24
Feb
15

30th Annual IDMA Ballot

IDMA_Banner_30th

 

Here is my voting record. Many things I didn’t vote for because they are out of my scope of interest or experience so those were left blank.

  1. Best Underground Dance Track: Drew Hill – Talk To You (Groove Armada Remix)

  2. Best Alternative/Indie Rock Dance Track: Paramore – Ain’t It Fun

  3. Best Indie Dance Track: Hercules & Love Affair – Do You Feel The Same?

  4. Best Latin Dance Track: Enrique Iglesias ft. Descemer Bueno – Bailando

  5. Best House/Garage/Deep House Track: Kiesza – Hideaway

  6. Best R&B/Urban Dance Track: Jeremih Feat. YG – Don’t Tell ‘Em

  7. Best Electro/Progressive House Track: Martin Garrix & MOTi – Virus (How About Now)

  8. Best Rap/Hip Hop/Trap Dance Track: Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – Fancy

  9. Best Trance Track: Andrew Rayel – Dark Warrior

  10. Best Dubstep/Drum & Bass Track: Sigma ft Paloma Faith – Changing

  11. Best Tech House/Techno Track: UMEK ft. Jay Colin – Burnfire

  12. Best Chillout/Lounge Track: Melosense – Connected

  13. Best Commercial/Pop Dance Track: Calvin Harris ft. John Newman – Blame

  14. Best Compilation or Full Length DJ Mix:
  15. Best Global DJ: Calvin Harris
  16. Best North American DJ: Porter Robinson
  17. Best European DJ: Avicii
  18. Best Break-Through DJ: Duke Dumont
  19. Best EDM/Pop DJ: Avicii
  20. Best Trance DJ: Markus Schulz
  21. Best House/Garage/Deep House DJ: Dusky
  22. Best Indie Dance/Underground DJ: Madeon
  23. Best Progressive House/Electro DJ: Fedde Le Grand
  24. Best Techno/Tech House DJ: UMEK
  25. Best Dubstep/Drum & Bass DJ: Netsky
  26. Best Hardstyle DJ:
  27. Best Podcast or Radio Mixshow DJ:
  28. Best Artist (Solo): Calvin Harris
  29. Best Artist (Group): Cash Cash
  30. Best Break-Through Artist (Solo): Kiesza
  31. Best Break-Through Artist (Group):
  32. Best Full Length Studio Recording:
  33. Best Featured Vocalist Performance – Title, Vocalist/Artist:
  34. Best Music Video: Kiesza – Hideaway
  35. Best Producer: Calvin Harris
  36. Best Remixer: R3hab
  37. Best US Club:
  38. Best Global Club:
  39. Best Music Event – Event, Location:
  40. Best Radio Station (Internet, Terrestrial, Satellite, App): Digitally Imported
  41. Best Music Media Resource (Online or Print): DJ Mag
  42. Best Music App: Digitally Imported
  43. Best EDM/Dance Music Retailer: Beatport.com
  44. Best Global Music Label: Spinnin’ Records
  45. Best American Music Label: Ultra Music
  46. Best Indie/Underground Music Label:
  47. Best Music Label Promoter Or Exec In-House:
  48. Best Independent Music Promotion/Marketing:
  49. Best Promo Subscription Service/Music Pool:
  50. Best New Product of the Year:
  51. Best Manufacturer of the Year:
  52. Best Studio Product of the Year:
  53. Best DJ Software:
  54. Best Mixer:
  55. Best DJ Controller:
  56. Best Media Player:
  57. Best Headphones:
23
Feb
15

Arizona SB1167: Fail to pass Senate

SB1167 failed to pass today with 13-15-2-0.

YEA:
Sen. Sylvia Allen [R]
Sen. Andy Biggs [R]
Sen. Judy Burges [R]
Sen. Jeff Dial [R]
Sen. David Farnsworth [R]
Sen. Gail Griffin [R]
Sen. John Kavanagh [R]
Sen. Debbie Lesko [R]
Sen. Don Shooter [R]
Sen. Steve Smith [R]
Sen. Kelli Ward [R]
Sen. Steven Yarbrough [R]
Sen. Kimberly Yee [R]

NAY:
Sen. Edward Ableser [D]
Sen. Nancy Barto [R]
Sen. Carlyle Begay [D]
Sen. David Bradley [D]
Sen. Lupe Contreras [D]
Sen. Andrea Dalessandro [D]
Sen. Adam Driggs [R]
Sen. Steve Farley [D]
Sen. Katie Hobbs [D]
Sen. Robert Meza [D]
Sen. Catherine Miranda [D]
Sen. Lynne Pancrazi [D]
Sen. Stephen Pierce [R]
Sen. Martin Quezada [D]
Sen. Bob Worsley [R]

NO VOTE:
Sen. Olivia Bedford [D]
Sen. Barbara McGuire [D]

22
Feb
15

The end of red-light SCAMeras in Arizona?

redlightcamera

Ticketing cameras have been popping up in increased numbers over the last decade. Some of them only measure speed, others red-light running, some actively scan licence plates, and some do a combination of all those. To be honest, we all want to be safe on the road. Nobody likes it when someone runs a red light and certainly not when someone runs a red light and causes an accident. The question remains however of whether or not these ticketing cameras help curb the problem of speeding or red-light running. In fact, some argue that the cameras do more harm than good.

I agree with the sentiment that these cameras do more harm than good and I think anyone that lives with them would agree. I remember here in Arizona we had speed cameras on the highway and red light cameras on the corners. It was nearly a death trap on the highway where everyone would be cruising along ([above the speed limit] and when you got in the area of a speed camera everyone would slam on their brakes. Of course, logic should tell you that if everyone is suddenly slamming on their brakes that there is eventually going to be an uptick of rear-end collisions.

Whiplash anyone?

So while the cameras may have stopped people from speeding, did it actually make us more safe? If we traded decreased speed for an increase in rear-end collisions then I’d personally say that the safety of our community was degraded and I think that many would agree.

Likewise with red-light cameras and safety. We may have stopped people from running red lights but we have also increased the likelihood that people slam on their brakes at the sight of a yellow light instead of safely proceeding through and avoiding a rear-end collision. I know that I personally know where the cameras are at in my neighborhood and I try to avoid them. If I can’t avoid them then I approach them with caution – I’m always super paranoid that if I stop on yellow (to avoid running the red light) then I will be rear-ended by someone behind me who isn’t paying attention or simply isn’t expecting me to stop. I literally go through these intersections staring at my rear-view mirror! Scary – shouldn’t my eyes be forward and scanning the road in front of me?

We have all heard the reports when these cameras were being put in about how safe they made people – how people drove slower and ran less red-lights. But were those “studies” done by independent organizations, by lobbyist, or by the camera companies themselves? It seems to me that these studies very well may have been done by the latter two groups. This is even more true due to the fact of all the scandals and judgments handed down against these camera companies – everything from bribery to changing the yellow light timing to ensure more captures.

Here in Arizona we are pushing to finally rid ourselves of this cancer and return ourselves to a more sane, logical, and Constitutional way of nabbing those who break traffic laws by passing SB1167, entitled “Photo radar; prohibition.” So far the bill has managed to pass all paces and has picked up some notable endorsements, to include:

  • Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) supports a ban on photo ticketing. (citation needed)
  • Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) – Sheriff Babeu ended photo ticketing in his county immediately after taking office. He wrote Senator Ward aletter in support of SB 1167.
  • Phoenix Law Enforcement Association voted unanimously last week to support SB 1167
  • Richard Mack, a former two-term Graham County Sheriff, and current candidate for Navajo County Sheriff has been calling Arizona Senate members in support of SB 1167. (citation needed)

Tomorrow, 23 February 2015, is the day that the Arizona Senate votes on SB1167. Please consider contacting your Senator and telling them to vote YEA for SB1167. If you do not know their contact information then click here. The email I sent simply said “Please represent me by voting YEA for SB1167.”

Other items that you may want to consider that make red light cameras Unconstitutional:

  • 4th Amendment: The cameras scan the license plate and run the MVD data (your personal information) of every motorist in Arizona that passes by them, tracking people like cattle. This is a unwarranted search.
  • 5th Amendment: Photo tickets demand a fine be paid, or face the seizure of capital and possessions without offering due process. It’s simply a rubber stamp by an employee of the company who is collecting the fine.
  • 6th Amendment: There is no way to exercise your right to face your accuser, when the accuser is a machine.
  • 7th Amendment: There is no option for a trial because they’ve taken that right away from you with photo tickets, even though the fines can go as high as $350 in the state of Arizona.
  • 14th Amendment: Two sets of standards have been created for the same offenses. Red light and speed camera tickets are treated completely differently by the courts, which is a clear violation of your right to equal protection under the laws. And no machine can replace a sworn peace officer conduction traffic stops.

Below is a link with a collection of studies on whether or not red-light cameras increase public safety.

Red Light Camera Studies show increase in accidents

Arizona can do this. I reported in May 2010 about how Arizona got rid of the speed cameras on the highways – so this is totally possible, especially if we all call our politicians and tell them to support this bill!

21
Feb
15

The Minimum Wage and Magical Thinking

My mother always told me that money doesn’t grow on trees, but apparently it does in some people’s world. It is baffling to think that people think that if you raise the minimum wage that there won’t be effects felt elsewhere. Do they think that companies (owners and CEOs) are just simply going to eat the loss? Or that patrons will simply buy the same food, at the same rate, for an increase fare? Magical thinking indeed. Original by  is found here.

If all other factors remain equal, the higher the price of a good, the less people will demand it. That’s the law of demand, a fundamental idea in economics. And yet there is no shortage of politicians, pundits, policy wonks, and members of the public who insist that raising the price of labor will not have the effect of lessening the demand for workers. In his 2014 State of the Union Address, for example, President Barack Obama called on Congress to raise the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. He argued that increasing the minimum wage would “grow the economy for everyone” by giving “businesses customers with more spending money.” A January 2015 working paper by two economists, Robert Pollin and Jeanette Wicks-Lim at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, claims that raising the minimum wage of fast food workers to $15 per hour over a four-year transition period would not necessarily result in “shedding jobs.” The two acknowledge that the “raising the price of anything will reduce demand for that thing, all else equal.” But they believe they’ve found a way to “relax” the all-else-being-equal part, at least as far as the wages of fast food workers go. Pollin and Wicks-Lim argue that “the fast-food industry could fully absorb these wage bill increases through a combination of turnover reductions; trend increases in sales growth; and modest annual price increases over the four-year period.” They further claim that a $15/hour minimum wage would not result in lower profits or the reallocation of funds away from other operations, such as marketing. Amazing. Pollin and Wicks-Lim calculate that doubling the minimum wage for 2.5 million fast food workers would cost the industry an additional $33 billion annually. They further calculate that reduced turnover will lower costs by $5.2 billion annually and that three years of sales growth at 2.5 percent per year and price hikes at 3 percent per year will yield $30 billion in extra revenues. Let’s consider turnover first. Pollin and Wicks-Lim claim that an increased minimum wage will substantially reduce the costs of employee turnover, saving money that can now go to pay higher wages. The two fail to grapple with, much less refute, a devastating response to this idea from no less a liberal than the Nobel-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. In his review of Pollin’s 1998 book The Living Wage, Krugman wrote: “The obvious economist’s reply is, if paying higher wages is such a good idea, why aren’t companies doing it voluntarily?” (That question goes unaddressed in the current study.) Krugman continues, “But in any case there is a fundamental flaw in the argument: Surely the benefits of low turnover and high morale in your work force come not from paying a high wage, but from paying a high wage ‘compared with other companies’—and that is precisely what mandating an increase in the minimum wage for all companies cannot accomplish.” So scratch $5.2 billion. What about Pollin and Wicks-Lim’s sales growth projections? Well, sales don’t always grow. McDonalds reported a sales decrease of one percent in 2014. Some analysts think that fast food sales may have peaked in the United States. But there’s a deeper problem. In the absence of the higher minimum wage, employers would generally hire more workers to meet any increased demand for fast food. Boosting the minimum wage means that the revenues that wohave otherwise been used to hire new workers is not available. The end result: fewer jobs created and more folks unemployed. Pollin and Wicks-Lim recognize that raising the price means that people will eat fewer hamburgers and fries. They calculate that a 3 percent per year price increase results in a 1.5 percent per year decline in what sales would have been, which means that revenues would increase by 1.5 percent. Then they assume that the price increases won’t affect the underlying 2.5 percent annual sales growth rate. (Rising prices never slow sales, apparently.) Pollin and Wicks-Lim roughly generate the revenues they want to cover the higher wages by calculating that a three-year increase in prices and sales growth will net $10.6 band $19.8 billion, respectively. Adding these to the postulated turnover savings of $5.2 billion yields $35.6 billion, which handily covers the extra wage costs of $33 billion. Voila. Since all companies would have to pay the new minimum wage, they argue that all fast food joints wouldn’t have to fear that competitors would try to lure their customers away by lowering their prices. In this scenario, the restaurants get to sell fewer burgers than they would otherwise have done while making more money which they then fork over as higher wages. Aficionados of cheap tacos, hot dogs, and burgers are the big losers. But doesn’t selling fewer burgers imply a need for fewer employees? Never mind. Going through the artful assumptions in this scenario brings to mind the hoary old joke where a physicist, a chemist, and an economist are stranded on an island with just a can of soup to eat. The physicist says, “Let’s smash the can open with a rock.” The chemist says, “Let’s build a fire and heat the can first.” The economist says, “Let’s assume that we have a can-opener…” Meanwhile, two new studies by economists using actual wage and employment data have just been published. Both find that in the real world, the law of demand still applies to labor. In the first paper, Andrew Hanson of Marquette University and Zack Hawley of Texas Christian University analyzed how low wage employment would be affected in each state by the imposition of a national $10.10 per hour minimum wage supported by President Obama. The Hanson/Hawley study takes into account how wages relate to the varying cost-of-living levels among the states. First they report the number of workers in a state that earn less $10.10 per hour. Next they apply the widely agreed upon formula that for every 10 percent increase in wages there is a corresponding 1 to 2 percent decrease in demand for labor. They then straightforwardly estimate that boosting the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour would result the loss of between 550,000 and 1.5 million jobs. States with higher numbers of workers making less than $10.10 per hour would lose the most jobs. Georgia, for example, would lose 51,000; Illinois would lose 65,000; Texas would lose 31,000; and Wisconsin would lose 34,000. The second study, published in December by Jeffrey Clemens and Michael Wither of the University of California, San Diego, parses how the actual increase of the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour between July 2007 and July 2009 affected the employment rates of low-skilled workers. Using U.S. Census employment data, they can focus specifically on how low-skilled workers fared when the minimum wage rose as the Great Recession proceeded. They compare what happened to the employment rates of low-skilled workers in states where they were generally earning below the new minimum wage versus those where low-skilled wages were already higher. They refer to the first set of 27 states as being “bound” by the increase and the second set as being “unbound” by it. The minimum wage, they show, exacerbated unemployment. Their analysis starts in December 2006, when the employment-to-population ratio—defined as the portion of working-age Americans (ages to 16 to 64) in the labor market—stood at 63.4 percent and ends in December 2012 when it had dropped to 58.6 percent. They estimate that by the second year following the $7.25 minimum’s implementation, the employment rates of low-skilled workers “had fallen by 6 percentage points more in bound than in unbound states.” In other words, job losses were considerably higher in states where unskilled workers had been earning less than the new minimum. Overall, they estimate that the minimum wage increase “reduced the employment-to-population ratio of working age adults by 0.7 percentage points.” That would have boosted the 2012 employment-to-population ratio from 58.6 to 59.3, which implies that there were 1.4 million fewer jobs than there would have been had the minimum not been increased. The conclusion is clear. Defying the law of demand will end up harming lots of the people minimum wage proponents aim to help.

19
Feb
15

10 Habits You Must Quit to Be Happy

Original here.

1.  Quit procrastinating on your goals.

Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it.  Action and change are often resisted when they’re needed most.  Get a hold of yourself and have discipline.  Putting something off instantly makes it harder and scarier.  What we don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow.  And there’s nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of an unfinished task.

The secret to getting ahead is simply getting started.  Starting, all by itself, is usually sufficient to build enough momentum to keep the ball rolling.  So forget about the finish line and just concentrate on taking your first step.  Say to yourself, “I choose to start this task with a small, imperfect step.”  All those small steps will add up and you’ll actually get to see changes fairly quickly.  Read Getting Things Done.

2.  Quit blaming others and making excuses.

Stop blaming others for what you have or don’t have, or for what you feel or don’t feel.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility and perpetuate the problem.  Stop giving your power away andstart taking responsibility for your life.  Blaming is just another sorry excuse, and making excuses is the first step towards failure; you and only you are responsible for your life choices and decisions.

3.  Quit trying to avoid change.

If nothing ever changed there would be no sunrise the next morning.  Most of us are comfortable where we are even though the whole universe is constantly changing around us.  Learning to accept this is vital to our happiness and general success.  Because only when we change, do we grow, and begin to see a world we never knew was possible.

And don’t forget, however good or bad a situation is now, it will change.  That’s the one thing you can count on.  So embrace it, and realize that change happens for a reason.  It won’t always be easy or obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.

4.  Quit trying to control the uncontrollable.

If you try to control everything, and then worry about the things you can’t control, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of frustration and misery.

Some forces are out of your control, but you can control how you react to things.  Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether you’re happy or not depends greatly on which aspects you focus on.  The best thing you can do is to let go of what you can’t control, and invest your energy in the things you can – like your attitude.

5.  Quit talking down to yourself.

Nothing will bring you down quicker than berating yourself.  The mind is a superb instrument if used right, but when used incorrectly, it becomes very destructive.  Be aware of your mental self-talk.  We all talk silently to ourselves in our heads, but we aren’t always conscious of what we’re saying or how it’s affecting us.

As Henry Ford once stated, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”  One of the major causes of why we fail is due to self-doubt and negative self-talk.  The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful.  Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones, over time you will change the trajectory of your life.  Read The How of Happiness.

6.  Quit criticizing others.

The negativity you bleed out toward others will gradually cripple your own happiness.  When you truly feel comfortable with your own imperfections, you won’t feel threatened or offended by the imperfections you see in other people.

So stop worrying about the flaws you see in everyone else, and focus on yourself.  Let the constant growth and improvement in your own life keep you so busy that you have no time left to criticize others.

7.  Quit running from your problems and fears.

Trust me, if everyone threw their problems in a pile for you to see, you would grab yours back.  Tackle your problems and fears swiftly, don’t run away from them.  The best solution is to face them head on no matter how powerful they may seem.

Fears, in particularly, stop you from taking chances and making decisions.  They keep you confined to just the small space where you feel completely comfortable.  But your life’s story is simply the culmination of many small, unique experiences, many of which require you to stretch your comfort zone.  Letting your fears and worries control you is not ‘living,’ it’s merely existing.

Bottom line:  Either you own your problems and fears, or they will ultimately own you.

8.  Quit living in another time and place.

Some people spend their entire lives trying to live in another time and place.  They lament about what has been, what they could have done, or what might become.  However, the past is gone, and the future doesn’t exist.  No matter how much time we spend thinking and lamenting about either, it doesn’t change anything.

One of life’s sharpest paradoxes is that our brightest future hinges on our ability to pay attention to what we’re doing right now, today.

We need to live more in the moment.  Living in the moment requires active, open, intentional awareness on the present.  Don’t fantasize about being on vacation while at work, and don’t worry about the work piling up on your desk when you’re on vacation.  Live for now.  Notice the beauty unfolding around you.

9.  Quit trying to be someone you’re not.

One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love you, and you’ll love yourself more too.  The Road Less Traveled.

10.  Quit being ungrateful.

Not all the puzzle pieces of life will seem to fit together at first, but in time you’ll realize they do, perfectly.  So thank the things that didn’t work out, because they just made room for the things that will.  And thank the ones who walked away from you, because they just made room for the ones who won’t.

No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

14
Jan
15

Ohio State Buckeyes are in a different kind of touble

Oh how I love my Ohio State Buckeyes football. Yesterday ended one of the most surprising endings to college football. A team that was all but counted out, on every count, came back to stun the world.

As the now infamous shirt says, it really was Ohio against the World.

Ohio Against the World (OTAW)

Ohio Against the World (OTAW)

Nobody gave Ohio State football a chance after an embarrassing loss at home in the Horseshoe to Virginia Tech. And to be honest, my hopes sunk then too. But the Bucks played on and literally clawed their way to the top against ALL odds, ALL naysayers, and ALL talking-head pundits.

Here is a rundown on some of the successes, to include some of the betting lines.

  • OSU vs Michigan State Spartans: +4.
    • The original betting line was +10 after the VT loss.
    • Pundits refused to believe that a J.T. Barrett could orchestrate a win against the 2013 3rd ranked Spartans.
    • Final score of 49-37 (-12)
  • OSU vs Wisconsin Badgers: +4
    • The original betting line at the end of the regular season and the loss of QB J.T. Barrett was a +14.
    • Melvin Gordon shut down
    • Stout Badger defense stood up.
    • Final score of 59-0 (-59)
  • OSU vs Alabama Crimson Tide: +7.5
    • Original betting line at +17.7.
    • Amari Cooper held in check
    • Infamous Nick Saban not prepared
    • Alabama top ranked run defense stomped on.
    • Final score of 42-35
  • OSU vs Oregon Ducks: +6
    • Original betting line at +9
    • Uptempo Ducks kept in check
    • Destroyed 3rd down conversions by Ducks
    • Mariota not allowed to scramble for large yards
    • Final score of 42-20

Ohio State Buckeyes versus Heisman finalists:

  • OSU vs Tevin Coleman (Ind.):
    • Season totals: 270 carries for 2,036 yards for 15 TD
    • Season average: 22 carries for 164 yards (per game)
    • Against the Bucks: 27 carries for 228 yards for 3 TD
  • OSU vs Melvin Gordon (Wisc.):
    • Season totals: 343 carries for 2,587 yards for 29 TD
    • Season average: 24 carries for 193 yards (per game)
    • Against the Bucks: 26 carries for 76 yards for 0 TD
  • OSU vs Amari Cooper (Ala.):
    • Season totals: 124 catches for 1,727 yards for 16 TD
    • Season average: 9 catches for 127 yards (per game)
    • Against the Bucks: 9 catches for 71 yards for 2 TD
  • OSU vs Marcus Mariota (Ore.): *Heisman winner
    • Season totals: 304/445 for 4,454 yards for 42 TD and 4 INT, 770 yards rushing
    • Season average: 20/29 for 294 yards for 3 TD, 52 yards rushing (per game)
    • Against the Bucks: 24/37 for 333 yards for 2 TD and 0 INT, 39 yards rushing

Everyone said we didn’t have a chance after losing the B1G player of the year Braxton Miller – then two more QBs stepped up who were Heisman watched themselves (Barrett was a finalist, Jones would have been if he wasn’t tossed into the spotlight at the end of the season). Everyone said that Ohio State didn’t have any speed, at least nothing to match the SEC – then we out ran the B1G, the SEC, and then the PAC12. Everyone said that our offensive line was too young (remember, the starting lineup wasn’t even final until after the final week) – but we held up to Penn State, Michigan State, Alabama, and then Oregon. Everyone said that our secondary was suspect, especially after last year – but we held most receivers in check.

Is this the decline of the SEC (specifically the SEC-West) and the rebirth of the B1G (specifically the B1G-East)?

SEC-East (5-0):
Missouri: W, 33-17 over Minnesota
Georgia: W, 37-14 over Louisville
Florida: W, 28-20 over E. Carolina
Tennessee: W, 45-28 over Iowa
South Carolina: W, 24-21 over Miami FL
Kentucky: No Bowl
Vanderbilt: No Bowl

SEC-West (2-5):
Alabama: L, 42-35 by Ohio State
Mississippi State: L, 49-34 by Georgia Tech
Ole Miss: L, 42-3 by TCU
Auburn: L, 34-31 by Wisconsin
LSU: L, 31-28 by Notre Dame
Texas A&M: W, 45-37 over West Virginia
Arkansas: W, 31-7 over Texas

B1G-East (4-1, or 5-1 including championship):
OSU: W, 42-35 over Alabama
Michigan State: W, 42-41 over Baylor
Maryland: L, 45-21 by Standford
Rutgers: W, 40-21 over North Carolina
Michigan: No Bowl
Penn State: W, 31-30 over Boston College
Indiana: No Bowl
East: 4-1 (+1 for Championship game)

B1G-West (1-4):
Wisconsin: W, 34-31 over Auburn
Minnesota: L, 33-17 by Missouri
Nebraska: L, 45-42 by USC
Iowa: L, 45-28 by Tennessee
Illinois: L, 35-18 by Louisiana Tech
NW: No Bowl
Purdue: No Bowl
West: 1-4

2015 will be an interesting year for the Bucks. They are a young team and most players are returning. The Bucks have 3 stellar quarterbacks in Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett, and Cardale Jones. They also have a new 4-star commit dual-threat quarterback named Torrance Gibson. Who is to say if they all stay (my guess is no) but if that is the biggest problem the Bucks have going into the 2015, then that is a heck of a deal.

Ohio State also has a pretty young team and a lot of opportunity to return a lot of players.

2014 OSU Depth Chart

2014 OSU Depth Chart

By my count there is 1 redshirt senior, 6 seniors, 3 juniors, 3 redshirt sophomores, 3 sophomores, 4 redshirt freshmen, and 0 freshmen on the team (not counting special teams). The only “Buckeye” that I know of that has officially declared is DE Noah Spence who was ruled to be permanently ineligible for all intercollegiate athletics competition in the B1G for the 2014 season. I guess we will have to wait and see what everyone does in terms of the draft.

We will also have to see what Braxton Miller decides – will he stay and fight for the position at quarterback or will he use his last eligible year to play guaranteed at another college per NCAA rules? I know if I was in their position I’d be heartbroken – I don’t think that Ohio State Football is one that you simply walk away from and never look back. We probably have one of the best, if not the best, fan bases in the world. We are high-caliber and are coming off a championship year. The lure of staying and playing for a championship may be too much for guys to leave for the NFL even though I’m sure the NFL is their ultimate dream.

With all that said, I feel bad for Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett this year. Braxton was the talk of the city and on a fast track to even more recognition for the 2014 season. Then his season ended before it began and he stood on the sideline while he healed, silently, all the while other quarterbacks shined as bright, if not more brightly than he did. I fee bad for Barrett because he got thrown into the season with little notice after hiding behind a Heisman favorite in the off-season. He was pivotal in getting Ohio State to a position where Cardale Jones could come in and finish it up after Barrett was injured in the last game of the regular season.

Inversely, I am pretty happy for Cardale Jones. He sat in the shadows for 3 years and was happy with that. He came from a checkered past and at one point even moved in with someone to keep himself on track and out of trouble. He watched and cheered as his team rolled to the end of the season – then suddenly he himself was thrust into the spotlight. Then, suddenly he as the champion not for one game… but three of the three biggest games Ohio had this year. And he did well, very well. Enough that people are urging him to enter the draft early. Part of me says, go for it. Another part of me says, stay, not for football, but for his degree. The NFL can always cut him or give him no playing time but nobody can take his degree from him.

Good luck to Tom Herman in Houston. Thanks for all your play calling. It looks like you are inherting an energetic group of players down there. Good luck to Urban in sorting out the depth chart for 2015.

24
Sep
14

The Cost of Whistleblowing

In Communist Russia and Nazi Germany the people raising an eyebrow about what was going on were simply rounded up and killed. Today though those who speak out are simply ostracized by society – even if what they leaked was in the best interest for the society to know.

As Ron Paul said, “Truth is treason in an empire of lies.”

Original article below found at The Guardian.

This week, the Securities and Exchange Commission made history by promising an anonymous overseas whistleblower a reward of $30m.

It doesn’t usually work out that way for whistleblowers. Ringing the bell on abuse in a company or government usually means losing jobs and status. The norm is pariah treatment and low-wage jobs, as well as trips to the welfare office and the lingering threat of prosecution or intimidation.

Consider: it’s not every day that you get to buy an iPhone from an ex-NSA officer. Yet a number of people visiting the Washington metro-area Apple store get to do just that. For over a year now, several days a weekThomas Drake puts on his blue Apple work T-shirt and goes to work.

Drake, former senior executive at National Security Agency, is well known in the national security circles. In 2006, he leaked information about the NSA’s Trailblazer project to Baltimore Sun. Years later, in 2010, he was prosecuted under the Espionage Act, but the government ended up dropping all 10 felony charges against him. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for unauthorized use of a computer.

Drake, unlike other NSA whistleblowers, has the freedom to move freely within any city or state within America. His freedom, however, comes with a very tangible price: his livelihood.

“You have to mortgage your house, you have to empty your bank account. I went from making well over $150,000 a year to a quarter of that,” Drake says in Silenced, a recently released documentary depicting the lives of several national security whistleblowers. Silenced, which made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, is to be screened at additional movie festivals this fall. “The cost alone, financially – never mind the personal cost – is approaching million dollars in terms of lost income, expenses and other costs I incurred.”

“Obviously, I am a persona non grata within the government … and so I am unemployed,” Drake says to the cameras in Silenced. “I did look for work. I spent a lot of time looking for work. I applied for a part-time position with Apple, and several month later I actually got a phone call. I ended up working at an Apple store in the metro DC area as an expert.”

This kind of result is what most whistleblowers can expect. The potential threat of prosecution, the mounting legal bills and the lack of future job opportunities all contribute to a hesitation among many to rock the boat.

President Obama has approved legislation to help protect federal whistleblowers against retaliation and economic ruin. In November 2012,Obama signed Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act into law, which was to expand whistleblower protections available to corporate whistleblowers to federal workers.

Yet whistleblowers have been left on their own to struggle with the consequences of going public.

Jesselyn Radack says whistleblowers need better protections. She is a former Justice Department ethics attorney and whistleblower who went on to defend Drake and Kiriakou. She is currently one of Edward Snowden’s lawyers.

“The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act … has a big loophole that covers national security and intelligence officials, people exactly like Tom Drake at the NSA, Edward Snowden at NSA, and John Kiriakou at CIA, Steven Kim at the State Department, Jeffrey Sterling at the CIA, Peter van Buren, who was at the State Department – the people that I would argue we most need to hear from and want to hear from,” says Radack, noting that Obama’s order applies only to employees – not to contractors such as Edward Snowden.

Finance whistleblowers can, theoretically, collect awards ranging from $300,000 to $104m for disclosing secrets about their employers cheating on taxes and violating securities law. Activist investor Bill Ackman offered a $250,000-per-year-for-10-years deal to an employee of Herbalife for supporting Ackman’s thesis that the company fools its workers and customers. The company and other hedge fund managers, including Carl Icahn, dispute Ackman’s remarks.

The price of leaking national security problems, in particular, is steep. National security whistleblowers have no prospect of financial rewards.

Kiriakou, a former CIA analyst, became the first former government official to confirm the use of waterboarding against al-Qaida suspects in 2009. Three years later, in 2012, he was prosecuted for leaking classified information under the Espionage Act. After he was accused of violating the Espionage Act, Kiriakou had to look for employment outside the field of national security.

“I have applied for every job I can think of – everything from grocery stores to Toys R Us to Starbucks. You name it, I’ve applied there. Haven’t gotten even an email or a call back,” Kiriakou says at some point in the film. “I’ll be honest with you, I really miss working and so regardless of what the job is, I’ll be happy to just pass eight hours a day.”

He was not the only one in his family to lose his job as a result of his disclosures. His wife quit her job because of threats of security investigations, says Kiriakou.

After both of them were unemployed for seven months, she informed him that they couldn’t afford food for the next week. In the days to follow, they found themselves at a welfare office, where they were told they qualified for a variety of assistance including food stamps, medicaid and job training.

The stark reality of their financial situation was enough to get Kiriakou to consider changing his plea. That, and the possibility of not seeing his children grow up.

“She doesn’t make enough money to support our household. We could borrow enough for two years to keep her going,” he says. “But if I am found guilty and get more than two years, I mean – we think we are ruined now? – we’d be ruined permanently after that. I want to fight it but I have kids and I just can’t risk them losing me for six to twelve years.”

Kiriakou is currently serving a 30-month jail sentence. Instead of telling his children that he is going to jail, Kiriakou and his wife have told them that he is going to Pennsylvania to “teach bad guys how to get their diplomas.”

With Kiriakou in jail, his family continues to struggle to make ends meet.

“They are still in dire straits, living from pay check to pay check,” Radack told the audience at the New America after recently held screening of Silenced. A Facebook page, Defend John Kiriakou, lists instructions on how to contribute to Kiriakou’s commissary account. Another post invites supporters to buy him a subscription to The New York Times’ Sunday edition. Radack already purchased him a Monday through Saturday subscription. He receives all papers two days after they are published.

“I am sitting in front of you as a free human being, I can’t tell you what it means to be free,” Drake told the audience after the screening. “I paid an incredibly high price.”




Quotes:

"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth... For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it." - Patrick Henry

"Politicians and diapers both need to be changed, and for the same reason." - Anonymous

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it." - William Penn

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country" - Hermann Goering

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do this I keep on doing." - Romans 7:18-19

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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