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

Philly Mayor Forced from iPhone Line

So the Mayor of Philadelphia John F. Street was a technology enthusiast and he showed up outside an AT&T store at 3:30AM.

Then a guy sporting a mohawk showed up and asked him, "How can you sit here with 200 murders in the city already?" Apparently, the city had its 200th slaying of the year.

Street told the man: "I'm doing my job." Then he left. The time was 11:30AM. He did promised to return to his spot when the phone goes on sale at 6PM.

His argument: "We don't have to be sitting in City Hall to be conducting city business."

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

I'm just curious. If you see your local legislator, or perhaps your federal representative or senator doing some shopping or standing in line for a movie, would you go to that person and questioned him/her for not doing the people's business? Who knows if that person could be on vacation, but would it be appropriate?

Imagine if you saw Senator Brown shopping at Best Buy? Are you going to confront the senator about Iraq or taxes or gas prices?

Should they be offered some moments of privacy, or is it a free for all?

Article

Ohio considering ban on tanning for under 18

Lawmakers in Columbus are considering a bill that would prohibit anyone younger than 18 from using a commercial tanning bed without a doctor's perscription for UV treatments.

Sponsor is State Representative Courtney Combs (R-Hamilton).

Current law requires minors to have parental permission before using a tanning bed.

Article

CNN tries to get senators to provide their 2008 earmarks

CNN attempted to ask all 100 U.S. senators about their 2008 earmarks.

The result

Article

For my two senators in New Jersey, both Lautenberg and Menendez did not return CNN's call.

For the two senators in Ohio, Sherrod Brown refused to release his list and George Voinovich did not answer.

Michael Moore Not Allowed into NYSE

Moore: They’ll let me on the floor tomorrow?

Bartiromo: We don’t have the permission…(stumbling)…to do that…

Moore: Has anyone been denied with you as a guest?

Bartiromo: Ummm, hey…let’s talk about health care a second….

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

First thing, know all the facts. Michael Moore knew he would not get into the NYSE. The proper paperwork for access to the Exchange was not filled out. Plus you are required to dress appropriately while being on the exchange floor (sport coat and tie). Moore had neither.

CNBC made it clear later on the day.

It was a publicity stunt designed to show everyone that big business (especially the health care companies) were trying to refuse access to Michael Moore.

If you worked in the financial industry, access to the NYSE floor is strictly regulated and is usually limited to brokers and specialists. Plus if you have special connections to any companies that are having IPOs or certain bureaucrats.

But come on... he just failed to fill out the paperwork and you cannot just show up at a moment's notice and demand entry to the Exchange floor.

PETA complains about Mitt Romney's 1983 dog abuse

Why is this in the news? It would seem that The Boston Globe discovered that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney transported his dog in a rooftop carrier. But it did not happen yesterday or last week. This thing occurred back in 1983 when he drove his family from Boston to Ontario.

That was 24 years ago! But I guess it did not stop PETA from openly criticizing Romney for doing such a thing.

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

Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA:

“If you wouldn’t strap your child to the roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog. I don’t know who would find that acceptable.”

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

Strap your child to the roof? You have to be quite an imbecile to do such a thing. Actually, I wouldn't mind doing that to my kid if he was misbehaving. Note that was a sarcastic comment, but I guess PETA would probably think I would do such a thing given their overzealous nature.

But honestly, would something that happened 24 years ago deter dog-lovers from voting for Romney? At least Romney's Irish Setter loved going on the roof.

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

Romney's Response:

“PETA has not been my fan over the years. PETA was after me for having a rodeo at the Olympics. PETA was unhappy when I went quail hunting in Georgia, and they’re not happy that my dog likes fresh air.”

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

Like PETA is going to play a major factor in the primary or general election...ha ha ha.

Maybe should embark on a campaign stopping drivers from letting their dogs stick their heads out of the car window. It's such a danger!!!

Was The Boston Globe bored?

CNN.com - Romney: Dog ‘enjoyed’ riding on car roof


Bottled Water Mania

bottledwater.jpgLast year, Americans spent $15 billion on this luxury item.

No, it's not Apple iPods.

Nope, it's not on movie tickets.

It was on BOTTLED WATER!

30 years ago, bottled water barely existed as a business. Today, we spent billions on Poland Spring, Fiji Water, Evian, Aquafina, and Dasani. This year, we are expected to spend $16 billion.

It is quite a phenomenon. The previous generation was raised on tap water and water fountains and now we have today's folks and children drinking bottled water while looking at tap water with disdain, and water fountains with suspicion.

We are also willing to pay bottled water instead of gas to run our vehicle.

Come on here, it is true that bottled water is simply an indulgence that we take for granted. We're buying the convenience. We are told that bottled water is pretty much cleaner than tap water or that water fountain you see in the office. Yet, you can buy a filter for the tap water at home and still save money from buying a 36-bottle pack of Poland Spring. The United States, with Brazil, China, and Mexico have universally reliable tap water.

(Of course, we are stuck with the impression that if you go to Mexico, never drink the tap water. I am still told to buy bottled water, plus you can only drink tap water at the 4-5 star resort hotels.)

But while we take bottled water for granted, one out of six people on this planet have no dependable, safe drinking water. That's about 1 billion people who need water.

For San Pellegrino water, the town of that name has a spigot that runs all the time, giving free water to the local citizens. But if you want the bubbles, you have to get it after the water is processed through the local bottling plant.

For Fiji Water, while their factory spits out more than 1 million bottles a day, half the people in Fiji do not have safe, reliable drinking water.

Is it a more healthy choice? We think it is. A 12-year-old kid buying a water bottle from a vending machine instead of a 16-oz Coke is definitely making a safer choice. Obviously. We are also told that within a decade, our consumption of bottled water is expected to surpass soda.

The fascination with bottled water has led to an explosion of more water-related products. Aquafina, for example, has introduced flavored waters, enhanced waters, colored waters, water drinks branded after everything. Others now tote water with vitamins, water with immunity-type benefits, water to keep the skin younger, and water that gives you energy. It's getting a bit crazy, right?

Remember I mentioned Pepsi's Aquafina and Coke's Dasani. They do not get their water from any spring or special lake. They get it from ordinary municipal water! You see, they put the water through an energy-intensive reverse-osmosis filtration process. They are essentially recleaning perfectly clean tap water, but with this process, they make sure that the water you are drinking basically tastes the same.

Environmental-wise, we go through about 50 billion plastic water bottles but the recycling rate is only 23%, so about 38 billion bottles are filling up in our landfills.

So has your impression changed after looking at that water bottle?

Fastcompany.com - Message in a Bottle

Maybe you should not buy an iPhone

apple_iphone.jpg
Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn't Buy an iPhone

I am still sticking with my European Chocolate phone.

Fairness Doctrine takes a back seat for now

Senators Durbin, Feinstein, and Kerry. Take a seat. No Fairness Doctrine for you!

By a vote of 309-115, the House amended the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill to bar the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from requiring broadcasters to balance conservative content with liberal programming such as Air America.

Unless there is another bill to change that, the FCC won't be implementing the "Unnecessarily Fair" Doctrine for the next year or so. The vote count was a bit surprising. I expected a closer vote than that but it seems that the talk show radio hosts have a stronger influence on our congressional representatives.

It is quite a stinging rebuke against those Democratic senators and policy experts who wanted to regulate talk radio.

Democrats pointed out that the FCC won't do anything because President Bush is in power and that the Commission's membership is tilted to Republicans. The Republicans are concerned that if a Democrat wins the White House in 2008, he or she may try to get the FCC to institute the Doctrine.

Sponsor Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) took a shot at the Senate saying: “This House will say what some in the other body are not saying, that we believe in freedom on the airwaves. We reject the doctrines of the past that would have this federal government manage political speech on the public airwaves.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said yesterday that listeners should be able to decide if they want to hear different political arguments.

“The best way is to let the judgment of the American people decide, and they can decide with their finger,” Boehner said.
“[People] can turn it off or they can turn it on. They can go to their computer and read it on the Internet.”

TheHill.com - House votes to ban FCC on ‘fairness’

Isaiah Washington racism excuse

Former "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington whines that he was fired because he was black. Apparently, he told Newsweek that "someone heard the booming voice of a black man and got really scared and that was the beginning of the end for me."

Perhaps he was watching too many Samuel L. Jackson flicks.

So for some reason, he alleges that everyone was afraid of a 6-foot-1 black man who is not submissive and is not a plantation-raised person.

I wonder if someone from the NAACP told him to use that reasoning.

Of course he tried to make amends by expressing remorse and volunteering to enter a counseling program to understand how the confrontation got out of hand, he told Newsweek.

Yep, he wanted to blame someone else for his mistakes.

Sigh...

CNN - Ex-'Grey's' star: Racism a factor in axing


Lou Dobbs - Press Club Speech - 6/26/07

What the Apple iPhone does not have

What the iPhone Doesn't Have

• Songs as Ringtones
• Games
• Any flash support
• Instant Messaging
• Picture messages (MMS)
• Video recording
• Voice recognition or voice dialing
• Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Streaming (A2DP)
• One-size-fits-all headset jack (May have to buy an adapter for certain headphones)

Stuff we already knew it didn't have
• 3G (EV-DO/HSDPA)
• GPS
• A real keyboard
• Removable battery
• Expandable Storage
• Direct iTunes Music Store Access (Over Wi-Fi or EDGE)

Police Brutality against kid skateboarders

Skateboarders know that the annual Go Skateboarding Day is pretty much NO Skateboarding Day in the eyes of law enforcement. We’ve all had our fair share of testosterone-fueled police power trips, but sometimes luck’s on our side, and we have the video camera rolling while their dirty hooves are pushed against our backs.

Last week, a few kids in Arkansas were out skating for Go Skating Day and had a run-in with an officer. Unfortunately, the kids fought the law, and the law won. But thanks to a really smart videographer and Youtube, the skateboarders are about to really raise disorderly conduct.

If this angers you, then you’re a normal, red-blooded human being.

He chokes out the first kid, chases another, puts a girl and another guy in a headlock, and it's all caught on video.

Oh and just in case you were interested, the officer’s name is Joey Williams, and he works for the:
Hot Springs Arkansas Police Department
Phone: (501) 321-6789
Fax: (501) 321-6708
Chief of Police, Bobby Southard
Email: bsouthard@cityhs.net
641 Malvern Avenue,
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901

You know, just in case you were wondering.

Fairness Doctrine is just plain censorship

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) wants to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. So does Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA). Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) also jumped on the bandwagon. Their reasoning? A recent report by the Center for American Progress that says 91 percent of talk radio is conservative, with the liberal view taking up just 9 percent of air time.

The Center's report, "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio" is now used as ammunition by Democrats to work out a plan to change ownership rules and reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.

On Fox News Sunday, Feinstein said that "talk radio is one-sided and 'explosive.' She said it 'pushes people, I think, to extreme views without a lot of information."

Suggesting that talk-radio hosts are not informed is pretty much an uninformed assumption. It seems to me that they are more knowledgeable of the legislation's contents than our representatives and senators in Congress.

But what is the Fairness Doctrine? Why are some Democrats so interested in bringing this back? It was adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1949 to make sure broadcasters devote time to public interest issues and to make sure they present opposing viewpoints when they did. It was based on the fact that during the 1920's, as radio was being born, Congress declared that the airwaves were public property and wanted to make sure it was regulated.

Having a broadcast license was a public trust that carried with it a public trust to serve all shades of public opinion. When the Doctrine was formulated in 1949, TV was essentially nonexistent, and even in the late 1950's, major cities might have half a dozen stations and small cities were lucky to have two. The explosion of radio and TV came during the 1970's, then came cable, and now the internet where you can find all viewpoints.

It was not surprising that in 1987, the government dropped the Fairness Doctrine. It was unnecessary. Yes, the Democrat-controlled Congress tried to bring it back twice and it was vetoed by President Reagan and George H. W. Bush. It was not a law but a regulation of the FCC.

The need for such a doctrine changed. In 1949, the FCC took the view that station licensees were "public trustees," and as such had an obligation to afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of contrasting points of view on controversial issues of public importance.

Later on, it modified its stance to having an obligation to "actively seek out issues of importance to their community and air programming that addressed those issues."

But Democrats are not happy with that. They prefer that if a radio station wants to air Rush Limbaugh, a talk show host with an opposing viewpoint must be given the same amount of time.

Air America did poorly. Is this their way of using the government to force their way into every talk show on the radio?

Yes, there are a finite number of broadcast licenses. It is also true that there are hundreds of cable and satellite channels and XM/Sirius so there is no shortage of choices for Americans.

Fairness Doctrine? Don't need it.

CNS News - Unfairness Doctrine

WorldNetDaily - The 'Shareness Doctrine': Because fair is fair

Here's Senator Kerry for the Fairness Doctrine:

The builders of the Internet, but not the fastest

When people talk about having a 1 megabit or 2 megabit connection, we consider it to be a really fast connection. Speed matters because we need a fast connection to download a multi-megabyte application, music, or media file that can be saved to a CDROM or DVD.

Today, the median U.S. download speed is about 1.97 megabits per second. It sounds cool to most of us, but if you compare worldwide, it is quite the opposite. The fastest internet connection is located in Japan where customers are enjoying about 61 megabits per second! In South Korea, it is about 45 megabits. France has 17 megabits. Our northern neighbor, Canada, has a median of 7 megabits.

We know that having a good quality broadband is essential to draw businesses and jobs. Speed gives us better Internet applications, such as photo sharing and video streaming.

Yet our bureaucrats at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have failed to update their definition of "high speed." According to the current revision, it is about 200 kilobits per second. That benchmark was adopted over 12 years ago. In April, the FCC opened a proceeding to redefine the meaning of "broadband Internet Service." We should get a report in the fall. Spokeswoman Tamara Lipper says "we're asking the question if the definition should be changed."

Holy crap! Was that a rhetorical question? 200 kilobits. That's like a slow modem. 3 megabits is fast, but if our Asian counterparts are enjoying at least 40 megabits of bandwidth, then we should set our sights on that as a target.

Regardless, we are definitely way behind in high-speed Internet access and we need to catch up quick.

By the way, if you compare state vs state in terms of median download speeds, in New Jersey, we are ranked 3rd in the country with a median of 3.680 megabits per second.

In Ohio, it's only 1.359 megabits per second, 40th in the country.

Link

Paris Hilton's supposedly $1M post-jail interview cancelled

So Paris Hilton is going to be released on June 26 from jail and she is already trying to get one of the major news networks to do an exclusive post-jail interview.

Supposeduly, NBC was going to offer $1,000,000 dollars to Paris Hilton to appear on the Today's show. The hotel heirness even called ABC's Barbara Walters to do another interview with her.

TMZ.com reported that NBC cancelled the interview. It could be surmised that the $1 million fee brought about a huge uproar from the public and that it would show that Paris would be "getting away with it." For a C-list rated celebrity, why would she command such a high price? As such, the media networks know it could score an exclusive ratings hit with the interview but at the same time, it would garner protests and boycotts. The public would hate it, but they would still watch the interview.

I would consider the option that the interview would go right ahead. We need to see if Paris is still sincere after her short stay in jail. Another step in the right direction would be for her to donate her fee to charity. But I really doubt it. Her dad is already planning a huge party bash for her when she is released, so it would be going back to "business as usual."

After her big return to partying, I am guessing she would stay low for a while, or who knows...she makes a stupid mistake again.

Update 6/24/07

So Paris Hilton will appear on Larry King's soundstage. Also, despite statements of denial by Hilton reps, they were playing ABC and NBC against each other. The Hilton family told the Alphabet network that its rival was willing to cough up between $750,000 and $1 million so that Today coanchor Vieira could be the first to land Hilton. News of the big-ticket Q&A rankled network executives, journalists and ethicists, despite Peacock executives describing the expense as a licensing fee for photos and videos, not a payout.

They rich and they still want to exploit Paris. Nice family.

On Holiday

Las Vegas - June 19-20
Honolulu - June 21-25

Go to the Principal's Office for hugging

Washington Post reports on Fairfax County's draconian rule on prohibiting physical contact at their middle schools and some elementary schools.

Can't hold hands.

Can't comfort one another.

Can't celebrate together.

Can't high-five each other.

Can't do any handshakes.

Learn how to do redistricting

http://www.redistrictinggame.com/index.php

As a mapmaker, you can make a difference on Election Day!

Britain's Got Talent: The Final

I am quite amazed with the contestants on this talent show. Honestly, I think Britain's Got Talent brings out the best and I think American Idol is the opposite.

Congrats to Paul Potts for winning the final!

Finalist Connie Talbot

Finalist Paul Potts

Finalist Bessy Cursons

Finalist Bar Wizzards

Finalist Damon Scott & Bubbles

Finalist Combat Breakers

The Winner is Announced!

Britain's Got Talent: Paul Potts reaches final

The guy from South Wales in the UK wins the semi-final in Britain's Got Talent.

Democrat Supports Suppressing the Minority Vote

The issue is controversial, but I would always assume that Democrats would always champion the rights of the minority to have their voices heard and allow a playing field between both sides. Quite frequently, Democrats would always accuse Republicans of doing those things, but this time, it is a Democrat.

In Massachusetts, there was a proposed state constitutional amendment that would have let voters decide whether to ban gay marriage in the only state that allows it. Now, a constitutional amendment is quite serious and we have scenarios where the state legislature would approve its passage or allow the voters the right to support an amendment proposal. Sometimes the proposal could be quite controversial so the politicians in charge may choose to push it through the government rather than through the people. It is pretty much similar to countries in Europe that were debating on whether to approve the European constitution through the elected governing bodies or a full vote by the voters.

For Massachusetts, the authors of the state constitution made it easier for a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the statewide ballot by getting 50 votes in the Legislature. This would ensure that a significant minority can still get a proposal on the ballot despite majority opposition.

In this case, the vote failed. It only got 45 votes. The measure needed at least 50 votes in two consecutive legislative sessions to advance to the ballot. In the first session, it got 62 votes in January. It would seem there was a lot of pressure on the other 17 reps to change their minds.

But it is interesting to note that House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, a Democrat from Boston, argued that the rights of a minority group should not be put to a popular vote. I am not concerned with the aim of the amendment proposal. I am concerned that in this situation, the Speaker chooses to ignore the vocal minority. If there was a proposal to legalise pot, I am sure the Speaker would approve the measure. If it was to introduce universal health care, he would gladly support the measure. A hypocrite who believes in the constitutional amendment process only if it supports his political agenda.

Perhaps pro-gay marriage advocates were worried that the overall state population was against them. Maybe they were concerned that in a full vote by the state voters, it is a secret ballot and they cannot specifically blame anyone (except for the Democratic Party). Since the state reps will be on record for the proposed amendment, it is their best chance to derail it because they know who to pile the pressure on. If they failed, all they could do was to spend a lot on media advertising, flyers, and rallies, and just hope the voters will follow their way.

Link

Akon passes blame for crude stage sex act


Remember during a concert in Trinidad, Akon was pretty much dry-humping a 15-year-old fan on stage. Instead of apologising, he blames the girl's father and the Trinidad nightclub for letting an underage partygoer into the event. Verizon Wireless pulled its sponsorship of his concert tour with Gwen Stefani after the incident was publicised.

He even made a sassy song about it. He does not say sorry for his action. He blames the club and the girl's dad for it and trying to discredit his name.

Ron Paul on Colbert Report 6/13/07

It's Flag Day

flagtowers1.jpg

June 14 - Today is Flag Day!

The Bloomberg-Schwarzenegger Ticket

Imagine if it were President Bloomberg and Vice-President Schwarzenegger. The constitution forbades Schwarzenegger because he's not a native citizen, but that should not be a problem in the near future.

TIME - Bloomberg and Schwarzenegger: The New Action Heroes

Could World War 3 start just because of a handshake?

There is an uproar in most of China over an event that has not yet been picked up by the mainstream media in the United States.

Today, President George W. Bush was at the unveiling of a new memorial that remembers the tens of millions that were killed under communism. The memorial, a replica of the Tiananmen Square "Goddess of Democracy," was dedicated 20 years to the day since Bush's predecessor Ronald Reagan stood at the infamous barrier dividing Berlin and urged Moscow to "tear down this wall."

The bronze memorial near the Capitol building is modeled on the papier-mache statue raised by pro-democracy demonstrators on Beijing's Tiananmen Square before they were brutally suppressed by Chinese paramilitary forces in June 1989.

At this memorial, the President somehow shook hands with Joseph Wu, the Taiwanese representative to the US. This has infuriated the Chinese communist government in Beijing believing that this handshake constitutes a warming in relations between the US and Taiwan.

Government officials spoke of dire consequences during a press conference as China made clear its fury that Bush had even chosen to acknowledge Wu's visit. They have threatened to plan new war games and heighten military readiness in anticipation of any attempt by the US to defend Taiwan should a Chinese invasion occur, or simply if Taiwan declares its independence.

In Taiwan, the media are concentrating on the handshake event. China has accused Taiwan of being part of a conspiracy to worsen relations and the current geopolitical landscape in the Taiwan Straits.

Strange enough that no one in the mainstream media has picked up on this. We are too busy watching the Paris Hilton jail debacle, K-Fed impregnating his former girlfriend,

China Threatens War Escalation Over Bush Handshake

Also reported on Digg.com

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It is obvious that China is bitching and whining about Bush meeting with a Taiwanese government representative. I am sure they will make a huge fuss and everything will calm down again. Bush will tell China through Rice or Cheney or some mid-level bureaucrat that it was just a chance meeting not an official recognition of Taiwan as an equal partner. It is all politics, but please understand that if you push China a bit too much, they will take action. If they do so, the United States must react swiftly. If we blink and do nothing, then our status as the world's lone superpower is at an end. China would know we are bluffing.

I do wonder if Bush knew that China would not be happy if he met with Wu during the memorial dedication.

Anyways, China still has 950-1000 short-range missiles pointed at Taiwan.

These Convicted Criminal Aliens Gamed the System

As mentioned by michellemalkin.com, these convicted aliens have successfully jammed our justice system in remaining in the country.

Leroy Blake is a Jamaican national convicted of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor in 1992. The feds began deportation proceedings in 1999. An immigration judge ruled Blake deportable in 2000. Blake took his case to the federal Board of Immigration Appeals, which remanded the case back to the immigration judge, who granted him relief from deportation. The then-INS appealed the judge's ruling. In 2005, the Board of Immigration Appeals sided with the INS and ordered Blake removed from the U.S. Blake filed a motion to reconsider, then took his case to the Second Circuit.

Aundre Singh, a native of Guyana, who was convicted of second-degree murder in 1986. In 1997, the then-INS moved to deport him. In 1998, an immigration judge ordered him deported. In 1999, the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed Singh's appeal. In 2003, Singh filed a motion to reconsider, which the appeals board denied. Singh filed for reconsideration of that ruling, which was denied in 2004. Singh tried again to appeal the board's ruling in 2005 and was denied again before heading to the Second Circuit for relief.

Errol Foster, a Jamaican national, who killed a man with a pistol in 1990. He pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. He was released from prison in 2002. The feds began deportation proceedings while he was still in custody. An immigration judge ordered his removal in 2000, which Foster appealed. The Board of Immigration Appeals rejected his appeal in 2001. Four years later, Foster was still in the country — appealing the rejected appeal and filing three separate federal lawsuits before getting lucky with the Second Circuit.

Ho Yoon Chong, a South Korean national, who was sentenced in 1995 for racketeering related to his participation in the "Korean Fuk Ching" crime ring. In 1998, the then-INS moved to deport him. In 2002, an immigration judge ordered him deported. In 2004, the Board of Immigration Appeals sided with the judge. Like his fellow criminal aliens, Chong didn't give up, and now he's won the immigration litigation lottery.

So it would seem our 1996 laws banning deportation relief for felons is being taken advantage of. Immigration lawyers must be having a field day with this. Perhaps they know that by going to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York or the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for the West Coast, they can get a sympathetic court to allow them to stay.

Should this still be allowed to continue?

Hey American Idol, you need a dose of Britain's Got Talent

A bit of opera can really be enlightening. This person works at Carphone Warehouse, btw.

Here's a very young inspiring singer.

Michelle Wie should take a break

MichelleWie.jpgWashington Post's article: Michelle Wie Needs to Shut it Down gives a compelling argument that the 17-year golfer should take a rest and stop pissing everyone off.

It has not been a good week for Wie at the LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock. She shot 83 on Saturday and 79 on Sunday and ended in last place in the remaining field of 84 golfers.

Could it still be her injured wrist which forced her to withdraw from the Ginn Tribute in Charleston, S.C. when she was 14 over for 16 holes? She got a lot of criticism for withdrawing and now she's playing at this championship.

Parental pressure? Her sponsors? The networks? The tourney organisers? Are they pushing her too far and perhaps destroying her dream so early in her career?

In her press conference last week, she kept describing herself as a "work in progress" and pleaded with her fans to be patient with her.

I guess we are expecting too much from her. Last year, she had three top five finishes in majors and was contending for a championship in every one of them. But her wrist injury this summer is causing a whole lot of trouble.

Why not agree with the Washington Post writer and take a rest? Go to rehab, pitch and putt, do some aerobic conditioning, weight training, but at least put some ice on those wrists!

Why not get ready for your freshman year at Stanford? The whole student body would still be amazed at your accomplishments from last year. Now you are trying to win and losing badly. People will talk about your early withdrawal from the Ginn Tribute, or trying to avoid the penalty for going over too high, and being disrespectful to the other female professional golfers.

Instead of dissing Sorenstam who has won 86 professional golf outings in her career, at least make amends about what happened before, and get her blessing. At least you will be shown as being graceful and understanding.

One veteran player mentioned in the article stated: "That's the problem here," she said. "In my mind, it's always been a privilege to play on this tour. The Wies attitude is the tournaments and the sponsors should be privileged to have Michelle at their event. That's not good."

Plus, everyone's a bit jealous about her $20 million per year in sponsorships.

Michelle should withdraw and take a break to nurse herself back to health. If she stays arrognant, she's going to give a nasty impression of herself for years to come, and it won't do her any good at future tournaments. She's definitely a most promising player but she got so many years left to enjoy.

The $67 Million...no wait the $54 million dollar pants

Yes, it has gone to trial. The most friviolous lawsuit ever devised by Roy Pearson.

Check Washington Post's live blogging on the trial.

It's pretty amusing and interesting, and boring at the same time.

CAIR representing the Muslim-American community, I think not

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) seems to have problems keeping their members. Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, membership has declined more than 90 percent.

The Washington Times stated that the number of reported members has gone down from more than 29,000 in 2000 to less than 1,700 in 2006. This has contributed to a loss of their group's annual income. It was $732,765 in 2000 when yearly dues were $25. Last year, it was $58,750 from dues that were $35.

So how do they still manage to keep their $3 million budget intact? Through about two dozen individual donors. Even though CAIR continues to hail their grass-roots support, it is hard to say whether these dozen unnamed donors have more pull over the organisation as a whole.

Anyways, the overall decline threatens their argument that their organisation represents the nation's 7 million American Muslims.

Recently, CAIR has been involved in questionable accusations of discrimination. They are also known to trump up hate crimes. They have sided with the imams when they were thrown off a Northwest Airlines flight for suspicious behavior. In response to the "Fort Dix Six" arrests, CAIR is playing the politically correct card asking the media to refrain from linking this case to the faith of Islam, and even asked mosques and Islamic institutions nationwide to report any incidents of anti-Muslim backlash.

Could their actions have lead to a decline in its membership?

San Fran wants to kick out the Blue Angels

blue_angels.jpgThe continued anti-military mindset in San Francisco has now targeted the Blue Angels flight demonstration team. The peacenik groups of CodePink, Global Exchange and Veterans for Peace, and Chapter 69 are working with Board of Supervisor member Chris Daly to introduce a resolution calling for a permanent halt to the popular Fleet Week flyover.

The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels have been providing this aerial show for San Francisco since 1981. They are scheduled to do their show as part of Fleet Week during October 4-9.

Chris Daly calls the planes "dangerous and unnecessary." The Veterans for Peace is against it because the Blue Angels are pro-military and they would cause undue "noise pollution." They even called the event a safety risk, citing the April crash of a Blue Angels plane during an air show in Beaufort, S.C.

According to Paul Cox, a Vietnam veteran and a members of the peace-loving Veterans for Peace, a slight miscalculation or mechanical failure can cause a plane to "go barreling into the Golden Gate Bridge or a high-rise."

Edward Leonard, Chairman of the San Francisco Fleet Week Committee argued that the planes' maneuvers are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and they are safe. He also stated that the more challenging maneuvers are conducted over the Bay waters and that "commerical airlines fly over [San Fran] all the time."

The other peace-loving group CodePink has launched an online petition, signed by more than 500 "noise-challenged" people to date, calling on city leaders to end the flyovers for reasons of public safety, air pollution, and fuel waste.

The groups may also considering suing in order to stop the air show.

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

Frankly, the military should just cancel Fleet Week outright and move it to a city that appreciates them. I am sure San Fran won't mind losing 1 million people and about $4 million that is usually pumped into the local economy when the fleet comes by.

The Blue Angels have 35 air shows scheduled in 2007. Last year, more than 15 million people watched the fighter pilots.

The anti-military groups' reasoning that the planes pose a safety risk is lame. They have been doing this air show since 1981. The chances of a crash is pretty much remote. What are the chances of a commerical jet crashing on landing or takeoff? I would equate those odds to the Blue Angels' air show. "Noise pollution," what noise pollution??? Tell that to the perp driving that SUV with the music blaring. Can't handle some planes flying by for a few days? Get frakking real. Obviously, they just want to kick out anything that is military.

I am sure any other city would be happy to host San Fran's air show. They don't need it. They're the same folks that got rid of the JROTC program in the high schools, refused the Navy request to commission a warship in their city, and even rejected the berthing of the battleship U.S.S. Iowa in the San Fran harbor.

Examiner - Daly backs move to ground Blue Angels show

Judge orders Paris Hilton back to JAIL!

parishilton_mugshot.jpgIt would seem that the Sheriff's office decided to re-assign Hilton to house arrest without telling the judge or the L.A. City Attorney.

In response, Attorney Rocky Delgadillo filed paperwork last night demanding a hearing before Judge Michael Sauer to determine why the Sheriff's Department allowed Paris to get out of jail when the judge had expressly ordered her to serve out her entire sentence.

The judge has agreed and ordered Paris Hitlon to show up at his Los Angeles courtoom. The hearing is scheduled for 9:00AM PDT. I wonder if she going to show up late. It is possible that Sauer can order Hilton back to jail.

So far, the Sheriff's Department continued to play the medical card.

L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich called Paris' release "a mockery of due process." He added, "You're dealing with a spoiled brat acting out to get her way instead of serving time as was adjudicated by the courts."

Whatever the case, Paris is really a poor, poor, POOR role model for girls. She is making a mockery of all celebrities and of our justice system.

Do you even know that Paris was planning a huge party once she gotten back at her home? One of her friends told OK! magazine about this. Of course, it was squashed by the Sheriff's department when they stated that she cannot hold parties or social gatherings while under house arrest. But it really shows that her released statement about "learning a great deal from this ordeal and the hope that others have learned from my mistakes" are complete rubbish.

NY Post - Poor Li'l Rich Paris is Free...For Now

Update 15:00 EST

Judge Sauer has ordered Paris Hilton back to jail in Lynwood! She will get credit for the 5 days already served.

A witness saw Paris "physically escorted" out of the courtroom by a female deputy, screaming "Mom, mom, mom!"

When the news broke about Paris going back to jail, there were cheers in the office.

But know this! The judge re-instated the 45-day sentence instead of the 23 days. So Paris must spend 40 days in the Lynwood jail.

Update 15:45 EST

Paris Hilton's lawyer will appealed the jail sentence either late today or Monday.

Sad Day for Justice - Paris Hilton Leaves Jail Early

parishilton_mugshot.jpgAre you FRAKKING kidding me?!?!?!?

Early today, Paris Hilton was released from a Los Angeles County jail because of an "unspecified medical condition" and will serve the remainder of her sentence in home confinement.

She spent ONLY THREE DAYS in her jail cell!

Lady Justice has been robbed and this pretty much solidifies the public's view that celebrities do get special treatment and they are indeed above the law.

Supposedly under the new agreement, Hilton will be confined to her home with an electronic ankle bracelet for 40 days. It was supposed to be 23 days if she stayed in jail for good behavior.

So what happened? When Paris Hilton was sentenced on May 4, Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer ruled that she would not be allowed any work release, furloughs, or use of an alternative jail or electronic monitoring in lieu of jail.

The L.A. Sheriff's Department refused to say what specific medical condition citing confidentiality agreement. (Read their official press release)

But wait!!! LA County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore says that Paris was not released early -- she was reassigned! And still in custody technically. I guess whoever is watching her will get the chance to enjoy some gourmet cooked food.

But house arrest? That means she will get to live in her multi-million dollar mansion, enjoying gourmet foods, and watching shows and movies on her plasma television set.

Thank you L.A. Sheriffs! You have told us that for violating probation three times, you get house arrest. I hope you can give that privilege to anyone else who does the same thing as Paris. I guess if she commits armed robbery, she can get a cut of the money.

The View's Joy Behar: "This girl can get out of more things than David Copperfield."

Update 14:00 EST

Law enforcement sources suggest that Paris Hilton's medical condition was purely psychological and that she was in peril of having a nervous breakdown, and that's why she was released early in the morning.

Psychiatrist Charles Sophy visited Paris and said her mental state was fragile and she was at risk.

First, she can handle the cakewalk at fashion shows, getting herself wasted at parties throughout the night, but cannot handle a night in jail, especially a place suited for high-profile people and celebrities? How can this woman handle her father's business? It's probably true... those high-level socialites just cannot handle becoming a "criminal."

Update 17:00 EST

L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe claims that Paris' "reassignment" is a load of crap.

L.A. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo: "Today I was extremely troubled to learn that the Sheriff's Department has decided to release Ms. Hilton from custody just three days after she was admitted to county jail.

My office was not advised of this action. We learned of it this morning through news reports, just like everyone else. Had we been provided with the proper notification, we would have opposed the decision on legal grounds."

Paris Hilton's Statement: "I want to thank the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and staff of the Century Regional Detention Center for treating me fairly and professionally. I am going to serve the remaining 40 days of my sentence. I have learned a great deal from this ordeal and hope that others have learned from my mistakes."

(retching)

Washington Post - Paris Hilton is Released from L.A. Jail

CNN.com - The Marquee - Paris out of jail?!?

TMZ - Paris Hilton - Free Woman

Taiwan loses another diplomatic ally

taiwan_flag.jpgTaiwan's number of diplomatic allies went down a notch when Costa Rica announced it was switching its support to China after 63 years.

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian condemned China for wooing over Taipei's diplomatic ally and urged the Taiwanese people to unite in the fight for national sovereignty and dignity.

Essentially, Taiwan was stabbed in the back when Costa Rica assured them that it was going to switch diplomatic ties.

Of course, in a joint communique between Costa Rica Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, it stated that "The Costa Rican government recognizes that there is only one China in the world, and the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the whole China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory."

I am quite sure afterwards, China gave them a huge cash package.

It was a political decision since Costa Rica was seeking a non-permanent member seat on the UN Security Council and China would effectively veto its selection because of support for Taiwan.

Taiwan now has 24 countries left: half of them in Latin America, and four in Central America. Analysts are worried that Costa Rica's departure would have a domino effect on Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize.

Link


Caught on Tape: Armed Robbery of Ramada Inn in Columbus, OH

First of all, the robber is lucky there was some cash. Obviously, most people would pay their hotel bills with a credit card. I guess he was at least smart enough to know how to pry the cash drawer open. The calm attitude taken by the first staff member was a bit surprising. He just told him flat out that he did not have a key and that there was no safe.

But no gloves, not even wiping off his fingerprints? I guess his days or even hours were numbered.

Immigration: Cornyn Amendment Fails; Kennedy Alternative Passes

Two amendments to the "bi-partisan" comprehensive immigration bill took center stage today.

Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex) offered SA-1184 to the bill which expands the list of crimes making illegal aliens ineligible for legalisation. To summarise quickly, it would bar admission into the United States and denies immigration benefits for the following:

(1) absconders (i.e., aliens already ordered deported);
(2) aliens deemed inadmissible or deportable as security risks (e.g., terrorists);
(3) aliens who fail to register as sex offenders;
(4) aliens convicted of certain firearms offenses;
(5) aliens convicted of domestic violence, stalking, crimes against children, or violation of protection orders;
(6) alien gang members; and
(7) aliens convicted of at least three DUIs.

The amendment would not apply to an individual who entered or re-entered the country illegally. It would only affect those that have been arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced by a court of law to one year or more in jail. So if you are a felon under the current law, you are not eligible.

In opposition, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass) offered SA-1333, a "side-by-side" amendment as an alternative to Cornyn's. Now the amendment was said to expand the list of crimes making illegal aliens ineligible for legalisation, but no details have been released. Some believe it is more likely that the amendment will be less effective than Cornyn's.

Kennedy counters that Cornyn's would cost more than $250 billion dollars to round up the illegal aliens that have been tried and convicted under his amendment. He said it would not be practical. He feels that individuals that ignore deportation orders should still be eligible. He also states that those that attempt to use fake ID's should still be eligible. He promised that his amendment would still ban gang members, drunk drivers, sexual offenders, perjurers, and frauds. He also feels that Cornyn's amendment would hurt "legitimate refugees" that were forced to provide material support for terrorists and oppressor groups.

The result: Cornyn's Amendment failed 46-51. Kennedy's Amendment adopted 66-32.

I would think that if Cornyn dropped the fake ID rule then I think it would have been adopted. The act of entering and re-entering the country illegally makes sense. If you managed to get through the first time, why should they keep on exploiting it a second, third, or fourth time?

NumbersUSA keeps a running blog on the immigration bill.

As noted by michellemalkin.com, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Al) puts it succinctly:

"No one has a right to come to America. We get to decide...we allow on our terms and conditions... our immigration system is set up to serve the national interest...No one has a constitutional legal right to demand entry into America. It amazes me the lack of comprehension shown...We set the standards. Se have the most generous set of laws in the world. Se're not going to end immigration or act irrationally. To set reasonable standards, as Cornyn is attempting to do, only makes common sense."

Interesting to note that Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) criticises Cornyn for making an illegal alien's third drunk driving conviction a crime of violence. Also, a NY Times op-ed deplored Cornyn's expansion on the definition of an "aggravated felony." Come on here, don't we want respectable and responsible people entering this country? We got enough drunk drivers in this country already, now you want me accept the fact that the next drunk driver could be an illegal?

That's pretty much the highlight for today. This whole immigration thing is quite complex and there still more amendments to be debated and voted on. There are definitely pluses and minuses on the comprehensive legislation. Of course, no one is completely happy. But I think what Sen. Sessions said was clearly right. The United States' standards are somewhat generous as compared with other countries. It seems people want us to open our borders 100 percent, but I think 80-90 percent is quite enough.

Democrats tout "smart earmarks"

I find it discouraging that on this campus you got folks trying to revise the political policy guidelines concerning campaign visits and rallies, but their online activities are almost non-existent. Where are the Case Democrats, Libertarians, and Republicans blogs?

Anyways, back to the victorious congressional Democrats who promised us a one-year moratorium on all earmarks. The incoming appropriations chairman Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) and Rep. David Obey (D-Wis) issued a joint statement stating that "there will be no congressional earmarks" until 2008.

Yet in an interview with the Maryland Examiner, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md) said she would continue to support "smart earmarks." So somehow "smart earmarks" are a more ethical form of earmarks?

If you look at the Lower Rio Grande Valley Water Resources Conversation and Improvement Act of 2007, it was loaded with 14 earmarks for water projects throughout Texas. Yet there were no names of the earmark sponsors. Why? Because the bill was considered under a suspension of the rules, so the House reforms adopted in January DID NOT APPLY.

How convenient!

CBS reconsiders decision to axe Jericho; Orders 8 Episodes

jericho.jpg

On May 16, 2007, CBS announced its 2007-2008 primetime slate and Jericho was not on it. The network decided that it was not worth the fight to keep it for a second season.

Ever since that day, Jericho's fans have mounted a campaign to get the network to reconsider its decision. CBS has been deluged with calls and messages. This is pretty much the same tactic most fans would use to get a show back on the air. But as a special bonus, fans have been shipping nuts to the headquarters building in New York City.

Over 25 TONS of nuts have been sent to the network. That's about 50,000 THOUSAND POUNDS! The "nuts" factor came from an episode in Jericho where the main character, Jake, replied with "NUTS" when New Bern's commander asked him to surrender.

It's the same phrase used in World War II, when General MacAuliffe was asked to surrender at the Battle of Bulge, he simply replied "NUTS!"

So if you want to send bulk NUTS to CBS, go to NUTS ONLINE. They're helping in sending the bulk shipments. Visit http://www.nutsonline.com/gifts/jericho.html. It's looks to be offline right now, but you can use this site to place your order.

Or if you want to send them yourself, here are the addresses:

CBS Entertainment
7800 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2112
ATTN: Nina Tassler

CBS Television
51 West 52nd Street
NY, NY 10019
ATTN: Nina Tassler

From multiple sources, it seems that CBS is this close to sealing a deal to bring 'Jericho' back for at least eight episodes, possibly mid-season.

Update 6/7/07

Confirmed! CBS will order 8 mid-season epsiodes of Jericho!

June 6, 2007

To the Fans of Jericho:

Wow!

Over the past few weeks you have put forth an impressive and probably unprecedented display of passion in support of a prime time television series. You got our attention; your emails and collective voice have been heard.

As a result, CBS has ordered seven episodes of “Jericho” for mid-season next year. In success, there is the potential for more. But, for there to be more “Jericho,” we will need more viewers.

A loyal and passionate community has clearly formed around the show. But that community needs to grow. It needs to grow on the CBS Television Network, as well as on the many digital platforms where we make the show available.

We will count on you to rally around the show, to recruit new viewers with the same grass-roots energy, intensity and volume you have displayed in recent weeks.

At this time, I cannot tell you the specific date or time period that “Jericho” will return to our schedule. However, in the interim, we are working on several initiatives to help introduce the show to new audiences. This includes re-broadcasting “Jericho” on CBS this summer, streaming episodes and clips from these episodes across the CBS Audience Network (online), releasing the first season DVD on September 25 and continuing the story of Jericho in the digital world until the new episodes return. We will let you know specifics when we have them so you can pass them on.

On behalf of everyone at CBS, thank you for expressing your support of “Jericho” in such an extraordinary manner. Your protest was creative, sustained and very thoughtful and respectful in tone. You made a difference.

Sincerely,

Nina Tassler

President, CBS Entertainment

P.S. Please stop sending us nuts :)

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Jericho Lives

Jericho Message Board

Showbuzz CBS - "Jericho" Might Make Midseason Return

CNN - 'Jericho' fans assail CBS with 25 tons of peanuts


June 6 - D-Day

NormandyLanding.jpg

Today, June 6, marked the 63rd anniversary of the Normandy invasion where 155,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy in France.

Click Here to listen to General Eisenhower deliver the Order of the Day.

Of course, I would not be surprised if that Order of the Day would be politically incorrect by today's standards. I kinda wonder if he did try to say it, how would the words play out.


Proposed 2012 London Olympic Logo is an embarassment

2012Logo_LondonOlympics.jpg

Are the people at brand consultancy firm Wolff Olins been drinking on the job? The logo for the 2012 London Olympics above has generated a public outcry and has over 35,000 people signing a petition to scrap it.

The cost to make this logo was 400,000 UK pounds and it took almost a year to create.

Tory MP Philip Davies, who sits on the culture, media and sport select committee, said he would table a Parliamentary motion calling for organisers to scrap the jagged emblem based on the date 2012.

Even London Mayor Ken Livingstone refused to back the pink and orange logo and even suggested that the Olympic organisers refuse to pay the 400,000 UK pound bill.

Olympic organisers beg to differ saying that the logo was "dynamic" and "vibrant." They have insisted that it will not be ditched.

Daily Mail

The "Thank You" campaign to get the 2012 Olympics was done much better than this load of rubbish. Honestly, who would wear a pink/orange shirt?

In response, many amateur artists and designers have submitted their idea of an Olympic logo. Many of these are much better than Wolff Olins'.

They really need to drop this jagged logo if they want to prevent further embarassment. First was their overbloated budget for the Olympics. Now it's their "girly" Olympic logo. What's next in store? London has about 5 years to go.

Update 6/7/07

favorite_2012_logo.jpg

This logo created by BBC web site reader Richard Voysey has been chosen as the readers' favorite in an online poll.

Over 22,000 votes were cast on a shortlist of six readers' designs.

Meanwhile, Michael Wolff, co-founder of designers Wolff Olins, which created the jagged logo, said it had not been "done justice" and blamed Olympic organisers for not publicising it properly.

Boo hoo. It still sucked regardless.

I wonder how many stores will sell both logos. I guess the London Olympic will try to stop that, but they cannot stop everyone.

CompUSA refuses refund for an empty camera box

compusa_logo.gifIt has been quite a long time since I've been to a CompUSA store. Compare it with Best Buy, Circuit City, and online stores, I don't think CompUSA has adapted quickly enough with the changing business environment. My brother used to work for CompUSA and he would come back with some crazy stories with customers and with the company itself.

But for Terry Heaton, it would seem CompUSA gave him and all of us one more reason why they deserve to lose our business.

Mr. Heaton went to a CompUSA store that was going through a liquidation sale (127 of their stores were being closed). He spent almost $3,500 including a digital camera for $269. He has long been a CompUSA customer and has made several major purchases in the past from them.

When he got home, he realised that the digital camera box had no camera! Now, I would admit there should be a slight weight difference, but even recent and new cameras that are on sale are pretty light. If the rest of the contents were in the packaging (i.e. CD, cables, battery charger), then it is possible that the weight difference would not be noticeable.

Anyways, upon realising this missing item, he went to a nearby CompUSA store to see about getting a refund. The manager there told him that, since a liquidation company technically sold him the camera, CompUSA is NOT responsible for giving him a refund.

Strange, I would have thought even for a store doing a liquidation sale, all the employees are still CompUSA employees, right?

So Terry Heaton wrote a letter to CompUSA CEO Roman Ross:

* * * * * * *

May 11, 2007

Roman Ross
President and Chief Executive Officer
CompUSA
14951 N. Dallas Parkway
Dallas, TX 75254

Dear Mr. Ross,

This is to bring to your attention an issue that I’ve been unable to resolve at the store level.

First of all, let me explain that I’ve been a loyal customer of CompUSA for 10 years. I bought my last two computers from your stores, along with hundreds of other items. It is because I view myself as a customer that I send you this letter.

On March 22, 2007, I went to the Lewisville store to buy a new computer (I’m writing this letter on it now). I wasn’t aware that the store was closing and was surprised when I saw the signs. I took advantage of the sale to purchase many other items. My total bill was over $3,300.00.

One of those items was a Canon A630 camera. It was purchased as a gift for my step-daughter, whom I would see in May, so I put the box away in my home office. When the day came, I handed it to her, as she beamed with joy. That didn’t last long, because the box contained only the peripherals and not the camera.

So I went back to Lewisville only to be told the store had closed. So I made the trip to Frisco, where I met manager Tommy Jackson. He refused to help me, telling me that, well, I really didn’t purchase the camera from CompUSA, but a liquidation company. I showed him the receipt from CompUSA, told him I bought it in a CompUSA store and that the salesperson was wearing a CompUSA uniform. He was adamant that it was my problem, not his. At this point, my frustration and embarrassment turned to anger, and he told me I would need to communicate with your lawyers.

How on earth can a company such as yours treat a customer in this manner? You sold me an empty box for $269.00, and over that, you tell me that all the money I spent with you over ten years means nothing. And you blame it on a technicality?

Mr. Ross, this reflects terribly on your company, and I ask you to make it right.

Regards,

Terry Heaton
xxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxx
Grapevine, TX 76051
xxx-xxx-xxxx

* * * * * * *

In response, the Escalations Department responded with a "not our problem, you are screwed" letter.

* * * * * * *

May 30, 2007

Terry Heaton
xxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxx
Grapevine, TX 76051

Dear Mr. Heaton:

Thank you for contacting compUSA regarding your purchase at our Lewisville store; we regret any difficulty you encountered or misinformation you may have been given.

The Lewisville CompUSA was one of 126 stores that was liquidated and closed on 5/7/07. The return policy for all merchandise, as printed on your receipt and posted throughout the store, clearly stated ALL SALES FINAL.

Keep in mind, new digital cameras are usually sold in a factory sealed box; if the camera you purchased was a clearance item, you should have inspected its content prior to purchase.

Although we apologize for any inconvenience this situation may have caused, we cannot honor your request for return or exchange.

Thank you,

Kevin Hain
Escalations Supervisor
CompUSA Executive Care

* * * * * * *

Basically, CompUSA wants you to check the contents of your purchase to make sure everything is ok. I guess they are telling me that their stock is "as is" condition, so they cannot possibly guarantee to me that their condition is 100% new. This is opposite to how Best Buy handles their customers. I went to a Best Buy Maryland store to purchase a Canon digital camera, and the salesperson opened up the box and inspected the contents to make sure everything was there. He even inserted the battery and memory card into the camera.

So it does not matter the technicality - in CompUSA's name, on a CompUSA receipt, $269 was stolen from Terry Heaton. Their reasoning is that since "ALL SALES ARE FINAL," Mr. Heaton purchased a $269 box with all the trimmings except for the camera. To them, they probably got a $249 profit off the transaction.

Therefore, CompUSA gets a "BUYER BEWARE" notice. Be sure to check your purchase since they are not willing to do so on their part.

Update 6/5/07

Good news for Heaton! His story was picked up throughout the blogosphere and was even on several news networks. To avoid further PR damage, a customer service rep from CompUSA called Heaton, apologised for the inconvenience and told him that he will get a $300 certificate. (Reported by Fox News)

Peacenik Dennis Kucinich

So the Democrats held their second presidential debate in New Hampshire on Sunday night, and one of the questions posed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer dealt with Osama bin Laden.

He asked Rep. Dennis Kucinich if he would give the order to kill Osama bin Laden if the chance arose.

Being a peacenik, he said the president should not attempt any assassinations, and that Osama should instead be captured and tried in an international court for his actions.

Why should Osama bin Laden be tried in an international court? He is not a leader of any country. His organisation is recognised as a terrorist entity causing death and destruction to any country who opposed his radical views.

Frankly, if I knew Osama was living in a cave somewhere in the Afghan desert. Nuke it. Just nuke the place.

And if Dennis Kucinich wants to hold people accountable for violating international law, how about North Korea's Kim Jong-Il or Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Since both would refuse any attempt to be tried in an international court, will Kucinich just back down in order to keep the peace appeasement alive? Or actually take action? But then again, I would not expect military action from him. I would imagine him sending an envoy and say "Go to court or else!" They will call his bluff and he will back down.

Please get off the milk crate.

New Case Logo! Finally!

newlogosm.jpg

Much better! The modern look for the logo represents the school as gaining experience and maturity. Keeping the rising sun was definitely the right choice.

I look forward to seeing the fatsurfer retire without much fanfare.

Regards,

A fellow alum

The Second Vermont Republic

boston.com reports on a secession movement in Vermont.

One of these movements is headed by the Second Vermont Republic association committed to returning Vermont back to an independent republic as was the case from 1777 to 1791.

One of its architects, Thomas Naylor, stated:

"People would obviously relish coming to the Republic of Vermont, the Switzerland of North America," he said. "Christ, you couldn't keep them away."

In Rememberance - The Massacre at Tiananmen Square - 06/04/1989

tiananmen_tanks.jpg

On June 4, 1989, hundreds of innocent civilians were shot dead by the Chinese army in a bloody suppression of a democratic protest in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Tanks rumbled through the streets of Beijing late on June 3rd as the army moved into the square from several directions.

The event reminds us of the brutal tactics that the Communist regime will do to maintain control.

BBC - On This Day - 1989: Massacre in Tiananmen Square

WSJ - Tiananmen's Legacy

Interview with Tao Jun, Student Leader of the Tiananmen Square Democratic Movement

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Reuters report that there was a heavy presence of paramiltary policemen around the Square today. The media in China have not reported anything. Discreetly, the government has put a number of activists and dissidents under house arrest or were warned to lay low over the past few days.

In Hong Kong, the annual candlelight vigil is expected with tens of thousands in attendance. It is the only such commemoration on Chinese soil.

The United States issued a frank warning to China that its hosting of the Olympics could be marred by its poor human rights record, most notably its failure to acknowledge the Tiananmen massacre.

Hey Hillary, how do you spell "Tomorrow?"

spelling_mistake.jpg

Of course, the other politician with a spelling mistake was Former Vice-President Dan Quayle for misspelling "potato."