Category Archives: Op-Ed

“The Declaration of Innovation”

With Independence Day and the 235th birthday of the United States right around the corner, it seems appropriate to celebrate a trait we Americans pride ourselves on…innovation.  For over 200 years many American businesses have eclipsed those abroad by delivering novel ideas and products.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) hopes to further stimulate American innovation by advocating legislation that would encourage innovation and return it to “to its rightful place at the center of America’s economic policy.”

CEA’s efforts include the publication of a book, The Comeback: How Innovation will Restore the American Dream by CEO Gary Shapiro, and the launch of “The Declaration of Innovation.”  At http://declareinnovation.com you are prompted to “add your John Hancock” and support policies to boost innovation in America.  Currently there are more than 132, 000 signatures supporting CEA’s movement.

The legendary American dream promises anyone with enough dedication and hard work the chance to do and be whatever they imagine.  Have you been inspired by the American dream?  This concept has encouraged many to create and produce the backbones of the American economy: the Wright brothers and the plane, Edison and the light bulb, Bell and the telephone, and Ford and the assembly line to name a few.

CEA argues that we need to rediscover innovation to grow our economy and obtain the American dream.  It is worth your time to visit “The Declaration of Innovation” site and read CEA’s argument.  Decide for yourself if the United States is beginning to lose sight of one of the characteristics that made us a superpower.

Racial issues plague administration

President Barack Obama is the first African American president of the United States. Some may think that shows how far the country has come since segregation.

However, it seems that racial tensions have increased since Barack Obama began running for president. During the campaign, when anyone opposed his policies, they were accused of being racist. That prejudice has continued. Tea Party members are accused of being racist. In some publicized occasions, the accusation has incited violence.

Many headlines have been popping up recently, but a big incident of racial friction happened last July. Sgt. James Crowley arrested Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for disorderly conduct at his Cambridge home July 16 while investigating a possible burglary. Gates alleged he was a victim of racial profiling. Charges were later dropped. In the midst of this incident, Obama commented that the police sergeant “behaved stupidly”.

Everyone behaved stupidly. Both Crowley and Gates could have handled the situation with more aplomb. But worse, Obama made a judgement without knowing the facts. As the President of the United States, he shouldn’t have made any comment.

This summer, a Department of Justice dismissed voter intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party, prompting criticism from conservative groups who said the black president was unwilling to prosecute fellow blacks for civil rights violations. A Department of Justice worker said this had become DOJ policy.

Which brings us to Sherrod.

This week, Shirley Sherrod, a black official at the Agriculture Department, said her bosses pushed her to quit after conservative media repeatedly broadcast a tape that seemed to show her saying she had discriminated against a white farmer because of his race. Turns out Sherrod was talking about something that happened years ago and taught her a lesson about the race. But, only the racist statements were released to the media.

Many think Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story, was set up. Words like ‘racist’ and ‘conservative media’ are being thrown around.

Clearly, race is still an issue. America cannot claim to be a post-racial society as long as snap-judgements, misconceptions, and miscommunications determine policy.

Google looking to establish hive mind

With stocks falling and bouncing and the euro dropping to its lowest point in four years, it’s hard to be optimistic about business.

I have found that I have blogged about Google quite a bit. It is my favorite Big Brother. I find it’s global dominance somewhat charming, and I have a secret desire to work there.

They allow dogs in the office. They bring in goats to cut the grass. Now, Google owns bees.

With four new hives, Google intends to raise awareness about Colony Collapse Disorder. It also supplies the employees with fresh honey and wax. Google’s executive chef, Marc Rasic, posted an article on the Google Blog explaining why it was important to have these bees on the grounds.

Honey extraction and beekeeping is left to volunteers. Cooking classes and candle-making sessions will be offered in the fall.

Apple overtakes Microsoft

The apocalypse must be near. Apple has reached a total value of $222 billion.

Microsoft is at $219 billion.

Okay, maybe it’s not the sign of the first seal being broken, but it is pretty momentous. Remember how Apple almost went out of business in the 90’s? What saved the company was the iPod in 2001. It worked with Microsoft-running computers, but really made people take a second look at Apple computers.

In 2007, the iPhone changed the way people looked at touchscreen smart phones.

Now, if I could only figure out what to use an iPad for, I’d be all set.

The Glory of the DVD Bin

Every once in awhile, Wal-mart or Target or any number of locations haul out a big cardboard box, throw their overstock of DVDs into it, and mark them all down to some ridiculously low price. Usually starting around $5.99, my mother told me there was nothing worthwhile in these bins.

She is wrong.

The DVD markdown bin holds a bounty of treasure. All you have to do is dig. For example, I found a copy of Space Camp. Space Camp is one of those movies that you loved when you were a kid, but when you see it as an adult, you start to wonder about yourself. How could I love a movie that was so bad? It’s a movie so bad, it’s good.

Sometimes, after a bad day, you need a bad movie to cheer you up. Or, after a good day, you need to end on a laugh.

You need to own Space Camp, but paying anything more than $5.99 for it is a crime.

The DVD bin is a societal necessity. The thrill of the hunt returns to humanity in your neighborhood super store. Bow and arrows in aisle five.

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