Saturday, June 20, 2009

Residents Upset Over Reality TV Show Taping In Neighborhood - News Story - WSB Atlanta

Residents Upset Over Reality TV Show Taping In Neighborhood - News Story - WSB Atlanta: "Just like the walls themselves, the show is dividing neighborhood residents.

“I’m very upset about it. It generates a lot of noise … it’s a safety and security hazard,” Altman said. We're being told what we can and can't do. It's almost like we are in a prison camp here.'

Altman also complains about the constant traffic backups, crew workers going in and out, the cranes and other heavy equipment.

Altman and other homeowners also criticize the homeowner’s association for violating its own covenants by allowing the community to be turned into a giant Hollywood set.

'There's been people fined for having a little 1-foot statue of the Georgia Bulldog on their porch … and they let this happen,' said Altman."

So...the covenants are becoming an issue in this bizarre "reality" show.

Is a college degree worthless? - MSN Money

Is a college degree worthless? - MSN Money: "The four-year college degree has come to cost too much and prove too little. It's now a bad deal for the average student, family, employer, professor and taxpayer."
So what's the alternative if you are 18? Jump into that great job market? Start your own business doing...what, precisely?

The License Plate Loyalty Card - CBS News

The License Plate Loyalty Card - CBS News
Want to get scared? Read this. Remember that old, 20th century thing we used to call "privacy"? Well, it's gone.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Official Photo of Bo, the Presidential Dog

What a beauty!

Lawyer Passes Out In Neighbor's Trash Can - Sacramento News Story - KCRA Sacramento

Lawyer Passes Out In Neighbor's Trash Can - Sacramento News Story - KCRA Sacramento: "JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. -- A southern Indiana lawyer said he's embarrassed and has apologized for being found asleep headfirst in a neighbor's trash can after a night of drinking."
He says he had "about four drinks and his memory ends there." I would say that stretches the meaning of "about" to the breaking point.

Thanks to Fred Pilot for this slice of lawyer life.

The Limbo White House: How Low Can You go?

Pro skateboarder takes a glide through White House - Yahoo! News: "Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk on Friday took a brief ride at the White House as part of a Father's Day celebration.

Hawk, 41, skated in the grand foyer and the nearby Old Executive Office Building, with the permission of White House officials."

I know. Let's have the town hall meeting on health care moderated by Jerry Springer. We could have a transsexual arguing with a Ron Paul supporter and they could throw chairs at each other, and The One would be the moderator. He would stand there with a mike smirking at the audience. And Arnold Schwarzenegger could be the bouncer. What do you think? It would be cool.

Prickly senator throws tantrum over "Ma'am"

Sen. Boxer Offers No Apology for Rebuking Brigadier General Who Called Her 'Ma'am' - Political News - "'You know, do me a favor,' a clearly agitated Boxer said. 'Could you say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am?'

'Yes, ma'am,' Walsh replied.

'It's just a thing, I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it, yes, thank you,' she said.

'Yes, senator,' he answered.

But Walsh was following military protocol, which advises officers to use 'sir' or 'ma'am' when addressing anyone higher than them on the chain of command.."

We have become an apology culture recently. This is some sort of weird ritual that people go through. The media hound people until they issue the formal apology, then the apology police wait for the next offender. Why should she apologize? She has no respect for the military or their rules in the first place, and unlike David Letterman, Boxer doesn't have to worry about sponsors and can't get fired. She's a senator-for-life.

43% of all taxpayers pay zero federal income tax

Tax Units with Zero or Negative Tax Liability, 2009-2019
Which proves that Obama's appointees "look just like America," or at least the 43% of it that doesn't pay income tax. Except that his appointees made plenty of money and should have paid.

Imagine Breaking Up The United States -

Imagine Breaking Up The United States - "Picture an America that is run not, as now, by a top-heavy Washington autocracy but, in freewheeling style, by an assemblage of largely autonomous regional republics reflecting the eclectic economic and cultural character of the society."
This is an op-ed by Paul Starobin, author of After America.

Got $100? Welcome to your new Detroit home -

Got $100? Welcome to your new Detroit home - "But this depressed housing market dream is real. And Detroit, Michigan, artist Jon Brumit and his wife, Sarah, are living it.

The couple never counted on owning a home.

'It's not that we have a little money,' Jon Brumit said, laughing. 'I'm saying we have no money.'"

Average price of a house in Detroit: $11,533. Some you can buy for a dollar. So "artists" are buying them. I envision Detroit becoming a haven for artists and English majors.

Foreclosures grind on as lenders fail to modify loans -

Foreclosures grind on as lenders fail to modify loans - "The Obama administration's $75 billion program to reduce foreclosures has been beset by backlogs and delays, leading many overstretched homeowners to complain about unreturned phone calls and inaccurate information from lenders, while others say they were denied help for reasons that weren't clear."
I believe there are at least a million loans that have not reset at higher interest rates, so I expect the foreclosure tsunami to continue for at least another year.

Yet another Obama appointee who is a tax cheat

Pick for Protocol Post Corrects Failure to File Taxes in 2 Years -
And of course yet another tortured explanation.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pentagon Exam Calls Protests 'Low-Level Terrorism,' Angering Activists - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News -

Pentagon Exam Calls Protests 'Low-Level Terrorism,' Angering Activists - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News - "“Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorism?”

— Attacking the Pentagon

— IEDs

— Hate crimes against racial groups

— Protests

The correct answer, according to the exam, is 'Protests.'"

That would make all you HOA protesters out there terrorists, wouldn't it?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Santa Ana neighborhood locks up trash to thwart scavengers - Los Angeles Times

Santa Ana neighborhood locks up trash to thwart scavengers - Los Angeles Times: "Fed up with urban foragers who root through neighborhood trash in search of plastic and aluminum, residents of one Santa Ana neighborhood are locking up their recyclables in a container designed to withstand the brute strength and cunning of brown and black bears."
If they didn't have such high-class garbage, it wouldn't be so tempting.

OK, but on the other hand...

Moaning German soldiers an 'embarrassment' say chiefs - Telegraph: "German soldiers are softies who lack discipline, hate responsibility and show an inadequate desire to serve their country, according to the army's chief inspector."
...consider the alternative.

Palacio Del Mar HOA v. Arnold McMahon--new ruling

AHRC domain name will not be turned over to law firm
This is the latest ruling in a case so protracted and complicated that it makes Jarndyce v. Jarndyce look like an episode of Judge Judy. Arnold and Elizabeth McMahon are the brains behind the American Homeowners Resource Center, a huge voice for CID owners where their complaints and problems have been aired for years. Arnold McMahon was ordered to pay $60,000 in attorney fees to the HOA. As part of executing on that judgment, the HOA got an order from the trial court that the AHRC domain name would be transferred to it, apparently on the theory that it is a valuable asset. In this opinion, the Court of Appeals reverses the trial court and says the HOA can't take the domain name.

Thanks to Fred Pilot for the link.

Tribune sues U. of I. for applicant data --

Tribune sues U. of I. for applicant data -- "The Chicago Tribune filed a state lawsuit Tuesday against the University of Illinois demanding the immediate release of grade point averages and standardized test scores of the hundreds of college applicants placed on an internal list of well-connected students."
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne is trying to minimize the public disgrace of their clout list by trying to hide the evidence. I think the end result will be to compound the damage, because the Trib seems likely to win this lawsuit. They aren't asking for the names of the applicants--just their scores.

Holy Toledo! City acting like an HOA

Toledo, OH: People getting tickets for parking in their own driveways: "TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- Some people in Ohio complain they received $25 parking tickets last week when their vehicles were parked in their own driveways.

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner defends the citations, saying they were issued under a city law against parking on unpaved surfaces -- including gravel driveways. The mayor, who's facing a recall vote, says he stands by the city's acting commissioner of Streets, Bridges and Harbor, Susan Frederick, who wrote the tickets.

During a news conference Monday, Finkbeiner ignored a reporter's question of whether the crackdown and fines are at all related to the city's budget crisis."

This is turning into a race for the bottom between cities and HOAs. Who can be the most petty and tyrannical?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Virtual Charter School Survives Teachers' Union Lawsuit

K12 Inc. Announces Court Ruling in Favor of the Chicago Virtual Charter School: "HERNDON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--K12 Inc. (NYSE:LRN) is announcing that the Circuit Court of Cook County in Illinois issued summary judgment in favor of the Chicago Virtual Charter School (CVCS), dismissing a lawsuit brought by the Chicago Teachers Union that claimed the charter authorized by Chicago Public Schools and Illinois Board of Education was illegal.

The judgment ensures the continued lawful operation and funding of CVCS.

The Court concluded that the Plaintiffs arguments fail as a matter of law. The Court determined that CVCS is not a “home-based” school and therefore not in violation of charter school law, and that the school is in full compliance with the Illinois School Code."

This school has over 500 students and uses curriculum from K-12, Inc., originator of this press release. The teachers' unions are bitterly opposed to charter schools, and they are also opposed to voucher programs, standardized objective testing of students, proficiency testing of teachers, and any other form of competition or accountability.

CBS walls off neighborhood for reality show--The Live Feed

CBS walls off neighborhood for reality show--The Live Feed: "In the latest reality show 'social experiment,' CBS has walled off eight homes in an Atlanta suburb, forcing the neighbors inside to spend time with each other."
How about dumping some chainsaws and axes over the wall?

Seriously, how many more pseudo-reality shows do we need? Why not just do a documentary about life in a real gated community?

Amateur hour in foreign policy continues

David Miliband calls Hillary Clinton to voice anger over Guantánamo inmates' transfer to Bermuda - Telegraph: "David Miliband has telephoned Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, to express the government's disappointment at the deal.

British officials were informed the four Chinese Uighurs were heading to the United Kingdom's oldest dependency only as they boarded their plane for Bermuda on Wednesday night."

It is starting to look as though Obama is deliberately slighting the British. This is about the fourth time since January that Obama has shown disdain for the "special relationship."

'Resurrection bug' revived after 120,000 years - life - 15 June 2009 - New Scientist

'Resurrection bug' revived after 120,000 years - life - 15 June 2009 - New Scientist: "A tiny bacterium has been coaxed back to life after spending 120,000 years buried three kilometres deep in the Greenland ice sheet.

Researchers who found it say it could resemble microbes that may have evolved in ice on other planets."

Don't these people ever watch movies? Reviving frozen organisms = bad idea!

Dan Walker: Why is Illinois so corrupt? - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register

In My View: Why is Illinois so corrupt? - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register: "The adjourned session of the General Assembly failed abysmally to come to grips with Illinois’ pervasive state of corruption. Leading the failure were two Chicagoans — Mike Madigan, speaker of the House and John Cullerton, president of the Senate. The Chicago bloc fell in line behind them, demonstrating once again the baleful grip that Chicago’s Democratic machine, now 85 years old, has on this state.

It’s time to state the obvious. The primary cause of endemic corruption in Illinois is the Chicago political machine."

A great history lesson from Dan Walker, who was Illinois' governor from 1973 to 1977. He did 18 months in federal prison for savings and loan fraud, but that was long after he left office.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

U.S. malls' ills give independent stores an opening | Industry Summits | Reuters

U.S. malls' ills give independent stores an opening | Industry Summits | Reuters: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - The wave of bankruptcies that has eliminated dozens of U.S. retail chains could force landlords to rethink their traditional aversion to having small, independent retailers as tenants, a retail real estate expert said on Thursday."
Oh, so NOW you want the little people?

Hey, it's Florida

Brooksville's new dress code requires deodorant, underwear - St. Petersburg Times: "BROOKSVILLE — If you want to work for the city of Brooksville, be sure that you use deodorant, that your clothes fit properly and that you cover up your wounds and tattoos.

And, for goodness sake, wear underwear.

If not, you could violate the city's new dress code."

The Mayor voted against it because "who's going to be the judge" of whether somebody is wearing undergarments?

Who, indeed?

Stimulus Apologies - The Page by Mark Halperin –

Stimulus Apologies - The Page by Mark Halperin – "Biden tells 'Meet the Press' that 'everyone guessed wrong' on the impact of the stimulus, economy was worse off than anyone thought.

Backs away from the estimate that the funds could create or save 3.5 million jobs, instead promises 600,000 by the end of the summer.

Plus: Doesn't rule out his own presidential aspirations."

"Everyone" guessed wrong on the stimulus bill? Say what? I seem to remember every singe Republican member of the House of Representatives voting against the stimulus bill. The GOP position was that the stimulus would not work and was just a gigantic pork bill that doled out hundreds of billions to Democrat-friendly interests.

What a buffoon.

Condition of Sacramento Congresswoman's home leads to blight complaints (9:55 a.m.) |

Condition of Sacramento Congresswoman's home leads to blight complaints (9:55 a.m.) | "SACRAMENTO - John Bailey thought it was great when his neighbor was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007.

'Not everyone lives next door to a congresswoman,' he said.

But two years later, he doesn't feel so lucky. The congresswoman's house is abandoned and in disrepair, 'a blight on the neighborhood,' Bailey said.

He said he thinks the way Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif., has treated her home tells far more about her than her voting record."

And this is one of the 435 people who make up the United States House of Representatives.