Thursday, March 30, 2006

It's a Beautiful Day

As some little known Irish band called U2 would say, "don't let it get away!"

I'm headed back to the bat-lair later today so expect light blogging this weekend.

No matter what those to the left of me say, I will forever be supporting Senator Joseph Lieberman.

KOACH has some nice Jewish humor for the month of April. I think I've seen this one before.

Evan Bayh on border control:
Sen. Evan Bayh, Indiana's Democratic senator, said Congress needs to reconcile three issues: better control of the border, dealing with illegal immigrants already here and filling jobs for which there are few takers.

"We've got to provide for security," Bayh said, "but we've got to do it in a way that doesn't damage our own economy and in a way that is realistic."
Happy birthday goes out to blues rocker Eric Clapton who turns 61 today.

Will Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist split the Republican Party?
By pushing his way to the front of the volatile debate over immigration, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has reignited complaints that his presidential ambitions conflict with his leadership duties at times and put him at odds with his GOP caucus.

Frist (R-Tenn.) pointedly told the Judiciary Committee on March 16 that unless it produced a comprehensive bill by Monday, he would send his own proposal to the Senate floor. The committee worked overtime to comply, but Frist still arranged for his bill -- which places more emphasis on border security -- to draw several hours of debate before yielding to the committee measure as the vehicle for amendments and votes, which will start today.

Frist's tactics rankled some GOP colleagues who wanted more time to talk through the divisive questions of illegal immigrants, border fences, guest-worker options and other matters.

"We should have had a much more ambitious process of trying to build consensus and bringing people and different views together before we engaged in debate on the Senate floor," Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) said in an interview. "As majority leader you can't be single-minded. You've got to deal with a confluence of challenges and priorities, on behalf of the president, on behalf of the overall party and on behalf of the institution."
I don't know if this will work to Frist's advantage but I don't see him getting the 2008 GOP nomination.

I'm siding with the Beatles on this one.
Founded in 1968, Apple Corps is owned by Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison. Apple Computer was founded in 1976.

At issue is a 1991 deal between the two companies in which both agreed to certain definitions that would regulate both firms' use of the logo.

It's interesting to note that the deal was agreed one year before the invention of the WorldWide web. The current litigation clearly underlines the impact of convergence between computer and media companies.

Apple Corps is demanding millions of dollars in damages and that Apple Computer remove all traces of the apple logo from its music sales and consumption products.

It argues that Apple Computer had agreed not to use the logo in connection with any CD releases of musical content. It wants the judge in the case, iPod user Judge Martin Mann, to agree that the original definition should include online sales.
Apple Computers argues that permanent downloads are the "new CD's." BS!! Downloads do not replace CD's. Downloads take up space on a PC. I know. When I was a freshman in college, I copied most of my collection to my laptop only to delete all that by the time I started my sophomore year. It was taking up too much space. I did not share any of that music with others, only myself.

Groovy. Now I can watch the John Mellencamp concert. I haven't watched a concert online since Act for Change in 2004.

Speaking of Mellencamp, he explains how this spring's tour came into existence.
Mellencamp, whose "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." is featured in commercials promoting this year’s NCAA Tournament, agreed to perform largely because of his relationship with former IU president Myles Brand, who now heads the NCAA.

"Myles asked me for the last three or four years ... and I’ve always had something scheduled, or you know – somethin’– so Myles, kind of, he made the game in Indianapolis. I can’t say no!"

Brand said he had been hoping for a few years to get Mellencamp, who donated $1.5 million to IU for an indoor sports facility, to play on Final Four weekend.

"It always seemed like a good idea," he said. "And it turned out this year, it worked."

Indianapolis’ Monument Circle will be transformed into an outdoor concert arena, with massive video screens that will show the concert and the games between Florida and George Mason and Louisiana State and UCLA.

"I’ve never really seen an event like this, other than Simon & Garfunkel playing in Central Park for free," Mellencamp said. "So I’m kind of excited about it."[...]

Sunday’s show will be the third stop on a 15-date Midwest and East Coast tour for Mellencamp. The tour is an offshoot of last year’s Words & Music tour.

"I didn’t really intend to go out and play this spring at all," he said. "But when this NCAA thing came up a couple months ago, I said, ‘Look, if we’re gonna have to go to all the trouble of rehearsing, just book us more shows.’"
Here's a review of the latest review at the Detroit Second City.

Thank you, John Kerry, for stepping up.
John Kerry urged the U.S. Coast Guard to allow a Chasidic Jew to wear a yarmulke while on duty.

The Massachusetts senator wrote a letter Wednesday to the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard in defense of Jack Rosenberg of Spring Valley, N.Y.

After being sworn into the Coast Guard Auxiliary last year, Rosenberg was told by his commander that he was not permitted to wear a yarmulke while on duty.

According to current Coast Guard regulations, "religious items" must be "concealed or worn only during religious services."

Kerry is the principal sponsor of the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, which would require employers to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious practice or observance.
This next article was linked from JTA. Yes, it is from the Courier-Journal. I've been too busy with academics this semester but there has been too much legislation with "religious overtones" this year.
A letter signed by officers of the Community Relations Council, the public policy arm of the Jewish Community Federation of Louisville, cited as examples bills authorizing the posting of the Ten Commandments and the motto "In G-d We Trust" at the Capitol; a governor's prayer breakfast at which only Christians spoke; and a church group's survey asking legislators whether they had professed faith in Jesus.

"We believe that our elected officials should focus less energy on legislating religion itself, and should spend more effort on legislating good policies based on the fundamental moral values shared by all our citizens," the letter said in part.

H. Philip Grossman, the lead signee of the letter, said various events created "a whole feeling of perhaps marginalizing not just the Jewish community, but a lot of other communities, and not just Jews and other non-Christians but also certain Christian groups."

"We wanted to speak to that, because it seemed like it was just a freight train running through," Grossman said.

The letter, which also was sent to Gov. Ernie Fletcher and appears on today's Forum page, received mixed reactions in Frankfort and in the state.

"Would I be out of line if I said amen to that?" David Howe of McCreary County said of the letter. "I agree with them wholeheartedly."[...]

Rep. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, who is Jewish and who sponsored a resolution calling on legislators to disregard the survey, called the council's letter "right on." The House has not yet voted on her resolution.

The Jewish Community Federation council includes representatives of synagogues, agencies and others in Louisville's Jewish community, the largest in the state at more than 8,000.

Gov. Fletcher's press secretary, Jodi Whitaker, said: "We have received the letter. We appreciate the Jewish Community Federation of Louisville's thoughts, and we are working on an appropriate response to their letter."

John McGary, spokesman for House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, said the speaker has made an effort to invite people of various faiths, including Jews and Muslims, to open House sessions with prayer.

A spokeswoman for Senate President David Williams said he was busy with budget negotiations last night and could not comment.

The council's letter criticized a proposed state constitutional amendment supported by Williams that would prevent state courts from barring Ten Commandments displays in public places. That measure is pending.

Rep. Rick Nelson, D-Middlesboro -- who sponsored another bill allowing the Ten Commandments and other religious texts in public historical displays -- said he has "not noticed an increasing emphasis on religion in this session as compared to others."[...]

Kathryn Johnson, president of the Kentucky Council of Churches, however, said she agreed with the Jewish council's letter.

"While we're very devoted to the way faith shapes our citizenship, we also feel called to the creation of a community in which all seek wholeness and faithful living," said Johnson, who also is a professor at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Khalid Kahloon, executive director of the American Muslim Association of Louisville, also agreed with the letter.

He said the Jewish community, because it is long established, represents "the voice of religious minorities in this community. … I'm glad they're doing it for the rest of us."
Steroid investigation is imminent.

Former Senator Tom Daschle will deliver the Dole Lecture.

Again, blogging will be light this weekend.

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