Archive for January, 2009
The economy continues to drag without much hope for a turnaround by the end of 2009. There is less and less money to go around, causing all sorts of businesses to go under. The housing market has already taken a dive, and the pain is flowing across the board. Nonprofits are finding hard to pay their bills too. The last source of hope for people who have bottomed out—homeless shelters—are in just as much trouble as the rest of us.
Across the country, homeless shelters are making cuts, and many are closing up. As they close, others are burdened with picking up the slack. This puts more people on the street—not just people already homeless, but also first timers. Remember now the housing crisis mentioned above—families with children are one of the largest groups of the new homeless.
In Columbus there are several homeless shelters, all of which are open to volunteer assistance.
Stuff White People Like is one of the most popular blogs on the internet today, and the latest news has Christian Lander—the blog’s creator—about to release a book to the public. The blog is one of the most highly referenced in the entire country.
However, it doesn’t take a genius to recognize that the blog could be potentially hazardous. According to CNN, the blog has been considered widely controversial and potentially racist.
The book is titled “Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions.”
In an interview completed with the blog author, CNN asked Lander if he was concerned with offending people. His response—he’s glad when he offends people because the material itself is not offensive. Lander provided some interesting answers, so check out the full interview on CNN.com.
Lander seems to have a big following at other college campuses, including the University of Pennsylvania. Personally, I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about this blog on Ohio State’s campus. If you like the blog enough, check out the t-shirts they are selling!
All in all, the book looks like it will be a real success, considering the past success of the blog.
Remember Blackwater? It was the American security company which found itself in the spotlight in 2007. They killed seventeen Iraqi civilians—it’s shoot-first approach to security.
Today, the Iraqi government decided against reissuing a license to the mercenary firm. The Iraqi Interior Ministry’s public relations man, Alaa al-Taie, said that there was no chance that Iraq would issue Blackwater a license. He went on to say that it was unacceptable to the people of Iraq. In addition, there were legal concerns like, “Killing Iraqis with their weapons.”
However, the Huffington Post is reporting that there was no firm date set for Blackwater to be out of the country. Furthermore, the Washington Insider is reporting that the loophole—which allows private firms to operate outside of the reach of local law enforcement in Iraq—is not closed.
With nearly as many private contractors in Iraq as there are American troops, it seems likely that similar incidents will occur as a matter of course.
Governor Ted Strickland delivered his third State of the State address Wednesday. Along with updating listeners of Ohio’s efforts to stay above water over the past couple years, the Governor also outlined his plan for an ambitious overhaul of our state’s educational system.
He began his address with an anecdote of how Ohio, and Ohio State in particular, took initiative when “just after World War I came to an end there was a painful combination of high inflation and high unemployment that produced economic misery in Ohio and across the nation.”
To try to help ease the pain, a bold plan was proposed to build Ohio Stadium. At the time, when Ohio State football was played 18th and High, even an Ohio State Trustee rebuked the idea for a 50,000 seat stadium saying, “It will not be claimed that there is ever a remote possibility of an actual demand for such capacity,”according to Strickland.
The point he was getting at is that when Ohio’s economy got hit then, Ohioans looked far into the future and built their state to accomodate what would be rather that what was. This is the same reasoning behind his planned education reform.
The Postmaster general was in front of the Senate today. He said the Post Office was bankrupt, and needed congressional permission to cut mail delivery from the current six days a week to five days a week.
“The ability to suspend delivery on the lightest delivery days, for example, could save dollars in both our delivery and our processing and distribution networks, he said. “I do not make this request lightly, but I am forced to consider every option given the severity of our challenge.” said John E. Potter.
The Houston Chronicle is reporting that 202 billion items were shipped in the mail. And even though they’ve upped the price of everything every year 2009 may be the first year since the Truman administration that the revenue of the post office declines.
The Huffington Post reported that the Post Office has cut about a billion dollars in costs every year for the last six years.
UPDATED: Ohio State Univ. - Columbus is CLOSED today, Wednesday, January 28th. Enjoy your day off school!
Better bundle up, Buckeyes. The Weather Channel is calling for an inch of snow tonight, as well as two to four inches of snow tomorrow morning. Snow isn’t anything new here—seems like we are getting into an every-other-week pattern with the winter weather.
The forecast has mellowed out, compared with earlier in the night. Just hours ago, the weather report called for three to five inches of snow tonight, as well as three to five inches of snow tomorrow.
Winter weather has already hit the area, but just in case you need a few tips for staying warm in cold weather, check out Winter Feels Good. This website is dedicated to everything remotely related to winter, and has a lot of helpful sources for any of your winter needs. Considering how cold Columbus gets, it may be worth checking out!
Seven years after the death of former Buckeye Korey Stringer, his widow and the NFL have buried the hatchet. The AP is reporting that the two have reached a settlement. Kelci Stringer had filed a wrongful death suit against the league, in wake of the 2001 death at Minnesota Vikings training camp.
While the majority of the terms of the settlement remain undisclosed, one thing we do know for certain is the NFL is required to establish a program for the prevention of heat illnesses in the future. ESPN described it as a victory for Stringer, who is still in a battle with Riddell, manufacturer of helmets and pads used by the NFL players. The manufacturer’s products may worsen heat related problems at training camps.
This suit may be bolstered by a new study that the Columbus Dispatch summarized earlier this year. The study found that players wearing the full range of NFL pads and helmet heated up considerably faster than without the equipment on.
On that same note, the Wall Street Journal brings us a story from Kentucky, where a high school football coach is being criminally charged with reckless homocide after a player died of heat related causes.
The unemployment line will be getting a lot longer following what CNN called “bloody monday.” Today, more than 60,000 people were laid off from a diverse range of companies.
The New York Times enumerated the carnage. 20,000 from Caterpillar, 8,000 from Sprint Nextel, 7,000 from Home Depot, 8,000 from the merger of pharmecutical companies Phizer and Wyeth. Of local interest—2,000 from General Motors in Michigan and Ohio.
Obviously, several of these layoffs come as an extension of a housing bubble which has burst. Caterpillar is famous for making equipment for building homes and clearing property. Home Depot is a supplier of the DIY craze in housing. Many of the layoffs at Home Depot focused on their expo centers which featured higher end merchandise that never quite lived up to their expectations.
All of this will surely make the debate over the stimulus package much more heated. On getting news of the layoffs, the President called these extraordinary times, and called for quick action on his stimulus package.
Regardless of the politics, good luck to everyone who lost their jobs. We hope they land on their feet.
FoxNews.com was among the first to report the beheading of a Virginia Tech student yesterday evening.
An international graduate student from China, Xin Yang was merely adjusting to life on a new campus.
Her life was taken from a close friend on campus, who used a kitchen knife in the slaying. Virginia Tech spokesperson Mark Owczarski confirmed the decapitation yesterday evening. People are still attempting to figure out what exactly spurned on the murderer’s actions. The attacker was taken into custody by police at the scene.
Another murder at Virginia Tech has to be at least mildly disturbing for students, faculty, and staff at the university. Just about a year ago, the “Virginia Tech massacre” became one of largest college slayings in history.
A New Orleans blogger and writer wonders if these attacks will have a negative influence on how America perceives Asian-American individuals. Both of the attackers in the two Virginia Tech murders were of Asian-American descent.
Even moreso, what effect does this murder have on Virginia Tech’s national reputation as a whole, if any?
Regardless, this is another tragedy for the Virginia Tech community—hopefully one that won’t set the university back in the long term.
Ohio State student Dan Salomone visited Washington, DC for the 2009 Presidential Inauguration, where Barack Obama was elected president. Here are some pictures from his trip.