Tuesday, May 31, 2005
This week will be cartoons. Quality is not the issue here. It is just the most known. We have to start with the old ones that have been played over and over for decades. The Flintstones. The Jetsons. He-man. GI Joe. The Smurfs. Every one of them is a classic. If you have never seen Scooby Doo then you may well be an alien masquerading as a human. The next ones I remember are more age specific. I am 25. Every afternoon when I came home I remember seeing the Thundercats, Transformers, Voltron, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And although no one likes to admit that they watched it, almost everyone remembers the theme song from the Gummi Bears. Bouncing here and there and everywhere.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
I will resume regular scheduled blogging Tuesday, most likely.
Source:"For instance, one out of five drivers doesn't know that a pedestrian in a crosswalk has the right of way, and one out of three drivers speeds up to make a yellow light, even when pedestrians are present, the study said."
Friday, May 27, 2005
"BREAKING NEWS: Senators Ford, Bowers, Dixon among 5 lawmakers arrested
BREAKING NEWS...600 WREC has learned several Tennessee legislators, including state Senators John Ford and Kathryn Bowers were been taken into custody by FBI agents in Nashville. Also taken into custody are state Representative Chris Newton and Senator Ward Crutchfield. Former state Senator Roscoe Dixon has been arrested as well. They face charges of violating the Hobbs Act, which focuses on extortion. A press conference was held in Memphis today. Terry Harris of the FBI spoke to the media and outlined the charges saying "Government is not for sale". Harris says the charges are a result of a 2-year sting operation dubbed "Tennessee Waltz" done by the FBI, TBI, and U.S. Attorneys offices in TN. We have news teams working in both Memphis and Nashville to stay on top of this developing story. Stay tuned to in-depth team coverage throughout the day on 600 WREC."
Right below this breaking news, was this interesting news.
Harold Ford Jr. Announces Senate Candidacy
It's official, Congressman Harold Ford Junior is running for U.S. Senate. Ford publically announced Wednesday he's seeking the seat that will be vacated by Senator Bill Frist in 2006. The announcement comes after months of fund raising, and touring Tennessee. Ford says he's confident he can can raise $14 million dollars for the race, and win the state. The Federal Election Commission reports Ford has about $1.7 million in a congressional campaign account that can be used for the Senate run.
The news of John Ford's arrest, which is Harold Ford's uncle, affects Harold's run for Senate and could affect the Governor of TN if he wants to run for president. Having 4 current and one former lawmaker arrested under you watch will reflect badly on Bredesen, I wonder if he will blog about it. I just got finished listening to a live news conference that Governor Bredesen just gave. He expressed the idea that this was bad for the state and that this would be trying time. I disagree; this will probably be one of the better things that could be done for the state. Bredesen also pointed out that this was an ongoing investigation by the FBI, TBI, and US attorney general's office. So there could be more arrests as the investigation continues.
Say Uncle - is about 7 hours ahead of me and has much more than I have.
One of the better post found by say uncle is here: Half Baked.
The Fly Paper Theory
"UPDATE: Wish I could blog more on this, but I'm busy, busy, busy. Earlier the Nashville Scenewas suggesting that Mayor Herenton might be involved in some way"
Also the site of the fake company that caught the Tennessee 7 (title via half baked) is here (the company's website via Fly paper Theory)
Update: "I disagree; this will probably be one of the better things that could be done for the state."
I take that back. It is probably one of the better things that could happen to memphis.
update: The site for the company that tricked the TN lawmakers was in correct. Via the fly paper theory.
"SO---- it looks like there is NO online information about the dummy company. AMAZING that so many people would fall for it."
Update: I just heard on the news that the prosecutors are trying to convince the judge in the arraignment of John Ford that he is a threat. They have played videotape of him threatening people.
Update: The e-cycle website was found.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
The first kill to be nominated came from the main character, Jack.
Jack with a knife to the base of the skull in the sporting goods store
Jack had just escaped from the MClennan-Forster building and was trying to save his and Paul's skin. The came across a sporting goods store were two Arab brothers were trying to protect their property from the riots that had followed the EMP blast. Jack, Paul, and the two brothers establish a defensive position in the sporting good store to await the mercenaries, which Jack had seen earlier. The plan was to make the mercenaries break radio silence, so that CTU would be able to find Jack and Paul because Jack knew that CTU would be listening to the airwaves. Jack, Paul, and the two brothers stage a good fight but eventually have to fall back. During the retreat they take out several mercenaries as they advance towards Jack and the others in the dark. The mercenary leader is killed when he walks by jack who is hidden in a rack of clothes. Jack kills the merc leader with a knife to the base of the skull. The original nomination is here.
Chloe with automatic weapon outside of the terrorist's girlfriend's house
CTU receives a lead about a potential terrorist who is working with the actual warheads. The are running short of time and men and must follow up on the lead as soon as possible, that means acquiring, decrypting, and accessing the terrorist's data in the field. They will need a computer analyst to do this job. They send their best and brightest, Chloe. Chloe arrives with two CTU field agents as protection and sets to work trying to decrypt the information on the terrorist's computer. While Chloe is working on that, an assassin sent by a terror cell to make sure the girlfriend does not talk shows up and kills the two CTU agents. Chloe runs, hides, and calls CTU. She and the terrorist's girlfriend manage to make it to the CTU car, which has bulletproof glass protecting them. Chloe is able to get to the weapons stored in the back of the car once she calls CTU and received the combination to the lock. Chloe then jumps out of the car with an automatic weapon just as it is about to be rammed by the terrorist assassin. Chole the fills the drive side with holes killing the terrorist assassin. The original nomination is here in the nineteenth hour.
Please place you votes and pass along this link to anyone who likes the shows enough to actually vote. Voting will close when I get around to it, and I will update this post with the winner of this contest.
Source: "The Education Department outlined Tuesday how it plans to enforce a little-known provision that Congress passed in 2004: Every school and college that receives federal money must teach about the Constitution on September 17, the day the document was adopted in 1787.
Schools can determine what kind of educational program they want, but they must hold one every year on the now-named "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day."
I would personally suggest that you take you kids out of school to show your displeasure and register your dislike of this bill. Of course it was a democrat who passed the law (Sen. Robert Byrd). If that does not show his gross misunderstanding of the Constitution, then I would not know what would. I hope the smarter kids in the schools will point out how this law goes against the 10th amendment.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
So as I was driving around listening to the news when the golden idea struck me. A few facts to lay the ground work of the idea that would make me rich are in order, my friend. There are a billion Muslims. All of them are crazy. All of them want to save their Qru'an. You can buy the Qru'an on the internet (new or used)....I think you know where I am going with this.
I am thinking about forming a Qru'an rescue organization. For willing buyers, I will buy large amounts of Qru'ans and handle all the details to make sure the sacred cargo arrives on their door step safely and out of the hands of infidels. I will be the middle man who handles the rescuing of the Qru'an from the hands of the infidels. I will accept all major credit cards, home made Ak's, and barrels of oil as payment.
Of course, the major hurdle to getting started would be getting the world out amount the Muslims. Since they do not have electricity, the internet, and only read Arabic, they are a tough demographic to reach. I am forced to rely on word of mouth. So to start off this Qru'an rescue organization, I have decided to show them exactly what happens when they choose not to rescue their Qru'an by flowing a serial Qru'an flusher. Once they see the horror of the infidels, I am sure they would be willing to pay me large sums of money to perform rescue operations.
My motto: "Rescue a Qru'an, it is a riot."
While it seems despicable that people have to use such tactics to make a buck, I did not create the system, I only live in it.
The first part of the statement has merit and has gone over well with the American people. Tax the rich is an idea that I do not agree with, but has found favor with the American people.
Now the second idea of "social security works best when we're all in this together" is the dumbest idea I have heard in awhile. It is also one that I think most Americans will disagree with when it is pointed out that they are in the social security boat (Titanic, if you will) with that unlikable neighbor down the street, the homeless guy at the red light, and their worthless family (extended and in-laws, of course). I know that I do better on my own, for the most part. I guess it all comes down to whether or not there are more people like me (the very independent) or like the others I have mentioned, the natural losers us drag the rest of us down.
First two hours
30 Train explosion (truck on tracks was placed their by terrorists) (number confirmed by background news report in the Araz kitchen)
1 guy with a briefcase attached to arm with cuffs (killed by a terrorist)
4 programmers (killed by a terrorist named Kalil)
5 secret service agents (killed by terrorists)
1 mother of a programmer (killed by a terrorist named Kalil)
1 CTU field agent (killed by a terrorist named Kalil)
1 security guard (killed by a terrorist named Kalil )
Second Two hours
2 terrorist with an sniper rifle (Jack's kills)
1 terrorist with a pistol (Secretary of defense killed this one)
1 terrorist with an AK-47 (Secretary of defense killed this one)
1 American teenage girl (poisoned by Arab mamma terrorist)
1 terrorist named Kalil (He choose to end his life by driving in front of a 18-wheeler.)
NOTE: This terrorist figured out he was being followed and decided to kill himself. Jack was doing the following. I might credit Jack with this kill later, if he needs one more kill to reach some mark i set for him.
11 terrorists (Jack with an HK USP TACTICAL or Mark 23)
2 terrorists (Secretary of defense killed these two)
4 terrorists (Marines in helicopter)
4 terrorists (Marines on ground)
1 terrorist named Omar (stabbed in leg by Audrey, stabbed with a thrown knife by jack, and shot by marines)
1 terrorist assassin (Behrooz did it with a shovel to the head in the desert)
Note: In the seventh hour it was mentioned in a news report that at least 20 people were inside of the warehouse where the Secretary was held hostage. I recorded 21 deaths, one two many.
2 security guards at the two entrances (by terrorists)
3 tactical team members (by terrorists)
2 terrorists who burst into the security video room (by jack)
1 video security tech guy in room with jack (by terrorists)
1 terrorist in the hall on way to garage (by jack)
2 terrorists in the garage (by jack)
2 other terrorist in garage (Tony Almeida)
1 CTU agent (killed by terrorist car bomb meant for Marianne)
1 Terrorist programmer (killed by terrorist sniper to shut him up)
3 Nuclear Engineers
1 Terrorist's Uncle named Naseem (by a terrorist named Navi)
1 Terrorist (Navi Araz killed by his son, Behrooz)
1 Terrorist mole named Marianne (By the anti-jack's henchmen)
2 CTU agents guarding terrorist mole and Curtis (By the anti-jack's henchmen)
2 Terrorist Henchmen (by Curtis in Rockland building)
1 Terrorist Guarding Elevator (by Curtis in Rockland building)
1 Terrorist henchmen on floor (by CTU agents in Rockland building)
1 Terrorist henchmen named Ali on cell phone (by CTU agents in Rockland building)
1 Maya, schizophrenic daughter of the CTU director (suicide)
1 CTU agent (by terrorist named Habib Marwan)
1 CTU agent named Solarz (by terrorist named Habib Marwan)
NOTE: I think there were at least two other terrorist henchmen on the floor of the Rockland building where Curtis was held captive, but I can only confirm the ones listed here.
3 MF security guards (by Jack)
3 Mercs outside of sporting goods store (by Jack)
1 Merc outside of sporting goods store (by Paul)
1 Merc outside of sporting goods store (by Tall Arab America Lover Brother)
1 Merc outside of sporting goods store (by Short Arab America Lover Brother)
1 Merc inside of sporting goods store (by Tall Arab America Lover Brother, assisted by Short Arab America Lover Brother)
1 Merc inside of sporting goods store (by Paul)
1 Merc inside of sporting goods store (by Jack with shotgun)
1 Merc inside of sporting goods store (by Jack with knife to the base of the skull) *Nominated for kill of the season
1 Merc inside of sporting goods store (by Jack with pistol)
1 Terrorist Mama (by terrorist henchmen)
1 Air Force Officer (by terrorist fly boy henchmen)
1 Air Force Officer's wife (by terrorist henchmen)
2 children of an Air Force Officer (by terrorist henchmen)
1 Arab Terrorist named Joseph Fayed (by himself)
2 CTU agents (by Arab Suicide bomber)
1 Stealth Fighter Mechanic (by terrorist fly boy)
1 Terrorist Sniper (by CTU agents)
1 Terrorist near bashed in door (by Jack)
1 CTU Agent (by terrorists)
2 Terrorists before computer room (by Jack)
1 Terrorist running (by Jack with Knife)
4 Terrorists (by Jack)
3 Terrorists (by CTU Agents)
1 Worlds worst FBI Agent (by hot terrorist chick)
1 CTU Agent (by hot terrorist chick)
1 Hot Terrorist Chick (by Jack)
1 Woman on Presidents Plane
1 Man on Presidents Plane
1 Presidents son
1 CTU Agent (by terrorist henchmen)
1 Terrorist with Uzi (by Jack)
1 Terrorist (by Jack)
1 Terrorist in Jeep (by Jack)
1 Terrorist named Yoisk Khatami (by merc named Joe Prado)
54 President's Staff on Air force One
1 Terrorist in rear (by Jackl)
2 CTU Agents (by Terrorist Assassin)
1 Dumb civillian (by Terrorist Assassin) (If people are firing guns, either you go out and shoot them or you stay inside you house and hide. This guy walked out side and asked what they terrorist Assassin was doing and paid the price for this stupidity)
1 Terroist Assassin (by the best CTU computer Analyst named Chloe) (Nominatd for Kill of the Year)
1 Koo Yin the Chinese Consul (by Chinese consulate security guards)
1 Englishman (Paul Raines) (by Jack)
1 Terrorist outside of building (by CTU agents)
3 Terrorists inside of building (by CTU agents)
2 CTU Agents by terrorists (by terrorists)
1 Gay terrorist lackey (by hot terrorist assassin)
1 CTU Agent (by hot terrorist assassin)
1 Rommate Jaz (By Hot terrorist chick (HTC) or Mandy)
2 Rommates (By HTC or Mandy)
1 Terrorist (by Jack)
1 CTU agent (by terrorist named Habib Marwan)
1 Terrorist named Habib Marwan (Sucide)
225 Total body count
24 Number of hours
9.375 Average Number of Kills per show
39 Total Number of Jacks Kills
1.625 Average Number of Jack's kills per show
Wounded List (this list is a running list of the wounded)
1 Programmer (either third or fourth hour)
1 US President
Deaths Per Show
Death Growth Chart
Notice the trend line, given 4 more years of 24, Jack would have killed all the terrorists.
This will be updated after every episode of 24 on fox.
Other information: 24 web log
This year for mothers day I decided to go home and surprise my mom. It had been Christmas since I had seen my parents and even then, it was a short visit. Just long enough to tow my car and exchange Christmas gifts.
In addition to seeing me, my mom got a present I saw online. I got lucky for this mothers day. I happened to see an MSN list of things to get mother for that special day and it had the perfect gift: an indoor plant kit. It was a little more expensive than I thought it would be, but it was a great gift and I knew I could get in and out of the store, which was in the mall, in about 20 mins (parking, walking, buying, and walking back). Mom was surprised and I made it there safety.
I also took each of my parents for a ride in my new truck, which they have not seen. My dad owned a 1994 S-10 for quite awhile (actually for 10 or 11 years) and he liked mine. Mine was a little nicer and had a few features that my dad's did not have, but overall it was not a improvement huge over his.
Each of my parents also received a tour of my gun. They learned the basic mechanics of autoloading pistols, breakdown procedures, how to load a magazine, and safety features of my gun. Also each parent got to shoot Charon. My dad had been in the army, he got drafted during Vietnam, and my mom had been around guns most of her life. My mom was a better shot than my day by quite a large margin, though neither hit the makeshift target we had set up.
Also my mom brought out the old revolver I remember her having. It had some rust in spots and the firing pin (I am assuming it was the firing pin, it was the pin looking thing stuck to the hammer) was a little loose.
Overall it was a good weekend and I enjoyed myself.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
That is not true because I know for a fact that sunshine causes cancer. The doctors said so.
"Scientists are excited about a vitamin again. But unlike fads that sizzled and fizzled, the evidence this time is strong and keeps growing. If it bears out, it will challenge one of medicine's most fundamental beliefs: that people need to coat themselves with sunscreen whenever they're in the sun. Doing that may actually contribute to far more cancer deaths than it prevents, some researchers think.
The vitamin is D, nicknamed the "sunshine vitamin" because the skin makes it from ultraviolet rays. Sunscreen blocks its production, but dermatologists and health agencies have long preached that such lotions are needed to prevent skin cancer. Now some scientists are questioning that advice. The reason is that vitamin D increasingly seems important for preventing and even treating many types of cancer."
Monday, May 23, 2005
Saturday, May 21, 2005
1) Italian food reeking of garlic is the best food to deter vampire attacks.
2) Drink heavily. If you are bitten, the vampire will become disoriented after exposure to your high BAC.
3) Sleep all day. Take your rest when they take theirs. This will allow you to remain awake and viliglant during peak feeding times.
4) Tattoo religious symbols across your throat.
5) Randomly fling holy water at strangers. If they burst into flames they may be vampires. Or Marilyn Manson.
6) Always carry a few sharpened number two pencils. These will work as stakes in a pinch.
Friday, May 20, 2005
I love science fiction and I like Star Wars the best. I was talking to a friend that I had seen the movie with and he pointed out that you already knew how this story was going to end and you already knew the story, that is a large step to overcome to make a movie exciting. I think George succeeded. The loose ends were tied up great and the transformation of Vader was wonderful. George Lucas did a great job of creating a huge story and telling it and maintaining control of it over the years. Thanks for the fun, George. I liked this one the best of the prequels, so far.
I am now (as in soon) going to watch the first three movies that came out nearly a quarter of a century ago.
If you have small children, I would not allow them to watch this movie with out watching the first three right after this one. The good guys do not win this battle.
Update: I just looked outside of my office an caught one of my co workers trying to force choke me.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Space: Flexing military muscle
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD
Seattle's generally blue voters, some with "Bush to Mars" bumper stickers, and the Bush administration may agree on something after all. The administration has done about all it can to militarize Earth.
Now, the White House is letting it be known that it is considering a policy shift that would lay the groundwork for seizing military superiority in space.
In the dry words of a New York Times report, the new policy would be "a substantial shift in American policy." Substantial and alarming.
The Air Force told The Times it isn't seeking authorization for putting weapons in space. But it wants an explicit presidential directive that would apparently lead to a policy of U.S. superiority in space-based weaponry, both offensive and defensive.
Since the mid-20th century, there has been broad international agreement on making space a peaceful frontier. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left a plaque after mankind's first moon landing: "We came in peace for all mankind."
Any change in policy would provoke international opposition and competition, perhaps from traditional allies. But it could well be seen as fitting, and logically extending the administration's 2002 national security strategy emphasizing global dominance. The question is how far the United States wants to take its dominance.
What I am about to say will sound harsh, cruel, and uncaring...oh well.
Source: ""An entire family has lost its ability to assume that when we walk through the door of our own homes, we will be safe there,
Lefkow petitioned the lawmakers to continue to "make judicial protection a priority." She pointed out ways to protect those that enforce the rule of law and keep society from becoming one based on "right being defined by might.""
Judges deal with the worst of society. The put away murders, robbers, and those who would do regular people harm. Their job is vitally important to maintaining a civil society, but they are no better than you or me.
Judges have the means and the cause for protecting their selves, I do not think judges should get special protection (though I would be sympatric to a clear and present danger, of course then again I would be sympatric to the police protecting anyone who could present a clear and present danger, such as a death threat) and I do not think that they should receive exemptions from gun laws that you and I have to abide under. The people of America should not be forced to subside security for a judge, just because they do not want to take responsibility for their own protection.
"She urged rapid distribution of the funds Congress has appropriated for home security systems for judges.
"Now that the funds are there, I ask that members of this committee make clear to the director of the Marshals Service its intent that this money be distributed to the judges in the field as quickly as the judges can make arrangements for installation," she said."I hate to say it, but if granny or you husband or rather both would have had guns and training this story might have turned out a little differently. If you would have had a dog or a monitored alarm system, things might have turned our differently.
Instead of looking at what would have turned out differently if the state had provided you with 24 hour protection or had just doled out money to you (to do something common sense should have told you to do anyway), you should take a look at what would have turned out differently if you would have taken responsibility for your own safety.
"Lefkow picked up on Durbin's theme, saying the "fostering of disrespect" can only encourage violence against the judiciary."
Disrespect...ehh. Get a gun, dog, and good alarm system with security cameras at YOUR OWN expense, not on my taxpayer dollar. You are nothing more than a public servant who wants the feds to take care of you. She needs a government agency to tell judges to install an alarm system.
What pissed me off the most is that congress is paying judges to put home security systems in their homes. Don't we do you pay them enough already? I have no idea how much a judge gets paid, but I bet that it is a fairly nice wage. With that money I could probably afford a nice alarm system, some serious guns, and some serious training.
I did some more research on this issue and found out that the "Senate Appropriations Committee has earmarked $12 million for their [federal judges] security".
I do not think the facts warrant spending money on the protection of judges. According to Lefkow's own testimony, the number of attacks against judges or their families since 1978 is only 4 with 5 deaths.
I will finish with Lefkow's own words.
The first is rapid distribution of the funds for home security systems. Obviously, had the Lefkow family had such a system at home; this horror could have been avoided. We judges are grateful beyond words to this Committee and the Congress for authorizing this appropriation so quickly after this latest tragedy. Now that the funds are there, I ask that members of this committee make clear to the Director of the Marshals Service its intent that this money be distributed to the judges in the field as quickly as the judges can make arrangements for installation. As recently as last Friday, May 13, I was spotted and harassed in a restaurant in downtown Chicago. Had that harasser had a gun, I would be dead today. There is no time for bureaucratic delay.
Lefkow you did not deserve the horror that happened to your family, but I hope you realize that you did nothing to stop it either.
update: Others agree.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Source: "A new vaccine against Alzheimer's disease will be tested on 60 Swedish patients at initial or moderate stages of degenerative neurological dementia, Swedish media reported on Sunday."
This sounds absolutely amazing and a little scary. I know the immune system is one wacked out bodily system. It is basically a biological machine that can "learn" to attack certain cells. These cells can be good or bad.
The only thing that concerns me about the ability to teach he immune system is the current lack of a off switch. It seems that if we are able to "train" the immune system to attack certain cells, it might be possible to make the system unlearn what it has learned. I know in the computer world, all I would have to do to delete what a computer learned was remove a few rows from a table some where. If we can control what the immune system learns or does not learn, we can solve many illnesses and bodily annoyances.
If we are not able to make the immune system unlearn what it learned, then it is possible that something else in the body could be unexpectedly attacked and you would not be able to jack about it. Where as, in nano machines, robot prosthetics, and biological mechanical interfaces, you always have an off switch.
Yea...Right. It looks like the Muslims can dish it out, but they cannot take it. They are big religious babies that cannot take responsibility for their actions and must constantly push blame onto others.
I tell you what, Muslim people of the world, we will make sure that to not hurt the feelings of Muslims, if you make sure to stop hurting the feelings of Americans first. I wonder how long it will take them to turn down that offer.
We should not allow Muslim leaders to push blame onto Newsweek, nor should we allow the people who incited the riots and participated in the riots to rename nameless and hidden. The Muslim leaders will do everything they can to push the current perception of Muslims being unable to control their actions because of religious reasons, because they ENJOY and abuse the status quo.
We must not allow the current news establishment restate the status quo without challenge. Muslims are living free and voting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those examples alone should have been enough to shatter the myth that Muslims are not capable of normal human endeavors and are controlled by their religious passions instead of their minds.
My thoughts have been heavily influnced by these posts.
Of the mind
and this tech central article
Monday, May 16, 2005
Sunday, May 15, 2005
I like the way the CNN story put things.
"At one point, about 10,000 protesters gathered in the city center to demand the resignation of Uzbek President Islam Karimov and his government, who are allies of the United States. "
I also wonder if anyone will come out and say this is Bush's fault. It is Bush's fault because if he would have never told the world that freedom is achievable, then those poor souls over on the other side of the word would not be tying to get it.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
*20 GB detachable hardrive (That should be upgradeable and portable, though I do not know if it is upgradable.)
*Comes wi-fi ready
*Supports both wired and wireless controllers
*All Xbox 360 games formatted for high def TVs
*Ability rip CDs directly to hard drive.
*This is the big one: "But the real multimedia functionality ties in with the 360's wireless capabilities. The machine will automatically connect and stream digital media -- including video and digital pictures -- stored on any PC running Windows XP." I do not know how it is going to do that if my computer is not using a wireless connection, but oh well.
* Xbox 360 will offer a multi-tiered system for its Live component. One of those tiers will be free (though you will not be able to play with others online, just talk to them).
Friday, May 13, 2005
Those retirees would have to spend their entire personal account to make sure they remained out of poverty in their older years, according to tentative administration projections."
When the retirement age was originally set, it was around the life expectancy of that time. The life expectancy has lengthened while the social security retirement age has stayed put. Moving to personal accounts will increase the amount of time people work, because the longer they work the more money they get. Whereas now the more you work, the less you get. This will be a personal decision made by each person based on their individual situation. Of course, lengthening the time people work might also extend life expectancy, but that will be an unexpected, unintended consequence.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
at the Capitol this week.
CHARTER SCHOOLS BILL PASSES SENATE
TOPSY TURVY TENNCARE
MY BILLS PASSED THIS WEEK
CHARTER SCHOOLS BILL PASSES SENATE
The Senate passed by 21-10, Senator Jamie Hagood’s (R-Knoxville) bill to
expand the use of charter schools in Tennessee. Charter schools are public
schools that operate under the local school board but have significantly more
control over budget and rules than other public schools. In Tennessee, charter
schools can only serve at-risk children and receive the same per pupil funding
as other public schools.
The bill passing the Senate broadens the law significantly. Primarily, this
legislation shifts the focus from the school to the student. Currently, a
school has to fail for a child to have the option of attending a charter school.
Under this bill students who fail to make “adequate yearly progress” can
have the option to attend a charter school if one exists in their area. The
bill also eliminates the cap of 15 charter schools in Tennessee so that any
district in Tennessee that wants to set up a charter school for at-risk children
can do so.
Tennessee Education Association (TEA) fought the bill at every level. In
committee, the TEA testified that in other states charter schools had not been
successful. They cited statistics stating “charter school students did no
better than students from other public schools.” They neglected to mention
that charter schools typically enroll at-risk students; therefore, reaching the
performance level of other schools is quite an accomplishment!! It was almost
sad to sit on the Education Committee and watch the TEA struggle to come up with
arguments against charter schools. Their arguments were weak at best and
groundless in general.
More than any other vote this year, the vote on charter schools showed the
strength of the TEA in this Senate. With only 10 votes against charter schools,
it is obvious TEA’s influence in the Senate is waning.
The charter schools bill will have more difficulty in the House. The TEA is
stronger and Democrats have a numerical advantage. However, the Senate has made
a statement that we are willing to try some new things in education.
We can’t continue to be 47th in education. We owe it to our children to find
ways to improve the system. By their nature, charter schools are education
laboratories where innovations can be introduced, tested and evaluated. I’m
proud to serve on an Education Committee and in a Senate that is willing search
for new ways to improve education.
TOPSY TURVY TENNCARE
Speaking of change…the TennCare situation changes more often than the weather.
Last week, the courts ruled that the state could not begin disenrollment. This
week, an appeals court ruled that the state can begin disenrollment. If the
plan goes forward, disenrollment letters should go out in June with
disenrollment to begin in July.
Last week the Administration maneuvered the TennCare enrollee advocates (aka
Gordon Bonnyman and the Tennessee Justice Center) into a no-win situation. The
Governor announced that he would re-enroll the 97,000 Medically Needy (those who
have medical bills greater than their income) IF TennCare can have full
discretion over the treatments and procedures that are “medically necessary”
and TennCare enrollees give up their rights to appeal TennCare decisions.
Physicians and patient advocates are furious over these conditions. So far,
patient advocates have rejected the deal.
Though the courts are allowing the Governor’s disenrollment plan to proceed,
many problems still exist.
1. A court ruling is still outstanding on the benefit cuts in TennCare. If the
court rules the benefits can’t be cut, we will be in real budget trouble.
2. The Governor has not announced what plan, if any, he has to help the
disenrolled Tennesseans. Speculation at the Capitol is that the Governor plans
to disenroll everyone in the expansion population except children, cut the costs
then broker deals with the courts and the advocates to allow some of those
people back on TennCare before the 2006 elections. Speculation is that such a
tactic would cast the Governor as a hero and help him sweep to easy victory in
his re-election. Time will tell if this is merely speculation.
3. The Governor has not announced how he will truly reform TennCare. So far the
plan is to “slice and dice” the program by cutting benefits and removing
several hundred thousand people from the rolls. True reform is still to come
and the Governor has not provided any plans.
These points are points of contention with the legislature. We all have
constituents who will be disenrolled, affected by the benefit cuts and impacted
by the future of TennCare. We would like to see some resolution before we
adjourn for the year.
MY BILLS PASSED THIS WEEK
I passed four bills in the Senate this week that might be of interest.
1. Providing a tax credit for business who hire developmentally disabled adults.
This excellent bill came from Rep. Harry Brooks (R-Knoxville). If a business
hires a developmentally disabled adult for one year and provides health
insurance for that individual, the business can receive a tax credit up to
$5000. This bill will actually save the state money in services while providing
a rewarding opportunity for these challenged adults. I am extremely proud Rep.
Brooks allowed me to work with him on this bill.
2. Banning autopsies from being filmed for commercial purposes without the
family’s permission. The Nashville Medical Examiner (Dr. Levy) allowed The
Learning Channel to film an autopsy that was aired nationally. A New Jersey
couple saw the show and recognized the deceased as their son who had been killed
in a Tennessee automobile accident. The family was traumatized. This bill
would keep this from ever happening again by placing restrictions on filming
autopsies and adding stiff penalties for any medical examiner who does violates
the law. This bill was sponsored in the House by Rep. Susan Lynn.
3. Day care van drivers must pass a drug test. Prior to driving for a day care,
van drivers must simply pass a drug test. It’s a simple but necessary step to
keeping our children safe. This bill was also sponsored in the House by Rep.
4. United States and Tennessee flags purchased by the state must be manufactured
in the United States. Currently the state contract is with a company in Canada.
Though I am adamant free trader, I must admit that even I think we should
purchase flags that are made in the U.S. This bill is sponsored in the House by
Rep. Sargent (R-Brentwood).
(Ed: WTF....who cares where the flag is made. In fact i think that we should make all the arabs make our flags. Should i be happy with one bad bill our of four?)
Thank you for the honor of serving in the Tennessee State Senate. Have a great
If you enjoy reading update, please pass it along to anyone you think might be
interested. They can sign up by contacting me at
http://senatorbryson.org/html/contact_jim.html or by simply sending me an e-mail
at the address below.
Davidson and Williamson Counties
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Saturday, May 07, 2005
For example (and I think I probably have picked the worst example I could possible think of), sickle cell anemia mostly affects dark skinned people. It is a fact that cannot be hid from. So if you were going to do a mail out asking for volunteers to help with a study, I probably would be most effective to send out the mail to the nearest inner city or just registered democrats.
This article points out a situation that I had never thought of before.
Source:"To the dismay of gay-rights activists, the Food and Drug Administration is about to implement new rules recommending that any man who has engaged in homosexual sex in the previous five years be barred from serving as an anonymous sperm donor."
The FDA says it is because homosexuals get aids and they should not be allowed to donate sperm. That sounds nice on the surface, but upon closer inspection that does not make sense. In reality, anyone can get aids, so you should test everyone. Anyone can lie easily the forms which ask you to disclose this personal information. You can also lie about being gay. Which since there is not a gay test there is no way of catching this person.
I personally do not see any reasons why a gay man cannot donate sperm, as long as his sperm is clean of disease and his sperm is packaged in bright rainbow colors so that the woman who get is knows that her child might turn out gay, though there is not scientific evidence of that.
update: Upon reading the title of this post, I thought it might be a good idea to clarify. I AM not gay, though I might have been born that way (I have seen on scientific evidence to the contrary)
Friday, May 06, 2005
"They were created by scraping stem cells off the surface of ovaries and exposing them to a chemical which stimulated growth." Human eggs which could grow into embryos have been created in a laboratory for the first time, scientists announced yesterday. In general, I am against using embryos in wholesale scientific research, though I do not really have much attachment to the parts that make up the embryos (sperm and eggs). Actually, I would be willing to donate my sperm to scientific reresearch if you paid me for it. Heck, I would be willing to donate sperm to anything if you paid me for it. So I really do not agree with this statement, "But pro-life campaigner Matthew O'Gorman said: 'The artificial harvesting of eggs is synonymous with the intention to manufacture human beings for research. This is unethical, unnecessary and unacceptable.' "
Though I have to admit, I am really not opposed to growing parts of people, either. Such as legs, new hearts, and so on and so forth. I mean I would really like some new parts eventually. So I have a dilemma. I do not know how you are going to get the parts without getting the whole (growing people) or at least the beginning of the whole (the embryos). It might be possible to get beginnings of the parts from certain parts of the beginning.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Costco is Wal-mart's main competitor??? Do not believe the lies. The average shopper at Costco makes around 90,000 dollars a year. The two stores do not compete in the same markets. Costco requires a membership to shop, whereas wal-mart is free. Wal-mart's main competitors are the targets, wal-greens, dollar stores, and dollar generals of the world. The critics are point out that Costco pays it's employees more and expect wal-mart to follow. Why aren't those critics trying to get target and other stores to bulk up pay and benefits also? I doubt ideological biases has anything to do with their attacks (/sarcasm).
Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov says he is sure the Air Force will repel any hostile clouds looking to rain on next week's Victory Day parade.
Russian pilots are past masters at seeding clouds to make rain fall away from major state events, and Mr Ivanov says they will repeat the feat for the Red Square party celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany.
The party is due to be attended by more than 50 world statesmen and Mr Ivanov says he will guarantee it will be held under a clear sky.
"Only the Defence Ministry can physically ensure a clear sky," he said in an interview with official daily Rossiskaya Gazeta to be published on Wednesday.
However, Russian meteorologists have suggested his pilots might be up against it, amid predictions of rain for the weekend and most of next week.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
No one died in this video (Which might be a good thing). Though had the person in the car had a concealed weapon, I suspect that the car would be in better shape or the guy would have taken a swing as the person who got out of the car and got shot.
The energy proposal I know very little about. I thought some of the stats the president mentioned were interesting.
"In the past decade, America's energy consumption has been growing about 40 times faster than our energy production. That means we're relying more on energy produced abroad."
I generally agree with the President's four key ideas.
"First, we must better use technology to become better conservers of energy.
And secondly, we must find innovative and environmentally sensitive ways to make the most of our existing energy resources, including oil, natural gas, coal and safe, clean nuclear power.
Third, we must develop promising new sources of energy, such as hydrogen, ethanol or bio-diesel.
Fourth, we must help growing energy consumers overseas, like China and India, apply new technologies to use energy more efficiently and reduce global demand of fossil fuels."
"QUESTION: Several times we've asked you or your aides what you could do about the high price of gasoline. And very often the answer has come back: "Congress needs to pass the energy bill."
Can you explain for us how, if it were passed soon after it were introduced, the energy bill would have an effect on the current record price of oil that we're seeing out there?
BUSH: Actually, I said in my opening statement that the best way to affect the current price of gasoline is to encourage producing nations to put more crude oil on the market.
That's the most effective way, because the price of crude oil determines in large measure the price of gasoline. The feed stock for gasoline is crude oil, and when crude oil goes up, the price of gasoline goes up.
There are other factors, by the way, that cause the price of gasoline to go up, but the main factor is the price of crude oil. And if we can get nations that have got some excess capacity to put crude on the market, the increased supply, hopefully, will meet increased demand and therefore take the pressure off price.
But, listen, the energy bill is certainly no quick fix. You can't wave a magic wand. I wish I could."
I basically knew all of the social security information that he mentioned, though I found a few things new and very interesting. The president also through in a few twists. I will cover the parts I feel are important, in the order the events occurred.
"Secondly, I believe a reformed system should protect those who depend on Social Security the most. So I propose a Social Security system in the future where benefits for low-income workers will grow faster than benefits for people who are better off."
Basically, I think the president is talking about a sliding index. All the poor people's checks will be tied to the wages increases and all the rich people's checks will be tied to the price increases. I am cool with that, though others are not. Of the mind said something to the effect that Bush is making the social security system more socialistic by adding this change (I cannot find the post, I think he took it down, but the Cube never forgets...hah...hah....hah). In other words, more of an income redistribution program. I would have to concede that point.
The president is also trying to make the program more conservative with his last point.
"I believe the best way to achieve this goal is to give younger workers the option the opportunity if they so choose, of putting a portion of their payroll taxes into a voluntary personal retirement account."
So in the end, I think ideological policy plan balances out. I would be willing to pay the rich less and the poor more, if get to keep more of my own money. I do not think that is conservative or liberal, just selfish.
Though there was one VERY large different in how he explained the personal accounts. The president used the term "voluntary personal retirement account" to describe some of the changes that he is suggesting. Which I thought that was funny, in light of fox news poll, which showed people where for ""voluntary personal retirement account" or VPRA's.
I also think the president's choice of words is funny, in light of the president's comment on polls in the speech.
BUSH: Polls? You know, if a president tries to govern based on polls, you're kind of like a dog chasing your tail.
I don't think you can make good, sound decisions based upon polls. And I don't think the American people want a president who relies upon polls and focus groups to make decisions for the American people."
Maybe the president does not look at polls, but his speech writers sure do.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
As we fix Social Security, we must make it a better deal for our younger workers by allowing them to put part of their payroll taxes in personal retirement accounts.
Personal accounts would be entirely voluntary.
The money would go into a conservative mix of bond and stock funds that would have the opportunity to earn a higher rate of return than anything the current system could provide.
A young person who earns an average of $35,000 a year over his or her career would have nearly a quarter million dollars saved in his or her own account upon retirement.
That savings would provide a nest egg to supplement that workers traditional Social Security check, or to pass on to his or her children.
Best of all, it would replace the empty promises of the current system with real assets of ownership.
I don't see why people are so resistant to that idea. My only concerns are that I would not want to lose all of the money I have paid out for social security already by starting a brand new account from scratch, and I would want this new account to be completely independent of my existing IRA. I would want to be able to fund both accounts. I am not an economics stud, but I don't see the downside. More people will be investing in the economy (which is good), retirement benefits will stay the same or even possibly increase (which is good), and taxes will not rise above current levels (which is also good). Where is the argument against that?
My favorite part was....
"Macdonald and his eight-man hunting team from the New Zealand-based Prohunt Inc. have started fast killing in the past two weeks more than 800 of the island's estimated 3,000 pigs. They expect the entire process to take more than two years, eventually incorporating trained dogs, infrared sensing devices and radio trackers.
More than 150 years of ecological chaos brought Macdonald here and if biologists are right, the island's future depends on his success."I think it's going to take a couple of years at the end to make sure we got them all. The first 90 percent goes really quickly," Macdonald says"
This man knows his pig killing.
Monday, May 02, 2005
"The thing I am most thankful for is them scaring off the damn goatsuckers," reports a local cattle rancher. He reports that during the month long patrol he only lost three bulls to Chupacabra attacks, versus an average of six in each of the preceding months. Other residents reported "feeling safer", noting that they no longer fear sending a six year old child alone to the liquor store at night when they are too inebriated to go themselves.
"This is a problem the government has been ignoring for far too long," said one local mayor, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "All of the efforts to fight the Chupacabra are funded by city taxes. We don't see one penny from Washington. They are bleeding us all dry, not only the livestock."
Residents are waiting to see what lies ahead when the volunteers leave. They urge anyone that cares to write letters to their local papers in order to bring this problem into the light.