Friday, April 24, 2009

Driving Fast is Not Speed Racing, Duh

Driving, probably one of the most relaxing things, in my own opinion. A nice drive going on a road trip somewhere always seems to bring some type of enjoyment for me. This spring break, I actually drove down to the Florida Keys to escape the stress of West Lafayette. I enjoyed the drive, my shift was the 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift. During the Night drive, much of the road seemed to be as populated as a ghost town. Being a person who gets enjoyment out of driving, naturally I was speeding a little bit. I mean, who wouldn’t want to get to their destination a little faster, and its not like I was driving reckless.

, seen as such a harmful things by the cops, but in all reality what’s the big deal? I mean, driving 75-85 on the highway, what’s wrong with that. In Europe people can travel up the maximum speed allowed by their car on the autobahn, usually though people travel going around 160. Its not like speeding is the leading cause of fatally, nor is even a top ranking killer. Crack kills, speeding doesn’t, but why do the officers act like we are hardened criminals when we speed?

A news article caught my eye today and was pretty amusing to me. Thursday, on Highway 18 in Oregon, a group of cars past a cop doing 100 mph in a 55. The group of cars consisted of Ferraris, a Lamborghini and an Acura NSX all participating in a road trip. After the officer clocked the drivers in the convoy, the officer decided he would be an amazing upholder of the law, and pull them over. After pulling out, the sixth car passed him like he was standing still. Fortunately for the officer, all of the cars pulled over simultaneously after being signaled by our lovely patrol man.

After talking to all of the drivers, the officer cited them for speed racing, which is a ticket that results in a $627 fine. Not to insult the officers intelligence, but that isn’t speed racing. A bunch of cars all traveling the same speed in a single line is driving, over the speed limit, (maybe even re-named reckless driving depending on the amount over the limit). I don’t know where the officer got the idea that they were speed racing, as it requires an opponent, usually done when there are two cars in two or more lanes and side by side each other.

I just don’t get the big deal about speeding, especially in Indiana. Since my time began here, I have ran into nothing but people driving five UNDER the speed limit. I was also previously pulled over on 52, and upon being pulled over, I was approached by the officer with his gun half way drawn. Are you serious? Doing 60 in a 55, and your gonna be prepared to draw your gun? Sorry if you were gonna be shot, the person wouldn’t wait till your camera has my license plate and I am stopped. So next time your speeding, watch out for the boys in blue wasting time not solving real crime and earning additional income for their city.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Interrogation Methods saves lives, Obama does not

Everyday, we wake up, do our thing and then go back to bed. We live our lives in a fear free state. We don’t worry about being blown up, shot at, or attacked. Our lives are protected by our great nation. We have the freedom to do so many things, and our country protects this freedom and keeps us safe. Even though we are in the middle of an ongoing conflict in the Middle East, we have been kept safe by our country and the men who fight for our freedom. 

Throughout the past few years, in particular, the years after September 11, 2001, information regarding terrorist activity and plots against the US have come to the ears of those in the CIA. Our country has apprehended many terrorists in hiding within the border of the US. The techniques that our CIA operatives have used have been proven to be effective in guaranteeing our safety as well as the safety of our nation. However, our beloved President has done it again. Mr. Obama released CIA memos that outline procedures used for interrogation methods. Much of this was confidential information that could be valuable in the hands of those who wish to do us harm. 

Many ex-CIA directors have disagreed with the release of this confidential information saying that it compromises the safety of our country. Much of the information in the memos pertained to techniques used to gain valuable information from terrorists we have apprehended. Such techniques included in the memo were things such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and slapping. All of which do not cause severe harm to the subject nor are they found to be illegal by international torture laws. 

Waterboarding consists of simulating a near death type feeling on the subject. Even thought the subject is not harm, by placing a cloth over their face and pouring water over it, breathing becomes very difficult and the feel like their are drowning. This was very successful in getting subjects to “crack” and pass on the information requested by the detaining officer. Depriving the subjects of sleep also helped to crack the person into revealing information. Many critics say that these are morally wrong and do not help to protect our safety. If these techniques are so morally wrong and disagreed with upon a wide scale, then why are our special forces trained to withstand waterboarding and sleep deprivation? Do you think other counties capture people and politely ask them for information?  These are techniques that are used across the board, this is the least that our soldiers should be worried about. But the Liberals on capital hill say its bad.

If you think that these techniques are immoral, the ones that have gained us valuable information to stop further terrorist threats, then you have your priorities mixed up. The safety of our country should surpass your feelings about treating a terrorist with care. Maybe Obama will start to invite terrorists over for tea. How about a cookie Mr. terrorist and tell me what your plans are with this big bomb. 

Even better, now left nut Liberals want to pursue the people that wrote the memos for the interrogation methods used in obtaining information. There is a reason that we haven’t had a mass terrorist attack on our country since 9/11. There are people that do what they need to do to keep our country safe. They do it within the guidelines of the law and do not cause severe physical harm to detainees. Then, the bowing Obama decides we are not going to have this because we are on a moral compass. Then says hey everyone, we don’ t hurt terrorist. George Bush may not have been the smartest, but at least he wasn’t a coward when it came to keeping us all safe. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Craigslist Sells Sex?

What have we come to this day and age. I once remembered when Craigslist was a vital tool in locating cars and parts and similar for sale items. Now, we have found it entertaining to post erotic services on craigslist, yes erotic services. Craigslist has been on thin ice for a while now as people have used its services as a cover for prostitution and sex rings for sometime now. However, with all of this prostitution going through, I think the violence is now starting to follow the path of these illegal activities. I mean, who would have even thought to use craigslist as a prostitution cover.

Many people have used its services tab to sell companionships or massages. When in all reality the only massages these people are giving out are on you sex organs. Forget the back pain, straight to the genitals for these erotic service sellers. Many also post on there information saying that any money paid is for time spent hanging out and any sexual activity is between mutually consenting adults. Some are even more blunt and just say the prices for their services and say police do not respond to this ad. I don’t think that would be a very successful method but hey give it a shot if thats what your into. Personally I am not into being led into a trap where some prostitute’s midget pimp pistol whips you and steals your cash.

What happen to the good old days of or the sites that say they are for dating but are just for people who want to hook up. Why risk getting caught by the cops for soliciting an illegal prostitute or getting mugged and stuff. This is exactly what happened to one “massage therapist”. Julissa Brisman, was a recent victim of this craigslist violence. Soliciting her “massaging skills” she got connected with a man who set up a time and date. Upon meeting her on that day, it appeared that it was an attempt in robbery by the man. Then a struggle appears to be evident, which ultimately ended up in Julissa obtaining multiple gunshot wounds. These gunshot wounds would be the cause of her demise as she pasted away on the journey to the hospital.

This just goes to show you the extent that our society will go to make a few bucks and market to the horny. When things like this are done, violence seems to follow seeing as many prostitutes are woman and are seen as vulnerable to crime. If you were soliciting some 6’ 5” person that packed a gun and was an ex navy seal or something, I don’t think many would try to rob that prostitute. However, I think that our society sees women as vulnerable subjects and exploit their weaknesses when they put themselves out in situations like this.

This particularly relates to our generation and we as college students because frankly people need to be more careful. That person that you met at the party might not turn out to the be the sweetheart that they appeared to be. When mixing alcohol and social interactions, the more vulnerable people need to be aware that they are at risk and socialize responsibly. Cause you never know who may be taken from this earth from occurrences such as this. The person to create world peace may not be around because someone seen them as a vulnerable target for their benefit.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The President Does NOT Bow

Obama Bowing to Saudi King Abdullah

The G-20 Summit was a meeting for the 19 of the worlds economic leaders as well as the European Union. We all know that they have recently met this month to discuss some strategy as well as plan for the up-turn of our financial positions. Many intelligent and financially literate people meet there to help plan and resolve the situation that we are in. However, it was a just a meeting,but drama was still exposed. Our fabulous President Obama has done it again by amazing the people of the United States. Meeting many national leaders at the G-20 Summit, most everyone is a peer. Obama shook the hands of Queen Elizabeth as well as many other national figures. Then, Mr. Obama does it again, when greeting the Saudi King Abdullah, Obama bows down past the Kings shoulder. However, I guess nobody else there was worth bowing down to.

Never ever does the President of America bow to another international figure, much less anyone else. This is a symbol of weakness of our nation and could potentially increase our risk for more terrorist attacks. This bow signified that the Saudi King has more power over the leader of the most powerful country on the world. This also gives ways to one of the many rumors that was flying around during the election time, that Mr. Obama is Muslim. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with being Muslim or any other religion. It is that fact that Mr. Obama thinks that he can lie to the American people saying that he has no ties or relations with Muslims.

However, how can one say that when he clearly bows to a the leader of Saudi Arabia. He is showing the Muslim world that he has less power than the King of Saudi Arabia. If he had no connection with Muslim religion or wasn’t Muslim himself, why would he bow to one of the most powerful Muslim leaders and nobody else. I mean, its pretty good that we haven’t caught Osama Bin Laden yet, who knows what could happen in that greeting with Obama, maybe even a kiss on the foot?

Have we not trained our baby boy Obama that in the big leagues of politics, Presidents do not bow? Even better, in a statement made by white house officials, “It wasn’t a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he’s taller than King Abdullah,” Haha, my ass, his left hand is clearly visible on his left knee. They would have had a better chance saying that he was ducking in the event should a shoe become airborne!

Let us hope that this damage is reparable, and that we are not seen as a weak nation in the eyes of terrorism. And may our President become aware that we do not bow down to other as it signifies a weakness, this is completely unacceptable for one of the most powerful nations in the world.

However, once again, in the time of “Change” another political Dee-dee-dee has been committed and I look forward to many more. Like Mrs. Obama wearing a cardigan to meet Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace. Maybe for a college kid touring Europe thats cool, but not for the First Lady. So cheers to the “Change” we hear from Obama, even though I think all this “Change” refers to his beliefs!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ugh Writers blog

Hello everyone, today’s post will be a little bit different that the traditional posts. Recently I have been having an extreme case of writers block, words have been dryer that the Sahara. I am not sure if it is because I have been stressed with classes and work or what the deal is. It could be that nothing really exciting is existing in the world of news today. Whatever it is, I apologize for the decrease in interesting news over the past week and a half.

Today, I left school to go home for the holiday weekend. It was a relatively long drive, and kind of boring. I had a relatively large headache which contributed to a decline in the enjoyment of my ride home as well. However, on my way home, I talked to my dad who is a fireman in a city where near I live and he told me some interesting news.

Today, in Dearborn at a community college, there was a homicide-suicide that occurred on campus. A 28 year old man was involved as well as a 20 year old woman. In a usually non-violent area, it is clear that this was unexpected. The two were found in a classroom in a Michigan community college. Not much was really known about the whole incident seeing as both people involved are dead. The main information available is that it occurred in an used classroom and a shotgun was used in the shooting.

There is still much investigation to undergo before the final results could be determined, but the area has been secured and the emergency alerts have been sent out to the students. Officials as well as many others have sent out their deepest sympathies to the family of the girl who is believed to have her life taken from her today.

I thought this was a pretty sad incident. It just reminds us that things that we take for granted everyday can disappear with just a flutter of a butterfly’s wings. Hopefully the family can find hope in the mist of all this negativity and that people will learn to appreciate what they have in their lives.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sexting?? Say What?

Texting, this day and age is a very familiar part of every teens vocabulary. They may not know what is going on in the world or what the derivative of a function is, but they know about texting. As the younger and emerging generation, we have had a mainstream change in communication. Rather than allocating our efforts to communicate via voice to voice, we have chosen text to text. Many people have began to use texting as a channel to communicate because of the capability to do it in an environment that would limit traditional voice to voice communication via telephone. These such environments would include places like school, the workplace, and restaurants.

This rapid increase in the use of texting for communication has caused an increase in the technology for it. Texts can zoom across the airways in seconds without much delay, much like instant messaging on the computer. They have also paved the way for digital communication with things such as movies, pictures and even voice recordings. Many teens send pics back and forth to their friends of things such as a goofy face, to a beautiful landscape in the Caribbean. However, there is a much darker side to texting than one would normally think of. The very appropriate term sexting has become a very popular things among many teens. Sexting is the transmission of nude pictures via texting. Sending between couples or maybe friends that are closer than friends, may not seem like a problem. However, younger generations are finding out that it is much for than a picture. If anyone in the picture is underage, it is the transmission and possession of child pornography.

Many teens have found out the hard way that this can land them a spot right on the sexual offenders list, next to Chester the Molester. “But is was only a picture of my girlfriend...” Many teens are shocked by the consequences dealt out by judges all over the US. The sexting crackdown is coming down hard. If you are underage, and take a nude picture, your significant other, or anyone really takes the picture, it is considered child pornography. The person who took the picture as well as anyone that receives it could be in danger of being prosecuted if discovered.

With having the freedom of privacy, many do go undiscovered. It is when the brain of a teenager breaks down from logic and acts on impulse, do many of these crimes come to the attention of officials. Many times the couple has an argument, and one of the hot headed partners sends the picture to his or her friends. Then, once received by others, it comes to the attention of authorities. The accused is brought up on sending child pornography as well as possessing it. These types of cases are tried in many states as child-pornography. Thus, landing them a spot on the sexual offenders list where their time on that list can vary.

Most teens, unaware of the consequences participate in this activity, thinking its like seeing them naked in person. Many are oblivious to the true definition behind their nude pictures they posses. The truth is, anyone photographed in the nude underage is considered child pornography. Even if the one partner is 18 and the other is 16, this close age gap doesn’t seem like a lot, but in terms of the law it is.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Beer Pong

The game of the ages, played by many people of all shapes and sizes. As we come to together in unity, armed with cups and beer, the games begin. Beer Pong is the universal party game across all of the nations when it comes to college drinking games. A combination of a bowling type organization with some ping pong skills/hand eye coordination, the game is played with one person to two person teams. Each trying to eliminate the the other persons cups, with cut throat competition. Let the game begin!

Traditionally, beer pong is known as Beirut, but referred to as beer pong among many college students. One would start this game by taking 10 cups, placing them in a christmas tree type order, or that similar to bowling pin order. placing 4, then 3, then 2, then 1. These cups are then neatly placed on a table that measures the regulation length of 8 feet by 2 feet. These regulation sized tables can be customized to the users preference. Many choose to put their school’s logo on it or some design with a personal meaning to it. They can also range from straight wood tables to plastic topped or even ones that light up.

Next, the teams each fill up their cups about 2 and a half inches of beer per cup. This roughly estimates to two beer per ten cups. Some prefer to use more or less depending on the tolerance level of both teams competing and whether this a an informal game or competition level beer pong game. Next the competition begins. First one player from each team looks one another in the eye, while counting to three, then throws. The one to make the ball in the cup without looking at it makes the first throw.

When the first team to throw goes, each member of their two person team throws a ball. Members of the defending team may use a distraction technique as long as they don’t interfere with the path of the ball. If the tossing team makes both of their shots, they get “balls back” which simply states that they are the tossing team again. If your team happens to knock over your own cup by mistake, it is a party foul. You can either drink the rest of that cup, or drink another from your inventory, depending on house rules.

Some of the other rules that can apply are things such as bounces. A team may bounce a ball in order to locate it within the interior of the cup, however the defending team has the ability to swat the ball away from the path of the cup. This would be a defensive technique that is allowed. There are many other house rules that may apply depending on each house that the game is played in.

The main goal of beer pong is to create a social atmosphere that beer lovers can unite in a form of competition to social network as well as consume their beverage of choice, beer. It is found across many college campuses as well as the homes of young adults. Many continue to support the game even if oppressed by universities.

Transisiton of Forces

Iraq was a mistake, blah blah blah. Thats all we heard for the longest time during the elections. Many see it as mistake and waste of resources. The public outcry for withdrawal has increased as the days go by. Then, the new president, Mr. Obama, comes to the stage and preaches change, change for the American people! However, which direction is his change going? Is history going to repeat itself, only time will tell. However we can get a glimpse of the future by looking into history and noting the patterns.

Many people are unfamiliar with the actual start of the Iraq war and the reasoning behind it. Many say that it was retaliation of the events that took place on 9/11 and others say it had to do with oil. To correct those untruthful assumptions, 9/11 was related with Osama Bin Laden, a terrorist who wasn’t directly affiliated with Iraq. Also if the main point behind the Iraq invasion was oil, then why did our oil prices skyrocket to record highs?

The main reason that jump started the Iraq Conflict was Iraq’s inability to cooperate with UN inspectors during inspections for weapons of mass destruction. Iraq was non-compliant with UN orders and was very shady when it came to the inspections. Thus, the conclusion that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction arose. Another reason behind the war was the radical dictator Sadam. Testing many of his weapons on the “Kurds” or northern Iraqis, as well as using immoral techniques in his correctional facilities. Yes, the job was finally complete, but with much criticism. Obama said that Iraq was a mistake as well as others and criticized the Bush Administration for the was we invaded Iraq and so forth.

Now, Obama wants to allocate all of our middle eastern military to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He says that we are to pursue and take down the terrorist leader, Osama bin Laden, with or without the help of Paki or Afghani forces. He tells us we will work with Paki and Afghani forces to help take down this leader or terror. However, if they fail to cooperate we will take whatever steps necessary to bring Osama down. Invading Pakistan could become a real possibility if cooperation fails with that government. Now how exactly is this any different than the efforts done by the Bush administration when they were trying to apprehend a leader that is believed to have weapons of mass destructions.

There is hardly any difference in the tactics used for the Iraq war, but criticism overflowed. Sadam failed to cooperate with UN inspectors and gave reason to believe that they were in possession of weapons of mass destruction. How is that any different that Pakistani forces failing to cooperate in the capture of Osama Bin Laden, who is BELIEVED to be there, not ACTUALLY there. Then, us invading Pakistan. Obama is following the same footsteps as the Bush Administration, only in a different territory. However, nobody criticizes Mr. Obama for his decisions to take action on the Pakistani government. Is it a double standard, thats for you to decide.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Traffic Camera = Unjust income for Cities

Guess what? The government wants more of your money, and no surprise, they are taking it. Many cities throughout the country have used traffic violations as a way to increase revenue for the city. To protect and serve is what it reads on the side of police cars these days. However, I think we need to reconsider who they are protecting and serving, maybe the city and themselves instead of the taxpaying citizens. Well, not only with the defecit in many city’s budgets, the increase in traffic violation citations, and additional cops patrolling, there is a new eye in the sky. Yes, the man is watching your every move! Just kidding, but they are watching your driving decisions.

An increase in traffic cameras at intersections is currently on the rise, and at an alarming rate. What necessarily do these cameras do? Well they are put at busy intersections in cities throughout the country in an effort to find those who run red lights,turn on no turn on reds, and those who speed. However, in a study conducted by the Highway and Traffic Safety Administration last July showed that only 5% of crashes were due to traveling to fast and 2% were caused by running red lights. Falling asleep at the wheel, adverse driving conditions and crossing the centerline were far much higher that those two. So why the need for these cameras??? To raise money for the city.

How it works is, when the person in question runs the red light, the camera stationed at the intersection takes a photograph of the license plate, and in some cases even the drivers face. Then, the information is processed at a third party organization (more detail coming soon) who then sends their information to the police where a citation is written and sent to the person in question to pay the fine. In an article from the Wall Street Journal shows, these third party organizations who monitor the cameras make roughly 5,000 dollars per camera per month. Is it really necessary to put the law in the hands of a third party? They also have systems set up over the highway that ticket people that are traveling 11 miles over the speed limit.

Many cities use the excuse that the cameras are put in place to raise safety in that particular area. However, is it really decreasing the single digit percentage of crashes from speeding and running red lights, or raising extra revenue for a city that has a budget deficit. Some cities have also bought a new technology that uses infrared lasers to read the license plate number of cars that pass the cop car, then searches through the database that lists people who haven’t paid their parking ticket so that the cop can impound the car.

Many people are outraged that local authorities are dropping to such a low level to increase their revenue. Police are put in place to protect and serve, not to enslave and tax. That is the reason that our founding fathers left Europe, to free themselves from harsh tax and unjust rule, so are we in the same boat again???

Bank CEOs meet with Obama

Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a situation concerning all of us far and wide throughout the land. A financial Crisis. Wait, we already knew that! However, the stars are aligning and the sea is parting for the path to the promise land. Besides our lovely President, Mr. Obama, speaking his usual line of change, emphasis on speaking....we are actually seeing some type of physical progress. Can’t exactly say which side organized the meeting, but I am leaning towards the banking side. Today, bank CEOs met today with Mr. Obama about the new regulations and concerns in the banking industry. Their biggest concern was to show them that they are there to cooperate.

As we all know, the banking industry is in a very low point. Credit is basically frozen for those whose credit score is below about 720 (considered excellent credit + 720). This is causing a problem for consumers especially with these record low interest rates on loans. Interest rates have been lowered to help boost spending and consumption, however, without people being able to get approved for these rates credit is near frozen. Also, with the amount of toxic assets being held on by the banks, unpaid debt lowers the amount that banks can afford to lend.

To help rectify the situation that exists currently, the White House is looking into more regulations on the banking industry. Quote from Mr. Obama, told by Mr. Gibbs, white house spokesman says "He had no agenda beyond working to get a solution, the right solution for our financial system, and to get it stabilized and working again for the American people," As we are lead further and further down the rabbit hole to socialism, bank CEOs met with Obama to discuss the further changes to come.

During the meeting, bank CEOs showed nothing but their main goal to cooperate with the government as we move towards a controlled and regulated economy. Whether this is to suck up and maybe hit up Obama with a cut of their yearly bonus, who knows. Basically, the main things that they are agreeing to cooperate with is the the additional rules and regulations soon to come, as well as toxic asset cleaning. Plans were revealed by the Treasury not too long ago about removing bad or toxic assets from banks balance sheets, thus reducing their debt. However, banks only plead that the rules and regulations are clearly revealed to them as well as in a fashionable quick time.

This really effects us as college students because we get to watch the voyage as we go from a capitalist country to a socialist economy. Free Market economies, which we are based off of, are meant to run with minimal government involvement. The problem doesn’t lie with the banks and the people, the problem occurred from the governments mistake of not taking care of fiscal policy and monetary policy during the economic boom around Y2K, after this boom peaked the ballon popped and We landed in the position that we are in today. Not because of loose regulations on the market.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Who throws a shoe??? Seriously

A shoe, a fitted device which we wear so gracefully upon our natural given walking devices, our feet. Many have thought of alternative ways to use this great invention that shelters our feet, however none have succeeded in a main stream alternative use for these tools we call shoes. Many attempts have been made, such as platform shoes that are also used to hold fish (70s era) and shoes that hold knives and with the tap of the heel, you reveal your secret weapon. However, one man has thought of a most interesting way to express his feelings with his shoe.

Who may this man be you wonder, well its the infamous, and ever great dumb shit, the shoe thrower. As an almighty higher force flowed power through his arm in an effort to swiftly carry out the command of disrespect, Muntadhar al-Zeidi threw his shoe at former President Bush. Well after an utter disgust feeling, I thought to my self, what the hell. Seriously who throws a shoe?

Well, apparently in the arabic culture, it is one of the highest insults for someone to see the bottom of your shoe, or even worse, get one thrown at you. Well, understanding that, may I wish my shoe thrower that the fleas of a thousand camels infest the area of his genitalia. Hows that for disrespect aye.

Its bad enough that the funny man threw the shoe, but what a coward. He throws it at a President who brought Iraq from a dictatorship, to a place that is trying to ring democracy through every town. Why not throw it at the person who was poisoning his own citizens in North Iraq, or the one who terrorized many to get what he wanted, Saddam Hussein. No, this funny man thinks that a radical leader, who took power by force and caused the suffering of many citizens to be better than leaders chosen by a common vote for the good they are to bring to the country.

This is why democracy fails, one bad egg spoils it all. The stench of those who destroy freedom lingers thought, destroying all efforts to bring good to a once terrorized state, highly controlled by the government. Having family in the military in Iraq, I have heard from them the actual progress that has been made, not media lies with hidden agendas. All you hear about from the media is bad, what went wrong here and there, as they strive towards achieving their hidden agendas, they never show the truth in progress. People are happy, that we have brought democracy, people spit on Saddam’s Statue when it was tore down, however there are still those who are loyal to the radical groups. These are the ones who bring down the efforts of freedom, and the ones you hear about on the news.

At least there has been a publicized progress for the Iraqi shoe thrower, he was convicted to three years in jail and he protested not guilty, but was convicted. Many Iraqi reporters near him attacked him to the floor along with security to show their disagreement with his actions on the day that this incident occurred. So just remember, you may show your disrespect by throwing a shoe, but may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your ass self of a person.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

American Express Pays Customers to Close Accounts

Buying on credit, that is the way of our generation as well as those of using this tool in the last 10 years. Everybody knows the drill, all you have to do is swipe, swipe, and oh pay your bill at the end of the month. However, within the past five years, people have become so dependent on their credit cards and its purchasing power. We set ourselves up for disaster, people’s income decreasing, loss of stocks and 401K values have caused our personal money supply to regress.

Many people have used this as a cane, to help them with the struggle, but at the end of the month are unable to pay the bill. This has been a large reason for the banking industry’s decline, consumers defaulting on credit. Many companies are now offering incentives for high risk customers to pay their remaining balance and close the accounts, in an effort to protect creditors from loss.

One of these companies in particular is American Express, the “never leave home without it” card. Starting about a decade ago, AmEx started an effort to expand their customer base (cardholders). Going from 65 million credit card holders in 2004 to 92 million credit card holders in 2009, they have definitely succeeded in their efforts to expand. However, all of this expansion has increased their risk level. Their risk includes those who purchase, but don’t pay (default) on their loan.

The way the credit card companies operate, is they pay for the purchase initially, and then the end of the month comes, and you pay for the product(s) in the back-end. Some charge an interest even if you pay it by the end of the month, however most companies do not charge interest if the full balance is paid by the due date. The only time one would incur interest is if a balance is remaining on the card, this is where the company makes its money, by charging interest.

Now that is where the risk comes into play for the creditors. When they pay for immediate purchase, then the customer defaults on the back-end payment. Therefore the company is out the money that they fronted for the purchase of the good(s). This has caused a lot of lost money for the banking industry. Resolution, is easy, offer incentives to customers to close accounts during this rough time. This will decrease the level of possible consumers that go into default on their payments.

What AmEx has proposed for customers is very simple, pay your balance off, close the account and we will give you three hundred dollars. With many accounts at AmEx going into default, they must use something to decrease the amount of balances unpaid. May seem all good and dandy, but consumers must make this decision wisely when deciding to close out their account. If it is a card that they have held responsibly for a lengthy period of time, it is a large contributor to their credit score, removing this asset may possibly lower their score. The other thing to be aware of, it that some companies may impose a time limit on which this offer stands valid. Therefore it is imperative that consumers must read the fine print to determine all of the rules and regulations of the offers stated.

This may not be the deal for you, however, many consumers are looking for a way to get rid of excess debt, so why not pay off your AmEx bill and get paid 300 dollars to do it in the process. Just remember, that it may be a limited time offer, it may effect your credit score, as well as may take a chunk out of your pocket.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Jay Walker

Who has even heard of getting a jay walking ticket these days? Doesn’t it sound like a bit of overkill? Kind of sounds like super trooper on a power trip. Well that was the case for a gentleman who was even saving the lives of fellow citizens. Yes, a good Samaritan saving the lives of those in the community that he didn’t even know.
Police issued a ticket to someone who was injured in the act of saving people’s lives. Jim Moffet and another man helped to push three people out of the way from being hit by a truck driver on a snowy evening in Denver. After pushing the people out of harm’s way, he was injured by the truck causing injury to himself. The man suffered bleeding in the brain as well as broken bones and a few dislocated joints. Not a bad price to pay to save the lives of very grateful citizens, however, more empathy from the police officers should have occurred. However, after all of the damage, he is in serious, but stable conditions and has a promising outlook.
After everything was said and done, Moffet ended up with a jay walking ticket for his great deed. Not exactly the reaction he was probably looking for, and in my opinion, a very ridiculous outcome. Here this man saves some peoples live, he helped clean blood off of the pavement and lives spent. The cops don’t see that though, they just see a way to increase their revenue and match their quotas. No Good Samaritan award was giving to Jim, nope not at all. The only thing that he received was a good old ticket for jay walking. Sounds pretty petty to me. The cops would have had to put more effort into picking up the bodies of the ladies that were hit and cleaning up the bodily fluid covered streets, as well as arrest the men driving the vehicle and figure out what happens. However, Jim saved them from all that and yet he still got a ticket.
Seems kind of trivial that after this man sacrificed his body for the safety of fellow citizens, that the cops would have the nerve to give him a ticket for jay walking. Is that a little outdated of a law anyways, how many cops do you see that ticket for that. Are we in a day and age that quotas held by police stations are that important, that increasing their revenue for the department is so bad that we ticket a man who saves lives for jay walking. Wow, you won’t see me moving there anytime soon. Sir, can you please put your hands behind your back, your under arrest for jay walking, also destruction to government property because you stepped on some grass at the park. What a thing to look forward to.
So next time you’re considering saving a few people’s lives from danger and moving vehicles, remember to cross only at the indicated crosswalks and avoid all steroidal napoleon syndrome cops on patrol cause you may be in violation of jay walking.

Talk about some steamy coffee

Have any of you ever made coffee naked before. Maybe your just too tired to cloth yourself after a nice night of sleeping in your birthday suit. However, did you know that you could get a job doing just that? A man in Main recently opened up a topless café and is having very good luck with this according to a cnn news article.

At the sound of this you may be a little grossed out, but really its not. The owner Donald Crabtree hired a total of fifteen people to be baristas at his café. Out of this fifteen, ten were women and five were men. He stated that he did not only choose perfect ten people, and that his wait staff varied from skinny to bigger boned people. Before hiring his wait staff, Donald saw a large quantity of application, about 150. I didn’t think that the demand for nudist baristas was that big, but in the day of “CHANGE” as Obama puts it, I guess we can be naked and serve coffee.

Donald said that the amount of customers has been successfully overwhelming and it is nice to see the support of the community on something like this. He is already even seeing regular customers who come in frequently for a cup of brew from the nude. Many of the customers are happy with the new establishment, and their most common customers are couples and women. That knocks out the stereotypes for perverted men to get coffee, Ha. Some of the customers are also very generous with their tips, one barista noted receiving a hundred dollar tip, but on average most make 30 bucks a table.

If they can do it in Maine, why not establish one here in the booming town of West Lafayette, Indiana bringing a little excitement into town. Maybe it would increase our demand for some “hot” brew. It wouldn’t even be that hard, we have the customer base many college kids need their caffeine to stay up and study fluid dynamics and hand eye coordination as well as study. Also, many professors like to have a good old cup of brew before that power hour lecture. So why not get it with some flair?

Not only could this provide enjoyment to those coffee seekers, but it could also provide employment opportunities to college students without a job and for those that like to show a little skin. Even the older crowd may like to see some young buff dude serving grandma her latte. This would not only provide positive economic perks, but even emotional ones. Maybe you’re just having a bad day, a recent break up with that sweet heat and you miss the buss. Whatever should you do? Well just grab a cup of coffee from a half naked person and increase your serotonin levels!

So just remember, next time your thinking about coffee or just mulling over a boring day, that if we established a topless coffee shop your day could be more enjoyable. If all else fails though, you can always move to Maine and enjoy a latte served by a topless barista.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Warm weather jetting in!

The weather is warming, or maybe soon to approach. Ah yes, the sweet smell of spring and summer, lingers in the nostrils and tickles the most pleasant of reactions. Does warm weather give you the same reaction? I personally enjoy the warming weather, the feel of warm sun-rays beating down from the aqua blue sky raises the amount of dopamine in body, much like a shot of nitrous in a riced out Honda Civic.

Well, as we all know, spring break is coming up soon. Many have plans for warmer weather, however some have not. Whatever your plan is, fear not. Even warm weather pleasure can be created in the coldest of environments. If your saying no to Florida this year, try a day out with friends to the local tanning beds. If that didn’t even quench your thirst for a warm weather feeling, try day out with the girls, or guys, to the local spa. There you can receive full body massages or maybe even a mud bath to help heal up that deadly winter dryness.

If your saying yes to Florida, then let the rays soak up on you like a sponge filling itself up with bodily enrichment. Maybe a day on the beach with a fruity drink can help relieve your mid semester stressors. Feeling great about yourself and enjoying your time may help to boost your confidence as you sail through the rest of the academic semester while gaining life changing knowledge here at Purdue.

Maybe your thinking post break, what ever will you ever do? Well good old mother has a pretty good schedule. After Spring break the weather is most likely going to warm up hotter than the tires during grand prix week. What this means for a stressed college student is positivity! Thats right, studying outdoors and being with friends in the beloved warmer temperature season can increase your positivity and decrease seasonal depression.

Not only can studying outdoors and enjoying the sunshine raise your enjoyment on campus, there hope for those who have gained the unwanted beer belly. During the warming months, it is an excellent opportunity for all of us to utilize our natural given legs to transport ourselves from location to location. This can result in an increase usage of calories, and toning our sexy legs to reduce our winter blubber.

Therefore, I encourage you, whatever your plans for spring break are to reach out an increase your level of happiness. This can be done in a wide variety of activities pending your location over this period of zero classes. Then upon the return from your absence of academic studies, explore the beautiful campus of Purdue. Whether that is by studying outdoors or just merely using your legs for the pleasure of exercise, have fun! So take that trip to the spa or tanner, and enjoy your beautiful body and relax your mind as we take the first step in our journey to better weather. Or perhaps, jump start it by a trip over spring break.

Addicted to Phone Sex or Identity Theft?

in this day and age, credit cards are over abundant, many college students at least have one or more in their wallet. However, with identity theft rising higher than Michael Phelps after hitting the bong, our security is at risk. Some of these bills even make it back to our beloved parents who are still in the process of supporting us, at least financially. Wouldn’t it be even better if your parents got the bill for 1,000 dollars for hot dirty phone sex hotlines. Well that was the case for Arlene Hald, an 86 year old woman who received a bill in the mail addressed to her dead husband of 20 years.

Yes, thats correct, it must of been a dirty old man, or the victim of identity theft. In an article found off of CNN, it is reported that this poor widow woman received a bill in the mail for 1,000 dollars for a sex hotline in the name of her DEAD husband of 20 years. However, as funny as it would be, he was not a dirty old man addicted to phone sex, his dead name was merely used for identity theft.

Pretty crazy that even in todays high tech world, people can steal your identity even if you are dead! I was a little astonished at reading this article, and that is why I must stress the importance of keeping your identity concealed. The craziest thing about this was that they never even had a credit card, yet his identity was still stolen. Most cases of identity theft occur with credit card holders, however, this wasn’t even the case. This just raises the red flag higher, maybe even with some flashing dee-dee-dee lights on it when it comes to being more protective with our identity.

Therefore, I must stress how important it is to keep your identity concealed. This can be done in many ways, even by simply shredding confidential documents. Most people just throw things away figuring that oh it will just end up in a landfill. However, your security is not guaranteed. All it takes is a crazy old bum to find some papers with your social security number and some bank account numbers and he is happy. He would be applying for a credit card online faster than he would beat a seagull for a piece of bread. Oh thats when the trouble begins, when the important documents come into possession of the wrong hands.

One may ask well how can this be solved. Simply said, it can be taken care of with a few simple steps. Shredding important documents and making sure that confidential papers are either destroyed or properly filed in an inaccessible place can help to alleviate the problem. Merely throwing items with confidential information in the waste basket is not the answer. Take the pro active step to conceal your identity and shred or properly dispose of papers. Down the road it will help greatly, that way people don’t see you as a crazy old person addicted to phone sex, even though it was a crazy person stealing your identity.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Phelps swimin with the mad Po Po Shark

After hearing about the alarming activity on the Michael Phelps marijuana case, I thought it would be something hot to discuss here at The Crucible. Have we seriously lost it? Is it the day an age that sprouts overkill cops that take the badge to the head? I though Terminator was a movie, but I think that the Police have adopted Arnold as their role model. Not to be a basher of law enforcement, as my father is a fireman and we have many police friends :-). However, there comes a time where fat heads need to be deflated.

As the media portrays it, Michael Phelps is the devil now. A smoker of marijuana decreases his ability to be a good person, thus they rub his nose in the dirt. Now lets take a look at this, as an ex University of Michigan student, Michael Phelps as well as many others were located in an area where smoking marijuana or possessing an amount suitable for personal use is only a 5 dollar fine. Also, some see marijuana as a less harmful drug than alcohol. Marijuana is used pretty freely among the campus.

Now not to advocate the usage of illegal substances, but come on. As Ashton Kutcher said when standing up for Michael Phelps said, “Ask you 20 year old son or daughter what they were doing last weekend.” Should we crack down as hard as the police did on Phelps for every user of marijuana. Our jail cells would be packed fatter than the joints that they smoked.

Upon gathering information and data relevant to building a case against Michael Phelps, Sheriff deputies from Richland County, SC burst into the 3 homes including the one Mr. Phelps was photographed smoking marijuana. Not only did they burst in unannounced, but with guns drawn like a shootout during high noon with the O K coral. Led by Billy the Kid Leon Lott, sheriff of Richland County, seized everything from computers to cameras in the homes. Maybe a drawer full of man thongs, along with a few rectal exams just in case too!

All in an effort to build a case against the swimmer Michael Phelps, Leon Lott expresses no remorse. However many see this as the most ridiculous use of resources. Shouldn't the police be out solving some real crime. As comedian Kat Williams has said, “weed is not a drug its simply a plant that some people just happen to light on fire. A drug is chemicals and shit.” I am sure that we can find a few more crimes in South Caroline that their finest can be allocating their resources to in order to achieve a more beneficial uphold of the law.

You may not watch the olympics, or even care who Michael Phelps is, but the truth is, watch out. The fatheaded finest (unlike the real police who do their job and keep us safe! The ones I am thankful for.) are on the lookout. Even the smallest sent of good ole mary j will throw them into a frenzy worse than drama filled high school girls “smackin bitches”.

Ahh the Good Ole Smell of Fiscal Irresponsibility

Welcome back readers after a weeks break. Somethings came up last week not allowing me to write more on The Crucible, so I apologize.

Back to business however, and boy is the good ole DC cooking up something for us. Now its kinda like crazy grandma’s cooking, never know how its gonna be until we get a taste of it.

With a recent passing in the House of Representatives, Democrats passed the recovery package without a single republican house vote. Imagine the House during this vote, Republicans and Democrats split like the red sea as Mr. Obama slams the staff of economic recovery into the house. So much for his idea of bringing the two sides together and uniting the bi-partisanship into one. Some democrats even sided with the republicans on this one.

So what is this whole thing about anyway? Well, the stimulus plan that is trying to be put into effect by the great orator Mr. Obama, totals up to a record breaking amount of 787 billion dollar stimulus package. Like lightening sent down from Zeus in the heavens, this stimulus plan is aimed to zap the US economy on the right track. Thus, easing the grip on consumer’s wallets to stimulate spending and investing.

However, phat cash in our pockets isn’t the only target in the sights of this bill. Mr. Obama is reaching out to all big and small. It is a combination of government spending as well as tax cuts for both personal and business conditions. According to the Wall Street Journal, this stimulus effort is estimated to preserve 3.5 million jobs as well as give incentives for automotive purchases as well as first time home purchases. It would also give retirees a one time 250 dollar payout.

However, is all of this spending fiscally responsible? Many republicans stand behind their no vote due to the fact that they deem this irresponsible. Desperate times do call for desperate measures, however, does this action seem to be the correct choice in your opinion. Should we be shoveling enormous amounts of money into the economy faster than engineers shoveling coal into the boilers of the Titanic? Especially money that we do not have.

As our country is in a massive amount of debt, does the higher authority of this great country seem to be making the correct decision? Maybe their vision is blinded, seeing as its not their generation that will be effected by this creation of record breaking debt. Since the debt is held externally by foreigners through loans and such, it will have to be paid back with interest. Does having no plan to pay this back sound woeful to you?

You may say it doesn’t relate to you, however, my friend you are going to be paying it back. Along with your kids, our generation will be responsible for the repayment of fiscal irresponsibility. Is it our duty to be placed with a burden so heavy its paralleled to the punishment of the Greek god Atlas holding the sky on his shoulders.

Friday, January 30, 2009


I couldn’t really think where to start today, so I figured it would be a good idea to start with a little background information on one of the main events that occurred that lead up to our financial situation that we are in now. This event would be the fall of the housing market. This basically caused the decline in home values across America and caused families to be unable to pay their mortgages. This along with the loss of jobs caused the decline in the economy. That is the hand that we have been dealt, and I am here to explain this to you.

First it all, to set the scene. Its just about the turn of the century as we enter Y2K. Economy was doing pretty well, Clinton obtained a surplus in US funds rather than the traditional budget deficit. In addition to that, millionaires were being made on the stock market with online businesses. Things were going good. People started to upgrade houses, buying bigger and more of them. The adjustable rate mortgage allowed many people attain homes that would normally be considered out of their budget, but because of the low rates they were very appealing to consumers. A simple background idea for the adjustable rate mortgages were that they were really low, however they had a rate lock that was only temporary meaning they could change. Hence, adjustable rate mortgages could change.

During this time, roughly around 2001, we should have been using contractionary fiscal policy, increasing taxes, and lowering the money supply. By not doing this we set ourselves up for decline. This wasn’t really accomplished due to the fact that increasing taxes is not a very easy thing to do politically thus, it never occurred. With the economy booming, people started to buy houses not only for themselves but for investments. Housing values were on the rise, and people saw this as a vehicle to attain wealth. Which in most cases it was, however for the people that could not afford it but did it anyway, devastation occurred.

One of the major responsibilities of banks failed during this time as well. Banks were lending out extra loans so that people could purchase these houses that shouldn’t of. Items that are reviewed during a normal application were sometimes overlooked. Things such as credit score, income, debt-to-income ratio etc. were all overlooked. So people started to buy up all these houses, however when it came time for their adjustable rate mortgage to adjust, their rate wasn’t so low. Adjustable rates shot up, making them more costly to pay for each month. This caused many who could not afford these to default, or go into foreclosure. When that happens, the bank gets the house back, because the person could not afford the payments. As we know, banks deal with money, not houses, they don’t want them. With foreclosures increasing over the years, 2004/5-2007 home values dropped, causing people to become “backwards” in their loan, simply meaning that they owe more than its worth. With the economy in a downward spiral, more and more people could pay their loans. This caused the creditors to tighten up credit, making it hard for people to get loans. This is NOT good especially in a free market, because our economy functions on credit, we need it to buy and increase spending to raise GDP.

That is the housing market situation quickie. This will help you to get a preview of one of the biggest causes for the decline in our economy. Hopefully this helps to aid in your understanding of building the foundation of your knowledge of the economy as of now.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Welcome to The Crucible
Hello and welcome to The Crucible, your melting pot for what’s hot. As a college student, we must be fully aware of the world around us. Every day, new events occur, and new changes happen. Without accepting this change and these events in our life, it would make us inadaptable to the growing world that surrounds us. Thus, success would not be in reach for us to grasp so firmly and climb upon it. Therefore, I would like to make readers aware of current situations going on around them, and simply relate these occurrences so that we can become better in tune with our surroundings.
Currently our generation is spawning at the midst of a financial crisis. Banks foreclosing, credit tighter than a college kids wallet, and the stock market seeing its lowest decrease since the great depression are all things that play a role in our future success rate after college. Michigan, currently holding the highest unemployment rate in the country at 10.69% is proof that we are in a vulnerable era to decreased success. However, knowledge is key in these situations. Having this key, could enable us to overcome, step up from this ditch of disaster, and separate the sea of financial burden with our staff of knowledge. This knowledge can be obtained through observation and relation. We shall come together as one, by reading The Crucible, and becoming aware of the surrounding situation and relating it to our lives to form the knowledge that we must obtain to venture on down the path of greatness.
I would also like to venture into the political region of our country with news stories that have a top priority in a college student’s life mainly due to their relationship with our success in life. We have a newly elected president, who preaches change and a new era. However, talk is cheap. That is why I will be bringing to you the stories and new from Mr. Obama to show the proof of change or no change. We are at a time in history were not even the best orator can bring us from the depths of financial burden. We must paddle with action taken, not by the words of our mouths. Therefore, news of upcoming change and events will be brought from Washington, and related to you. Thus, it is our generation that needs to gain superior knowledge and step up to strive for the success and longevity of our country.
Thank you for beginning the transition to success, and for gaining the knowledge that will provide wind beneath our wings to fly in the clouds of the great and bring our society back into the realm of forward movement. Hope can be a powerful scope on the rifle to shoot down devastation and triumph over failure. We must learn from mistakes and gain the tools necessary to move forward. College is a way to become specialized in a career field and become a smarter person, however we must not over look the need to aware of our surroundings and situations so that we can maximize our skill of the hunt for success, much like a lion in their territory on the verge of taking down a gazelle.