Archives for the Month of February 2009 on Through the Magnifying Glass

Why the Japanese Hate the iPhone

Wired - http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2009/02/why-the-iphone.html

What's wrong with the iPhone, from a Japanese perspective? Almost everything: the high monthly data plans that go with it, its paucity of features, the low-quality camera, the unfashionable design and the fact that it's not Japanese.

TB NYU Protesters - Accept One-Week Suspension

The now infamous 18 Take Back NYU protesters who were the final holdouts during last week’s occupation — since called the “Kimmel 18” (maybe with too great a hint of heroics) — have been offered a deal from the university which they must decide to accept or reject today. For those who do not accept, suspensions will be retained until they are tried in a judicial hearing where punishments traditionally tend to be more severe.

Estimated financial impact was over $80,000, including the costs of heightened security, minor repairs to the Kimmel Center and disruption to dining services; an NYU security guard physically harmed; and many students inconvenienced.

The deal:

One week of suspension from school and a year of ineligibility for student leadership positions.

Washington Square News Link

Clint Eastwood: Political Correctness creates humourless society

Link - http://in.news.yahoo.com/139/20090227/906/ten-eastwood-thinks-political-correctnes.html

"People have lost their sense of humour. In former times we constantly made jokes about different races. You can only tell them today with one hand over your mouth or you will be insulted as a racist," the Daily Express quoted him as saying.

National Guard troops being trained for civil unrest

A good friend of mine mentioned that National Guard troops are being trained to handle civil unrest due to depressing economic conditions.

Is it also possible that the Posse Comitatus Act, the 1878 federal law passed after Reconstruction to prevent federal troops from conducting domestic law enforcement, is going to be repealed or modified? Not really sure if there is work being done on this, but in light of National Guard troops being trained, how soon before federal and military troops are being used?

Stop Intervening in the Economy

Stop Intervening in the Economy - Ron Paul

Before the House Financial Services Committee, Humphrey Hawkins Hearing, February 25, 2009

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul510.html

NAACP trying to keep their 15 minutes of fame alive over NY Post cartoon

NAACP To Protest News Corp Nationwide Over Cartoon

IMHO, if the NY Post cartoon artist put the name "Pelosi, Reid, Rangel" on the monkey or monkeys, I would say the reaction would be much more muted. Of course they would be calls for insensitivity, but on a much lower scale.

It would seem that Sharpton and the NAACP are milking their 15 minutes worth in order to prolong this outrage at the NY Post, Fox News, and basically any media publication that has been labeled as "insensitive" in their eyes.

Still, what if Bush was President or McCain? No outrage. Or if Hillary Clinton was President? Nothing.

It certainly looks like "monkeys" being used in political cartoons are non-grata for the next four years. Maybe the cartoonist should use hyenas next time.

$410 billion spending bill passes, guess how many earmarks were in it?

The Democratic-controlled House pushed through a $410 billion measure Wednesday that boosted domestic programs, bristled with earmarks and chipped away at policies left behind by the Bush administration.

Link

Guess how many earmarks? Taypayers for Common Sense estimated that there were 8,570 earmarks (that means pork projects). Of course if you ask the Democrats how many, they refuse to answer.

$1.75 TRILLION

If you thought incurring a federal deficit of $450-500 billion was bad, try $1.75 trillion!

Link - Official: Obama budget sees $1.75 trillion deficit

Here's a good read from the Wall Street Journal:
The 2% Illusion: Take Everything they earn, and it still won't be enough

From the Article:
Consider the IRS data for 2006, the most recent year that such tax data are available and a good year for the economy and "the wealthiest 2%." Roughly 3.8 million filers had adjusted gross incomes above $200,000 in 2006. (That's about 7% of all returns; the data aren't broken down at the $250,000 point.) These people paid about $522 billion in income taxes, or roughly 62% of all federal individual income receipts. The richest 1% -- about 1.65 million filers making above $388,806 -- paid some $408 billion, or 39.9% of all income tax revenues, while earning about 22% of all reported U.S. income.

Even with raising taxes on the wealthy, capital gains, and dividend rates, Obama is still short hundreds of billions of dollars he will need for his agenda.

How can we believe that Obama can promise that households earning less than $250,000 won't see their taxes increased by "one single dime?"

The middle class is going to get taxed. It is simple as that.

Bail out the bad borrowers too?

Time.com - I Bought an Expensive House. My Bad, Not Yours

Yahoo Finance - Bernanke: Bail out bad borrowers too

Tuition: Present vs Past

It is still crazy to think of how much tuition cost these days. 2009-2010 tuition for undergrads is $35,900! Total estimated expenses for the year is more than $48,000.

For 1995-1996, it was roughly $16,100. Total expenses for an undergrad during that year was around $23-24,000.

Back in the day, students were worried about graduating with debt loads of over $20,000. Today, that figure is higher. 2006 data shows that Case students had an average debt load of $24,098.

Eleven states declare states' rights

At least 11 states have decided that his brand of “hope” equates to an intolerable expansion of the federal government’s authority over the states. These states -- "Washington, New Hampshire, Arizona, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, California...Georgia," South Carolina, and Texas -- "have all introduced bills and resolutions" reminding Obama that the 10th Amendment protects the rights of the states, which are the rights of the people, by limting the power of the federal government. These resolutions call on Obama to “cease and desist” from his reckless government expansion and also indicate that federal laws and regulations implemented in violation of the 10th Amendment can be nullified by the states.

Link

Natural News - Resolutions to Affirm State Sovereignty may be Prelude to Secession

Nolan Chart - Are States Sovereign in America?

Rick Santelli responds back to White House

NYU Student Protest take over Cafeteria; List of Demands

nyu_protest.jpg

Members of the coalition Take Back NYU! have been occupying the cafeteria of the Helen & Martin Kimmel Center for University Life for more than 24 hours.

CBS News Link

The students are calling for a series of changes, including increased transparency of the school's finances. They want full budget and endowment disclosure, affordable education, and increased student participation in the university's operation.

Tuition at NYU annually is about $50,000, including room and board. Some students told CBS 2 HD they had no idea the cost was so high; they just want to know where their money is going.

While they want budget reform, they also want things which are not related such as 13 scholarships a year provided for students of the Gaza Strip, and to give surplus supplies to the Islamic University in Gaza.

Why should these two items matter to this budget transparency thing? Is there a hidden agenda behind this group, or just another way to get the media to do more increased exposure?

Stick with the main objective of the protest and not these friviolous requests.

* * * * * * *

There are 13 demands overall and they cover students rights, labor rights, transparency of university money trails, support for palestine and palestinian students, and divestment of israel and coca-cola.

In detail:

1. immunity for all student occupiers and back pay for nyu campus employees affected by the action

2. transparency on NYU’s budget and endowments

3. fair labor practices: between nyu and all employees, including renewed labor negotiations between nyu and gsoc/uaw local 2110 (grad student union)

4. responsible spending: the addition of a new “socially responsible finance committee (srfc),” to nyu’s board of trustees, with equal voting rights.

5. divestment: the srfc will investigate nyu investments in war and genocide

6. money and goods to gaza: 13 full scholarships to palestinian students, and that nyu donate excess materials to help rebuild the university of gaza

7. equal access to nyu buildings: including public access to nyu’s main library (one onlooker said, “um, thats what the public library is for”) and priority given to student groups trying to reserve space at the kimmel multi-use, performance center.

Trader Buzz on the Government's Plan

Link - http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1039849853

VIDEO: 'The government is promoting bad behavior... do we really want to subsidize the losers' mortgages... This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage? President Obama are you listening? How about we all stop paying our mortgage! It's a moral hazard'

Did you read any part of this stimulus bill?

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Love the "THUD!"

Being all diversity minded may bring disunity

It comes down to the same thing: When liberty is under attack, everybody is at risk. We cannot pick certain freedoms we like and those that we dislike.

Remember Pastor Martin Niemoller:

When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I was not a Jew.

When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

Remember Benjamin Franklin:

"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Campaign for Liberty - Ron Paul on Senate Stimulus "Compromise"

Ron Paul - 2/10/2009 Dr Paul's Walls II

Ron Paul v Ben Bernanke 2/10/2009

Ron Paul v Ben Bernanke 2/10/2009