It's in England but it won't be long before it shows up in the U.S., if it hasn't already. Students at Redhill School in Stourbridge England will be fingerprinted in an effort to reduce lunch lines and monitor pupils' diets. You can bet the 2nd reason is at least as important as the first.
Pupils will all be fingerprinted, which is wrong to begin with, but then when they go through the lunch line in the cafeteria, they will have to press their finger against a reader. The system will identify the student and charge their account for the lunch. Of course it's a cashless system which is supposed to make things move more quickly and may very well do that but why not go ahead and monitor what the little snowflakes are eating as well? Sure seems like a good idea. But what will they do with it? Of course they will talk to the kids about healthier choices but as they've already done in the past, if a child is not making the choices school officials deem healthy, then the child will be barred from purchasing unhealthy choices. They will be singled out and ridiculed basically.
Of course it's up to the school to decide what foods are healthy and which are not, even though we've seen many instances where not only was the school wrong but kids don't like the choices and either don't eat at all or smuggle in food they do like.
Think it won't happen here? We've done a number of stories in which school lunch monitors have opened and seized brown bag lunches from kids because what mom packed for them didn't meet school guidelines; such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Couldn't guarantee the PB was low fat and the bread was white bread which isn't very healthy.
Puyallup Washington's school district spend almost $39K on devices that would map the student's palm and then use that as the lunch account identifier. School officials said "human error and fraud" necessitated palm scanners rather than fingerprint scanners but couldn't explain in detail what the fraud or errors were. Parents also protested saying it was an invasion of privacy. The program was scrapped due to parent backlash but will be brought back as school board president Chris Ihrig said, "we failed at communication significantly on this one." Not in the way you think Chris; you think you failed to explain the program properly, when what you really did is fail to listen to the privacy concerns. As one parent put it, they have to have my signature before getting my kid's photograph but they don't need my permission to map the veins in her hand? Ridiculous.
Last year a group of NY based engineers said they had developed a 'biometric classroom'. Developers at Sensorstar Labs use cameras to track students' eye movement, conversations and facial expressions in an effort to help teachers improve classroom learning. I guess the idea is to track what interests kids and what doesn't and change teaching styles. So what is the lowest common denominator? Not all kids react the same to subject matter or delivery style. One kid bored, then change the program? And are they going to use it to monitor 'hate' speech; like a kid praying before taking a final exam?
It's difficult enough to find that special someone, it seems that any little thing can turn someone off enough to leave you, especially in today's "me, me, me" society where people are offended by the simplest of things. David Greenman, 34, has ensured that he will be forever alone by winning an eating contest at a fair in southern England over the weekend. To be sure, David is not a professional eater and he isn't particularly out of shape or ugly but no woman will get within 20 feet of him. David even came within one portion of matching the world record in this particular eating contest. He downed 33 raw cloves of garlic in less than one minute. Organizer Mark Boatwright said David had come very close to downing that 34th clove but rules are rules. Come on man, he's got no one and has ensured he'll have no one coming with 20 ft of him for quite some time, give him that last clove.
If this won't get you to stop drinking then nothing will. Off to the Himalayas where a 44 year old man was attacked and killed on Thursday. The man was walking home from a local establishment where he'd been consuming adult beverages. He was staggering and bit slow. The man was attacked by a leopard after the man had stopped at a public outhouse. Local officials say the man is the 12th victim of the leopard in the last 2 years and it is strongly believed all 12 were intoxicated when they were attacked. Wildlife experts believe the leopard is elderly and has learned it is easier to attack drunk humans than chasing its more normal prey. Interestingly the leopard seems to attack more people after they leave public toilets, maybe because it gives him an element of surprise or because he can smell the strong odor of consumed adult beverages being expelled from the body and has learned this means the potential meal is slower and less likely to land a blow with the stick that most locals now carry with them. Now we're cleaning the gene pool.
Chris Putnam moved to Colleyville City in TX a few years ago. He bought a nice house and became involved in his community. He thought he'd found the perfect place to live. Now the current city councilman is leading the way against a blight that he believes could ruin his new home. You see, Putnam purchased a nice home in Colleyville. The back yard was really nice because he didn't have any neighbors back there, just on old railroad track. Now a private company, which owns the tracks, is proposing to put them to use by running a commuter train between Grapevine and Ft. Worth. This has Putnam up in arms because who knew the rails could be used to run a train? To be fair, when he moved in a few weeks ago, the knew there was a local 'old timey' train that ran a few times a week along the tracks but no one told him a commuter train that goes real fast near the community trails would be moving along. A little research dude; this isn't a plan that popped up over night. Of course, Putnam says he's all for mass transit and the benefits but like most liberals, not in my backyard.
I've often told the story of a friend of mine who has the perfect way to die. He wants to be killed on his 100th birthday by getting shot in the back by a jealous husband; catching him in the act with the man's wife. Funny, but this has to be at the same time, a good way to go as well as embarassing. Hopefully there is a lesson in here somewhere.
Zheng Gang, 23, a Chinese medical student was found dead in a room at the Wuhan University medical clinic. It appears he had died of a heart attack. Zheng was not conducting rounds or intering, he was in fact a shall we say participant at the clinic; mabye donor is a better word. Zheng was in a small room at the hospital's fertility clinic making a donation. It was his fourth donation in less than a week.
Zheng had just signed up to become a participant in the program, which is not an unusual way for students to make a little extra cash but apparently he liked the program a lot, a whole lot. I mean really liked it. Think about that, 4 visits in less than a week. Nurses noticed that Zheng was taking longer than normal in the room and finally convinced staff to break into the room; two hours after Zheng had started. Really?! 2 hours. How long does it normally take? I mean, yeah, it might be tough to get things going knowing that everyone on the other side of the door knows what you are doing but come on, 2 hours?
Despite attempts to revive him, Zheng was dead. In fact he'd probably passed shortly after entering the room and picking up a 'sexy magazine'; the smile on his face could not be wiped off. This story would never have come to light had the family not sued the hospital saying it was their fault; something about forcing Zheng to participate in the program, either by offering cash or something like that. The judege, believe it or not said Zheng had the ability to make his own decision and actually went against medical advice by visiting the clinic so often. After all, he's not a teenager any more.
Obama was going to be the world leader that Bill Clinton only dreamed about becoming; Obama was going to take his place beside the leaders of other countries and build consensus, not imposing our will or desires on anyone else but letting the community of nations come to an agreement and then taking our place beside everyone else to build a utopia of peaceful coexistence. Now with ISIS and other terror groups gaining prominence, threatening everyone who is not Muslim, Obama says he'll fight them and build a coalition of nations unlike anything we have ever done before. So how's that working out so far, after what some Obama lovers are calling the best speech ever given...
Turkey's government, specifically named by Obama in his speech Wednesday night, said no. Not, no thank you, but NO. Just hours after Obama's 'plan' was unveiled and Turkey's government was invited to Jeddah by John Kerry to discuss coalition plans, the Turkish government said Turkey will refuse to allow a U.S. led coalition to attack jihadists in Iraq or Syria from air bases in Turkey nor will Turkey participate in combat operations against the militants. Turkey will concentrate solely on humanitarian missions. OK, that's just one of eleven Sunni Muslim nations invited by Kerry to the summit.
John Kerry said he and Obama would put together a coalition of 40 nations. Germany and Britain have also backed away from the plan; rumor has it because they believe Obama's plan of U.S. air strikes covering local forces doing the actual fighting is not feasible and any successful plan requires American forces on the ground.
So far only 10 countries have stepped up, mostly regional countries including Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and others; but most can't provide the troops on the ground that are needed to quickly and soundly defeat a well armed and well trained ISIS force. Also, the U.S. has only committed $25 million to arming and training local forces, an amount other countries see as woefully inadequate. Many military leaders from multiple countries see the support the U.S. has given to the Syrian rebels and know it is far below the support level needed to defeat Bashir Assad's army; given his history of big words and small actions, other countries don't want any part of what they see as a doomed plan.
Just to build on the claims made by Obama in his speech; "it's not Islam". Well, what is it? They call themselves Islamic; they use the Quran to 'justify' their actions; they draw support from Islamists or Muslims. Are they just hiding behind the Muslim Holy book and are just a bunch of psychopaths? And exactly what is it? ISIS or ISIL? There is one thing for sure, ISIS/ISIL is Islamist. Period, no debate.
Whatever it is both phrases start with the same words: Islamic State in Iraq and..." According to sources the group actually calls themselves al dawla al islamiyye f'il iraq w'al sham. So the interpretation is what exactly? According to Quartz, the literal translation is in fact the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. The problematic phrase is of course, al-Sham. It apparently has multiple meanings; one is al-Sham is a subset of Bilad al-Sham which means Levant. The AP among others has reported Levant to be a region stretching from southern Turkey through Syria to Egypt. However in classical Arab literature al-Sham has been used to specifically refer to Syria.
Syrian analyst Hassan Hassan said ISIS is more likely correct as al-Sham refers to Syria and Bilad al-Sham a larger region. He believes apparently that ISIS has laid claim to Iraq and Syria and not the greater region. So ISIS is probably the more correct interpretation of the current name of the terror group founded in 2003 and having had several different names in its life span.
It is interesting to note that the White House staff continues to insist on ISIL. Probably to take away from the President's failed policies and turn debate towards what is the real name of the group and to confuse people. Seriously, think about it, when you hear someone from the administration talk about ISIL, you start thinking about, "isn't it ISIS or are we talking about the same group?" As the Governor said in the classic movie, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, "I like to do a little sidestep..."
One final thought, most of the administration or MSM saying ISIS is not Islam will tell you that Westboro Baptist is Christianity.
It was 14 minutes long and still full of contradictions, lies and all the phony baloney that marks the Obama Presidency. It was for show and I doubt much of it will come to fruition, just like many of Obama's past speeches about taking action and then he goes off and plays golf.
First we are going to recruit a global coalition; right. Nobody is following our lead any more. Where are the coalition troops going into Iraq to train the moderate Muslims? No, they are our troops. Yes Saudi Arabia is providing a base but that's about it. Some coalition.
He called on Congress to authorize the plan to train and equip rebels to fight ISIL (his cover word for ISIS to confuse the people). But he said he has authority to as commander in chief to expand the U.S. military presence in Iraq and to carry out his plan, so once again, asking Congress is all about show; he'll do what he wants.
A core principle of his Presidency is that if you threaten America you will find no safe haven. Hmm. Seems they have been finding haven in Qatar, Yemen, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Nigeria, several countries in the Far East. Should I go on? And didn't it seem a little narcissistic that he had to talk about 'secret air strikes' that have been carried out without the public's knowledge? It's like he was saying, "Hey, I had a strategy but you didn't know about it because it was secret."
He claims there is no evidence that ISIS is plotting an attack on the U.S. Except maybe for the fact that they said they are planning an attack on the U.S. and Western Europe. He even acknowledged that U.S. citizens fighting alongside ISIS could return home to the States and carry out attacks. Then why aren't you telling the State Department to void their passports?! Almost every intelligence agency in the world, including Britain, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Germany and ours, say there is evidence ISIS is trying to plan an attack on the U.S. Many have mentioned it could happen today, the anniversary of 9/11 but that it's not likely ready to be carried out.
This is a long battle that will require boots on the ground, like a cancer, it will be fought. OK, maybe you should have listened to your own advisors when they said it was too soon to pull our troops out of Iraq and doing so was clearly a political move designed to curry favor with a segment of the population that was against the war.
In May 2011, amongst other times, Obama said al Qaeda was decimated and on the run. Terrorists posed little or not threat to the U.S. Seems like that statement was a little premature. Who knew?! Besides pretty much everyone paying attention.
Once last observation, the NY Times and other liberal news outlets, struggled to say Obama was building a coalition. Unlike Mr. Bush in the Iraq war, Obama is seeking to surround the U.S. with partners. He called King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to ask for support. Some coalition. I remember English, Australian, Canadian, and German troops in Iraq with us. Yes we were the vast majority but we used Turkish air bases and naval bases in Qatar and Yemen. You're right NYT, coalition building is Obama's strong suit.
What should happen to you if you join an organization who's stated goal is the destruction of the United States? You have a right to freedom of association and freedom of speech so maybe nothing. That argument can be made but isn't accurate. Let's say you take it a step further and your organization begins fighting against our allies, participating in jihad. What should happen to you? Nothing according to the State Department. While PM Cameron in England is pushing for citizens of England joining ISIS and other terror groups to lose their passports and citizenship, the U.S. is saying they are going to take a look at the situation and see if anything needs to be done. In the meantime, if you were involved in beheading American journalists, feel free to come home for a few days or more if you like. We won't stop you at the border, or the terminal. How does fighting along side ISIS or al Qaeda not get you put on the no fly list?
Two more Russian bombers conducted mock cruise missile attacks on the United States last week. The Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers were tracked flying across the Northern Atlantic near Iceland, Greenland, and Canada. Intelligence and military officials analyzed the routes and maneuvers and came to one conclusion - the bombers were flying to a "launch box", an optimum point for firing nuclear armed cruise missiles at U.S. targets. This comes right after a Russian general, Yuri Yakubov, called for Russia to change it's doctrine to include preemptive nuclear strikes on the U.S. and NATO. Wait a minute, Obama has told them we aren't a threat to them anymore. He has unilaterally reduced our nuclear missile arsenal and abandoned our allies. I thought Russia was supposed to follow suit.
We wouldn't do this but the Kurds in Iraq are not as politically correct. The Kurds have put together all female military units to fight against ISIS; not because of some politically motivated equalization program but because jihadist believe if they are killed by a woman in battle, they will not go to heaven and get their 72 virgins. Maybe they go to their version of hell and are disguised to look like a virgin and have to spend eternity grabbing their ankles. I don't know for sure, but whatever the reason, it keeps the ISIS units from approaching areas where they might face female units. Brilliant.
Donald Sterling laughed all the way to the bank or at least he should have; after being outed as a racist he sold his NBA team for a record $2 billion. So why shouldn't someone else begin thinking, "Hey, if I let it leak that I'm a racist and I have to sell me team, maybe I can inflate the value of the franchise." Is that what's happening in Atlanta? Maybe.
Bruce Levenson self reported his racist remarks to the NBA a short time ago and then announced that, in the best interest of the league, the team and the city, he would sell his controlling interest in the Atlanta Hawks and leave the league forever. He said he's believed that racism has no place in the NBA and his remarks, made in a 2012 email, have shown he's at least insensitive to race and offensive to blacks and he should be punished; now give me $2 billion and ban me from the arena forever.
Sounds a little self-serving doesn't it? Levenson's email to owners and management talked about marketing more to the white demographic. He said the crowd at Hawk's games were 70% black, the cheerleaders were all black, the music being played was hip-hop and he believed that the season ticket base needed suburban white demographic to buy into what the Hawks were selling. So he suggested making some changes, such as to the playlist, the makeup of the cheerleaders to be more inclusive and he pointed out how other teams in the NBA were marketing their teams. That's not racist, that's talking about market segments. I know some will take it as racist and some of the other comments, about whites being afraid of going to a place where they were in the minority are offensive but not on the level of Donald Sterling.
Levenson said he had heard that the area around the arena was crime ridden and not safe, which is true, the reputation is not good. He called it racist garbage in his email and thought it might be code for "too many blacks" among the white suburbanites; he went on to say he disagreed with the conclusion but that clearly it was a perception that the Hawks had to deal with. This certainly doesn't rise ot the level of Donald Sterling's actions much less his comments.
Simply, Levenson has been trying to sell the Hawks or his controlling share for some time and hasn't had any serious buyers willing to pay the price. Now it feels like he's jumping up and down screaming, "hey look at me, I'm a racist and should be kicked out of the league!" But his motives appear to be self-aggrandizing rather than altruistic. Kind of makes you wonder what our country has come to when you voluntarily jump up and down and say "I'm a racist" and hope to profit from the situation.
Now the video is out, the one from the elevator that shows Ray Rice was defending himself but not in the way that maybe we'd been led to believe. There is also a big uproar about why the NFL hadn't seen the video until yesterday. I know some of you are going to be offended by what I think but that's your problem.
First, why hadn't the NFL seen the video from the elevator until this week? The video is private property and wasn't released by the hotel management nor by the district attorney's office. It's my understanding that the NFL had asked both entities to let them see the video but their request was refused. I have heard pundits and callers to sports shows say the NFL could have obtained the tape, using the same methods that TMZ used, e.g. buy it from someone. But is that even legal or ethical? The NFL is not the NSA. They have investigators and by all accounts some pretty good ones and probably could have paid for the tape; but don't you want them to be above board?
Neither is the NFL a journalistic entity which has some additional protections in obtaining information. The NFL doesn't have those protections and could have opened themselves up to lawsuits for violation of privacy rights and other allegations. I think most of us want the NFL to play fair in investigating things like this. If the NFL couldn't obtain the tape then they had to make a decision based upon information given to them, some of which was clearly false. Ray Rice's claims of self defense, while appearing to be true, are not accurate descriptions of what we saw in the elevator tape. So to jump on the NFL for not having the tape is a disingenuous argument.
Let's also not forget Stephen A. Smith, who was suspended from ESPN for suggesting that Rice's fiance, now wife, was compliant in some way. Remember she plead with the NFL to go easy on Ray, claimed it was her fault as much as his. Smith dared to suggest that she had some blame in the situation because we know that so many abused women defend their abusers and don't always tell the truth. Turns out he was right as well. It's clear she lied about what went on in that elevator and you can make a very strong argument that she acted like a battered wife.
Knowing now what went on in the elevator, it's clear that while the fiance/wife was being aggressive, Rice didn't push her or shove her in trying to defend himself, he went to the left cross right off the bat. I think most people would agree that he acted more like he was being attacked by a gangster punk than his fiance. He used excessive force.
Here's where many are going to hate me even more. The NFL shouldn't have the ability to suspend him further for the incident. He's already been suspended for the domestic violence and shouldn't be subject to double jeopardy. The Ravens have every right to cut him, which they did immediately. The NFL had their shot, made their decision based upon available information and turns out got it wrong. Happens all the time in the judicial system. We don't like it but that's the way it is and should be. Now, if there is some clause in the collective bargaining agreement that says he can be suspended or disciplined for lying in the course of an investigation, then the NFL should come down hard on him. But to be able to suspend him indefinitely for the violation for which he's already been fined and suspended, I'm not OK with that; it means they have total, arbitrary power to screw with your career whenever they feel like they've been wronged, whether accurate or not. That's the rule of man and not the rule of law.
Ray Rice is going to be punished severely. He will not play again in the NFL, at least for a very long time. He will be a pariah in not only the NFL but in society at large. The NFL should let it go at that. They can work behind the scenes to make sure he doesn't play again. They screwed it up the first time but not because of some callous attitude towards domestic violence but because our system is geared towards protecting the rights of the accused, which is what we want and should have.
Dennis Carlo was that neighbor, you know the one with the perfect yard. Everybody in his Deltona FL neighborhood envied Dennis' backyard especially. It was an oasis; palm trees, statues, bushes, water fall and several places to sit and enjoy the ambiance. Then last week, one of the neighbors was walking through the yard when he noticed a statue of an angel, it looked strangely like one that had been stolen from his neighbor's yard. He took a photo and the neighbor agreed. That's when police investigated and they found out that all of the tree, plants, statues and even lawn furniture had been stolen from various houses around the neighborhood. Carlo admitted to stealing a lot of the items saying his neighbors couldn't have cared for them the way he could.
What a great mom. Jennifer Phippen, 37, wanted her daughter's 14th birthday party to be memorable. Of course that meant having a sleep over and supplying the partygoers with alcohol. But don't worry about underage kids having too much to drink. One 14 year old girl took too many shots, threw up and passed out; so Jennifer put her in the shower, administered an IV with about 500 cc of fluid and watched over her the rest of the night to ensure she didn't stop breathing. The child woke up the next morning and despite a bit of a hangover, was good enough to walk home. Phippen has been charged with 2 felonies.
Hey, he's just trying to be a good dad. Nuruddin Khan, 49, like many divorced parents, didn't like his ex-wife and her new boyfriend. He thought they were mean, rude and had loose morals. in order to protect the couple's daughter, he wanted to limit time spent with the mom and boy toy. After going to court didn't work, the judge upheld the joint custody agreement, he decided to take matters into his own hands. No he didn't use examples of the ex's behavior and explain why it was unacceptable, he tried to hire a hit man. He told an undercover officer he would pay $10,000 if the guy would off both the mom and her boyfriend in order to protect his daughter and teach her "good habits and good culture." I don't know what culture in which Khan was raised but offing others doesn't seem like a good habit; police agreed and placed him under arrest.