20080428

Is food in season?

Yes.

It is.

Thanks to a global economy and improved shipping procedures food is now available at any time to those that could afford it. There is a negative side to the equation. Read this blog post at Wal-Mart Watch to learn a little more.

20080422

Crossing Arizona

This is definitely a movie you should see.



Crossing Arizona

You can download a low quality copy here:
http://thepiratebay.org/tor/4151044

You will need torrent software to download it, I suggest utorrent
You may need a different video player to play it, I suggest VLC

20080419

Block Facebook Beacon

Beacon is a part of Facebook's advertisements system that sends data from external websites to Facebook, ostensibly for the purpose of allowing targeted advertisements, and allowing users to share their activities with their friends. Beacon was launched on November 6, 2007 with forty-four partner websites. Follow this link for more info.

1. Download and Install the BlockSite plugin for Firefox.
2. After restarting Firefox select ‘Add-ons’ from the Tools menu.
3. Click the ‘Options’ button on the BlockSite extension.
4. Click the ‘Add’ button.
5. Enter http://*facebook.com/beacon/* into the input box. Note the asterisks!
6. Click ‘OK’.
7. Click ‘OK’ again, and you are good to go.

Posted previously at Hack College & the Idea Shower.

Free Annual Credit Report

The US government allows you to order your credit report, for free, once a year. Here is how you do it.
  • Go to: https://www.annualcreditreport.com
  • Fill out form, and be sure to check the box indicating that your Social Security Number is not to revealed on the report.
  • Select ONE of the three credit reporting bureaus. This takes you to that bureaus website
  • Follow the steps:
  • Step 1 is a Personal Information Check. You may be offered a special deal to include your credit score. This isn't necessary. Select the option to continue without ordering the credit score. We want this to remain a free credit report.
  • Step 2 is an order summary. Again, this should be FREE. Ensure that it is. If it is not be sure to go back and and do not select any extra options. Once all is FREE, or the total is $0.00, Submit.
  • Step 3 is the Order Confirmation. At this point you can view and print your report. I strongly recommend printing it, especially since your social security number does not appear on it.
  • Now you can review your credit report. Be sure to check it for any inaccuracies, open accounts that were not opened by you, alleged delinquent accounts, etc.
Now that you've gotten your free annual credit report you can wait four months to get another.

The US government mandates that you may order one free credit report from each credit reporting bureau each year. You could order a report from each bureau all at once, OR you could be wise about it and spread them out over a year - one every four months. In this way, you will always be relatively current.

Proven Policies to Close Funding Gaps

States should decrease reliance on local property taxes to fund education and increase support from state sources.

The state share of state and local education funding varies widely from state to state, from a high of 83.9% in New Mexico to a low of 38.2% in Nebraska.. Unsurprisingly, states like Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia, which rank near the bottom in percentage of state funding, also have some of the largest funding gaps in the nation.

While federal funding for NCLB has increased by roughly $6 billion from 2001 to 2004, this still represents a small piece of the overall school funding pie. The federal government has never provided more than 10% of K-12 funding, and states will continue to be the primary funders of public education. That said, the federal government can and should do more to provide resources for low-income and minority students. Per-capita income in the richest state is almost double that in the least wealthy, while the poverty rate varies among the states by more than three to one. These underlying structural differences have direct impact on the size of the national education funding gap, and can only be offset through federal action.

States should do more to specifically target extra funding to high-poverty school districts. The number of states adopting poverty-based funding strategies has increased in recent years, as state policymakers have worked to align their funding and accountability systems toward the goal of closing the achievement gap.

We need to apply fair funding principles to individual schools as well as districts. School finance analyses traditionally have relied on district-level financial data, because that's the level at which state dollars are allocated. Districts are also distinct financial entities, so it's relatively easy to determine how much revenue one gets compared to another. Researchers have found that within some large diverse districts, high-poverty schools receive hundreds of thousands of dollars less than lower-poverty schools of similar in size.

Some states simply should spend more money on public education. The state funding gaps show one important dimension of state education policy-how the resources provided to low-income and minority students compare to the resources provided to their wealthier, whiter peers. There's no doubt that we need to analyze these gaps, understand their origins, and make them disappear.

Knowledge of the funding gap and its fundamental unfairness are not new, and the policies needed to close the gaps are relatively straightforward and well known. Recent events, however, suggest that a new opportunity is developing to make progress on this important issue.

This was a summary of the Education Trust's report: The Funding Gap 2004 by Kevin Carey

Please be sure to read the entire report for yourself HERE

20080414

Know Your Rights,

To fight police abuse effectively you need to know your rights. There are some things you should do, some things you must do and some things you cannot do. If you are in the middle of a police encounter, you need a handy and quick reference to remind you what your rights and obligations are.

Print this page and carry it in your wallet, pocket, or glove compartment to give you quick access to your rights and obligations concerning police encounters. Download the PDF.


Think carefully about your words, movement, body language, and emotions.

Don't get into an argument with the police.

Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you.

Keep your hands where the police can see them.

Don't run. Don't touch any police officer.

Don't resist even if you believe you are innocent.

Don't complain on the scene or tell the police they're wrong or that you're going to file a complaint.

Do not make any statements regarding the incident. Ask for a lawyer immediately upon your arrest.

Remember officers' badge and patrol car numbers.

Write down everything you remember ASAP.

Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers.

If you are injured, take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible, but make sure you seek medical attention first.

If you feel your rights have been violated, file a written complaint with police department's internal affairs division or civilian complaint board.


1. What you say to the police is always important. What you say can be used against you, and it can give the police an excuse to arrest you, especially if you bad-mouth a police officer.

2. You must show your driver's license and registration when stopped in a car. Otherwise, you don't have to answer any questions if you are detained or arrested, with one important exception. The police may ask for your name if you have been properly detained, and you can be arrested in some states for refusing to give it. If you reasonably fear that your name is incriminating, you can claim the right to remain silent, which may be a defense in case you are arrested anyway.

3. You don't have to consent to any search of yourself, your car or your house. If you DO consent to a search, it can affect your rights later in court. If the police say they have a search warrant, ASK TO SEE IT.

4. Do not interfere with, or obstruct the police -- you can be arrested for it.

IF YOU ARE STOPPED FOR QUESTIONING


1. It's not a crime to refuse to answer questions, but refusing to answer can make the police suspicious about you. If you are asked to identify yourself, see paragraph 2 above.

2. Police may "pat-down" your clothing if they suspect a concealed weapon. Don't physically resist, but make it clear that you don't consent to any further search.

3. Ask if you are under arrest. If you are, you have a right to know why.

4. Don't bad-mouth the police officer or run away, even if you believe what is happening is unreasonable. That could lead to your arrest.

IF YOU'RE STOPPED IN YOUR CAR


1. Upon request, show them your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. In certain cases, your car can be searched without a warrant as long as the police have probable cause. To protect yourself later, you should make it clear that you do not consent to a search. It is not lawful for police to arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a search.

2. If you're given a ticket, you should sign it; otherwise you can be arrested. You can always fight the case in court later.

3. If you're suspected of drunk driving (DWI) and refuse to take a blood, urine or breath test, your driver's license may be suspended.

IF YOU'RE ARRESTED OR TAKEN TO A POLICE STATION


1. You have the right to remain silent and to talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police. Tell the police nothing except your name and address. Don't give any explanations, excuses or stories. You can make your defense later, in court, based on what you and your lawyer decide is best.

2. Ask to see a lawyer immediately. If you can't pay for a lawyer, you have a right to a free one, and should ask the police how the lawyer can be contacted. Don't say anything without a lawyer.

3. Within a reasonable time after your arrest, or booking, you have the right to make a local phone call: to a lawyer, bail bondsman, a relative or any other person. The police may not listen to the call to the lawyer.

4. Sometimes you can be released without bail, or have bail lowered. Have your lawyer ask the judge about this possibility. You must be taken before the judge on the next court day after arrest.

5. Do not make any decisions in your case until you have talked with a lawyer.

IN YOUR HOME


1. If the police knock and ask to enter your home, you don't have to admit them unless they have a warrant signed by a judge.

2. However, in some emergency situations (like when a person is screaming for help inside, or when the police are chasing someone) officers are allowed to enter and search your home without a warrant.

3. If you are arrested, the police can search you and the area close by. If you are in a building, "close by" usually means just the room you are in.

We all recognize the need for effective law enforcement, but we should also understand our own rights and responsibilities -- especially in our relationships with the police. Everyone, including minors, has the right to courteous and respectful police treatment.

If your rights are violated, don't try to deal with the situation at the scene. You can discuss the matter with an attorney afterwards, or file a complaint with the Internal Affairs or Civilian Complaint Board.

Produced by the American Civil Liberties Union.

20080413

Promote Health Education

Unfortunately these hate filled bigots will try anything to prevent abortion, except for the one thing proven, to prevent unwanted pregnancies.


Thankfully people like this still fight for our rights.

With easy access to birth control there is no good reason why anyone should be pregnant without wanting to be. Religious zealots try to force their primitive beliefs on the world without taking into consideration any bit of evidence. Their book, is their evidence.

Planned Parenthood is a good organization and I hope their common sense approach prevails over the opposition.

20080407

Phoenix Major Speaks out against incompetent Sheriff

Luncheon Honoring Cesar Chavez
Remarks by Mayor Phil Gordon
March 28, 2008
Thank you, Veronica. Thank you, Governor Napolitano, for being here and for sharing your eloquent words with us.
As I look around this room, I see some of my very best friends. And many of my long-time friends. And I know that on December 3 of last year, when I asked our Police Department to review its internal policy -- some of you were frustrated. But you stayed with me – and I thank you. I am still one of the most fortunate guys in town to have you as my friends.
I'm always honored to be at this wonderful event that celebrates an American hero. In some ways, it's hard to believe that – all these years after Cesar Chavez stood up for the farm workers with such courage, conviction and eloquence – we are still struggling against very real issues of race and discrimination and injustice in this country. And sadly, in our own city.
I had prepared some remarks that were in keeping with your broad theme of education. But yesterday, something happened that moved me to give a different speech today. Though it's still about education.
Last night, the Sheriff communicated with the law enforcement professionals of our community like he communicates with most everyone – by issuing a press release. He announced that his 200 volunteer posse members would be "migrating north" to crack down on illegal aliens. "Migrating North". That's the phrase he used – intentionally mocking the language of the hard-working migrant workers who we honor and celebrate today. He says he's doing this because 10 business owners – including a pawn shop and a biker store -- asked him to. And who helped cirulate those 10 signatures to deliver to the Sheriff? A self-described Neo-Nazi.
The Sheriff worded his news release in such a way -- by naming groups of "bikers" who agree with him and will show up to support him – that deliberately sets the stage for shouting matches, confrontations or worse.
That's not acceptable behavior for anyone, let alone someone whose job is to help make our community safer.
Last week, he did the same thing. He sent 200 posse members into a different Phoenix neighborhood. Why? Listen to this quote, "We lock up murderers, we lock up everybody. We're here for crime suppression, and we're going to lock up everybody."
But the posse didn't lock up murderers. They locked up brown people with broken tail lights. How does that make our community safer? It doesn't. What does that add to our community discussion on diversity and justice? Nothing.
He calls this being tough. He calls it crime suppression. It is neither.
Those of us in this room today may disagree, from time to time, on some issues. But not often, and NOT on this issue.
While the Sheriff was arresting mothers and fathers for minor civil offenses, the Phoenix Police Department was doing a different kind of roundup.
Last week, the Phoenix Police Department went into a neighborhood that had been taken over by gang members and drug pushers. They arrested 42 criminals who were charged with 562 felony counts. Their bond is too high to post, and the neighbors have their neighborhood back.
It was, by any measure, a big roundup. Certainly for Phoenix. And THESE are the roundups that make sense and make us safer. THIS is the kind of roundup local police SHOULD be doing -- going after the worst of the worst – at the neighborhood level. And getting dangerous criminals off the streets.
Today, I say once again to the Sheriff what I've said all week – if he really feels compelled to act tough, and if he really wants to impact crime, he should do what Phoenix PD, DPS, the FBI, Mesa PD and every other police agency does – with each other. Go after criminals – not a teenager driving with a broken tail light.
If he really wants to fight crime, he should start rounding up dangerous criminals who have outstanding felony warrants issued for them. There are thousands of outstanding warrants in this County. How long are those going to stay piled up on his desk?
That would make us all safer.
But these made-for-TV stunts of his are putting Phoenix and Federal undercover Officers, who are working that same area, at great risk. And his own volunteer posse faces serious risks from serious criminals.
All in the name of broken tail lights -- on the cars of brown drivers.
The Sheriff should at least be candid about it. Don't say your going after murderers when you're not. Don't call it crime suppression when it isn't. And don't pass the buck to 10 business owners when thousands of others elected him to actually make our community safer.
I call upon everyone in this room – and especially the non-hispanics in this room – to speak out. Make your voices heard.
As Cesar Chavez said, "It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we use our limited time on this earth. It is an awesome opportunity."
Most of us have been grabbing that opportunity for decades. But now is a good time to re-dedicate ourselves. Let's do that today. Let each of us renew our resolve to teach our children, and to practice in our own actions, the most simple of lessons. That everyone wants to be heard … everyone wants to be respected. That all cultures share a common world – and human needs that bind us together. We share a common destiny to recognize ourselves in all people. We must learn to create a world in which people of all cultures are treated with respect.
Let's focus on what we all want – solutions to challenges …
ways to make things work better than they currently are.
Can we continue the work of Cesar Chavez? Can we help fulfill the compassion of Robert Kennedy? Can we all share the Dream of Martin Luther King?
You know the answer.
Yes We Can.
Thank you, and God Bless you all.


Here is the Mayor's contact information if you would like to contact him yourself. PLEASE SUPPORT HIM IN HIS EFFORTS AGAINST ANTI-IMMIGRANT MESSAGES:
Phone: (602) 262-7111
Fax: (602) 495-5583
EMAIL