Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why Occupy Wall Street cannot be taken seriously

The Occupy Wall Street movement seems to be losing the social momentum it has grasped onto for so long.  With the New York protesters evicted from Zuccotti Park, and L.A. and Philadelphia vacated as well, the media appears to be moving on.  And so should the protesters.

There are a few things that bother me with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

First, the bankers are not the only ones to be held accountable for the current financial state of America.  In 1999 the 106th controlled, Congress pased and then President Clinton signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.  Even though  the Congress was controlled by Republicans, the billed passed with bi-partisan support.

New York Times Co. v. United States (1971) – The Right Decision

In the turmoil of the Vietnam War, the country was divided.  The early 1970s was a torn time for the America public.  The war was going unfavorably at the time and the nation was in the midst of great social and racial change.
In 1971 The New York Times published “The Pentagon Papers,” which wrote R. W. Apple Jr. in the June 23, 1996 edition of the paper, “Demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance.”
“The Pentagon Papers” detailed the Johnson’s administration manipulation of not only the public, but Congress as well, regarding the Vietnam War.  After The New York Times published their story, the United States district court in New York, acting at the Government's request, issued a temporary injunction directing The New York Times not to publish the documents.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

To Own or Not to Own That is the Question

This can be read here, on the Eastern Echo's website, or picked up in Thursday's print issue.

To some, owning a car is considered a rite of passage, ranked with graduating high school, moving out and partaking in your first hangover. Being a car owner, though, can come with more headaches than just an upset stomach and a questionable sensitivity to light.

First-time car purchasers have a lot to consider when looking for a car. Next to a house or, for some, an education, buying a car is the next largest investment many will make, and making a bad investment could cost thousands.

One has to consider if buying a vehicle is the best option. Yes, it is nice having the ability to drive to the farthest reaches of the country on a whim, but if there is public transportation available and businesses are within close enough proximity, taking the bus, walking or biking may be a better choice.

If a set of wheels is a necessary requirement for life, then there are things that should be taken into consideration before purchasing a vehicle.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

  • 650 horsepower
  • 600 lb-ft torque
  • 200+ mph top speed
  • 5.8-liver V-8 engine
  • 100% Mustang
Read the release here, at Car and Driver.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Journalists Loose a Great One

Jim Romenesko’s departure from Poynter came as a surprise to me.  His ability to collect and present journalistic news from the deepest confines of the Internet was astounding.  His departure was astounding, as well.
Romenesko was a news aggregator, adding snippets of his thoughts and the piece to his Poynter blog\ and then linking back to the original story. 
Poynter Online director Julie Moos believed some of the blog posts were not properly attributed and were made to appear to be his own words.  Moos wanted to assign Romenesko an editor before the launch of his own website and becoming a part-time Poynter contributor
Romenesko would have nothing of it and resigned.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Keeping Vehicle Costs Down

This can be read here, on the Eastern Echo's website, or picked up in tomorrow's print edition.

We have all had a $30 oil change balloon into a $3,000 smorgasbord of tie-rod ends, valves, springs and other oddly named parts that many have no clue what their function is.

There are many things you can do to ensure you are not charged for insanely high fixes like transmission repairs or engine rebuilds.

An honest mechanic is not as rare of a find as people speculate. There are mechanical wizards out there who can do an honest job for an honest price.

The first thing to do is find a respectable mechanic either through friends, word-of-mouth, the Internet, your own trial and errors and shop around.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Time Less

It is objective while being subjected to the subjective-ness of human's painstaking manipulation of it; a constraint on life, smothering it with its second hand, diving deep into the human psyche of timeliness and time-less-ness.  Falling away, drip, drip, dripping into the bowels of a forgotten eternity piled with wasted years.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Don't Be A Donner Party; How to Winterize Your Car

This can be read here on the Easter Echo.

Winter weather can quickly turn nasty in Michigan with snow, ice and freak events like freezing fog hindering any commute to class.

Even with such wicked weather, a Donner Party-esque occurrence is unlikely, but ending up in a ditch on the side of the road with snow quickly accumulating is still a possibility.

With winter coldly breathing down Michigan’s seasonal neck, there are simple things you can do to ensure you make it to class safely, on time and not a modern example of the Donner Party.

In case of accident, there are things you can pack in your trunk to make the unpleasant experience, well, less unpleasant.

“Blankets are good,” said Brandon Guscinski, an Eastern Michigan University sophomore.

Things like blankets, non-perishable foods and bottled water are a good start. If help is hours away, these things can save your life. When temperature drop below freezing, the conditions inside the car can become life-threatening quickly, and a few blankets and snacks could help you stay that much warmer until you are rescued.

A little-known winter savior is non-clumping kitty litter. If you are not feline-friendly, a bag of sand does the same thing.

Putting a bag in your trunk will help if your drive tires get stuck in the snow. Tossing the kitty litter or sand under the stuck drive tires will help them gain traction and pull the car out.

If the non-drive tires are stuck, a collapsible shovel can be used to dig out the snow from around the tire and help it gain traction.

With ice storms, keeping an ice scraper or an extra set of wiper blades can be beneficial. Winter slush can clog wiper blades and make them useless, smearing instead of wiping away any mess.

Speaking of winter messes, keeping an extra bottle of wiper fluid next to your blankets and food can come in handy for particularly slushy conditions. Relying on the fluid can clear away most of the smearing, but once the fluid has run out, visibility decreases quickly.

And if the road conditions are hazardous, reaching out to clear a spot on the windshield when both hands should be on the wheel can be deadly.

One way to avoid a winter catastrophe is to purchase a four-wheel-drive vehicle, though for many this is out of the financial question.

“No, I have a four-wheel-drive truck,” said Zach Green, a University of Michigan student, when asked if he took any precautions with his vehicle for the winter weather.

Four-wheel-drive is beneficial, but if it is not in working order come the winter months it will be useless in an emergency or when experiencing icing conditions, as ice has no preferences between two- or four-wheel-drive.

Keeping a set of flares can help you flag down passing drivers for help, or warn them of where you are and your situation. Plus, flares always look fun to use, even in non-emergencies.

Other small wintertime essentials amount to things like a flashlight, paper towels for when ol’ man winter decides to takes a snow-dump on your once perfectly clean windshield, gloves and boots, a small tool kit and knowledge on how to work said tool kit – all for when you have to MacGyver your way to safety.

These items probably will sit in your trunk, forgotten, over the winter, but it is best to have the supplies handy if needed instead.