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

Woe the US traveler going abroad

The British pound crossed $2.0725, a 26-year high. ($.48 US cents) It was about $1.80 a few years ago.

The Euro passed $1.4466, another high. ($.69 US cents) It started at around $0.85-0.90 when it first came out.

The Yen is up to 115.17. Remember when it was around 250.

The Loonie (CAD) is 1.0511 ($0.95 US cents) Remember when it used to cost about $1.35 to 1.40 in favor of Americans.

We used to get two Australian dollars for one US dollar. The rate is now 1.0837, almost towards parity.

* * * * *

If US interest rates drop again, expect the dollar the fall. We could made quite a taking if we went into currency trading a few years ago and know that strong US dollar is heading for the dumps.

Hillary Clinton bombed!!!

As a presidential candidate, you can always rely on your rehearsed answers, but if you cannot improvise and use focused answers against the moderator and your other opponents, then how can you display leadership and tact in a debate?

Hillary Clinton learned that the hard way.

Despite her denial as the perennial frontrunner, she still leads in most opinion polls and has raised the most cash. She would have to realized that the rest of the candidates will attack her head on.

She avoided direct answers to dealing with Social Security, Iran's nuclear ambitions, and Spitzer's plan to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

On Social Security, moderator Tim Russert of NBC News asked Clinton why she told an Iowa voter, in an offstage comment overheard by an Associated Press reporter, that she was open to raising the cap on payroll taxes when the proposal is not part of her platform.

Clinton said she did not have a "private position" on Social Security. She would convene a bipartisan commission to recommend ways to strengthen the program, she said, and all the well-known suggestions "would be considered."

Bush did that too. How about taking a step forward and give us your ideas face to face? We are not going to wait until next year. Most folks would like to know what can be done to help strengthen Social Security. At least Huckabee presented an idea for personal accounts and letting younger workers choose to opt out of Social Security.

Asked whether she still agrees with New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s plan to give drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, Clinton launched into a long, complicated defense of it.

But when Chris Dodd attacked the idea a moment later, Clinton quickly said: “I did not say that it should be done.”

NBC’s Tim Russert, one of the debate moderators, jumped in and said to her: “You told (a) New Hampshire paper that it made a lot of sense. Do you support his plan?”

”You know, Tim,” Clinton replied, “this is where everybody plays ‘gotcha.’ ”

As for Clinton's campaign team, they blame Tim Russert for being 'unfair.' Nice cheapshot.

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Ron Paul ads for New Hampshire

Tasered Andrew Meyer Apologizes

Andrew Meyer. You may know him as the University of Florida student who was tasered after persistently questioning Sen. John Kerry during his campus speech on campus. His cry of "Don't Tase me, bro!" made him a somewhat local celebrity for anti-taser activists and the like.

He has finally apologized for his actions. He sent letters to the university, its president, and the campus police department.

"I made the decision to supersede the rules, and for that I apologize," Meyer wrote. "I should have acted calmer and obeyed the directives of the officers. If I had, none of the subsequent issues would ever have arisen."

Meyer, a communications major, said he was taking a leave of absence but would return to school in January. He pledged to Bernie Machen, the Florida president, that he learned from the incident.

"I am a far more reasoned individual than I was a short while ago, and the reasoned response of the university has helped me a great deal," Meyer wrote.

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Getting Gouged by Geeks

The consumerist.com blog talks about computer repair companies that do not completely know everything that there is to know about computers.

CBC Toronto did a hidden camera investigation where they set up a desktop having a faulty memory module. Three of 10 computer repair companies correctly diagnosed the problem. The other seven said it was the motherboard, the processor, the video card, or even the hard drive. The hard drive argument included paying $2,000 to recover the user's data from a recovery firm.

While some of us can go on the internet and find the possible cause of our hardware or software problem, what about the people who are technically inept? Would you really trust your computer in the hands of the Geek Squad?

Do some research, get a second opinion, and hopefully you won't get ripped off.

Bill Cosby's Rant

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They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English.

Christian Monitor: Media Myths about the Jena 6

The Christian Monitor posts an article by a local Jena journalist on the Jena 6. This journalist has been there from the very beginning and presents a different story than what the media is showing.

Perhaps our Jena 6 activists can read the actual truth and know that thanks to our lazy media and opportunistic black leaders, this whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

Myths include:

1) There was no "Whites-Only" tree.

2) The nooses on the tree was a white-on-white prank.

3) The schoolyard attack and the nooses are not related.

4) The all-white jury happened because several black residents that were summoned did not appear.

* * * * *

From the Jena Times:

The so-called "schoolyard fight" between the Jena 6 and Justin Barker. Witnesses stated that several black students, including those now known as the Jena 6, barricaded an exit to the school's gym as they lay in wait for Barker to exit.

When Barker tried to leave through another exit, court testimony indicates, he was hit from behind by Mychal Bell. Multiple witnesses confirmed that Barker was immediately knocked unconscious and lay on the floor defenseless as several other black students joined together to kick and stomp him, with most of the blows striking his head.

* * * * *

It is true racial injustice must be stopped, but to protray these guys as the victims instead of the attackers is ridiculous.

For all the activists and protestors, where are you getting your information? How do you know if it is the exact truth?

You call those that doubt it as racist or ignorant.

How about doing some research? How about questioning the questioners?

The noose was a political creation. In reality, it was a prank by three white students aimed at their fellow white friends, members of the school rodeo team.

Did you get your passport?

JANUARY 31, 2008
U.S. and Canadian citizens will need to present either a WHTI-compliant document, or a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, plus proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. DHS also proposes to begin alternative procedures for U.S. and Canadian children at that time.

SUMMER 2008
At a later date, to be determined, the departments will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have either a U.S. passport; a U.S. passport card; a trusted traveler card such as NEXUS, FAST, or SENTRI; a valid Merchant Mariner Document (MMD) when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business; or a valid U.S. Military identification card when traveling on official orders.

The implementation date will be determined based on a number of factors, including the progress of actions undertaken by the Department of Homeland Security to implement the WHTI requirements and the availability of WHTI compliant documents on both sides of the border. DHS and DOS expect the date of full WHTI implementation to be in the summer of 2008. The precise implementation date will be formally announced with at least 60 days notice.

Bill Maher kicks out 9/11 Truthers from show

Woohoo!

Are the Indians going to choke?

Up against Boston 3 games to 1.

Folks thought Sabathia could pull it off in Game 5, but he was not that perfect. He still kept it close, better than Game 1, but reliever Perez could not stop 5 runs coming across the plate.

Carmona was also thought to snatch the win for the Tribe. Game 2 was a fluke as well, but it was pretty much the same in Game 6. He only last 2 innings and couldn't finish the third. Even reliever Perez could not end the 3rd inning either, and both pitchers gave Boston a 10-1 lead.

Your two best pitchers were not the best. It makes Westbrook and Byrd look so good in comparison.

Now it's Game 7, the winner faces the Colorado Rockies.

Westbrook will pitch for the Indians, and perhaps Byrd in backup. Boston has Matsuzaka who gave up 4 runs in Game 3. But the Red Sox can also use Beckett in reserve.

If the Indians fall in a deep hole again, Francona will use Beckett if the Indians try to get back in.

So will the Tribe follow the Yankees in letting Boston win from a 3-0 and 3-1 deficit? I seriously hope not.

Everyone in New York would like to see Boston lose. If the Indians cannot do it, then we have to root for the Rockies.

'Jena Six' Members Present Hip Hop Award on BET

jena6boys1.jpgBryant Purvis and Carwin Jones (Jena 6) showed up on the red carpet at the BET Awards over the weekend, and took in the after party, too. Um, why? Are they celebrities now? Does this make anybody else out there pause?

Show's host, comedian Katt Williams:

"By no means are we condoning a six-on-one beat-down," Williams said during his introduction of the teens, one of whom is still facing attempted murder charges in connection with the attack on white student Justin Barker. "... But the injustice perpetrated on these young men is straight criminal."

Both Jones and Purvis thanked a number of people, including family, friends, the "Hip-Hop Nation" and the thousands who came to their small hometown to rally behind their case.

Purvis said the Sept. 20 rally proved "our generation can unite and rally around a cause."

The teens assisted Williams in presenting the Video of the Year honor to Kanye West for "Stronger." Purvis handed the award to West, who in turn shook hands with both teens.

* * * * *

Thank you for glorifying the gangsta sh*t on the both of them. I would have expected better. Why not dressed them up in nice-fitted suits like Williams? Instead, you dress them up as thugs.

Thank you for telling us that they can achieve "hero status" for beating up a fellow classmate.

And a thumbs down to the audience for giving them a standing ovation. Nice way for them to condone their actions. They still charged with assaulting a fellow classmate and they must be punished for what did regardless.

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Ron Paul introduces American Freedom Agenda Act

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On October 15, 2007, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 (H.R. 3835). This important piece of legislation would reverse many of the Constitutional abuses that have occurred over the past six years.

The American Freedom Agenda Act would bar the use of evidence obtained through torture; require that federal intelligence gathering is conducted in accordance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA); create a mechanism for challenging presidential signing statements; repeal the Military Commissions Act, which, among other things, denies habeas corpus to certain detainees; prohibit kidnapping, detentions, and torture abroad; protect journalists who publish information received from the executive branch; and ensure that secret evidence is not used to designate individuals or organizations with a presence in the U.S. as foreign terrorists.

End of SSN as primary identifer

I believe USG passed a resolution back in 1999-2000 about stopping the use of SSN as a primary identifer by the University. Even at that time, some profs stopped using your last four digits of your SSN as a way to find your test exam score.

But really...seven years for official policy to change.

Military voters like Ron Paul

I find the lack of political griping by Case Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and communists to be quite disturbing.

The Houston Chronicle has reported that Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has gotten more contributions than any other White House contender from donors indentified as affiliated with the military.

From January through September, Paul received $63,440 in donations from current military employees and several retired military personnel.

Democrat Barack Obama, another war critic, was second in military giving. The Illinois senator got $53,968 during the nine months.

City of Chicago considering elimination of "piggybacking" on parking meters

parkingmeter.jpgChicago Tribune reports that the city is considering eliminating "piggybacking" at the parking meter.

Getting the good fortune of parking your car and noticing that the previous occupant left some time remaining on the meter will be a thing of the past. City officials call that a lost opportunity to collect additional money.

Of course, the notion of physically plugging meters with coins will be a thing of the past. New York City has already set up a Muni-Park system where you can go to a parking machine along the street, select the amount of time needed, then you pay with either coins or a credit card. The machine will print out a parking slip, and you put it on your vehicle's dashboard.

For Chicago, their idea is the ParkMagic automated parking meter. First you find an available parking space. Then the driver needs to use his or her mobile phone to call a toll-free phone number. An automated voice prompts the user to enter the parking zone number posted on the meter and then designate the amount of time needed to park. A confirmation, in the form of a text message, is sent to the device, and the parking fee is deducted from the balance in the account.

Your pager-size device will start to flash green when parking has been paid for and red when time has expired. You can call the toll-free number to add more time. Then the device must be placed in the driver's side windshield so police and other parking-enforcement personnel can check to see whether the vehicle is legally parked.

It sounds a bit more complicated. It would be useful for those drivers that frequently drive to the city, but for the rest, utilizing the muni-system that NYC has is much more suitable.

Cleveland may also consider following suit. I keep getting jipped when I parked along the street behind KSL, and I am always low on quarters. Setting up a parking machine where it can accept cash and credit cards will be quite helpful for the coinless driver.


Hanging Nooses

Our hate crime experts and civil rights leaders argued that the nooses are a white racist backlash to the firestorm of black protests over the Jena 6 case involving black teens accused of battering a white student. Some have announced a fearful call suggesting that the nooses could signal a new rise of racist hatred in America.

But are we going way overboard with this? I could even suggest that some folks out there are putting up nooses just to get a negative reaction from blacks. Some can even conclude that the noose was an offensive racial dig, but not a sign of lust for racist hatred. Who knows if some folks are throwing a Halloween pirate party, and they put up a noose and a pirate, and they get accused of being racist. (Yep, it happened in Madison, NJ) I suppose they would ignore the historical fact that pirates are usually hanged if caught by the authorities. I would not even be surprised if the NAACP brought up concerns to the Disney executives about the use of the hanging noose in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy.

Could it even be a dumb prank orchestrated by blacks? From one perspective, it would be quite easy and by playing the race card, who would really believe a black person would do such a thing? You may believe it to be improbable, but it is not impossible to discount it.

In her book, the Color of Crime, University of Florida professor Katheryn Russell-Brown, found that blacks perpetrate one in six racial hoaxes. The reasons the blacks commit hoaxes aren't totally different than those of white hoaxers. Both are angry, resentful and play hard on stereotypes and fears--that whites are racist, and violent, and that blacks are menacing and violent. The hoaxes encase the worst of black and white fears about each other.

Are we forgetting about the events of the Duke University rape case? You got a female black college student screaming about being raped by white Duke Lacrosse players. It ignited angry protests. Everyone, including the media were hyping it up portraying the women as the victim and that the white Duke players were assumed to be guilty.

Eventually, the women's story unraveled into contradictions and lies. Then the racial backlash went back at the black leaders for accepting her story at face value. The prosecutor lost his job and was disbarred. Police and public officials felt they were played and may well be far more cautious about rape allegations made by blacks against whites.

The folks that believed that the three white lacrosse players were guilty refused to apologize. This includes the 88 faculty members who, without regard to the evidence, publicly adjudged as guilty the three accused Duke students, the entire Duke lacrosse team, and white America in general, and universty president Richard Brodhead, who did nothing to defend Duke's students even as their innocence became clear.

President Brodhead finally did apologize last week. He regretted the “failure [of his administration] to reach out to the lacrosse players and their families in this time of extraordinary peril.”

From the Powerline blog:

We can also take the behavior of one professor, Houston Baker (now teaching at Vanderbilt). The demagogic Baker excoriated the lacrosse team for their "silent whiteness" and their "white, male, athletic privilege." He called for the "immediate dismissals" by Duke of "the team itself and its players," to combat the "abhorrent sexual assault, verbal racial violence, and drunken white male privilege loosed amongst us." After the innocence of the accused players had become clear, Baker received an email from the mother of a member of the lacrosse team (who hadn't been accused) asking if he would reconsider his earlier statements. Baker responded, by typing "LIES" and indicating that his correspondent was the mother of a "farm animal." Eventually Baker, a post-modernist if nothing else, fell back to arguing that it didn't matter whether the rape allegations were true.

Al Sharpton and company quickly piled on the innocent students, playing the race card for all it wasn't worth. That's why it's almost comical to hear Sharpton railing against prosecutorial abuse in the Jena case. Sharpton wouldn't grant the presumption of innocence to innocent white students victimized by a rogue prosecutor, yet thinks its the scandal of the century that thuggish black students were overcharged in Jena.

Sharpton has not even apologize to the accused players after they were declared innocent.

Jesse Jackson even descended upon Durham to rally behind Crystal Gail Magnum — a lying pole dancer that was out to ruin three lives. The good “reverend” maintained that the issue was about “Black women; white men. A stripper; and a team blowout.

The Duke case was flung in the face of civil rights leaders as the danger of overplaying the race angle in Jena or anywhere else a black is victimized under muddled circumstances. City and school officials in Jena screamed that the infamous noose hanging incident at the high school was not racial since black students also stuck their heads through the noose.

Case in point, even folks living in Jena believe that the incident has been exaggerated beyond a reasonable degree.

The big hype in Jena is an incident before the beating where three nooses were hung from a tree after black students were seen standing under it. This resulted in the suspension of several students; it is worthy to note, however, that the principal recommended expulsion. Legal recourse could not be pursued because hanging a noose is not illegal, even if it is racist and dumb.

Thus, it provided an opportunity for black leaders to revitalize their following and again point to the undying hate called racism in America.

Reverend Jackson told the Columbia State newspaper, “Jena is a defining moment, just like Selma was a defining moment.” Jackson then criticized Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama for not being more vocal about the case saying that Obama was “acting like he’s white.”

While the Jena Six activists complain about excessive charges and double standards, we are faced with the facts that the six teens did knowingly beat up a fellow classmate severely. It is also true that one of the six teens, Mychal Bell, has a prior criminal record committing violent crimes in the past, including two charges of battery.

The activists know this as well, but they are using racism and their passionate emotion to show the Jena Six as victims, not attackers.

Will they stop following the likes of Jackson and Sharpton and stop using the privilege of being a "perpetual victim?"

* * * * *

More facts to consider...

Did you know that Mychal Bell's father was pretty much AWOL for a good part of his life, and only returned from Dallas after Bell faced attempted-murder charges?

Did you know that several black people were summoned to be on the jury for Bell's trial but all of them declined to respond?

Did you know that Bell's public defender was black?

Did you know that Bell's father and local ministers promised a judge that they would supervise Bell if he was released from prison at a bond hearing in August? But why did they not suggest this in the first place before the assault?

Did you know that the black U.S. attorney, Don Washington, investigated the "Jena Six" case and concluded that the attack on the white student had nothing to do with the noose-hanging incident three months before?

Ron Paul's America

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Patrick Ruffini's Inside Ron Paul Nation took the state-by-state donor breakdown and plugged it into an Excel sheet, using it to produce donor-per-capita numbers for each states. The result is above.

It would seem that he is doing quite well in the West/Mountain West regions, with some of the Northeast thrown in. He is also doing well in most of the smaller states. The weak areas are Ohio, New York, and the Deep South.

Remember that the Ron Paul campaign has set a public goal of $12 million for the 4th quarter.

You can also get an explicit detail of Ron Paul's numbers at http://www.ronpaulgraphs.com/.

Washington Post Interviews Ron Paul

Article Link

Video Link

In an interview with Washingtonpost.com's PostTalk program, the Texas congressman said he could see "no reason" to justify military action if he were elected president. He compared the United States to a schoolyard bully and said the country has no reason to flex its muscles overseas.

"There's nobody in this world that could possibly attack us today," he said in the interview. "I mean, we could defend this country with a few good submarines. If anybody dared touch us we could wipe any country off of the face of the earth within hours. And here we are, so intimidated and so insecure and we're acting like such bullies that we have to attack third-world nations that have no military and have no weapon."

As for the idea for Ron Paul to run as a third-party candidate, he has no plans to do so because the current system is undemocratic and so biased against third-parties, so Paul would need a Ross Perot infusion of cash, and enough volunteers to get his name on the ballot in all 50 states. Hmm, I wonder if Perot, Bloomberg, and others are interested in helping him out...

National Review also does a take on Ron Paul too.

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Interested in buying the Ron Paul Revolution T-Shirt, visit cafepress.com.

Noose-Hanging at Columbia University

art_columbia_noose.jpgA Columbia University scholar was the target of a racial crime where a noose was found hanging on her office door.

The professor, Madonna G. Constantine, whose specialty is race, racial identity and multiculturalism, stood before protesters at midday and thanked her supporters.

“I am upset that the Teachers College community has been exposed to such an unbelievably vile incident,” she said, “and I would like us to stay strong in the face of such a blatant act of racism.”

At an afternoon news conference, Deputy Inspector Michael Osgood, commander of the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force, said, “Right now we have no suspects, but we will go down all investigative pathways.” He ruled out any possibility that Professor Constantine had hung the rope herself.

University President Lee Bollinger faced tough criticism from an audience of student leaders dominated by representatives of campus cultural groups.

Bollinger faced a deeply frustrated and often angry audience, as students accused the administration of being unresponsive and disconnected. At several points, the University President found himself defending and justifying his record on issues such as diversifying the faculty and taking a proactive stance on racial issues.

As usual, the griping and complaining begins. It seems that at a separate meeting, 600 Teacher College students and faculty members got together to air their grievances before Susan H. Fuhrman, the president of Teachers College, and other adminstrators.

“I came here from Virginia,” said one black doctoral student, who did not identify herself. “I’ve been here since 2003 and there has been incident after incident. It’s not so different from the South.”

Now, is she implying that racism at Columbia is much worse than what the media is telling us. Could we see this "long" list of racial incidents at the University? It sounds to me that with all the media attention, everyone can start complaining that everything is not happy in the community.

It is amusing when you got student leaders praising Bollinger on inviting Ahmadinejad one week, then the next week, they are angry at him for not responding fast enough to this hate crime.

In any case, look at the high-profile events that have come to this institution. A speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, invitations to conservative writer David Horowitz, Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist, and others. It seems Columbia loves to get press on its polarizing events and incidents. However, should we look at Columbia University as representative of the whole entire college system? Probably not in a high degree.

In addition, there is a doubt on this possible hate crime. According to the NYPD, Columbia University has refused to turn over security tapes from the cameras in the building.

Investigators began asking on Wednesday for tapes from cameras in the building, but have been rebuffed by administrators, said Paul Browne, the New York Police Department's top spokesman.

He said police will have to get a court order to force the school to provide video they believe could crack the case.

"It's unfortunate because it adds a time-consuming step to the investigation," Browne said.

Police are looking into possible leads. They believe it could have been a disgrunted colleague, or a student upset with his or her grades.

Why is the school dragging their heels on this? Why are they not cooperating with law enforcement officers? Could it be that the security tape is some sort of "smoking gun?" Maybe the tape has concrete evidence on a possible suspect or suspects that committed the crime?

You got the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force to ready to help out. Columbia, what's the problem here? Do not delay. Give the tape. Stop giving us a reason to doubt that maybe this whole story is not 100% true.

Fox News report that the school has denied NYPD's statements that they refused to hand over the security video tape. Campus officials state there are no security cameras in professor Constantine's fourth-floor office or in the hallway, only in the lobby downstairs, and are in the process of giving those tapes to authorities.

C'mon here. Now we got NYPD and Columbia pointing fingers at each other. And of course, the Feds are jumping in by opening their own separate investigation into the incident. Maybe we should invite the United Nations too.

Daily News report that the school has agreed to give over 56 hours of tape. Yet, why stonewall the police for more than 24 hours? Why did Columbia suddenly asked the NYPD to get a court order, and by the time the police got it all set up, the university said they did not need to do that in the first place.

* * * * *

Believe it or not. A second racial incident has occurred where anti-Semitic graffiti has been found in a bathroom stall (4th floor of the men's bathroom in Lewisohn Hall). A caricature of a male wearing a yarmulke above a swastika was found drawn in black ink on a bathroom stall door.

Of course, the police would have to analyze the ink to see if it was recently made or it has been there for quite some time, and someone "just discovered" it.

* * * * *

NY Post says Columbia's stonewalling was all because of policy.

The newspaper gives the timeline:

* The noose was found hanging on the doorknob of Prof. Madonna Constantine's office at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday.

* By 11 a.m., cops from the 26th Precinct were on campus.

* They immediately called in the NYPD's hate-crimes unit.

* The unit swiftly identified seven security cameras as useful to the probe.

Then the stonewalling began.

* When the NYPD requested the relevant tapes, officers were told that the technician who had that responsibility wouldn't be in until the next day.

* By Wednesday afternoon, with no tech in sight, Deputy Inspector Michael Osgood, the hate-crimes squad chief, put in a call to the Teachers College general counsel, Janice Robinson, to expedite delivery. She told him he'd need a subpoena because of "privacy" concerns.

* A subpoena was issued at midnight Wednesday, to no immediate effect.

* At 3 p.m. yesterday, after the Associated Press first reported on the college's footdragging, and with the subpoena in effect, Teachers College announced sweetly that "in the spirit of cooperation, we are giving [the police] everything."

Over $40,000 in student debt

studentloans.jpgLink

Over 77,500 graduating college seniors have more than $40,000 in student debt. The total federal student loan debt in the U.S. is $492 billion dollars.

Back in 1994 or 1995, Case had the highest debt load per student according to the US News & World Report. Of course, we are no longer top, but still, you probably have folks owing quite a lot. 2007-2008 expenses are already over $43,000. Tuition is at $32,800.

A bit of historical comparison. Tuition back in 1995-1996 was like around $16,000 and total cost of education was around $22-23,000.

You also have to feel sympathetic to the medical students, they usually graduate with over $200,000 in loans by the time they are done.

Carl Cameron of Fox News Interviews Ron Paul

By the way, Ron Paul won the online poll vote after the Republican debate, but it seems the poll results page off the CNBC web site has been removed. At last snapshot, Ron Paul was hitting around 80% of the votes cast.

He attacked agricultural subsidies and our over-inflated defense budget, two things which the rest of the GOP candidates did not mention.

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Jena Six: Regardless, they still did beat up a lone, individual classmate unconscious

While we demand for fair and equal justice, the facts are still the same.

Six teenagers beat a lone, individual classmate unconscious.

The NAACP, black celebrities and music stars, the rallies across the country, and activist groups all talk about unequal justice and racism. Because of these two things, the six men should go free.

Yes, every human being, regardless of race, creed, or color is entitled to a fair chance. Yet, there is personal accountability.

Yes, justice must be reformed. We must educate against racism and unjust bias, but to be fair, the six teenagers must still be charged with assault against a fellow classmate and must be punished.

It is still called fair in the end.

Political Quote of the Day

"People are more comfortable believing in pretty lies than facing the ugly truth."

- Overheard in "ConservativesUnited" - Yahoo Group

Drivers! Check your blind spot!

Twice in two days.

First time, a SUV/Truck almost hit my car. No signal lane change. He was coming from the right lane to the left fast lane.

The next day, in the morning, a light truck almost hit me. Same situation. No signal in changing lanes. After managing to dodge him, he then passed on the right lane and moved to the left lane further up, without signaling.

What else? If you are taking the ramp to the highway, accelerate!!! You don't stay at 30 mph all the way till the merging point. Sheesh!

The next car that does it gets my high beams for the rest of the way! =)

Ron Paul Strikes Back at Union Leader Editorial

Having his views described as "unrealistic and dangerous" in an editorial by the New Hampshire Union Leader didn't sit well with Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul.

"If I understand the editors' concerns," Paul writes, "I have not been accused of deviating from the Founders' logic; if anything I have been accused of adhering to it too strictly. The question, therefore, before readers -- and soon voters -- is the same question I have asked for almost 20 years in Congress: by what superior wisdom have we now declared Jefferson, Washington, and Madison to be 'unrealistic and dangerous'? Why do we insist on throwing away their most considered warnings?"

The crux of the Union Leader's argument was this:

Paul's repeated insistence that "There would be no risk of somebody invading us" is just what the isolationist Republicans of the 1930s believed -- right up until Pearl Harbor. Paul's idea that we can maintain peace by halting our projection of military strength has been proven wrong by history. But Rep. Paul is not about to let historical reality get in the way of his ideologically pure position.

To which the congressman replies:

It is not we non-interventionists who are isolationists. The real isolationists are those who impose sanctions and embargoes on countries and peoples across the globe because they disagree with the internal and foreign policies of their leaders. The real isolationists are those who choose to use force overseas to promote democracy, rather than seek change through diplomacy, engagement, and by setting a positive example. ...

A Paul administration would see Americans engaged overseas like never before, in business and cultural activities. But a Paul administration would never attempt to export democracy or other values at the barrel of a gun, as we have seen over and over again that this is a counterproductive approach that actually leads the United States to be resented and more isolated in the world.

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Sen. Barbara Boxer meddling with census count of illegal immigrants and immigration enforcement

You know, with the way the Iraq War is going on, the state of our economy, scandals, and what not, the current polls show the Democrats gaining more seats in Congress and winning the presidency in 2008.

They now want to meddle with the 2010 Census and the job of the ICE/DHS.

Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California has attached an amendment to the current spending bill on the Senate floor. The amendment includes a Sense of the Senate clause which reads:

"It is the sense of the Senate that as part of the effort to count all persons physically in the United States during the 2010 Census, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau of the Department of Homeland Security should limit aggressive enforcement of federal immigration laws to promote full participation by non-citizens in the census."

In the past, illegal aliens have been included in the census. Now why would Boxer attempt to limit the actions of the ICE/DHS? Perhaps the proximity of the 2010 Census because it would change the number of Congressional seats allocated to the states. According to a U. Conn study, states such as Arizona, Texas, and Florida could see their House delegation increase due to rising populations that include sizable numbers of illegal immigrants. California and New Jersey would see no loss of seats, but New York, Illinois, and Ohio may lose a seat or two.

It is pretty weird since illegals cannot vote in our state and federal elections. The population census is generally used for Congressional seat allocation, federal funding, and other purposes.

How can this really help the Democrats? Even if you get a seat added to Arizona, Florida, and Texas, the rearrangement will still need to go through that particular state legislature, approved by the courts, then you would need to find the right candidate that can win that extra seat for your party.

Question: Is Boxer really afraid of California losing a seat? I would bet that California would get another one in the next census.

Is this an attempt to get those states with Democratic legislatures to enact a more perfect gerrymandering scheme to guarantee seats for the liberals?

Hmmmm.

Call it! ALDS series to be decided in Cleveland - oh well

Prediction: Yankees win Game 4 on a clutch homer by pinch hitter Shelly Duncan. Game 5 - Sabithia collapse leads to Cleveland rout.

Come on Yankees!

Otherwise, I hope whoever wins will sweep the BoSux.

Update

Cleveland wins series 3-1

Final Score: Cleveland 6, Yankees 4

Congrats to the Indians. Now please beat the BoSux.

DMB at Mountain View, CA

I visited Greg Szorc in Santa Clara, CA, and we saw DMB perform in Mountain View, CA on September 29. Awesome!

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Hope Solo: Left out in the cold

hope_solo.jpgBack in September, if you remember, the Women's World Cup was held in China. The USA team, ranked #1 before the tournament did pretty well throughout the group stages and the quarter-final.

In the semi-final against Brazil, U.S. coach Greg Ryan decided to bench goalkeeper Hope Solo in favor of backup veteran keeper Briana Scurry because of her experience with Brazil. Unfortunately, it did not turn out well with the Americans losing 4-0. Solo, of course, was not happy about being benched.

She gave her candid remarks after the game:

"There's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves," Solo said. "And the fact of the matter is, it's not 2004 anymore. … It's 2007, and I think you have to live in the present. And you can't live by big names. You can't live in the past. It doesn't matter what somebody did in an Olympic gold-medal game in the Olympics three years ago."

Of course, it can be argued back and forth on whether Brazil would have beaten USA regardless, but if she did not make the comment about doing a better job making those saves, then most people would agree with her comments that Coach Ryan made a mistake to take out Solo, and put in Scurry.

Keep in mind that Solo hadn't given up a goal in 300 minutes, and Scurry hasn't played any of the games in China.

Well, as a result, Solo was dropped from the U.S. team for the third-place game against Norway (which they won).

Coach Ryan makes his "no I in team" speech to reporters:

"We have moved forward with 20 players who have stood by each other, who have battled for each other," Ryan told reporters Saturday. "And when the hard times came -- and the Brazil game was a hard time -- they stood strong. Now it's the 20 who have stuck together who will be ready to go out and compete against Norway."

Yep, Hope Solo has been declared persona non grata.

Of course, she did apologize to her teammates and especially Scurry, but she held steadfast in maintaining her criticism of Ryan's decision.

Yet, it would seem that most of her teammates have abandoned her.

Ryan said he made the decision to leave Solo off the team after meeting with the team's leaders. Kristine Lilly, who is playing in her fifth World Cup, said Solo "going public has affected the whole group, and having her with us would still be a distraction."

But what about the Coach's decision to drop Solo? Was that a major distraction as well? It sounds like the team's leaders: Kristine Lilly, Stephanie Lopez, and Carli Lloyd, decided to stick with the Coach instead of Solo. Did they collectively decided that Solo had to be "separated?" Were they that worried about teammates attacking teammates? Were they more interested in showing the perfect USA team to the public?

ESPN's Melanie Jackson asks the question: How about a coach shooting a whole team in its collective foot?

Now it would seem that some sports observers have said they wouldn't want Solo in goal behind them if they were on the field. So 300 minutes of no goals conceded is nothing to them? Sounds more of a cheapshot against the keeper if you ask me.

Still, it's sad that none of her teammates have spoken in defense of Hope Solo. She is still your teammates regardless. She is (or was) your best goalkeeper on the team. We should expect criticism in addition to praise. We should admit a mistake in addition to congratulating each other.

I have become a die-hard football (soccer) fan, cheering on my team, West Ham United, based in East London, UK. We will always want the strongest team to be fielded against any opponent. What would you say if the coach decided to pull his best keeper for a backup against say...Manchester United or Liverpool? Most of the fans would have screamed bloody murder.

Coach Ryan made that mistake. The players should have spoken up when Coach made the decision. Did the team leaders said anything about that? Could they have persauded Ryan to reconsider?

But still, while the Americans focused on this sort of crap, we missed a great final where Germany's skilled soccer abilities outplayed the Brazilians.

Link - ESPN: Solo's teammates leave her in the cold

Link - ESPN: Hope Solo is right, and wrong

Jammie Thomas fined $222,000 for illegal file-sharing

pirate_mp3.jpgA federal jury in Duluth, Minnesota Thursday ordered a Minneapolis woman to pay $220,000 to six music companies for illegally downloading and sharing copyrighted music over a peer-to-peer network.

The 12 person jury said Jammie Thomas must pay $9,250 for each of the 24 songs that were the focus of the case. In their complaint, the six music companies that sued her had claimed that Thomas had illegally shared a total of 1,702 songs over the Kazaa file sharing network, but they chose to focus on a representative list of 24 songs.

Link

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Does this verdict really make any difference? I am sure it is a shock to everyone, but it was not really a big surprise. I felt that Thomas offer some alternative theories doubting the RIAA's allegations she shared illegal songs but did not go into exact detail.

Sure, a victory for the RIAA, but quite a lot of folks are sympathetic to the woman because of her financial situation. In fact, you could probably find worse users sharing several more times than what she had alleged to have done.

Will this stop illegal downloading? No. Today's users are smarter. They are most likely to use bit torrent or other secured file systems to download record albums and songs. They are more likely to offer select access to shared files rather than public access. Of course, how can you prevent a person carrying a 500GB portable hard drive to his or her friend's house and letting that person download everything? How can you stop a person copying a record album onto a blank CD and giving it out to his or her friends?

Even besides file-sharing networks such as Kazaa or Napster, you still got mIRC networks offering DDE downloads, or you can go through the usenet newsgroups and download songs from attachments.

One of the most expensive earmarks

Update 10/08/07
Ha ha ha, the opening has been delayed indefinitely due to numerous construction flaws. The cost of this monster is already approaching $750 million.

Is there any reason why we chose Iraq to house the largest U.S. embassy on the planet? Are we building some sort of second capital in the Middle East? Maybe a secret facility beneath it?

Link

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The mammoth $600 million U.S. embassy in Baghdad

It was supposed to be completed last month, but due to construction and logistical problems, it's delayed until next year.

Link

Washington Post calls Ron Paul, the Howard Dean of '08

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Link

In terms of online popularity, Ron Paul wins by a landslide.

More Facebook supporters than Rudy Giuliani

More MySpace friends than Mitt Romney

More viewed YouTube videos than Romney, Giuliani, and McCain combined

And still the most frequently searched terms on the Technorati, which offers a real-time snapshot of the blogosphere.

The Radical U.S. Constitution

George Orwell made a very interesting observation when he stated, “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” This is the very quote Aaron Russo chose to be the beginning frame in his eye-opening documentary America: from Freedom to Fascism.

There was a time when the U.S. Constitution was considered a radical document. That time was when 55 representatives of the 13 colonies gathered to improve on the Articles of Confederation. The document allow the control of the Federal government to rest ultimately in the hands of the people, the whole of the people.

Gary Wood, the writer goes on to say that the people, being citizens of their respective States, were given the stewardship over the quality of the Federal government. There were of course extreme checks and balances placed within the blueprint to limit the size and scope of Federal control with the States and the people remaining more powerful in setting the direction for the development of the country and in controlling their own lives.

Yet, why does the New York Times label Ron Paul as the most radical congressman in America for calling for a return back to our constitutionalist ideals?

Why do Republican candidates such as Giuliani to McCain call Ron Paul a traitor to our country?

They are afraid. They are afraid of the people deciding that individual rights and liberty is more important than the overbearing control and authority of the Federal government.

By the way, how many of you have even read through the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights? Do you actually believe what your politicians are saying to you? Or do you actually turn to the library book or the Internet to find the truth?

Ron Paul raises $5 million

Link

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, an anti-war libertarian making his second run at the White House, will report having raised $5.08 million in the third quarter. The number, which rivals those of John McCain and Bill Richardson, was boosted thanks to last-minute online fundraising that brought in more than $1.2 million in the last week of the quarter alone.

Whoohoo!

Burma: Thousands possibly killed or missing, but we do nothing

Remember when President Bush addressed the UN General Assembly over a week ago? Here's what he said on the situation in Burma.

Americans are outraged by the situation in Burma, where a military junta has imposed a 19-year reign of fear.

Basic freedoms of speech, assembly and worship are severely restricted. Ethnic minorities are persecuted. Forced child labor, human trafficking and rape are common.

The regime is holding more than a thousand political prisoners, including Aung Suu — Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party was elected overwhelmingly by the Burmese people in 1990.

The ruling junta remains unyielding, yet the people's desire for freedom is unmistakable.

This morning I'm announcing a series of steps to help bring peaceful change to Burma.

The United States will tighten economic sanctions on the leaders of the regime and their financial backers. We will impose an expanded visa ban on those responsible for the most egregious violations of human rights, as well as their family members. We will continue to support the efforts of humanitarian groups working to alleviate suffering in Burma and urge the United Nations and all nations to use their diplomatic and economic leverage to help the Burmese people reclaim their freedom.

Haven't we heard this before? Why yes, but not here in Burma. In fact, it sounded almost familiar. Didn't Bush condemn Saddam Hussein for his dictatorial rule in Iraq?

So what does he do for those military generals in Burma? We will tighten economic sanctions a bit more. We will ban travel by its leaders and their families. I guess they won't be visiting Disney World in Florida, but there is a Disneyland resort in Hong Kong, I am sure they won't mind letting them visit.

Various world leaders call for 'peaceful dialogue' but haven't they been asking for that for years? It is basically all just posturing in front of the media cameras, leading the people in their respective countries the assumption that something is being done. Nope, sorry, nothing is being done. Just boasting words.

What does the United Nations do? They send Ibrahim Gambari a special envoy to the region. He got to meet with the opposition including leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and eventually junta leader Than Shwe.

But it all boils down to China. It is Burma's northern neighbor and I am sure they want to make sure that the border between them remains stable and peaceful. Unfortunately, I really doubt China would tell the junta to move towards democracy.

How about India? They do share a 1,400-km long border with Burma. They have been competing with the Chinese on securing supplies of natural gas there as well as maintaining their influence. The politicians in New Delhi are more concerned about Burma being a safe haven for rebels from its own troubled north-east. Therefore, it has deepened both its military and intelligence co-operation. Last year, India sold Burma two BN-2 Islander maritime surveillance aircraft bought from the UK in the 1980's. This was done over the objections of the UK.

Now, India is preparing to offer Burma Indian-made helicopters, upgrades for Russian and Chinese-made fighter planes, and naval spy aircraft.

I guess India is not following the same 'democracy' script as everyone else.

Pranab Mukherjee, India’s minister of external affairs, has limited himself to expressing hope that “all sides will resolve their issues peacefully through dialogue”.

Again, just words.

Well, if you want to criticize India for not doing more, they do not really care. “We’re not bothered about criticism of our relations with Myanmar, given the west’s record in supporting military governments in our neighbourhood,” said one. “We’re not the only democracy that works with generals.” (FT.com) Of course, that's a slap to the United States for consorting with "President" / General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan.

I guess a call from President Bush would not help.

How about the UN trying to kick the military regime out of their UN seat and replacing it with the country's elected goverment-in-exile? Nope. China and India would veto that move.

Will ASEAN kick out Burma? Nope.

Are we really cracking down on foreign companies doing business in Burma? US-based Chevron is there, so is Malaysian Petronas, South Korea's Daewoo International Corp, or the French Total. Are they being penalized?

French President Nicholas Sarkozy called on French companies to freeze all their operations in Burma. That's good, but on the side, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that French oil giant Total, the largest European company operating in Burma, will not pull out. They do not want to give up their business to the Chinese.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also expressed "outrage." But how would he react if he found that UK companies have invested more than $1.2 billion pounds in Burma between 1988 and 2004.

The Japanese government cried foul on the killing of Kenji Nagai, a Japanese journalist who was gunned down by Burmese soldiers while he was photographing a fleeing crowd of protestors. Yet, it won't cut off aid to the regime, because it was "too early" for such action.

Let's see the pictures:

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What about Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia? They issued a statement expressing "revulsion" at the use of deadly force against innocent civilians. However, they haven't really complained about what's been going on over the last several years.

So yes, your pleas for action by your government and others is pretty much unrealistic.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, the Burmese regime continues to round up monks and democracy supporters.

Four detention centers were being built around Yangon, including one at an institute of technology and one at a race course, indicating that the military planned to hold the monks and others for long periods.

Human rights groups said many people were in hiding or on the run, fearing arrest after taking part in the protests or in smuggling out the photographs and videotapes that have caught the world's attention.

Myanmar's access to the Internet was also shut down and most overseas cellphone communications and land lines were severed or hampered. Soldiers on the street confiscated cameras and video-telephones.

The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution strongly deploring the "violent repression" of peaceful demonstrations in Myanmar. However, Executive Director of the Geneva-based NGO Hillel Neuer expressed disappointment that the final text was watered down, which "sends the wrong message to the murderers of innocent monks."
The EU-authored text was softened several times to ensure that all countries, including China and Russia, join the consensus. "Strongly condemns" in the original text was changed to "condemns," and then weakened again to "strongly deplores."

Sigh.

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How about Bush's pre-emptive attack strategy? Oh wait, he does not want to upset China.

Related Links

ZNET - Global Hypocrisy on Burma

Spiegel - They Come at Night and Murder the Monks

IHT - UN envoy ends Myanmar trip

IHT - Myanmar comes face to face with a technology revolution

IHT - Junta seizes UN worker in nighttime raid in Myanmar

NY Times - UN reports detentions in Myanmar

Bloomberg.com - Myanmar should reveal protest death toll, UN says

New Zealand Herald - Sylvester Stallone describes Myanmar 'hellhole'

Hindu Times - UN rights council's resolution against Myanmar welcomed

Fox News - Myanmar Forces Hunt Pro-Democracy Protestors

Times Online UK - Two pictures that show how the protest was crushed

Read the fine print on Verizon on termination service

In Verizon's contract agreement regarding termination:

An early termination fee will apply if you choose to end your service before becoming a month-to-month customer, or if we terminate it early for good cause.

Just imagine if Verizon cancels your contract just before it ends, citing "good cause." That's $175 lost.

Link

Walmart won't price match their own stores or web site

For the college student, Walmart can be a lifesaver if you want to buy cheap stuff or food in bulk, or whatever.

You know that Best Buy and other stores have this price match guarantee where if you find a store that has a cheaper price for a product, then the original store will match it. Some may even give you a price bonus too.

Consumerist.com tells us:

A Wal-Mart corporate spokesperson confirms Wal-Mart stores do not have to match their other store's prices or the prices on WalMart.com. Wal-Mart will, however, match the price of any local competitor's printed advertisement for an identical product.

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According to some viewers, if you want to find a lower price, go to a Walmart in a poorer part of town.

Tulsa KJRH 2 news alert

PajamasMedia moves to remove Ron Paul from their online straw poll

Pajamas Media editors decided to remove the second-tier presidential candidates from their online straw poll due to vote-swarming by visitors for second-tier candidates, or so they say.

On the 2007-09-16 poll results and before, the online straw poll showed Ron Paul leading the Republican candidates and Dennis Kucinich leading the Democrats.

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Then they allegedly received complaints from readers about vote-stuffing by second-tier candidates, thereby diluting the poll results. So based on their reasoning that the presidential campaign is narrowing its focus on front-running candidates, they made the decision to remove all second-tier candidate from both party lists.

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As you can see, we see the front-runners as listed by Pajamas Media. They are now relying on Real Clear Politics data on which candidates they should focus on.

As a result, the number of people casting votes on their straw poll have dropped considerably.

Remember during the Fox News debate last month where they set up a text page poll so that one vote per cell phone could be tallied, and yet even though Ron Paul got the most votes, Sean Hannity accused his viewers of cheating.

Check out Ron Paul's straw poll results

Ron Paul on Sub-Prime Mortgage Meltdown

On CNBC

AT&T modifies its TOS to combat "critics"

Update 10/3/07:
AT&T PR bots promised that they would only terminate a user's DSL service if they promote violence or peddle in child porn. Yet, their TOS has not been changed to reflect that. Hmmmm.

* * * * *

AT&T has rolled out new Terms of Service for its DSL service that leave plenty of room for interpretation. From our reading of it, in concert with several others, what we see is a ToS that attempts to give AT&T the right to disconnect its own customers who criticize the company on blogs or in other online settings.

In section 5 of its legal ToS, AT&T stipulates the following:

AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice, for conduct that AT&T believes (a) violates the Acceptable Use Policy; (b) constitutes a violation of any law, regulation or tariff (including, without limitation, copyright and intellectual property laws) or a violation of these TOS, or any applicable policies or guidelines, or (c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.

Translation: "conduct" that AT&T "believes" "tends to damage" its name, or the name of its partners, can get you booted off the service. Note the use of "tends to damage": the language of the contract does not require any proof of any actual damage.

Read more from Arstechnica.com

Consumerist.com - List of Airline and Airport "Tarmac Stranding" Policies

Consumerist.com has a list of current airline and airport "tarmac stranding" policies.

For example:

Continental - "Extended Period of Time" means 2 hours. How long before they take you off the plane: 4 hours (as of June 15).

Jet Blue - "Extended Period of Time" - Not defined. How long before they take you off the plane: 5 hours (as of Feb 20).

Delta - Not defined and no policy.

Southwest - 2 hours for "extended period of time" and 2 hours before they take you off the plane.

Is the Pledge of Allegiance that bad?

pledge_of_allegiance.gifAbout 50 Boulder High School students walked out of class Thursday to protest the daily reading of the Pledge of Allegiance and recited their own version, omitting "one nation, under God."

They also say the daily reading of the pledge over the school public address system at the start of the second class takes away from education time and is ignored or mocked by some students.

As a result, the protesting students, members of the Student Worker Club have offered their own pledge:

First the original pledge:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The Alternative Pledge:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag and my constitutional rights with which it comes. And to the diversity, in which our nation stands, one nation, part of 1 planet, with liberty, freedom, choice and justice for all."

* * * * *

The law in Colorado about the Pledge states that it must be made available for recitation during school hours. Before this year, the high school had the Pledge recited in the auditorium and could be optionally attended by any student who felt so inclined. This year, the school moved the pledge to the beginning of second period.

The Student Worker Club argues that the new policy imposes the Pledge on students who are opposed to recitation, disagree with the phrase "Under God," or would simply rather be studying. Student Worker is also worried that the Pledge will be trivialized in the eyes of those who do wish to recite it by the vast majority of students who simply ignore the recitation and remain seated.

Student Worker’s goal was to move the pledge from being broadcasted over the intercom during second period to an optional recitation in the auditorium during lunch hours, not the removal of the phrase “under god” or recitation of the pledge itself completely.

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I am a bit miffed that the students chose to not mention "United States of America" in their alternative pledge. That is of course the country we are pledging allegiance to. Relegating to just "nation" seems to make it a bit shallow.

Back in middle school, we had homeroom first so everyone stands and recites the pledge as it is broadcasted over the loudspeaker and the aide takes attendance, and that's it. In high school, the pledge is recited at the beginning of first period class. It only takes about 2 minutes or so.

I doubt that these two minutes could be spent on studying. We are not doing some sort of elaborate ceremony here.

You are being asked to respect the flag, and if anyone feels they are slighted by the "Under God" phrase, they can just sit during the recitation and that's it.

Hopefully our national anthem won't get taken apart in the same fashion.

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Side note: It seems that only in New York, Yankee or Shea Stadium, we do a "God Bless America" song before the "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" song during the half of the 7th inning. Mind you that we take the song seriously because of what has happened to the city back on 9/11. The folks in the stands really do get angry if fellow fans do not take off their caps or talking during the song.


Cities, Towns find new sources of revenue for red-light cameras

Red-light-camera.jpgHouston, Texas local station KPRC 2 reports that the city is now expanding their red-light camera to include illegal left and right turns, and drivers who do not come to a complete stop before making a turn.

All through September police only issued warnings for those caught on the new cameras, but soon that will change.

"Oct. 1 we will start sending out notice of violations at all the locations, including those illegal left and right turns," said Sgt. Edward Robinson.

There are a total of 70 cameras watching drivers.

Red-light runners and those who fail to come to a complete stop before making a turn at a red light can expect a $75 ticket in the mail.

* * * * *

Yes, we are all for car safety at the intersection but could this get too picky? Instead of safety, it will all be about a town or city trying to milk more money from its drivers. First you get illegal turns, then not making a full and complete stop, then you could get a fine for going 1-2 mph over the speed limit, or you lights were not on while using the wipers, or you did not signal in time.

It's really about the money, not automobile safety.

It had to happen: Apple sued over iPhone price discrimination

iphone.jpgI wonder if anyone was taking bets on who would file a legal lawsuit against Apple for their price cut on the iPhone.

Dongmei Li of Queens, New York City is accusing Apple of "price discrimination, underselling, discrimination in rebates, deceptive actions, and other wrongdoings."

Apparently, Li purchased a 4GB model of the iPhone and is upset that she can no longer resell her purchase for the same profit that someone who bought one after the price drop. She's also upset that her phone has already been discontinued.

Apple Insider Link

* * * * *

It would seem that losing money over this is a big problem for you. Then why buy the iPhone in the first place? You bought it because you believe the hype and you want to be one of the very first customers to buy it off the shelves on opening day. Now you are angry that Apple does a price cut on the phone.

Yep, you could have saved yourself about $200 if you waited a few months. But it was your own individual choice to buy it on the first day. Do not blame Apple, blame yourself.

Same goes when the XBox came out, then the XBox 360, the PS3, and so on and so forth.