Monday, November 12, 2007


While the two houses of the General Assembly voted to expand the top rates of the state income and corporate taxes, consumers will have to fork over more money to sales taxes. Good but disappointing...

Source: The Baltimore Sun

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Witness Intidmidation! Howard Park Residence Wrecked by Cowardly Vandals!

Whoever did this ought to be forced to pay every cent towards rebuilding this house. But why they target a house where the suspect is in jail and the suspect is someone's daughter?
The family, who have been living in Howard Park since 1999, found the phrase "rats must be killed" spray-painted in bright red on a wall inside their burned-out foyer last week.

In addition to the graffiti and fire, intruders had upended furniture, tipped over a cabinet and smashed drinking glasses in the two-story, four-bedroom home that had been renovated by the family over the years.

The couple fears that the intimidation might be aimed at the woman's 20-year-old daughter, who is mentioned by name in the graffiti. She does not live at home and has been jailed since July on charges she helped rob a taxi driver.
What's really amazing is that most of these incidents are driven in part by the
drug market that the War on Drugs has supposed to eradicate.

Witness intimidation has been a problem in Baltimore, a city in which the homes
of people who call police on drug dealers have been firebombed and where other
people willing to cooperate with police have been threatened, attacked and even

Another reason why to end the War on Drugs. Legalize and regulate recreational drugs and horrible incidents like this will occur less frequently.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I Pay Sales Taxes and This Is What I Get?! Another Unmaintained Public School!

This is not the America I know. If we pay taxes we should get safe, well-funded and maintained schools. But no Baltimore students and parents have to put up with this:
The school's principal, Edward D. Weglein, said he was unaware of the water problem until after Baldwin called the system's facilities department.

"Once I heard about it, I said, 'Let's get it done,'" he said Friday. "It's impossible to know something if no one tells you."

School officials acknowledge that work needs to be done at Woodlawn, which is on a state watch list for struggling schools and has experienced frequent turnover in principals.

Kara Calder, the school system's spokeswoman, pointed to examples of work under way or recently completed: the repair of a sidewalk that was torn apart last year; upgrades to a security system; and the installation of a lift for wheelchairs near the gym to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Baldwin says more work is needed. She says the sprawling building's aging windows demand attention because some don't open, some are broken, and others are foggy with years of weathering. A broken roll-up gate has meant the school store can't open. Insufficient outdoor lighting makes the school grounds unsafe after dusk, Baldwin says.

Weglein said a part for the gate has been ordered. He added that windows are sometimes broken during weekends, but are quickly repaired. He said he doesn't think the lighting was inadequate, but he is willing to have someone from facilities evaluate it.
Where do our sales taxes go after we pay them? Overpaid public school principals and sports programs!?

Truce in this Civil War! O'Malley Plans for Referendum!

Republicrat Martin O'Malley calling for a special session of the Maryland General Assembly, which will start on next Monday (that's October 29, 2007) is planning to push a referendum in this coming presidential election. The slots proposal is a small of party to raise funds close the deficit in the state budget. Pursuant to the Maryland Constitution such a proposal has to be approved three-fifths of the House of Delegates and Senate, a higher threshold than a simple bill. If O'Malley want slots so bad, the General Assembly would take advantage of it by changing the proposal in their favor by actually passing a legalized and regulated gambling. But you already know my position on this already.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Zero Tolerance Has Already Failed! Abolish It!

What's the point of having zero tolerance policies if public school systems use them for minor offenses (i.e. drawing something that is percived to be threatening)? autistic girl who blurted out that she wanted to kill her teacher, was
referred to juvenile services for the outburst, although she did not mean what
she said. Those kinds of incidents, he said, are disconnecting students from
their schools and communities, he said.

Many of these zero tolerance policies have already expanded from gun and illegal drug posession to minor issues. The end result is that people of color and special education students are the ones being most affected. With school suspensions and explsions rising in the Free State it's clear that Zero Tolerance has failed. Either the school boards either limit these policies to drug and gun posession and only use expulsion as a last resort, or abolish zero tolerance altogether.

Schooling Is Not a One-Size Fits All Solution

Thankfully, Fredrick County School Board member Leslie Mansfield know this and has decided to home-school her daughter. If any parent wants to homeschool their children the government should not interfere with that right. As long as it's regulated to ensure that the child gets a proper education, there is no problem.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Silver Tsunami! Let the Baby Boomer Social Security Rush Begin!

The Baby Boomers have finally come full circle. Ms. Casey-Kirschling has just applied for Social Security benefits, and she is just one of the many who will apply for benefits in the coming years. Hopefully by the time 2040 social security will still be there, even if it can pay 80% of the benefits.

Nation's 'first' baby boomer, eastern shore woman applies for Social Security - Updates - (

Here's How to Solve the Maryland Budget Crisis.

1. Abolish sales taxes on products under $100
2. Abolish income taxes on low incomers
3. Institute progressive income taxes on well-off and rich.
4. Institute progressive corporate taxes from 1% to 25% depending on profit.
5. Increase tobacco taxes $2 a pack.

If you're real desperate for slots so bad, limit them to horsetracks and central business districts of large cities and let local communities have the final say regarding them.

Source: O'Malley's agenda for the special session --

Commited crime as a Juvenile?! Try him as a Juvenile!

State governments,like the State of Maryland ,that has laws allowing trying juveniles as adults for serious crimes do not realize the consequences of those laws. If tried as a adult, they will have to serve time in adult jail. There are many cases that children are abused or even raped by more macho prisoners in adult jails. Seriously America has forgotten that the original purposes of the juvenile justice system is prevent the abuse of children in adult prison system and instead rehabilitate them. If someone committed a crime as a juvenile, he should be tried as a juvenile. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Public-Private Health Coverage?! Not Good Enough!

As much as a good thing that Harford County is unveiling a plan to provide coverage to about 20,000 uninsured children and adults, it's not enough. Reading this article, it does not mention emergency care. This is one reason why Maryland needs universal, single payer, health insurance ASAP. Preferably O'Malley if he wants to gain more supporters, should pass a bill establishing it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What is this?! Slow News Day?!

This is yet another slow news day. If you have any interesting stories you like me to report on, email me on the address on the profile.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Red Tape! I Pay Sales Taxes and This Is What I Get!

With all the problems Baltimore is having, even 311 calls won't help if a government service takes it's time. When I mean by "takes it's time", I mean two or three months. If there's something broken in the city infrastructure and if it's easily repaired, they need to do that ASAP.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sorry mates, they're here to stay.

Great, another proposal to denial services to illegal immigrants. Many anti-immigrants do not know that these same illegal immigrants actually pay sales taxes through purchases of goods or by sales. Meaning they already pay for government services just by working in the area. Denying them services does not make any sense and will force them out into other places. They think that denying them services will persuade them to go back to their own country. I promise you, as soon as they do just that, the county economy will go into recession.

Source Article

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Yes, I'm still alive.

I have not updated this blog for over a month but I'm back. I also updated the links section of the blog to better reflect the new focus: Maryland Government, Politics, and Hard News. While there will be a few light stories, trust me there will be no celebrity crap you see on the "local" TV news and if a Maryland news story involves a celebrity, it'll be something related to the three themes.

Regular Blogging will resume on Monday, and by the end of the October, this blog will have a new look.

Monday, August 20, 2007

This Blog is Shutdown Until Further Notice

Due to continuing problems with my laptop, which it's condition is now deteriorating, this blog will not be updated until further notice. That further notice will be by no later by September 10 2007. By that time this laptop will get a full clean bill of health or I'll get a more powerful one. This blog that you'll are seeing right now will change by that time with a new look and focus. Here's a bit of a preview: Sayonara Until September 10!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Stop! Go! MARC Breakdown!

Maryland, like most states in this country is proud to have a railway system that pales to comparison to the British railway system. When highways are better maintained than railways, things like this will happen.

Buy-Out! Montgomery County Expands Housing Powers!

The Montgomery City Council is has approved a bill to buy out apartments before they turned into unaffordable condos to incorporate them into their public housing stock. Other possibilities planned by the council are "building affordable housing on vacant county-owned land. Residences also could be built on top of libraries or fire stations, or incorporated into commercial areas". Meaning they can either buy housing from developers or build their own public housing on their own property or land. Which is seriously important since with the lack of any real affordable housing, they are either stuck homeless or in housing in dangerous areas.

Children Today Are Socialized In All Types to be Sexualized.

Let's start today with something to think about. I have found this nice article regarding how teenagers especially teenage girls are pressured into dressing into provocative clothes to fit into youth culture (read: public school). Let me give you something to ponder about: What is 'appropriate' clothing?

To me it's too institutional (since I have been to a high school that used the word plenty of times.) , but what is considered 'appropriate' really depends on the adult. Some parents are "I got worst problems to worry about" and some parents are traditionally worried for the children type of thing. The main problem is is it really necessary to worry about what their children are wearing. What's the point if children are pressured into wearing such clothes by their peers and media?

This pressure is actually part of a genderization of clothing. Girls are expected by their peers to look like of what a women should be: clothes shopping, wearing tight clothes. The media expects girls to look like that too. Practically girls are being forced to grow up when they get to middle school. So it's really parents, the media, and other peers are pressuring teen girls to become stereotypical girls.

The article focuses on teen girls but what about boys? Teenage boys are forced to look like stereotypical notions of masculinity. Ironically instead of looking smartly dressed like girls , they are supposed to look rough and spartan with Baggy jeans and shirts. Now consider the word 'appropriate' and apply it to teen male clothing, you'll realize that they may been too thuggish or too big to fit without a belt. If a teenage man wanted find a pants or shirt that really fits its size (ie a small shirt with a 28x30 pants) you'll won't find it in most stores and if you do find it the man will run the risk of being subjected to gender or homophobic bullying/harassment.

What we are trying today in this sexophrinic society is to keep children innocent as long as possible until they're 18. And as long as they do not do anything that the person itself be considered 'sexually deviant", everything is fine and dandy. Children are expected by their parents to figure about sexuality and gender outside of the bird and bees. The end result: Stuff like this happens.

What we need to do is instead of worrying how we should dress teens, have teenagers have true freedom of what clothes they want to wear. If a boy is uninterested in baggy clothes and wants clothes that actually fit him or even wants form fitting clothes, let him do that. If a female wants to wear form-fitting (or so called-provocative clothing) let her. We should allow their children to explore sexuality and gender under the guidance of their parents and the school system, so that they will be prepared for it when they become adults.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

O'Malley: Tax the Rich

I know that Taxes are a taboo subject in a era of market fundamentalism, but if you really want to fulfill your promise you're going have to raise taxes. When I mean raise taxes, I mean raise them for the rich. Create a top rate of 60% for people who earn at least $50,000 per year. That would raise more than enough to prevent the budget crisis. Then again, O'Malley is probably another neo-liberal Democrat.

Lawsuit! Dimensions Healthcare System Fights for PR Hospital Center!

Dimensions Healthcare System lawyers are suing the Prince Georges County Government for not releasing the funds to help keep the hospital afloat. They argued that the only way they would have got the money is that if four of its board of directors members resign. Without the money the Hospital Center will be forced to closed by early August. This is one more reason why we need Universal Single Payer Health Care. Because if local hospitals like this are forced to shut down, it will effect the community.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Summer Apology

It was one hell of a coaster ride this school year, especially this is my first year at the University of Maryland. New Resident Orientation, Terpfest, the Stamp All Nighter, Katsucon, cram fests. While my performance (read: GPA) at the actual school year was disappointing, I enjoyed myself. I tell you all those all-nighters, once you have experienced New Student Orientation, your sleep cycle will be wrecked. It has been a blast for this year.

I have been to the Satanic Mechanics shadowcasting of the Rocky Horror Picture Show three times. With the exception for the one on a February weekend because I was at Katsucon at the time. Speaking of Katsucon that was my first anime convention I have been to. Despite not having the pleasure of an overnight stay it was awesome, not to mention it was in a backdrop of a recent snowed DC, with cosplayers galore.

The Iraq War protest by the Feminism without Borders and the International Socialist Organization of College Park was one of the few things I have videographed. That is one of the many events I have used my camera was a camcorder.

There were most films, thanks to the Hoff Theater, for the first time I have ever seen. Some of the films are blockbusters I have never seen before and those I have never heard of. Some of them were seen at advanced screenings. Turistas, Disturbia, Office Space, Shortbus, Battle of Algiers (a classic), Grindhouse (Great film, why premiere it on Easter?), the Little Shop of Horrors, Hot Fuzz, There’s Something About Mary, and An Incontinent Truth.

There are a few classes that I enjoyed: Government 100, Introduction to African American Studies 100, Women in Art and Culture.

Now there is a bit of sad news in this letter. When I first moved from Centreville Hall to the Old Leonardtown Apartments for a summer course, I thought I could spend a night unpacking, set up my desk and spend two weeks with my mom’s. Yet when I set up my laptop to hook up to the campus network for the night and reset the computer, something horrible happened: my computer committed suicide. More particularly it went into a blue screen with a error named unmountable boot volume. Eventually between panicking, calling HP, and using the much lauded HP restore software; I realize that the only way to recover the data by going to a computer shop.

Luckily my father knows of one he used several times. My computer was restored twice there. It was missing a few files and a huge pack of PDF files I have created, but most of them were recovered in my own backups before my first year.

That has served as a good lesson for me. If you have not backup your data, do so now! As a matter of fact if you have not stop what you’re doing and if you have backup equipment (CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, external hard drives) back them up now. If you don’t, buy some now. IF possible, use an offsite file storage system like mozy. Just about $5 a month can save you a lot of pain of a fatal computer crash. If will take a long time to back up every important files, like a few days, but it’s worth it.

Now with me almost through with my summer course, I will be talking about my blog. Due to the computer crash I experienced a month ago I was not able to update my blog in anyway. What I’m planning to do is to revamp my blog to focus on Maryland politics. No more national news or news about college park, but there will be stories regarding public transport or anime when location permits.

So that’s it, regular blogging will resume on Wednesday, hopefully.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Its been one hell of a coaster ride.

I have officially survived my first year at the University of Maryland,
College Park. I have seen moves that I have never been before. Read a
lot of stuff. Eate a lot, got snowed in, studies a lot.

The only complaint, I'd that this year ended witha wimper. The good news
is that I'm getting a two week breather to do the things I supposed to
do in past school year.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Trains, Subways, and Bikes

On the Washington Post's Maryland Briefing there is word that the planned Purple Line to Be extended from 12 to 21 stations. It would require the line to be a tram/light rail or a rapid bus system. If they have the funding to do this, that would awesome. Really, more stations=more ridership and revenue for Metro.

The Oak Hill Saga Continues!

More on the Oak Hill saga and argument over the federal land. Wait, a deal?

Snuffed Out! O'Malley Signs Ban On Public Indoor Smoking! (And other Bills)

Maryland has joined 20 states in banning smoking in indoor public areas. The bill was signed yesterday along with other bills including:
Measures to deny parole to rapists whose victims are children, toughen penalties for gang members and withhold learner's permits for driving from teenagers who miss more than 10 days of school without an excuse also became law.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mike Grebel: Jail Dubya! Legalize Drugs!

While I must disagree with his proposal for a national sales tax if elected, which is a long shot, I must perfectly agree with his opinion.

Stupid Government Tricks!

I never was suspended in school for a short haircut, as a matter of fact I like my hair short. This person here has actually the same haircut I have right now. But a public school in Texas decided that this haircut was considered disruptive and gave the boy a one-day suspension. Only question: How do the school system define "disruptive?".

No (Rich) Child Left Behind+Overfocus on math, reading, and science= Historical Ignorance

Any Questions?

Desperado! Civil Martial Law in Baltimore?!

Have we seen this before? Another law-and-order legislation that really does nothing about the root causes of crime?
"Desperate measures are needed when we're in desperate situations," said City Council Vice President Robert W. Curran, the bill's author. "What I'm trying to do is give the mayor additional tools."

By introducing the legislation, Curran - who is an ally of Dixon - is promoting increased enforcement at a time when City Hall is moving in the opposite direction, shifting away from zero tolerance and toward an approach that focuses more attention on individual criminals. Dixon has sought to ease tension between police and residents who feel the city's past arrest policies were overzealous.

In addition to closing businesses in the zones, the bill would permit police to limit the number of people who could gather on sidewalks, in streets or in other outdoor areas. It would prohibit the sale and possession of weapons, though Curran acknowledged that weapons used by criminals are almost always already obtained illegally. Zones could be established solely by the mayor, initially for a two weeks, with the option to renew indefinitely.
Mr. Curran, I bet you know the real root causes of crime: drug selling, poverty, underfunded schools, isolated and disadvantaged neighborhood. But you do not really care do you? You just placed that legislation just earn political points. Proof that politicians these days are more interested in maintaining problems rather than resolving them completely. Because if they solve them, these politicians would have no purpose.

The Facts Behind the Stats.

The reason why DC is losing it's black population is mostly of urban renewal. Urban renewal purpose is mostly for Caucasians to enter ethnic communities easier. To do that they jack the house rent up so that the previous residents will forced to leave to areas of lower rent. In this case, Maryland and Virginia. This quote basically sums up what I'm saying:
"What you see are whites moving into the city because they are able to afford the pricey housing in all these areas that are gentrifying and becoming much more middle and upper-middle class," said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. "Meanwhile, the city is becoming more unaffordable to lower-income black families."
It's clear that it is an affordable housing issue and that our "leaders" are doing nothing about it. If I were the DC mayor I would find some kind of way to revitalize public housing. If they were built it would not be built like prisons.

Trains, Subways, and Bikes

"'This is a simplistic solution that is basically, ready, fire, aim,..."

That's the same idea I thought when another another road project has been approved. With global warming a proven scientific theory, the last thing we need is more roads. What Virginia and America needs an expedited expansion of public transport, especially our rail system which is becoming more embarrassing to the modern world by the year.

The Re-Genesis of Oak Hill?!

Immediately down the hall, walk into the Genesis unit, and it's like stepping from a prison into a college dorm -- a particularly quiet one. This experimental unit behind the tall razor-wire fences on the Oak Hill campus in Anne Arundel County is carpeted and freshly painted, with overstuffed couches and a ping-pong table. The cells have wooden beds with comforters. Clusters of kids and guards -- they're called youth development specialists now -- hang out together, laughing and talking about how each boy is doing on his push to get to the next achievement level.

This is the new face of Oak Hill, but don't bother showing it to U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin.
Wait, I did not know Oak Hill had an experimental rehabilitation unit. If it works out DC authorities can rebuild it where it belongs: The District of Columbia. Let Anne Arundel have their park.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bubba On Board! With a Firearm's Card!

We definitely need a omnibus national firearms law, one that only allows persons 18 years or older to apply for.
The 10-month-old, whose given name is Howard David Ludwig, was issued a firearm owner's identification card after his father, Howard Ludwig, paid the $5 fee and filled out the application, not expecting to actually get one.

The card lists the baby's height (2 feet, 3 inches), weight (20 pounds) and has a scribble where the signature should be.

With some exceptions, the cards are required of any Illinois residents purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition within the state. There are no age restrictions on the cards, an official said.
No comment.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Islamicphobia! Islamic Doctor Got Manhandled!

Islamicpobia, another great American pastime.
Hussain went into a hospital restroom to perform the Islamic ritual, known as wudhu, in which he washed his hands and feet to purify his body and soul before praying. Corban walked into the restroom and proceeded to manhandle Hussain, yell racial epithets at him, push him down the corridor and order him to leave the hospital, Hussain said in an interview and court filings.

Hussain, who lives in Upper Marlboro and is a physician and radiologist in Waldorf, decided after filing the civil lawsuit to pursue criminal charges, said Hussain's attorney, David Ellin.
By description I'm reading, its obvious that it's a hate crime. The Maryland Code has a section regarding it under the Criminal Law Section, Title 10 (Crimes Against Public Health, Conduct, and Sensibilities), Subtitle 3 (Hate Crimes), Section 4 (Harassment; destruction of property.)(That's the Maryland Annotated Code: Criminal Law 10-304 :
§ 10-304. Harassment; destruction of property.

Because of another's race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or national origin, a person may not:

(1) (i) commit a crime against that person;

(ii) damage the real or personal property of that person;

(iii) deface, damage, or destroy, or attempt to deface, damage, or destroy the real or personal property of that person; or

(iv) burn or attempt to burn an object on the real or personal property of that person; or

(2) commit a violation of item (1) of this section that:

(i) except as provided in item (ii) of this item, involves a separate crime that is a felony; or

(ii) results in the death of the victim.
Penalty? (pursuant to the Maryland Annotated Code, Criminal Law 10-306)
(b) For violation of § 10-304 of this subtitle.-

(1) A person who violates § 10-304(2)(i) of this subtitle is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both.
And guess what, it is a hate crime:
If convicted, Corban could face up to 10 years in prison and/or a $2,500 fine, Sviatko said.
The trial is set for June 26.

New Library in Baltimore! But what about the others?!

It's good to see that there is a new library that has opened in Baltimore. However the Baltimore Sun does not cover the condition of the rest of the libraries in the Enoch Pratt Free Library system. This only gives us a glimpse of their possible condition.
Yesterday's opening of the 27,000-square-foot, $16.2 million library was a boon to a struggling neighborhood. And, as the first brand-new public library building to open in the city in 35 years, it was symbolic of a turnaround for the city's Enoch Pratt Free Library system.

Six years ago the system closed five libraries in some of its poorest neighborhoods. A decade ago, two others were shut down.
Can you say "investigation"?

Jack Up! Prince Georges County Exeutive Plans to Fund Public Education!

Mr. Johnson, there's a better idea to fund public education in Prince Georges County. Instead of raising the telephone tax (What's the purpose of that) or relying on property taxes. Fund them using county income taxes and peg them via the federal income tax.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I'm still not dead. Finals got a hold to me.

Summer term is just around the corner. Plenty of stuff I promise to do in the spring I can finally do here. But in the mean time consider this another slow day.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bill: Signed Bill: Signed Bill: Signed...

Governor O'Malley signed the Living Wage Act and several bills including:
"The bill freezing university tuition was another that O'Malley said demonstrates the state's commitment to helping 'strengthen and grow our middle class.'

Despite a looming $1.5 billion budget deficit, O'Malley has pledged to try to continue holding the line on tuition at University of Maryland campuses. Annual tuition for in-state undergraduates at the system's flagship campus in College Park will remain at $6,566 this fall.

A separate bill signed yesterday calls for a state study of textbook costs for college students. The bill was sponsored by Del. Craig L. Rice (D-Montgomery), a freshman lawmaker.

Another bill to help working families that became law yesterday will give counties more flexibility in promoting affordable housing programs.

O'Malley also signed a bill to rename the district courthouse in Silver Spring for former Judge L. Leonard Ruben, who collapsed and died outside the building in March. His widow, former state Sen. Ida G. Ruben (D-Montgomery), was at the ceremony yesterday."
Regarding the budget deficit O'Malley I have one suggestion: Tax the Rich.

I'm Not Dead! And This Blog Isn't Either!

It's just one of those times where you have to only concentrate on final papers and exams. Yes it's that time again at Universities across the United States: We're approaching Finals Week. I'll catching up with the news that's here today.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Math Nightmare is Over. Until This Fall.

I have finally completed the coursework for Math 003, and will finally having my final text next week. That's one class out of the way...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Arrest Warrants Issued! ICC wants Ahmed and Ali

Finally, we're getting some progress on the Darfur situation.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued its first arrest warrants over the Darfur conflict for a Sudanese minister and a Janjaweed militia leader accused of murder, torture and rape.

The two men are: Ahmed Haroun, Sudan's secretary of state for humanitarian affairs and a former minister in charge of Darfur; and Ali Kosheib, a principal leader of the Khartoum-backed Janjaweed.

They face a long list of 42 and 50 charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes respectively.
Any way you can nab these guys, do so. Sudan will do anything to resist any attempt.

Car-Free Zones?! Americans Should Expand Them.

To Car Drivers: Don't like the idea? Use Public Transport!

Tanks! What is It Worth!? Absolutely Nothing!

Interest why SWAT teams are so much popular these days: Blame the Pentagon.
The Pentagon giveaway program began in the late 1980s, and is almost certainly responsible for the dramatic rise in the number of SWAT teams across the country, which led to the 1500 percent increase in the number of total deployments over the last 25 years, and to the increasing use of paramilitary tactics for nonviolent crimes. Many criminal justice experts say the program, along with the fact that SWAT teams and narcotics officers are often trained by former members of elite military groups like the Army Rangers or Navy Seals is responsible for the "cowboy" mentality that pervades many SWAT and narcotics units.

It isn't hard to see why. Outfit domestic police officers in military clothing, arm them with military gear, train them in military tactics taught by ex-military personnel, then tell them they're fighting a "war" on drugs, and we shouldn't be the least bit surprised when they treat city streets like battlefields, drug offenders like enemy combatants, and victims like Katherine Johnston and Isaac Singletary as mere casualties of war. Posse Comitatus isn't some quaint relic from the Civil War era. It shows a clear understanding between the two institutions' missions. One is charged with protecting our rights. The other is charged with annihilating an enemy. It's probably a good idea not to get them confused, no?
Normally I would not post from a libertarian news source but this is relevant because the War on Drugs are fueling the rise of SWAT teams. What's the point of them anyway? Police and the armed forces are not the same. Congress ought to keep them separate. (But that will never happen)

Modern Day Slavery! Tanzanian Sues Country's Envoy!

Human Trafficking is no different from historical slavery.
The lawsuit states that Alan Mzengi drafted a contract stipulating that she would work eight hours a day, five days a week taking care of the couple's house and their children. She would be paid $900 a month, from which $150 would be deducted for room and board. The contract also stated that she would be eligible for overtime pay, according to the lawsuit.

About a month after she started working at the couple's home in Bethesda, Mazengo said, she realized her bosses weren't going to adhere to the terms of the contract. But she felt that she had no recourse, she said, because the couple took her passport and because she spoke virtually no English.

Mazengo said she was forced to work from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. every day caring for the couple's children, cleaning and cooking, according to the suit. Additionally, she cooked for the couple's African food catering business, which they ran from their home, the suit states.

On one occasion, Mazengo said in the interview and in the lawsuit, Stella Mzengi struck her in the face. The couple also refused to take her to a doctor for more than two years as ingrown toenails became so painful she couldn't wear shoes, Mazengo said. Despite her condition, Alan Mzengi "ordered her to shovel snow in her bare feet," according to the suit.

In August 2004, Mazengo said, when she asked Alan Mzengi for her wages, he bought her a one-way ticket to Tanzania and told her she would be paid when she returned home. Mazengo called one of the clients of the catering business, who had been friendly to her, to say goodbye. During the phone call, Mazengo said, she began to weep and told the customer about the conditions she had endured. The customer asked her to take a cab to her home, where she eventually got in touch with CASA de Maryland, Mazengo said.
Honestly, I do not care about diplomatic immunity. Slavery and Human Trafficking is a crime, and anyone who is convicted of should go to jail and pay the back wages of any and all victims by prevailing living wages of each day they have been enslaved.

DC Want to Build Another Oak Hill

...D.C. should build its replacement facility somewhere in the District, closer to the homes and families of the youths detained.
That's what the DC Government should do, instead of building another Oak Hill facility.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Corrupted! NeoLiberal Bush Allowed Student Loan Controversy!

This is why neoliberalism sucks, it only benefits the wealthy. Like the student loans controversy that's reported on today's Washington Post. To tell you the truth, I rather have the Department of Education abolished loans and use the money to be used for those loans into expanding PELL grants.

How to Address a Budget Deficit?

Here's some ideas: Repeal the sales tax, legalize slots, and raise the state income tax for rich folk. That should be easy. (But politics is never easy.)

Another Reason to End the War on Drugs

NORML to UMD Police:

"Maybe they should be working on other types of crime instead of busting students with small amounts of pot," Cosner said. "I mean, who are they helping? This is not keeping me safe."

Crime Alerts! Comming to a Cell Phone Near You!

UMD Alert has launched for all your emergency notifications.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Govenor Kaine Orders Gun Loophole Closed.

While it's too late, Virgina Governor Kaine issued an executive order prohibiting inpatient and outpatient mental patients from owning or buying a gun.

Circle Complete! [adult swim] Finally Expands to Fridays!

[as] is finally expanding into Friday nights as of July 6 of this year. No word yet of any anise showing on that day, but you can safely say that you'll have something to watch other than crappy PBS pledge breaks they show once every month on a weekend.

Truancy! Maryland Politicans Doesn't Get It!

Many student's truant for many reasons, Here's some:
"One of the most common problems I hear from students is that they can't get up early enough," Rathbun said. "School starts at 7:20, and they have to be at the bus stop by 6 sometimes. Adolescents have problems with that."

Another common reason Rathbun hears: "Straight out, I don't like school."
There are many other reasons student truant from school: Boring curriculum (which focuses only on math, reading, and science. All thanks to No (Rich) Child Left Behind)Bullying is another reason. Poverty, unsafe school environments, environments not conductive to learning... When Americans deal with truancy they often deal with the symptoms than the root causes.
The problem of truancy has drawn widespread attention this year, prompting some area lawmakers to call for tough measures to keep track of the most habitual offenders and leading school officials to crack down on those who constantly skip class.

In its recently concluded session, the Maryland General Assembly passed a measure that would make it possible to deny driver's licenses to students who have too many unexcused absences. Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is expected to sign it.

During the same session, some lawmakers in Prince George's proposed strapping ankle bracelets on students to electronically monitor the whereabouts of those who constantly skip school. That bill did not advance.
There is a better idea: solve the root causes of truancy, and you will reduce truancy.

If you're one of 60% with Student Aid, You're Probally Uninsured!

Folks instead of pushing mandatory fees, let's get some real health insurance. (Like Universal Health Care)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Coal! If It's Dirty Then,It's Dirty Now!

Why is the Maryland Department of the Environment still protecting these industries? They should close them down and build real renewable resources. It would save people for a lifetime of respiratory problems.

Montgomery County Only School that has Comprehensive School Safety Reports!

School safety reports, there ought to be a federal law mandating them, Montgomery County planned report should be considered a model.
The annual School Safety Report, slated for publication in Montgomery starting in the 2008-09 academic year, will place the county almost alone among Maryland and Northern Virginia school systems in reporting detailed school crime statistics to the public, according to education leaders and lawmakers. In much of this region, as in much of the nation, comprehensive reports on weapons, drugs and sex in individual public schools simply don't exist.
They ought to be, and widely available to the public.
Kenneth Trump, a national authority on school safety who testified before Congress on Monday, says the underreporting of disciplinary incidents in area schools is part of "a historical culture of downplay, deny, deflect and defend when it comes to publicly acknowledging and reporting school crimes." It's driven, experts say, by an overarching concern among school principals to protect their image and that of their school.
Probably the threat of a bad reputation would motivate school administrators to make their schools safe.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Stubborn Incompetance! US Rejected Allies Assistance During Katrina Incident!

Now Almost Two Years of the Katrina Incident the Washington Post found out that Britain, Canada, and Israel offered aid and manpower to aid America of the disaster. The US, instead of allowing the assistance, turned them all down.
Allies offered $854 million in cash and in oil that was to be sold for cash. But only $40 million has been used so far for disaster victims or reconstruction, according to U.S. officials and contractors. Most of the aid went uncollected, including $400 million worth of oil. Some offers were withdrawn or redirected to private groups such as the Red Cross. The rest has been delayed by red tape and bureaucratic limits on how it can be spent.

In addition, valuable supplies and services -- such as cellphone systems, medicine and cruise ships -- were delayed or declined because the government could not handle them. In some cases, supplies were wasted.

Overall, the United States declined 54 of 77 recorded aid offers from three of its staunchest allies: Canada, Britain and Israel, according to a 40-page State Department table of the offers that had been received as of January 2006.

I think that the US Government did this for either two reasons: They either don't want their pride hurt, or they consider accepting the aid is "unmanly" considering that the US is the so-called last "superpower." With this revelation, the US should not be considered a superpower anymore.

Update!: This is also posted on Americablog.

Computer Organized! (For Now...)

Tonight, I've finally organized my computer category by category. Hopefully, this will stay organized for a while.

(This is why I hate organizing, you have to constantly do it everyday, skip one day and it will keep piling up...)

The True Face of Conservatism!

They hate Government, unless it suits the Rich Pigs.

Like Tax Cuts:

SOUTH CAROLINA: Columbia - State lawmakers have started debating two spending plans that could shave pennies off grocery bills or trim income taxes for wealthier residents. The grocery tax cut would save shoppers $1 for each $100 spent and eliminate the tax in the future. Gov. Sanford contends that reducing the state's income tax for top earners would spur the economy.

And expanding gun laws

PENNSYLVANIA: Harrisburg - Hundreds of gun-rights advocates packed the state capitol Rotunda as some lawmakers, most of them Republicans, pushed for proposals aimed at expanding those rights. Several participants mentioned their particular opposition to a bill to require annual registration of most guns and a $10 annual fee on firearms. GOP Rep. Daryl Metcalfe wants to eliminate a gun-sales database maintained by the state police.

Compassionate Conservatism my ass!

Maryland Day 2007

Having a great time a maryland day 07 at the university of maryland. Met
Bob the Vid Tech Kid in person for the first time. Nice man. I asked one
question about the lack of teen shows on mpt, regrading the fact that
teens are more interested in real entertainment than 80' britcom imports
(no offense to the rest of legendary bbc shows.). He told to contact
them via email, which I did. I informed him that I'll go directly to
mpts owings mills hq myself.

(MPT it's been FOUR months since I sent you that email, you're already
failing me!)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Convention?! What Convention!?

Nathaniel B. Thomas a at-large member Prince Georges County School Board was being testified against by parents on accustations that he taken a 18 year old high school student to a convention in San Francisco. The article however did not mentioned which convention.

The student's parents contacted school system officials April 12 to say that their son was missing, board members said. They quickly found him and escorted him home the next day. School officials have not addressed who paid for the student's plane ticket, whether the student stayed in a separate hotel room from Thomas or the nature of the student's relationship with Thomas.

Thomas, a graduate of Suitland High School, has not denied accompanying the student but has said there was nothing inappropriate about the trip. His attorney, Stephen Williams, has promised full cooperation with the investigation and said he thinks that Thomas will be exonerated.
No Comment.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virgina is For (Gun) Lovers!

From this article, we can get some clues of how the gunman managed to acquire the firearms that led to the VT incident.
Buying and owning a gun in Virginia does not require a permit, but without a gun permit only one handgun purchase per month is allowed, and there is no waiting period to acquire the gun.
The article did not say anything about having a gun permit to use the firearm itself, but virgina's gun laws are definitely lax, because in this instance he would have waited month after month for each firearm. So he would waited until he had enough guns to carry out the rampage. No news reports have indicated if the gunman had actually have a gun permit. But here's the kicker:
The state maintains "no restriction on the sale or possession of rapid-fire ammunition magazines that can fire up to 100 bullets without reloading."

The state does restrict people convicted of felony crimes from possessing firearms, and forbids giving or selling handguns to minors under 18, except from one family member to another.
That could be another clue, he may have got the gun from a family member. As for the automatic weapons provision that's a shocker too. But it gets worse:
In one controversial loophole, people can buy weapons at second hand gun shows without waiting periods or background checks.
That would have been another possible way he could have got the guns for the rampage.With all the possible ways he could have acquired those weapons, you can see that Virgina's gun laws need to be stricter, even if means restricting it to agricultural, sporting, or hunting. Good thing the Virginia General Assembly rejected a bill allowing guns on universities.

Vietnam: US-Friendly, Anti-Democratic!

"Communist trial of Vietnam
A lewd comedy for years
Jurors a bunch of baboons
Servants of dictators, who are you to judge?"

This poem is from Father Ly Van Nguyen, a political dissent who is sentenced to eight-years for "criticizing" the "Socialist" Republic of Vietnam. (aka "Communist" Party of Vietnam; note that I put the paraphrases in reference in that they're socialists and communists-in-name. In reality they converted into European neo-liberalism) He was referring to the Vietnamese judicial system, which is rigged in favor of the "C"PV (like in other "communist" or "socialist" countries) It wonders me why the United States support countries that are against real democracy, civil liberties, and human rights? (read: China, Saudi Arabia, Iraq)
If Hanoi was hesitant to act before President Bush's visit during the APEC meeting last November, it was not afterwards. For a president who touted "freedom" and "democracy" in the Middle East, Bush came bearing an unexpected gift - a license, as it were - for the government to use against its dissidents. Though the U.S. president originally had hoped to give Vietnam normal trading status, that deal was delayed in Congress. Embarrassed by having no gift in hand, he dropped Vietnam from the list of nations that severely curtail religious freedom instead, even as these violations continued unabated.
I think that question has already been answered.

Fleeing From Civil War! The Death of Iraq!

"Everyday I left the house I made sure to say goodbye to my family," he says. "Going to the grocery store, meeting a friend, the fear something bad might happen never went away."
While Dubya constantly claims that Iraq is movie forward with democracy and peace, he has not seen the reality of the situation. Many peace loving Iraqi's are being killed, executed or forced to leave their homeland because of the civil war. Two million Iraqi's have fled the country into other countries in the middle east such as Syria or Jordan. As long this war continues, more iraqi's will be leaving.

Now Dubya, can we leave?!

Nothing Much Happening

There's nothing much happening right now in news except for the VT incident and the Student Elections. So along with other national news I will report on deeper issues of the incident.

Adventures in Video Gaming: Longest.Soldier.Front.Match.Ever!

Tonight I played a few matches of's Soldier Front. It's a Online FPS similar to Valve's Counter-Strike. I have not played a match of this game for weeks (read:coursework). The final match before bed took place on a snowy factory. I expected a few more players, but I get four players out of sixteen. I must tell you that this level is huge with just four players. Yet sadly, one by one dropped out until there was two. Soldier Front for the match has turned into Sneak and Kill. What makes matters worse is that there's no time limit. First to 30 kills wins and for me it prolonged the game than necessary.

But I managed to survived. Mostly by rediscovering camping. If anyone does not know about camping, in First Person Shooters camping is staying in a spot and just shoot whatever moves. Snipers in these games are famous for it, despite the fact that "camping" is dishonorable in FPS shooters. But I did not have a choice, it was a one-on-one match. Quitting a match is dishonorable as well in online games.

One by one, I racked up kills, each one closer to thirty. One he comes up, I shot the M16 on him. My opponent knew what I was doing, so he tried sneaking to catch me off-guard. Then he finally uses grenades on my hiding spot. One by far away, and a few times by throwing one beside me. When I got 29 kills, it was time for me go for the last shot.

When I got outside, in the snow, my opponent was hiding by the truck, so I searched it by strating it. I knew he was around the vehicle. And he was there, about to fire on me. I held down the mouse button and had the crosshair on him. A few seconds later he was dead, and I won. I was expecting a lot of points, but 185? (Shit I deserve a lot more for that).

So that how I won the longest Soldier Front match ever. Now time for my to take a shower and head for bed. (It's almost 2:30am!)

Monday, April 16, 2007

A School Massacre That Could Have Been Prevented

If the United States was the best country in the world, we would have the smarts to prohibit all private gun ownership of any kind. If a person has to have a firearm (For hunting, agricultural, or for sport) they would have to meet very strict regulations. But since the country has no uniform gun control law, school massacres, or any massacre in a level like this ,while rare, will happen such at the one happened today. Even if we outlaw private ownership of guns, it will not prevent massacres entirely, but will reduce their level of carnage. The United States Congress should seriously tightening their gun laws based on Britain or Japan.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Want to know the quickest way towards a prison fight!?

A argument over television!

Wednesday's fight was over the use of a television in a medium- to maximum-security unit, according to a supervisory source in the detention center. Two hours a day are allotted for detainees to watch Spanish-language programs, said the supervisor, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he has not been authorized to give interviews.

The precise cause of the fight was unclear. According to internal reports, a black detainee unplugged the TV, and he and a Latino detainee began exchanging punches. Corrections officers intervened. The fight was quelled quickly, and no one was injured, said Vicki D. Duncan, a spokeswoman for the county Department of Corrections.

The Washington Post briefly mentioned overcrowding as a possible cause.
The detention center, designed for 1,500 detainees, is often at capacity or overcrowded, Duncan said, and such overcrowding can lead to fights like the one that occurred last week.
But they did not investigate the problem of overcrowding and why correctional facilities across the country are overstuffed with mostly African-Americans and Latinos. The best way to prevent this such things from happening is sentence only genuine violent and dangerous offenders to correctional facilites. Disagree, Yes? Then comment on this post!

One Concequence of the Prince George's Hospital System Closing... that Washington Adventist Hospital could be affected by the ripple effect the hospital system closing have. Update: But wait! There's more:
Extended emergency room waits, longer response times for ambulances, thousands of displaced health-care workers and undermined rape prosecutions
What's worse is that low-income patients that come to the hospital system uses the county's public transportation system "The Bus". And these buses are infrequent and do not run on weekends. But wait! There's even more:
For workers, the system's closure could mean losing jobs held for decades. Some could find jobs elsewhere amid a worker shortage in the field, but they could need additional training and might have to work far from home. Many have concerns about their retirement benefits.
This is why America needs universal single-payer health insurance NOW!

Tired of Inaction?! Do something!

"I feel like this is bringing attention to the issues, not just a bunch of kids crying," junior government and politics major Sarah Abedi said. "Had we known this was going to happen, we would have looked for someone to pull us in. We don't want to live in a house off-campus in a random place because we could get mugged."
These students are doing something alright, finding solutions instead of simply venting. Students if you're fed up with anything that's related to politics, do something. (and if they still don't listen, once you're eligible for public office, boot them out yourself by running for it! Then you'll make a real difference.)

Sorry for the lack of posts

I was generally studying and saw the performance "Transformations" at the Clairse Smith Performing Arts Center. It was again for a WMST250 assignment, but it was great seeing that a book written as a remake of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales gets remade into a 70's club stage play. It's still performing at the CSPAC.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

All Nighter Hangover almost through

Right now I think I'm through with my hangover from last nights
hangover. Going to review some notes, since I already did my news

Result from first all nighter.

I have finally able to stay all night without dozing off to sleep. The
price? Drowzyness, tiredness, and yawning. All three of those stinks,
but I will survive.

Adventures in Video Gaming

So far at this point I joined a party, died, waited 20 minutes for a White Mage that never aid me and revived myself at a crystal, dumped a few stuff at my mog house and while headed back to my party it disbanded. Now I'm with a different party but it's taking slow to start up.

(2 more hours and I would have successfully pulled an all niter)

News The Corporate Media Does Not Want You To See, Hear, or Know

Another root cause of Global Warming? Our Eisenhower-era transportation system.

President Dubya to US Troops:You Are Expandable

Pelosi, Clinton, Obama Favor More Nuclear Timebombs

Budget, Budget, Budget...

Advocates lobby for full funding of schools budget: "The school system says it needs more money to pay for new programs and hire more counselors and assistant principals for elementary schools, among other things. Others say the school system needs to share the wealth and back off some of its initiatives because the county simply does not have enough money.

School officials do not want to scale back any programs, however, and said this week that they may have to scrap salary increases for teachers, administrators and service workers if the County Council cannot find $19.7 million more.

‘‘We don’t have a lot of low-hanging fruit left, and with a major cut, we would have to make a reduction in personnel somewhere,” said Marshall C. Spatz, the school system’s budget director. ‘‘We can’t cut textbooks, special education, food or electricity, so we would have to cut people.”"
I got a better idea. Instead of repeating the same vicious cycle of school funding, transfer the primary source of school fundings from property taxes to general government revenue? It would immediately remedy most if not all problems with the school budget and you get to keep the programs you have.

Another Reason We Need Universal Health Care!

This is another reason why Maryland must have Universal Health Care. The Prince George's Hospital Complex may be forced to file into bankruptcy or close down all together. The Maryland Government's plans to create an state-appointed authority is not enough. (Oh,'s too late. Maryland General Assembly just sine dined yesterday (I think))

Junior/Senior Housing Crisis! What to do?!

When I first came to the University, I did not expect such a situation such as this at all. Now Juniors and all of the Senior's are being forced into off-campus housing in which may be crime-ridden or worse price-gouched. What the University needs to do immediately is to remodel their priority numbers to ensure that only undergraduates and the financially strapped are unconditionally accepted housing, encourage upcoming freshmen if they live within commuter distance of UMD they should commute.

Pulling an All Nighter

I got some good news, I got my Sidekick 3 back. It's actually a new one because my first one was lost. Right now I'm playing Final Fantasy XI: Online. I have not got a party invite from yet so in the mean time I'll be posting here. If I'm lucky, I will be able to stay all night long.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Better to Expose Them Now Than To Be Ignorant About It When First Encoutered.

With all the hoopla about teaching sexual orientation and gender identity in sexual education classes Montgomery County got worse problems to worry about. What I mean is that parents should not opt-out their children out of sexual education classes, even those teach students about different sexual orientations and gender. As a matter of fact, they are so much needed to fight heterosexual hypocrisy that is going on in our sexophrenic culture.

As a matter of fact comprehensive sexual education is so much needed in every grade of public school. This will prevent much of:
  • Teen Pregnancy
  • Sexual Ignorance
  • Homophobic and gender bullying
  • Spread of HIV/AIDS
Those are just a few of the examples. Some organizations such as the heterosexist Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum would rather have students be ignorant about sexuality. Because if Comprehensive sexual education is mandated, most of the problems I highlighted will go away. So organizations such as CfaRC exist to maintain problem and promote ignorance. So when these problems keep continuing they will not get the blame.

Smokes-Out! Bassett’s Restaurant Bans Smoking Early!

It turns out that the statewide smoking ban is passing after all. Just in case, some restaurants like Bassett’s in Poolesville,MD are smoking out early.
Owners Leo and Betty Bassett made the decision to go smoke-free before the state Senate and House of Delegates passed differing versions of a statewide ban last week. A committee is hashing out the differences.

Maryland would join at least 18 states, and Washington, D.C., that have banned smoking in restaurants and bars.

If the bill is signed, the law would go into effect Jan. 1, 2008, said state Sen. Robert J. Garagiola (D-Dist. 15) of Germantown, the bill’s lead sponsor.

Yet, it's good to see that business owners are looking for the long-term benefits of the ban.

At Bassett’s on Thursday, bar manager Josh Greer said the move will increase bar patrons.

‘‘Personally, I hate to see my civil liberties taken away, but in the long run it’ll be good for business,” bar manager Josh Greer of Poolesville said last week during a brief cigarette break. ‘‘The whole state’s going non-smoking soon, so we’re beating them to the punch.”

This would mean that families, and non-smokers (which are in the majority) can finally enter the restaurant without inhaling secondhand-smoke. Don't worry smokers, you can skill smoke outside.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

An Apology from the Modern Day Prophet

It has been almost a month since I have last blogged on the Modern Day Prophet. I did not expect a week-long break to turn into a hiatus. To be honest, I was going to warn readers that there was not going to be any posts during spring break, but midterms, essays, and exams bogged me down so much that I had no time to blog any news about UMD or Maryland politics. That means that my coverage of the Maryland General Assembly was a bust. I must still take full responsibility for the lapse of updates because I sometimes procrastinate. I seem to wait for the right time to do my assignments, often doing them the week before they’re long due; meaning that if the due date for a paper is three weeks, I do the paper seven days before the due date. So again, I’m sorry.

But here’s what I did during my hiatus:

Spring Break—I mostly stayed at home, surfing the web, watching television, reading books.

Roosevelt Institute at UMD—I attended the opening session of the Roosevelt Institute early last March. It’s a student run progressive think thank. The speeches there were uninteresting but the concept is awesome: student-written reports instead of rich conservative AWASP-written reports (read: Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute). I’m considering writing as a fellow next fall. Proposed paper? Expand Public Transportation by Zeroing-out Highway Funds. Their website is also nice too, with all sorts of interesting writings from student fellows. Unfortunately, their database is under reconstruction (for over 6 months!)

Ctrax—For those who have not already know, is for all intents an purposes dead. Access for Terps has been closed down 15 days before the planned closedown on March. I already kissed my Dead Kennedy’s and Hip Hop collection good bye. Speaking of music, I went to the “This is Her Story, This is her Song” 3 day symposium for a class assignment. While the first day was more Gospel than general music, I enjoyed the concert. Although I attended only the first day.

As for the book I’m writing, which is approaching its fifth university, I finally know the term of the one year hiatus and the on-off working of the book: “Research Hell”. It’s no different from Production Hell that movie producers want to avoid as much as possible. I realize that the university has all I need to complete my book. This means: UMD + McKalden Library + Research Port = Research Hell. (And that the Book final copy is pushed back to Fall 2007)

Films—I went to see Grindhouse on April 6. It was my first double feature I have experienced, and it was fucking awesome. Especially Planet Terror which is basically a send-up of the zombie horror genre. Nasty and crazy scenes a plenty, including one where Cherry blows zombies with an M-16 attached on her amputated. Death Proof was a bit slow, but it does have its moments, like the three-on-one fight scene near the end. On the other hand I saw Shortbus on April 3 2007. Great film, especially this is because this is the first time ever seeing gays as characters, real characters, not stereotypes. I recommend it. (If I can pick one memorable scene from this film it would be this: The Gay Threesome reciting a song in the privacy of a apartment. But I still consider garden variety-heterosexual threesomes just as nasty as well.

So that’s what I did during my hiatus. Right now, we have about three weeks before final exams week. As for the rising seniors that are told by Res Life that they will have to find housing off-campus, it’s shameful that they have to inform seniors that weeks before final exams week. The fact that the College Park Council hates its own residents (which are mostly Terps) and the Maryland General Assembly decides to play politics when it comes to providing housing for its flagship university, really shows how much they really care about the University: as long as politicians benefit. I have one piece of advice to freshman accepted into the university, if you can commute there, please consider that option, do it for the seniors.

Regular blogging will gradually resume this week. One more question: Why has it suddenly winter during spring?

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Vast Wasteland

Cable television rates in the county have gone up despite hopes that competition would improve service and lower rates.
The reason why cable television rates have been increasing is because while have "choice", we have no real competition. Many areas of the United States, especially in Maryland do not have multiple cable tv providers. Without that pesky real competition, Comcast and other de facto monopolies can jack up their rates without adding additional channels or improve their customer service. But do not expect Congress nor the FCC to care.

Charged! Student Faces Trial for Assulting a DOTS Officer!

There are many ways to contest your ticket legally. This is definitely not one of them.
Police charged a 31-year-old student with felony first-degree assault Friday for his alleged role in shoving a parking enforcement officer to the ground during a dispute over a traffic ticket, University Police said.

The student, whom police identified as Gaithersburg resident Eugene Paul Krevinko, could face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison if convicted of the charge. First-degree assault is the most serious charge police could file for this type of incident.
Now Toni Richardson, the DOTS parking officer won't be able go to her jobs.
Richardson said she has not been able to return to work because her broken elbow interferes with driving the Transportation Services truck she uses to patrol parking lots, and she has been unable to return to her second job at Wawa on Knox Road, an employee said last night. Richardson said Thursday she will also file civil charges against Krevinko.
If I were a judge, instead of sending Mr. Krevinko to prison for possibly 25 years, I would order him to work the same job Ms. Richardson had as community service. 100% of the pay that would be payed to him would be sent to her directly until she is able to get back on the job.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Evening Closing! UMD closes down at 5pm.

Due to the snowstorm, UMD evening classes are canceled after 5pm. All
facilities, except for the Stamp Union which will remain open, will
close at the same time. Dining services will be closed at 7pm (that
means no late night dining). Currently Shuttle-UM services are not

The Vast Wasteland

Hate pledge specials? I suggest not watching MPT between today and March 19. They have hijacked PBS's prime time schedule with the likes of:
and classic self-help guru's and artists like:
And an assortment of music specials that only a 50 year old will only love.

Fundraising Programming specials are programs that are designed to prompt regular and new PBS viewers into becoming members of their local PBS station. The most successful fundraising programs tend to be performance shows of exceptional quality, usually appealing to a 50+ demographic and often nostalgic in nature. Notable programs include music specials which showcase stars in "Doo Wop," "Folk," "Standard," "Popera," and "Baby Boomer music" genres i.e., Andrea Bocelli, Chris Botti, Peter, Paul and Mary, and Roy Orbison. Self-help programs which impart advice or techniques about finance, personal growth, health, and lifestyle issues are also very popular with many PBS viewers/ members. Other programs featured during on-air fundraising periods include: Travel specials, Cultural Documentaries, Cooking programs, and various specials pulled from the regular PBS-NPS program schedule.

The key to a fundraising program's success is its ability to motivate a viewer to become a financial supporter because of the quality programs found on the local PBS station. Fundraising programs are an extremely important part of each station’s Fundraising and Development endeavors and are very visible additions to the overall TV program schedule.
The Modern Day Prophet highly advises that if you're lucky enough to live in the DC area, WETA and WHUT (if you can receive its signal) are great alternatives.

...On second thought, WETA's doing the same thing.(God Helps Us All!)

They're going to be making a lot of money from this suck fest.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sick! Children Living in Squalor!

After you read this story, it'll make you sick. But I have a strong stomach.
...bright-orange "order to vacate" signs from the Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources were on each of the home's doors and windows.

The children -- ages 6 months to 6 years old -- were found by police at 12:30 a.m. Saturday lying on a sheetless bed that smelled of urine and feces. Only a small electric space heater, in an unsafe position, was keeping the children warm, according to a charging document filed by New Carrollton police.

The infant has cystic fibrosis, and each of the children was dirty, hungry and appeared to be in need of medical attention, according to the charging document. They were all taken to Prince George's Hospital Center for evaluation.

What's really more sick, their mother haven't got busted on felony charges, yet.
Their mother, Amara N. Eden, 31, was arrested early Sunday on misdemeanor child-neglect charges. She is scheduled to appear before a Prince George's judge today for a bond hearing. County social services officials have custody of her children.

State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said yesterday that prosecutors are evaluating evidence to determine whether to charge Eden with any felonies.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Outlaw Dissections!

In Bowie High School, I actually had an class assignment asking them to dissect a frog. Yes, the standard frog dissection. I choose not to and rather study the frog using a anatomical chart and worksheet. I respect animal rights wholly, and there are already alternatives to dissections.
...for those morally opposed, or simply too squeamish, modern technology has provided a ready alternative: computer-based virtual dissections, sometimes with three-dimensional technology that makes the experience far more vivid than regular photographs.

Some students prefer the computer versions because they are "tuned in electronically," Scovel said.

"That is their method of learning, and they can translate a virtual environment very easily into a real environment," she said. Other kids can't do that. "It has to do with their learning style and brain development."
With these alternatives, I would rather outlaw the practice of dissecting dead animals, including dead human beings. (Although We have not seen any real incidents of that sort of thing)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

UMD and Slavery?!

Never heard of that before:

Although it has been widely known that the founder of the Maryland Agricultural College - later renamed the University of Maryland - owned slaves, university officials made little mention of the deeper role slavery played here during the 150th anniversary last year. Several founding contributors in 1856 donated money made from the use of slaves, and some believe slaves were likely used on the campus, according to two university researchers.

The only formal recognition the university has made beyond founder Charles Calvert's ownership of slaves since The Diamondback reported on the sparse mention of slavery during the anniversary was a statement on the university's press release website written by university archivist Anne Turkos.

"The role of African Americans in the early history of the Maryland Agricultural College is particularly unclear," Turkos wrote, "Many people believe that Calvert lent his slaves to the college to help erect the first buildings, but we have not been able to confirm this to date."

You just have to read the article for yourself, it's the right thing for Maryland politicians to acknowledge regret over the use of slaves during the slave era.

As state legislators moved closer to passing a joint resolution "expressing regret" for the state's role in slavery yesterday
But if the University is aware, it would be moral and right thing to acknowledge regret too.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Breaking News! RHA begins bullhorn protest!

Even while the wind blows, the Resident Hall Assoication begun a
bullhorn protest near the South Campus Dining Hall, handing out fliers
detailing how much the RHA budget actually is. Ten minutes after I got
there an editor claiming that he quit the diamondback today. I asked for
an interview, but he declined. Currently they're still handing out
fliers as I speak.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

It's a Knit In!

Femenism Without Borders (FWB), a UMD student organisation, is holding a
knit-in in the main lobby of the stamp student union as I speak. The
group is signing petitions to send to President Dr. Mote asking him to
sign on the the Designated Suppliers Program to monitor where clothes
are originally produced.

Full Disclosure: Ndubuisi Okeh is member of FWB


Here's some pictures of the accident

BREAKING NEWS: Traffic Accident on Campus Dr.

As I stand, there is a traffic accident near the Glenn L. Martin
Insitute of Technology on Campus Drive. Traffic is backed up northbound
and traffic on southbound headed for the rt.1 interception is being
rerouted. Some Shuttle-UM routes, especially between the Union and
College Park Metro station. I suggest you make alternative plans for
getting to and from the university if you usually take campus drive.

Ndubuisi Okeh, reporting for The Modern Day Prophet.

Oh and While You At It, Grant UHC to Inmates Too!

But because of rapidly increasing costs in the health care industry, for-profit companies that Maryland and other states relied on for inmate health care services were no longer agreeing to fixed-price deals.

Faced with pressure to improve the system, particularly in Baltimore, state officials offered separate contracts for the prison system's varying health care needs. Different companies were awarded contracts for medical, dental, mental health and pharmaceutical coverage. These contractors now "pass-through" the costs of their goods and services to the state for reimbursement. For fiscal year 2006, the tab for inmate health care in the state totaled $109.7 million.

Auditors found that medical care, dental care and mental health care providers weren't providing required levels of staff. They also noted problems with medical screenings, chronic care checkups, medication dispensation and timely treatment based on inmate needs.
This is another reason why we need single payer health insurance, since the government is paying for health care, they would not have to pay several companies of that amount of money.

Source:The Baltimore Sun

Last Stop! Trauncy Court!

While this a good article explaining the problem with truancy it also, for me, raised some thoughts.
Maryland law requires parents to get them to school until the age of 16 or face legal consequences, including fines and possible jail time.

...the maximum penalty — 10 days in county detention.
I must disagree with the legal penalty when regards to truancy. There are could be many root causes of truancy including chronic truancy. If I was a judge, would only convict them and sent them to jail if they knew their children is chronically truant and did absolutely nothing , and that's would be used as a last resort.

This also caught my mind:
‘‘Tons of services have been offered to these families before coming to court, but apparently, they haven’t been successful,” he added.
The report failed to mention what services the county offers in regards to truancy. If those programs were to exist they may not even know by TV, since you will not see one public service announcement during prime time. Not one!

Pawned! Prince George's County Council Stalls Pawn Businesses!

As long as there's a a fringe economy, there will always be pawn shops.
This week, County Councilman Eric Olson (D-Dist. 3) of College Park introduced a bill, backed by five other members, that would freeze the number of pawnshops in the county. Olson said there are 31 shops now, but 38 licenses are available. He wants to cut the number of licenses down to 31. His bill would also prohibit any new pawnshops from replacing those that go out of business, leading to an eventual downturn in the total number of local pawnshops.
Like I said above, as long there is a fringe economy, there will be businesses like pawn shops. The best way to take away the demand is to reinstate welfare polices that get them back on their feet not with slave-wage jobs, but with job training, and public service jobs that will pay them living wage.

University Senate+University Community+Safety Forum=No Solution!

I did not attended the forum on security concerns at UMD yesterday. To tell you the truth I would have easily gave out a idea, since they keep saying the same old security complaints.
Student Government Association President Emma Simson said more blue lights should be placed in parking lots, though she acknowledged that lots are well-lit. Currently, blue lights are only placed on the lots' perimeters.

A library system staff member voiced concerns for students' safety when they leave late night study sessions in McKeldin Library.

Another topic raised was the common complaint that when calling 911 on the campus from a cell phone, callers are often directed to an incorrect police department. In response, University Police Chief Ken Krouse said that when on the campus, students should call the police directly at (301)405-3333 rather than dialing 911.
I know a good solution, make the University Police out of their cars and do their patrols on foot. It's not a silver bullet, but it would help a lot. I also like the idea in the article of making a clearer pathway to the College Park Metro station.
In an effort to make the walk from College Park Metro Station safer, police also discussed a plan to create a clear walkway from the station to the campus. Krouse said the current path will be cleared of trees and bushes so that criminals can't hide in them to rob pedestrians.

Krouse said he doesn't know when the path will be completed.
Shameful, I may need to find out about that path for myself.

UMD Spot

"Just Say Hi"

TerpTaxi Interview

Last month I did some digging about how safe is TerpTaxi really is. On February 7, 2007 I did a interview with Abdul Wahab, one of the TerpTaxi drivers in UMD's Department of Transportation Services. It consists of three questions:
  1. Do student have to fill out the form outside or inside the minibus?
  2. Is there anyway to charge to the student account wirelessly, with a card reader instead of such a form?
  3. How do you verify the person’s University of Maryland affiliation?

What I found out from him is that the students fill out the form inside the minibus. The forms are a temporary measure until sometime this March of this year where DOTS would install card readers to charge the student accounts. Finally, verification is used using the UMD IDs.

I also recorded a video of the interview which you can see below

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

There's Something About Stalking!

Tonight I saw the film There's Something About Mary for the first time. However my experience was partially ruined because I had to use the restroom for a couple of times. (The ending was nice though for a comedy)

The event was sponsored by UMD's Victim's Advocate. The film was also for students registered in class CCJS 230 Criminal Law in Action. There was also a short Q and A and lecture by the Victim's Advocate about stalking, the film's main theme.

You Might As Well Have Congress Ban Smoking in Public Places! (Except Outdoors)

(Which would be a good thing, that'll make smokers to quit even faster)
...O'Malley (D) had never explicitly pledged his support for a statewide prohibition, allowing only that he was "willing to consider it" if a bill reached his desk.
We must assume that the Republicrat will sign this bill.

While opposition is waning on the tobacco farmers front, which most of it's farms are rendered obsolete as when Government of Maryland offered to buy them out, The Baltimore Sun reports that the tobacco companies themselves will fight it.
But another tobacco lobby, the Maryland Association of Tobacco & Candy Distributors, is fighting the legislation and has employed lobbyist Bruce C. Bereano. "I've been working this thing like crazy," he said recently.

Bereano says cigarettes are a "lawful product," and that smoking is a "lawful activity." He said of the ban proponents: "They want to run other people's lives."

Melvin R. Thompson, a lobbyist for the Restaurant Association, said the ban would be bad for business. He said smokers might not drink as much, or they might stay home rather than head to a bar or tavern, hurting liquor revenues.
Mr. Bereano, while it's a lawful activity, tobacco equals death. It will not kill users now, but eventually, because smokers will die slowly and painfully. Not to mention harming those around them and the bar workers who constantly have to breathe their smoke. Probably this law will force smokers to reconsider their habits, because smokers are run over other people's lives (through second-hand smoke)and themselves.

Get Rid of HSA's!

I have took this test in my senior year of high school. Luckily, while I did not need to pass it to graduate, I passed them. But special-ed students, people with limited English proficiency, and disabled students will not be lucky, even if the Maryland High School Assessments turns into a graduation requirement in 2009.

Some opponents of the test say that as many as 25,000 students are at risk of failing at least one of the exams, but state officials say programs to improve performance and generally improve scores on tests mean only a handful of students will fail.

Many students having the most difficulty with the tests are in the groups affected by the delay. According to a state education Web site, there are more than 31,000 special-ed students in high schools; almost 6,500 with limited English proficiency; and nearly 5,000 who fall under Code 504, which includes many students with disabilities. However, not all of these students are in the Classes of 2009 and 2010, the groups affected by the change.

I smell a No (Rich) Child Left Behind connection...

How Many More Marylander's Must Die Unitl We Have UHC?

Lets make these nightmares a thing of the past.

The State of Maryland just spent $250,000 on a toothache, and in the end, it still wasn't enough to save the life of 12 year-old Dearmonte Driver. Universal Health Care would have saved Dearmonte's life, and saved the State of Maryland over $200,000.

Universal Health Care would have guaranteed Dearmonte dental coverage from any dentist in the state. His toothache would have been taken care of, either for free or for a few dollars. Tooth extraction isn't a difficult process, and any dentist can perform the procedure. Instead, Dearmonte was on medicaid and his parents were unable to find a Medicaid dentist to see him.

What happened to Dearmonte and his family is unacceptable. Its time to stop ignoring the uninsured. If we continue to do so, we risk both moral and economic peril.

Cross posted from Kujanblog.

Trains, Subways, and Bikes

Do you know why 40% of DC residents don't own a car?
It's reasonable to assume that this occurs in part because in the region, Washington and Arlington enjoy the richest set of non-automobile based transportation and mobility assets--plus in many areas, walkable communities. . .
Here's another reason why public transit is more efficient than cars.
In one hour, one road-mile of road-lane can accommodate about 2,000 cars on a limited access freeway, and from 800 to 1,300 cars in various non-freeway situations.

The same lane mile can accommodate 6,750 people riding buses, 10,000 people riding bus rapid transit, a minimum of 15,000 people riding light rail, and up to 65,000 people in heavy rail (subway).
Another great reason why Congress should make funding for public transit more readily available than highways and airports.

Equalized! RHA Votes for Downgrading Marijuana Penalities!

While the UMD Resident Hall Association does not have real power, it narrowly passed a resolution recommending that the marijuana possession to have the same penalites as alcohol possession by 20 to 17
"Using marijuana is not setting a fire, it's not raping someone. The only person that it hurts physically is the user. I don't think it's fair that it's classified as an A-level violation."
That was from Vice President Sumner Handy, which I agree with him, but there were some opposition to the resolution.
...Resident Life Director Deb Grandner said she opposes the RHA's decision because reducing penalties could increase the drug market on the campus and lead to more crime.

"Right now I believe that our students take our drug policy seriously, and I want them to continue to take it seriously," she said.

If you want to get rid of the drug market Mr. Grandner, there's a little something called drug legalization. Try lobbying Congress for it. (Note: Contains for and against links)

Technical difficulties

Blogger once again, was screwing my posts up. If you come from lefty blogs and saw my series "The Vast Wasteland" three of four times, it was not my fault. Blogger Mobile for reasons unknown delayed my post for three days. By the time you read this, they should be gone.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Anyone for a $292 spike?

The Student Fee Review Board just did.

The increases were not unexpected, said Student Government Association Vice President of Finance Daozhong Jin, who pointed to routine cost-of-living increases and rising energy prices as the primary reason for the hike. After the increase, total room and board costs will rise to $8,714 next year.

The hike was in sharp contrast to increases last year, however, when university officials faced strong opposition from SGA leaders who questioned the necessity of the increase. This year, some students raised questions about fees, but they were content to pass concerns on to university President Dan Mote's cabinet without reservations, students present at the hearing said. Reporters were shut out of the hearing.

No comment