Entries Tagged as 'History'

conglomeration

con·glom·er·a·tion (kn-glm-rshn)
n.

    1. The act or process of conglomerating.
    2. The state of being conglomerated.
  1. An accumulation of miscellaneous things.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


conglomeration [kənˌglɒməˈreɪʃən] n

  1. a conglomerate mass
  2. a mass of miscellaneous things
  3. the act of conglomerating or the state of being conglomerated

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003


conglomeration a cluster; things joined into a compact body, coil, or ball.

Examples: conglomeration of buildings, 1858; of chances; of Christian names, 1842; of men, 1866; of sounds, 1626; of threads of silk worms, 1659; of vessels, 1697; of words.

Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The SCO infringement lawsuit over the Unix trademark is over… the Supreme Court has ruled that Novell owns the Unix trademark and copyright, and SCO has no grounds for it’s litigation against.  Just as Microsoft owned and retained the Xenix copyright while SCO distributed that operating system, so Novell retained the Unix copyright while SCO distributed that operating system.

While means, Novell now has a prime asset — and could be ripe for harvesting (that’s a poetic way to say merger, take-over, buy-out).

Which will likely be bad for Linux.

WHAT?

Yep, take a look at what happened when Oracle purchased Sun (one of the largest companies supporting Open Source innovation in Linux, virtualization, etc) there’s definitely movement in Oracle to retract from the Open Source and free (free – like free beer) software efforts that Sun was firmly behind.

Consider what happens if a company acquires Novell and uses the SystemV license from Novell to market a closed source operating system, and discontinues work on Suse; or at minimum decides it doesn’t distributed Suse for free (free – like free beer).

“Live free or die” might become a fading memory.

Originally posted 2010-06-05 02:00:18.

The Sky Is Falling!

Don’t you love all the horrendous predictions of cataclysmic apotheosis marking the end of the world?

It seems the general public is always ready for a good scare; and no one seems to remember the big nothing that was Y2K.

21 December 2012, or is that 23 December 2012 — at least Y2K had a consistent date to fear.

Across the world people are making movies, writing news stories, blogging, praying, partying, and generally believing that the Mayans have fore told the end of the world.

Couldn’t it be they just ran out of ink and or paper (OK — chisels and stone) and took a break from filing out the calendar, and then got wiped off the face of the Earth by a Spanish conquistador they didn’t fore tell?

Here’s the translation of the text at Mayan ruins in Mexico called the “Tortuguero Site” that’s being used as “evidence” to support this claim:

The Thirteenth [b’ak’tun] will end (on) 4 Ajaw, the 3rd of Uniiw [3 K’ank’in]. Black … will occur. (It will be) the descent(?) of Bolon Yookte’ K’uh to the great (or red?)

Seems like the experts haven’t quit figured out exactly what the inscription means yet; partially due to the lack of Mayans around to help with the translation, no doubt.

Besides, the end of the world is kind of a Judeo-Christian belief (gotta love religions steeped in drama); there’s no references to any such world ending event in any other Mayan text, and there are plenty of references to events wells beyond this alleged end of the world.

Doubtful that the Mayan calendar fore tells the end of the world; galactic alignment isn’t going to happen in 2012 (besides it’s already happened many times); planet Nibiru (aka planet X) would probably be in sight if it were bearing down on Earth (whoops, that’s a Sumerian prediction — a contributor to drama in many modern religions); major solar activity (actually predicted for 2012-2014) probably won’t destroy the Earth; the sun isn’t scheduled to explode for several million more years; an asteroid could hit the Earth (if it were coming from an oblique angle it might not be noticed quite yet), but unlikely the Mayan’s would have had insight into that; green house gases probably won’t accumulate enough by then; tectonic activity probably won’t increase enough in two years to destroy the Earth…

OK, I’m out of possibilities… other than people just needing something to believe in (read that as fear) I just don’t see anything “real” about any of these predictions… I suspect in the end it will be just like poor hysterical Chicken Little (Chicken Licken / Henny Penny if you prefer the non-Disney version [which doesn’t rhyme]– or just go all the way back to Aesop’s Fables or the Daddabha Jataka).

Originally posted 2010-04-01 02:00:15.

History of the Black Eyed Pea Tradition

The Real Story is much more interesting and has gone untold in fear that feelings would be hurt. It’s a story of war, the most brutal and bloody war, military might and power pushed upon civilians, women, children and elderly. Never seen as a war crime, this was the policy of the greatest nation on earth trying to maintain that status at all costs. An unhealed wound remains in the hearts of some people of the southern states even today; on the other hand, the policy of slavery has been an open wound that has also been slow to heal but is okay to talk about.

The story of THE BLACK EYED PEA being considered good luck relates directly back to Sherman’s Bloody March to the Sea in late 1864. It was called The Savannah Campaign and was lead by Major General William T. Sherman. The Civil War campaign began on 11/15/64 when Sherman ‘s troops marched from the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia, and ended at the port of Savannah on 12/22/1864.

When the smoke cleared, the southerners who had survived the onslaught came out of hiding. They found that the blue belly aggressors that had looted and stolen everything of value and everything you could eat including all livestock, death and destruction were everywhere. While in hiding, few had enough to eat, and starvation was now upon the survivors.

There was no international aid, no Red Cross meal trucks. The Northern army had taken everything they could carry and eaten everything they could eat. But they couldn’t take it all. The devastated people of the south found for some unknown reason that Sherman ’s bloodthirsty troops had left silos full of black eyed peas.

At the time in the north, the lowly black eyed pea was only used to feed stock. The northern troops saw it as the thing of least value. Taking grain for their horses and livestock and other crops to feed themselves, they just couldn’t take everything. So they left the black eyed peas in great quantities assuming it would be of no use to the survivors, since all the livestock it could feed had either been taken or eaten.

Southerners awoke to face a new year in this devastation and were facing massive starvation if not for the good luck of having the black eyed peas to eat. From New Years Day 1866 forward, the tradition grew to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck.

· Ron Perrin, Ft Worth, TX, US

Originally posted 2012-01-01 02:00:27.

Bye-bye, tax breaks?

By Jeanne Sahadi, senior writer CNN
October 26, 2010: 2:05 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Who says there’s no bipartisanship? Democrats and Republicans running for Congress are finding every way possible to assure voters they will keep Americans’ taxes low forever.

But those will be hard promises to keep after the economy recovers. Tax experts almost uniformly say the next Congress should rethink the more than 200 tax breaks in the federal code that cost more than $1 trillion a year. And, yes, that includes even the really, really popular ones.

Lawmakers may be presented with the idea as early as December, when President Obama’s fiscal commission issues its report. There is a possibility the commission may recommend curtailing or eliminating some tax breaks.

Commission co-chairman Erskine Bowles has publicly expressed support for the idea. So has commission member Alice Rivlin, former White House budget director. Another member, Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, who coauthored a bipartisan plan for tax reform, supports curtailing some breaks but only to lower marginal tax rates in the context of broader reform.

The $1 trillion-plus in forgone revenue is close to the amount allocated for defense and discretionary spending in 2010, or the equivalent of nearly a third of the latest federal budget.

Cutting back on tax breaks can be a more efficient way to bring in revenue than raising income tax rates because it would subject more work and business income to taxation. If done right, it also promises to make the tax code fairer and simpler.

For years, leading tax experts and economists from the left and the right have contended that tax breaks are, in reality, a form of spending. The cost of tax breaks is mostly invisible, since there’s no formal accounting of them on Uncle Sam’s books. And once passed into law, they are rarely scrutinized.

“[Tax breaks] are styled as tax savings, but really function as replacements for explicit government spending. Some make sense, but a great many are poorly targeted and would never pass Congress if presented as an outright spending proposal,” tax expert Edward Kleinbard wrote in an article this summer called, “Sacred Cows: It’s Them or Us.”
Popular tax breaks: Dogfight ahead

A disproportionate amount of the lost revenue from tax breaks comes from just five of them.

Not surprisingly, those five are also among the most popular:

  • mortgage interest deduction;
  • tax-free income workers get from employers to pay for health insurance;
  • deduction for state and local taxes;
  • deduction for charitable contributions;
  • and myriad tax breaks for retirement savings.

Many of those breaks are only available to the roughly one-third of taxpayers who itemize deductions on their returns.

There have been a number of proposals over the years for how the biggest breaks might be modified.

Most recently, the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget put out a paper highlighting many possibilities that combined could raise $1.7 trillion in additional revenue over a decade.
Think you’re smart about deficits? Try this

For instance, consider the money that workers receive when their employers contribute to their health insurance costs. That subsidy is currently treated as tax-free income to the worker and is unlimited.

The subsidy could instead be converted to a credit, which is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of one’s tax bill. The credit would be phased out for higher income taxpayers and it would be refundable for low-income workers who don’t make enough income to owe any federal income tax.

“This strategy would reduce the incentive for employers to offer ‘gold-plated’ insurance plans,” the budget watchdog group wrote.

The mortgage interest deduction — currently available on up to $1.1 million of borrowing — could be gradually reduced so that it only applies to loans on up to $500,000. And the option tax filers get to deduct interest on their second homes could be eliminated.

“[Today’s] policy is regressive (providing larger tax breaks to those well off enough to purchase more expensive homes), promotes homeownership over other productive investments and costs the government roughly $100 billion a year in lost revenues,” the committee noted in its paper.

Since everyone in Congress can identify and vilify what they see as “tax breaks for special interests,” curbing tax breaks has a lot of bipartisan support. The problem, of course, is that there’s less agreement on just which tax breaks deserve the ax or at least a haircut.

And, of course, since politicians much prefer to hand out tax breaks to voters and financial backers, it may be hard for them to muster the mettle required to reverse gears.

How hard? Bowles put it plainly at the fiscal commission’s public meeting in September.

“It’s not going to be easy,” he said. “It’s not going to be fun, and in many cases, it’s also not going to be popular. It is going to require sacrifice on the part of all Americans to get there.”

Original Article on CNN.com

Originally posted 2010-11-06 02:00:55.

Immigrants go home!

That’s right… if you’re not a native from the area of North America now claimed by the United States (or Hawaii) get the hell out!!!

All you people who can trace your ancestry to the Mayflower, unless you can also trace it to Native Americans get the hell out!!!

Just because you were born here of parents not from here doesn’t make you an American; and I’ll thank you to take yourself back to where you came from…

Well, at least that’s what a new Arizona law intends to try to do with people in that state… of course it’s not clear that they want to change their view that children born of parents legally in this country are extended citizenship, but those born of parents illegally in this country would be denied citizenship (I’ll need to see that all you original immigrants have papers authorizing you to enter this country).

What a joke…

Citizenship in the US is not something a state can decide whether or not to grant to an individual; it’s clearly in the realms of the federal government of the United States of America, and perhaps the legislature of the state of Arizona should read over the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, paying particular note to the citizenship clause (which also happens to be in the same section as the due process clause) and of course Dred Scott v Sandford.

Sure the Fourteenth Amendment has never been tested in the case that the parents of a child were in this country illegally; but it contains the phrase under the jurisdiction — and in my mind, if individuals aren’t under the jurisdiction of the state and / or United States then they couldn’t be deported, and the act of attempting to deport or detaining an illegal alien would clearly establish that they are in fact under jurisdiction.

What a waste of resources; at least Rhode Island came to their senses and tabled a clone of the Arizona law.

While it might be arguable that the Fourteenth Amendment’s citizenship requirements do not cover individuals who enter or remain in this country illegally; taking under consideration the Tenth Amendment (contained in the Bill of Rights) since the Fourteenth Amendment defines citizenship in the United States, it thus removes that area from interpretation (or legislation) by the states (or any state).

Amendment 10

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

NOTE:  Amendments are part of the Constitution.

Amendment 14

Section 1
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

I’ll close by reminding all of you that the Constitution of the United States provides protections for it’s citizens and any and all who travel within the borders of the United States equally.  Whether you be an upstanding citizen, a politician, a criminal, an immigrant, an anti-government radical, or even a terrorist — the Constitution  provides a written basis for the American way of life, only when it’s principals and ideas are defended for everyone does the American system stand strong – when the pillars the country stands on crumble, all is lost.

Originally posted 2010-06-01 02:00:50.

Bill of Rights – Amendment I

The past week has made me question if it’s not just the financial future for the United States that is in serious question, but the very founding principles which established this republic.

The framers of the Constitution of the United States were compelled to add the first ten amendments to that document before ratification. Known as the Bill of Rights the first of these amendments (Amendment I) contains precept son which much of the expansion of this country has been based (though this is not the first time it’s principle has been tarnished).

On 17 September 1787 the current United States Constitution was adopted by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and ratified by each US state in the name of “The People”.

The United States Constitution is the oldest written (single document) constitution still in use by any nation on our planet, and had for over two hundred years defined law in the United States.

On 25 September 1789 the following was added to the United States Constitution, and enacted in full force on 15 December 1791.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The “eviction” of peaceful protestors in a number of cities across the nation was alarming in itself; but the use of pepper spray to clear out a group of peaceful protesters at the University of California Davis, in Davis, California is a travesty.  This incident, caught on video and seen within 24-hours of it happening by over half a million people is truly alarming.

I do agree with University of California Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi that an independent investigation be conducted; but I believe that several investigations need to be conducted, including one by the Justice Department under the direction of the US Attorney General.

While I do not feel Linda Katehi needs to step down; I do believe both her and the commander of the police force, as well as any officer acting outside the bounds of the orders issued, need to be put on administrative leave immediately; and their actions would need to be fully investigated before allowing them to return to their positions of authority.

Points of law, and the legality of actions are determined by the judiciary; but it is the responsibility of the executive branch to insure that potential violations of law (and civil rights) are arraigned.

The Arab Spring was seen as a great movement forward to allowing people to be free(r) and allow them to have a (larger) stake in deciding their future; but now, perhaps the United States needs to request international observers to insure that our government doesn’t continue down this road to infringe on the rights that “we the people” have given so much to secure.


Originally posted 2011-11-21 02:00:40.

Marco Rubio

Politicians are slick, and it’s always difficult (if not impossible) to truly know what they mean when they say anything, not to mention how to know whether or not they mean anything they say.

Marco Rubio, junior senator from Florida (Republican) made an interesting statement recently on his views on big government verses small government.

The success sequence in America says you get an education, you get a good job, you get married, you have children. People who do those four things have an incredible level of economic stability.

Now the question that came to my mind after pondering this statement is:

  • Does Rubio support same gender marriage, or does he believe fundamentally those who would seek a same gender marriage should be denied access to the “success sequence” he’s put forth?

Well, it would seem he’s pandering to his political base, the conservative right, since shortly after he said:

Those who support same sex marriage have a right to lobby their state legislatures to change state laws, but Americans who support keeping the traditional definition of marriage also have a right to work to keep the traditional definition of marriage in our laws without seeing that overturned by a judge.

While he did indicate that American history was “marred by discrimination against gays and lesbians” it would appear that while he’s willing to let gays drink in a bar, or have a job, he’s unwilling to allow them access to what he considers “the success sequence in America”.

I honestly don’t know what Rubio is trying to say, and perhaps neither does he — he may be so lost in trying to drum up votes from every segment of American society that he has lost or muddied his values… but one thing that is nagging me in the back of my mind is if he would have been a staunch supporter of separate but equal

Originally posted 2014-07-25 17:00:08.

US Health Care Reform

Today US President Barrack Obama is supposed to deliver a revised plan to overhaul US Health care… but yesterday Warren Buffet hit the nail on the head while speaking on CNC he said the country’s out-of-control health care costs — at US $2.3 trillion a year and growing — are like “a tapeworm eating at our economic body.”

Mr Buffet underscored that he would support overhaul legislation proposed by the US Senate, but that he would prefer existing proposals be scrapped in favor of a new plan targeted at addressing costs.

“What we have now is untenable over time,” said Mr. Buffett, noting the U.S. health-care system eats up about 17% of the country’s economic output, compared with about 10% for Canada and many other countries. “I believe in insuring more people. But I don’t believe in insuring more people until you attack the cost aspect of this. And there is no reason for us to be spending 17% or thereabouts when many other developed countries are spending, we’ll say, 9 or 10%. They have more beds, they have more nurses, they have more doctors, they even have more consultations by far.”

The major obstacles to any real reform would be the power health care lobbyists (representing pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, doctors, and other health care related entities) as well as the American public.

Without reform, the cost of U.S. health care — already the most expensive in the world — is forecast to jump to around 25% of the US economic output by 2025.

My feeling is that since the Democrats couldn’t come up with a plan that they could all get behind when they had control of the House, Senate, and Presidency it’s extremely unlikely that they can build bi-partisan support for much of any real reform now.

American politics is always a shining example that change isn’t always progress.

Originally posted 2010-03-04 02:00:40.

Deficit Spending – RNC Style

These are the people who were elected to put the nation’s economy back on track?

Washington (CNN) – The Republican National Committee raised $5.2 million last month, but still is saddled with a debt of more than $21 million from the 2010 midterm elections.

The RNC was able to pay $1 million toward reducing the debt in February, but received an additional $1 million in invoices from 2010 that left its financial position virtually unchanged, according to a report that will be filed this afternoon with the Federal Election Commission. CNN was provided the data prior to the filing.

Originally posted 2011-03-21 02:00:13.

A Country Divided

On 12 April 1861 Confederate forces attached the US military garrison at Fort Sumter in South Carolina and set in motion the secession the American Civil War.

Seven Southern states had already seceded before this time; four more joined them once Lincoln called for an Army.

Some historians, though, believe that the attack on Fort Pickens in Florida deserve the moniker as the place where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.

Which ever it is — the war was a long any bloody fight which reshaped American society.

Originally posted 2010-04-12 01:30:45.