thing is that when you do a DNS lookup on the ip address "," it belongs to a person living in China. Now, I cannot really tell if this person is responsible for the page, so some other hacker may found a way to spoof the ip address, but if it's the former, then the person just did not realise that anyone could do a backtrace and find out who is doing it.

So here's the result on the ip address:

% [ node-2]
% Whois data copyright terms

inetnum: -
netname: CHINANET-HA
descr: CHINANET henan province network
descr: China Telecom
descr: No.31,jingrong street
descr: Beijing 100032
country: CN
admin-c: HZ149-AP
tech-c: HZ149-AP
changed: ******* 20060515
source: APNIC

person: Hongbiao Zhang
nic-hdl: HZ149-AP
e-mail: **
address: 97# Zhongyuan Street, Zhengzhou City, China
phone: +86 371 65310018
fax-no: +86 371 65310015
country: CN
changed: *** 20060511
source: APNIC

Feel free to mess with him.

A change of plan for Kerry, I hope not

Flip-flop Senator John Kerry may change his mind in running for the 2008 presidential campaign. He left the door open during a book signing in Denver and in an interview with a local NBC news station.

Even if he tries, he will fail again.

Again, he will tout his military experience in Vietnam, but his foreign policy and defense issues showed he voted against US defensive and offensive measures in the Cold War, against fighting in the first Gulf war, and against funding the second Gulf War.

He accused his fellow Vietnam veterans of widespread atrocities. Thus many vets -- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents would be quite infuriated by his political hyperbole.

So how can Kerry run a second time and convince the American people that he would make a good President.

Besides all of that, how can we forget his infamous quote:

“I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”

Duke Lacrosse Case Collapsed: After

NY Times report that even after the three Duke University lacrosse players were declared innocent by the North Carolina DA, their demonising continues.

Newsweek gives the inside story to that infamous evening.

They lynched Imus...who's next?

Media Matters takes credit for Imus' downfall

Beware of Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog organisation bent on censoring and using misinformation to take down radio talkshow hosts, blogs that may be considered offensive, or basically anything that goes against their agenda.

In Defense

A small California radio station (KCAA-AM) in San Bernardino says it will run a "Best of Imus" series next week in defiance of the firing of radio host Don Imus after he made a "sexist" and "racist" joke on his nationally syndicated show.

Did you remember?

Imus' dismissal is not the only one. Bob Grant, a popular New York radio host, was put off the air for calling the African-American mayor at the time a "washroom attendant." And Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder lost his CBS job on NFL football pre-game telecasts by saying black athletes were superior to white athletes.

Satellite radio, A place of refuge?

What are the chances for Imus to appear on satellite radio, following in the footsteps of Howard Stern?

Hypocritical words by Jesse Jackson

Jackson called the firing “a victory for public decency. No one should use the public airwaves to transmit racial or sexual degradation."

Sharpton too...

Said Sharpton: “He says he wants to be forgiven. I hope he continues in that process. But we cannot afford a precedent established that the airways can commercialize and mainstream sexism and racism."

US News rankings boycott

How big will the revolt be?

Dozens of schools have recently refused to fill out surveys used to calculate ranks, and efforts are now afoot for a collective boycott.

College presidents plan 'U.S. News' rankings boycott

BBC does not like hero stories

johnson_beharry.jpgWhile we see suicide bombings, insurgent attacks on Iraqi, American, British, and other coalition forces, and ethnic violence, we would appreciate a bit of heroism.

Among Britain's forces, a private named Johnson Beharry rescued an ambushed foot patrol, then in a second act, saved his vehicle's crew despite his own terrible injuries. These actions earned him the Victoria Cross, the highest recognition for valour "in the face of the enemy."

For the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC), his story was deemed "too positive" about the Iraqi conflict. It cancelled the commission for a 90-minute drama about Britain's youngest surviving Victoria Cross hero because they were scared. Scared of what? They were scared of those that were opposed to the war in Iraq.

Did you know what BBC wanted to do with the film? They wanted to do the drama, then get Private Beharry to denounce the war and ask for British withdrawal.

Source close to the project: "The BBC has behaved in a cowardly fashion by pulling the plug on the project altogether. It began to have second thoughts last year as the war in Iraq deteriorated. It felt it couldn't show anything with a degree of positivity about the conflict."

Now the project has taken the script to ITV.

BBC admitted they pulled the project but refused to elaborate on the decision.

I wonder if Al Sharpton would apologise

(Added Nifong's apology statement)

Look, I know we all do not like Imus. To be frank, I think less than
25% even watch his show or even listen to it. I know Imus was on MSNBC but I never listened to any of his shows.

After Sharpton, Jackson, and everyone has made Imus apologise profusely for his stupid comments, will we expect an apology on the Duke Lacrosse case?

Let's go back to O'Reilly questioning Al Sharpton on the case back on April 18, 2006.

O'Reilly: "Is this a racial issue?"

Sharpton: " think that there are certainly a lot of racial factors. Whether it is directly in the case, we'll see, because some reports said that there was racial language used. But I think that when you look at the racial atmosphere, when you look at the fact that there again were the allegations of racial statements, when you look at a lot of people feeling that they have been treated differently, where this girl has basically had a character charged in the media, there is a lot of racism that's in the air. Having said that, I commend a lot of the blacks and whites who stood vigil and to come together in that community to stand up for this girl. So I think in the midst of this, there is some good."


SHARPTON: But I think that all of the facts that you have laid out the DA had — and I know this DA is probably not one that is crazy. He would not have proceeded if he did not feel that he could convict. So it tells me that all of what you said is either not true or he has convincing evidence that would certainly knock that out and no one is not letting him proceed. You know, a lot of those community leaders down there, pro and con, wanted a lot of people to come in. I know for a fact asked Jesse Jackson to come, we said we don't want to be (INAUDIBLE)...


SHARPTON: First of all, they better be prepared to see if she is the only witness. You don't know what other people are going to testify. You don't know what other evidence they have. So let's not get ready to discredit the girl until we see the whole passage. That's what happened with Louima. We had more than Louima, so let's not assume just discrediting the girl will work this time.

Ok, we have concluded that the victim was not credible and the amount of evidence or lack thereof showed that the charges of rape and kidnapping are not warranted against the defendants.

The former prosecutor Nifong was in an election season, so you have to expect that there was a political angle to all of this. He knew that if he did not proceed with the case, he would have been criticised by civil rights advocates, women groups, and the NAACP.

So after all of this, will we expect an apology from Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? How about the Group of 88, members of Duke faculty that sided against the players? Probably not.

These three men deserved some sort of apology.

Update 4/12/07

Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong released a statement:

"To the extent that I made judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect, I apologize to the three students that were wrongly accused."

A right for every teacher to do

Whether if it was real or fake, they should be able to do such a thing

Professor Gets Mad At Cell Phone - Click Here for more great videos and pictures!

Enough with Imus

(CBS 2 has announced that CBS-owned radio station WFAN has fired Don Imus)

imus_shockjock.jpgThe nationwide sensation with "shock jock" Don Imus and his producer keeps on going and going. From the major news networks to the hundreds of web sites, everyone is having a field day with this. Yet, should all of this be a total surprise?

In the past, Imus has criticised and denigrated Jews, Catholics, overweight people, and other minorities. It is probably true he was a terrible talk show host, but why the sudden deluge? Was it just bad timing for him to utter the comments "nappyheaded ho" and "hardcore hos" when the Rutgers' women basketball team lost the NCAA Final?

After a week of condemnations by Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, black activists, feminist groups, and presidential candidates, it was Rutgers' turn. The university president, Richard McCormick, said "Mr. Imus' comments were offensive to the Rutgers University community, as well as the entire nation. In this difficult time, we must make an increased commitment to tolerance, civility and equality," while the team coach, C. Vivian Stringer went even further stating that "It’s not about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. It’s about women. Are women hos? Think about that. Would you have wanted your daughter to have been called that?"

Team captain Essence Carson stated it simply by saying, "At first we thought to let it slide, but when we read the transcript, we decided it was unacceptable." Rightly so!

First, I applaud McCormick and Carson's comments. They have every right to respond back to Imus' regretful words.

However, Coach Stringer's words suggest that Imus was also attacking women in general. Yet, is it not true that the word "hos" has been used by both whites and blacks (more frequent on the latter)? It would seem that the rest of us are warned that saying the "H-word" would make us insensitive and racist. Then she spends at least 30 minutes hyping it up. Was this hour-long conference really necessary? How much can you milk this up?

But please, let's stop beating around the bush here.

Let me say it again. How much can we keep this story going?????

Already, CNN was busy contacting "past political guests" of MSNBC host Don Imus to inquire whether they would appear again on his show after those racist remarks. Does this mean that every federal, state, and local politician must voice their opinion on the "shock jock" just to avoid being labelled as "soft" on combating racism?

The sponsors of Imus' program started leaving. On Tuesday, Staples and Miralus Healthcare dropped their sponsorship. Procter & Gamble said it would suspend its advertising altogether from MSNBC. Today, American Express will no longer advertise on Mr. Imus' show, but will continue to advertise on other MSNBC shows. General Motors followed in the same fashion.

Protests against Imus are being planned today: one at City Hall, one at Rutgers-Newark campus, and Rutgers-New Brunswick campus.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

At the end of all of this, we have clearly concluded that Imus was stupid and dumb for uttering those distasteful remarks and should be disciplined, but it would seem the mob wants much more.

Where's George Carlin when you need him? His comments would make Imus' look like child's play. Yet, we have not seen nation-wide protests to force HBO to drop his shows or a boycott on all the movie stores of his DVD's.

It seems the mob wants the "I do not approve of what he said or did" content. Then broadcast media will be boring, free of vulgar and indecent content. I guess that leaves the guns, violence, and drugs on cable and satellite.

Are you telling me that none of these basketball players are somewhere snapping their fingers to the beat of 50 Cent or Snoop Dogg? These entertainers are the ones glorifying the nappy-headed pimps and hos. Go ahead and ask these players what songs they have on their iPods.

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were just busy sitting and waiting for someone like Imus to have a slip of the tongue.

It is also embarassing to note that Comedy Central offered Dave Chappelle $50 million to make racially insensitive jokes about black and white people on TV. Do black activists have an answer for that?

Honestly, did Imus' remarks destroy Rutgers' wonderful season? No.

Did Imus' remarks permanently harmed Rutgers' basketball program? No.

Is he a threat to America? No.

After a week or two of this, we should be done. Now all of this is a distraction and an ample opportunity for some to make some sort of financial windfall out of this.

If the NAACP wants Don Imus fired, fine. But the NAACP should tell BET and their hip-hop stars and entertainers to stop popularising hos and their bling-bling. Fair enough?

Today Show - Don Imus v Al Sharpton

Interesting Article

TIME - The Imus Fallout: Who Can Say What?

Sharpton Promises More Fallout

'It is our feeling that this is only the beginning. We must have a broad discussion on what is permitted and not permitted in terms of the airwaves'

O'Reilly vs Geraldo Rivera

It would make obvious sense:

U.S. citizen get convicted of a DUI which resulted in a death -> prison term

Illegal person get convicted of a DUI which resulted in a death -> deported

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British teachers ignoring the Holocaust

Schools and teachers in the UK are dropping the Holocaust from their history lessons because it would offend Muslim pupils. This conclusion came from a Government-backed study by the Department of Education and Skills. Teachers are reluctant to cover these heinous acts for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.

In addition, there is also reluctance to talk about the 11th century Crusades because their facts would contradict what is taught in local mosques.

Chris McGovern, history education adviser to the former Tory government, said: "History is not a vehicle for promoting political correctness. Children must have access to knowledge of these controversial subjects, whether palatable or unpalatable."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I guess physics and biology will have to be dropped because of the anti-Darwin folks.

Then geography gets banned because the world is really flat not round.

Next, Communism and facism were actually good for the planet.

Sigh, history must be told regardless of a person's beliefs or viewpoints. Failure to do so will ensure that we will repeat the same mistakes in the future.

It would seem our children will be politically brainwashed and over-sedated with multi-culturalism. I don't mean to say it's a bad thing, but I think there are folks out there trying to twist it to their own bad agenda.

Great American Boycott II

The so-called "Great American Boycott II" is being planned for May 1, organizers for the March 25 Coalition said Monday. The group is made up of immigrant rights organizations and others who frequently plan rallies around the country.

Last year's demonstrations, businesses and schools were closed across the country as people took to the streets in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and other cities.

The boycott was fueled by anger over federal legislation that would have criminalized being in the country in illegally and fortified the U.S.-Mexico border. The goal was to raise awareness about immigrants' economic power.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Doesn't make sense... so the boycott is in favor of illegal immigration? Oh I am sure about the immigrants' economic power, but you're telling me that illegals contribute much of it, so we should let them stay? I don't think so.

Improving Student-Alumni Relations

The need to build and solidify relations between students and alumni of Case Western Reserve University has been important then ever before. There are so many opportunities for both to interact with each other, to help each other, to inspire, to advise, and so on and so forth.

The steps taken by some students to establish a Student Alumni Association is one such example. In a way, having an official undergraduate student organisation as a counterpart to the Alumni Association is an efficient and more effective step.

In the past, there used to be a UAA-Student Alumni Relations Committee where undergraduate liaisons from the major groups met with alumni to coordinate joint events such as Hudson Relays and Senior Week. In 2000, the Student Turning Point Society (STPS) was established dedicated to maintaining close ties to alumni. They had an advantage of meeting with university administrators and prestigious alumni at various luncheons and receptions.

An overall student group dedicated to the Alumni Association would be the best ideal medium to have in order to coordinate and assist events for both constituencies. This group should hold special status and cannot be treated as a standard organisation (i.e. getting recognition). Such a group should be co-sponsored by the Student Executive Council (SEC) and the Alumni Association. Know that STPS is the formal student rep for the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, and is sponsored by the Office of University Alumni Affairs.

In fact, perhaps the Student Alumni Association should be created as part of the alumni arm of the Student Executive Council. It will assist the major groups with events such as Homecoming, Senior Week, and Hudson Relays. In addition, it can host local events with the Cleveland Chapter at Alumni House.

It's one step to give students a better understanding of what the Alumni Association is.

Obama & Edwards withdraw from FoxNews debate

On Friday, John Edwards announced that he would skip the debate, sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus and Fox News.

Today, Barack Obama announced he will not attend the September presidential primary debate. This basically dooms the event.

Of course, the Obama campaign will participate in the six officially-sanctioned Democratic National Committee debates, whose existence provided candidates a measure of cover to drop out of the Fox-sponsored debate.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It's strange enough to see both candidates drop out of an event that has been sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus!!! Alright, the Democrats and liberal grassroots point out that Fox News has a right-wing bias. All right, I can sorta agreed with that, but I can also argue that CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times have a liberal bent. Or are you telling me that they are "balanced and viewpoint-neutral?"

The continuing reasoning that Fox News is not a "legitmate" news service just tells me that they are too chicken to face hard and thought-provoking questions.

The Democratic candidates want a controlled debate environment where they get asked the easy questions. A town hall meeting with real people... get's a bunch of political operatives holding approved question cards.

Are Edwards and Obama afraid?

Update Apr 10

Hillary dropped out too. How bout her, Edwards, and Obama skipped all the debates and just get ready for the primaries?

1.4 million pending arrest warrants

Does Pennsylvania have enough jail capacity to hold 1.4 million people?

Craiglist hoax can get bad

A fake ad on Craigslist, inviting people to take whatever they wanted for free from a Tacoma home, is all common sense.

Could you really believe that such a thing is true?

First, the outside of the home is trashed, the inside is nearly gutted and covered in graffiti. How could anyone take the ad with a literal tone? A vinyl window was gone. The hot water heater, the kitchen sink were ripped from their housing.

Neighbors reported seeing strangers hauling stuff away from the person's home.

The likely suspect is the tenant that was evicted from the place. Craiglist refused to release the poster's indentification without a subpoena or search warrant.

* * * * * * * * * *

Was the house really unlocked or someone made sure that was the case? If it was locked, it is pretty much breaking & entering. Then there's the deal with taking things that were bolted or permanently housed. Could people really think they can take the boiler with them? Also, not one of them actually called the poster to verify the ad or bother to really think straight when they are ransacking the place.

Such an ad is too good to be true. If you are told that you can knock down the wall in order to get that nice window frame, alarm bells should be ringing.

A bunch of idiots.

Bush more likely to issue recess appointments

On Wednesday, President Bush took advantage of the congressional recess to appoint Andrew Biggs, an advocate of private accounts for social security, to serve as deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

His nomination to the post stalled in the Senate Finance Committee. Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana) questioned it because of his involvement in Bush's 2005 proposal to carve out a portion of workers' Social Security payroll taxes to private investment accounts.

* * * * * * * * * *

Bush also appointed Republican fundraiser Sam Fox as U.S. Ambassador to Belgium. His nomination to the post stalled in the Senate because of his alleged connection to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Knowing that Fox did not have the votes for Senate confirmation, Bush withdrew his nomination last month. Yet on Wednesday, with Congress out on holiday, the president used his recess appointment privilege to appoint Fox.

* * * * * * * * * *

Bush did a third one by appointing Susan E. Dudley as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a powerful position that involves review of regulations from major federal agencies.

* * * * * * * * * *

Last, he appointed Carol Waller Pope, a Democrat, to be a member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority. She was actually appointed to the board back in 2000 and served until her term expired last year. Her appointment was sorely needed since it would leave only two members, both Republican.

* * * * * * * * * *

As such, all these people will remain in those positions until the end of the next session of Congress, basically till the end of the Bush presidency.

How to destroy a conservative student group from within

Reported by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) student club at Central Michigan University (CMU) was targeted by certain elements in their student population in an attempt to force its own dissolution.

YAF is a Registered Student Organization (RSO) at CMU described in its constitution as “a conservative non-partisan, non-sectarian voluntary educational organization.” Apparently, the CMU student government attempted to de-recognise the group last February, but failed. In response, students from various liberal student groups began attending and disrupting YAF meetings. Some individuals created a Facebook group entitled "People who believe the Young Americans for Freedom is a Hate Group." In that group, members supposedly shared messages suggesting ways to get YAF expelled from CMU. One post encouraged members to attend YAF meetings, vote students opposing YAF's mission into board positions, and thereby forcing the group's dissolution.

The YAF emailed their Student Life office if they could deny membership to individuals who publicly disagreed with their group's purpose. In response, the office stated that the non-discrimination clause of the RSO Manual, says that "[a]n RSO may not discriminate in its membership criteria or leadership criteria on the basis of…political persuasion…."

FIRE contacted CMU President Michael Rao reminding him that denying political or ideological student groups the right to associate with students who share the group’s beliefs violates the freedom of association afforded to all CMU students. It also pointed out that CMU allows religious student groups to choose their membership based on shared beliefs, resulting in an inconsistency regarding the policy for secular student groups.

With FIRE's assistance, CMU announced that they would implement a new policy extending the rules for religious student groups to all belief-based student groups.

Cincy Mayor could have practiced throwing before

C'mon here, if you knew or if you haven't thrown in a while, at least do some practice before the game, or somewhere. This clip is going to be remembered for years!

Remember Ross Perot?

One of his answers in the 1992 presidential debate, back when his Reform Party was actually doing well in the polls, allowing him to participate.

American University students try to stop Karl Rove

NBC4 News 4 in Virginia has reported an attempt by American University students to stop Karl Rove from leaving the campus. He was there for an event sponsored by the College Republicans.

Apparently, the students threw things at Rove and his car, and then they got on the ground and laid down in front of his car as a protest.

Here's a video of the protest:

Lost Money at a Raceway Service Station

raceway.jpgI do not know if it was a system glitch with the gas pump or I was ripped off, but it's best to blog about the experience.

Today, drove to work with my sister and we stopped by the new Raceway service station located in Morris Plains, NJ. Corner of Rte 10 & 202 (near the Stop & Shop supermarket). I was nearing empty so we stopped there for a refill. I have been to this new gas station several with no problems.

I was in a hurry this time, so I asked for regular fill-up with cash. I noted he inserted the gas pump into the car, and the totals on the display panel hit like $38.02 and about 16.5 gallons. My gas tank holds about 17-18 gallons. I turned on the car, and saw that the fuel gauge was still nearing empty. I figured something could be wrong with the sensor. Pulled out of the service station, stopped a few blocks, turned off and turned on the car, and it was still near empty.

I guess I should have made a U-turn back to the station, but the notion of being ripped off did not occur to me. I continued on my way thinking it was a sensor issue, but as I got closer to Jersey City, and the fuel gauge ever so closer to empty, I decided to get out of the nearest exit and find another gas station.

There was a Hess service station before the Rte 78 / 1&9 interchange. I gave $20 to fill it up, and believe it or not, the car took the $20.00 worth of fuel. Then when I started up the car, the fuel gauge was half-full.

Clearly, there is something amiss at that particular Raceway service station.

I only ask that folks just be extra careful there. It could have been a gas pump glitch or something. I will try to go back and let them know of the problem I had that morning, but I doubt I would be able to get my $38 back.

FCC keeps ban on mobile phones on planes

Good to see that the cabin will be kept quiet as much as possible. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has officially grounded the idea of allowing airline passengers to use mobile telephones while in flight.

French train breaks speed record

A French train with a 25,000-horsepower engine and special wheels broke the world speed record Tuesday for conventional rail trains, reaching 357.2 mph as it zipped through the countryside to the applause of spectators.

The fastest speed record is still held by Japan's magnetically levitated train, which hit 361 mph in 2003.

A California delegation came to study the prospect for a high-speed line running from Sacramento in the north to San Diego, in the south, via San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Yet, it may takes years or decades before fast-speed trains matching our European and Japanese counterparts appear in the U.S. While some may favour travelling via plane, fast-trains would be useful for short-distance. The Acela Express has a record number of passengers over the last four months (about 1,000,000), yet its max speed is about 135 mph. Most of the rail infrastucture limits train speeds to 90 mph or less. Maglev and other high-speed projects must be given priority. What's to complain? You can avoid going to the airport 2 hours early and spend an hour in the security line. Less hassle.

TSA airport security could be a bit more humane

tsa_security.jpgClearly, the attitude of TSA security personnel differ from city to city, state to state. Getting through security is probably one of the most frustrating times while at the airport. I will always appreciate the elite line where I can get through there as fast as possible.

Last Friday, I was travelling from Newark (EWR) to Cleveland (CLE). While in the security line, I was already done with taking off the shoes, separating the laptop from my backpack, and holding my passport and ticket. The TSA staff member was standing as usual behind the security detector, loudly proclaiming the do's and dont's.

A fellow female traveller in front of me, looks to be Japanese, placed her belongings on the conveyor belt and walked through the detector. Unfortunately, the alarm went off. The TSA person looked at her with a stern eye, and stated in a loud voice about making sure your pockets are empty. Of course, it looks clear to the other travellers that she did not comprehend English, but this fact did not seem to soothe the security officer. She kept on loudly telling her to empty her pockets but she still could not understand. It took another passenger to use hand gestures to get her to empty her pockets, a wallet and some change.

She tried to walk through the detector again, but alas, the alarm went off. Clearly, the security officer was not happy at all. She again loudly berated her about making sure everything metal was off her body. For the rest of us, we probably all knew that it was her cap, but no one spoke. The TSA officer did not even do anything to really help out the situation. All she did for the japanese girl was to mimic like a soldier when walking through the detector. After the second try, the TSA member directed her to stand next to the security detector while the rest of us walked through.

As I was putting on my shoes and putting my laptop in my backpack, I can still see the girl, looking confused as ever, stand there while the loud TSA officer continued to voice the do's and dont's. She did not even signal to another staff member to help out. Some sort of punishment for not obeying her?

One way this could have been avoided was having another TSA officer along the conveyor belt helping or directing passengers to take off their coats, metal belts, laptops out of the backpack, shoes, and what not. There wasn't any. It was a busy Friday, yet if they had just one or two staff person helping out, such a thing would not occur.

New York Passes Barely Read Budget

It must have been an April Fools' joke. New York lawmakers passed an estimated $120.9 billion state budget Sunday morning. How many of them knew the summary details of the budget? Maybe less than half. How many have a good knowledge of the state budget that was passed? Very few.

How long was the debate? Pretty short. Was it basically a "smoking pipe" meeting between Spitzer, Sheldon, and Bruno? Yep.