Posted on | October 12, 2012 | 2 Comments
The 2012 Vice Presidential debate was a showdown between current Vice President Joe Biden and VP hopeful Paul Ryan. This battle for votes was held at the Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College, in Danville, KY. I don’t know if Ryan expected Biden to perform like Obama did against Romney but that was not the case. The Joe America got last night was not the same Joe that debated Sarah Palin in the previous presidential election. Hulk Biden came to play and was not going to take any of the nonsense that Obama let slide last time.
Obama lost the last debate, not because he was wrong or overwhelmingly misleading but because he let Romney dictate the conversation. If judged on information alone Obama would’ve won that debate. Unfortunately that’s not the only deciding factor. As I’ve said before, the first debate was a learning experience and the Obama/Biden team wasn’t going to get caught off guard like that again.
VP debate moderator Martha Raddatz kept a hold on the exchange far more effectively than Jim Lehrer. She also didn’t let Ryan run her over like Romney did to Lehrer in the previous debate. Raddatz even tried to cut through the rhetoric several times and asked for specifics from the candidates. Paul had trouble giving those.
Joe Biden won this debate. He gave facts and figures and aggressively checked Paul Ryan’s attempts to control the dialogue with misinformation, question dodging and malarkey. Biden was obviously prepared to take on the Republican strategy that Romney displayed in the last debate. People criticize Joe Biden for being too aggressive however I believe he did exactly what he should have done. This election is far too important to let blatantly inaccurate and unrealistically outrageous claims stand. We’ve already seen that the Republicans aren’t too fond of factual information and are more than willing to broadcast egregious misrepresentations of reality as witnessed at the Republican National Convention. Most people in the United States are not politically aware or are misinformed due to biased corporate media punditry. That is no more so true than with conservatives, mainly because of Fox News. The point being, is that many people are going to take the statements made in these debates at face value without doing any further research or fact checking.
Now of course the Republicans are officially going to deny that they lost this debate; unlike Barack Obama who pretty much admitted that he had an off night. But, if there is any doubt in your mind that the Republicans don’t know they lost the debate then let the following tweet serve as evidence of that acknowledgment.
— Karl Rove (@KarlRove) October 12, 2012
Yes, that is high-ranking Republican strategist and Sith Lord Karl Rove reminiscing about having a moderator that they can manhandle.
Paul Ryan did get in one jab that made me chuckle. Acknowledging that Biden had achieved a full mount position on him, Ryan said, ‘I know you’re under duress to make up for lost ground.’ Point to you Paul. Well played sir. Well played.
If you missed the debate or just want to watch Joe Biden keep his foot on Paul Ryan’s neck for 90 minutes check out the video.
The ball’s in your court Barack.
Posted on | October 4, 2012 | No Comments
Let’s get right to it. Obama got handled by Mitt Romney in the debate. It’s unfortunate and I probably won’t sleep well tonight but it is what it is. Surely over the next few days the fact checkers will come out and disprove a lot of things Romney said but he’s not about facts, nor is his party. Representatives have said as much before. Even though Romney spread a lot of misinformation, he still topped Obama in the debate.
Mitt Romney won because he led the conversation. He dictated the topics he wanted to debate the President on, the stuff he prepared for and wanted to say. Obama followed the trail that Mitt put down which put him in defense mode instead of the lead position. It didn’t matter that Romney wasn’t being truthful because he delivered words with conviction and chastised the man in charge. Barack Obama stayed on the ropes instead of calling Mittens out on his BS every time it came out. Whenever Obama lobbied against a Romney answer Mitt responded with, “that’s not true” and Obama left it at that instead of showing what was wrong with Romney’s answers. Mittens brought his gloves to the ring.
I’m not saying that Mitt was right, just that he sold it better. Let’s face it, probably 99% of the people will not look up his claims or Obama’s. People are going to take what was said at face value. I bet fact checkers are going to rip holes all through Romney’s discourse but the audience for that isn’t going to be anywhere near the size of those that watched the debate. Therefore that tree is going to fall in the woods with no one around to hear the sound.
Obama held back a lot of ammo. He was either taken aback by his opponents aggressiveness or wasn’t ready. He wasn’t the hero we deserved tonight. Obama didn’t chin check Romney when he should have.
Those dirty 47%
We heard nothing about the 47%. Arguably one of the most devastating self-destructive Romney statements was the recording of his remarks about the 47%. Since that came to light, he’s lost points to Obama and even major backers have started funneling money to other Republican candidates in various races. Where was this in the conversation tonight?
Obama’s health care reform compares with the one that Mitt Romney enacted in Massachusetts. Mittens flipped the comparison well. The plans are essentially the same, written by the same guy even. Mitt and his party have been dancing around this the whole campaign because they want to repeal Obama’s campaign promise win but only because it came from Obama. When pressed on it finally, Mitt pulled a judo move and said the plan is great for the states individually but not at a federal level.
The Medicare cut
Obama shouldn’t have let that $716 billion dollar Medicare slash float out there without clarifying. Romney put that number out there and there was no real rebuttal to Romney’s misinformation.
I care about creating jobs!
How many times did Governor Romney say this all night? We know this isn’t true. Not once did Obama check him on his outsourcing history of American jobs. Obama could have even pulled some lines from Clinton’s speech highlighting that Republican leadership isn’t a job creating one. This was an open shot to bring about Bain Capital and Romney’s pioneering efforts to send American jobs overseas.
Romney tried to hammer home points that Obama didn’t reach the goals he set out to reach. He also painted the picture that coming into office facing Democrats in his state he had to learn to reach across the aisle. Ironically this has been one of the biggest criticisms of Obama’s presidency. Many think Obama tried too often and too long to reach across the aisle even though every time he did, he got his hand slapped back at him. Mitt tried to use the health care bill passing without bipartisan support as an example. The problem with Mitt’s words is that it is because of the Republican mission to deny anything that Obama tried to do that there was no bipartisan support. The Republicans simply would not play ball even after compromises and suggestions they themselves proposed were included. The fact of the matter is, the reputation of the party was so badly damaged by Bush that they couldn’t let a Democrat win or they would look even worse. They were willing to play games with the lives of Americans and the stability of the country to salvage their public face. Obama didn’t point any of this out and let Romney’s words stand.
$5 trillion dollar tax cut
Obama kept repeating it and Romney kept denying it. The problem is Obama never said what that tax cut was or how it was going to reach such an astronomical figure. The fact is, this has been answered before and Obama is correct. Politifact vetted the $5 trillion details back in May and found Obama’s figures to add up. All Obama had to do was clarify what he was talking about so the point wouldn’t wind up on the floor of a he said she said exchange.
Those are just a few points. I don’t know what happened out there. Everyone has an off night but tonight was not the time to have one. Obama didn’t fail miserably and go down in flames completely. He executed the same calm level-headed arguments that we’ve come to expect from the President. He let Romney get away with far more than he should though. Many speculated that Romney would pull out the Reagan “well there you go again” line but I was hoping Obama would have used it. Obama had a few moments where he sounded like he was starting to speak from his chest but they didn’t stay around. I think he was aware that he wasn’t gaining the traction he wanted. Did you see how he checked the moderator for his 5 seconds? He was frustrated.
Somehow I don’t foresee Biden overwhelming Ryan in their upcoming exchange. Hopefully the Obama/Biden team will take a hint from tonight and adjust accordingly. Romney/Ryan are playing to win regardless if they are being factual or not. We saw the same thing in the Republican speeches at the RNC. Facts can trump lies and misinformation, they just have to actually be presented to shut them down. I don’t believe Mitt will get the drop on Barack the next time around though.
In the end, they both punked host Jim Lehrer. That’s just my two cents. What do you think?
By the way, Romney, the streets are watching. Big Bird has words for you.
I’d do what the 7 foot tall talking bird says if I were you.
Posted on | September 20, 2012 | 3 Comments
Apple’s newest iteration of its mobile operating system, IOS 6, just released and you’ve rushed to download it. The new performance upgrades, Facebook integration, and the brand spanking new Apple Maps application all entice you to upgrade. Remember what the wise man said about fools rushing in?
The general consensus around the interwebs is that the IOS 6 Maps applications is sorely lacking in comparison to the previous Google Maps powered app. It’s pretty but user experience and functionality have both been downgraded. The new Maps app touts a slick new interface, turn by turn directions, and a 3d view. It all sounds cool but apparently the hype isn’t measuring up in the real world.
The most notable features missing are an equivalent to Google Maps’ Street View and transit information. There are some other issues as well, like identifying locations in the wrong zip code. To be fair, Google has had something like a decade head start aggressively building their Maps infrastructure; even violating your privacy to make it the top-notch tool that it is. They have a very solid map database that benefits users world-wide. The IOS Maps app that we’ve all come to rely on is no more; at the moment. For city dwellers, transit riders this can be a deal breaker. It is for me, I am withholding my upgrade. Maps was and is one of the most used apps on my iPhone. I upgraded to the iPhone 4 specifically for the use of the compass in Maps because coming out of the subway and not knowing which direction to go adds at least an extra 2 blocks to where ever you are going.
Google apparently isn’t in any rush to launch its own IOS app. It’s too early to know if the jailbreak community is going to be able to resurrect the original app. And I’m sure Apple wants to move forward with their lackluster offering. If I were Apple, I’d throw the old Maps app in the app store for free. I don’t know much about the contract deal or the technicalities and lawyer speak so maybe they aren’t allowed to. Although I’d think it would just be calling Google’s API but what do I know? Anyway, the question remains what to do if you have upgraded to IOS 6 and are hating Apple Maps life? I’ve put together a list of 5 free IOS 6 Maps alternatives that may help you avoid an attempted downgrade.
The choices are in no particular order. All were tested for locations in New York and over a WiFi connection. If you know of any others drop it in the comments to help your brethren.
Check out 5 Free Alternatives to Apple IOS 6 Maps
Posted on | September 14, 2012 | No Comments
This week the New York City Board of Health, at the behest of Mayor Billionaire Bloomberg, approved a ban on large sugary drinks.
Seeking to reduce runaway obesity rates, the New York City Board of Health on Thursday approved a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, street carts and movie theaters, the first restriction of its kind in the country.
The measure, which bars the sale of many sweetened drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces, is to take effect on March 12, unless it is blocked by a judge. – nytimes.com Health Panel Approves Restriction on Sale of Large Sugary Drinks
Our drink sizes are way out of control. Big Gulps used to be a challenge, now that size is normal.
With obesity in this country way past the danger zone and childhood diabetes becoming more common place, I can understand the idea behind the policy. However, and this may surprise many coming from someone whose refrigerator looks like a produce department, I don’t agree with the ban. We are offensively fat. Yes, something must be done to change the ass size of Americans before the planet rolls over but I don’t think this is the way to go. First of all it’s meaningless. Some people will just buy two drinks. Second, what about the rest of the garbage that usually accompanies those buckets of soda? Sure every little bit helps but I can still by a 2 liter bottle of soda for somewhere around $0.99.
Then there is the choice aspect. I completely understand that reducing obesity saves tax payers money. A nation of overweight people have an affect on rising health care related costs and energy consumption. Ok, after that assessment I’m almost lost about why I don’t support the ban. Oh yea. The issue is, this ban sets a precedent that has the possibility to lead to us being more and more controlled. Also, it’s a half-assed band-aid attempt to solve a much larger problem. You might say that at least they are trying something. Bloomberg would probably agree.
“This is the single biggest step any city, I think, has ever taken to curb obesity,” Mr. Bloomberg said shortly after the vote.
Really? This is your big effort? I’ve got some better more effective steps. Michelle Obama is focusing on physical activity, maybe she’s on to something Bloomy. How about stop cutting gym class in school? How about school lunches with a focus on raw fruits and vegetables and water to drink? My high school had diet soda machines because I guess the diet part made them feel better about putting soda in our schools. How about we put a ban on the toxic ingredients in our food supply like steroids, hormones and industrial chemicals? How about education on the subject? How about zoning that restricts the amount of bodega’s and convenience stores that primarily stock these offending foods in the poorer neighborhoods where obesity is an even more devastating problem. You want to make a real effort give me a call.
Some are comparing it to the smoking ban put in place in New York that restricts smoking inside of public establishments and outdoors at public locations. There is no comparison. The smoking ban I support and were I President I would make it national law. You can’t get obese by standing next someone drinking a jug of corn syrup and carbonated water but you are attacked by toxic poison when a smoker is puffing near by.
Personal responsibility in America is sorely lacking, especially in health related matters. Obesity and diet related illnesses are killing us or making us pawns of the pharmaceutical industry and the AMA. It needs to stop but a small roadblock that sets a precedent that says we are protecting you from yourself for your own good may bite us in the butt later on. The TSA and law enforcement loves that type of mentality. Drink sizes need to be smaller but being told to make them smaller doesn’t stop them from doubling up or filling that fix with something else. The mentality has to change.
There are reasonable arguments on both sides of the issue. It’s easy to buy into the ban for some of the reasons I cited above. Maybe I’m wrong and am short-sighted on the issue. After that obvious viral marketing video promoting the bacon sundae below I might have to change my stance. SMH.
This is you America, look at yourself!
What do you think?
Posted on | September 6, 2012 | 2 Comments
Former President Bill Clinton always did have the gift of gab. Couple that with eloquence, confidence, and intelligence and you have a good combination. The DNC 2012 is pulling off a lot of win with Michelle Obama’s speech and now Bubba’s words of wisdom.
Whereas the first lady’s speech hinted at Republican inaccuracies and foolishness, Clinton came direct with a ton of data.So much so that FactCheck.org’s recap was called “Our Clinton Nightmare”. Bill gave a lot of information and showed a real understanding of how things work. Slick Willy may be a country boy but he is also a Rhodes Scholar. Of course it is the DNC so they are going to try to make Democrats look like the right choice for you and I. Both parties do it. So did Mr. Bill deliver the truth?
Republicans will find plenty of Clinton’s scorching opinions objectionable. But with few exceptions, we found his stats checked out. – factcheck.org “Our Clinton Nightmare”
This is the type of discourse that Democrats need to have with the public. Straight forward, on the offensive, backed up but the facts and truth. We saw Bill do this on FoxNews against Chris Wallace and it was effective. The people, Democrat or Republican or other, just want the truth.
Bill Clinton’s speech is in stark contrast to RNC speakers VP nominee Paul Ryan (whose speech “contained several false claims and misleading statements“), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (“largely avoided factual claims in a Republican convention keynote address that was heavy on generalities, opinion and platitudes“), and former candidate Rick Santorum (heh Santorum). Their convention addresses were found to be full of leading inaccuracies and misrepresentations. Is this what the base of the Republican party wants? Are Republican voters happy with being misled. American’s shouldn’t be.
Now if you take a neutral stance and base your decision on the fact that one guy told you verifiable facts and 3 others mislead and misinformed you where would you stand? That is what I don’t get about some of the Republican supporters, even when enlightened with the truth they seem to still refute the facts and refuse to grow. I hope I’m over-generalizing here. However, VP nominee Paul Ryan, doesn’t seem to be phased by facts as Clinton pointed out.
Now, when Congressman Ryan looked into that TV camera and attacked President Obama’s Medicare savings as, quote, “the biggest, coldest power play,” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry because that $716 billion is exactly to the dollar the same amount of Medicare savings that he has in his own budget!
You got to give one thing: It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.
How do you debate that? Well the former President told us.
You want to know why? Their campaign pollster said, “We are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”
Now the last statement has to have you thinking that no one really said that. Well, yea. Neil Newhouse said it.
Mitt Romney’s campaign said on Tuesday that its ads attacking President Obama’s waiver policy on welfare have been its most effective to date. And while the spots have been roundly criticized as lacking any factual basis, the campaign said it didn’t really care.
“We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said at a panel organized by ABC News. – huffingtonpost.com Mitt Romney Campaign: We Will Not ‘Be Dictated By Fact-Checkers’
How do you reconcile openly saying you are willing and not required to tell the truth as you try to convince people that they can and should trust you enough to represent them? Please someone explain it?
Moving on. Clinton on his idea of the Democratic party’s ideals:
We Democrats, we think the country works better with a strong middle class, with real opportunities for poor folks to work their way into it, with a relentless focus on the future, with business and government actually working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. You see, we believe that “We’re all in this together” is a far better philosophy than “You’re on your own.”
On the success of the Democratic policy:
It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics. Why? Because poverty, discrimination, and ignorance restrict growth.
On the Obama’s example:
I am grateful that they have worked together to make it safer and stronger to build a world with more partners and fewer enemies. I’m grateful for the relationship of respect and partnership she and the president have enjoyed. And the signal that sends to the rest of the world, that democracy does not have a — have to be a blood sport, it can be an honorable enterprise that advances the public interest.
These are inclusive ideals that encourage respect among those that are more and less fortunate than you. How is that not a good ideal to work towards?
Bill shut it down in his speech. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean. It turned out that his facts pretty much checked out. Although, Bill stop pointing to your budget surplus, we know you jacked Social Security and other funds for some of that money. That money should never be touched.
Posted on | September 5, 2012 | No Comments
First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the 2012 Democratic National Convention putting a focus on her relationship with Barack, family, and struggle. Admittedly she almost lost me in the beginning. It started off a bit slow for me, describing her familial relationships and Barack’s busted old car. However the story paved the way for her to be able to drive the point home. That point? That an Obama presidency and the President cares about family, fairness, and helping others.
Michelle really spoke to an idea of progress and moving forward together. She communicated very specific ideas that combated the opposing viewpoint without mentioning any of them directly. The GOP tends to push agendas that favor those already succeeding or reinforce a greedy and dehumanizing idea of trickle down success that doesn’t work.
A couple stabs at the GOP mentality had to do with women being capable of making decisions about their own bodies and that the Obama’s couldn’t have went to college without financial aid opportunities.
Mitt Romney took a jab or two as well as Michelle spoke of her husband.
And he believes that when you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity…you do not slam it shut behind you…you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.
Ouch, don’t bring Mittens to a match where boxing gloves are needed. See what I did there?
Watch Michelle Obama’s full DNC speech. Read Michelle Obama’s full transcript on the next page.
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Posted on | August 25, 2012 | 2 Comments
Look at it. Picture it in all it’s glory. This is awesome. There is a bit of arrogant style in the Obama campaign selling a mug with his long form birth certificate plastered on it. After all the time-wasting ridiculous witch hunting that took place over his place of birth, this is funny as hell to me. Donald Trump should own one. He was vetted by the government, Hawaii confirmed his birth several times, and still these birthers persisted with their thinly veiled bigoted attack against the black man that they couldn’t fathom being in the highest office in the land. Many still feel an uncomfortableness with Barack Obama being president that has nothing to do with his policies or political party. Those are convenient excuses to attempt to mask the real issue. Even now after he produced the long form certificate there are still those that refuse to accept the validity of the record. I don’t need to mention the Tea Party movement or the Republican party’s unprecedented opposition to anything Obama has tried to do to help the country but I just did, so there. Even Irish President Michael D. Higgins can see the nonsense.
Mitt Romney recently made a remark regarding the birther issue. He can say it was a joke but it was obviously an attempt to revive that bit of doubt in supporters minds to make them lean more in his direction.
“No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised,” Romney said. – washingtonpost.com Romney dig at Obama: No one’s asked to see my birth certificate, people know I’m from Michigan
Oh that is funny Mitt. Comedy gold. You are a rich white man in America, you are rarely asked to prove anything. Unfortunately, white privilege is a very real thing here. Ask Louis C.K. about being white. You, Judge Tom Head, and Rick Perry should go on a comedy tour. For those that don’t know Texan, Judge Head (seriously?) recently said there could be a civil war if Obama was re-elected. Texas Governor Rick Perry spoke about the state seceding from America after Obama’s election.
If we think these things have nothing to do with race then we are fooling ourselves. It doesn’t matter how great your relationship is with the blacks. Oh wait, Obama is half white? No, he only became that when it looked like he was going to win. Before that, he was black.
Let’s stop trying to mask these issues and admit them so they can be dealt with. There are still people who feel a certain way about black people. That feeling isn’t going to go away over night. It will take time and that is ok. Our society’s culture leads feelings in that direction with indoctrinated teaching, media representation, stereotype participation and history. Those images are going to be there in many people. They will fade in time. Barack Obama is proof of that. The youth will lead the way.
It would be unfair to not mention the opposition Obama has had to face from some sectors of the black population as well. Namely things like, “he’s not a really black.” I’m talking to you, Boondocks creator Aaron Mcgruder and those like you. Come on people, let’s get it together.
So to you President Obama go kudos for the way you have dealt with what has to be very difficult mental stress. I don’t agree with you on everything. NDAA is criminal, nuclear power is dangerously irresponsible, and appointing people who are part of the problem to positions that cause those problems are some of my pet peeves with you. That being said, this mug is awesome. I see you.
Posted on | August 24, 2012 | 1 Comment
There’s a 2-year-old audio exchange from May 2010 going around with the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, on a radio talk show with a Tea Party organizer Michael Graham. Well Michael is gave Michael a good what for. At the time the Irish politician hadn’t yet become the president. Graham tries to get a word in but Higgins just steamrolls over him with a passionate tirade of truth and logic that brings a tear to my eye.
“You’re about as late an arrival in Irish politics as Sarah Palin is in American politics, and both of you have the same tactic. The tactic is, to get a large crowd, whip them up, try and discover what it is that creates fear, work on that and feed it right back and you get a frenzy.” - Michael D. Higgins
Exactly! This has been the strategy of the far right since 9/11. Pundits like O’reilly and Limbaugh make their living doing this. Fox news fills a 24 hour a day “news” cycle with it. We’ve been tossed around from one fearful situation to the next for ratings, votes or under the guise of protection in an effort to solicit submission. And it’s worked. A lot. What I really like most about Higgins words is that it shows that apparently crazy can be seen for thousands of miles. Unfortunately that is a double edge sword. It’s embarrassing, as an American, that many others in the world can see the ridiculousness that is going on here. We can’t quite claim to be the best when our idiocy is obvious.
Apparently the comments section on the YouTube video had to be closed because of the Tea Partiers running wild with racist remarks. Nothing convinces people of your sanity more than racist remarks. Have a cup of tea. Decaf.
Michael Higgins goes on to speak of the positive change in America’s image in the world since Obama’s presidency. I remember the Bush years, we weren’t as liked in other countries as we used to be. I made several overseas trips during that time. I still recall a memorable conversation with the Persian (they didn’t claim to be Iranian) workers at a pizza place around midnight in London. Our image wasn’t good. The point is, since Obama has taken office, whether you agree with his policies or not, he has repaired some of that damage.
“I think even the poorest people in the great country that is the United States should be entitled to basic health care. And I don’t think they’ll thank the Sarah Palin lookalikes and followers for taking it off them.” - Michael D. Higgins
Again this was 2 years ago, when Palin was still around. Before her crazy was surpassed by others and she could no longer compete. When are the Democrats going to find their sack and speak up like this? The Republicans do it all the time. I’ve said it before, the Democrats are wusses and it makes it that much tougher on President Obama who is facing the most rigid opposition I’ve ever seen. Remember when the Democrats had a spine for like seven minutes after Bill Clinton put the smack down on Chris Wallace on Fox News? Ahh those were the minutes.
Why is the clip back up the spotlight now? The Huffington Post attributes it to Upworthy who posted the debate under the title, “A Tea Partier Decided To Pick A Fight With A Foreign President. It Didn’t Go So Well.” Also, it is the Internet and there are no rules. The full unedited segment can be found on Newstalk’s site (Michael D. Higgins vs. Michael Graham on Newstalk).
It’s detrimental to the country and our standing in the world to use fear mongering as a control mechanism. It does nothing to boost the country nor move it forward. We have enough issues as it is without this type of rhetoric. It’s irresponsible at best. We can and should do better. I usually leave with a parting comment but I believe I’ll let Mr. Higgins have the last word.
“Be proud to be a decent American rather than just a wanker whipping up fear.”
Posted on | August 22, 2012 | No Comments
Kaitlin Nootbaar graduated Prague High School in Oklahoma as the high school valedictorian but won’t receive her very much earned diploma. During the graduation speech she said, “How the hell do I know?” regarding the often asked questions of pending graduates about what they will do after graduation.
Nootbaar graduated from Prague High School with a 4.0 grade point average, her father, David Nootbaar, told KFOR-TV. But school administrators told him that Kaitlin would have to submit a written apology in order to get her diploma. – yahoo.com High school valedictorian denied diploma over ‘hell’ speech says she won’t apologize
Nootbaar had went back and forth over her decision to say “hell” or “heck” in her speech. The draft that she presented to the school had “heck” written down. The idea of that part of the speech comes from a scene from one of the Twilight films. I knew those movies were bad; glittery vampires ugh.
So the school wants a written apology or they won’t give her the diploma she has more than earned. Katilin has said that at this time she is not going to apologize. Her father supports her decision to stand her ground. Good for them.
“Ms. Nootbaar prepared an appropriate speech, which was approved by the high school principal,” Rick Martin, Prague schools superintendent, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, she did not present the speech as written and used language that was inappropriate for a graduation exercise.”
This is a bit ridiculous. If the school administrators are upset or uncomfortable with the language that she used in her speech that is fine. I can even understand to some degree as the audience no doubt was made up of people of all ages and families. When putting on a family friendly event you have to be careful about what is presented to the public. People going there expecting a clean event might lobby complaints with the school, regardless how crazy you or I might think that would be over the word “hell”. With that in mind, perhaps an apology is in order. However, asking for an apology is one thing. Holding her diploma hostage is something totally different. It’s petty and vindictive. Childish. Yea let’s throw childish in there too.
Presenting an ultimatum for an apology is more likely to make someone less obliged to see your position. I’d be willing to bet that if the school had come at her differently about her choice of words she would have apologized anyway as a courtesy. Now, due to the attention this incident has received, it’s a situation where someone is going to have to swallow their pride to resolve. The school is going to have to basically admit that they overreacted or Kaitlin is going to have to say she made a mistake. Situations like that usually result in a stalemate for a long time.
Should Kaitlin Nootbaar apologize to get her diploma? I don’t think so. I think the school needs to let it go, give her what she earned and move on. How are you going to teach students to be adults when you are acting like children yourselves?
Posted on | August 17, 2012 | No Comments
In the least surprising bit of news that I’ve seen today, Zeek Rewards has been shut down by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) due to allegations of running a Ponzi scheme. According to the SEC, this was a $600 million scheme by a company with about a million users worldwide.
In a press release issued late Friday afternoon, the SEC called the company a $600 million Ponzi scheme on the verge of collapse, alleging that company revenues were soon to dip below its cash payouts to its customers and that the company’s chief executive officer, Paul Burks, siphoned off millions of investor funds to family members. - the-dispatch.com SEC shuts down Zeek, calls it pyramid, Ponzi scheme
The reason this isn’t surprising to me is because recently I was approached about the Zeek Rewards business opportunity. Some people I knew had made a return on their investment with very little effort. They were trying to get me to sign up in their downline. While I was being pitched the idea I was doing some google research on the program and the company. I could tell right off something wasn’t right and by the way the plan worked it was obvious there was something going on here that wasn’t exactly legal. This comes after Zeek Rewards admitted in February 2012 that the company’s then business model was illegal. At the time they apparently adjusted to be in compliance with the law however the numerous results questioning their validity threw up many red flags to me.
Despite mountains of evidence from affiliates, observations of the mechanics of Zeek Rewards payouts and tracking of commissions paid out to thousands of affiliates, claims that Zeek Rewards were paying out a daily ROI that consisted of mostly new affiliate money, were often dismissed. - behindmlm.com THE FACTS: Dissecting the Zeek Ponzi apocalypse
The way it was explained to me was that through Zeek Rewards program affiliate investors could partake in a share of the company’s profits made from their penny auction site Zeekler.com. That too was shut down today. As an affiliate you would pay a monthly fee to participate. Then, you would place an ad for packets of bids for the penny auction site. There was a free option as well but the return would of course be smaller. Every day that you placed an ad you would be eligible to share in the days profits. The ads were the equivalent of posting a link on a site like Craigslist. Sounds easy enough right? You know what they say about something appearing too good to be true. Instead of withdrawing the profit you made for the day the company urged affiliates to use that money to buy more bids to give away in order to get a higher revenue share percentage. The person that was trying to convince me to become an affiliate in their downline was actively trying to sell their motorcycle so they could invest more money into the Zeek Rewards affiliate program. Luckily the bike has yet to sell.
If you are familiar with penny auctions or how they work they are a bit of a cautionary type of auction themselves. You don’t bid what you’re willing to pay but you pay every time you make a bid. The price of the item that you bid on goes up by one cent every time a bid is made. So even though your final winning price may be low for the item you are purchasing you’ve already spent money bidding to get to that price. It costs you money whether you win or lose. That is definitely not for me.
Now this doesn’t mean that investors weren’t making any money. People were making money. As a matter of fact shortly after Zeek Rewards got shut down affiliates took to a Change.org petition to try to get the company’s doors back open. At present almost 38,000 people signed the petition. The problem is the company was on the verge of collapse and a whole lot of people were going to lose a whole lot of money.
The site BehindMLM has covered Zeek Rewards extensively throughout its existence and has broken down the particulars of their troubles and why the program was a scheme doomed to fail. Some of the questions they raised in the articles I read confirmed my suspicions about the program and kept me from investing any money with them.
The Attorney’s General office has opened a hotline for concerned Zeek Rewards affiliates or Zeekler.com retail customers, which can be reached by calling (919) 716-6046. A call to the line early Friday evening said the mailbox was full.
I can imagine.