Really Governor?

Take a look at this story from today’s Boston Globe front page:

From The Boston Globe:

Patrick vows to work to change immigration laws – The Boston Globe: [Governor Patrick] said he wants to implement all 131 recommendations contained in an administration report last year, which includes controversial measures such as in-state tuition at public colleges and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants

That’s right, people of Massachusetts, your governor, the one that YOU elected (I didn’t vote for him) wants to give people that are here by virtue of breaking our laws the same benefits that you work and pay taxes for… which is bad enough… but he wants to do it when the state is facing a $2.5 BILLION shortfall.

Massachusetts had tried several years ago to pass a law granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrant students, saying it would bring in $2.5 million in revenue a year if 600 students enrolled. But the measure failed in the House.

Excuse me? But aren’t all the state universities and colleges already fully enrolled, and in fact over-enrolled? If these 600 people were to gain admission, 600 people from legal residents (including citizens, and legal immigrants) would not be allowed to attend.

The implications of this go well beyond driving and education (when you get a driver’s license, you can register to vote and use it for identification when voting, as an example).

Just as a reminder, the last governor to do the right thing on this issue was Romney, who worked out a deal with the federal government to allow state police arrest illegal immigrants and turn them over to federal authorities… an order rescinded immediately by Governor Patrick.

Think about it people, especially the next time you vote for governor. It really does matter.

 

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Time for a new Pope?

From The London Evening Standard:

Pope ‘led cover-up of child abuse by priests’: The Pope played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests, according to a shocking documentary to be screened by the BBC tonight.

In 2001, while he was a cardinal, he issued a secret Vatican edict to Catholic bishops all over the world, instructing them to put the Church’s interests ahead of child safety.

The document recommended that rather than reporting sexual abuse to the relevant legal authorities, bishops should encourage the victim, witnesses and perpetrator not to talk about it. And, to keep victims quiet, it threatened that if they repeat the allegations they would be excommunicated.

If this actually happened (and given the recent issues that have surfaced, I think it likely), there’s no choice for this Pope but to resign.

They let Cardinal Law get away with it nearly a decade ago, and that was troubling enough. But now the Pope?!? It’s time for a complete overhaul of the church hierarchy. This cannot go on, and cannot be ignored.

More Troubles for the Church

From Cnn:

Well, it seems as thought the church hierarchy is at it again:

Pope meets irish bishops over abuse report: Alleged victims of child abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland called on the Vatican Monday to hold its own investigation into the scandal and punish those responsible.

Hmmm… where have I heard this before?

“They need to clean the stables up. They need to inquire into all the bishops, and if that means the majority of them would have to resign, then so be it,” Kelly said.

Let it start with the firing, extradition, prosecution, and if convicted, excommunication of Cardinal Law, currently hiding out in a cushy job in Vatican City.

Pope Benedict… surprise me, please? Do the right thing.

A Review of Taubes’ “Good Calories, Bad Calories”

From Entropy Production:

Entropy Production: All Medical Science is Wrong within a 95% Confidence Interval
or: A Review of Taubes’ “Good Calories, Bad Calories”
: Recently I read a very impressive book by Gary Taubes, previously a reporter for the journal Science. The work in question is, “Good Calories, Bad Calories.”‘ In the book, Taubes collects research to challenge the common knowledge of nutrition: that fat is bad for you, that we should eat polyunsaturated vegetable oils, that we should exercise for sixty minutes a day, etc.

One cannot help but wonder how a number of the weak hypotheses that Taubes explores came to become common knowledge in the field of nutrition? Taubes paints a picture of a few egotistical researchers who were able to effect what was essentially scientific fraud, by fitting their bias to the data rather than examining it critically. In Taubes words (p. 451), “it is difficult to use the term “scientist” to describe those individuals who work in these disciples [ed: nutrition, chronic disease, and obesity], and, indeed, I have activity avoided doing so in this book.”

This article is a fantastic summary and commentary on Gary Taubes enlightening book. I highly recommend purchasing and reading the book. It changed my life for the better (starting with article that Taubes wrote for the New York Times Magazine). Since reading the article / book and following (for the most part) it’s tennets, the following has happened to me personally:

  • I’ve lost 50 pounds
  • My blood cholesterol has dropped from 220 to 160
  • My trigycerides have dropped
  • My blood pressure has dropped

If you are overweight or borderline diabetic, you NEED to read this book.

Drinking age of 21 doesn’t work

From CNN.com:

Commentary: Drinking age of 21 doesn’t work – CNN.com: One year ago, a group of college and university presidents and chancellors, eventually totaling 135, issued a statement that garnered national attention.

The “Amethyst Initiative” put a debate proposition before the public — “Resolved: That the 21-year-old drinking age is not working.”

…Most of the rest of the world has come out in a different place on the drinking age. The United States is one of only four countries — the others are Indonesia, Mongolia and Palau — with an age as high as 21. All others either have no minimum age or have a lower age, generally 18, with some at 16.

Young adults know that. And, in their heart of hearts, they also know that a law perceived as unjust, a law routinely violated, can over time breed disrespect for law in general.

Exactly correct. In a country that was founded on the ideals of freedom and responsibility, that it can be acceptable for someone to be old enough to die for one’s country, but not old enough to raise a tankard of ale in tribute to that same country is insane. That it’s legal to drive at 16 (which causes WAY more deaths every year than drinking), and consent to sex at 16, and vote at 18 (which has a direct impact on the future of the country), and smoke at 18 (which is WAY more unhealthy than drinking)… that you are considered an adult in every way in this country, but you can’t have a beer is just plain stupid.

Bill Would Require ISPs, Wi-Fi Users To Keep Logs

From Slashdot:

Bill Would Require ISPs, Wi-Fi Users To Keep Logs: suraj.sun notes CNet reporting on bills filed in the US House and Senate that would require all ISPs and operators of Wi-Fi hotspots — including home users — to maintain access logs for 2 years to aid in law enforcement. The bills were filed by Republicans, but the article notes that the idea of forcing data retention has been popular on both sides of the aisle over the years. “Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that… would impose unprecedented data retention requirements on a broad swath of Internet access providers and is certain to draw fire from businesses and privacy advocates. … Each [bill] contains the same language: ‘A provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service shall retain for a period of at least two years all records or other information pertaining to the identity of a user of a temporarily assigned network address the service assigns to that user [i.e., DHCP].'”

That means that I would have to keep logs of my wireless router at home, which I use only for personal internet connectivity (i.e. I don’t provide a service)??? What drugs are they taking, and did they bring enough for everybody?? This is what happens when you have people that don’t have a clue about tech trying to make laws about how the tech should be used and controlled.

Microsoft to Charge for Nothing

In a shocking development…

From Slashdot:

Average User Only Runs 2 Apps, So Microsoft Will Charge for More: Barence writes “Microsoft’s decision to limit Windows 7 Starter Edition to running only three concurrent applications could force up the price of netbooks as many manufacturers opt for the more expensive Home Premium.

This is just plain evil. Unix has done (proper) multitasking since the early 1970’s. Running multiple programs is just part of what an operating system is supposed to do, not part of what you charge extra for. This is a desperation move to try and increase their profits as they try and deal with their first layoffs ever.

Why the RIAA Sucks Redux

The RIAA has been getting slammed a bit in court these days… exactly as it deserves. I somehow lost the link to [this great speech](http://archive.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/06/14/love/) by Courtney Love several years ago on how the RIAA operates with respect to the artists.

If you want to get seriously enraged at how your favorite musicians are treated by the RIAA, give it a read. It’s definitely an eye opener.

US House Kills Digital TV Transition Delay

From Slashdot:

US House Kills Proposed Delay For Digital TV Transition: An anonymous reader writes “The Digital TV transition delay bill has failed to pass the United States House of Representatives. By a vote 258 to 168 in favor of changing the date, the bill has failed as two-thirds of the votes are required for it to pass. The delay bill was once perceived as inevitable, [but the House] has now apparently made February 17th the date of transition once again. Now the question remains, will they attempt to pass it again by the deadline?”

Yesss!! Nicely done! We need to just take the pain and move on. There’s no reason to delay.

“Do Not Call” Violators Fined $1.2M

From Slashdot:

"Do Not Call" Violators Fined $1.2M: coondoggie writes "A federal court today spanked two telemarketers with some $1.2 million in civil penalties for violating the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Rule. According to the FTC, the companies called consumers whose phone numbers were on the Do Not Call Registry without having obtained their express written agreement or having an ‘established business relationship’ with them. One group’s telemarketers also allegedly abandoned many calls, by failing to connect the calls to a sales representative within two seconds after consumers answered, as required by law, the FTC stated. The cases were filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC."

Yeah baby! These guys have been a huge problem for a very long time. Please stop calling! I signed up for the do not call list as soon as it was available, and the number of calls has dropped. But the fact that I still get ANY, when I’ve made it clear by signing up for the list that I’m not interested at all is criminal, and thankfully, the courts agree with me 🙂