Youssef

Obama California Confessional

just now ago by sasoc. Spam? Tags: obama, impostor, Dereliction of Duty, hillary clinton, California, 2012 Election House of Pain, 2012 campaign, regret, buyer’s remorse

 

Israel is a victim of Palestinian Terrorism & Islamic Jihad

2 minutes ago ago by oneway2day. Spam? Tags: Israel, Israel, Jews, muslims, Palestinians, Arabs

Here is an excellent video of the real Jews of Israel and the real Arabs and those that call themselves Palestinians is in this video.

JRH 4/21/11

 

Skittles Savant

3 minutes ago ago by katelynstokes. Spam? Tags: twitter, Advertising and Marketing, Big Spaceship, Digital, facebook, Social Media, Skittles, taste the rainbow, Skittles Crazy Cores, Big Spaceship and skittles, double rainbow, Skittles’ social media strategy, Skittles and Social Media

WARNING: I feel like I may soon experience hypoglycemic shock due to an excessive consumption of Crazy Core Skittles today. Therefore, I apologize in advance for the hyperactive nature of this post.

Now that you’ve received fair warning, I am INFATUATED with Skittles.

I get absolutely giddy when delicately bursting into a package of fruity goodness. The colors, the aroma, the texture, the taste. I am overwhelmed by the aesthetically pleasing and appetizing treat! My roommates enjoy making fun of my childish exuberance for the hard, sugar-shelled candy, but I just can’t contain my excitement.

Imagine my reaction when I discovered the content-rich, eccentric Skittles.com. Holy double rainbow—authentic, engaging content created by one of my favorite brands.  I immediately fell into an interactive marketing-induced euphoria.

Once revived from my intense state of transcendent happiness, I explored the rainbow-themed site. Staying true to its friendly, quirky self, the Skittles’ brand invited me to “Taste the rainbow” by scrolling down. The site eschews typical navigation in favor of a single, endless website—similar to a rainbow.

As I explored, I found content ranging from an offbeat YouTube video to a picture of a clown in an astronaut suit. All the content can be shared through Facebook and Twitter. One of my favorite posts, “Sometimes I think peninsulas are just islands that aren’t trying hard enough” received 15,131 Facebook “likes” and generated 902 comments.

 

These stellar stats are a common occurrence for the site. A status stating, “Wouldn’t it be great if elevators replaced all their buttons with a single Surprise Me button?” garnered 16, 294 “likes” and 1,338 comments.

 
As my sugar coma approaches, I’ll conclude with a final, exclamatory thought: Bravo Big Spaceship for creating an interactive, innovative site that remains loyal to the brand’s essence. 

The Obamas’ anti-bullying campaign is totally uncool

3 minutes ago ago by altmentalities. Spam? Tags: Children’s Mental health, Compulsory Schooling, obama, Mental Health Policy and Inititatives, Bullying, stop bullying now campaign

The Obamas – as parents! as people! – want to put a stop to “bullying” (their role as partners in presidential crime helps, too, I suppose).  They take this issue pretty seriously, in part because even Barack [president of the United States of America!] has had some personal experience with it.

   

I can't imagine why!

Was it the youth suicides that got the Obamas’ attention?  [Or, rather – the media’s sudden heavy focus on them; check out this telling quote from one anti-bullying article: “Suicide rates among children Carl’s age [11] are very low… but they are anecdotally ‘creeping up.’” IE, the numbers on youth suicides look about the same, but the media stories about them are increasing exponentially, complete with the standard celebrity poster children and cautionary tales calculated to horrify parents.]

So were the Obamas just watching television, passively absorbing onscreen images and shrill warnings, or is their concern born of some critical thought on the “bullying issue”?

Maybe they’ve been pondering the gradual usurpation of parental rights and responsibilities – including the parental right to love your child unconditionally, to give of your talents and natural wisdom unreservedly and without censure or institutional intervention – by social “services,” replacing these priceless gifts with pre-packaged, standardized “skill sets” that are about as wholesome as a bag of Cheetos.  

Perhaps they’ve given some thought to the general climate inside compulsory, industrialized schools: one of discrimination, separation, classification, and judgment?  Because an atmosphere that breeds [institutionalized] bullying about as efficiently as a tropical cesspool breeds malaria-infested mosquitoes is certainly worth consideration – if what we’re after is an actual effort to decrease the pressures of coercion, marginalization, and psychological abuse on our nation’s young people.

Inside sources remain silent about the nascent stages of the Obamas’ concern… so we’ll just have to judge by the content and quality of the anti-bullying campaign they’ve spawned.  Is this whole thing based on an earnest consideration of some of the root causes of “bullying” – or something else entirely?

  

Something else

A key component of the Obamas’ anti-bullying campaign is its website, stopbullying.gov, which is – how should I put this? – what a 40-year-old graphic designer would think is a hip, youthful, whimsical stroll through basic bullying awareness  information.  We’re talking graffiti-esque fonts, asymmetrical scribbles, a hip-hop oriented theme song [which kids can download as a ringtone for their cell phones(!)], etc.

Totally uncool. 

Kids can spot adults trying to “relate” to them in this synthetic, insincere fashion from a mile away. 

[I remember a hilarious syphilis awareness video we were all forced to watch in my high school health class with a similar “hip” aesthetic.]

Phil the Spot was the butt of many a joke...

  

And this aesthetic – out of touch and totally insincere – is a perfect symbol for the fundamental disconnect the whole campaign has from the real issue of bullying.  Take for example the section of the website for kids(Take a Stand/Lend a hand), featuring a cartoon series, games, quizzes, and the aforementioned hip hop theme song. 

The cartoons seem to be the main attraction; there’s at least 8 episodes available for viewing on the website. Young people are told:

KB, Josh, Milton, and their friends are kids like you who are taking a stand against bullying.

(from the “Take a Stand/Lend a Hand” Stop Bullying Now! website; emphasis added)

Do these look like kids to you??

No.  They look like freaky, mutant, humanized animals – so typical in children’s television programming and so… foreign.  I guarantee you that most kids do NOT relate better to humanized animals in cartoon format than they do to real human beings; but that seems to be the dominant impression.    

I could only stomach one story line, so I went for the one about KB – a smart muskrat mutant who loves science and soccer, and is teased by a feline prepster named Cassandra with numerous body piercings.  And how does KB deal with the bullying she endures?   Not by telling her parents.  Not by confronting Cassandra.  Actually, she doesn’t do anything at all. 

No; the problem is solved by the machinations and manipulations of her science teacher (some kind of crossbreed between stork and monkey, I think…).  This stork-like creature notices that there’s some bullying going on, and then he deliberately pairs KB with a member of Cassandra’s clique, because he just knew that they would turn out to be friends.  KB’s new friend sticks up for her, and the bullying magically ceases.

Not only is the storyline downright impossible, it’s about the most disempowering and disrespectful message about combating bullying that I’ve ever heard.  “Kids: you can’t handle this.  There’s nothing you can do to stop people from treating you like crap.  So, let the authority figures take care of it.  Like magic, everything will work out exactly as the benevolent adults want it to!  Never mind that they don’t plan on consulting you at all about the outcomes of their interventions, or assessing the long term consequences of their manipulations (you’ll be in another grade, and perhaps another building, by that time; out of sight, out of mind).”

This theme is repeated over and over, and is especially prominent in the recommendations for educators section of the website.

I repeat: totally uncool.

   

Policy Recommendations

As the signature on the bottom of one of the social worker’s in my professional life says:

If you are ready to criticize a system, be equally ready to offer assistance to improve it.

(Arnando Sanchez, as quoted on the bottom of a social worker’s emails.  Tellingly, the other quote she includes is “people don’t resist change… they resist being changed.”  But that’s a story for another day.)

What would a truly effective campaign to put a stop to bullying, addressing the issue’s root causes, look like?  Stay tuned… ALT’s got some good ideas cooking and won’t disappoint.

The Hope of Passover

6 minutes ago ago by Robert. Spam? Tags: blogs, Israel, Easter, Passover, Yael Eckstein

Yael Eckstein

Shalom,

It is Passover in Israel, time once again for Jews to relive the Exodus, the story of their ancestors’ deliverance from slavery to freedom in biblical times. Though it is an ancient story and Jews have celebrated Passover for thousands of years, even today this sacred holiday gives me much-needed hope when I look at the dire state of our world, which is filled with hate, conflict, and anti-Israel sentiment.

When the Israelites were in exile in Egypt, it appears God hid His face from them. Although we have no record of miracles performed during their time in slavery, we read the rest of the Passover story and realize that God’s love was always present. At the proper time, He quickly took the Jews out of Egypt and brought them to freedom, performing miracles and wonders for the world to see.

The slavery and hardships experienced by the Jewish people before God freed them from bondage can serve as a reminder to us that even during the rough points in life, God has not forsaken us. When we hit rock bottom and feel utter despair — as the Israelites felt during their torturous slavery — we must remember that our current suffering could be a precursor to freedom, joy, and fulfillment.

Whenever I feel fearful about living in Israel and being surrounded by enemies, I look at the story of Passover and my faith is restored. I am reminded that although times look bleak at the moment, God can change the situation in an instant and bring us to beautiful redemption. Learning from the story of Passover, I know that God is always with me and showering me with love — even when times are difficult.

Commemorating the Exodus from Egypt is an effective way to strengthen our faith, and it provides us with the spiritual and practical tools we need to overcome hardships and retain faith in an all-loving God. My prayer this Passover is that the love and glory of God will shine strong throughout the world as it did when He took the Jews out of Egypt and brought them to the Holy Land.

May we remember this Passover — and always — that God loves us, is present with us, and is calling us to open our hearts and let Him dwell inside.

With love from the Holy Land,

Yael Eckstein

Thing the Seventh

9 minutes ago ago by Jake. Spam? Tags: 23 Things, web 2. 0, Instant Messaging, facebook, ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, IM, Google Talk, blackberry messenger, The Old Days, AOL, Gmail

Chapter One: The Old Days

I was introduced to instant messaging at the end of last millennium. I had just started college, and cell phones were not yet ubiquitous. If I wanted to call my friends and family (who were not yet trademarked by Verizon), I had to use a prepaid long-distance phone card. Uphill. Both ways. Through the snow.

Then, one day, I heard a high-pitched voice say to one of my roommates: “uh-oh!” The following conversation ensued:

Me: Quoi?
Roommate: ICQ.
Me: Quoi?
Roommate: Instant messaging. Talk to your friends online for free.
Me: Yes, please.

And so began my love-hate relationship with instant messaging. When my internet connection, the IM service’s servers, and my friends’ internet connections were all in accord, life was wonderful, and many hours were spent multitasking conversations, or occasionally, in group chat. When any one of these things was misbehaving, curses were uttered against the faceless IT crowd responsible for the horrific failure at such a critical point in whatever crucially important conversation a couple of eighteen-year-olds were having online at 2 in the morning. Eventually, we progressed from ICQ to Yahoo and MSN, often using multiple services at once to catch all of our friends who used only one, or switching between them when one went down (strangely, nobody I knew ever used AOL, which, for a time, was the only one anybody had ever heard of). Much more recently, we have seen the advent of IM within programs such as Facebook and Gmail, and even on your smartphone (one of the few things BlackBerry still does well is their PIN-based IM service).

When my wife lived in Korea for eight months, not long after we started dating, we spent countless hours using the voice chat feature in MSN Messenger; I don’t know how much money we saved this way, but I’m willing to bet it would have been in the thousands of dollars.

Chapter One summary: IM is awesome.

Chapter Two: Of Libraries and IM

I’ve heard of several libraries—mainly university libraries—that provide reference services via IM. In a lot of ways, especially on college campuses, this is a fabulous idea; I knew very few people in my undergraduate career who actually went to the library if they didn’t have to—or who just didn’t go even if they did have to. Being able to ask questions in a more anonymous fashion without having to pick up the phone or actually go to the library would certainly have gotten some of them to use the library more often (read: ever).

One major drawback to providing reference services via IM is that it is possible that it would require a staff member be dedicated to this task at all times. However, it is also possible that patrons seeking this type of reference service would be more understanding of slight delays in response time (due to helping in-house patrons), and this would likely be preferable to having to be placed on hold or transferred during telephone reference—at least for those who are tech-savvy enough to use IM.

Chapter Two summary: IM may be more awesome in academic libraries than public libraries.

Omegle Sohbet

9 minutes ago ago by Görüntülü Chat. Spam? Tags: facebook, Google, Yahoo, chat, Messenger, Chat Client, Social, msn chat, Teaching, Facebuzz, CHAT 2

facebook, google, Yahoo, chat, Messenger, Chat Client, Social, msn chat, Teaching, facebuzz

Quote Of The Day

10 minutes ago ago by BJ Halliday Crawley. Spam? Tags: Gaza, Politics, Middle East Conflict, Palestine, Israel, Combatants for Peace, News

“Unless the US, Israel and the Palestinians have an alternative, the Palestinian plan can not be won,” Indyk told Army Radio. “If there isn’t anything else, then in September there will be a vote in the UN that will recognize a Palestinian state, just like the UN recognized Israel in 1948.”

 

 
former US ambassador to Israel and adviser to US Middle East envoy George Mitchell,
 
(above from Jeruselum Post, today.)
__________________________________________
 
 
Now that’s a plan…  PEACE
 
 
 
 
 

Old Testament, New Media

10 minutes ago ago by The Unhappy Mediator. Spam? Tags: Gadgeteering, Information Stupor Highway, facebook, videos, YouTube, Jews, Passover, Moses

It’s important for observant jews to adapt to the evolution of modern technology. But remember, you can’t block God. He’ll totally know.

ALL EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ

13 minutes ago ago by healthzombie. Spam? Tags: Uncategorized, Islamic fundamentalism, Islam, ISLAM 2, Israel, Terrorism, Torah Judaism, Jihad, Jews Muslims, Tolerance, Social Studies

 

The following is a copy of an article written by Spanish writer Sebastian Vilar Rodriguez and published in a Spanish newspaper on Jan. 15, 2008. It doesn’t take much imagination to extrapolate the message to the rest of Europe – and possibly to the rest of the world.

REMEMBER AS YOU READ — IT WAS IN A SPANISH PAPER
Date: Tue. 15 January 2008 14:30

ALL EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ By Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez

I walked down the street in Barcelona , and suddenly discovered a terrible truth – Europe died in Auschwitz .. We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.

The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.

And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.

They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime.

Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.

And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition.

We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.

What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe …
***********************************

The Global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000; that is ONE BILLION TWO HUNDRED MILLION or 20% of the world’s population. They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

Literature:
1988 – Najib Mahfooz

Peace:
1978 – Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1990 – Elias James Corey
1994 – Yaser Arafat:
1999 – Ahmed Zewai

Economics:
(zero)

Physics:
(zero)

Medicine:
1960 – Peter Brian Medawar
1998 – Ferid Mourad

TOTAL: 7 SEVEN

The Global Jewish population is approximately 14,000,000; that is FOURTEEN MILLION or about 0.02% of the world’s population. They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

Literature:
1910 – Paul Heyse
1927 – Henri Bergson
1958 – Boris Pasternak
1966 – Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 – Nelly Sachs
1976 – Saul Bellow
1978 – Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 – Elias Canetti
1987 – Joseph Brodsky
1991 – Nadine Gordimer World

Peace:
1911 – Alfred Fried
1911 – Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 – Rene Cassin
1973 – Henry Kissinger
1978 – Menachem Begin
1986 – Elie Wiesel
1994 – Shimon Peres
1994 – Yitzhak Rabin

Physics:
1905 – Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 – Henri Moissan
1907 – Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 – Gabriel Lippmann
1910 – Otto Wallach
1915 – Richard Willstaetter
1918 – Fritz Haber
1921 – Albert Einstein
1922 – Niels Bohr
1925 – James Franck
1925 – Gustav Hertz
1943 – Gustav Stern
1943 – George Charles de Hevesy
1944 – Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 – Felix Bloch
1954 – Max Born
1958 – Igor Tamm
1959 – Emilio Segre
1960 – Donald A. Glaser
1961 – Robert Hofstadter
1961 – Melvin Calvin
1962 – Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 – Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 – Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 – Julian Schwinger
1969 – Murray Gell-Mann
1971 – Dennis Gabor
1972 – William Howard Stein
1973 – Brian David Josephson
1975 – Benjamin Mottleson
1976 – Burton Richter
1977 – Ilya Prigogine
1978 – Arno Allan Penzias
1978 – Peter L Kapitza
1979 – Stephen Weinberg
1979 – Sheldon Glashow
1979 – Herbert Charles Brown
1980 – Paul Berg
1980 – Walter Gilbert
1981 – Roald Hoffmann
1982 – Aaron Klug
1985 – Albert A. Hauptman
1985 – Jerome Karle
1986 – Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 – Robert Huber
1988 – Leon Lederman
1988 – Melvin Schwartz
1988 – Jack Steinberger
1989 – Sidney Altman
1990 – Jerome Friedman
1992 – Rudolph Marcus
1995 – Martin Perl
2000 – Alan J. Heeger

Economics:
1970 – Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 – Simon Kuznets
1972 – Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 – Leonid Kantorovich
1976 – Milton Friedman
1978 – Herbert A. Simon
1980 – Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 – Franco Modigliani
1987 – Robert M. Solow
1990 – Harry Markowitz
1990 – Merton Miller
1992 – Gary Becker
1993 – Robert Fogel

Medicine:
1908 – Elie Metchnikoff
1908 – Paul Erlich
1914 – Robert Barany
1922 – Otto Meyerhof
1930 – Karl Landsteiner
1931 – Otto Warburg
1936 – Otto Loewi
1944 – Joseph Erlanger
1944 – Herbert Spencer Gasser
1945 – Ernst Boris Chain
1946 – Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 – Tadeus Reichstein
1952 – Selman Abraham Waksman
1953 – Hans Krebs
1953 – Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 – Joshua Lederberg
1959 – Arthur Kornberg
1964 – Konrad Bloch
1965 – Francois Jacob
1965 – Andre Lwoff
1967 – George Wald
1968 – Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 – Salvador Luria
1970 – Julius Axelrod
1970 – Sir Bernard Katz
1972 – Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 – Howard Martin Temin
1976 – Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 – Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1978 – Daniel Nathans
1980 – Baruj Benacerraf
1984 – Cesar Milstein
1985 – Michael Stuart Brown
1985 – Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 – Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 – Gertrude Elion
1989 – Harold Varmus
1991 – Erwin Neher
1991 – Bert Sakmann
1993 – Richard J. Roberts
1993 – Phillip Sharp
1994 – Alfred Gilman
1995 – Edward B. Lewis
1996- Lu RoseIacovino
TOTAL: 129!

The Jews are NOT promoting brain washing children in military training camps, teaching them how to blow themselves up and cause maximum deaths of Jews and other non Muslims. The Jews don’t hijack planes, nor kill athletes at the Olympics, or blow themselves up in German restaurants. There is NOT one single Jew who has destroyed a church. There is NOT a single Jew who protests by killing people.

The Jews don’t traffic slaves, nor have leaders calling for Jihad and death to all the Infidels.

Perhaps the world’s Muslims should consider investing more in standard education and less in blaming the Jews for all their problems.

Muslims must ask ‘what can they do for humankind’ before they demand that humankind respects them.

Regardless of your feelings about the crisis between Israel and the Palestinians and Arab neighbors, even if you believe there is more culpability on Israel ‘s part, the following two
sentences really say it all:

‘If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel .” Benjamin Netanyahu

General Eisenhower Warned Us It is a matter of history that when the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead.

He did this because he said in words to this effect:

‘Get it all on record now – get the films – get the witnesses – because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened’

Recently, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it ‘offends’ the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the, 6 million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians, and 1,900 Catholic priests who were ‘murdered, raped, burned, starved, beaten, experimented on and humiliated’ while the German people looked the other way.

Now, more than ever, with Iran , among others, claiming the Holocaust to be ‘a myth,’ it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.

This e-mail is intended to reach 400 million people. Be a link in the memorial chain and help distribute this around the world.

How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center ‘NEVER HAPPENED’ because it offends some Muslim in the United States ?

Do not just delete this message; it will take only a minute to pass this along.

Yesterday I rose up for the Lebanese National…

14 minutes ago ago by Niam. Spam? Tags: status, Lebanon, america, National, anthem, USA

Yesterday I rose up for the Lebanese National Anthem.
It was the first time I had done it for years. I don’t remember for sure, but one thing that I am certain of is that for more than five years while I lived outside the country, the only National Anthem I had to rise for -ironically- was the National Anthem of the United States of America.
The emotions were conflicting yesterday for the Lebanese episode just as they were conflicting during the American one. Sure thing is, both countries have given me one thing I value so much: great university education and times, and great friends.
For that, I would rise for their national anthems forever.

Would You Prefer Privatization or a Death Panel?

14 minutes ago ago by Dan Mitchell. Spam? Tags: Government Spending, Health Care, obama, obama, Big Government, Government Spending, health reform, Obamacare, government run healthcare, Entitlements, Rationing, Medicare, death panel, Ryan Plan, Ryan RoadMap

Republicans are understandably nervous about polling data showing considerable opposition to the Ryan plan’s Medicare proposal – particularly since they just voted for a budget resolution in the House of Representatives that includes such a reform.

Their unease is warranted. GOPers almost surely will be subjected to a scorched-earth campaign in 2012, featuring lots of demagoguery about  Medicare “privatization,” mixed in with shrill rhetoric about big insurance companies and “tax cuts for the rich.”

I don’t particularly care about the GOP’s electoral prospects, but I do want to save my nation from fiscal collapse, so that means I don’t want entitlement reform to become radioactive.

So what can be done to counter the predictable onslaught against Ryan’s Medicare proposal?

First and foremost, reformers should borrow some advice about counter-attacks from President Obama. He said during the 2008 campaign that if opponents “bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” and a high-ranking White House aide in 2009 urged supporters to “punch back twice as hard” when dealing with attacks against government-run healthcare.

While reformers obviously should avoid the unseemly rhetoric associated with the current Administration, they should copy the aggressive approach. Timidity is a recipe for defeat.

For instance, do not allow the left to compare the Ryan proposal to the status quo of unlimited handouts. That system is bankrupt and even the Obama Administration acknowledges that something dramatic needs to happen to control costs.

Indeed, the best strategy for reformers may be to compare the Ryan plan to Obama’s scheme for a beefed-up “Independent Payment Advisory Board.” Sounds wonky and technical, but IPAB is the bureaucratic entity that will be in charge of imposing price controls that lead to the rationing of health care for the elderly.

In other words, the real issue is who will be in charge of the pool of dollars that will be used to provide healthcare for the elderly. Ryan’s plan would let seniors choose a health plan that best suits their needs and provide a big subsidy to finance that policy. Obama’s plan, by contrast, will keep seniors in a government-run system and let a bunch of unelected bureaucrats decide what kind of care they should receive.

Moreover, reformers should fight fire with fire. If the left is allowed to use “privatization” to describe Ryan’s plan (notwithstanding massive government involvement and subsidies), then reformers should refer to IPAB as a “death panel.”

My colleague Michael Cannon is a one-man truth squad on these issues, and he already has explained that there was a lot of merit in Sarah Palin’s accusation that Obamacare would create something akin to a death panel, and he has documented the various ways that government-run healthcare will lead to rationing.

To conclude, here are excerpts from two excellent columns that recently have been published on Obama’s IPAB scheme.

Rich Lowry of National Review writes.

Why does Obama need specifics when he has the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB? If spending on health care is the biggest driver of government spending, then IPAB is Obama’s most important deficit-reduction initiative. …Obama…implicitly acknowledges that [Medicare] is broken and bankrupting us. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be proposing a cap on Medicare’s growth that is at least as stringent as anything New Gingrich proposed in the 1990s… Under Obamacare, IPAB is to hit a target for Medicare’s growth that significantly squeezes the program beginning in 2014 (in his budget speech, Obama said he wants to ratchet down the cap even further). …In the fact sheet released in conjunction with his budget speech, the White House says he wants to give IPAB “additional tools” and “additional enforcement mechanisms such as an automatic sequester.” …IPAB won’t make the notoriously inefficient Medicare program any more efficient. Through arbitrary reductions on payments to providers, it will simply reduce the supply of care. …Medicare’s chief actuary warned that Obamacare will drive providers out of the program. If you love Medicaid, you’ll adore the new IPAB version of Medicare. It will be the experts’ gift to America’s seniors.

The Wall Street Journal’s superb editorial page also has a good analysis.

The Independent Payment Advisory Board was created in the ObamaCare statute, and the President will appoint its experts in 2012 to six-year terms. …Starting in 2014, the board is charged with holding Medicare spending to certain limits, which at first is a measure of inflation. After 2018, the threshold is the nominal per capita growth of the economy plus one percentage point. Last week Mr. Obama said he wants to lower that to GDP plus half a percentage point.  Mr. Ryan has been lambasted for linking his “premium support” Medicare subsidies to inflation, not the rate of health cost growth. But if that’s as unrealistic as the liberal wise men claim, then Mr. Obama’s goals are even more so. …Since the board is not allowed by law to restrict treatments, ask seniors to pay more, or raise taxes or the retirement age, it can mean only one thing: arbitrarily paying less for the services seniors receive, via fiat pricing. …Now Mr. Obama wants to give the board the additional power of automatic sequester to enforce its dictates, meaning that it would have the legal authority to prevent Congress from appropriating tax dollars. In other words, Congress would be stripped of any real legislative role in favor of an unaccountable body of experts. …the board will decide “what works” and apply it through regulation to all of American medicine. …As a practical matter, the more likely outcome is the political rationing of care for the elderly, as now occurs in Britain… Messrs. Ryan and Obama agree that Medicare spending must decline, and significantly. The difference is that Mr. Ryan would let seniors decide which private Medicare-financed insurance policies to buy based on their own needs, while Mr. Obama wants Americans to accept the commands of 15 political appointees who will never stand for election.

Even though I play senior softball, I’m not a senior citizen by Medicare standards. But when I reach that age, I know what I’ll decide if my choice is “privatization” or a “death panel.”

Quentin Crisp On Gay Kiss-ins

21 minutes ago ago by The 1955 Hudson. Spam? Tags: Homosexuals, gay lesbian and bisexual, Hollywood, facebook, Dangerous Minds, quentin crisp, stuart gordon, Greeks, eastenders, Jesse Merlin, Re-Animator: The Musical, Gay Kiss-ins

Above, Mister Merlin, in his youth, and Quentin Crisp… well past his.

Reacting to the Facebook “gay kiss” scandal, Dangerous Minds pal Jesse Merlin, currently appearing (headless!) as Dr. Carl Hill in Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator: The Musical at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, sent us this droll example of the Crisp wit.:

Right before I started hanging out with Quentin Crisp on a weekly basis, there was a gay scandal at the little greek-owned restaurant he frequented: The “Cooper Square Restaurant” on 2nd ave at 5th street.  He ate there every day and the owners were very kind and respectful.

Well, apparently a gay couple was kissing there (when quentin wasn’t around, presumably) and the owner snapped up their menus, said “No sex in this restaurant!” and threw them out.  It may or not have been a messy kiss depending on who you ask.

Well, they organized a huge kiss-in at the restaurant and embarrassed the hell out of the owner, who eventually apologized with seeming-sincerity.  But my favorite part of the whole episode was when one of the two kissing troublemakers (who happened to be the doorman at my drama school nearby) called Quentin to ask for his support on the subject.

“I only eat there.  I don’t know what you want from me.”

He was totally unimpressed with the protest idea and wanted nothing to do with it.  But he did laugh about the owners possibly throwing *him* out:

“They can hardly throw me out.  They’re Greeks.  They invented the beastly thing.”

via Dangerous Minds

Arab Revolutions May Lead To Democracy…But Not Peace

22 minutes ago ago by actforamericahouston. Spam? Tags: Islamic Jihad, Terrorism, Islam, sharia law, Sharia Law, Muslim Brotherhood, Muslim Brotherhood, Terrorism, middle east, middle east, Islam, Israel, Religion of Peace, hamas, hamas

By Roni Drukan

Giyus.org: Hamas tries to create a separation between its military arm and political arm – how do you view Hamas as an organization? Is this a real distinction in your eyes?

Minister Begin: Hamas is a terrorist group. Every organization has certain departments that are responsible for activities at different times, but the activities cannot be separated one from the other. Hamas has an integral structure. Part of it is stationed constantly in Damascus, where Hamas and Islamic Jihad find safe haven. While Syria is considered a legitimate part of the international community it protects terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. I don’t think there is any distinction between the military wing and political wing of Hamas. An attempt to make such a distinction is dangerous since it paves the way for international recognition of the organization through that separation – e.g. we’ll talk to the political wing and not the military wing. That applies to Hezbollah as there is no difference between the two organizations. Those who operate the mortars, who physically launch the rockets, cannot be separated from the political leadership. That’s the way it should be viewed and I do hope that European countries and of course the USA view it that way and keep up the restrictions on Hamas recognizing that Hamas is a terrorist organization openly bent on the destruction of Israel.  With the new developments in Egypt, Hamas feels its posture is bolstered by the legitimacy given to their sister movement, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Also noteworthy is the fact that a Hamas delegation was received by the new Foreign Minister in Egypt, before Abu Mazen was allowed to arrive in Cairo. It’s symbolic and important politically.

Read it all: http://bigpeace.com/rdrukan/2011/04/21/arab-revolutions-may-lead-to-democracy-but-not-peace/

Ahava Four guilty of aggravated trespass. Judge: Ahava “trading lawfully” 3 comments

26 minutes ago ago by richardmillett. Spam? Tags: Israel, Ahava, UK, christopher osmond, jessica nero, Matthew Richardson, gwendolen wilkinson

Four anti-Israel protesters were today found guilty of aggravated trespass by District Judge Ian Baker.

They were each given an 18 month conditional discharge (as long as they are not guilty of any further offences in that time no further action will be taken).

Costs of £250 were awarded against each defendant.

The convictions relate to two separate occasions at Ahava in Covent garden, London.

The first occasion, involving Gwendolen Wilkinson and Matthew Richardson, was on 2nd October 2010.

The second occasion, involving Jessica Nero and Christopher Osmond, was on 22nd November 2010 (this was the view from outside Ahava on the day).

Both occasions involved similar actions by the defendants. They entered Ahava and locked themselves onto a concrete block leading to Ahava having to close down and lose business.

However, both occasions led to slightly different charges.

In relation to events on 22nd November the District Judge found the defendants guilty under S69 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 for knowing that a direction to leave land had been given under S69(1) and they failed to leave that land as soon as practicable. For the direction by the police officer to be valid the prosecution must prove that he had a reasonable belief of the commission of aggravated trespass or obstruction of a lawful acvitity.

The District Judge found that the direction to be valid as the officer “saw a shop apparently trading as shops should do”.

Also, as the defendants had created a situation where their own leaving was “impracticable” the test of practicability did not apply to them. Otherwise, trespassers could take “ever more extreme steps to frustrate the powers of the police under S69″.

Events on 2nd October were prosecuted under S68. The elements of the offence were:

1. a person trespasses on land
2. where persons are engaged in a lawful activity
3. and does anything intended to obstruct or disrupt that activity.

The DJ said that as there was no suggestion that Ahava or its employees were occupying the premises illegally the case against the defendants was made out.

He said that the employees were “acting lawfully in accordance with their terms of employment” and could not be considered accessories to any alleged offences. The defendants disrupted the normal activities of the employees by what they did and so the case against them was made out.

The DJ did consider alleged criminal activity by Ahava, which could have made even the employees’ activities illegal, but could not come to any proper conclusions as follows:

The defendant’s claims of illegality because “everything Ahava does at the shop is unlawful because of its actions in the OPT” is behaviour “in relation to which the Metropolitan Police have declined to take action…At this statge, it constitutes little more than a line of reasoning…Until such time as Ahava UK is prosecuted….I can do no more than accept that its a shop trading lawfully”.

And on labelling the DJ said that “The goods come from the Dead Sea and are so labelled. The Dead Sea is not a country….I am strengthened in this view by the fact that no law prohibits the sale in the UK of goods produced in the OPT by Israeli companies”.

Even if he was wrong on all this the DJ felt the defendants acted disproportionately citing that we are a democratic country with many democratic procedures available but “they are not free to act in the way they did on this occasion”.

My Top 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books: #10 – Watership Down

26 minutes ago ago by Ryan. Spam? Tags: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi, Top 10, Movie, twitter, Entertainment, facebook, British Columbia, Watership Down, Richard Adams, TOP 40, rabbit, Scary, List

So yes, I am away on vacation.

You can hear about how things are going by checking my Twitter feed. I’ve never driven across British Columbia before so I’m sure I’ll have lots to tweet about.

But in the meantime, you are getting a special treat. My second Top 10 list! This time it’s my top 10 sci-fi/fantasy novels. (The first was my Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies)

A quick caveat. These are my favourite novels. Not necessarily the most well written, well crafted, though provoking, social commentating sci-fi books of all time. They are simply the books I can read over and over and over again and never get tired of them.

If you disagree, let me know! I’d love to hear about your favourites, and I really enjoy getting book recommendations too, so don’t be shy.

Ok, let’s get started with…

#10 – Watership Down by Richard Adams (1972)

 

Image via Wikipedia

You might think that a group of rabbits trying to find a new home sounds like a Disney movie. But Richard Adams turns this mundane idea into an enthralling heroic fantasy story.

Engaging characters and a surprising amount of creepiness (the strange rabbits in Cowslip’s warren gave me the heebie-jeebies) set this novel apart from other, more childish stories.

A good deal of violence and religious overtones make this book a grown-up fantasy that anybody would find entertaining. There was also an animated version that follows the novel quite closely, though I would not recommend it for young children. (Apparently there is a Facebook support group for those who were traumatized by the movie as a child)

So this book is a great start to my Top 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels. And there is a lot more yet to come!

All the world will be your enemy, Prince of a Thousand enemies. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.

- Richard Adams, Watership Down

Friends Help Friends Save Money

29 minutes ago ago by Ms. Couponista. Spam? Tags: facebook

FRIENDS HELP FRIENDS SAVE MONEY

“Like” Ms. Couponista on Facebook and share with your two BFFs,
otherwise they’ll be asking you for your free stuff.

(Shhhh, I’m planning to kick off a contest when we reach 100 friends.)

walk like an egyptian

29 minutes ago ago by ktblue. Spam? Tags: artwork, ktblue, ktblue designs, k.t. blue, Children, ktblue art classes, kids, katie mauro zeigler, katie m zeigler, museum masters, ART FOR KIDS, Art Lessons, Egypt, Ancient Egypt, Egyptians, Hieroglyphics, King Tut, de Young, egyptologist, k.t. blue art classes

This week’s art lesson was like a step back in time. not just to Ancient Egypt, but to 1978 when my parents took me to the King Tut exhibit at the de Young in San Francisco and I threw up in a porta-potty. Despite the inauspicious beginnings, that trip was the start of my life-long love affair with all things Ancient Egyptian. From that moment forward, I wanted to be an Egyptologist (and then a Veterinarian, a Pediatrician, a Librarian and, for about a month, a Canadian). So imagine my utter delight at sharing my love of this time and this place with my students! First of all, a few fun facts about hieroglyphics:

  • Hieroglyphic writing began around 5,000 years ago.
  • Egyptians wrote in hieroglyphics up until around 400 AD, after that they wrote in a cursive style called “demotic.”
  • In 1799, a soldier digging in a fort in Rosetta, Egypt found a large black stone with three different kinds of writing on it. The writing was in hieroglyphics, demotic and Greek. People used the “Rosetta Stone” to translate hieroglyphics so that we can understand what the Ancient Egyptians were writing!
  • Some hieroglyphics stand for entire words, while others represent individual sounds, groups of sounds or even syllables.
  • To write an English word in hieroglyphics, you must listen to the sounds that make up the word. Some of the sounds we know in English don’t even exist in hieroglyphics, so any translation, particularly of names, is done with a certain amount of guessing!
  • Hieroglyphics were sometimes read right to left and other times left to right and even top to bottom

Today we talked about the world of Ancient Egypt and the amazing written language developed at that time. We discussed the use of papyrus and stylus instruments in the writing process and tried to decipher what different hieroglyphic symbols might represent. We looked at a variety of books about Ancient Egpyt, a map of the area and got to feel what a real piece of papyrus feels like. Each child was then given a piece of parchment and a rough translation of their name to create their own Egpytian cartouche! These name plates were then placed in frames to be displayed at home.

For some extra fun at home, there are a number of “hieroglyphic translators” available online…I used the “Virtual Egypt” site for this particular class. Try going online and translating your name or other family members’ names! Also, the best way to understand the true wonder of Ancient Egypt is to see some of the artifacts firsthand. For a truly local treasure, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose is really one of the best museums in the entire Bay Area and is an absolute goldmine of Egyptian relics, artifacts and information. Visit http://www.egyptianmuseum.org/ for more information.  And invite me to go with you! : ) And finally,  James Rumford wrote an amazing book about the translation of the Rosetta Stone titled Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphics. Find it at your local bookstore or library today!

The Life of the Party is on Facebook!

34 minutes ago ago by Heidi. Spam? Tags: Miscellaneous, facebook

Why?

I often have several things in the works and figure it doesn’t always make a lot of sense to write a blog post about what might or might not eventually come to fruition, but through Facebook I can share glimpses of these, as well as ideas, or fun things I come across in what I hope to be a quick, easy and fun way.

The hope is also that YOU will share your thoughts and idea with us as well! See something you like? Let us know. Have an idea that you think we should consider? Let us know that too!

So, hop on over the Facebook and visit us today!

And while you’re there, check out the teaser pictures of some Graduation favors and decor that I’m working on, and tell me what you think!

Enjoy the Party!
Heidi

Obama Aiding The Enemy1 comments

38 minutes ago ago by digitalvoyage. Spam? Tags: obama, Politics, news and events, middle east, Terrorism, News, leftists, War, Islam, Liberals, Muammar Gaddafi, Libya, Democrats

Via Jihad Watch

 ”America is now at war to protect a Libyan province that’s been an epicenter of anti-American jihad”

Obama’s bombing of Libya is aiding the jihadists. Confirmation from an unlikely source of what I wrote here. “U.S. Bombs Libya, Helps… Jihadists?!,” by Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone (of all places), March 21:

America is now at war to protect a Libyan province that’s been an epicenter of anti-American jihad.

In recent years, at mosques throughout eastern Libya, radical imams have been “urging worshippers to support jihad in Iraq and elsewhere,” according to WikiLeaked cables. More troubling: The city of Derna, east of Benghazi, was a “wellspring” of suicide bombers that targeted U.S. troops in Iraq.

By imposing a no-fly zone over Eastern Libya, the U.S. and its coalition partners have effectively embraced the breakaway republic of Cyrenaica. As you can see on the map above, Libya is a mashup of three historically distinct provinces. As recently as the 1940s, Cyrenaica was an independent emirate, with its capital in Benghazi. [...]

Flash forward to 2008: A West Point analysis of a cache of al Qaeda records discovered that nearly 20 percent of foreign fighters in Iraq were Libyans, and that on a per-capita basis Libya nearly doubled Saudi Arabia as the top source of foreign fighters.

The word “fighter” here is misleading. For the most part, Libyans didn’t go to Iraq to fight; they went to blow themselves up — along with American G.I.’s. (Among those whose “work” was detailed in the al Qaeda records, 85 percent of the Libyans were listed as suicide bombers.) Overwhelmingly, these militants came “from cities in North‐East Libya, an area long known for Jihadi‐linked militancy.”

A WikiLeaked cable from 2008 explained that Cyrenaicans were waging jihad against U.S. troops as “a last act of defiance against the Qadhafi regime.” After the U.S. normalized relations with Qaddaffi in 2006, Cyrenacians believed they no longer had any shot at toppling him:

Many easterners feared the U.S. would not allow Qadhafi’s regime to fall and therefore viewed direct confrontation with the GOL [Government of Libya] in the near-term as a fool’s errand…. Fighting against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq represented a way for frustrated young radicals to strike a blow against both Qadhafi and against his perceived American backers.

The epicenter of Libyan jihadism is the city of Derna — the hometown of more than half of Libya’s foreign fighters, according the West Point analysis. The city of 80,000 has a history of violent resistance to occupying powers — including Americans, who captured the city in the First Barbary War.

A surprisingly readable cable titled “Die Hard in Derna” makes clear that the city “takes great pride” in having sent so many of its sons to kill American soldiers in Iraq, quoting one resident as saying: “It’s jihad — it’s our duty, and you’re talking about people who don’t have much else to be proud of.”

(source)

Herzl

40 minutes ago ago by stephaniejlg. Spam? Tags: IDF

We went to the Herzl museum today. In a very real way, Herzl is the founder, certainly the visionary behind the creation of the Jewish State.  It was an incredible museum and I’m embarrassed by how little I actually know about Herzl.  In brief (very brief) Herzl wrote a a pamphlet in the late 1900′s entitled “The Jewish State”. That pamphlet gave rise to the Zionist movement. Herzl died almost 50 years before Israel became a country, but he requested that his body be buried in Israel.  And so in 1949, he was reburied in Israel.    We almost saw his tomb – and that gets to the funny part of the visit.

Before going to the museum, we walked around the grounds and headed for Herzl’s Tomb. In an area in front of the tomb, soldiers were practicing for Israel Independence Day.  It was neat to watch them in formation. A number of soldiers were carrying flags representing the different units of the IDF. While carrying a flag, they had to lay down their M-16s, so what were they to do? They were piled (neatly!) in a rolling bin that looked like a linen cart at a hotel!

As we approached Herzl’s tomb, we were waved back quite forcefully as I guess they were securing the area.  Unfortunately we were waved back into a line of marching soldiers.  They certainly weren’t going to break formation for us, so we jumped back, the guard smiled and acknowledged we  could stand on the grass until the line of soldiers passed!

Getting to the museum was also an adventure, silly us, we thought the founder of Israel’s museum would be a site taxi drivers would know. Apparently not. First the taxis were all full, so one taxi said come in, and suggested we do a “ride-share”. The fellow sitting in the taxi already was ultra-orthodox, so the taxi driver said, “woman in front” as the ultra-orthodox man could not sit next to a woman to whom he’s not related.

After dropping off the friendly fellow, our taxi driver professed no knowledge of Herzl’s museum.  Thinking it was just a langauge barrier, he called his dispatcher who spoke English and S spoke to him.  Then the dispatcher got on the phone to the driver and we were on way – but not to Herzl. S asked the driver where he was going and the driver said Jaffa Gate. Even I knew that was the opposite direction.  We got out of the taxi!

After the museum, we took a taxi to a restaurant by our house for lunch.  We hadn’t eaten there and the taxi driver said it was a famous restaurant. Why? because it had been blown up! We sat down at a table and were told that the restaurant wasn’t kosher.  Feeling a little ultra-orthodox ourselves, we left!  The great thing about being in Jerusalem during Passover is that we don’t have to worry about what to order because most restaurants are kosher and we can order off the menu at will.  We’ve been enjoying that so we went to a nearby coffee shop that we knew was Kosher for Passover.

Today was our last Thursday in Israel – next Thursday we’ll be back in MA.

Creating a Facebook Page for your Non-Profit Organization

41 minutes ago ago by michellespivack. Spam? Tags: facebook

How to create a facebook page for your non-profit group.

Note: This help document assumes you have a personal facebook profile page. If you do not, you can still go through this process, but you will also be prompted to sign up for a facebook personal profile page for yourself, then you can create a page for your organization. You would be the admin for your organizations facebook page.

Click this link to create the page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php

Don’t worry, the link opens in a new window so you can keep these help files open.

Next, select: Company, Organization or Institution


Then

1) select Non-Profit Organization,

2) add in the name of your organization

3) agree to Facebook’s terms

4) that you are an official representative for your organization.

 

Congratulations! You just created a facebook non-profit page.

Now you need to add a few bits of information about your organization.

My Most Popular Post Barack Joran Update

43 minutes ago ago by Stephen C. Rose. Spam? Tags: Barack Obama, Abba’s Way, obama, Politics, twitter, Google, Prison, Yahoo, “Associated Content”, Joran Van Der Sloot, Natalee Holloway, Perú

Results from people in your social circle for Barack Joran Update – BETA

  • stephencrose‎ Barack Joran Update ping.fm/J3wtm

    Twitter – 20 seconds ago
    You shared this

  • I am wondering if in addition to not indexing Associated Content posts Google is de-indexing them as well. The comedy continues. It’s a good thing I have a day job.

The Importance of Online Identity – For Brands, as well as Personal Use

43 minutes ago ago by laurajkangas. Spam? Tags: twitter, facebook, Intro to Digital and Electronic Communication, Writing and Research in New Media, New Media, Interactive, LinkedIn, Online Identity, Brands

As an Emerging Media and Communications major at The University of Texas at Dallas, exploring the power of image, meaning, and identity online is my job. Moreover, examining how people or brands portray themselves, and build their own reputation or identity online. A person’s persona online can be looked at by the entire world, so it’s very important that everyone know how to represent him or herself properly. There’s much to be said and evoked by a users online presence and “profile”.  An individual uses text, as well as images to portray their identity online, whether that identity is a real or an anonymous one. People must ask themselves; how do they, as individuals, function within an online society? It is very easy for a person to either confuse or enlighten their online identity, that’s why it’s essential to use the right elements when compiling an online profile. There are virtually no limitations when the Internet is the medium of choice, so the choices and options are endless.

“In the digital realm, everything is made into a choice. The medium is biased toward the discrete. This often leaves out things we have not chosen to notice or record…”

Rushkoff words it in such a way that makes it the user’s responsibility and choice to put whatever he or she may want online or not. It’s common sense, if someone does not want something to be found or recorded, then don’t put it out there for the world to see. On the contrary, if there’s a need for something to be known about themselves, user’s have full control over their content.

The term profile is used commonly on the Internet; it’s essentially a person’s public or private spectrum of how they depict themselves on any particular social interactive website. It gives others the options to explore what an individual is all about, and offers the tools the user needs to present themselves on that specific online platform. User’s, being the working, middle to upper class, who have personal computers and access to the Internet at home, as well as at work. Websites like LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook are becoming more and more popular for professional and personal use. For instance, LinkedIn, is a website for professionals to connect. It’s a lot like Facebook, but the profile’s are structured in a way that they look more like resume’s than bios. Since LinkedIn is a site where most employers go first for candidate searching, if a person’s not on this site, it can be easily said their chances at getting the job are more slim than someone with their profile up on the site. Having a poor presence, or none at all, on any of these sites can result in a list of negative outcomes; lessened job opportunities, inadequate professional favorability, or even irreversible damages to reputations. The Internet is a place to connect and is more and more becoming a part of our culture for mainstream communication.  It is a place where misconceptions are easily made and first impressions are made in about five seconds. That’s right, it’s no longer 30 seconds, it’s 5 and if a person’s online identity seems unclear, the user is likely to assess that the person is technologically inadequate. Most jobs these day’s demand for computer and network knowledge, unless it is some kind of manual labor. But, generally, for the upper to middle working class, it’s true that they must know how to adequately use a computer and work it’s networks. Depending on the circumstances, an employer may not even need a paper resume, they may just ask for a link to an online resume. This is another example of why having an acceptable online presence should be considered a priority to most.

On nearly every webpage in-which individuals must identify themselves with a username, there’s is almost always a long list of information that can be mentioned about them. It could mention many and often times too much information about a user; schools attended, living location, relationship status, hometown, birthday, current work information, or even languages they speak. A lot has to do also with privacy of a webpage; often times there are privacy settings in place that a user can adjust to keep their page more private or open to the public. Of course, not every kind of user wants their hometown, birthday or living location in plain site for the world to see so they often times “hide” this information from other users. This is a common feeling for beginners. They are weary of who’s online, therefore are reluctant to start any kind of online presence. In some cases, user’s start profile’s but lie about who they are to connect to the network, this is considered unethical to media and network professionals in my field. They consider it to be “hacking”, the term is commonly used in the context of computer use to gain unauthorized access to data in a system.  It’s when hiding becomes “who you are” online, when it becomes a problem.

When a person can’t be identified as their real selves, is when we run into complications. But why? Rushkoff says, “We are more likely to lash out from the seeming(ly) safety of obscurity”, and that “this can promote an illusion that we may act without personal consequences”. For example, on the online social network Facebook, there have been many instances when people create false profiles for an alternate motive. Often times, in many cases the perpetrator is a young person trying to make victim of one of their peers whether it be in Jr. High or High School. Student’s, who create these false profiles, are claiming that they are someone totally different than themselves. Therefore, making it easy to prey on others, with no consequences for their actions. “Anonymity breeds mob behavior, merciless attack, and thoughtless responses” (Rushkoff 4). These teens engage with others with a false identity, meaning most of the time they can’t be traced or caught. This frequently results in someone else’s feelings being hurt or even mortified. It get’s worse, if a person is targeted by one of these so-called “Hackers”, it can ruin their reputation and in some cases their life. John M Grohol, Editor-in-Chief of the website World of Psychology, describes it as, “It’s a brave new world online, where a misstep on a social networking website like Facebook can result in hurt feelings between real friends”. This is also a place where parent’s must play the roll in the use of Internet and network control in their homes. Often times young adult’s and teens have these unethical “mob like” behaviors only that can extend into their real lives. Parent’s must take control over what a teen is allowed to access online, as well as common behaviors and proper online ethics that must be taught. But, if parent’s don’t have a clue about online networks and what’s out there as far as the digital realm is concerned, how on earth are they supposed to mediate what their children say or do online? This is just another clear example of why individuals just build their online identity as well as their knowledge of networks, especially if they are parents.

As I’ve said before, working carefully with the medium of the Internet can result in either destruction or establishment of users online identity. Since the Internet is so commonly used in present day, this is becoming even more important. By staying the course and only portraying an online image of a person’s true self, they can steer clear of any temptation to say anything they wouldn’t say in the ‘real world’. There are many different platforms to represent one’s self online, and with the way social media is moving, most websites will all be linked together to access each other from one another. In other words, every text or content a user publishes to the Internet can be “quoted, shared and linked to” (Rushkoff 63). So, why publish, posts, or say anything online that one isn’t proud of claiming? If it’s likely the entire world can access it. Also, having the same identity across all platforms is much easier to keep up with, also “remain(ing) accountable and present- we are much more likely to bring our humanity with us into the digital realm” (Rushkoff 54). Not having an online presence at all leaves many susceptible and open to “hackers”. Also, even if a user is not engaging daily, it’s still very important to get their true information out there so that they have control over and may manager their own identity.

Voting frozen due to Amazon EC2 power outage

51 minutes ago ago by FinaLOutlaW. Spam? Tags: Press/News, Final Outlaw, facebook, Apps, western union, Daddy Yankee, wildfire, wild fire, status, Voting, billboard latin music awards, Power Outage, Amazon EC2

Apparently Amazon EC2 – the server running all the Facebook Apps for Wildfire (the company hosting the Western-Union contest for the Billboard Latin Music Awards) had a power outage this morning. This has put all voting on hold for the time being. More info can be obtained @wildfirestatus

“I’ll say something that everyone knows which is that is that no one knows.”

55 minutes ago ago by Lineman. Spam? Tags: Israel, perspectives, Lebanon, Syria, turkey, Arab Spring, iraq

It has often been said—and I’ve said it also—that one of the reasons the US should support Israel is that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.

Israeli MK and Minister Benny Begin asserts in a recent interview with Giyus.org that three other Mideast nations fit at least the functional definition of a democracy, and considering his remarks we get a different perspective of the current “Arab Spring” movements. Are the protests and revolts which have swept the region democratic in nature? Some of them, perhaps, but that may be of small comfort under the circumstances.

My thanks again to GIYUS for supplying these in depth reports from experts and leaders in the area. With their kind permission, here is the interview with Minister Begin:

Minister Begin to Giyus: Arab revolutions may lead to democracy but not peace

 

A few days ago I met Minister Benny Begin and interviewed him for Giyus.org. In light of the swift turn of events in the Middle East, Minister Begin was able to crystallize the main issues with cutting clarity.  From the history of Hamas’ road to power in Gaza, through a thought provoking analysis on the connection between democracy and peace in the Middle East, Minister Begin offered factual observations.   Our interview was held in English to avoid alterations during the translation. I’m sure you’ll find it as fascinating as I did.

Giyus.org: We are just coming out of another round of fighting with Hamas – where does this lead Israel? Are we heading for another large scale offensive with Hamas?

Minister Begin: I wouldn’t like to enter into details that have military or operational aspects, but I’d like to go into the roots of the issue. The root problem is that for the last 4 years we live next to a “Little Iran”. How did this happen? To understand that we have to unfold the events backwards: Little Iran is there because Hamas is there, controlling Gaza. In June 2007, Hamas kicked out the PLO out of Gaza. When they did it, Hamas acted as the legitimate government within the Arab Palestinian camp, having won the elections in January 2006. So Mr. Haniyeh was at the time the legitimate prime minister. How come Hamas won the elections on January 2006? The reason is that Hamas participated in the elections. How come Hamas, a terrorist organization openly bent on the destruction of Israel, was allowed to participate in those elections? The simple reason, quite painful, is the following – the Israeli government at that time, at the first week of January 2006, agreed to allow Hamas to participate in those elections. How come the Israeli government agreed? The Israeli government agreed to the participation of Hamas in the elections, despite its basic will, to satisfy our friends in America. Under the banner of democratization, the Americans under the previous administration were pushing for the inclusion of Hamas in the so called democratic process within the Arab Palestinian camp in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. All that of course, has to do with another sad fact, which is that in 2005 Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, dismantled villages and forcefully evicted about 10,000 Jews from Gaza. Israel did that under the assumption that these actions will bring about improved security for citizens of Israel. I asked a group of Europeans and Americans in the last few weeks, if they remembered how many Americans or European installations were hurt by rockets launched from Little Iran? Well the simple answer is zero, none. The lesson of the story is that it’s easier to give Israel an advice from the safety of Paris, London, Rome or Washington, and leave us in Israel to deal with the consequences. Israel is left alone to deal with the rockets coming from Little Iran, from that Hamastan. It’s our citizens sitting in bomb shelters and the Israeli government is responsible and obliged to the protection of its citizens.

Giyus.org: Hamas tries to create a separation between its military arm and political arm – how do you view Hamas as an organization? Is this a real distinction in your eyes?

Minister Begin: Hamas is a terrorist group. Every organization has certain departments that are responsible for activities at different times, but the activities cannot be separated one from the other. Hamas has an integral structure. Part of it is stationed constantly in Damascus, where Hamas and Islamic Jihad find safe haven. While Syria is considered a legitimate part of the international community it protects terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. I don’t think there is any distinction between the military wing and political wing of Hamas. An attempt to make such a distinction is dangerous since it paves the way for international recognition of the organization through that separation – e.g. we’ll talk to the political wing and not the military wing. That applies to Hezbollah as there is no difference between the two organizations. Those who operate the mortars, who physically launch the rockets, cannot be separated from the political leadership. That’s the way it should be viewed and I do hope that European countries and of course the USA view it that way and keep up the restrictions on Hamas recognizing that Hamas is a terrorist organization openly bent on the destruction of Israel.  With the new developments in Egypt, Hamas feels its posture is bolstered by the legitimacy given to their sister movement, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Also noteworthy is the fact that a Hamas delegation was received by the new Foreign Minister in Egypt, before Abu Mazen was allowed to arrive in Cairo. It’s symbolic and important politically.

Giyus.org: The Iron Dome system successfully intercepted its first rockets last week? How will that impact Hamas’ strategy?

Minister Begin: The Iron Dome system is a great success and a great technological achievement which has first to do with the bold vision of the developers. It must not be considered total coincidence that no one tried it. People thought for many years that such an endeavor must fail because of the short time span between the launch of the rocket and its landing, we’re talking about seconds. But the engineers and the scientists in Rafael and the Defense Ministry were bold enough to stretch their imagination. You first have to resort to such imagination before getting to the drawing board. However, you must understand that the system has its limit and we cannot build our strategy on that umbrella that is not hermetic anyhow. How will that impact Hamas’ strategy? I would hesitate to guess. In the last round I didn’t see an immediate effect; maybe we’ll see it in the future. Iron Dome is very helpful but I would not totally count on it. One cannot win a conflict solely by defense. Even if Iron Dome would have been a device that allowed us hermetic closure, it will be fool hardy to sit with our hands on our hand and wait for the technologically system to intercept the rockets. The early warning alarm is still needed, Red Color alert is still needed, and people still need to run to shelters to its sound. There is a limit to the technological ability and a limit to our readiness to accept such situation, where women and children will have to rush to shelters under a barrage of Hamas Rockets even if they assume many of these rockets will be intercepted by Iron Dome. So this great achievement must also be viewed in perspective.

Giyus.org: 2011 has been a stormy year across the Middle East – How do these revolutions and changes impact Israel?

Minister Begin: I’ll say something that everyone knows which is that is that no one knows. No one knows where things are headed, people guess and estimate, research institutions guestimate, intelligence services have their own assessments, but no one really knows. The Egyptian leadership didn’t know a week before the revolution happened, and the same goes for the Tunisia leadership. It’s all in an embryonic stage and I, according to my scientific background, am trying to guess as little as I can. So what I usually do in situation like this is put some constraints on my imagination. The way I proposed to do that is through observation of 3 democracies in the Middle East, since Democracy is what we’re told these events lead to.

I start with Turkey, a long term democracy, even an improved version of democracy compared to Israel since they have a constitution.  So Turkey has a constitution, an independent judicial system, elections that take place on time and are to a large degree orderly and transparent, a parliament, coalition and opposition, coalition crises from time to time,.  So, it’s a fine democracy. Turkey is also a member of NATO. But now we have to take into account that in the year 2002, a new government was elected. The AKP party ascended to the throne and this Islamist government voluntarily elected to turn their ambitions east wards towards Iran under Ahmadinejad instead of Europe and the European democracies, despite the fact that Turkey is a NATO member. They have aligned themselves publicly with the new bloc comprising Iran, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. They have been supportive of all these bodies. Let’s remember that AKP have their roots in the Muslim Brotherhood in Lebanon in the 20s of the last Century. These are the same roots; they are off shoots of the same plant. This will explain to you why the current Turkish government so readily supports Hamas. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which could not hold their conventions openly in Egypt under Mubarak, held them freely in Turkey for years. Finally, Turkey’s alignment with Ahmadinejad, whose ambitions to eradicate Israel are well known, is repulsive. That’s Turkey, a democracy – how far does it contribute to peace and stability in the Middle East today?

The second democracy is Lebanon – a long term democracy, constitution, elections, parliament, and a coalition crisis for the last 2 months. For some Europeans it would seem natural to have a coalition crisis and they assume it’s the same as in a European Parliamentarian democracy such as Holland or Belgium. But we know better than that – we know that Lebanon is not an independent democracy. It’s a Syrian protectorate which deploys two armies – the official Lebanese army, supplied at least partly by western democracies and Hezbollah army which has 50,000 rockets supplied by Iran and Syria, aimed solely southwards towards Israel. It is well know that Hezbollah’s army is much stronger than the official Lebanese army – they will have the upper hand in any clash. What kind of a democracy is this? Of course the recent coalition crisis was engineered by Hezbollah, backed by Syria and Iran. Just a few days ago it became known that even if a government will be formed under Najib Mikati, the Sunite, it will comprise of 2/3 of the March 8 coalition which is the Shiite Hezbollah camp that lost the elections only 2 years ago. So now the same Hezbollah camp might form a new government. That shows us again that the question is very important – to what extent does this Lebanese democracy contribute to peace and stability in the Middle East.

The third democracy is Iraq – it’s a new democracy installed by western democracies. Several months ago they had a second round of elections on time. They enjoy a constitution, parties, free elections and have experienced a coalition crisis in the last few months. Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will continue to act as prime minister in Iraq’s almost national unity government. That government includes ministers that belonged to the Sadrist Shiite terrorist group whose leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, resides in Iran most of the time. This very extreme organization perpetrated terrorism in Iraq a few years ago. The Sadrist party now threatens that if American soldiers will still be present in Iraq after the end of 2011, they will create a new coalition crisis. How come that after months of negotiations Iraq was finally able to establish a government?  The secret is simple – Iran and Syria agreed tacitly on a split of power in Iraq between them two. To use an American expression, the Iraqi government “drives under the influence” of Iran and Syria.

Now we sum it up – look at the map, it’s a new Muslim crescent. Five countries – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, comprise an Islamic radical block, with terrorism and instability emanating from two of them to the whole Middle East. That’s even before Iran has acquired nuclear weapons ability.

The irony is that out of these 5 countries the majority are democracies. 3 out of 5 are democracies. Of course, the numbers are small so it’s not a great sample, but to me these observations, that are factual, there is no assessment there, afford constraints on the possible positive outcome of the revolutions in the Middle East.

Add to this the fact that in the last two months, all news that pertain to Israel having their source in Egypt, are negative ones. The New Egyptian Foreign Minister announced that Egypt would now seek friendship with Iran and Syria. Amr Moussa, the leading candidate for presidency in Egypt, made several negative statements in the last few days, alluding to the need to recheck and scrutinize the international commitment of Egypt, referring obliquely to the peace agreement with Israel. We understand that and Egyptians understand that. All that is combined with the Egyptian overture towards Hamas, and it doesn’t herald a new spring arriving from the Tahrir square in Cairo. If reality refutes the constraints I’ve put on my imagination I would be happy, but this is the reality as I see it today.

Giyus.org: The Palestinians are making moves towards recognition of a Palestinian state by international community as a way to force a Palestinian State on Israel. What’s the best course of action Israel should follow here?

Minister Begin: First let’s observe that this attempt and others like it, on part of the PLO leadership, are actually an expression of their policy of refraining from taking the only path that could lead to stability and peace between the two communities west of the Jordan River, the Arab and the Jewish communities. The only path is direct negotiations without pre-conditions set on the very beginning of the negotiations. Mr. Abbas has been piling pre-conditions that change with time but amount to the same – the PLO wouldn’t like to enter into these negotiations because they realize that if they really want to achieve peace west of the Jordan River, they would have to give in on something, which they haven’t done for decades.  Actually Abu-Mazen bragged about this a few months ago in one of the PLO meetings. In reaction to Al-Jazeera leaks he asserted that the PLO never changed an iota in their platform since the declaration of independence in Tunisia 30 years ago. Well he is correct; the PLO hasn’t changed an iota. So this unilateral track would not have any hope for a positive outcome. I do hope that the Europeans and Americans do impress it upon the PLO that such declaration by the UN’s General Assembly will be futile. You do not establish a new state by such declarations. I think that the PLO leadership knows it but they are still being encouraged by some countries and some political leaders. If they’ll resort to this it will be a very negative development which will lead nowhere. But I’m not sure it will happen anyhow. In the coming months the PLO may have a second thought which will be very healthy, even from their point of view. There is an important role in this respect for European, American leaders that should serve the purpose of bringing the PLO leaders down to earth, if I may use this expressions being a geologist.

Giyus.org: A recent survey claimed that 1/3 of the Palestinians support the massacre of the Fogel family in Itamar, do you think the Palestinians genuinely want peace?

Minister Begin: We should be careful with such polls. It is very difficult for me to attach such intentions to human beings, to our neighbors. I would assume that the greater majority of our Arab neighbours would like to see nothing but their children being well educated and seeking a better future. But I would separate between   ordinary people and their leadership. There should be no doubt in the mind of an objective person, taking into account the development of the last 10 years at least, that the PLO leadership is not interested in, unwilling to and maybe unable to come to terms with any Israeli government. For example, Mr. Olmert put on the table at the end of 2008 a concrete proposal that included very far reaching concessions. The proposal entailed the following – 98% of the total area of Samaria, Judea and Gaza would be handed over to the PLO; the balance of 2% would be swapped with territory inside the midget state of Israel proper; Jerusalem would be split into 2 capitals with a safe passage under PLO control that would connect Gaza to Judea and Samaria and Israel will relinquish its sovereignty over the Temple Mount and surrounding area  to be replaced by an administration of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, USA, PLO and Israel. In addition, in the momentous interview given by Abu Mazen to Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post on May 2009, he expressed his understanding that Mr. Olmert accepted in principle the right of return of Arab refugees into the state of Israel proper (Mr. Olmert denies) and accompanied that by a proposal that Israel would accept several thousands of them. In that interview Jackson Diehl asked Mr. Abbas, so why did you decline such an offer and the short, and I think correct, answer was:  “the gaps were wide”.  Where is the gap? With Mr. Olmert’s proposal, how wide could it be? Of course it would always be a wide gap vis-à-vis or the ambitions. Since the ambition is to “eliminate the Zionist entity and liberate Palestine”, extending from the Jordan to the sea, we cannot satisfy these ambitions. In case you are wondering why I say this, I’m quoting the Fatah’ platform, the moderate faction within the moderate PLO, the platform that was reaffirmed on August 2009 less than 10 KMs from this office, in Bethlehem. That platform would also explain how come the Palestinians so publicly and openly reject the notion that they would ever agree to accept Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. According to their political philosophy, Judaism is not a nation but only a religion, and religions are not eligible to sovereignty anywhere. That’s their philosophy and it still directs them and ties it all together. This also affords an explanation to those who wonder how come with all the concessions put on the table by former Israeli governments in the year 2000 under PM Barak and in 2008 under PM Olmert, were of no avail and we didn’t reach an agreement. To sum it up,  no, this PLO  leadership is not really interested in peace with the nation state of the Jewish people which is the state of Israel.

UNBELIEVABE VIDEO…Los Angeles & NY Union Teachers Explain How to Push Marxism in the Classroom

58 minutes ago ago by randyedye. Spam? Tags: obama, Education, Conservative Politics, national-security issues, Economy/Financial, Education, Randy’s Right, Marxism, Teachers, Tea Party, secession, Classroom, international socialist organization

Sarah Knopp, a Los Angeles teachers union leader (in the Tax the Rich shirt) and Megan Behrent a New York City teacher affiliated with the International Socialist Organization, explain how to push Marxism in the public school classroom

“Moderately ready”

58 minutes ago ago by Kelsey. Spam? Tags: USA, peace corps, applications, Nonsense, Food

To entertain myself on my sick day (seriously I was given 5 different medications for a simple sinus infection, what is this nonsense!), I took a school-sponsored corporate-speaky “global competency” test. The challenges of working in another culture have been stewing in my mind lately, thanks to Peace Corps blogs.

I did pretty well. The test tells me: “Your score signifies that you may be moderately ready to undertake jobs or experiences that include significant and challenging global exposure.” Which makes me laugh. My knowledge of world history is apparently mediocre, but I did get a perfect score for intercultural competence! Go me.

Here’s an example question:

A first-time traveler to a country is invited by some locals to have dinner at their home. A plate of stew is placed on the table, beside a bowl filled with a type of bread. The traveler notices that there are no utensils, but that the hosts are using the bread to scoop up the stew. The traveler is very hungry but does not feel comfortable eating without utensils. Which of the following would be the most appropriate action for the traveler to take?

A) Politely ask whether the hosts have some utensils.

B) Pretend not to be hungry and just eat a few pieces of bread.

C) Eat at least a small portion of the stew using the bread as the hosts do.

D) Invite the hosts to have dinner at an international standard restaurant instead.

This slightly stumped me.

Back story: I studied abroad in France during my sophomore year. I was served things like fish terrine, shellfish, chitterling sausages, eel, mystery kabobs, snail, you name it. It was also mandatory to clean your plate, which quickly cured me of any picky eater tendencies. The sink-or-swim culinary school can be fun. You either find a new tasty food, or have some ammo which you can use to freak out picky eater friends. Anyway, it was all worth it for the galettes and the cheese course.  (Not that I’m absolutely culinarily enlightened. If someone gave me, say, balut, I’d probably freak out and run away.)

So I think the question is missing an (E) response: ”Good grief, just get over it and use the injera! It won’t hurt you!”

Also – no real news on the PC front. I sent an e-mail asking about the status update, but the reply I received was pretty vague: “Your placement officer is now conducting a final review of your application and considering you for placement in a program. She’ll be in touch in the coming weeks when she has more information for you.”

Avatar & Earth Day~Perfect Together!

58 minutes ago ago by Vikki Bakus. Spam? Tags: Uncategorized, Earth Day, Vikki Bakus, Earth, Avatar, home Tree, god/dess, April 22, facebook, Ecology, Environmentalism, planet

It’s been one year since Avatar first came out on Blu-ray/DVD, and we want to celebrate with you! Host an Avatar viewing party with all of your friends, post photos of costumes and menu suggestions to share with the world. It’s also EARTH DAY, so make sure to be as green as you can be! If you’d like to help celebrate Avatar and Earth Day even more, check out http://www.avatarmovie.com/hometree/ and be part of a worldwide effort to plant over a million trees! It’s been one year since Avatar first came out on Blu-ray/DVD, and we want to celebrate with you! Host an Avatar viewing party with all of your friends, post photos of costumes and menu suggestions to share with the world. It’s also EARTH DAY, so make sure to be as green as you can be! If you’d like to help celebrate Avatar and Earth Day even more, check out http://www.avatarmovie.com/hometree/ and be part of a worldwide effort to plant over a million trees!

3 تعليقات to “Youssef”

  1. alo sohbet Says:

    really ,GOOD I dontt know this

  2. canl� sohbet numaralar� Says:

    really ,GOOD I dontt know this

  3. alo sohbet Says:

    merhaba lar turkey

أضف تعليق

إملأ الحقول أدناه بالمعلومات المناسبة أو إضغط على إحدى الأيقونات لتسجيل الدخول:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. تسجيل خروج   / تغيير )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. تسجيل خروج   / تغيير )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. تسجيل خروج   / تغيير )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. تسجيل خروج   / تغيير )

Connecting to %s


تابع

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d مدونون معجبون بهذه: