June 27, 2008 was Bill Gates’ last day as a full time employee of Microsoft. Though he will still be chairman and majority shareholder of Microsoft, Bill Gates’ daily influence will surely be missed. Whether or not you’re a fan of the Windows OS, I’m sure we all agree that Bill Gates made a significant contribution to the personal computing world as well as to consumer electronics and lifestyle technology (and that just his short list). I bid Bill Gates farewell and thank Gates for his contributions to Microsoft and to the technology world. I wish Bill Gates much continued success in his philanthropic work through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
On this past Saturday, June 28, 2008, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton launched a unity campaign in, of all places, Unity, New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton gave an excellent speech. I laughed uncontrollably at her “spirited dialogue” comment. I was moved by the Unity event and the tone of reconcilliation Clinton’s and Obama’s speeches hopefully set in overcoming whatever residual bitterness lingers from the Democratic primary. For those who haven’t yet seen the Obama/Clinton Unity event, here’s a link to the New York Times article and to the full video of Clinton’s and Obama’s campaign speeches. Feel free to sound off on the event. Let your thoughts flow!
There is a national debate concerning not only whether marriage should be legally defined as a union between one man and one woman, but also whether the U.S. Constitution should be amended to include that definition. The overwhelming majority of arguments for or against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage are rooted in moral and/or religious values. While I am sensitive to those arguments, I feel that the principles of our Constitution make a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage unwarranted.
Considering the Constitution’s 27 Amendments and considering the founders’ guiding principle of government of the people - not government over the people - an amendment defining marriage would have no place in the Constitution. With the exceptions of the 13th and 14th Amendments and some procedural Amendments that define aspects of government function, the Amendments to the Constitution dictate the relationship between the federal government and U.S.
The Supreme Court essentially answered “Yes” when, in a 6-3 ruling yesterday it threw out the conviction of a man who murdered his ex-girlfriend. The case involved a man convicted of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend three weeks after she told police that he had choked her and threatened to slash her with a knife. The trial court admitted her police statement to counter his self-defense plea, reasoning that, by killing her, the defendant had forfeited his Sixth Amendment right to confront his accuser. The Supreme Court overturned the conviction, essentially ruling that the right of a defendant to confront his accuser extends even to the situation where the defendant has murdered his accuser.
U.S. consumers may complain about being forced to sign up with AT&T to pick up a new iPhone 3G, but imagine having to pay $800 or even $900 for a new iPhone?! Fortune magazine reports that such may be a reality for potential iPhone 3G customers around the globe. According to Fortune, roughly 70% of mobile plans worldwide are pre-paid, which means that an overseas purchaser of an iPhone 3G won’t necessarily enjoy the subsidized $199 or $299 price-tag that comes with AT&T’s 2-year contract. In Italy, for example, iPhones will cost between 499 euros ($778) for the 8 GB iPhone 3G and 569 euros ($888) for the 16 GB model. In South Africa, the iPhone 3G is expected to cost the equivalent of $877. A research firm interviewed by Furtune speculates that as global availability of the iPhone 3G normalizes, the price of a pre-paid phone should average around $600.
Okay, it’s official. The Celtics pretty much stomped a mud hole into the Lakers with a near 40 point walloping in Game 6 of the NBA finals. Personally, I was rooting for the Lakers. I thought Kobe and his squad had the talent to beat Garnett and the Celtics, but after the Lakers fell to 3 and 1, I’d pretty much given up hope. Still, I never would have expected a forty point whoopin’! What happened to the Lakers? Were the Celtics a better team or were the Lakers just playing badly? Let your thoughts flow!
I am very excited to finally carve out my own little slice of the web, and I’m even more excited that you stopped by to visit!!!!! At this site, I encourage everyone to speak their mind about anything. While topical blogs (blogs devoted to a particular political perspective or a television show) are great, I wanted to create a blog where I and my visiters could feel free to discuss whatever’s on our minds, whether it happens to be politics, technology, cooking, shopping…whatever! So check out the “About Opinion Streams” page and feel free to comment on my latest post, concerning Al Gore’s endorsement of Barack Obama’s candidacy. You can also check out my previous posts, which discuss such topics as the use of military force, the new iPhone 3G and further insights into the 2008 Presidential race. Let your thoughts flow!!!
Earlier this evening, former Vice President Al Gore endorsed Barack Obama’s bid for the presidency. As Gore’s endorsement further solidifies the party hierarchy’s embrace of Senator Obama, it obviously is beneficial symbolically for party unity. However, since Barack Obama is already the presumptive Democratic nominee, is a further “endorsement” beneficial to his candidacy, or is it irrelevent? Arguably, the time for a high-ranking Democrat like Al Gore to “endorse” Barack Obama would have been during the primary, when such an endorsement could have been pivotal to the direction and length of the primary. Gore’s silence during the primary was understandably owed to political and positional pressures, not the least of which were his relationship to the Clintons and his position in the DNC hierarchy.
In light of rising antipathy to the war in Iraq, is it now appropriate to revisit the question of whether any war can be justified? That seems to be the question raised by Nicholson Baker in his new book “Human Smoke,” which seeks to reexamine whether World War II, our modern model of a “just war”, was “just” at all. While I have not read Nicholson Baker’s book, and will not cast judgment on whether Baker is qualified to examine WWII (recall that Nicholson Baker also wrote “Vox”, which detailed a phone sex conversation and will have its place in history as the book Monica Lewinsky gave Bill Clinton as a present), neither the particulars of “Human Smoke” nor of Nicholson Baker’s credibility are necessary for a discussion of the broader question presented by Baker (and, presumably, the pacifists for whom Baker purports to speak) - whether armed conflict is ever justified.
Yesterday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new Apple iPhone 3G (also called “iPhone 2.0″), Apple’s update to its much heralded entrant in the smart phone market. The biggest news about the new iPhone 3G is its 3G wireless broadband connection, which, according to Apple, enables the iPhone 3G to achieve 2.4 times the connection speed of the previous iPhone generation’s EDGE network. The new iPhone 3G will also sport A STANDARD HEADPHONE JACK!!!! Finally, iPhone devotees can use the iPhone without being tied to Apple’s proprietary headphones or a limited subset of other headphones. Other new (and cool) features of the new iPhone 3G will be global positioning system (GPS) support, a patch that will enable users to search through their contacts list, and apparent support for third party programs to run in the background (which may enable instant messaging type functionality). For an additional service charge ($99/year) you also get Mobile Me for the iPhone 3G, a service that allows you to keep your contacts, email, photos, calendar, and files in sync between the iPhone 3G and any computer with internet functionality. But perhaps the biggest news about the new iPhone 3G (yeah, I know the 3G wireless broadband connection is a huge deal) will be its retail price. Apple will sell an 8GB iPhone 3G for $199 and a 16GB version for $299. That’s $200 off the price of the first generation iPhone! The downside is that AT&T is still the exclusive U.S.