Friday, February 8, 2008

Obama and the Pledge

You've seen the picture. But do you know what it's a picture of?

You think you do. Right? You think it's a picture of Presidential Candidate Barack Obama not saying the pledge of allegiance. You "know" that's what's happening because, well hey, you got the email. If it was in an email, it must be true, right?

The Washington Post had a good explanation of the picture. First, it is not the pledge of allegiance. It is actually the singing of the national anthem. True, there is an obscure section of US Code that says that people should cover their hearts when the national anthem is sung; many people don't. And the section of code also says in that same place that people should face the flag during the national anthem - but no one in the picture is doing that...

The reason that this is the only picture you have seen as evidence of Obama's "lack" of patriotism is that this is the only picture there is. You'd think after years in public life and time in the Senate there'd be more evidence. There's not.

There are plenty of pictures of Obama with his hand over his heart, saying the pledge. But NewBusters and the people who come up with those viral emails are planning to tell you about them because they're not really interesting in truth.

You can see some of those photos at the Washington Post site.

ABC News also has a blog post on the Obama pledge issue.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Need Money? Don't We All...

I've heard the logic and the rational from lots of people, including some I've worked with in the not so distant past. They need a few dollars to hold them over until the next payday, so they take out payday loans from time to time to get them through.

Say you need $100 before your next pay check comes through. The local store front loan spots will give it to you under the right circumstances - for a fee of $20 if you pay it back by your next payday. Of course, paying it back can, in itself, create a cash crunch; so if you need more time they'll let you take another two weeks if you increase the fee for the loan by another twenty bucks...

If you want to think of the loan as a service that got you out of a really tight spot, and if you want to think of the $20 as just $20, the loan seems like a reasonable service. But if you ever do the math a figure out the interest rate - something like 500% a year - the loans start to seem less reasonable, maybe even immoral.

My state was considering regulating the industry and putting a cap on the annual interest rate they could charge.

The solution to that, form a business perspective? The Internet. And so you get companies like TrustSource Cash Advance offering access to the "service" online.

As such services go, TrustSource Cash Advance looks to be among the better ones. Their site offers access to a range of loan products, all at unholy annual interest rates designed to get you out of that once in a life time tight spot. The problem, of course, arises when people become addicted to the service - a service they need because they're so bad with money to start with that they can't get a normal credit card to use for these situations.

If you just have to have the money and you can't get a loan from your Uncle Bob or your best friend, TrustSource Cash Advance is there. But you should think twice before you use a service like this...

Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I was financially compensated for this post...

Dangerously Irrelevant

I'm the guest blogger this week over at Dangerously Irrelevant. Dangerously Irrelevant is a popular website on educational leadership. If you have a chance, take a look at that site.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday First Blood: Huckabee Wins WV Caucus

West Virginia's GOP Caucus today was a draw in the first round of voting. Mitt Romney spoke to the convention and pulled 44% of the votes. Huckabee drew 33% of the vte int eh first round. John McCain drew only 15% of the vote on the first round and Ron Paul was eliminated from the voting under WV party rules because he drew less than 10% of the caucus vote.

On the second round of voting Huckabee passed Romney and drew 52% of the ballots - the majority needed to collect WV's delegates to the GOP National Convention later this year.

The win gives Huckabee all 18 of the state's delegates in this winner take all contest.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Poor War - What Timing

Cheryl doesn't have school tomorrow. Seems the water is off in War (the city where she works) and both the electricity and cable to much of the small city has been knocked out, as well.

It could be worse. This time last year our area was frozen solid - high temperatures in the low teens and lows near zero. Today it was in the 50's here.

On the other hand, city residents missed the Super Bowl...