Archive

Archive for January, 2009

AP Reports that Banks Sought Foreign Workers

January 31st, 2009 22 comments

Several of the banks who have collected billions of dollars from government bailout packages sought permission to bring in thousands of foreign workers for high-paying jobs.

What? Are Americans not being laid off left and right? Why are we importing workers when the American jobless rate continues to grow each week?

A dozen or so banks who have received $150 billion dollars in bail out money have requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past 6 years. The average salaries for these jobs? $90,721. Meanwhile, thousands of American workers have been laid off.

Read more…

Categories: Economic Crisis Tags:

Punxsutawney Phil’s Prognostication

January 31st, 2009 3 comments

Today is a holiday. For the sports-minded, it is the day after the Superbowl.

For the Pagans, it is Imbolc, the day when the newborn lambs begin to nurse. Imbolc’s other name is Brigantia. This day is marked by the growing power of the sun, bidding farewell to winter, and special fire-lighting ceremonies.

For Christians, February 2 is known as Candlemas, or the Christian Festival of Lights. It celebrates the baptism of Jesus. The ancient festival marked the midpoint of winter, whether Pagan or Christian. People thought that the Christmas season lasted 40 days or until Feb. 2. Lighting candles supposedly scared away evil spirits.

To most kids in this part of the world, February 2 is known as Ground Hog Day. Legend has it that if ground hog Phil in Punxsutawney, PA sees his shadow, he goes back into his den and sleeps for 6 more weeks, giving us 6 more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, then spring is just around the corner. Punxsutawney Phil is the prognosticator of the day.

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Categories: General, Nature, Religion Tags:

Income Taxes—the New Gottcha

January 31st, 2009 42 comments

According to Yahoo News another member of the Obama team now has tax woes. Former Senator Tom Daschle, nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, has some recently resolved tax issues that can be described as:

[Daschle]…recently filed amended tax returns to report $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest, according to a Senate document obtained by The Associated Press.

The White House acknowledged Friday that “some tax issues” had emerged in connection with the nomination, but a spokesman said the president is confident the former Senate Democratic leader will be confirmed as the new health secretary.
Daschle filed amended tax returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007 to reflect additional income for consulting work, the use of a car service and reduced deductions for charitable contributions. He filed the returns after Obama announced he intended to nominate Daschle to head the Health and Human Services Department.

Most of the additional taxes resulted from unreported income from the use of a car service provided him by a close friend and business associate, Leo Hindery Jr. The unreported income for that service totaled more than $250,000 over three years.

Daschle also had unreported consulting income of $88,333, in 2007. He also had reductions to charitable contributions totaling about $15,000 over the three years covered, according to the Senate Finance Committee document. The document, marked “Confidential Draft,” is a committee statement concerning Daschle’s nomination.

Now the money situation just described is enough to give most of us apoplexy. Conversely, do all of us know every tax law? I think I would know if I didn’t report $250,000 over 3 years, but, I am not in the same income bracket as Senator Daschle.

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Categories: Politics Tags:

Superbowl Sunday 2009

January 30th, 2009 19 comments

Let’s all kick back and enjoy the Superbowl 2009. Consider this an open thread.

Jennifer Hudson just did a beautiful job with the Stars Spangled Banner. The crew of the Hudson River plane caused a lump in my throat. so close to it being fatal…AND THEY SAVED EVERY LIFE!

I am gearing up for those commercials and for a Cardinals win!

Categories: General Tags:

Jackson Miller Conference Call

January 30th, 2009 109 comments

Tonight I got a Delegate Jackson Miller conference call. Delegate Miller and I don’t agree on too much politically but actually, it was pretty neat. How did it work?

Well, let me reconstruct the event. I was sitting there, watching TV, minding my own business. The phone rang and a robo caller said it was a conference call and if you wanted to comment push zero. I did. I hung on the line and could hear all the other callers. It was like being a political voyeur.

Finally someone came on the line and asked for my name and what my question was. I pulled a question out of …my ear…and went back to listening. They never did get to my question and I think I know why. But nevertheless, it was really interesting to hear what people thought were important state issues. Dillon rule, immigration, e-verify, transportation, cigarette taxes and bans in restaurants and the budget seemed to be hot topics.

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Categories: General Tags:

Who Us? Wimps? Obama!

January 29th, 2009 56 comments

 

 

Its official.  President Obama has basically said we are a bunch of wimps.  Why?  Well, you just saw it in the video.  the Washington area shuts down when it snows or ices.  This phenomena has always been a subject for Washingtonians and its suburbanites to quarrel about. 

All the kids in the region know the tricks.  Sleep with your pjs inside out.  Do a snow dance. 

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Categories: General Tags:

New Math Investigations Video & Update

January 28th, 2009 23 comments

I want an ‘opt-in’ program for traditional math and hopefully we can win this argument on its merit. My question with this video, is with the ‘unidentified school employee’ from Porter Traditional School. She gave her name, stated that she has a child attending Porter and clearly referenced that she is not a teacher. However, I will admit, during the meeting, I had the impression that she was a teacher, but after reviewing the full video it immediately became apparent that she’s not.

[Update: I've received an email that she could be a secretary at Porter.]

I haven’t had a chance to review the video to find out what exactly transpired at the end of the meeting. So, I can’t fully comment on Richardson’s statement but I will watch the end of it tonight.

Lastly, according to the PWC Teach Math Right website –

NEWS FLASH!! – on Feb 4, 2009 the PWCS Board will vote to suspend the further implementation of “Math Investigations” into next year’s 5th Grade classrooms. The specific language of the Board meeting agenda item reads:

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space Textbook Series (Johns):

Recommendation: That the Prince William County School Board direct the Superintendent that the textbook series “Investigations in Number, Data and Space” shall not be used as the primary textbook for 5th Grade instruction, but materials in the series may be used to supplement the currently approved 5th Grade textbook. (http://66.23.136.24/)

Also,

Don Richardson, Gainesville magisterial district member on the Prince William County School Board, will host a town hall meeting on Tuesday, February 10 from 7-9 p.m. in the mini-theatre at Battlefield High School, 15000 Graduation Drive, Haymarket. The snow date is set for Thursday, February 12.

Mr. Richardson will present an update on events taking place in the School Division; then spend the remaining time answering questions from the floor. The public is invited to attend.

For additional information, please contact the Prince William County School Board office at 703.791.8069.

Categories: General Tags:

Va. Senate backs bill to restrict tuition benefits for illegal immigrants

January 28th, 2009 125 comments

 

Media General News Service
Published: January 27, 2009

The Virginia Senate today approved a bill that would prohibit illegal aliens from receiving in-state tuition benefits unless they meet a series of stringent academic, immigration and residency criteria.

Under Senate Bill 1037, sponsored by Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta, illegal immigrants would only qualify for the in-state benefit if they attend a Virginia high school, live in the state and have paid taxes for three years.

Such applicants would also have to demonstrate that they are not in the process of being deported from the country and that they are in the process of applying for permanent residency in the U.S.

The bill now moves to the House of Delegates.

—Jim Nolan

After reading the above short news article, I had to stop and ask, is this a restriction or has the door opened just a crack for children of illegal immigrants.  How does this bill tighten up on things?  Currently, I don’t think children of illegal immigrants are even eligible for admission to 4 year colleges.  Are they admitted to the community colleges in Virginia and what tuition rate do they pay if admitted?

Read more…

Categories: Dream Act, General Tags:

Stewart Calls for Fire Department Audits

January 27th, 2009 18 comments

Many of us were left confused and baffled by the recent events with the Gainesville Fire Department several weeks ago. Most of us, unfamiliar with the hierarchy involved with the Prince William County hybrid system of firefighter, were left scratching our respective heads over how a chief could move his family into the firehouse, set up his own fiefdom, use county funds to support the fiefdom, and basically have no accountability to the taxpayers via the county employees or BOCS.

Similarly, some of us wondered how the BOCS could not have known about the apparent violations of power and authority going on at Gainesville Fire Department. How accountable are they for this mess? How come the Gainesville Supervisor knew nothing about these rather unconventional practices, or did he?

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Categories: Corey Stewart, General, PWC Politics Tags:

Prince William County’s Math Investigations Program

January 26th, 2009 157 comments

When I was a child and had a question about my math homework, I was blessed (although probably at the time felt cursed) that both of my parents were Math Majors.  On these occasions, my evenings would consist of additional math instruction typically accompanied by the ever familiar discussion over which of them graduated from the more prestigious Jesuit campus of Fordham University.  My father claiming he graduated from the ‘real’ Fordham but my mother always held her own in the debate.   In hindsight, I recognize that women from my mother’s generation typically did not become engineers but were encouraged to become nurses, teachers, secretaries.  But, I digress.  What is important is that I was well served by their instruction and encouragement and have since had every math class of an electrical engineer.  For a decade, until I decided to stay home with the children, I was a programmer alongside some of the brightest analytical minds from around the globe.  But now it’s my turn to take the role as a supplementary instructor to my children with their math homework.

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Categories: General Tags:

Prowling around the Blogosphere

January 26th, 2009 23 comments

 

 

Peace has often been described as a time between wars. 

 

Prowling around the blogosphere, not much is happening.  Oddly enough, there seems to be a lull in bitching other than Jeff Frederick trying to blame the Democrats for trashing Bush.  Frederick quickly and conveniently forgets the trashing poor Bush got was also from his own party.  McCain was not far behind.  Want proof, just check out a few dark screen threads.  Bush and McCain were lower than a worm’s belly over there

 

Wayward teachers are finding a place to bitch about the math program over on the dark screen…  The teachers are smart.  They know not to rattle cages at work.  I am surprised they chose the dark screen as the place to rattle their sabers.  That isn’t a group that garners much respect over in dark-screen land.  Someone will start shrieking ‘unions’ in hysterical girlie voices.  I seriously doubt if any union in Prince William County knows or cares much about Math Investigations. 

Read more…

Categories: General Tags:

WaPo Sets Stage for 2009 Virginia Elections

January 25th, 2009 6 comments

We’d love to hear thoughts and opinions on three recent pieces from the Washington Post:

This editorial about redistricting and no-excuse absentee voting mentions PWC’s Jeff Frederick among Virginia House members who “hoped that nobody would notice their indefensible defeat of efforts to make Virginia elections fairer and more democratic.” Or, read Anita Kumar’s reporting on the vote.

This article characterizes our state legislature as “beset by partisan bickering and testy floor fights.”

At the root of the tension is an inescapable aspect of the 45-day legislative session that began last week: It’s an election year.

Read more…

Giant Fireball Explodes over Denmark

January 23rd, 2009 17 comments


Meteor I Sverige 17 Jan 09 Meteor SwedenCelebrity bloopers here

A huge meteor that lit up the sky entered the earth’s atmosphere somewhere over Denmark on January 17 at 1909 UT. It turned night into day in eerie blue light as the meteor exploded. Astronomers said that this fireball’s light was as bright as full moon light. A fireball is another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude -4, which is about the same magnitude of the planet Venus in the morning or evening sky.

What a shame we rarely get advanced notices on celestial events. Venus is nearing its peak brilliance, outshining everything else until the moon reappears at the end of the week. Saturn is rising about 8 or 9 pm this week. Does anyone have any sky news this week?

To find out more click.

Categories: Nature Tags:

What is it about Tech?

January 23rd, 2009 33 comments

Earlier this week, an international student from China, Haiyang Zhu, decapitated anther Chinese student, Xin Yang. Ms. Yang had only been at VA Tech for about 2 weeks. The murder weapon was a large kitchen knife. No motive has been established and no one is sure how the victim and the perp even knew each other. From all appearances the 2 were having a cup of coffee. Haiyang Zhu is being held without bond for first degree murder.

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Categories: Dream Act, General Tags:

Server Problems

January 23rd, 2009 7 comments

FYI, in case anyone noticed, the site was down briefly this morning.  The hosting company was having problems with the server which may or may not be fully resolved.

Categories: General Tags: