Sunday, December 31, 2006

What I'm looking forward in 2007

The first event I'm looking forward to in the New Year is the 2007 US Congress. With the Democrats finally took control of both Houses, we hope they have the decency of booting Dubya out. The second event I'm looking forward to is the Maryland General Assembly. Yes, it's short but it's a lot work for a short session.

The MDP will cover both of these sessions begining on Jan. 4 for Congress, and January 10th for the General Assembly. Not to mention the Prince Georges County Council mettings and the College Park City Council mettings once I resume my studies on UMD on January 21, 2006.

Yes, 21 days away until renetry. You can expect many things from me: Videos, investigative reports, original reports, and daily umd life and photos that I could not regulary blog on.

So from your's truely, I wish everyone a Happy, Safe, and Healthy New Year! You will not be seeing any new posts until New Years Morning. But there will be a New Year's Surprise.

Sick of Republicrats? Here's a real Democrat for President.

I've beem to Dennis Kucinich's website before and I can tell that he's a real liberal. Here's a few positions he takes.

Universal Health Care:
We must establish streamlined national health insurance, "Enhanced Medicare for Everyone." It would be publicly financed health care, privately delivered, and will put patients and doctors back in control of the system. Coverage will be more complete than private insurance plans; encourage prevention; and include prescription drugs, dental care, mental health care, and alternative and complementary medicine.

Media Reform
I believe the people should be involved in the maintenance of their airwaves, creating public media outlets controlled by community boards similar to the model of Pacifica Radio. Funding for public broadcasting channels on television and radio should be greatly expanded, assuring the existence of media outlets free of the influence of advertisers.

I aim to promote knowledge of the public process through which citizens can challenge the licenses of local broadcast outlets failing to provide local coverage and coverage directed at the whole community, or outlets airing excessive violence.

Not-for-profit groups should be allowed to obtain low-power FM radio-station licenses. The development of new, community-based, noncommercial broadcasting outlets should be encouraged.

Real Homeland Security:
In a time when homeland security is of utmost concern, it is perplexing why anyone would not wish to keep guns out of the hands of those who might do us harm. This is why I would support legislation to require background checks, identical to the background checks currently required for transfers by licensed gun dealers, for firearm transfers by unlicensed gun dealers at gun shows. Sensible laws to prevent guns from winding up in the wrong hands do not infringe on any constitutional rights.

I believe the only way to stop these unconstitutional infringements on basic American freedoms is to revoke the exorbitant powers the PATRIOT Act has granted the government. I voted against the PATRIOT Act. I am working to repeal it.

Living Wage
The federal minimum wage is $5.15 and would be over $8.50, had Congress adjusted it for inflation over the past 35 years.

We must make it a top priority to restore the value of the federal minimum wage, bringing it up to at least its 1968 level and indexing it to automatically keep pace with the cost of living. This will allow workers to quit their second or third jobs and spend more time with their families.

And Finally: DC Statehood
We need to fully restore DC to financial health. We must provide for increased infrastructure, jobs, education, and health care spending. I have a broad-based plan to promote this. DC residents pay enough annually in federal taxes to support a state. In fact, they pay more federal taxes than several states and have a per capita tax payment that is above the national average. Because it belongs to the federal government, approximately 50% of DC's real estate is exempt from taxation. Over half of all sales in DC are to the federal government or other tax-exempt organizations, and this produces no revenue to the DC government.
I like this guy and as soon as I find an chance to voluteer for his campagin, I'll go after it. Tell your friends about him, he's probally the real choice between him and sHillery.

3,000 troops dead.

We have now reached the shameful mark of three thousand. Three thousand american troops dead. But Dubya thinks it's all worth it:
Asked about the 3,000 figure, deputy White House press secretary Scott Stanzel said Sunday that the president "will ensure their sacrifice was not made in vain."

"We will be fighting violent jihadists for peace and security of the civilized world for years to come. The brave men and women of the U.S. military are fighting extremists in order to stop them from attacking on our soil again," Stanzel said.

In a statement Bush released Sunday to wish the troops and all Americans a happy new year, the president said the nation depends on the men and women in the armed services and are mindful of their dedication and sacrifice.

"Last year, America continued its mission to fight and win the war on terror and promote liberty as an alternative to tyranny and despair," Bush said in the statement released from his ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he and first lady Laura Bush are spending New Year's Eve with friends.

"In the New Year, we will remain on the offensive against the enemies of freedom, advance the security of our country, and work toward a free and unified Iraq," he said. "Defeating terrorists and extremists is the challenge of our time, and we will answer history's call with confidence and fight for liberty without wavering."

Remember this from two-days ago?
I promise you that the number of military dead will reach 3000 by New Year's Eve.
It's New Years Eve, we already lost. It's time to get out of Iraq, NOW!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Done with leveling, now onward to Rank 5!

Finally got Jkid out of Jueno with the help of a WHM teleporter. From then on it's a seven minute Chocobo ride to the nearest outpost to teleport myself again Bastok. Bought myself four Christmas trees and a dream hat. Now all I need to do is:
  1. Reach level 5
  2. Leveling my fishing skill
  3. Unlocking my Palidian Job
But I finally working back intot the FFXI routine.

While you at it, extend it all the way to Greenbelt.

It's a good thing that WMATA or the Washington Metropolitian area Transit Authorty has extended Yellow line to Fort Totten during off-peak and weekends.
"We listened to what community asked and needed," said Jim Graham, Metro Board Member who represents the District of Columbia. "During a Town Hall meeting last year, customers of the Columbia Heights, U Street and Petworth neighborhoods told us they wanted more train service because their neighborhoods were experiencing rapid development. Now, the Yellow Line extended service to Fort Totten will help support the area's development and urban lifestyle," he said.

The 18-month pilot costs $5.75 million and will be paid by the District of Columbia.

But I got a better idea: Extend the entire line to Greenbelt. Since sometimes I head down to Greenbelt Plaza Mall for window shopping and arcade games. But the trains on the green line on weekends sometimes reaches 10-12 minutes per train. The pilot's is going to be successful anyway by eight months at the most, so metro ought to buy more trains for the extended line.

Friday, December 29, 2006

If they're really the liberal media, they should show the full monty.

If the corporate media has the balls, they should show the entire hanging:
Though it was not known whether images of the execution would be released, the news divisions at ABC and CBS said that, should video become available, they will show some visual documentation of Saddam’s death but will not use overly graphic images or show complete execution.
Seriously, if I were to run a cable tv news network, I would run the footage. This is the public interest and a bloody civic duty. Yes, there should be warning about the footage but there would be no cuts at all. Uncut, uncensored, that's what I like the "mainstream media" to show the execution. If they can sensentionalize a sex scandal or Natallee Hollyway they should have the balls to show the entire execution of Saddam.

Saddam Hussien Executed! (Fatality!)

Ladies and Gentlemen, Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti is dead:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S.-backed Iraqi television station Al Hurra said
Saddam Hussein had been executed by hanging shortly before 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) on Saturday.

Arabic satellite channel Arabiya also reported the execution had taken place.

The former Iraqi president ousted in April 2003 by a U.S.-led invasion was convicted in November of crimes against humanity over the killings of 148 Shi'ite villagers from Dujail after a failed assassination bid in 1982.
And you know what's worse, his next trial will be tried in mortina:
During his three decades in power, Saddam was accused of widespread oppression of political opponents and genocide against Kurds in northern Iraq. His execution means he will never face justice on those charges.
Now Dubya, you got your wish. NOW CAN WE LEAVE!?

GUNz the Perspective

I heard about a game called GUNz the Duel for a while. I reseached the game on Wikipedia and it's a Korean Massively Multiplayer Online Shooter (MMOS) or MMO Third Person Shooter, with a RPG twist. (South Koreans, they seem to know how to make PC Games)

For the record, I hate PC gaming for two reasons:
  1. Keyboard and mouse controls. I have been using game consoles since the NES. Using a keyboard and mouse to me is awkward since you're not using a controller you're seems to be actively use your hands alot. A whole lot. Not to mention that in many games there can be more than 15 or 30 keyboard buttons that can be used for a PC game, while a controller has a small amount of buttons to use.
  2. Mininum requirements. This is what turned me off to PC gaming. It's a long story, but sometimes when you install a PC game, it may not even run or run slowly.
But I can safely say that GUNz is one of the good games I've played this year. The controls are simple to use, if you've played a first person shooter before. Not to mention the acrobatics the players perform.

If you want to try it for yourself, you can download it on ijji, you have to register but it's free. Not to mention it has plenty of games that I did not have a chance to play yet.

I'll write more about the game and may post a few videos of me playing it soon. But if you see a Jkid wielding two submachine guns, say "hi" for me.

Getting close to the big three-zero-zero-zero

Can feel it? It's the sound of horrible atangonizing. The fact that the War in Iraq will reach 3,000 military dead. The body count is currently 2,996. While that is the unofficial count, I promise you that the number of military dead will reach 3000 by New Year's Eve.

How many more troops will die before Dubya withdraws his troops?

Saddam Must Die! (While Iraq will disintergrate further.)

From what I heard from the mainstream media that saddam will be executed by Iraqi authorities around 10pm EST. Yet as much as we all want to die, I rather have him rot away slowly in prison. The Progressive offered a editorial against it:

In a country like Iraq that is being torn asunder right now by revenge killings, the execution of Saddam will serve only to further enflame the Sunni population, leading to yet another round of sectarian violence. The cycle of murder will spin ever faster after Saddam hangs lifeless.

Basically, if Iraqi's execute Saddam, it would seal the fate of Iraq towards the Gates of Hell, and the country would be nothing but another mounument of Imperial Americana's sin. May the Gods of Abraham forgive Dubya. (And even that will not save him from impeachment, if it ever comes)

Ehrlich's Swan Song: 17 Pardons

Outgoing Governor Ehrlich did one of his final acts as Governor by granting seventeen pardons to various convicts. The crimes are minor with one serious one. What he could have done is to grant clemancy to all Death Row immates currently residing in Maryland prisons.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

An Apology Message

I must apologize for the extreme lack of posts over this month. I had a backlog of assignments that for some reason got lost on transit or on due to the professors. Sometimes, things like this happen, especially for a college student. But here’s what I did while AIA (Absent in Action).
  1. I went to Spike Lee’s lecture and shoked his hand!
  2. I finally finished The Culture of Fear, the first volume of Last Fantasy (a good Korean spoof of Japanese RPGs), MegaTokyo vol. 4, 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy, and The World is Flat,
  3. Finished Need for Speed Most Wanted
  4. Survived my first finals week,
  5. Found an nice PC game called Gunz: The Duel (It’s a freebie and works well on my laptop), and
  6. Went to the mall to buy myself a few Christmas gifts.
Hopefully this will all change either today or tomorrow. But there are many things I’m looking forward to:
  1. Covering Harford County Council meetings,
  2. Covering the Maryland General Assembly meetings,
  3. Getting towards blogging special topics (Such as the Advertures in Video Gaming),
  4. And finally, reentering the UMD in the spring semester(And this time it’s all year-round) Not to mention I’ll be sporting an all new look.
So, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, a Solemn Ramadan, and Happy Holidays from the Modern Day Prophet

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I hate SATs, but here's how to imporve them

I've took the SATs last year, I didn't like the fact that I had to take a standardized test to be a admitted to college. But I took the test anyway, and scored in the low 1300's. But it was enough to be admitted into UMD. Now here's what I like from this editorial:

First of all, the tests should be free. They should be given on a small scale, preferably by each school or department, and scored by the teachers at that school, though the students' names should be anonymous during scoring. The exams should test students on the actual knowledge necessary for their chosen fields of study. If a general test is necessary, it should not be limited to high school math and vocabulary. The tests should be as comprehensive as a student's education. Finally, entrance examinations should not be multiple-choice based. Essays and short answer questions are the only questions that truly measure a student's knowledge, creativity and ability. All in all, entrance exams should be the exact opposite of today's standardized tests.

Basically, Anika calls for the GRE's to be abolished ,and for the actual tests to administed by the universities themselves, more focused on short answers and essays ,and the new exams to be free of chrage.

If you can take the same suggestions to the SATs, I promise you that it would be much different from the current SAT's,and that would be a good thing.

Strong Mandate, Weak Democrat

Prince George's County has been ruled by the Democratic party for it seems to be like decades. Jack B. Johnson, the still county executive, is claiming "a "very strong mandate" to govern and outlined a broad agenda for the next four years."

So what's his agenda for next term?
...Johnson said he is well-positioned to use his mandate to attack the twin problems that have plagued the county through his first term: crime and lagging schools.

He said he will continue to expand the police force. There are fewer than 1,400 officers, but officials plan to push that number to 1,800 in the next few years. He announced shortly after the primary that he will retain Police Chief Melvin C. High but suggested he might unveil a new crime initiative shortly after he takes the oath of office.

He also said he plans to flood the school system with money, even as he acknowledged a slowing real estate market that will make for tighter budgets than during his first term, when he fully funded the school system for the first time in a generation.

Almost immediately, Johnson will face difficult negotiations over Prince George's Hospital Center, the financially troubled facility that serves many of the region's uninsured patients. A committee has spent months fielding offers from nonprofit companies to take over management of the county-owned hospital. Johnson said he will soon provide an update on the effort.

So his agenda in short is to:
  1. Expand the PGC Police to 1,800 officers
  2. Fully fund the school system, and
  3. Deal with transfering ownership of PG General to a non-profit companies (is it still privitization?)
But what about solving the real problems, why not deal with the root causes of crime (Poverty, neightborhoods designed not to grow and thrive). Why not expand the already weak THE BUS system? Why not find a way to eqaulize funding for PGCPS and fund it directly toward education? And why not a universial health care system for the county?

That's wht I would do if I was elected County Executive.

Haven't posted for over two weeks.

I did not know how I lost the will to blog. It was plenty of reasons: College work, thanksgiving (Ate turkey, baked chicken, corn bread, salad, and rice), internet surfing, wikipedia, Final Fantasy XI. But hopefully today would of this two week lull.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

UMD Life

Sorry for the no-blog day. There was a midterm in PHIL140, I finished homework for another Math 003 Chapter, and did a essay. Now I'm off playing PSO, regular blogging resumes tomorrow.

Monday, November 13, 2006

And Now a Public Information Advisory

I like to remind everyone in the UMD community to always get have your room key if when you leave the dorm. Because if you frequently don't and have to check out a loaner from the Hall Desk it will be considered as key abuse if you have checked out a loaner 5 times. Any incidents of key abuse could result in judical action by the UMD's Office of Judicial Programs.

That has been a Public Information Advisory from MDP.

ISO-College Park Rally Calls for End of Occupation of Palestine

Early afternoon today near enterance of the the MaKalden Library. The College Park Branch of the International Socialist Organisation held a rally calling for the end of the Palestinian Occupation. I was late by the time I got there since I did not expect a rally at this time, but I did caught a speech from a member of the Muslim Student Assoication.

UMD Spot

Fall Cleaning

The Vast Wasteland

More news about NBCU's decision to consolidate local spanish news:
The reductions reflect a trend by media companies to cut newsroom jobs in an effort to boost corporate profit and satisfy shareholders. In recent years, revenue at traditional media outlets has declined as more advertisers have embraced the Internet to reach younger viewers.

But centralizing the news operation has drawn a rebuke of NBC Universal from the National Assn. of Hispanic Journalists, which is considering challenging upcoming Telemundo station license renewals.

The group contends that NBC is abrogating its responsibility to serve the public interest and breaking promises made when the network sought federal approval to buy Telemundo. The group plans to meet with NBC executives this week.
Sorry NAHJ, NBC has abrogated it's responsibility years ago.
The criticism drew a written response from Jay Ireland, president of NBC Universal television stations, and Don Browne, president of Telemundo Communications Group Inc. They contended that moves were needed to ensure the stations' long-term viability.

"We are fully committed to our mission of inspiring, educating and entertaining the Hispanic community," they wrote. "However, we must also face the realities of our marketplace. We … have struggled financially with local newscasts in some of our smaller markets."

The new format should also make it possible to bring regional news to Spanish-language stations in Fresno and Denver, which currently do not have a local newscast. NBC executives said the move would not affect Telemundo's national newscast that originates from Telemundo's headquarters near Miami.
That is some BS, NBCU really cares is about the money. This quote explains what this means to Latino viewers:

"No matter how they frame it, this means there will be less local news in these markets, not more — and it's good news for Univision," said Felix Gutierrez, a professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication. "NBC should be giving people more reasons to watch Telemundo, not fewer reasons."

If it an't broke, don't fix it.

Obviously, Education Secretary Spellings does not get it.
A number of forthcoming federal efforts aimed at reforming higher education could compromise American universities' competitive edge worldwide by allowing the government to dictate their content, university President Dan Mote said.

Mote's chief concern, he said, is that stronger government oversight would cause a shift from content and currica shaped by student interest to a standardized model mandated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Great, not only we have No Rich Child Left Behind, we're going to have No Rich College Student Left Behind. We can deal with problems on our own, Spellings have worst problems she needs to worry about.

I do not want a phase withdrawl,

I want a immediate withdrawl!
Democrats poised to take control of Congress said Sunday that they would press to begin a phased U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq within four to six months, part of an agenda aimed at overhauling key aspects of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

"First order of business is to change the direction of Iraq policy," said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who is in line to become chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee next year when Democrats become the majority party in both chambers of Congress.

Senior White House officials countered that setting timetables for U.S. troop withdrawals would weaken the Iraq government and embolden insurgents, but they acknowledged a need for fresh ideas on Iraq and expressed a new willingness to negotiate with Democrats on an array of foreign policy issues.

White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten indicated that the president would block legislation calling for a scheduled withdrawal.
Dubya, the Iraqi government has already weakened. Around 2,860 American soldiers are dead. Between 200,000 and 600,000 Iraqi civilians are dead as a result of this war. The more we stay in Iraq, the more embolden the insurgents are. Negotiation is not an option. We have wrecked this country long enough, it's time to leave Iraq. Not in six months, not in three months, not in one month, and not in two weeks. NOW!

The Prophet Has Already Spoken...

... on Monday's Diamondback. My editorial is about how the State of Maryland can fully fund not only the University of Maryland, but every college that's part of the larger University System of Maryland (Yes, in Maryland we have a public university system:

How can the state of Maryland resolve college affordability? It can establish a higher education trust fund. The trust fund would be dedicated to giving out much-needed funding to the University System of Maryland so it would not need to rely on tuition costs. It should also apply to room and board and other fees you or your parents are paying every semester. It would be similar to the Social Security trust fund, but the difference is this trust fund will be separate from the general budget and will pay out interest. No one in the Maryland government would touch it, because it goes exclusively to the universities.

The trust fund would, for all intents and purposes, allow free higher education to all students, undergraduate or graduate, admitted to any school that's part of the system. The fund would also give out monthly living expense grants of about $4,000 per semester to all students, unless they have jobs that pay the average yearly salary of a Maryland worker.

Now the question is will O'Malley and the General Assembly take this idea and make it into law?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Adventures in Video Gaming

The Wii is not launched yet, but during my window shopping session at Target yesterday, I found out that some Wii stuff has already released. On the top right corner, there are Wii game disc holders. On the top left corner, Wii-mote stickers. On the bottom left, the entire shelf of pre-launch Wii products Finally, on the bottom right, Wii-mote covers. However I'm not planning to buy the Nintendo Wii anytime soon, I'll be fine with my Xbox 360 and PS2.

O'Malley: "Legalize Slots"

Here we go again with the slots.

Gov.-elect Martin O'Malley called upon the Maryland General Assembly yesterday to legalize slot machine gambling at horse tracks, saying he was "sick of this issue" but feared that the state's racing industry could collapse if lawmakers did not find common ground early in his term.

"Hopefully, we can find some room for compromise and address people's fears about this being the camel's nose under the tent, and move forward to other more pressing, important issues," O'Malley said during an interview on WTOP (103.5 FM, 820 AM), one in a series of radio and television appearances yesterday in which he was peppered with questions on the topic.

O'Malley, who is Baltimore's mayor, said slot machines at racetracks would help prop up an industry that provides 18,000 jobs in Maryland and would ensure the survival of the Preakness Stakes, a nationally renowned event at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore that O'Malley called "the equivalent of having the Super Bowl in Maryland every year."

OK I would not mind legalizing gambling, we already have the Maryland Lottery, why not legalize other forms of gambling. However the key aspect of legalizing gambling is to regulate and tax (preferably 80% of the revenue). Also, if the proposed law reaches the General Assembly, why not prohibit casinos and gambling area in disadvanaged neighborhoods and let indiviual counites decide if the gambling place is allowed with consent of the the people?

Twlight Academies?

Don't believe me?

Schools CEO John Deasy is moving ahead with reforms designed to take the school system off the state’s corrective action list in two years. Otherwise, the school system will face sanctions.

Deasy said he is ready to propose a policy to the new board that would make mandatory his ‘‘twilight academies” for all high school students who failed their assessment tests.

‘‘I don’t want to hear people [complaining] when they don’t graduate,” Deasy said.

OK, the concept of a twlight academy is a great idea. It's essenally an after school program with classes, with small class sizes. This concept is being applied to some high schools in the Prince Georges County area.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

On midnight tonight...

Remember what I told you about my first experience with the Rocky Horror Picture Show? If you folks missed it, the Santanic Mechanics is 10 years old now, and they're holding their 10th anniversity by showing the film again. If you have not been to a Satanic Machanic show before expect a lot of insantiy and crazyness abound. I'm already prepared for the 2nd screening and will bring you the lowdown from the 10th anniversity showing AND my first experience for the movie as soon as I can. (If schoolwork and assignements don't drag me down to the ground first.)

The battle rages on

I've stumpled onto an interesting article from the Progressive Review, and found this to be exactly true:

I realized later that I had stumbled upon the outlines of a new American political fault line. It was so new that it lacked a name, stereotypes, cliches, experts and prophets. In many ways it seemed more a refugee camp than a voluntary assembly, yet, as I thought about it, the more its logic seemed only concealed rather than lacking.

On one side were libertarians, blacks, greens, populists, free thinkers, the alienated apathetic, the rural abandoned, the apolitical young, as well as others convinced America was losing its democracy, its sovereignty and its decency. On the other side was a technocratic, media, legal, business and cultural elite centered in New York and Washington. At times it felt as if all of America outside of these two centers had turned into a gigantic, chaotic salon des refuses.

Another thing I noticed was that this was about far more than politics. A cultural and class coup was underway, of which the Clinton administration was a part, one that was creating a gated economy and transforming those outside the barriers into pliant, homogenized, multi-nationalized consumers for whom freedom, choice and democracy would atrophy into symbols of only virtual meaning. People like me were traitors to the cause. . .
True, man, true

Thursday, November 09, 2006

New Govenor, Same Problem

Looks like O'Malley is trying not to be looked at as a socialist.

O'Malley has stopped short of endorsing the need for a mandated long-term funding source; but to cap tuition, the university does require a source of funding to cover its operating costs, such as salary increases for employees, utility bills and caring for the campus' computer networks, said system chancellor Brit Kirwan.

Since the university's primary sources of revenue are tuition and state funding, the state money that is earmarked for the university would have to increase enough to fund those operating costs. Then tuition could be capped and set to increase at the rate of inflation, Kirwan said.

Wylie said a tuition cap "could be quite positive, but of course we need the state to step in and provide the support so the quality of the university is not eroded."

Kirwan said with strong tax revenues bolstering the state's financial stability, most in the system were optimistic about future funding.

"Given that we have a good economy, I have a lot of confidence that we're going to be able to keep tuition moderate, increases moderate, because of both his commitment to do so but also the ability to invest state funds in higher education," Kirwan said.
Capping tuition is not going to be enough to manage the rising cost of college education. Even if he impliments his plan, college affordablity in Maryland will still recieve an F. Unless he wants to cut tuition in half in addition to the cap, I got three words for you. Free College Education

Reporting from McKeldin Mall, this is Ndubuisi Okeh from MDP.

The Vast Wasteland

Here is the full lowdown on the NBC 2.0 cutting floor.

Telemundo, which is owned by, NBC Universal will discontinue it's news casts in Huston, Dallas, San Antonia, San Jose, Denver, and Phenoix with a five-breau operation feeding stories to two news centers: Burbank, California for San Antonia, San Jse, and Denver and Phenoix the almost contructed Telemundo production center in Dallas for the Huston and San Ontonio. (Wait a minute, didn't Siniclar tried that before shutting it down). That's right, no local spanish news if you do not live in New York City, Chicago, and Miami.

In some of the areas affected, this means no real local news.

Here's another great article regarding this too. And another one too

MSNBC will be closing down it's Secacus,NJ branch and moving into Englewood Cliffs, NJ and Manhattan,NYC

Replacing dramas with more profitiable and easy to make reality and game shows (Great, more reality crap, but I do like Wife-Swap)

The end result, the savings will be reinvested in digital television projects that will bring in 1 billion in revenue in 2009 (Yeah, right)

But the only silverlining is that NBC will be recrduling Thursday nights with comedy's from 8pm-10pm starting november 30th

So this is what we get for the passage of the Telecommunications Act 1996, centralization, consolidation, and savings; all at the expense of the general public, the public the networks had to serve in the public interest.

Here's one quote where they show this comtempt:

Zucker noted that the rival ABC network had quietly been doing the same thing in recent years.
"We want to be sure that we continue to provide the best programming possible," Zucker said. "We just want to put the programming where we get the highest rate of return."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What Maryland Democrats ought to do in the Next General Assembly?

  1. State-funded Univerisal Health Care,
  2. Publicly takeover BGE and all public utilities,
  3. Raise the mininum wage to a living wage of $12 per hour
  4. Provide for Free Public Education from Pre-K to Graduate
  5. Expand and improve Public Transport, no more road building (That include trams and passenger rail, I'm looking at you MTA Maryland/MARC)
  6. Repeal the Sales tax, raise mininum tax threshold to average Marylander yearly salary, and make the rich pay their share
  7. Stop pollution of all kinds
  8. Build public housing for everyone, and in way that allows the community to grow and not in disadvantaged areas.
  9. Implement a levy for public broadcasting stations of 2 dollars per month to be added on to electric bills to allow MPT and maryland public radio to finally fully serve its mission
  10. Last and not least: Decodify the Annonated Code of Maryland. Simplfy the law to plain English so that average people can read Acts of the Maryland General Assembly.

The Vast Wasteland

On today's Diamondback I read an interesting ariticle about why there are little good shows on broadcast television:
...why are the only good shows on the air either being canceled or on premium cable channels? And more importantly, what can you do about it?

You want ingenious television? It's scarce to find on NBC, ABC, CBS or FOX because of the restrictions set on average TV networks, but when one-of-a-kind shows actually appear, they tend to get the ax despite positive press and critical acclaim (Arrested Development, anyone?). And that's not even a phenomenon of this season, it's just how the network-TV cookie crumbles, leaving highlights like Twin Peaks and Firefly in its wake.

Sure, tons of crap has been cut so far this fall - Kidnapped on NBC, Smith on CBS, Runaway on The CW and Happy Hour on FOX - but actual gems like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on NBC are in jeopardy despite great acting, writing and production, while trash like Desperate Housewives and The O.C. remain on the air.

What she saying is true. As a matter of fact, there are two main reasons why most good shows are either canceled is that in the broadcasting industry is about money, although the FCC is supposed to regulate the industry in the public interest, it's clear that they are not doing their job, as a matter of fact the FCC is the Broadcast's industry's Bitch, since it's establishment in 1934. They keep crap on the air because it gains the largest viewers. I call it the "lowest common denominator" audience.
The point of television is to engage, interest and entertain, and when shows push the envelope, both the viewer and the network benefit. So although we have to wait an exorbitant amount of time and suffer in agony until The Sopranos and Weeds come back, use the time off to tune into your average broadcast television show. By showing networks viewers care about more than just Eva Longoria's latest suburban tryst or what the hell California is going to do without Mischa Barton, you can help keep quality television like Studio 60 on the air - and maybe get Housewives and The O.C. off.
I'm afriad that will not happen anytime soon. And if you think that Maryland Public Television (Maryland's PBS affliate) is any different, it's not. Public Broadcasting has the same problem as the broadcasting industry, the only difference is that it involes AWASPs, stupid pledges programing (two words: Suze Orman), and 20 year old British imports and Barney.


The people have decided, and the decided that they have enough of GOP hypocracy,stupidty and the war in Iraq. The Democrats won the House of Represenatives by 22 seats and as of now a 50/49 match in the Senate. Locally in Maryland, Michale "Sellout" Steele lost to incumbent Ben Cardin. (Obviously, being black is not enough to be elected. This means the Era of the Dubya legacy will be crumbling down.) As for the Governor campagin, Ehrlich has lost to Baltimore mayor Martin O'Malley.

Want a example? Donald Rumsfield is stepping down. (Trial and imprisonment for war of agression is remains to be seen).

For the full official tally for the state of maryland here they are.

Now don't celebrate just yet. The Democrats we elected are still sold out to corporate special interests. So the only way we can get what we want like univerisal health care, or free education (instead of capping tuition) is to do one thing: Lobby

Write letters to your elected officials. As a matter of fact, fax your letters since all elected officials have at least one fax machine, so they will have no excuse not to read it. If possible and in most cases it is, go to your legislature to meet your officials in person. Demand what you want, don't wait for them to do it for you, because most likely they will not.

Election 2006 The deciding factor.

Ok, I've waited over two hours just to cast my ballot for the historic mid-term election of the year. The good thing is that the Democrats has won the House by the time I type this, however the Senate remains to be seen. So what will happen if the Dems win congress?

Will we get out of Iraq?
Will the King Dubya be overthrown by impeachment?
Will America escape the grip of the health care industry and enjoy universial health care?

We will find out soon.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The ramifications of NBC 2.0

OK, we all know what's going to happen to NBC by the next season, they're going to "cut" 700 million dollars by consolidating news and reducing real programing and making more game shows and reality tv crap. I'm planning to wrte a full report of NBC 2.0 and how it will affect you as a comsumer.

Stay Tuned.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I supposed to be back early, instead Amtrak screwed me.

I planned to be back to UMD around 10:30, instead the train got into mechanical problems, waited two hours and instead the train eventually made it into Aberdeen. Amtrak had to rebook me on a 4:19pm train, and even that train was delayed. It did arrived and got on and went my way to UMD. Now I know one thing, don't trust Amtrak when it comes to punctuality, unless you're bording at the terminal stations.

This is actually the end result of America's transport policy of susidzing roads and the airplane industry, and this is what we get, a train service that has been living on life-support for most of its life and designed to fail. Not to memntion that MARC, a wonderful alternative to Amtrak, do not operate on weekdends, requiring anyone to take a day trip from Aberdeen,MD to Washington, DC to pay around $27 one-way (that's if you reserve a day in advance).Compare that to the $10 one way fare from Aberdeen to Washington DC.

If I were President, I would order the reallocation of funds from roads and airplanes to trains and public transport. Of course, don't rely on the Republicrats to do that.

In other news, this is my first post in my blog for a long time. I just had too much on my mind, regular blogging will resume tomorrow. Seriously, I'm not joking.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Panel Discussion

Here is just one the hopefully the long list a diaries about events I've been to in UMD. Today's essay: A Discussion Session

Nationwide Higher Education Reform?

I have a bad feeling about this:

The University System of Maryland Board of Regents expressed confidence Friday that if federal officials launch a sweeping nationwide effort to reform higher education, state institutions will be well-prepared to accommodate changes.

Higher education reform has been on the minds of university administrators nationwide since the U.S. Department of Education-initiated Spellings Commission Report recommended last month that universities across the country employ dramatic changes, especially in revamping financial aid and increasing accountability in academic programs.

What drastic changes?

System Chancellor Brit Kirwan said he fully expects significant action by legislators to implement many of the reports' recommendations, which includes the creation of a publicly available national database containing academic success scores and financial data on institutions across the country.

"I think my friends in education should be breathing a sigh of relief that we didn't [define a standard] in nine months" of working on the report, Charlene Nunley, President of Montgomery College, who also served on the Spellings Commission, said at the meeting.

The report's recommendation to revamp financial aid also became a focus at the meeting, as one of the goals of the Spelling Commission is to address affordability concerns, especially for minorities and low-income families.

"These kinds of groups are trying to wrestle with the question of whether or not college will be affordable to citizens," Provost William Destler said in an interview. "I think that is certainly a root problem and one of the motivating factors behind all these studies of higher education."

University administrators here frequently tout their commitment to pursuing need-based financial aid, citing the Maryland Pathways Program - which combines need-based financial aid with a debt-reduction program for low-income students - and the $350 million fundraising target for scholarships in the university's $1 billion campaign as prime examples of the university's dedication.

But the report also makes several recommendations about the "confusing [federal] financial aid system that spends too little on those who need help the most." Regents and other officials said the report's recommendation that 19 federal financial aid programs merge into one would be a dramatic and much-needed step.
Spellings Commission? Academic success scores? Financial aid? How come the Conservative Controlled Media never report this Commission?

Stay Tuned.

P.S. Instead of implimenting financial aid reform, why not introduce expense-free higher education? Free tuition, and room and board. It would be simple to create and finance. Just think Single-Payer National Health Care, but for universities and colleges.

Elections 06: "Whoever Wins, We Lose"

Finally a three way debate, but where's one of them?

Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin skipped a scheduled three-way NAACP-sponsored debate in Waldorf on Thursday night, exposing the Democrat to criticism from his U.S. Senate rivals and potentially costing him votes in a swing county.

Cardin instead spent the night campaigning in neighboring Prince George’s County. His spokesman, Oren Shur, said the campaign never committed to attending the Charles County debate and had three other speaking engagements on the schedule.

Good thing african-americans relized that there was a real alternative:

‘‘It’s kind of a diss to the African-American community in this county,” he said. ‘‘... I think this was political suicide for Ben Cardin.”

Without Cardin, the debate was an amicable exchange between Steele and Zeese, who answered a wide range of questions for more than an hour.

Disagreeing on only a few topics, both candidates trashed the federal No Child Left Behind Act, endorsed Social Security reform, proposed an energy independence plan, called for further action on illegal immigration, and said the war in Iraq is going poorly.

The Gazette did not report on how they will resolve the issues. But what were the issues they disagreed on?

Photo Gallery

"Mowing the McKeldin Mall"

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Photo Gallery

"Offerings to Testudo"

Sorry for the wait, here's my first Prophecy

I found out that I use a file storage system that's allow me to not only music and videos, but MS word files. So here it is, my first Prophecy: Why the Apathy?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Problems with MS Word documents

OK, the first Prophecy is supposed to be posted today. The problem is that I do not know how to attach such documents to the page, since if I simply post the prophecy on the blog, it would be too long to read. So in the meantime until I find a way to attach it onto the site as a seperate MS Word document, this blog will focus on Maryland politics and news.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Vast Wasteland

Corporate Conservative-owned NBC Universal and the CW reject Dixie Chick movie advertisments.
In an Ironic Twist of Events, NBC and The CW Television Network Refuse to Air Ads for Documentary Focusing on Freedom of Speech

NBC Claims that the Network “Cannot Accept These Spots as They are Disparaging to President Bush”

The CW Television Network that the Network Does “Not have Appropriate Programming in which to Schedule this Spot”

Famed litigator David Boies stated, “It is disappointing and troubling that NBC and The CW would refuse to accept an otherwise appropriate ad merely because it is critical of President Bush.”

Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company stated, “It’s a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America. The idea that anyone should be penalized for criticizing the president is sad and profoundly un-American"
This clearly shows the problem with the liberal media, if they're truely liberal they would allow any advertisement that criticize or support a president or the opposition. However since the "liberal media" are actually owned by conservative corporations, this is not the case.

Elections 06 :"Whoever Wins, We Lose"

Steele attacks Cardin for not knowing anything about public transport

But he does not know anything about the metro either.

Cameras rolled and clicked yesterday as Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele strolled off a Red Line Metro train at the Grosvenor-Strathmore station and took his place before the microphones.

His Democratic opponent for the U.S. Senate, the Republican said, was so out of touch with the Washington suburbs' transportation woes he couldn't even locate a proposed link in the Metro system known as the Purple Line. It was a criticism Steele raised in a televised debate the day before.

The question of the line's route -- hotly debated in Montgomery County -- came up in a candidates' debate Wednesday in which Steele accused Baltimore area Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin of paying too little attention to suburban Washington's concerns.

Quizzed by Steele about the line's termination points, Cardin sputtered "Chevy Chase," the wrong answer. Steele shot back that Cardin "has no clue" about the region's transportation issues.

Steele repeated the criticism yesterday, saying he was "quite frankly a little surprised" that Cardin, after 20 years in Congress, didn't know more about a project that would rely heavily on federal funds. A Purple Line advocate, Ben Ross of Action Committee for Transit, said Cardin "wants to build it and forgot exactly where it was going. Steele has no commitment to building it."

Asked why he held yesterday's event so far from the proposed route, Steele appeared surprised. He then said the Grosvenor-Strathmore stop was "convenient and the easiest" site for his travel schedule.

Obviously, he rather drive a SUV than use Metrorail. If they were so interested in the Purple line, why didn't they approve it before their campagin?

Elections 06- "Whoever Wins, We Lose"

Prince George's Dems Attempts to go after apathic Blacks.

I think I know why they're so apathetic:

Maryland Democrats are hoping that bringing the highly popular Barack Obama back to Prince George’s County next week will wake up the county’s increasingly apathetic black voters.

Details of Obama’s visit next week were still being worked out on Thursday, but his return to Democrat-rich Prince George’s marks the second time that he will lend his name — and media-attracting star power — to the statewide ticket. He headlined a Democratic unity rally at the University of Maryland, College Park, late last month.

He stressed that O’Malley and Cardin would be fine in Prince George’s, but he acknowledged the difficulty of getting Washington-area voters excited about two Baltimore politicians. He compared the situation to 1986 when Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer (D) was running for governor.

‘‘To some people, Baltimore is like a foreign world,” Miller said.

The lack of high interest among Prince Georgians is multifaceted: They’re fed up with the negative campaigning. They don’t feel enough attention has been paid to the Washington suburbs. And there is palpable resentment that the Democratic establishment’s support helped a white candidate, Cardin, defeat a black candidate, former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume, for the Senate nomination.

African Americans also feel disenfranchised because the Democratic nominees for U.S. Senate, governor, comptroller and attorney general are all white, said Wayne Clark, a Prince George’s political consultant who is working with Ehrlich.

Bringing Obama back only proves how worried the Democratic Party is about holding its own in Prince George’s, he said.

‘‘You can’t ignore the African-American community for 40 years and then, a few days before the election, bring in someone to tell African Americans to run to the polls like sheep,” Clark said. ‘‘The Democrats can bring in whatever national figure they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that they have consistently neglected the African-American vote.”

Sen. Leo E. Green (D-Dist. 23) of Bowie said he has never seen so much voter apathy. He attributed the lack of energy not to racial issues, but to the negative campaigning and the plummeting reputation of the federal government.

I understand their pain to all Black Prince Georgian's that feel that this election is pointless. Besides even though the Democrat-controled County Council would make thing better for the county, it didn't. I'll take one example: The Prince George's "The Bus", if they were smart they would replace their old buses from 1990's with sleek, low-floor buses that's all the rage in Europe.

But instead, they rather keep the old buses. They could have included weekend service using the same weekend schedule for those areas not served by metrobus, but alas there isn't.

And if you think there is a alternative, good luck, Prince George's county is by all intents and purposes a Democrat controlled county, as a matter of fact I found out that in one position there are three democrats running for that seat.

Don't believe me? (Prince George's County candidates start at page 200.)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Here comes another Pentecostal Missionary!

On the afternoon of Thursday October 26, 2006 a Pentecostal Missionary named Donnie Morris, who is not affiliated with a on or off campus organization preached outside in the Nyumburu Amphitheater against sexual minorities, but to the teaching of evolution, and “liberal” professors, and those who have generally “sinned”. At the same time representatives from the UMD Pride Alliance held a silent protest with a banner saying “Hate is not a UMD Value”, while UMD students challenged his speech by shouting objections. The Andy Mrusko from the Stamp Student Union and Campus Programs confirmed that the Campus Reservations Office gave Donnie a permit to speak in the amphitheater and was opposed by the Latino Student Union. He will preach again in the amphitheater tomorrow afternoon.

Photos from the event:

The Vast Wasteland

An update to "NBC Lays Off 700 jobs to Make Savings (read: profit) of $750 Million"

Did you know NBC Universial owns the Spanish langauge network Telemundo? Guess what, due to their budget cuts they're getting rid of local news and you'll get your news from a centralized location:
AMY GOODMAN: Juan, a quick question before we wrap up the broadcast. A few days ago, we ran your testimony in the town hall meeting here in New York around media consolidation, but there are even further developments now. Can you talk about what’s happening in Univision?

JUAN GONZALEZ: Yeah. Well, as some people may be aware, NBC announced huge cutbacks and layoffs of its network staff and at NBC Universal about, I think it’s 700 jobs, 5% of its workforce. But one of the things that didn’t get much attention is that NBC is planning to shut down -- NBC owns the Telemundo network, the Spanish-language network, and it’s planning to shut down the news programs, local news programs, in six major American cities: Phoenix, San Jose, Houston, San Antonio, and a couple of other -- Denver, as well -- and it is basically eliminating its local newscast and doing what Sinclair Broadcasting has done.

It’s going to focus -- create a regional news center in Fort Worth, Texas, and leave only skeleton new staffs in all these major cities. These are some of the biggest cities in America. And these skeleton staffs will send to Fort Worth a couple of news stories that will then be beamed back to those local cities in basically a local news show that is not local. It’s largely canned material. So this is a major, major impact of consolidation on Spanish-language news. So, in San Jose, in Phoenix, in Denver, the local Hispanic communities there will not be receiving locally produced news. And we’ve got the situation now that is developing with FOX News. Fox News has called on the FCC now to eliminate all regulations, of FCC regulations over media ownership concentration.
...and if you're didn't noticed from the excert above, Faux News want get to get rid of all media ownership regulations. What this will mean to you? More of the same programing, and no real competition.

Maryland State Government Now Overseeing PGCPS Schools

Note this post includes two stories from yesterday that I could not post due to the Blogger outage.

Beacon Heights Elementary, a failing school as determined by the No [Rich] Child Left Behind Act is now marketing their school to bring back students.

This fall, 10 of the 450 students at Beacon Heights exercised the transfer option offered them under the No Child Left Behind Act -- a mere trickle, compared with the number of students who have left other Prince George's schools in the same predicament in recent years.

Rather than accept the inevitable stigma of being on the wrong side of the law's school choice provision, officials at Riverdale's Beacon Heights and other embattled schools are trying a new tack: fighting back by marketing themselves to parents.

They promote the extra resources afforded to schools after their test scores repeatedly fail to meet standards, the easy proximity of a neighborhood school, the familiarity of friends and even their so-called inadequate results.

Four years into No Child Left Behind, many of the campuses entering the school choice process are actually fairly good schools. Principals point out that the standard for "adequate yearly progress," the measure of success under the 2002 federal law, is a bit higher each year. And a school can be labeled a failure if any one of several statistical subgroups misses the mark. For example, the test scores of special education students or those with limited English skills can open an entire school to transfers.

I have personally been in the Prince George’s Public School System as a elementary, middle, and for two years as high school. To tell you the truth the No Child Left Behind Act is nothing more than privatization by stealth and erosion.

And now there’s word of the Prince George’s School Board taking “corrective action”:

The Maryland schools superintendent is expected to recommend "corrective action" for the Prince George's County school system at today's state school board meeting, according to lawmakers and the head of the county school system.

They said the move is prompted by the latest round of test results in the county, which showed some progress but not enough to meet the federal requirements of the No Child Left Behind law…
John E. Deasy, chief executive officer of Prince George's schools since May, said he did not know what measures state Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick would recommend. …she would not propose a state takeover of county schools or major changes in the school system's administration.

"In many ways, it's a decision based on previous events," Deasy said yesterday in an interview.

"She's reiterated numerous times, with lots of folks, that she's pleased with the leadership. Will something change tomorrow morning as a result of it? No, because changes are already in progress."

Test results in Prince George's County have improved in the past three years but remain better only than those of Baltimore. Under No Child Left Behind, the state board can order school systems to change their curriculum, replace executive staff, spend money in specific ways and pull schools out of the district.

Change the curriculum; replace executive staff, spending money in specific ways, pulling schools out of the district; I can tell by what they’re really doing: After-school program cuts, more focus into math, reading, and writing, and changing the public school into a charter school.
And the obsession with test scores, what about real education? Not everyone is going to college you know.

But wait, there’s more details of the “corrective action” that will be taken

The Prince George’s County school system has been placed under state oversight for failing to meet annual improvement goals over the last four years.

The announcement by state and county officials on Wednesday formalizes a punitive step, conceived as part of ‘‘No Child Left Behind” law, in which state officials play a more intimate role in a school system’s operations when local officials haven’t achieved desired results.
The federal law requires that all the nation’s public school students test proficient in math and reading by 2014.

Test scores on the High School Assessments and the Maryland MSAs are among the measurements of achievement, and although Prince George’s students have shown some improvement, they haven’t met goals set for them.

Deasy’s reforms include professional development for teachers to improve classroom instruction, putting resources into chronically under-performing schools to help with reading and math and requiring principals to take a more hands-on approach to teaching rather than operating simply as building managers. Deasy’s reforms also press for more help in taking and passing standardized tests as well as recruiting and retaining the best teachers.

After-school help and for students who have trouble passing the High School Assessments is also critical among Deasy’s reforms.

Once a school system fails to meet its targets for four years running, sanctions can range up to a complete takeover by the state.

Deasy said that the state could still take over the system, replace personnel or withhold money in the future if the system doesn’t make significant strides quickly.

Deasy’s administration has already identified 83 schools that need improvement, and about two dozen of those schools have been targeted for intensive help to bring up student achievement.

And from the Washington Post

That label has been given to only one other system in Maryland -- Baltimore schools -- and under the federal No Child Left Behind law, it carries a range of potential sanctions, including a possible state takeover of low-performing schools.

In March, the state board attempted to place 11 Baltimore schools under independent management, but Democratic legislators intervened and delayed the action by a year.
Although it raised the hammer, the board did not bring it down on Prince George's yesterday. State School Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick recommended no sanctions, saying the county's new schools chief had presented a plan to address the district's most serious academic problems.
John E. Deasy, a California educator hired in May to lead the 134,000-student system, "understands what has to happen," Grasmick said before the board unanimously approved her recommendations. "He understands, as we do, the urgency."

Deasy has vowed to raise the county's test scores, which have increased in recent years, by reallocating staff to the system's worst-performing schools, bolstering teacher recruitment and retention, improving parental participation, and giving children more opportunities and better training to participate in Advanced Placement courses.

Grasmick also recommended continuing a course of corrective action for Baltimore schools yesterday and lifted a less-serious "school system improvement" status for Charles, St. Mary's, Allegany, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent and Somerset counties.

The board's actions coincided with the release of Annual Yearly Progress reports for the state's 24 school systems and for individual high schools.

Basically, the goal is to have every student proficient with math and reading eight years from now. The Annual Yearly Progress show the progress of those schools by not regular grades, but by test scores, standardized test scores, like the Maryland State Assessments, or MSA’s. I took these same tests and was tested on Biology, Algebra, Geometry, and Reading/English. If these schools do not meet their AYP goals for a consecutive two years, they will be placed on a “watch list”, and if they’re still on the watch list they’ll be under state oversight. State oversight sanctions can include the requirements I mentioned above. But if the school still does not meet it’s AYP goals for a conceutive four years they’ll be completely taken over by their State Government of the school is.

The problem with N[R]CLB is that not everyone can be proficient in school subjects. Hell I didn’t learned much high school math since the 10th Grade (long story) and have to take a remedial course in UMD called Math 003, it’s a struggle but I’m doing well in the course. The fact is that the way I see it, 99% of the most schools will probably not meet their AYP by 2014. And what if they get taken over by the State government? Let me guess: Charter Schools? School vouchers allowing students to learn at a private or religious school?

The fact is that the Act is nothing more than to destroy our public schools inside-out. If I were a congressman right now I would introduce a bill that will shame and repeal the act. This bill would be called the “The No Child Left Behind Repeal Bill”, it would repeal and “shame” the act giving a name: “The No Rich Child Left Behind Act”. Our schools were just fine by themselves without that Act. It’s needs to be repealed.

I’m Ndubuisi Okeh, and The Modern-Day Prophet Has Spoken

Is PGCPS CEO Well Prepared to Tackle School Gangs and Truancy?

How would he take on these problems?
Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO John Deasy told Langley Park residents that he is well prepared to tackle such problems as school gangs and truancy.

Deasy said the county school district can do more to teach educators about how gangs form and how to sway students from joining such groups.

A number of gang-related, violent incidents have occurred in Langley Park and the surrounding areas over the past few years. County police and schools have been working to stop neighborhood gangs from recruiting students, who in turn expand the recruitment effort to within classrooms.

On truancy, Deasy said the problem has to be confronted head-on. His approach includes getting businesses not to sell products to students during school hours.

He said most students do not drop out of school if they have people around them who care. Greater collaboration between families of students and school staff could help deal with this problem, he said. He plans to appoint 96 parent liaisons in schools by the end of this year. The liaisons will act as go-betweens for students and teachers.

Deasy also plans to target the negative attitude toward achievement. He said he does not subscribe to the idea that a child’s background or home life determines his or her level of success.
He proballu hasn't lived in black neighborhood within the county. He should
look for the real reasons why they skip school or join gangs. Besides, isn't this county majority african-american?

Elections 06: "Whoever Wins, We Lose"

(I changed the title to more fit in what my perceptions with elections in America are these days.)

To tell you the truth, I don't trust O'Malley at all:
Seven years ago, Baltimore’s black voters helped catapult Martin O’Malley to the mayor’s office. Now the question is: Can the white Democrat, after ruffling plenty of feathers, count on African-American turnout in his campaign against Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.?

No one knows the answer.

‘‘People are just disgusted with O’Malley,” claims Frank M. Conaway, Baltimore’s Circuit Court clerk and a former Democratic legislator, who has endorsed Ehrlich in radio ads.

Not so, respond O’Malley supporters.

They point to an endorsement he won this week from the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, the most influential group of activist clergy in Baltimore. That predominantly African-American coalition has been at odds with O’Malley in the past, and showed considerable support for Douglas M. Duncan before the Montgomery county executive dropped out of the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Yet campaign appearances suggest that African Americans are ambivalent.

At the Democratic Party’s Sept. 16 ‘‘Unity Rally” in Baltimore, where blacks form the majority of residents, only two African Americans were on the platform with O’Malley and a phalanx of white officials. They were Del. Anthony G. Brown, O’Malley’s running mate from Prince George’s County, and Aisha N. Braveboy, who won nomination for a delegate’s seat in Prince George’s.

The scene was repeated at an Oct. 9 event at Baltimore’s Federal Hill. So few black faces surrounded O’Malley and Brown before television cameras
But Ehrlich's no worse either:
GOP’s strategy?

The aim of pro-Ehrlich blacks is to ‘‘keep the [black] vote down,” says Carl O. Snowden, a Democratic workhorse who is an aide to Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens. ‘‘They are encouraging people to take a walk on O’Malley.”

The Ehrlich campaign denied any suggestion that it wants to suppress the black vote. ‘‘It’s groundless, outrageous and false,” said campaign spokeswoman Shareese N. DeLeaver. The governor’s record is clear: He ran with an African-American running mate four years ago and has several blacks in his Cabinet, she said.
OK, black Baltimorians don't trust O'Malley, yet they can't elect Ehrlich since their own people are helping the GOP with voter suppression. I'm definatly not voting for either one, as a matter of fact Here's a real governor candidate. (Note, great site, too bad it's not updated more)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Technical Difficulties

For some reason Blogger had another outage, this time not allowing me to go to Americablog.

Regular blogging resumes tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

UMD Life

As promised, the pictures from last Saturday's Rocky Horror Picture Show screening at the Hoff:

The UMD Video Game Music Orchestra

The Preshow, it's about monkeys (or something like that)

Meet the two main chracters, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss (far left) ,and their family.

The Criminologist who narrates the film, notice the shadowcast member to the left side shined with the spotlight.

Meet your callbacks, who "respond" to the film's chracters on film with pop culture jokes, sexual references, and general jokes.

My favorite callback: "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Columbine High School Class of 2000 Reunion!" on the radio tower scene late in the film.

Don't forget the guy who handles the spotlight!

The shadow acting cast of the film the Satanic Mechanics (nice rhyme!) after the show. (shown on the stage above)

Dubya Finally Get's Off the Course

...and sets a timetable.

Acknowledging that weeks of escalating bloodshed have had a demoralizing effect on American perceptions of the conflict, Gen. George W. Casey Jr. and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad spoke bluntly about the growing civil strife in and around Baghdad and the challenges it poses. Casey, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, said it was possible that the number of U.S. troops there would need to grow in coming months, before Iraqi security forces can begin to take control.

The military commander and the diplomat offered a strong defense of the Bush administration's policy in Iraq. The two men, who are among the principal architects of the current U.S. strategy to train Iraqi security forces in preparation for foreign troop reductions, emphasized that they do not view the U.S. campaign as never-ending and praised a call yesterday by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a crackdown on armed militias.

Khalilzad said Iraqi leaders have committed to a timeline for forging a national compact among warring factions and have promised to come to agreement on establishing universal political rights, sharing the country's oil wealth, bridging sectarian divides and disarming militias who rampage through neighborhoods unchecked.

He called such steps essential to decreasing U.S. involvement -- equal to or more important than curtailing attacks on U.S. personnel by anti-American insurgents.

"Militias are the infrastructure of a civil war, and they go against resolving disputes through the political process," Khalilzad said. "The prime minister is developing a plan by the end of the year, and we support that," Khalilzad said.

Note the part of the second to last paragraph: "decreasing U.S. involvement". It does not mean the US is not gradually pulling out of Iraq, it's just pulling out involvement in the security of Iraq. But it's not enough to stop the civil war that's been raging in Iraq for over two years.

Elections 2006

Republican in Disguise

Do you know Micahel Steele is actually a RID: Republican in Disguise. Even in his political advertisements, he portrays himself neither Republican nor Democrat. So does this Washington Post article:
In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2 to 1 -- and where issues such as the Iraq war and the government's handling of Hurricane Katrina might keep black Democrats from crossing party lines -- that might be all Cardin needs to win.

"A good Democratic candidate running a good campaign will beat a good Republican running a good campaign in a statewide race every time, just because of the numbers," said Donald Norris, a public policy professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

To counter this disadvantage, Steele has run a campaign that portrays him as above party, beyond party. In avoiding Republican-specific policy recommendations, however, Steele sometimes ends up sounding as if he's avoiding specifics altogether.

He offers policy proposals, including increased restrictions on lobbyists, tax exemptions for new businesses and a 120-day suspension of the federal gasoline tax.

But often, when pressed on domestic- or foreign-policy questions, Steele responds not with firm positions but with a call for larger, more inclusive discussions.

Energy? Get environmentalists, solar advocates and nuclear people in the room with oil and gas interests. Health care? Get all the players in the room. North Korea? Get China involved.

"We need to get them in the room. We need to get them at the table," Steele said.

The one thing he always mentions is Washington, how the culture of partisan bickering needs to change. Steele, however, is not above a bit of political gamesmanship himself.

At his Hagerstown speech, he criticized Cardin because Democratic Party operatives fraudulently obtained his credit report.

"Anyone who wants my credit report, I'd be happy to give it to you," Steele said. "If you want to know about me, ask me."
I've been to his webpage before and read his Plan for Change book (free downloadable Adobe Reader required). Just your garden variety modest reforms. Where's his position on abortion, any of the real hot issues? Well, he simply didn't list them.

News the Conservative Controlled Media Does Not Want You to Know

Here's another round up of news the "mainstream" media ignore.

In those living Prince George's and Montgomery County, you're going to see a almost 50%
rate hike for water and sewer services.

Swipe-Free Card+$200 commercial RFID reader anyone can buy=Idenity Fraud

White-collar crime, Blue-collar crime, and now Plaid-collar crime?

We're already living beyond our means


Dubya Administration not prepared for the case of mental disorder paitents from the Iraq War.

Monday, October 23, 2006

UMD Life

I Survived Rocky Horror

There is simply too much I could explain in one post without making a MS Word document. The shadowacting, callbacks, the dancing, the insanity, as only the UMD Satanic Machanics can bring it. I enjoyed it, it was awesome, and this was the first time I saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show, as a Virgin; and I was initated as one, along with the 30-40 people who come to see the film for the first time. Videos and a complete report coming soon. However I will say this, I will do it again next time they'll perform.

I tryed to upload the pictures of the event with commentary, but blogger has been acting up. So I'll try again as soon as I get the chance.

Elections 06 MD-The "Tension" heats up.

MD election campaign are at the final two weeks, here's an excert.
Addressing a Jewish congregation in Rockville, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martin O'Malley defended his record on crime and education as mayor of Baltimore while lashing out at Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) for being "out of step with mainstream Marylanders."

Ehrlich's running mate, Kristen Cox (R), who also spoke at the forum, said Ehrlich is committed to relieving traffic congestion in the Washington suburbs, in part by extending Metro's Red and Green lines and constructing a Purple Line, a proposed light-rail link between Bethesda and New Carrollton.

Aren't both candidates are out of step with mainstream Marylander's? (When they mean mainstream Marylanders, they mean Affluent White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) Since no matter who we vote for, they will really change nothing.

As for Ehrlich, if he's committed to relieving traffic congestion in the DC suburbs,
why not invest to improve the Maryland Area Rail Communter? And why did he approve the InterCounty Connector, even though it would not cut traffic congestion at all?

Subways, Trams, and Buses

Here's an interesting aritcle on the Washington Post on the Dr. Gridlock section about a project to revive trolleys in the Nation's Capitol.

Post staff writer Paul Schwartzman reported this year that the city plans to lay down tracks along H Street for a light rail line that someday could connect the Metrorail stop at Union Station with the one across the Anacostia River at Minnesota Avenue NE.

That's a smart idea. The crosstown bus routes that use H Street already are pretty popular. Combine that with the revival of the neighborhood as an entertainment zone, and prospects are good for a modern light rail that offers frequent and reliable service.

News the Conservative Controlled Media Does Not Want You To See Nor Hear.

Sorry for the long lull, it is because of two words: Rocky Horror. More on that later.

OK, here's today's round up:

Bush family member took advantage of of No [Rich] Child Left Behind.

Israel finally admits to using white phosphorous illegally


FBI incomplete Hate Crime's Report get's ire from Anti-Defamation Leauge

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Vast Wasteland

NBC Lays Off 700 jobs to Make Savings (read: profit) of $750 Million

NEW YORK -- NBC Universal announced Thursday it will cut 700 jobs, abandon MSNBC's New Jersey headquarters and shift spending from traditional broadcast TV to digital entertainment, reflecting both hard times at the network and changing times in the media world.

The company, a unit of General Electric Co., said the various moves were expected to save $750 million by the end of 2008.

In what's partly a real-estate move, NBC said it would close MSNBC's headquarters in Secaucus, N.J., splitting studios and office space between NBC's headquarters in Manhattan's Rockefeller Center and another NBC facility in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Similarly out West, NBC will consolidate network, Telemundo and local news facilities in Burbank, Calif.

In a reflection the network can no longer support high programming costs in an atmosphere of diminishing advertising revenue, NBC said it would no longer show expensive scripted comedies or dramas during the first hour of prime-time at 8 p.m.
That means more reality or game shows like "The Biggest Loser" or "Deal or No Deal" at that hour. NBC's new drama "Friday Night Lights" was critically acclaimed this fall, but costs more than twice per episode to make than "Deal or No Deal," and is drawing a smaller audience.

NBC's cost-saving plan involves laying off people from the company's 11 news divisions, including on-air talent, but no details were immediately available.

Great, while these pigs make more money, we're stuck with repeats and more reality-tv shit.

But I found out local news stations, who is going to be the first to go in NBC owned Channel 4 in Washington,DC:

Our sources at NBC 4 say Hudson was "informed" today that he is being "let go" as part of a round of massive cuts coming to NBC, including at its local stations, like WRC. His last day will be in early January.

News the Conservative Controlled Media Does Not Want You to Neither See nor Hear.

Just implement tution free college education already

Dubya plans to imperalize space

Interesting article about how gambling proponets lobby for approval of video gambling (So they can probally put them in black and minority neightborhoods in DC)

Voting suppression in by a xenophobic group


Problems from 2004 elections are still unresolved.

College Park's safety fund, not nearly empty,,,

In todays issue of the Diamondback, it reported that the City of College Park raised taxes and devoted more than$500,000 to imporving public safety yet only 12% of that money (or $60,000) has only been spent.

Although the budget allows for the equivalent of 4.5 full-time officers for the city's contract police force, Ryan said recruitment of off-duty Prince George's County Police officers has been unable to keep up with funds available.

"We're over budgeting, charging too much in taxes and we're not spending the money in the programs we've allocated it to," Perry said. "Until we have the personnel, we can't spend it, but the mayor can run around and tell everyone how wonderful he is for putting that money in the budget."

Ryan said the city is working to expand the current pool of 15 county police officers, hoping more officers will allow more flexible scheduling.

"Every police force in the region, and I mean the entire metropolitan region, is having trouble recruiting police officers," Calvert Hills Citizen's Association President Morgan Gale said. "All these people are competing against eachother for employees that are qualified."
This leaves out one question, what did the city spend that 12% of that fund on?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Vast Wasteland

I found interesting article on entitled Crime is on TV, but TV is often The Bigger Crime:

The airwaves, as we know, belong to all of us, but thanks to regulations shaped by big industries, they were allocated (i.e. handed out) FOR FREE to big commercial enterprises who then used their clout to monopolize the marketplace and dominate the spectrum.

There are many crime shows on TV but few if any ever deal with TV itself and how our broadcasting system was hijacked for the greater glory and ever escalating profits of a handful of moguls and their "brands."

I perfectly agree with him, the purpose of the Communications Act 1934 is to allow companies to rent valuable spectrum for the public interest. But the definition of the phrase "public interest" was deliberatly vauge by the tv corporations to maintain their licenses. Eventual end result:

Suddenly we were bombarded with tons of choices but without many distinctive new voices. It became largely a market-driven recycling operation aimed at key demographics. Public TV watched as its nature programs and historical docs were cloned and spun off by specialized commercial outlets. Home shopping became a vogue and recycled news a commodity. There was soon more on the air but less to watch as Bruce Springsteen sang in 57 Channels/Nothings On. Now there are 500 channels with very little worth watching.

They said they created or transmitted new channels to give the public more to watch-but actually it fragmented the audience-and enabled them to get paid two ways-with fees per subscriber and advertising. Their only "payback" to the public were public access channels with offerings that remain poorly produced and promoted.

I perfectly agree. Most prime time television programs these days, with a few execeptions are:
  1. Crime drama
  2. Reality tv
  3. Sitcoms

Even with cable you'll get plenty of channels, but due to the fact that there is a monopoly of media corporations, you still see the same programs. So it's plenty of channels but same choices. (Probally that's what I think when lobbyists argue for media consolidation it is for competition: The illusion of competition). As for PBS, true: while there are a few programs I enjoy, most of it's programing either consists of British imports ended long ago, cooking, and stupid Suze Orman pledge specials.(Public Broadcasting my ass) The same for public service channels, they're rarely prmoted and if they did promote them, the quality of those programs by those who knew of such a channel would suck.

Beleive me, in Comcast (Prince George's, MD) we have University of Maryland Television, Bowie State University Television, Prince George's Community College Television, and two channels for Prince George's County School,which it seems like no one watches, a public safety channel that a PowerPoint knockoff of America's Most Wanted and lease access channel that repeats the same shows and episodes every week.

Today, there is a new fight underway to keep the internet free. Remember, the underlying technology was created not by Al Gore but with taxpayer funding and Defense Department know how first as a way for academic scientists to communicate with each other, and then in a few years, became a global medium touching the lives of billions.

...Murcdoch gobbled up MySpace in an effort to commercialize the personal creativity of those millions and their "friends" who are posting away like demons. Google paid over a billion for YouTube with plans to do the same.

First they gone after the public airwaves, then cable, and finally the internet. This is just shameful. It's true that the only thing they want money, not for the interest of the public, just money. But corporations have every right to do, as long their regulated to serve a democratic society. Yet, since most Republicrats are one and the same, that may not happen anytime soon.