Dear Maryland Public Television
As much as I support public broadcasting, I do not like that fact that you already failed your purpose and mission. The first problem is that there is absolutely no programming for teenagers ages 14-17. Isn’t public broadcasting’s purpose is to serve people who do not have a voice? The closest this type programming is your MPT Kids and Family block, which offers nothing for this demographic. I also watched MPT for an entire week when I was 16, for a week I see that your programming is either for children under 12, people over age 65, or people without cable.
The second problem is that the lack of real drama. You’re a state public broadcaster, you have the money to produce real local drama, to compete with the likes of ABC, NBC, and CBS local affiliates; which produce little if any local programming except news. The only drama I see are British imported or remade from Britain. Even the classic comedy is from British imported, and it has been repeated over and over for I don’t know, over eight years! There are plenty of real British TV dramas over the years that you can pick up like Doomwatch, The Bill, and the like. Why not drama from countries other than England, like Japan, Germany, South Africa, Hong Kong, France? Seriously, with all the money you rake in with your Wayne Dryer specials you shove down my throat every month, where do you spend it on?
Finally, for years, you schedule award-winning programs such as Independent Lens, and P.O.V., at 1 am. There are rarely shown in prime time so that it will get a large following. Is it because you don’t want it to become popular since it will attract the “wrong” demographic (which are regular working class Marylanders)?
You probably would not care less about me, because I’m an undergraduate from the University of Maryland. While I’m a male, I’m not Caucasian, I’m not 35-48 years old yet, and I currently don’t earn a $60,000+ yearly salary. I don’t have money to give during your now monthly “pledge weeks” which are really infomercials for overpriced goods any consumer you can buy for over half the price. So guess what, I’m part of the wrong demographic, ergo you will not care about me, even if I’m writing this letter.
Again, where does the money you rake in from your pledge breaks go to?
So, how am I supposed support MPT if I don’t have the money to support it nor have the money to become a member? I would send in a program proposal for a locally produced drama, but you wouldn’t care. But the real question is this: What kind of public broadcaster are you that have programs that do not represent the state as a whole and have already failed your mission? Just in case you don’t know your own mission statement, here’s is the Mission portion of your Mission.Partnership.Trust statement on MPT Online:
MPT is driven by a sense of urgency to fulfill our mission to "educate, entertain and enlighten the people of Maryland -- and beyond-- through creative programs and services of the highest quality." That mission stands out like a beacon, especially today in a world of commercially centered programming. MPT continually provides mind-expanding, nonviolent, horizon-broadening television. We provide true universal access, bringing the best of the world into every living room. Any home, any person with access to a TV can be in the front row center of some of the best productions in the world, regardless of "household income" or "target audience."
Sounds like you already failed your mission.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Jacqueline, a 23-year-old December graduate, is one of thousands of students illegally in the United States finding themselves in legal limbo. This university, like many others in the country, only requires students to provide proof of residency in the admissions application.But they followed the American dream by learning the langauge and getting through school.
The two girls snapped back, though, learning English and scraping through Montgomery County middle and high schools. She wasn't a great student, so the day she graduated high school she hit a brick wall when she realized her status limited her options.While she has graduated at UMD. She knows that while she's qualified professional, she can't get a job becuase she's not a legal.
Though school is over for her, the problems may continue. She has tried numerous times to acquire legal status to no avail. And she does not have the time or money to enter legalization proceedings. (Only to worsen by Dubya making those proceedings too expensive for working class immigrants to get.)This a truely sad that if Bush suddenly decides to rapidly expidte plans to deport all illegals, she may may join the ranks of the homeless since she and her family do not have a home there. Not to mention that the job market in Mexico is at a stand still. And if she managaed to get enough money to legalize herself by going through the proper channels, she would have a difficult time becuase she is Latino. But if she was a West European citizen, she would have a much easier time with the process.This is why so many Mexicans cross the border illegally since they know that going through it legally is very difficult and prohibative not worth it.
Her college diploma, for now, is only good to display in the mahogany frame hanging on her dining room wall. She's qualified for a professional job helping autistic children, but can't get a job practicing.
"Oh my God, I am illegal," she thought.
Our immigration system is broken, not to mention racist. It needs to be repaired, and simply deporting all illegals back where they come from would lead to another econmoic depression, and Dubya know it. What I would do is to grant all illegals legality if they were culturally naturalized. what I mean by cultural naturalization is that they have a basic knowledge of English, have a stable job or been in a educational facility, and are not a seriously a threat to the community as a whole. If they were able to prove that for at least six months, they would be granted legal residents (aka green cards) and if they have been living in the US for five years along with those six months they would be automatically be granted permanment residency, making the road to citizenship much quciker.
Oh, make the process a lot streamlined and easily to proceed.
Again, don't expect your Republicrat represenatives to do anything about this issue, they rather sit their fat asses until its too late.
Representatives from the departments of Resident Life, Resident Facilities and Dining Services approached the group with a proposal to raise room and board by $292 next year to a total cost of $8,714.While the article focused on wireless internet upgrades for the dorms, (which is a good thing). The probelm was related to other factors.
The 3.47 percent increase largely reflects standard cost increases these departments face every year: higher energy costs, higher cost of health insurance benefits for employees, even the increased cost of the furniture that stocks dorm rooms.
Associate Director for Dining Services Joe Mullineaux also added that a state-mandated raise for all university employees to the living wage - an adjusted minimum wage based on an area's standard of living that would raise employees pay from $8.59 an hour to $9.67 - was one of the biggest factors driving up the student fees this year. The raise will cost Dining Services and Resident Life $374,787 combined.But I was shocked by this:
Last year, room and board fees went up $347, and the year before, the costs increased by $284. Room and board fees have increased every year for the past 20 years.That's right, your room and board has been jacked up 20 times, in 20 years. Seriously
someone the MGA has to do something about it. But don't expect them to do anything about.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Their comments came in response to a report presented to the University System of Maryland Board of Regents on Wednesday that found black men were the poorest performing demographic in Maryland's higher education system. According to the report, two major causes of underperformance are a widespread feeling reported by black men that they live on the fringe of the campus community and an attitude enforced by peers early on that education is uncool. [empasis mine]
And it's about the money.
But of all the reasons in the 58-page report, developed by 49 task force members and derived from the experiences of various students, the task force named the cost of attending college in Maryland as the major hurdle to academic well-being.
It's damn shame really that Maryland knows the problem yet do want to do anything about it before its too late (Like free university education).
...at least 10 university students were present during the robbery. Neighbors declined to be named out of fear for their safety.
The suspected gambling house, a split-level rambler located on Bridgewater Street near University Courtyard, was occupied by at least 15 people when two suspects, described as a young Filipino man and a light-skinned Black or Hispanic man, pulled out handguns and took cash, cell phones and several victims' pants, according to the Prince George's County police.
When police arrived, a procession of patrons without pants flowed out of the house basement where police discovered three professional gambling tables, flat-screen televisions, a cash room and a bar, police reported.
Since gambling has not been legalized, like in Los Vegas they are hidden in areas in a position of vulerablity. Just think of the tax revenue the Maryland Government would get!
Monday, January 29, 2007
Should both countries' import tariffs fall, the big winners will be major US auto and pharmaceutical corporations, Hollywood, America's industrial agricultural interests, particularly beef and rice, and Korea's automotive and electronic cartels like Hyundai and Samsung. No surprise about the losers: US and Korean workers, Korean farmers, the environment and the health and cultural integrity of the Korean people.Korea has been invaded and occupied several times in the past: Most notiably Japan and America. How would american feel if we are culturally imperialised by East Asia? They would be pissed off. But that does not mean they can go and imperialise other countries. South Korea would be the same as well if this Agreement goes through.
The more you examine the values of US corporations with respect to their export practices, the more they mirror the behavior of the tobacco industry: "Let's see what we can sell overseas that we can no longer sell here."... Hollywood wants to show more US films to Korean viewers, but to do that Korea would have reduce its requirement that 50 percent of all movies shown in its theaters be of Korean vintage, a rule that has created one of the more robust film industries in Asia.
If the Democratic Congress has any balls, they would kill this Imperial Trade Agreement as soon as it arrives on their doorstep. And if any Korean who lives in the US or part of the UMD commuity opposed to another economic invasion, contact your congressmen today.
Speed Humps: Great for SUV's
The City Council approved a measure Tuesday that would bring the raised crosswalks — which essentially will act as speed humps — to the intersection of Edgewood Road and 53rd Avenue and speed humps on a stretch of Edgewood Road between 52nd Place and 53rd Avenue.
City staff, which conducted several traffic studies in the Edgewood Road area since the summer, determined speeding was not a problem but stop sign noncompliance was consistent.
In a letter submitted to the city, Lourene Miovski, a 53rd Avenue resident, said she was almost hit by a speeding SUV on 53rd Avenue.
‘‘[The driver] slowed down when approaching the sign, but then sped up before she reached it,” Miovski said in the letter. ‘‘Obviously, the stop sign is not enough to get some people to stop. ... Speed humps are the only way to force vehicles to slow down.”
Ahh...SUVs: the man-made male enhancement. They're enjoyable for bring the machismo in you...until you get wrecked or crash into another person.
"The Camden College Park complex, located just north of the Beltway and Ikea, promises the addition of 508 luxury apartment units, 12 townhouses and space for offices, restaurant and retail..."Only probelm, where's the rest of the college park community? The Non-Affluent?
"...city planner Terry Schum said the development is aimed at serving a well-heeled - and less transient - demographic."OK he said that the development involves family housing. But to what families? Affulent upper-middle class families? Did you know that there are 19.9% of the College Park population is below the poverty line? That's 4097 people in this city. These are the people that should most benefit from this if it was built as a public housing community. A one that has living, shopping, and transport all in one place. But no that's not going to happen.
"The development that came in involves housing - family housing - which the city believes it needs more of ... to serve a more upscale market," Schum said. "The city supported it, the county supported it and now it's happening."
Junior economics major Neville Jones didn't hear from the university until July 2005 when he transferred to Maryland from Virginia Tech, and after spending more than a year on the waiting list and reaching the 10-spot, he was knocked down to 200 by the incoming wave of freshmen in August.Even if they can get a decent livable apartment. They have to deal with the student-unfriendly mamagement
This spring, Jones didn't even bother to place himself on the waitlist, saying, "I just figured that it was going to be the same fight all over again. There wasn't any point. Nobody told me that it was going to be so hard to find housing."
Left without a reasonable spot on the waitlist and starting their housing search much later than returning students, most transfer students interviewed said even if they are lucky enough to find off-campus housing, only the least desirable apartments - usually already passed over by returning students - are left.
Senior public relations major Elin Hollis found an apartment in University House in April shortly after she was accepted to Maryland after transferring from University of Southern California last year. With a drippy faucet, outdated appliances and a leaking roof, her biggest complaint about living there was that she didn't feel she was living in a student-friendly environment.One way the Maryland Government can ehlp out is to build liveable affordable public housing near the university and the City of College Park. OR even better, building a new dorm. Since the Board of Regents rejected a proposal to build a 600 bed high rise dorm last summer, O'Malley should have the courage to do so.
The management's office hours for taking complaints and collecting rent typically began after students left for classes and ended before they returned. Her neighbors were a mix of some students but many graduate students and even some senior citizens.
"I didn't feel very connected to the university," she said. "The management's attitude was just collect the rent."
Sunday, January 28, 2007
The main event of the meeting is the showing of the film "Kilowatt Ours". It's a 38-minute documentary about where our electricity comes from, how it effects the environment and how it's easy to save money on our bills and why we should convert to renewable energy. The film's title is partially a play on the words "Kilowatt Hours". It was a very interesting thing about something you will not see in the "liberal media"(/end sarcasm). The meeting was also attended by a UMD environmental group.
If you're interested in the CfBE, check out their website. Their next meeting has yet to be determined.
The film is actually a psychological thriller which at time does not make any sense until later on. My favorite scene: The hammer brawl where the protagonist managed to fight a 15 man gang with just a hammer. This does not include the punchline fight where he manages to take out another group in all places...the elevator.
It's a nice film, not to mention my first Korean film I have seen in the first time. If you can get this film, buy it.
One fact from the film: Imaginary training can and can't prepare you for the real world.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Huiling Ding of Purdue University will be hosting forum on "Rhetorics of
alternative media in risk communication: SARS, censorship, and
The forum will be located on 1117 Susquenhanna Hall, today at 3pm. A
reception will follow the event
The first article in the Diamondback that caught my interest is that
black males,like me, which consist of about 4.75% of the umd student
population do not do as well in college according to a report from the
University System of Maryland Board of Regents. My guess? The
Irresisable Cool Pose Culture.
A second article on the paper that caught me is that an unknown party
posted flyers on how to cheat the UMD DOTS parking meters. Those flyers,
which I have yet to see for myself, were all torn down by DOTS, all 40
Expect commentary on these stories later today.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Noteable Bills to be introduced in the House is HB174 (aka Distracted Driving Act), the bill I have opposed in my previous posting.
Noteable Bills to be introduced in the Senate are:
SB166 (aka Textbook Fairness Act),
SB168 (aka Sex Offender Residence Act), and
SB199 (aka Protective Order Extention Act)
Please note that with the exception of the Textbook Fairness Act, the Short Titles are devised by myself. Expect a bill anylasis on each one later this month.
Expect a full article tommorrow.
The next segment features how people can stop contributing our self
extiniction by buying green energy and conserving energy. Most of them
once you invest the money, will pay for itself over and over again by
saving you a ton of money in your eletricity bill.
Humans as indiviuals can do so much so protect the environment. But
corporations and the government must do their part. Even if it means
sacrificing some conviences.
More to come
I have just seen segments about global warming, the truth about nuclear
power, and how we have toxins already in our body and how it effects our
All of these problems related to them could have been prevented. Let
don't expect the corporations to do anything.
More on the way
Right now I'm at City Hall watching a film called "Kilowatt Ours". This
38 minute film is an investigative documentary exploring how we get our
energy, how it effects our environment, and how we must start making
different choices in energy. Right now I saw a segment on on coal and
energy, and mountain top removal.
What I saw sickened me, how these moral nillistic corporations are
destroying the mountains and forests in the appliacian mountains beyond
repair. You will definetly not see this in the mainstream media.
More on the way.
O’Malley’s proposal would mandate health insurance providers to allow the parents of adults up to age 25 to keep their children on the family policy. Although some insurance carriers already allow young people to stay on a policy provided they are enrolled as a full-time student, about 7 percent of the student body remains uninsured, according to a study performed at this university last year.
“This bill will certainly benefit students attending college or community college by allowing them to stay on their parents’ health insurance policy,” said Rick Abbruzzese, an O’Malley spokesman. “It will help to make sure that this segment of population has adequate health care.”
Concern about the widely varying health coverage of students prompted University Health Center director Dr. Sacared Bodison to propose mandating insurance for students, the cost of which could be folded into student fees. Under most plans, employer-provided health insurance policies allow young people over 19 to be kicked off the plan after they graduate high school or college.
If you rather have universial single-payer health care, contact your maryland represenatives.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Opponents of the rule point out that the pledge runs counter to the Act’s own explicitly stated aims, including placing "particular emphasis" on "specific populations that represent a particularly high risk of contracting or spreading HIV/AIDS, including those exploited through the sex trade." The groups also charge that the pledge contradicts the Act’s stated goal to "reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS."
Another way to stem HIV/AIDS is to legalize and regulate prositution. Prositution has been around in the world since the Greeks. We might as well live with it.
...liberal philosophy shares many values with the military: looking after the general welfare, shared risk, sacrifice for common goals and long-term planning. Liberals value public service, and the military is our largest public institution. We also share many other areas of concern:
* International human rights law: U.S. military lawyers are human rights champions for Guantánamo prisoners and for the Geneva Conventions.
* International treaties: The U.S. Navy is one of the strongest advocates for the Law of the Sea.
* Nuclear arms control: The military generally finds nuclear weapons unusable.
* Conflict resolution: The Air Force has a prize-winning office of dispute resolution.
* Renewable energy: The U.S. military is the largest energy consumer in the country.
* AIDS prevention: The Defense Department has an extensive program to help foreign militaries.
Yet, Congress continues to drain billions from budget coffers to pay for Cold War programs like nuclear weapons and missile defense. The immediate military needs are more obvious: low-tech items like body armor, and human resource skills like language education.
It really makes you wonder, american conservatives love a strong national defense, as long it's used as a short term objective.
Stone's bill also would create penalties for distracted driving, which would include "reading, writing, performing personal grooming, interacting with animals, adjusting cargo" or engaging in any other activities that take attention from the road.
Sen. Michael G. Lenett, a Montgomery County Democrat, is offering a similar bill this year - though his does not include a distracted-driving provision. Lenett's legislation would forbid the use of cell phones by adults with a learner's permit or provisional driver's license, or by school bus drivers en route with children on board.
Lenett's proposal - which does not apply if the driver is calling 911 - would impose a $100 fine for the first offense and $250 for a subsequent offense. The penalty could be waived if the driver proves he has purchased a hands-free accessory. Stone's bill carries a $500 fine and a one-point driver's license penalty.
I got a better idea? Why not admend the law to consider distracted driving as careless driving?
The bill that Rosapepe plans to sponsor would cap yearly tuition increases at 4 percent and require the governor to take active steps toward meeting funding standards for public universities like they have for other educational institutions, Rosapepe said.But there will be a higher education funding commission.
But because a newly formed commission on higher education funding won't examine higher education issues until after the legislative session ends in March, bills like Rosapepe's may not come to a vote. State Sen. Patrick Hogan (D-Montgomery) said most action on bills will hopefully wait until the commission finishes its work.
The commission will meet "aggressively" after the legislative session, Hogan said, and it will consider higher education proposals to be voted on next year. Hogan proposed the commission because state funding "up until now it's been a roller coaster," he said.
Don't hold your breath for any real solutions from this commission.
First day of class so far got well. ENG 101 was nice but unfortuently I
must change into another section of the course. That section uses
computers as a basis for the course. I rather have my classes standard,
with desk and paper.
Currently I'm in introduction to women's studies. The diamondback is
also back on print for the spring semester featuring an update on the
Maryland General Assembly dealing with funding higher education. That's
all for now.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
We have the American military around the world. In Germany, Japan, South Korea, in the Middle East. Many a mainstream media do not tell you this, since they are connected to the military-industrial complex Franklin Roosevelt was warned many years ago. America is number one in many things: #1 in the most pollution and #1 as the energy hog. China is almost near us as taking our title as the energy hog.
We have two choices: Either we follow this path into oblivion, the same path that the Roman Empire took. Or we follow another path: to Make America truly a nation we can be proud of.
First, we start by withdrawing American troops from across the world back home with immediate effect. Iraq and Afghanistan will be the ones to go first. Other countries such as in Japan, South Korea, and Germany will take the full three weeks. We will dismantle our nuclear weapons. And reduce the bloated military budget to 10% of its current size.
I’ll begin convening a Truth and Reconciliation Council not just for the Imperial Wars, but for every major crime against sovereignty, human rights incident that the US Government has committed against. The Commission’s first goal would investigate the crimes of President Dubya. The major cut in military funding will provide much needed funding for replace our aging infrastructure, provide universal health insurance, federally fund public universities to be tuition free, care for our veterans, and to begin revitalizing our natural environment.
The reason why immigrants from Mexico keep illegally crossing the border is their economy is ruined by NAFTA: A free trade agreement of our doing. Immigrants from other countries, refuges have also come here. Not to mention the immigrants that has successfully integrated into American life and culture. In order to provide real immigration reform, I propose an amnesty program for any illegal immigrant who has lived in the US and culturally assimilated for six months. And open borders so that people can truly come and go to America or our neighbors.
Congress must send a message to the fat cats that it’s time to pay up. I suggest that they enact a progressive income tax on the rich to ensure that they pay their fair share. As a consequence to the poor and working-class I propose that all sales taxes, with the exception of luxury taxes be abolished. Not to mention having them exempt for any sales taxes. I would also recommend that expanding social security universally to everyone over 16, so they would have to worry about being homeless.
As for the minimum wage: $7.25 to my opinion is chump change. America needs a real, living wage. I rather have that wage bumped up to $15 per hour.
As for Katrina, all people of New Orleans have the right to return to their city. The US Government should spare no expense to rebuild the city.
As for energy, have must end our reliance not on foreign oil, but on all fossil fuels. To that end, I propose that all vehicles should as a short-term goal to be able to run 60 miles per gallon. As a long term goal is to legalize hemp. Hemp was used well in America for fuel, clothing, and food in the past. And it can be used again legally and safely. I also propose a crash program to ensure that eighty percent of our energy be from renewable energy by 2010.
Finally for Global Warming, it’s clear that Global Warming is not a joke, it’s real. To that end, I propose that Congress enact Zero Emissions for every industry, including vehicles. Also, our love affair with cars must end now. Congress should enact a bill diverting most funds from highways to public transport and pedestrians.
That is the path we must take. It’s either that or we will meet the same fate as the Romans. Good Night America!
Monday, January 22, 2007
Snow....finally fell on the renetry day...about three inches...first as
light then heavy...thrn afterwards to light rain. Places normally dry
are now covered, from the quad... cambridge community...the stamp. After
almost two months of waiting my snow finally came.
With that I can officially say: Welcome to the official season of the
modern day prophet. Serving progressive news and prophecy (aka
commentary) for the Old Line State of Maryland. This is my first post
through Blogger on Email.that will hopefully end my long laspes between
posts. I will be remodeling my blog sometime this season. In the mean
time enjoy your snow.
The Prophet Has Spoken
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
In yesterday's statement, Obama said that his campaign will emphasize traditional Democratic goals such as lowering health-care costs, providing college-tuition assistance and developing new energy sources. He only briefly mentioned the Iraq war, the issue that could well drive the 2008 election. "We're still mired in a tragic and costly war that should never have been waged," Obama said.
Until he changes positions, I will not be endorsing him.
Monday, January 15, 2007
"The picture I will lay out for you today is not a pretty one and it’s getting worse with the passage of time," said David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, in a Thursday morning hearing of the Senate's Budget Committee. "Continuing on our current fiscal path would gradually erode, if not suddenly damage, our economy, our standard of living, and ultimately even our domestic tranquility and our national security," he warned.His advice?
The head of the GAO also warned that if no action is taken now to control government spending, severe tax hikes could be necessary. He stated that, "balancing the budget in 2040 could require actions as large as cutting total federal spending by 60 percent or raising federal taxes to 2 times today’s level."I prefer jacking taxes, federal income taxes to the super-rich and the corporations while giving the real hard workers, the working poor and the average american a huge tax break. Congress should take no chances and just follow his advice. And while you at it, scrap the 1986 Internal Revenue Code and make a new simplier code.
...there is an ordinance "to eliminate predatory types of behavior, such as shell games or sleight-of-hand or other games intended to cheat, defraud, or otherwise obtain money or other items."
You know, that's one thing I haven't seen on Washington's subway, even if it does sometimes seem as if the simple act of taking Metro is a gamble.
You're a government worker in China, and you've just gotten a memo showing the true face of the regime. Without any independent media around, how do you share what you have without landing in jail or worse?Great thing about it, it can be vertified by its own community.
Wikileaks.org is a Web-based way for people with damning, potentially helpful or just plain embarrassing government documents to make them public without leaving fingerprints. Modeled on the participatory, online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the site is expected to go live within the next two months.
Wikileaks organizers say the site is self-policing. "Wikileaks will provide a forum for the entire global community to examine any document relentlessly for credibility, plausibility, veracity and falsifiability," they wrote in response to e-mailed questions. "If a document is leaked from the Chinese government, the entire Chinese dissident community can freely scrutinize and discuss it; if a document is leaked from Somalia, the entire Somali refugee community can analyze it and put it in context. And so on."The project has been officially launched, but we'll be in wait and see mode.
Leydorf had long been certain he wanted to go to a secular college -- a top secular college. He had founded the debate team, had played junior varsity soccer and was on the student disciplinary board. But what he really craved was the chance to deconstruct the religious and political beliefs with which he was raised. He'd even set aside his own "right-of-center" political leanings during his senior year and pursued an internship with Democratic U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), "a notorious liberal," Leydorf said.He also said this interesting tibit:
"I want to sincerely seek the truth," he said in May, "not just what you want to believe."
"For me, if I didn't believe in God, it seems that the natural conclusion is to live life as selfishly as possible," he said. "If I wasn't religious, I can certainly see living my life quite differently."The Modern Day Prophet welcomes liberal and progressive people regardless of religous affliation, even if you are an Evangelical Christian. If I ever see him roaming UMD as a Terp I would like to interview him. If there is one advice of him, it would be this: Read the entire Bible, and learn more about it's history.
That plan has run into fierce opposition among Democrats and a growing number of Republicans, and a clear majority of the public now advocates a withdrawal of U.S. troops. Some congressional critics are advocating the idea of a nonbinding resolution to reflect their conviction that more troops will not provide the answer in Iraq.But Bush still wants his "New Way Forward"
"I'm not going to change my principles," Bush said. "I'm not going to, you know, I'm not going to try to be popular and change principles to do so."Dubya, I'm sorry, but the terrorists have already won as soon we invaded Iraq.
"You cannot simply stick your finger up in the wind and say, 'Gee, public opinion's against, we better quit,' " Cheney agreed. That would "validate the al-Qaeda view of the world," he added.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
At least I'm not in academic probation.
"My feeling is that we're going to get the new revenue they want via slots - that's a much easier vote than massive tax increases,"And why would they?
"We can help the horse racing industry and the lottery, too," he said.Again, I'm not opposed to legalized gambling, but they need to be heavily regulated and let indivdual counties have the final say.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby goes on trial Tuesday over the administration's response to one critic who questioned assertions President Bush made four years ago to justify waging war against Iraq.
Once the right-hand man to Vice President Dick Cheney, Libby faces charges of perjury and obstruction of an investigation into the leak of a CIA officer's identity to reporters.
Hopefully he'll be guilty and get sent to a Federal Bureau of Prisons correctional facility, where he belongs.
A top House Democrat from Montgomery County introduced a bill yesterday that would require paper records to back up every vote cast in the state. Maryland, one of the first states to buy touch-screen machines after the disputed presidential election in 2000, would have to retrofit them to produce a paper trail or return to optical-scan ballots where voters mark the choices on paperAs for Congress, why not a federal elections law?
Advocates for a paper trail were buoyed by last month's recommendations of a federal panel that advises the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Officials with the National Institute of Standards and Technology said paperless voting machines cannot be made secure and advised election officials to endorse optical-scan systems or require electronic systems to print a paper summary of voting.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Gonzalez said having McLaughlin head a city as ethnically and economically diverse as Richmond will help change the party's image as being an environmental movement that only caters to white voters.The good thing about politicians like her: They solve problems not maintain them.
He and other McLaughlin supporters say her campaign theme of economic justice for the poor and fighting crime is a "Green message."
"Issues in Richmond are the bread-and-butter issues of fighting crime and helping create jobs and improving the schools. One's party is less of an issue. It's about solving those issues."
Ground rents are also found in some portions of Maryland, primarily in the Baltimore area. These are typically 99-year leases, renewable in perpetuity, subject to a semi-annual rent payment. Under Maryland law, the tenant of a residential property has the right to redeem the ground rent for a one-time payment and obtain full title to the property. If the renter does not pay, the ground rent holder can go to court and have the tenant evicted or ejected over as less than $300 if they so please, and takes possession of the home. They can then resell it for full profit, as the former owner does not get anything from the deal.That means if the renter is unable to pay the ground rent, the renter can be evicted as much as one missed payment and the owner of the property gets to sell the entire house at full profit?!
Oh hell no, that practice needs to end ASAP. However the MGA instead will end the pracitce of enacting new ground rents.
"The consensus is that ground rents serve no viable, good purpose at this time," said Del. Maggie L. McIntosh, a Baltimore Democrat and chairwoman of the House Environmental Matters Committee. "In fact, they sometimes impede people getting [mortgage] loans. What we're going to embark on is a modernization of the ground rent system in Maryland."It's time that ground rents need to go, NOW!
P.S. I did a bit of snooping around with Google and found a interesting three part series about ground rents in Baltimore:
Arundel County Executive John Leopold proposed a countywide smoking ban Wednesday in an effort to spur a statewide ban. County Council Chairman Ronald Dillon said the council would not consider Leopold's bill until after state lawmakers take up the issue. Leopold, a Republican, attended a news conference in Annapolis today announcing the state bill.
The Baltimore City Council also is considering a ban.
Advocates for smoke-free restaurants sought to counter the arguments of the Restaurant Association of Maryland -- which claims that a statewide ban would create a hardship for bar owners who rely heavily on alcoholic beverage sales -- by recruiting restaurant workers and owners to their cause.
We need a smoking ban in all indoor areas. Let smokers smoke outside for all I care, I will not be joining them. I don't smoke.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Dubya does not want to face the fact that its over. We have got rid of Saddam, we have wreaked Ira, and have wasted about $370 billion on this unwinnable war. The US has created a civil war in Iraq. The more we stay, the more Iraq will tear apart, and more soldiers we will see end up in body bags. It's time to withdraw now.
U.S. troop strength is now about 140,000. Bush is expected to propose sending 21,500 more troops to Iraq, according to the Associated Press. "The rules of engagement -- the terms in which our troops would actually conduct these operations -- were flawed," Bartlett said.And he's ignoring his own Iraq Study Group:
But Bush has rejected the advice of the independent Iraq Study Group, headed by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and Democratic former Rep. Lee Hamilton of Indiana that he phase down the U.S. military presence in Iraq, on the theory that each American in uniform provided Iraqi insurgents with another target.And get a load of this from him:
"If we increase our support at this crucial moment and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home," Bush will say, according to excerpts of the speech released by the White House late this afternoon.
Good thing this Dem has balls:
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) warned, "The days of congressional blank checks for a failed policy are over."Now let's see if the Democrats has the balls to stop escalation.
The presidental speech will be aired at 9pm EST on all the major television networks, including MPT (PBS). Hopefully, I'll be live blogging the event.
Among the contentious issues that could arise in the 90-day session: a statewide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, a moratorium on the death penalty, legalization of slot machine gambling, a $1 increase in the tobacco tax and a paper trail for the state's electronic voting machines.
Lawmakers are also eager to tackle several emerging issues -- among them gang violence, identity theft, automobile emissions and affordable housing -- that could become part of the annual agenda for years to come. And a pending court ruling on same-sex marriage has the potential to throw the session into chaos.
All that will unfold against a backdrop of a projected $400 million budget shortfall in the spending plan O'Malley must present to lawmakers Jan. 19, two days after he takes office. The gap between projected revenue and spending grows to more than $1 billion a year by his second year in office.
I got a better idea for the $400 billion shortfall, tax the rich. They would be using most of their money anyway.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
California’s prison population is approaching 175,000—a fivefold increase over the last quarter century. In October, with more than 16,000 prisoners sleeping in dayrooms and classrooms, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger decreed a state of emergency. Right before Christmas, he unveiled a proposal to build new prison and jail cells, at the cost of $10 billion, but there’s little chance the plan will make it through the legislature, which adjourned without considering a similar, albeit less expensive, proposal last summer. Analysts with the California prison system have warned that without new beds the system will soon begin turning away prisoners for lack of space.The good news is that by releasing many of these old convicts, which are unlikely to reoffend the State can save nine billion a year. But as usual politicans want to maintain the problem.
Compounding the crisis is the fact that the prison population is graying. Nearly 8,000 of the state’s prisoners are over 55, a number that is projected to nearly quadruple over the next 20 years. The older a prisoner grows behind bars, the more health care he or she requires, including private hospital stays, so California’s non-prisoner elderly—like my father—are increasingly likely to find an inmate on every floor.
The previous week, at Marin General Hospital, down the road from San Quentin state prison, my dad had roomed next door to another prisoner, a wizened old man who was shackled to the bed and, as with the screamer, watched over by two highly paid round-the-clock guards. As the prison population ages, we can all look forward to this spectacle—our parents rooming with grizzled prisoners, many of them doing life sentences for non-violent crimes under three-strikes and other mandatory sentencing laws, all past the crime-prone years of early adulthood, all growing old, ill and costly at taxpayer expense.
The nonpartisan California legislative analyst’s office has suggested that if some of these prisoners were released—just the non-violent ones, whom research shows are extremely unlikely to re-offend in their golden years—we could save $9 million a year with no threat to public safety. The legislature has so far failed to respond. Lawmakers may finally be balking at building new prisons, but voting to release prisoners—any prisoners—one legislator told me ruefully, is considered political poison.I do not care if it's political poison, the only way we can prevent a public security crisis is for the US to outlaw three-strikes and mandatory sentencing laws. Since these laws stem from the War on Drugs, we must also legalize drug use. If you have a better way to resolve this problem, I'm all ears.
Requiring Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices from pharmaceutical companies -- a popular idea that nevertheless faces significant political hurdles -- will not produce enough savings to fill the doughnut hole, experts say. And making up the difference would require big tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere if Democrats are to keep another campaign promise, to be fiscally responsible and avoid increasing the federal budget deficit.I got a great program the Dems can defund: The Imperial War for Iraq, which is at this time of writing costs about 356 billion dollars. That would be more than enough to fill that hole.
Enact a state-wide smoking ban.
Four Maryland counties -- Montgomery, Prince George's, Howard and Talbot -- have local prohibitions against lighting up in bars and restaurants. A fifth jurisdiction, Baltimore, is seriously considering one.Legalize Slots, but allow communities to have the final say, limit them to Central Business Districts, and enact a gambling tax.
As a result, advocates of a statewide ban are hopeful that this year will present their best shot at protecting service industry workers and their patrons against secondhand smoke.
In recent years, bills to make Maryland bars and restaurants smoke-free have died in cliffhanger committee votes, with members citing as the basis of their opposition the possibility of harm to Baltimore establishments. The city is home to numerous corner bars.
A wild card in the debate is O'Malley, Baltimore's outgoing mayor, who has said that he prefers a statewide ban to local bans but that he will not push the issue.
Proposals to legalize slot machines dominated the first three legislative sessions under Ehrlich. The issue could return with the arrival of O'Malley, who has called for placing a limited number of machines at racetracks to help the horse racing industry.
O'Malley has said he would like to postpone consideration of new revenue sources until his second session, which might mean the full-blown slots debate will wait. But pro-slots lawmakers could still make a push this session to see how far they get.
Repeal the racist, money-wasting Death Penality
A court ruling temporarily halting executions in Maryland has reignited the debate over the death penalty.Trash Electronic Voting Machines
This year, some lawmakers will push to replace the death penalty with life without parole.
O'Malley, who says he opposes the death penalty, could also call on the General Assembly to study the issue, which might push a resolution into the 2008 session.
Both O'Malley and legislative leaders agree that they need to bolster voter confidence in the state's electronic voting machines, with glitches riddling the primary election last year and national organizations calling for paper receipts. The problem is that there is no low-cost solution.Also, Make tuition at all maryland public universities free of charge for anyone accpeted, take over BGE, and end pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.
The most probable course seems to be some debate on the issue this session, with further study during the summer. The goal is to get something in place by the 2008 presidential election.
But the overall picture, Batiuk said, shows a cleanup effort that is far off the pace set out in 2000. Crab populations are still below historic levels. The amount of oxygen, which fish and crabs need to live, is just 29 percent of the goal set for 2010, he said. The bay's native oysters are at just 7 percent.I got one suggestion for the Maryland Government, don't reduce pollution, END IT.
Even underwater grasses, which are doing slightly better than other indicators, stand at just 42 percent of the level they're supposed to reach by 2010.
"If you draw that line out there," Batiuk said, pointing to the slow upward trend in their population, "you're at about 2040 for the grasses to come back."
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I have just seen the first episode of Wired Science. It was awesome, the makers of the magazine intergrated their style with television to make a great show. My favroite segment was Vaporware where the program featured an actual real working jetpack. In my very two eyes I saw the jetpack going sky high, I can't really explain it fully but it was really a blast.
I would recommend this program for any family audience (It's classified TV-G). It's also great for teenagers who are into technology, as there is little programing that would be of interest of them. But again, MPT should be ashamed of themselves for not promoting this show days ago. (Then again they have no shame of shoving Self-help guru's down our throat every month.)
P.S. Evidently Wired Science is one of three potential new sciences series to be shown regularly on PBS but only one will be selected. The other two are 22nd Century and Science Investigators.
As a matter of fact here are the other decriptions of all three. (You might have to go almost the bottom half to see the actual article about the pilots and be warned that this article is from six months ago.) (Here's another great article about the programs)
Science Investigators from WGBH and Lion Television, in which four young hosts armed with gadgets and “attitude for the blog generation,” explore scientific mysteries.Personally, Wired Science could be probally become one television's most scientific series of the year.
22nd Century from former Oregon Public Broadcasting production chief John Lindsay and Tower Productions, which reports on the dramatic changes that research will bring within our lifetimes and examines resulting ethical and philosophical questions.
Wired Science from KCET in Los Angeles and Wired magazine, which transplants the magazine’s DNA—technology news and its impact on society—into a fast-paced, timely TV show.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm is among a diverse group of city officials who are backing proposed legislation that would force the governor to spend as much as $30 million annually for drug treatment in Maryland.Here's a tibbit of Baltimore's drug problem:
The new funds would come from a proposed $1 increase in the state's cigarette tax, an idea that has been around for several years but has yet to win the approval of the General Assembly. The last time the cigarette tax was increased - today it is $1 a pack - was in 1999 under then-Gov. Parris N. Glendening.
Besides a boost to drug treatment, revenue from the tax also would be used to expand health care services to uninsured Marylanders and help to fully fund the state's tobacco-use prevention and cessation program. The national Centers for Disease Control recommended that Maryland spend $35 million on tobacco-related programs, but the government allocates about $21 million annually.
It is estimated that Baltimore has tens of thousands of drug addicts, but the city is able to provide treatment to about 25,000 people a year. Drug treatment advocates say that with an additional $15 million a year the city could finally come close to providing "treatment on demand" to a majority of drug addicts.Legalize illegal drugs, and I promise you that those tens of thousands will be reduced to just 10%. But while the State can do so much to resove the Drug War, the only real change will have depend on the Federal Congress, but do not expect them to do anything.
"We're going to wage an all-out assault on those who pollute our air and our water and pollute the Chesapeake Bay," Gansler said during his midday swearing-in ceremony in the state Senate chamber in Annapolis.
Gansler said in an interview that he plans to bring an activist bent to the state's top legal job, modeling himself after former New York state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, whose campaign against corporate corruption propelled him into the governor's office.
With the environment as his top priority, Gansler said he stands by his campaign promise to assess the health of the state's waterways mile by mile, and he vowed to enforce air pollution guidelines governing the state's coal-fired power plants. And he said he would go a step further.
"I think we ought to reassess the levels that we permit of pollution," he said.
Emissions from the coal-fired power plants disproportionately affect poorer residents and African-Americans, Gansler said, calling enforcement "an environmental civil rights issue."
I got a better idea, why not he lobby for a bill that will outlaw coal fired plants or at least prohibit them to emit emissions at anything above trace level and outlaw enviromental racism? (In the case of the inclusion of people in poverty, I rather call it enviromental prejudice.) If he could do that the only thing he needs is Declaration of War against polluters.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
So what's this program about?
WIRED SCIENCE is a one-hour primetime program that translates WIRED Magazine's award-winning journalism into a fast-paced television show. A co-production of KCET/Los Angeles, the West Coast flagship station of PBS, and WIRED, the pre-eminent science and technology magazine, WIRED SCIENCE brings WIRED Magazine's cutting edge vision, stylish design, and irreverent attitude to the screen with breakout ideas, recent discoveries, and the latest innovations.Nice, real nice. I read some issues of Wired before while at the University of Maryland,I liked the magazine, but I did not expect them to make a TV series. Not to mention that this may be a great show for any teenagers in the family. A shame really that MPT is not promoting this at least seven days before becuase they rather focus on the highest commondenomiator: Affluent White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
The pilot episode takes the viewer into the world of meteorite hunters, where space, commerce, and art intersect, travels to Yellowstone National Park to harvest viruses which may hold the key to a technology revolution, and dives underwater to find NEEMO, NASA's extreme astronaut training program. Viewers will meet rocket belt inventors, stem cell explorers, and the developer of an electric car that goes zero-to-60 in under four seconds. As a series, WIRED SCIENCE will span the globe to uncover novel developments in biomedicine, space exploration, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, robotics, and military technology.
1.Universal Health Care
Most Americans who support a national health program favor a single-payer system, which keeps the private delivery of health care in the hands of physicians and hospitals, but takes away the moving of money from the insurance industry and places it under a single public agency. Sound familiar? Sure, it’s called Medicare, which is why the bill by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., H.R. 676, is often referred to as “Medicare For All.”2.Lower Engery Cost
According to the Apollo Alliance ’s plan, for a 10-year national investment of a bit more than $313 billion, we would generate $1.43 trillion in economic activity, $953.87 billion in personal income and over $3.3 million new good-paying jobs.3. Univerisal Wireless Broadband (I like this one)
Spend $5 billion to set up a free wireless Internet network across the country for every American. My friend, sociologist Joel Rogers, calculates that wireless for a typical city of 150 square miles costs about $20 million to set up and, if you figure 200 such cities cover about 30,000 square miles, you cover 80 percent of the population at a total cost of $4 billion. Throw in another billion for the less populous areas and, presto, you’ve just lowered peoples’ cost of living by hundreds of dollars a year (a whole lot more than the majority of people got from the Bush tax cuts).I personally like the third choice because it would save all americans a lot of money and promote real competition and high service.
But don't expect any of that in this year's Congress.
Nigeria produces over 2 million barrels of oil a day (currently valued at roughly $40 billion per year) which accounts for 90% of its export earnings and 80% of government revenue.Instead my father's homeland is poor, with corruption rifed in the Government, particulary in it's national oil corporation. Counterpunch's article, Oil Inferno, highlights this dispair.
The slum world of Lagos defies description, in part because its operations remain a mystery. In Ajegunle, one of its vast swamp shanty towns, perhaps 1.5 million people inhabit eight square kilometers. In a recent New Yorker article, George Packer describe the city as a burning garbage heap, populated by armies of scavengers that are superfluous and ultimately disposable. It is no wonder that Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos saw in the charred remains of Abule Egba, 'the shame of our nation'.It's a great read, including for me because I'm a Nigerian-American too. It's a damn shame that Nigeria is stuck in this suituation.
It's a great feeling that I'm voicing my concerns about the problems I complain about. Only problem, will they write back?
But next week I'll be finally sending in my letter to the 2007 Democratic Congress men in my district urging them to order a withdrawl of all American forces in Iraq.