I am sad to report that Nelson Mandela at the age of 95 has passed on, December 5, 2013, after a long battle with illness. He was one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen. He is a man who shows that we can fight for our beliefs and we can change the world. Mandela’s story is well known by most. Imprisoned for 27 years, South Africa’s first democratically elected president, but what he leaves us is a legacy that teaches us that there are morals and beliefs that are worth fighting for. I hope that we can all take Mandela’s legacy to heart.
The Beastie Boys have issued an open letter the GoldieBlox stating they were “impressed by the creativity and the message” of the GoldieBlox video, adding, “We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.” However, the group continues, “make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads.”
This statement was written after GoldieBlox had filed a lawsuit against the Beastie Boys saying that their song was a parody, which makes it free from copyright infringement statues.
According to consiquenceofsound.net, ”Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch banned usage of his music in advertisements. It read: “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, in no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes.”” in his will.
Is the song in the commercial from GoldieBlox a parody, yes absolutely, but they are using the music written by the Beastie Boys to sell a product. If GoldieBlox wasn’t looking to sell a product there would be nothing wrong here. But they are advertising a product and I think the Beastie Boys have a right to ask their song to be removed from the video.
Below are both videos.
An unknown caller called emergency services from a payphone at about 9:30 am New Haven time, and told the dispatcher that his roommate was on his way to Yale University to shoot people. This call lead to the university being shut down, local schools being put on lock down and all safety precautions being taken to protect the safety of the remaining students on campus, it is Thanksgiving break at Yale, and the community.
This post could begin some sort of rant on a need for gun control, when in reality the caller was probably some sort of prankster. This post could begin some sort of argument on being able to see people who are making phone calls, wait I think that the government can do that… But in reality I am writing this to say thank goodness the police took that call seriously, and that goodness, that it probably was a prank. I know that America has become a country with a lot more fears in recent years, but sometimes those fears are founded in something real, and taking threats and warnings seriously does save lives, see the Titanic for an example when warnings aren’t taken seriously.
I hope that these types of calls don’t become normal. I wish that school shootings weren’t something that America is known for internationally. But I just want to say thank goodness for the New Haven police and the Yale Campus police for taking the safety of its students and community in the highest regards.
ENDA, what is it? Other than an acronym that made me think of a woman’s name. ENDA stands for Employment Non-Discrimination Act, one of the more understandable acronyms that Congress has named a bill in a while. This bill would prevent employers from refusing to hire or fire someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is similar to laws that protect people based on race, religion, gender and disability. Honestly I had thought that these laws already existed. I am sorry to be so wrong and so misinformed. Laws protecting people based on sexual orientation and gender identity have been a state by state issue, 21 states and DC have laws protecting people based on sexual orientation, and 17 states and DC have laws protecting people based on gender identity. This idea, having a law to protect workers based on sexual orientation, according to the Public Research Institute in a May poll is supported by almost 7 out of 10 Americans.
Republicans believe that ENDA mostly unnecessary because many states have laws protecting people based on sexual orientation, and most companies have polices banning this form of discrimination. Many Republicans also believe that ENDA is written too broadly and would increase lawsuits, but research has shown that in states with similar laws to ENDA there hasn’t been an increase in these forms of lawsuits. Maybe because companies are policing themselves as well.
With a 64 to 32 vote, which means that it was bipartisan, ENDA passed the Senate. Which means there is some Republican leadership, including John McCain who tweeted this press release http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=22ba5a3d-75df-4dea-950e-e681b23b6224 . So Boehner refusing to bring this bill up to a vote shows how much he doesn’t care about what the American people want. He believes that this law would cause frivolous lawsuits and a loss of small business jobs, so he won’t let the House vote on this bill, even though most believe there are enough votes in the House for this bill to pass. Harry Reid even said on Thursday, that ENDA would, “pass by a nice margin in the House if the speaker would allow a vote.” So, I guess we will see what will happen next. And how more political stand stilling will affect this next election.
So Not to long ago a reader named Cara sent me an email with this info-graphic below. You can find the info-graphic and even more information at http://www.superscholar.org/brain-trust/ which also includes at the bottom links to the sources that the website used. Underneath the picture in the article it has lists of which countries spend how much money on scientific research and other things of the nature. I found it very interesting to read so I hope you all can check it out and look at the entire article.
Thankfully the government shutdown has ended. I have to head off to work and don’t have time yet to find the details of this bill that was signed, but as every news source I have read states, this isn’t over. This bill only funds the government into January. I am afraid of this same problem in January, the same people will still be in office. Only time will tell but the GOP has taken a huge hit in this shutdown. I will write a more detailed article when I get back from the office. If you are a furloughed worker it is suggested to check the office of personnel website to see when you go back to work, although all the websites I have read state that you should be ready to go back to work Thursday morning. I wonder if these workers will get back-pay?
It’s been over two weeks into this government shutdown, and now as the country faces default, what have we learned? That the House and Senate cannot come up with one budget! According to cnn.com the House and Senate have come up with two radically different budgets. The description of the House budget, in my opinion, in more likely to pass than the Senate’s budget, but the bigger question is, why aren’t House and Senate members working together, bipartisanly. Oh wait that’s how we got into this mess in the first place. Neither party has a super-majority, the budget has to pass both the House and the Senate before the president can either sign or veto the budget, why isn’t the Congress working together to make the government shutdown end quicker? Do the members of Congress think we will forget this come election day?
This morning I was sitting in my apartment eating my delicious egg pancake thing that I still need to learn what it is called, catching up on Facebook. I kept reading about who people “blame” for the government shutdown and I thought I would give you my list of people I blame for the government shut down, in no particular order. And please remember this is an opinion piece.
1: The liberal media. I am taking no prisoners here. I keep reading about and hearing about how the Republicans won’t compromise and that they shut the government down over a bill that the Congress already passed (which is true), but what about the liberal media? The liberal media would constantly give Obama flack if he ever compromised, ever listened to, ever talked to the Republicans. At the beginning of his administration Obama was able to push his agenda through because he had a Super-majority. When he lost that at first he was playing nice with the new members of Congress, even though they weren’t playing nice back with him. And when he did, the liberal media was up in arms. Take a look at the Affordable Healthcare Act, that was a compromise, that wasn’t what the democrats wanted, it was a Republican compromise. The media forgets about how much crap they gave Obama for compromising.
2: The conservative media. The conservative media takes more time scaring the American people over “death panels” and “Obama’s Birth certificate” than giving me information that I can believe. I know that not everything that comes out of a journalists mouth in accurate, and that everything has a spin, but I feel as though there is a 360 degree spin when I watch them. This media has made it so the Republican members of Congress feel as though they can’t compromise, they can’t negotiate and that they can’t meet in the middle with the Democrats.
3: Obama. Just had to put him on the list, but the truth is until there is a budget bill on his desk he chooses to veto, I can’t blame him for the shutdown. I can blame him for some of the liberal rhetoric, but the truth is he has been damned if he does damned if he doesn’t from day one, due to this media on both sides of the political spectrum. So I throw my hands up on this one.
4: The Congress. THIS IS WHO I REALLY BLAME FOR THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN. These House and Senate members took an oath to defend the constitution, not the people who buy their elections. The Founding Fathers wanted political discourse but not a group of men and women who put their own self-interest (getting re-elected) above the American people. I hope they all realize this when they are out of a job in November.
So for you my wonderful readers I will tell you about my experience on the Health Insurance Market Place, trying to sign up for Obama Care. First thing you do is go to healthcare.gov . Now the first thing you should know is that the servers stink. They are overloaded, and hopefully when the government reopens that they will hire more people to work on that problem. So first you create an account, name, state, email address. You must you a real email address. You then confirm you are a real person and then you need to confirm your identity. That was the tricky part for me. As you all know if you read this blog I am currently teaching in China. But my contract ends in January, and that’s when coverage begins, so I figured I would just use my parents address, since I would probably go back there, but using this website with a VPN that thinks you are in the wrong state makes it difficult to prove your identity. I’ll have to call their customer service and see what they say. I’ll write another article about that later.